Thursday, May 31, 2007

AHOY THERE, MATEYS

It is still my contention that the reason why Major League Baseball is still in business (steroids and all) is entirely due to the fact that the folks in TV land keep mailing it in during the summertime. If it wasn't for all the junk on the air during the summer, baseball would be out of business-- for sure.

The summer season is on and CBS is serving up tonight a new reality series from Mark Burnett called Pirate Master. It's sixteen idiots pretending to be pirates for 13 weeks.

What the heck's gotten into Mark Burnett these days? I mean, reality television is basically all garbage anyway, but at least this guy used to try and do good work and raise the bar for everyone else. Basically he's gone all formulaic and he's copying everyone else-- including himself. The novelty of watching a Mark Burnett show is gone these days. But to be fair, this Pirate Master effort can't be any worse than National Bingo Night on ABC. That's right, network TV really is airing bingo on Friday nights.

And people wonder why YouTube is popular.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

KEVIN, YOU'RE FIRED

Well the big news is that Kevin Reilly has gotten the boot at NBC after advertisers apparently turned up its noses at their new fall schedule. Apparently the ad people think these new shows stink and aren't likely to do well among female viewers. NBC programmed retread junk like The Bionic Woman and plunked these new shows in "death" time slots for the fall season, so just for that Jeff Zucker has given Reilly the pink slip. He's been replaced by Ben Silverman of The Office fame.

I agree, this was a heartless firing, but what do you expect, this is Hollywood and life is bad.

I sure hope things turn around at NBC, it's sad to see a great network like this one go down the tubes so badly. I happen to like a lot of the shows on this network, especially the comedies and the Law and Order shows. My beef with this network has been with the cheap shows they insist on showing, these game shows and lame reality shows. I don't have a problem watching game shows. In fact I love watching them, but I would much rather see these air during the day where cheap game shows belong! I could watch Deal or No Deal in daytime every day, I'd have no problem with that. But prime time ought to be where the dramas and sitcoms go, not these cheap game shows. The reality shows are the worst offenders, though. Real Wedding Crashers?! Whose idea was that? Oh, oh yeah---Kevin Reilly. He put it on, so he deserves the blame.

What's funny is that this guy Reilly was too gutless to give Donald Trump's lame Apprentice show the boot, he wouldn't come out and say to him "you're fired." Instead, Trump had his opening to weasel out and quit on NBC, and do a deal with another network. Well, all I have to say about that fiasco is simply this--- Kevin, you're fired.

BLUE JAYS BACK ON CBC

Well, just thought I would let you know that the much-rumored deal is finally done with the CBC----the Toronto Blue Jays are back on broadcast television.That's 8 games this year and 30 next year. Jim Hughson will call the action.

The way I see it is this: we all pay through the nose for the CBC. They might as well show us programs that we in the audience want to watch! Besides, the CBC has shown baseball for years, going back to the days of the Montreal Expos. I'm all in favor of seeing baseball on the CBC. At least it'll get some ratings.

ON THE LOT IS A BOX OFFICE BOMB

Tonight they give the "box-office" numbers for these films that were shown on On The Lot last night, and they might as well just declare all the films as box office flops, because this show is TANKING. It got a 1.3 rating last night, losing to the rerun sitcoms on CBS and the gorgeous babes (Miss Universe) on NBC.

The show even got beat by Univision. IT GOT BEAT BY UNIVISION. When your show loses to Univision, a network that broadcasts in a language that most Americans have no clue about, then boy, that's a sure sign of trouble. Fifth place, man, that's really awful. I would not be surprised if the good folks at FOX pull their notorious trigger-finger and cut this show off pretty soon.

As for NBC I hear rumors Kevin Reilly the programming chief may get the boot, possibly as soon as today. More later.

Monday, May 28, 2007

BIG WEEKEND FOR MOVIES, AND MY CLOSE ENCOUNTER (SORT OF) WITH ACTRESS DIANE KRUGER

Just some movie junk to toss out...

It was a big weekend for Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End.It did less business than Spidey 3 in the States when it first came out, but it still was a new Memorial Day Weekend record, and the worldwide box office was through the roof. And it dislodged Shrek the Third as the Number One movie. I think we can start thinking about calling the summer of 2007 the Year of the Hit, because that's what is going on.

DIANE KRUGER AT CANNES

Also, the Cannes Film Festival wrapped the other day and I watched the closing ceremonies on TV. I noticed that the big host of the awards show on French TV was none other than Diane Kruger (pictured below).

