Tag Archives: tv shows

Auto Pilot: WMAC Masters

Auto Pilot is back again for the summer and we’re kicking off our look back at first episodes for classic, forgotten or just plain weird shows with a syndicated cult classic that combined at least half a dozen mid 90’s trends, WMAC Masters

Episode Title: Meet the Masters

Original Airdate: No definite answer but possibly sometime in September of 1995

Did I Know Anything Going In?: We’ve talked about it previously on the podcast and I think I may have seen a random episode or two back in the day on the local UPN affiliate.

WMAC Masters is a wonderfully insane mash-up of professional wrestling, Mortal Kombat, Power Rangers, American Gladiators and like a dash of Medieval Times.  Filmed on location at Universal Studios Florida, the show was a convoluted martial arts tournament that threw a bunch of actual, fantastic martial artists together to compete for the Dragon Star, the WMAC (or World Martial Arts Council) equivalent of the WWE championship.  Before they had a shot at the Dragon Star though, each fighter had to defeat all the other masters and gain their “Ki Symbol”, which represented their martial arts discipline of choice, to fill in their “Dragon Belt” and only when they had all the symbols could they challenge the champ.  The crazy part of the first episode is that the show treats all this like it’s common knowledge like WMAC Masters is as common as baseball or football to the average viewer. It also feels like this the tenth episode of the show and not the first; the tournament is well under way and some of the fighters have seemingly already won 8 or 9 fights that we as the audience have never and will never see.  At least the first episode tries to introduce most of the main fighters, focusing mostly on Hakim “The Machine” Alston, who did stunts and appeared in Mortal Kombat and…Shootfighter(?).  Hakim relates the story of how he got his nickname, which doubles as the episode’s life lesson about maintaining discipline, where he became too angry when he was training in kickboxing and forced one of his fellow fighters into a bare knuckle, off hours fight that left him with a broken leg and a month long hospital stay.  Every episode tried to impart some sort of life lesson to the kids watching, mostly about respect or believing in yourself and usually implying that martial arts is the answer to overcoming any sort of difficulty.

Outside the cheesy, scripted backstage banter, the main format of the show, at least for the first season, is that four fighters would battle it out and the winners would face each other in a final showdown.  As we’ve already established though, nothing is straightforward on WMAC Masters and the combatants first had to enter “Battlezones” and fight waves of faceless kabuki warriors, ninjas or other generic martial arts hordes and then, after some random amount of time, the fighters would face each other.  In a blatant nod to their fighting game inspiration, each fighter had a “power gauge” that would go down if they were hit.  The final battle put both fighters into the “Battledome” but, again, it wasn’t a straightforward fight and instead they had to knock their opponent into the “electrified” walls of the cage to earn points, the fighter with the most points at the end of 2 minutes being declared the winner.  Hakim and Ho-Sung “Superstar” Pak aka Liu effing Kang from Mortal Kombat battle it out for the final battle, with Superstar eventually ending up the victor.  All of the action is commented on by Shannon Lee, the daughter of Bruce Lee and brother to Brandon, but she’s not exactly the most dynamic play by play announcer and she would only be on the show for the first season and during the second season, the show got even more crazy and leaned harder into the fantasy/Mortal Kombatness of the premise.

WMAC Masters was cancelled after two seasons but it did get action figures, books and VHS releases of episodes.  It actually came back after it’s cancellation in 1996 in 2002 as it aired as part of 4Kids Entertainment’s Saturday morning lineup and was also on The CW’s website streaming until 2003, when 4Kids went bankrupt and it’s not available anywhere online except for the above Youtube rip and it’s also never been on DVD.  Based on the disturbingly detailed Wikipedia page, there seems to be at least some dedicated fans out there and it’s as wonderfully cheesy as the various Saban series that were being put out around the same time.

TV Cancellations/Renewals 2014

The upfront presentations for all the major networks are next week, where they’ll show off trailers for all their new Fall shows.  However, in order for those new shows to debut, current shows must be cancelled and that’s the news that’s been coming out all week.  We’ll keep updating as more shows get cancelled/renewed or announced.


The biggest and saddest cancellation is that NBC has cancelled Community, denying everyone #sixseasonsandamovie.  The return of Dan Harmon brought the show back to top form but it wasn’t enough to save the show.  NBC also cancelled Revolution in it’s second season. Crisis, Believe, Dracula and Growing Up Fisher.  Renewed shows include The Blacklist, Grimm, Parks and Rec, About a Boy and Hannibal.  New shows coming in the fall include a full order for Constantine, spy thriller Allegiance, crime show The Mysteries of Laura, Odyssey, Jennifer Lopez crime drama Shades of Blue, political drama State of Affairs and comedies A to Z with executive producer Rashida Jones, Marry Me, Mrs. Robinson and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt from Tina Fey.


