By Sarah Skilton



What Will Fill the "ER"-sized Hole in Our Hearts?

The series finale of NBC's mainstay show, "ER," was watched by 17.9 million people on April 2nd and easily won its timeslot. (Admit it: you couldn't resist tuning in to see George Clooney and Julianna Margulies reunite.) "Grey's Anatomy" ranks 2nd among 18-49 year olds and "House" ranks 1st for adults 18 to 34. Clearly we're all obsessed with medical shows. So if you find yourself craving a new hospital drama now that ER has flatlined, "Hawthorne"'s got your fix, starting June 16th on TNT.

The show stars Jada Pinkett Smith as the strong-willed director of nursing at a busy hospital. She's also a single mom still coming to terms with the death of her husband a year ago. Michael Vartan ("Alias") co-stars as Smith's doc colleague who may want more than friendship with her.



Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies... and Jane Austen

The undead have never been trendier. "New Moon" (the "Twilight" sequel) is currently filming in Italy and Canada and recently scored a casting coup: Michael Sheen (best known for playing Prime Minister Tony Blair in Brit flicks like "The Queen") has signed on to play a vampire. For movie fans, this is ironic because he played a werewolf in "Underworld." In most fantasy films, the two creatures are mortal enemies.

HBO's vamp drama "True Blood" (starring Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actress Anna Paquin) is well into production of its second season, and an American remake of the dark Swedish film, "Let the Right One In," about a bullied boy and the 12-year-old vampire girl he befriends, has started pre-production.

"Dawson's Creek" creator Kevin Williamson is bringing teen romance "The Vampire Diaries" to the CW. The pilot stars Ian Somerhalder ("Lost") and Paul Wesley as vampire brothers competing for the soul of a high school girl.

Not to be outdone, zombies have entered the fray as a popular plot device as well. Seth Grahame-Smith's recent book "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" (really!) has already sold the film rights. Though he stays faithful to the basic story and characters from Jane Austen's classic novel, Grahame-Smith has ramped up the plot by throwing in some brain-eating action.




Tina Fey + Steve Carell = Comedy Gold

If you prefer your stories more down to earth, take heart in "Date Night," a comedy starring Tina Fey ("30 Rock") and the "40-year-old virgin" himself, Steve Carell, as a couple in a rut who decide to head out on a good old-fashioned (you guessed it) date night. Their evening turns into a wild adventure after they're mistaken for other people at dinner. Mark Walhberg ("The Departed"), Kristen Wiig ("SNL") and James Franco just joined the cast as well.


Happy viewing!




© Melt Magazine 2009