Some of you remember her from her most famous film role in Troy. She played Helen of Troy, the woman whose face launched a thousand ships and started the Trojan War. Diane displayed not only facial beauty but also her healthy, athletic, well-toned physique in that role. (Translation: she showed her naked butt.)

She won a lot of fans as a result of that movie, but she isn't that big a star yet. Still more like a "woman on the verge" than a star, but even that isn't bad, either.

I remember I worked at one of the theaters in Toronto during the film festival there. The movie being shown was Copying Beethoven. Diane Kruger showed up for it on the red carpet, along with Ed Harris and a few other people. She was signing autographs for these autograph hounds, and she looked so dashing and radiant in her glamourous wardrobe. She really did herself proud with the "fashion police" in my book, she really rocked the house. I was embarrassed, though, because at the time I had no clue who this woman was. All I knew was that she was in this movie. But I figured she had to be famous, because she carried herself as if she was the biggest movie star in the world --even if she really wasn't. And these fans there were crazy for her, they loved Diane Kruger and were shouting her name. (By the way, for those of you who care about this sort of thing: she's German. So you can use her name in arguments with Swedes about which country has the best, coolest women-- although, as everyone knows by now, the world's best babes are actually from Japan.)

I'm following Diane's career closely now, just because I saw her for real at that film festival last fall and thought she was terrific. Nice to know her French is really good.

Anyway, I digress. The Palme d'Or went to the Romanian flick 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

30 YEARS OF WAR IN OUTER SPACE

Finally, a belated Happy Birthday to Darth Vader. And everyone else with Star Wars, who celebrated 30 years at their big convention this weekend.

That's it for now.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

MISS UNIVERSE IS ON, AND SWEDEN IS A BORING COUNTRY


Just wanted to remind myself that the Miss Universe Pageant is on Monday on NBC--- and I thought I'd mention it because otherwise I might forget it and tune into the Stanley Cup instead. I don't want to miss out on seeing gorgeous international women wear swimsuits on TV.

Incidentally, those of you cheering for Miss Sweden need to find another country to cheer for, because Sweden has boycotted the competition this year. They say the pageant is demeaning to women. So they're not going to show up.

I say the Swedes are boring people. Miss Universe is really a fun competition to determine which country has the best babes in the world. But Sweden has just told the world that they don't want any babes littering Sweden and that all babes should leave the country, and that they don't believe in beauty or having fun. What uptight people! This confirms my own opinion of Sweden--- that this country's frisky reputation is completely overblown and that these Swedes who live there are dull and politically correct. The only thing to do there is watch hockey and go to the Ikea.

Lots of guys think Sweden is the world capital for oversexed blondes who like to doff their tops on the beach, but I'm convinced American guys have their countries mixed up. I think the really hot young Eurobabes, the sex-crazed ones these silly North Americans usually associate with Sweden, don't live there at all. Instead, the friskiest blondes are actually from Germany and eastern Europe.

Not that there aren't plenty of beautiful Swedish women out there--- look at sexy Victoria Silvstedt (pictured), former Playmate of the Year. But keep in mind, Victoria left boring Sweden to live in the United States! The USA-- land of the free and home of the babes.

Update: Check out coverage of the pageant at the site Global Beauties.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

BIG AUTO RACING WEEKEND

Just a reminder that this is a big auto racing weekend and the Indy 500 is on. At least, it's supposed to be on--- rain is in the forecast. But the Indianapolis forecasters say it may miss the race. Right. We've heard that line of bull before.

Check out the websites www.indycar.com and also www.wibc.com which has some special radio programming this weekend about the 500. Right now they are rerunning classic races all night.

Also, tomorrow is the Monaco Grand Prix, and later in the evening is the Coca-Cola 600. Fun stuff. I plan to be out of commission all day, tuning in to the automobiles on TV.

Friday, May 25, 2007

ENTOURAGE AT CANNES


Well, here's an interesting story about how the gang from Entourage are filming at the Cannes Film Festival this week for an upcoming episode--- presumably their art movie Medellin will finally get made, and possibly the story involves the Cannes Film Festival in some way.

Also we may soon learn Turtle's actual name. We hope.

ROSIE EXITS THE VIEW

THREE WEEKS EARLY

Good riddance to that nutty Rosie O'Donnell woman. She has quit The View show in disgrace three weeks early, after getting in a massive fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck a few days ago on TV.