ABC renewed Agents of SHIELD, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Castle, Once Upon a Time, Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Revenge, Resurrection and Scandal and cancelled Trophy Wife, Mind Games, Mixology, Back in the Game, Lucky 7, The Asssets, Suburgatory, Super Fun Night and The Neighbors.  New shows include official confirmation on Marvel’s Agent Carter, with Hayley Atwell reprising her role as Peggy Carter and also American Crime, period drama The Astronauts Wives Club,  soap opera The Club, crime shows Forever and How to Get Away with Murder and Secrets & Lies and sci fi show The Whispers.  Comedies include Black-ish, Galavant,  Selfie starring Karen Gillan and John Cho and an untitled show from Jeff Lowell.


CBS cancelled The Crazy Ones, Friends with Better Lives, Intelligence, Hostages and Bad Teacher and renewed pretty much everything else.   For new shows, there is yet another NCIS spin-off with NCIS: New Orleans and a new CSI spin-off with CSI: Cyber starring Patricia Arquette, Battle Creek from Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan, political drama Madam Secretary starring Tea Leoni, Spy thriller Scorpion, procedural Stalker and new comedies The McCarthys, about a rowdy Boston family and a reboot of The Odd Couple.  There’s no word yet about How I Met Your Dad.


The biggest cancellation from Fox was Almost Human, despite decent ratings and a great cast, it was most likely to expensive to continue with it’s massive amount of special effects every episode.  Hopefully Karl Urban will show up somewhere else soon.  They also cancelled Enlisted, Dads, Raising Hope, Rake, Surviving Jack and The X Factor.  Renewed shows include mainstays Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers and The Simpsons along with The Following, Bone, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Glee, The Mindy Project, New Girl, Sleepy Hollow and American Idol.  New shows include the highly anticipated Batman prequel, Gotham,  crime show Backstorm, Ancient Egypt drama Hieroglyph, hip hop drama Empire, and drama Red Band Society.  New comedies include Last Man on Earth starring Will Forte, John Mulaney comedy Mulaney and wacky roommate sitcom Weird Loners.

The CW

The CW is adding two more DC shows to it’s ranks with The Flash getting a full series order and iZombie also being picked up, which follows a plucky medical student who is secretly a zombie and must work at a morgue to have access brains so she can maintain her appearance and not lose complete control.  They renewed Arrow, The 100, Beauty and the Beast, Hart of Dixie, Supernatural, The Originals, The Vampire Diaries and Reign but cancelled The Tomorrow People, Star-Crossed and The Carrie Diaries.  Their two other new shows include drama Jane the Virgin and sci fi show The Messengers

Adult Swim

Adult Swim also announced new shows including The Mike Tyson Mysteries, which is a parody of shows like the Mr. T cartoon and Scooby Doo, where Mike Tyson and his pet pidgeon will travel the country solving mysteries.  There will also be a show starring Jack McBrayer and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog about co-stars of a Lassie style show in the 80’s who spiraled out of control.  Dream Corp LLC from John Krasinski, Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter starring Jon Glaser, a show based on the website World Star Hip Hop, Black Jesus from Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder and Mr. Pickles, about the deviant pet of a seemingly normal family.  Most of their current shows will be returning sometime in the next year or so.


Everything Actioncast Ep 180 “Non-Stop NYCC”

This week on the podcast, Zach and Chris are back from New York Comic Con and talk about everything they saw and did at the show, including seeing a couple of movies, interviewing a bunch of celebrities and checking out some crazy displays and cos-players.  They also talk about some recent trailers and other stuff they watched.

  • News: Hercules: The Legend Begins, Non-Stop, Ambushed and I, Frankenstein trailers, Marvel setting up five more TV shows and the New Release Round Up.
  • Show and Tell: Zach and Chris saw Dear Mr. Waterson, Necessary Evil and Akira at NYCC along with everything else they saw and did at the con and Chris also saw Immortals and Zach saw Gravity, Metallica: Through the Never and the premiere of The Walking Dead.

We want to hear your comments, feedback and, most importantly, suggestions for discussion topics. Send them all to contact@everythingaction.com. Also, be sure to subscribe to us in the iTunes music store (just do a search for Everything Action in the store) and follow us on twitter @evaction, Facebook (www.facebook.com/everything.action) and Tumblr (everythingaction.tumblr.com). We’re also now on Stitcher Radio: http://stitcher.com/s?fid=25273&src=psl


New Fall TV Shows

The current TV season is winding down but the networks are all revealing what thy have planned for the Fall 2012 season with a bunch of new shows.  Check out what seems like the most interesting ones announced so far and we’ll update if any others get announced.

