News Column

Jon Tenney is King of 'King & Maxwell' [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

June 9, 2013


What's on,Clearly, TNT loves Jon Tenney.

And the feeling is mutual, since the actor has worked for the cable network for the better part of the past decade. After his long run as FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard -- longtime friend and eventual husband of Kyra Sedgwick's Brenda Leigh Johnson on "The Closer," a role he's occasionally reprised on the spinoff "Major Crimes" -- Tenney launches a new TNT crime drama as "King & Maxwell" premieres June 10.

He and Rebecca Romijn play Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, former Secret Service agents now partnered as private detectives. The characters originated in best sellers by David Baldacci ("Absolute Power"), and they're odd-couple opposites: He's more refined, while she's the street-wise one.

Michael O'Keefe ("Caddyshack") and Chris Butler co-star as FBI operatives in the show that includes Shane Brennan ("NCIS," "NCIS: Los Angeles") among its executive producers.

Tenney says his conversations with TNT about "King & Maxwell" began as "The Closer" was winding down. "I felt my piece of that puzzle was primarily the personal relationship," he explains. "As the focus shifted away from that, because Kyra was no longer going to be there, I wondered how much there would be for me to do (on 'Major Crimes'). And then, they sent me this script.

Much of that hinges on the stars' teamwork, as any show title composed of the main characters' names suggests.

"We did a series of 'chemistry reads,' and we clicked right away," Tenney says of Romijn. "We fell into a conversation about kids and this business, and we just got along. Building this relationship has been a fun part of the process."

For fans of the five King and Maxwell novels -- which have spanned from "Split Second" to "The Sixth Man," with a sixth book planned for publication this fall -- Tenney points out, "We're going to be true to them on one level, then we're going to go way beyond them as well, hopefully.

"It's really a work in progress," he continues. "Each day, we're saying things like, 'Oh, I see. This is a good way to go.' We're going to have fun stories and exciting plots, but it's ultimately going to be about the relationship between these people."

Past law-enforcement roles have worked as "King & Maxwell" prep for Tenney to a certain extent. "I've continued my training with this. One of the fun things is that, while these people come from the same background, they share an ignominious dismissal from the Secret Service ... that wound, if you will.

"They approach things very differently. Maxwell is that kind of gung-ho, good-with-a-gun adrenaline junkie, and King is much more a man of words: 'I can talk us out of this. I can figure this out.' He prides himself on his brains over his brawn, and we're, hopefully, using that to some comedic effect. I think both of these people really need each other, though they don't always recognize it."

Staying with TNT for his latest series is quite comfortable for Tenney, the father of a teenage daughter with ex-wife Teri Hatcher and now the husband of movie producer Leslie Urdang ("Beginners"). He deems the network's executives "really smart. They hire people they like and trust, and they don't micromanage. They make everybody feel very participatory, and I'm happy to still be in the family, as they say."

Jay Bobbin is a wrtier for,TV highlights

for the week of

June 9-15, 2013,SUNDAY

8 p.m. on CBS

The 67th Annual Tony Awards

Neil Patrick Harris returns to host this year's gala honoring Broadway's best. The musical "Kinky Boots" leads the pack with 13 nominations. Familiar faces from the big and small screens who could take home some hardware include Tom Hanks ("Lucky Guy"), Holland Taylor ("Ann"), Cicely Tyson ("The Trip to Bountiful") and Nathan Lane ("The Nance").

8 p.m. on HGTV


Host and mentor David Bromstad returns, along with network stars Genevieve Gorder, Vern Yip and Sabrina Soto, to the competition series that awards the winning designer his or her own HGTV series. New this season will be a chance for the winner of tonight's premiere episode to have a piece of his or her artwork for sale on the One Kings Lane website.

8 p.m. on Travel

Xtreme Waterparks

Ten new episodes explore the wildest, most over-the-top water rides in the world, from America's only slide with a completely horizontal loop in Maine to a homemade backyard slide in Vail, Colo., and more.

9 p.m. on History Channel

Mountain Men

In the frozen wilds of Alaska, Marty Meierotto hopes to rebound from a disappointing trapping season. In North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, Eustace Conway has taken a hefty cash loan to save his land from a government lien. Tom Oar and his wife, Nancy, race against time to gather enough wood and food for winter in northwest Montana. Season 2 will also introduce four new mountain men: Rich Lewis, George Michaud, Charlie Tucker and Jason Hawk.