Can't these women get along? I mean, Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera got into a huge screaming match on the Fox News Channel not too long ago, shouting at each other at the top of their lungs over the immigration issue. But they were seen the other day together at a baseball game! People pretty much think that whole fight was staged and shades of the WWE anyway. But these View women--- I dunno. Anyway, it's a good thing Rosie is gone from that show. That woman is out of control and definitely nuts (believes in conspiracy theories re: 9/11), and is generally a classless individual.

Another TV show-quitter, Donald Trump, was trashing all the View women again this week. He called Rosie self-destructive and called Hasselbeck the "dumbest woman on television". Okay okay, Donald, we get it already--- you hate their show.

RATINGS WOES

Well, nobody is watching TV anymore, they're all on the Internet. Or they're going to the movie theaters, or renting DVDs, or watching illegal downloads. Or they're playing video games. Or they're watching YouTube. Maybe they're listening to satellite radio. Or even regular radio. Or radio streams on the Internet.

But they aren't watching the crap on TV anymore, that's for sure. Overall ratings continue to go down. So what else is news.

Having said all that---here are the ratings for this season, and both FOX and CBS are claiming victory. FOX is claiming victory among the 18-49 demo which advertisers care about, but CBS won among total viewers. ABC finished third and lost a million viewers--- because of their stupid, boneheaded decision to give up on showing Monday Night Football. ABC threw away the season with that move, just as I predicted. Well, what do you expect, that network doesn't care about guys anymore. They are alienating half the viewership with their programming moves.

NBC finished fourth and the CW fifth. I don't know where My Network TV finished. Probably behind Univision and Telemundo.

Also, noticed that American Idol's ratings were down nearly six million viewers this year for the finale-- likely because people figured it was a blowout--- and the new FOX show On the Lot is having all kinds of problems. It's getting beat in its time slot, it's losing viewers from its lead-in, and it had to replace its host already. Chelsea Handler is getting replaced with Adrianna Costa. I think the real problem is that this show looks like it belongs on some cheap cable station, not a network. This proves my theory that people are sick of reality TV. Yet that awful CW network is loading up on this junk next fall, with America's Next Top Model and all that other rubbish.

In fact the next season looks to be worse than this one. ABC is going to put on Cavemen, based on the GEICO insurance ads on TV. Everyone thinks this is an awful idea and people are complaining about how ABC cancelled their shows to make room for this junk. You wonder why the ratings are down? Bad ideas like this.

Why bother watching TV, you might as well go to the theater and watch all these sequels that end in the number "3"- Spidey, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean etc.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

AMERICAN IDOL IS OVER FOR ANOTHER SEASON, THANK GOD

Is it just me, but is the American Idol finale the most boring two hours on television?

At least the Survivor finale is truly exciting every year-- it has a Super Bowl quality to it. But this is the Pro Bowl. They bring back all these losers and past winners, and they sing these boring songs. To top it all off, we all knew who the winner of American Idol was going to be because that poll tracker was dead-on in predicting Jordin would win. The only fun comes from reading the boards of those hilarious people over at Vote for the Worst.

In other news, tomorrow the summer junk programming season begins, because So You Think You Can Dance is back. Woo hoo. And Hell's Kitchen is coming back, too. Good grief.

And On the Lot is a flop. Stick to making films, Mr. Spielberg. Reality TV is not for you--- or for that matter, for the rest of us. Agree with Tom Shales here that this show is booooooooring. Variety calls it "ill-conceived".

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

CTV GRABS THE NFL


The big news of the day is that CTV has made another big sports acquisition. Fresh off of robbing CBC of the Olympics and the CFL (to be shown exclusively on TSN), and having made a run at Hockey Night in Canada, now CTV have turned their sights on Global TV. They have successfully robbed Global of the NFL and have basically put that whole sports operation right out of business.

CTV will carry the early game on the full network and also the entire playoffs and Super Bowl, while Rogers will take over the 4PM broadcast that used to be carried on CH. Sportsnet will show the games in most of the country but Toronto station Omni 2 will air games on broadcast TV in Ontario. This is actually a return to NFL coverage for Rogers as their Omni 1/CFMT station carried the 4PM games for many years. These deals runs through 2009. Suffice it to say that for CTV this makes up for not getting the NHL. In fact, this is a much better fit for CTV because the NFL always gets big ratings, and they don't have to worry about pre-empting American Idol to make room for playoff games.

In addition, CTV's cable property TSN carries the Sunday night and Monday night NFL games, and of course will soon carry the entire CFL package. So CTV/TSN will be cleaning up covering football. As for Global, well, this is a death blow.