Revolution (NBC): From Jon Favreau and JJ Abrams, Revolution is a post apocalyptic show that takes place 15 years after all the world’s electrical systems fail.  The world that builds up afterwards is part medieval/part wild west.  Check out the trailer below.

Last Resort (ABC): From Shawn Ryan of The Shield, Last Resort follows the crew of a nuclear submarine who are ordered to launch their payload against Pakistan but they refuse to do so with out confirmation. They are fired upon by friendly ships and forced to flee to a nearby island and set up a base and then try to clear their names and find out what is going on. Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman and Robert Patrick star. Check out the trailer below.

666 Park Avenue (ABC): A couple from the Midwest are given the chance to manage the historic Drake building in NYC. They soon realize the owner and his wife are hiding things from them and have some sort of sinister plan and the couple starts to experience strange occurrences. Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams star.

Vegas (CBS): Dennis Quaid stars as Vegas sheriff Ralph Lamb, a former rodeo cowboy turned lawman, who delivers some old school justice to the 60’s mobsters of Las Vegas. Carrie Ann Moss, Michael Chiklis and Jason O’Mara co-star.  So their trying to combine Justified and Mad Men and the typical CBS procedural into one show?

Crossbones (NBC): An assassin is dispatched by the British monarchy to take out notorious pirate Blackbeard but ends up joining him instead. It’s from Neil Cross, creator of Luther.

Elementary (CBS): Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are Sherlock and Watson, respectively in a modern interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. I think someone might have done this already.

The Following (Fox): Kevin Bacon stars as an FBI agent who is called in to help catch a serial killer he previously caught nine years ago when the killer escapes from death row. This killer has an edge however in that he’s assembling a network of other killers that he can train and send out to do whatever he feels needs to be done. James Purefoy, Maggie Grace and Natalie Zea co-star.

Adult Swim: Harold & Kumar Animated series and an untitled Dan Harmon (creator of Community) project.

News Shotgun 2/17

  • NBC orders thirteen episodes of “Hannibal”: NBC skipped the pilot stage and went ahead and ordered 13 episodes of a crime thriller show based Hannibal Lecter.  The show runner is Bryan Fuller, who previously made the cult show Pushing Daisies, and the show seems like it’s going to be sort of Lutheresque with Hannibal helping FBI Agent Will Graham solve various murders.  The show will probably debut in the fall.
  • “I Am Legend” Sequel in the works:  I Am Legend was a pretty surprising success, thanks in part to the Dark Knight trailer being placed in front of it and now a sequel is supposedly in the works at Warner Bros.  The studio would obviously want to try to get Will Smith back but I don’t know how that would happen seeing as he *Spoiler* died at the end by detonating a grenade to kill the incoming vampire horde to allow his two fellow survivors to escape.
  • Jonathan Liebesman in talks for TMNT:  The newest Ninja Turtles movie has been in development for a while over at Michael Bay’s production company, Platinum Dunes, and now it seems like there might be a director with Battle: LA and Wrath of the Titans director, Jonathan Liebesman, who is supposedly in talks.
  • Brian Taylor directing Twisted Metal movie:  One half of the Crank/Ghost Rider team Neveldine/Taylor, Brian Taylor, is directing a movie version of the video game Twisted Metal. In case you’re not familiar, Twisted Metal follows a tournament where insane characters murder each other in vehicles in order to receive a wish from the tournament runner, Calypso.  I’m wondering who will be the main character, as most of the characters in Twisted Metal are despicable, including poster boy and child killing clown Sweet Tooth.
  • Gina Carano cast in action movie “In the Blood”:  Hot off of Haywire, Gina Carano has been cast in a new action movie called “In the Blood”, directed by John Stockwell, whose probably best known for Into the Blue.  Carano will play a wife whose husband disappears while they are on vacation in the Caribbean and she sets off in pursuit of the men she thinks kidnapped him.
  • Transformers 4 on the way with Michael Bay still directing:  Surprising no one since the movies have made billions of dollars, Transformers 4 is on the way with Michael Bay still behind the camera.  The movie is being called an “evolution” by Bay and producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and will feature a new cast and new Transformers, with probably only Optimus and Bumblebee returning.
  • Mattel making a life size replica of the Back to the Future 2 hoverboard:  At the recent Toy Fair in New York City, Mattel revealed they are making a life size replica of the Back to the Future 2 hoverboard.  Mattel claims that it will “glide” over most surfaces and be a 1:1 replica of the movie prop.  They will hopefully be available this winter.
  • SyFy turning Legion into a TV series:  Most people don’t even remember Legion came out until it randomly pops up on their Netflix Instant Watch page but SyFy is turning the Paul Bettany religious action/horror movie into a series.  The show will keep the same concept from the movie in that the apocalypse occurs and a plague of killer angels starts exterminating humanity but a rogue angel also arrives on Earth to protect a woman carrying a very special baby.  I could see this maybe being fun if it was like a road trip show where a small group of survivors makes their way across the country, battling possessed people and angels and whatever other religious creatures pop up.

