Bob on the Box: more legal fun in courtBob Eveleigh
Bob Eveleigh: American television seems to be in a "let's poke fun at attorneys" period with Suits on M-Net and Franklin & Bash starting on Series Channel.
Suits combines comedy and drama against courtroom and legal office backgrounds on M-Net on Saturday evenings (albeit at times varying wildly from 8.30 to 7.30 to 7.10pm!) and the second season of Franklin & Bash is about to start on the Series Channel (Channel 114) on Tuesday at 8.30pm.
Franklin and Bash is a comedy-drama series from the TNT network (part of the massive Ted Turner Broadcasting Group), co-starring Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar in the title roles of Jared Franklin and Peter Bash, long-time pals and unconventional lawyers.
The show premiered in the middle of last year in America and, after 10 episodes, immediately continued for a similar number of 45-minute programmes making up this second sequence.
It is currently in its third TNT season in the US.
In the first run pilot, the streetwise duo beat the pants off a senior lawyer from a rival major firm named Infeld & Daniels and were instantly invited to join the practice to punch up its image and activity, while, naturally, automatically making an almost implacable enemy of Damien Karp (played by Reed Diamond), the firm's partner they had bested in court.
The cast features a couple of veteran big name actors in Malcolm McDowell, as the senior partner Stanton Infeld, and Beau Bridges, as the famous lawyer father of Jared Franklin, as well as Kathy Najimy, as a judge who simply does not like the way the titular duo conduct themselves in court.
As usual on this Channel, the episodes repeat at 2.30 and 8.30am and 2.30pm on Wednesday on Channel 114.
Another second season starting tonight - but on the Crime & Investigation Network (Channel 170) at 9pm - will be Murder Casebook II, featuring British sports presenter, quiz show host, print journalist and author Fred Dinenage, again moving into the world of crime as he takes freshly angled looks at a number of murders that shocked Britain in the 20th century.
As the official biographer of one of the UK's most vicious criminal gangs, the Kray Brothers, he knows from personal experience that, with serious crime, the myth can take over from the reality of what actually happened.
So sorting that out is what he does here.
In each of the five 55-minute programmes in this season, Fred Dinenage meets some of the people whose lives were affected by the crimes and, using criminology, forensic science and other modern techniques, dissects the cases examining the motives behind them, the methods used and the impact they had then - and may well still have on the public conscience.
Tonight's opener deals with the mystery of Lord Lucan and the aristocrat's life - a glamorous series of events that saw this larger than life figure become tainted by murder, mistaken identity and events that would launch the biggest manhunt in British history.
Lord Lucan’s life had gone from gambling, parties and weekends in the country to a bitter divorce, a custody battle for his children and huge debts. His only way out was to murder his wife, but instead he killed the nanny when he mistook her for Lady Lucan.
He then attacked his estranged wife, who managed to escape with severe injuries. Meanwhile Lord Lucan was making his exit, disappearing after the attacks, only visiting a friend briefly, and has never been seen again.
There have been many reported sightings around the world but the Lord Lucan mystery continues …
There will be no repeats for this programme.
Alf Kumalo, who died recently and was buried this past weekend, was one of South Africa’s foremost photo-journalists, someone who worked in his chosen field for 50 years - some of that time as part of the now famous Drum Magazine team in the 1960s – and who saw his work appear in international publications.
At this time of his passing, Maggs on Media at 11.30pm tonight on eNews Channel Africa (Channel 403), as its main item, revisits an interview conducted on the occasion of the launch of his book Alf Kumalo: Through My Lens…
In other items, Jeremy Maggs looks at a new American TV commercial featuring bad boy Charlie Sheen, the new Cape Town premises of advertising agency Y&R and a Coke Zero commercial linked to the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall.
Maggs on Media repeats at Tuesday at 9.30am, Thursday at 12.30pm; Friday at 9.30pm and Saturday at 4.30pm.
In previewing the host of new Friday series in last week's column another newie, Strike Back, somehow managed to slip under the radar.
This is airing on M-Net (Channel 101) each Friday at 9.30pm.
Adapted from a best-selling novel by an author named Chris Ryan, the series follows the actions of Section 20, a special hyper-secretive branch of the British Secret Intelligence Service (M16), which operates high risk, priority missions around the globe. The show began life on Sky TV in May 2010, with six one-hour programmes in its premiere run.
This was followed by a further six episodes under the title Strike Back: Project Dawn last year and a third, currently running in Britain and America as Strike Back: Vengeance.
The series is unusual in that, from the second season, it became a co-production by Sky and the US network, Cinemax, and now seems to run concurrently on these channels.
A fourth season, to run in 2013, has just been commissioned so it seems the producers have a successful action concept here.
The show stars Richard Armitage, Orla Brady, Andrew Lincoln and Jodhi May - the two women will certainly be known to viewers from previous TV series - and much of the action is set in such theatres of war as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.
It is not known how many episodes M-Net will run in this opening season - fans of this genre could well see all 18 one-hours made to date or simply the six in the initial season.
For future reference, Strike Back will repeat on M-Net at 10pm on Sundays - the late times for the premiere Friday slot and this re-run are dictated by the fact that this show carries an 18VSNL age rating.