Story By: G. H. HARDING
Liv Tyler

JUSTIN TIME --- I watched the eagerly anticipated new HBO show, The Leftovers last night, and was generally enthralled by the show. There was so much pre-hype about it, it'll be interesting to see how the ratings were; which will come later today. Envisioned by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof, and author Tom Perrotta, who wrote the source book, it’s about the aftermath after 2% of the world’s population mysteriously disappears – Gary Busey, Salaman Rushdie and Shaq included!

It’s an interesting premise for sure and though the tone throughout was pretty dire, there were some amazing moments. Justin Theroux is the local Sherriff Kevin Garvey and it turns out that the screwed-up daughter (and, isn't there always one?) is his, and the final-moment revelation that one of the silent-cult-like group followers (Guilty Remnant) who mourn the world’s loss, is his wife, is jarring.

The cult sees eager to want to recruit more believers and one, Liv Tyler of all people, seems to be the next one at the conclusion. Also outstanding is Paterson Joseph as a mysterious seer (Wayne). Garvey’s son is also involved Wayne’s world as well as he is heavily guarded by director Peter Berg in a nice cameo; and Michael Gaston as a local towns-person who seems to continually hunt the dogs and shoots them, shouting “they’re not our dogs anymore.” 

While not as immediately accessible as Lost (and, you damn well know all the reviews will make the comparison) there’s no doubt there are more secrets to tell and have unravel. Theroux is up to the task of the show’s Jack Shepherd and brings a nice, fresh feel to the proceedings. I liked him a lot.

I didn't read the book as I feel that sometimes undermines a potential show, but this one definitely deserves repeated viewing's. Lindelof has said many times that he will not be concerned with answering questions on the show, and that his only real focus is the characters and the situation they're in. He doesn't plan on revealing why people disappeared. Hmmm!

It fits perfectly into the HBO-canon. I liked it.

BOBBY’S BACK --- Bobby Funaro, whose last big screen work was American Gangster in 2007 with Denzel Wasington and Russell Crowe, has officially joined the cast of Marty Scorsese’s rock ‘n roll project with Mick Jagger. Congrats! Here’s the official news

CLAPTON'S J. J. TRIBUTE -- Eric Clapton's tribute album to the late-great J. J. Cale is out this week. Here's the first video, "Call Me The Breeze" .

TONY'S HUGH --- I just watched the final hour of the Tony Awards, which had somehow eluded me since their presentation two weeks back. My God, that Hugh Jackman an is a freaking powerhouse! Whether it's doing a rap based on the Music Man-dialogue with LL Cool J and T. I., or a rather inspired-song-medley introducing all the leading ladies, he was just superb!

Sting performed his "Last Ship" song once again and I found myself transfixed by it. It harks back to one of my favorite Sting-albums ever, The Soul Cages. 

There was quite some chatter over Jennifer Hudson's new song "Neverland," and while she's terrific, the song didn't move me at all.

All in all one of the best Tony shows ... ever!

CLOSING NOTES --- That Maya Rudolph show several weeks back was devilish fun. With Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell and SNL's Andy Samberg it rang true to form like an old time variety show - think Ed Sullivan or Jackie Gleason.

It was also very SNL; no surprise as Lorne Michael's produced it. I don't think it was a ratings winner, but it sure was fun ...

Celebrity-scribe Mark Bego's next book Life With My Father Glen Campbell, by Bego and daughter Debby Campbell has its third official release date, September 25 via Overlook Press. Keep your fingers crossed ...

Transformers 4 earned over 201.3 million worldwide this weekend; nice! ...

Sarah Jessica Parker eyeing a new TV series called Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love; based on the true story and book by investigative reporters Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, who helped uncover one of the biggest police corruption scandals in Philadelphia's history. Stay tuned!