9 p.m. on Lifetime

Army Wives

Holly (Elle McLemore) reaches out for help when Tim (Jesse McCartney) goes missing. Denise (Catherine Bell) catches Michael (Brian McNamara) in a compromising position. Quincy and Latasha (Joshua Henry, Ashanti) get some news about his career. Gloria (Alyssa Diaz) remains torn between Patrick and Hector (Brant Daugherty, Joseph Julian Soria). Roland and Joan (Sterling K. Brown, Wendy Davis) prepare to leave Fort Marshall in the season finale, "All or Nothing."

9 p.m. on TNT

Falling Skies

Noah Wyle returns to his role as resistance leader Tom Mason in the season premiere, "On Thin Ice," which finds him being elected to political office, preparing for his baby's arrival and dealing with the fallout from his decision to have the rebel skitters fight alongside humans. Guest starring this season are Gloria Reuben as an aide to Tom and Robert Sean Leonard as an obsessive but gifted scientist who runs the local power grid.

9 p.m. on HBO

Game of Thrones

In the season finale, Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) issues a challenge to Tywin (Charles Dance). Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) shares a ghost story. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) waits to see whether she'll be seen as a conqueror or a liberator. Mercy comes from an unexpected source in "Mhysa."


8 p.m. on ABC Family

Switched at Birth

New episodes resume with "Mother and Child Divided," in which Regina (Constance Marie) returns home from rehab early in hopes of spending more time with Daphne (Katie Leclerc). She discovers, to her dismay, that the girl has gotten closer to the Kennishes in her absence. Bay (Vanessa Marano) runs into her ex-boyfriend Ty (Blair Redford), who's back from Afghanistan. Sean Berdy and Ryan Lane also star.

9 p.m. on TNT

Major Crimes

The elite team of Los Angeles police detectives is back, headed by two-time Oscar nominee Mary McDonnell as Capt. Sharon Raydor. This season, Nadine Velazquez ("My Name Is Earl") joins the ensemble as Deputy District Attorney Emma Rios. G.W. Bailey and Michael Paul Chan also star in the season premiere, "Final Cut."

9 p.m. on HBO

Movie: Pussy Riot -- A Punk Prayer

An official selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary shares the story of Nadia, Masha and Katia of the feminist art collective Pussy Riot. In February 2012, they performed a 40-second "punk prayer" inside Russia's main cathedral, which led to their arrest on charges of religious hatred, followed by a trial that reverberated around the world and transformed the face of Russian society.

10 p.m. on TBS

Deon Cole's Black Box

In this new series, the Emmy-nominated writer/comedian invades America's television sets each week to provide his take on some of the most outrageous video clips to pop up across the media landscape. Cole brings a unique point of view to his commentary as he uses clips to riff on racial and gender stereotypes, politics and more.

10:01 p.m. on ABC


Savi (Alyssa Milano) gets very different advice from Karen and April (Yunjin Kim, Rochelle Aytes) on whether to come clean to Harry (Brett Tucker) about her night with Dominic (Jason George). April investigates a woman's claim that her late husband, Paul, had another life. Joss (Jes Macallan) befriends a new client (Shannyn Sossamon) in the new episode "The Morning After."

10:01 p.m. on NBC

The Winner Is...

"The Voice" meets "Let's Make a Deal" in this new summer series, airing sneak previews tonight and next Monday. Soloists and groups compete in singing duels for a cash prize, but here's the twist: Contestants who aren't sure they impressed the judges have the option of taking a smaller amount of cash and leaving the game. Nick Lachey hosts.

11 p.m. on Comedy Central

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

John Oliver takes over as guest host starting tonight, while Stewart takes an eight-week leave from the show to direct his first feature film, "Rosewater." A "Daily Show" mainstay since 2006, Oliver reassures fans that the show won't suffer a bit: "Don't worry, it's still going to be everything that you love about 'The Daily Show,' just without the thing that you love the most about it." Seth Rogen is scheduled to be Oliver's guest tonight.


8 p.m. on ABC Family

Pretty Little Liars

In the season premiere, the girls turn to Mona (Janel Parrish) for answers about what "A" has planned for them in the aftermath of the lodge fire. Aria (Lucy Hale) finds it difficult to be around Ezra (Ian Harding). Emily (Shay Mitchell) starts planning for life after high school. The contents of the trunk are revealed, and a shocking discovery rocks the town in "A Is for A-l-i-v-e." Ashley Benson and Troian Bellisario also star.

8 p.m. on Cinemax

Movie: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Several British acting veterans -- including Judi Dench, who was guided to her "Shakespeare in Love" Oscar by this film's director, John Madden -- star in this engaging tale of several retirees who invest in a site in India where they intend to enjoy their retirement. Once there, they find the place isn't in quite the lavish condition promised. Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson also star.