What the heck is Global going to carry now? Golf?! Auto racing?! Really, this is the end for Global as a major sports broadcaster. They got rid of their sports departments and cancelled what used to be Sportsline, and now they've lost the NFL which has been a bedrock of their programming for years. They scheduled Deal or No Deal Canada after the Super Bowl last year to take advantage of the big ratings from the big game. Now it's gone to CTV for big money. That's a complete meltdown, folks.

I know people were writing about all the problems CBC Sports was having when they lost the Olympics, curling and the CFL, but what just happened to Global today makes CBC's problems look miniscule in comparison. At least CBC still managed to land Major League Soccer and the World Cup, and were negotiating for Blue Jays games the last time I checked. And they still got to keep the only properties that really mattered to them, Hockey Night in Canada and the Stanley Cup! Those guys at the CBC are in great shape compared to what Global is going through right now, losing their top sports property to the arch-rivals. And not just any archrivals, but CTV!!!!

This NFL deal is a major coup for CTV, which now can brand itself as the football network in this country. What hockey is to CBC, football is to CTV.

BIG REALITY TV WEEK

It's the final week of the regular season in TV land and the networks are pulling out all the stops in the reality TV department.

Ahem. Apolo won Dancing With the Stars tonight, and the big vote is on for American Idol. Phone lines are jammed right now all across the United States. We'll know tomorrow who the winner is for that. But I couldn't care less. Honestly, I lost all interest as soon as Sanjaya got the boot. So this year I truly do not care.

For those of you who do care, check out the exit polls that say Jordin is winning. And Vote for the Worst.

That officer dude was there with his new fiance Tessa on the reunion show of The Bachelor tonight on ABC- he gave Tessa the final rose last night. Man, I hate this show, these women who end up getting rejected are all humiliated on national television and have their hearts fed to the cat all the time. It stinks.

Tonight was the big premiere of On The Lot on FOX tonight, produced by the Cecil B. DeMille of reality TV Mark Burnett, but I stopped watching very quickly. I tuned into hockey and basketball instead. Listen, I have my priorities straight. Dunno about you, but I am just bored and fed up with reality TV.

I should rant soon about the fall offerings, which look pretty uninspiring to me. Summer TV is terrible enough. I notice NBC is running nonstop ads for its returning reality piece of junk America's Got Talent, with new host Jerry Springer, new judge Sharon Osborne, and that returning embarrassment David Hasselhoff.

What a joke. At least when Regis hosted the show he added at least a bit of class to this freak show.

THE APPRENTICE: NOT DONE?

And finally I noticed NBC insists it has not given up on The Apprentice yet- they insist the Donald is still under contract to them and say they might bring this show back. Word of advice to NBC: give up on The Apprentice already. Good grief, this is turning into yet another joke.

Monday, May 21, 2007

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ TO DIRECT BARBARELLA

Some interesting news about the movie Barbarella to tell you about. Seems that Robert Rodriguez, fresh from the critically-acclaimed, box-office-total-flop Planet Terror movie from Grindhouse, will be directing the flick.

I'd say the chances of this remake turning out to be a good movie have gone waaaay up. The question now becomes: who will be Barbarella.

Could it be.... Rose McGowan?!


Barbarella, psychadella.

WRITING ABOUT THE MOVIES

BEWARE OF THE NUMBER 3

Thought I would post two links to recent movie reviews of mine posted at Film School Rejects: one of Spider-Man 3 and of 28 Weeks Later.

In my Spidey 3 review I said "beware of the number 3." Seems like almost every time there is a sequel #3 to any movie franchise, they mail it in. The second movie, sometimes they do it right, but the third? It's very hard to hit three in a row out of the park.

I've thought about it some more and I think maybe those George Lucas-directed Star Wars movies were among the very few to buck the trend and be successful with three in a row. Though technically, Return of the Jedi wasn't the third sequel, but the sixth part of the story. But if you count Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, well, that was good, too. So I think Star Wars bucked the trend. But these others? (I guess the third James Bond movie was good, too.)

Speaking of Star Wars, CNBC is doing a whole series this week about the business impact of that movie and how it ushered in the summer blockbuster and all that, on this the 30th anniversary of the movie.

Incidentally, that new Steven Spielberg- On the Lot show is tomorrow night on FOX and after weeks thinking it might be a really big hit, now I'm not so sure. Certainly they are giving it a prime slot paired with American Idol. But I just don't see huge buzz about this show on these TV-fan websites. But I do think it'll get enough ratings to last the season. Aren't people tired of reality shows? Besides, who wants to see a TV show about the movies when you can see an actual movie. Tuesday happens to be a big movie night around here, you can get in cheap.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

NBC EMBARRASSES THE NHL


Ahem. Congratulations to NBC for providing three periods of sterling playoff coverage of yesterday's exciting Ottawa-Buffalo elimination game in the Stanley Cup.