Everything Actioncast Ep. 80 “The Classics”

This week the trio of Zach, Chris and Joe discuss classic literature that has been turned into movies, the premiere of Season Two of The Walking Dead, question why the new The Thing exists, Batman, the bizarre new genre of action/romantic comedies and much more.

  • Show and Tell: Chris and Zach watched the season premiere of The Walking Dead and Chris also caught up on other TV and watched Soldier, Joe watched Fast Five, Joe has been watching his “stories”, Everything Must Go, Fast Five and Batman: Year One and Zach watched Trollhunter and The Thing (2011)
  • News: This Means War Trailer, Matt Reeves directing The Twilight Zone, Justified Season Three villains announced, possible actors for John McClane Jr and the New Release Round Up.
  • Special Feature: With the release of the latest version of The 3 Musketeers out this weekend, the guys talk about some of their favorite (and not so favorite) movies that have been on classic literature like Frankenstein, The Time Machine, The Lost World, The Count of Monte Cristo, Romeo+Juliet, The Man in the Iron Mask and a bunch more.

We want to hear your comments, feedback and, most importantly, suggestions for discussion topics. Send them all to contact@everythingaction.com. Also, be sure to subscribe to us in the iTunes music store (just do a search for Everything Actioncast in the store) and follow us on twitter @evaction and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/everything.action)

Know Your “That Guy”: Ed Asner

Ed Asner

Born: November 15, 1929

Number of Roles: 286

Best Known for Playing: Crotchety old men

First Appearance: Juror/Third Actor on Studio One in Hollywood (1957)

Most Recent Appearance: Ted Roth on Royal Pains (2011)

Can Be Seen (or Heard) In:

  • Elf
  • The Boondocks
  • Gargoyles
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Lou Grant
  • Up
  • The Cleveland Show
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
  • The Practice
  • Spider-Man
  • Batman: The Animated Series
  • Superman: The Animated Series
  • The Closer
  • Freakazoid!
  • Captain Planet
  • The Simpsons
  • King of the Hill
  • ER

Fun Facts

  • President of SAG from from ’81-’85
  • Won an Emmy for playing the same character (Lou Grant) in both a comedy and a drama.
  • Has won the most Emmys of an male performer (7)
  • Has played Santa Claus four times

2011 Emmy Nominations

This year’s Emmy nominations were announced this morning and there was a refreshing amount of variety this year compared to previous year’s when it was the Mad Men show. Mad Men still has a healthy amount of nominations along with the comedic overlord of Modern Family but shows like Justified, Louie, Parks and Rec and The Killing all got nominations for, I’m pretty sure, the first time. Check out the nominees below and the awards will be given out on September 18th.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Louis C.K., Louie
Steve Carell, The Office
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified
Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie:
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Idris Elba, Luther
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
William Hurt, Too Big to Fail

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Laura Linney, The Big C
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Tina Fey, 30 Rock

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Mariska Hartigay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie:
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce
Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Chris Colfer, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Walton Goggins, Justified
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie:
Tom Wilkinson, The Kennedys
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Bryan F. O’Byrne, Mildred Pierce
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
James Woods, Too Big to Fail

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie:
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce
Melissa Leo, Mildred Pierce
Mare Winningham, Mildred Pierce
Eileen Atkins, Upstairs Downstairs

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series:
Idris Elba, The Big C
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Zach Galifianakis, Saturday Night Live
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Matt Damon, 30 Rock
Will Arnett, 30 Rock

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series:
Bruce Dern, Big Love
Beau Bridges, Brothers & Sisters
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Paul McCrane, Harry’s Law
Jeremy Davies, Justified
Roger Morse, Mad Men

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series:
Kristen Chenoweth, Glee
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee
Cloris Leachman, Raising Hope
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Alfre Woodard, True Blood

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series:
Mary McDonnell, The Closer
Julia Stiles, Dexter
Loretta Devine, Grey’s Anatomy
Randee Heller, Mad Men
Cara Buono, Mad Men

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program:
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Jeff Probst, Survivor

Outstanding Comedy Series:
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family
The Office
Parks & Recreation
30 Rock

Outstanding Drama Series:
Boardwalk Empire
Friday Night Lights
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Mad Men

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie:
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Kennedys
Midred Pierce
The Pillars of the Earth
Too Big to Fail

Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series:
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Reality Program:
Antiques Roadshow
Deadliest Catch
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Undercover Boss

Outstanding Reality – Competition Program:
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef

(Nominee list from www.slashfilm.com)