9 p.m. on ABC Family


When 16-year-old Danny Desai (Avan Jogia) is released from juvenile detention after serving five years for the killing of his aunt, it rocks the community of Green Grove. But no two people are more shocked than his childhood friends Lacey and Jo (Kylie Bunbury, Maddie Hasson), who have tried to move on. Danny's attempts to fit in are derailed when a student is murdered, and he emerges as the prime suspect. Denise Richards also stars in this new drama series.

9 p.m. on Showtime

Movie: 360

The lives of many different people on two different continents intertwine in this complex but satisfying 2011 drama directed by Fernando Meirelles. Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins and Ben Foster are among the more familiar faces in the cast.

10 p.m. on A&E

Shipping Wars

Roy, Jennifer, Jarrett, Marc and all of the other colorful characters who compete for the chance to transport unusual loads across the country return for another go-round of this entertaining series.

10 p.m. on Lifetime

Pretty Wicked Moms

Super Sweet 16? Why wait so long? In this new episode, the moms don their party finery for a much-anticipated social event: a toddler's birthday bash. Nicole B. confronts Emily after receiving some shocking news, and sparks fly in the new episode "Amzie's Super Sweet Second Birthday."


7 p.m. on National Geographic


After escaping through a pipe and then climbing out through the roof of Grant County Detention Center in New Mexico, three gang members make for Mexican in the new episode "Southsider Gang Escape."

9 p.m. on Spike

Spike Guys Choice 2013

The biggest boys night out is back in Hollywood for this annual tribute to manliness in sports, music, TV and movies. Among the winners this year are Ben Affleck for Guy of the Year, Vince Vaughn for the Guycon award and Emilia Clarke ("Game of Thrones") for the Holy Grail of Hot award.

9 p.m. on Syfy

Ghost Hunters

This series serves up six new episodes starting tonight. Amy Bruni rejoins the team for the first investigation since going on maternity leave. In the premiere, "The Ghost Hasn't Left the Building," TAPS is invited to Louisiana's Shreveport Municipal Auditorium.

9 p.m. on USA

Royal Pains

Season 5 begins with Hank (Mark Feuerstein) ready to return to work on the first weekend of summer after spending the winter recuperating from brain surgery. Callum Blue recurs this season as Milos, Boris' (Campbell Scott) cousin. Paulo Costanzo also stars in the season premiere, "Hankwatch."

10 p.m. on Oxygen

I'm Having Their Baby

The season premiere features Tory, the pregnant mother of a 3- year-old. Worried about the stability of her relationship with her boyfriend, Mike, she fears she cannot support another child on her own. But after signing over his paternal rights, Mike regrets his decision and confronts the potential adoptive father. Viewers also meet Sharanda, who is afraid that her boyfriend will change his mind about placing the baby she is expecting for adoption.

10 p.m. on Travel Channel

Dig Wars

Anything can be a game show these days -- even archaeology. In this new series, three teams of relic hunters compete to find the most valuable items at locations across the country. A local expert judges their finds and picks the winner at the end of the day. In the premiere, they're looking for Civil War artifacts at Fort St. Philip in Louisiana.

10:01 p.m. on USA

Necessary Roughness

The Season 3 premiere, "Ch-Ch-Changes," picks up six months after the New York Hawks' playoff run. Big changes at the team force Dani, TK and Matt (Callie Thorne, Mehcad Brooks, Marc Blucas) to reconsider their futures with the franchise. A powerful sports and entertainment management agency run by the seductive Connor McClane (recurring guest star John Stamos) makes Dani an offer to join the firm, but at what cost?


8:30 p.m. on NBC

Save Me

Beth (Anne Heche) tries to raise funds to save the hospital where Emily (Madison Davenport) was born from closing, but her friends are either too distracted to support the effort or don't care. A visit from God helps her realize that she doesn't need to strong-arm other people to make good things happen in the new episode "Holier Than Thou." Michael Landes and Heather Burns also star.

9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Monumental Mysteries

In this new episode, Don visits New York's Ellis Island, the gateway for millions of immigrants to come to the U.S. He discovers that one family whose story is told in a classic movie came close to not getting in. Later, he's at California's Death Valley National Park to check out some mysterious stones that seem to be able to sail across sand. In Texas, he investigates reports that a treasure is hidden within a legendary landmark.

9:30 p.m. on FX

Anger Management

Charlie (Charlie Sheen) takes a more than professional interest in a hot female subject from the sex study. Yes, it's against the rules, but this is Charlie, after all. Nolan and Patrick (Derek Richardson, Michael Arden) clash over a woman in the new episode "Charlie and His New Friend With Benefits." Selma Blair also stars.