Unfortunately, a big loud BOO to NBC for its coverage of the FOURTH period, won on a dramatic series-winning overtime goal by Ottawa. But few people in the 'States saw it. Instead, these bums at NBC cut to a pre-race show for the Preakness Stakes, figuring that their horse racing coverage was far more important. They relegated the hockey game to Versus, the crappy flagship cable network for the NHL which few people can get.

I would have had less of a problem if they had moved the overtime to a channel people could get, like CNBC or MSNBC. But Versus--- nobody watches this channel!!! The way NBC treated the NHL the other day is an embarrassment to the sport. Cutting away from overtime to show a pre-race show--- now that is sad. Are they going to do this in the finals---- cut away from neverending overtime games to make room for your late local news, and Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien?! I wouldn't put it past them!!

You know, NBC pulled a stunt like this years earlier when they cut from a Jets-Raiders football game to show the movie Heidi, and that was such a brouhaha that they had to change the policy on sporting events to never cut away from the end of a game. But I guess that doesn't apply to hockey. What's even more remarkable is that you don't have this big outcry in the USA about it. I guess nobody cares. You can bet that if it happened in Canada that people would complain--- and it's happened in Canada quite a few times and people have gotten really mad. I remember on Hockey Night in Canada that Dave Hodge lost his job for complaining on the air about CBC cutting away from a hockey game that went to overtime- and that happened during the regular season. He flipped his pen in the air and voiced his total disgust, and the fans at home were all saying "right on". Anyway, that was the end for him there. Needless to say CBC learned its lessons since then-- and you can bet they don't switch away from overtime hockey games these days.

Still, this incident is yet more proof that the NHL is irrelevant. It begs a real question:: why should I care about a hick sport like this when stuff like this goes on?! Good question.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

THE MOVIE BLOGS MAKING AN IMPACT

With the Cannes Film Festival going on I thought I would link to this article about the impact of film bloggers on the entertainment news business. You know, Nikki Finke, David Poland, Jeffrey Wells and all those folks. The piece is by Anne Thompson who has her own biz blog at Variety.

I gotta say, I get more of my movie information from these blogs than I do from watching TV these days--- but why bore you with that rant again.

Friday, May 18, 2007

DONALD TRUMP FIRES HIMSELF

THE APPRENTICE: DONE

I was watching Larry King interviewing those big reality TV stars Holly, Bridget and Kendra on CNN when I noticed this blurb scroll across the bottom of the screen: Donald Trump announced he is leaving The Apprentice to pursue an even bigger project for TV. What, I don't know. Maybe some other crappy reality show or something.

"Doesn't this make you a quitter? Doesn't this make you a loser?!" I mean, this show was going to be cancelled anyway. Trump knew the handwriting was on the wall, though, for "the number one show on television". Getting cancelled by NBC would have been completely humiliating. So with no one left to fire, Trump fired himself.

And since no one else in the business world is any good on TV, that's the end of the show, because no one is going to replace Trump. I know they were talking about making it a show with Jerry Jones in the Trump role, but really, who wants to watch that, either? Good riddance, finally, to Trump and this lousy show.

SIR ALAN SUGAR'S APPRENTICE SHOW IS A HIT

Fear not, though, you die-hard Apprentice fans. Even though Trump's show is over, the British version starring Sir Alan Sugar in the Trump role has been renewed for two more years on BBC One! I notice episodes of that show have turned up on the Internet, and video highlights are on the BBC website, so fans who miss The Apprentice in the USA should be able to follow that show.

I hear that show is more interesting than the Trump version, though strange things have happened on that show, too. Supposedly what happened was that someone quit that show, recently, too!! This happened very late in the competition, too. Anyway I hope one of these Canadian channels considers picking the British show up for Canadian TV, it might be good for a few laughs.

And for those fans who are nostalgic for this year's LA show and who are really desperate for some sort of Apprentice fix--- well, Kristine's issue of Playboy is on newsstands now, so you can check that rag out and see what Kristine looks like naked. Who cares about that.

Anyway, this is justice, ladies and gentlemen. It always is good when a truly bad reality show gets the boot. In a way I'm sad, too, because I used to love this show. But I'm not too sad, because the last few seasons this show has been terrible.

UPDATE (June 1) Apparently this show may not be done yet- thanks to a regime change at NBC. The new boss is a big reality TV fan and might bring back the Donald and his show, in spite of his pronouncements. To which I go "why?!"

Thursday, May 17, 2007

THE CW: VERONICA FINALLY GETS THE BOOT


The CW network finally announced its fall schedule today at its upfront. And the big news among all the dedicated TV fans that tune into that channel is that the numbskulls out there in middle America who never watched Veronica Mars have finally succeeded in sinking that show, because it's not coming back.
But look on the bright side, Kristen Bell (pictured) is going to be the narrator on the new CW show Gossip Girls.

I know a lot of these TV fans are mad at network president Dawn Ostroff and mad at these reality shows (the Pussycat Dolls) for getting shows like Veronica booted off the air. But really, what are they complaining about, Ostroff kept Veronica Mars afloat through three years of stinking bad ratings. If this show was on NBC it would have been off the air in thirteen weeks. And knowing FOX, they would have pulled it a lot sooner than that. Me, I never watched the show, so yes, I'm partly to blame for it getting cancelled. But I've been through the grinder already with Law & Order and How I Met Your Mother being on the bubble. So I know what it's like when a show gets cancelled.

I'll have more to say about the CW and the state of things over at the "network of the real TV fans"--- although you have to say that these "real TV fans" are feeling a little disenfranchised because of what's been going down over there.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL COVERAGE

Here are the links because I don't feel like posting much today.

http://www.festival-cannes.fr/index.php/en
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/features/special/2007/cannes/
http://www.cinematical.com/category/cannes
http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/
http://www.mcnblogs.com/thehotblog/
http://www.variety.com/blog/1390000339.html
http://weblogs.variety.com/thompsononhollywood/

I understand ET might interrupt their live continuing coverage of Anna Nicole Smith to cover Cannes. At least, I hope so. I'm sick of that story, too.

MARIA SHRIVER (MRS. AHHNOLD) IS SICK OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH


Here is a story on Maria Shriver saying no to a return to TV news. Blame Anna Nicole Smith. Shriver was apparently all set to go back to TV but then the networks went hog wild over this Anna Nicole non-story, so she said forget it. Who can blame her? She's better off being the First Lady of California than covering this junk; at least in that job she can do more good.

It really bugs me that there is all this other news going on in the world, yet this sad story gets all the coverage, long past the point of it still being "news". Personally, I'd be a little embarrassed if I had to cover this nonsense every day. Look at Entertainment Tonight! They have been leading with this Anna Nicole story every freaking night for the past, what, how many weeks? Ever since she died. I think it only got bumped from top billing to make room for (1) David Hasselhoff being shown drunk out of his skull, (2) that Alec Baldwin yelling-at-his-kid business, and (3) Paris Hilton going to jail!

Mind you, I'm in the minority here, but I question whether it's a good idea to send Paris Hilton to jail. Couldn't they have done something else other than send her to jail?! Seems like this is a terrible message to send to people, to send irresponsible rich kids to jail while actual murderers and criminals walk free (ie. Mister "If I Did It", O.J. Simpson, who I'm convinced "did it"). Of course, Paris could turn her jail sentence into a reality show or something, or write a tell-all book about being in jail. Maybe that's why people out there have no sympathy for her and think she should rot behind bars. Anyway, Paris Hilton is yet another media hog that the media has gone crazy over.

No wonder Maria Shriver doesn't want to go back to news if this is the type of stuff she'd be stuck doing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ALL THE FUN'S BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THE NBA PLAYOFFS

Bye bye Golden State.

Oh, and Dirk Nowitzki won the MVP today so all of Canada is mad that Steve Nash didn't win. Actually, nobody in Canada cares, it's still all hockey here. And the Raptors didn't win anyway, so who cares.

MORE UPFRONT NEWS

Word out of CBS is that Jericho has been cancelled. Also rumblings have it that both Close to Home AND The Class have gotten the boot.

Also, ABC's upfront was today and you can get all the minute-by-minute boring blogging about it here.

And here's the latest news on the CW, which is saying a final "bye" to Gilmore Girls tonight.

And here's another story about The Apprentice being thrown into total limbo after not getting any mention at all at the NBC upfront the other day. At least last year NBC was able to say the show was returning in midseason. But these guys have no clue when this show is coming back. I think the real reason this show has not been officially "cancelled" has to do with NBC wanting to stay on good terms with Trump. NBC carries The Miss USA Pageant, which Trump owns. So they really don't want to tick people off or make Trump look bad when they have a relationship with his organization.