10 p.m. on TBS

Sullivan & Son

In the season premiere, "One More Time," Ken Jeong ("Community") guest stars as Susan's (Vivian Bang) husband, who, like Steve (Steve Byrne), also considers leaving a successful career to follow his bliss. The rest of the gang returns with a full mug of bad behavior, dating a motley crew of Pittsburgh's shadiest, getting taken into custody by the Secret Service and even hallucinating "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak. Dan Lauria also stars.

10 p.m. on WE

House of Curves

This new series follows Kenyatta Jones, CEO of the Bella Rene clothing company, who has designed her dream collection for plus- sized women. With her mom as her main investor and her two best friends from college as her staff, Kenyatta and company will do anything to expand their brand. In the premiere, "Full Fashion Frenzy," Kenyatta and her team prepare for their spring fashion show, but when the right buyers don't show up, Kenyatta makes a power move.


8 p.m. on TCM

Movie: Dark Passage

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart teamed up for the third of their four films together in this 1947 film noir adapted from David Goodis' novel of the same name. Bacall plays a San Francisco art student who hides a fugitive (Bogart) who is recovering from underworld plastic surgery. Bruce Bennett and Agnes Moorehead also star.

8 p.m. on VH1

Movie: The Lost Boys

Brothers Michael and Sam (Jason Patric, Corey Haim) aren't too happy about moving to California with their mom (Dianne Wiest), but she assures them they'll make new friends. Sure enough, they do. There's just one problem: Their new friends are vampires. Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Barnard Hughes and Edward Herrmann also star in this chuckle-filled 1987 creature feature.

9 p.m. on Starz

Magic City

Things get even hotter in the series' second season as Ike (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) faces criminal charges. New to the cast are Academy Award nominee James Caan, Esai Morales, Jamie Harris ("Rise of the Planet of the Apes") and Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks"). In the season premiere, "Crime and Punishment," Ike's wife and son (Olga Kurylenko, Steven Strait) learn the truth about his silent partners in the wake of his arrest.

9 p.m. on Showtime

Movie: Gone

Known to have emotional problems, a young woman (Amanda Seyfried) tries to convince others that the person who once kidnapped her has taken her sister (Emily Wickersham) in this 2012 suspense tale. Wes Bentley ("American Beauty") plays the one police detective who appears to believe her, but she ultimately ends up fending for herself to save her sibling. The tense tale also features Jennifer Carpenter ("Dexter"), Michael Pare and Hunter Parrish ("Weeds").


8 p.m. on ABC

Zero Hour

Better burned off than never. The episodes of this canceled drama that didn't make it to air will play out over the next few Saturdays so that its fans -- and it does have them! -- won't be left hanging. A doubleheader tonight opens with Laila (Jacinda Barrett) persuading White Vincent (Michael Nyqvist) to let her tend his wounds in hopes of finding a way to escape. Hank (Anthony Edwards) comes to realize that people aren't always what they seem in "Chain."

8 p.m. on Lifetime

Movie: Gone Missing

A mom (Daphne Zuniga) immerses herself in the spring-break scene in San Diego after her daughter and a friend (Brigette Davidovici, Gage Golightly) disappear during the festivities. Along the way she picks up some disturbing information that the girl was keeping from her. Lauren Bowles and Nicholas R. Grava also star in this new suspense tale.

8 p.m. on HBO

Movie: The Dark Knight Rises

Director Christopher Nolan's 2012 conclusion to his Batman trilogy is as stylistically stunning as expected, with returnee Christian Bale's moody portrayal of Gotham City's main protector getting a boost from Anne Hathaway's presence as Selina Kyle -- alias Catwoman. The main villain is the masked Bane (Tom Hardy). Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman also are back. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard, also of Nolan's "Inception," join the cast.

9 p.m. on Hallmark

Movie: Notes From Dad

Clay Allan (Eddie Cibrian) is a former jazz musician who takes a job teaching music at a disadvantaged local high school after his divorce. Discovering one boy's talent on the trumpet and his need of a father figure, Allan is inspired to mentor him and start a band to help keep the school open. Through the journey of leading the band, he reconnects with his own estranged son, becoming the father he always wanted to be in this new drama.

9 p.m. on TNT

AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Mel Brooks

The man behind such comedy classics as "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein" and "The Producers" becomes the 41st recipient of the American Film Institute's prestigious prize. Fellow filmmaker Martin Scorsese -- a man definitely not known for comedy -- presents the award to Brooks.

10 p.m. on CMT

Ron White: A Little Unprofessional

Taped in Austin, Texas, and first offered as an Internet download, this new stand-up special features the Scotch-sipping, cigar-puffing Blue Collar Comedy alumnus doing what he does best: telling jokes. His subjects here include airport security, marriage, drunken mishaps and more.

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