Stay tuned for more boring USA TV upfront coverage (live from frozen Canada) all this week on THE CAIRNS BLOG. But not tonight. Tonight, I am going to a movie. Because MOVIES DON'T GET CANCELLED.

Monday, May 14, 2007

BIG WEEK FOR CBS


Well, tonight was the big season finale night for How I Met Your Mother, and if the rumors are true it will NOT be the series finale. If it is, well, we fans will all have gotten hosed.

Here's an interview with co-creator Carter Bays about the show from TV Squad for you fans out there. And I guess it's safe to say it, but Ted and Robin finally broke up. What? You TiVoed the show and I ruined it?! Oops.

Also tonight --- the series finale at long last for The King of Queens, this year's veteran retiring sitcom. Shows you, though, how this genre has declined when the great classic sitcom that is leaving the air is this one. Really. The Cheers, Seinfeld and Friends exits were bigger events. The Will and Grace finale was bigger. Even the Raymond finale was bigger. But really, who cares about this show.

Also, this is a reminder to myself to tune in on Wednesday night to see Bob Barker's last prime time Price is Right spectacular. And they have a big tribute show to him on Thursday. You know, a lot of people hate game shows in prime time and think these shows are junk, but this one is actually worth watching.

NBC's 2007 UPFRONT

Priceless quote from Nikki Finke: "If 4th-place NBC thinks it's going to get to No. 1 with this schedule, it's delusional."

Read it here.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

NBC COMES TO ITS SENSES, RENEWS ALL THE LAW & ORDERS




Good news: All three Law and Orders have been officially renewed. But Criminal Intent will shift first-run episodes to USA, and those will be repeated on NBC.

Question now is about cast changes. (UPDATE.) Apparently there won't be much of that, the belt-tightening will come from other areas. Good. This will be the 18th season for Law & Order on NBC, and means L&O the Mothership can still chase after Gunsmoke's record of 20 seasons on the air. Gunsmoke ran on CBS from 1955 to 1975.

Now the bad news: The Apprentice may be coming back too, after football season is over. After that debacle of a season last year? What the heck are they thinking at NBC?! Keep in mind, though, that ABC renewed that even worse piece of junk The Bachelor. The Apprentice is to NBC what The Bachelor is to ABC--- a no-buzz junk reality show that has no credibility anymore, which people are completely fed up with.

(UPDATE: Uh, no, it's not coming back any time soon. The Apprentice has been left off the fall and midseason schedule completely, BUT they say it has NOT been cancelled. Maybe a summer run next year? Or maybe they are just hoping this show quietly goes away.)

Newest rumor is that Veronica Mars is going to be cancelled by the CW, some higher-ups there supposedly put the kibosh on a plan to bring it back. Nothing official yet.

Final note, TONIGHT IS THE SEASON FINALE for Survivor on CBS, and I only post this because if I don't remind myself I may not even watch this show!

TV VERSUS THE MOVIES

Here's a thought on the ongoing debate on the merits of TV shows versus the movies right now. And this kind of has to do with Spider-Man 3 which I saw earlier this week.

A lot of people having been saying how great TV is right now and how it's a golden age and it's better than the movies, and bla bla bla. All that bull. But movies have two things going for them that TV doesn't at the moment.

(1) Movies are more likely to have spectacular special effects that will dazzle you out of your seat--- with superheroes flying through the air and with a lot of action and violence.

Duh.

These networks, though, are into cost-cutting and throwing your favorite actors onto the streets. And fat chance that reality shows will have any special effects. Advantage: the movies.

(2) And this is the biggest advantage in favor of the movies:

MOVIES DO NOT GET CANCELLED.

Don't ya hate when you tune in to some new TV show and invest your time in it, and before it reaches an ending it gets cancelled? That's happened to fans of The Black Donnellys, and Drive, and Andy Barker P.I. in the last few months. Why bother investing time and interest in characters when the show is going to be yanked off the air?

I remember when I watched The Street back in 2000 on FOX. A really good effort, but it was yanked after a few weeks. One character on the show got cancer, and I don't know to this day whether that guy ended up living or dying!! You get the idea.

It's even worse for these reality shows that bomb quickly and get pulled without a winner being declared! I remember when I watched that reality show The Law Firm, which was pulled after two weeks. I never did find out the winner of that competition!!! And I'm sure the folks who watched The One (that notiorious debacle) are really ticked because they pulled it before any winner was declared for that singing contest! I guess everyone on the show ended up as losers.


I even remember the time when Last Comic Standing was pulled off the NBC schedule before a winner was declared. And the name of the winner was leaked to the press before the final show finally aired on cable. So it spoiled the whole final show! Anyway, that was a big joke. And to top it off, they eventually recanted and brought the series back!!!

The most egregious travesty was Reunion, which was pulled from the air by FOX way before they resolved the murder of whoever it was that got murdered, or whatever the plot was. Anyway, everyone was left hanging!!! And did we ever get an ending on that show Vanished? That's another one that got the hook very early. Same for Kidnapped, another serialized show. This is why serialized shows should not be put on TV--- if they get cancelled that gets all the fans upset. I'm still mad that the folks at FOX cancelled Justice. But what can you do, the ratings stunk.

At least the worst that can happen with a movie is that the projector breaks down or something. But at least they'll give you a free pass to go watch another movie!! I guess with TV, though, you get what you pay for, which is nothing.

So if anyone starts arguing about how TV is so much better than the movies, all you need to say in response to this line of bull is that movies don't hose the fans the way TV series do. Especially these new ones that always get cancelled.

I say all this now because this is a big weekend for cancellations in TV, with LOST setting an end date to wrap up the series and with rumors about Battlestar Galactica taking a hike after season 4. Cancellations are the scourge of TV and these quick hooks have been destroying network television ever since the 1970s when these nets first started to do this. I still don't know what's going to happen with Law & Order, that show is still on the negotiation table.

At least it looks as if we might have a fighting chance of finding out who the mother of those kids is on How I Met Your Mother, since the rumor is that CBS has come to its senses and will renew the show.

HI MOM

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

BREAKING TV STUFF

Lots of breaking news about your favorite TV shows and pilot pickups from Nikki Finke. And TV Guide.

Couple of reports that SCRUBS has been renewed for another season by NBC, but nothing official. Also the word out there is that GEORGE LOPEZ, CROSSING JORDAN, STUDIO 60 are in the grave. No word yet on the Law & Orders. Or Veronica Mars.

Also, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, which already got an order from NBC for six more episodes for Season 2, is apparently now getting an order for the full season.

UPDATE: Here's a sneak peek at the proposed fall lineups. Seems to suggest How I Met Your Mother and New Adventures of Old Christine will both be returning to the CBS lineup, with The Class cancelled.

Here's the permalinks to Nikki Finke's stories:

http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-fox-nixes-2/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-fox-series-order/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-nbc-is-it/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-cbs-thumbs-up/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-fox-drama-orders/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-fox-comedy-orders/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-abc-comedy/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-abc-cancels-two/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-nbc-half-hours/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-fox-thumbs-up/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-abc-passes/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-cbs-comedy/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-order-recaps/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-fox-renewal/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-whats-dead/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-upfront-events/
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/primetime-pilot-panic-abc-sked/

Thursday, May 10, 2007

DALE JR. LEAVING DALE SR.'S TEAM

NUMBER 8 LEAVING THE TEAM OF NUMBER 3

The biggest story in NASCAR today is the big news that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is leaving Dale Earnhardt Inc. to join some other team--- because apparently his current team stinks and he feels he would be better off at another outfit.

I don't GET IT! You would think there would be a little bit of family loyalty by Dale Jr. here?! Methinks we got a family feud going between him and stepmom Teresa. Anyhoo, things in NASCAR have gotten interesting in a big hurry.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

LIFE'S SHORT, GET A DIVORCE

There's been quite a bit of press coverage out there about a really outrageous ad campaign by a Chicago law firm.

The firm decided to put up a billboard in the so-called Viagra Triangle district of Chicago where all the singles hang out, and it featured pictures of a hot babe and a buff dude, with the tag line Life's short, Get a Divorce. And they gave their firm name and phone number!

Well, if they wanted to get attention from the press, well, it worked. There have been stories in print and on TV about this ad. And you thought those TV ads for Cellino and Barnes out of Buffalo were bad. This is way too over the top. Using sex to sell divorce on people-- now that is low. Apparently, though, the ads were just taken down--- they supposedly didn't have a permit to put up that billboard. But this has been all over the news. There was a story about it on CNN tonight.

I found this whole story interesting based on my own short experience doing divorce law for a living---- and it got me thinking. I'm not a big believer in marrying someone just for the heck of it, or just because people feel they ought to "settle down" or any of that nonsense. If you're going to marry somebody then, darnet, be crazy about each other! Otherwise, what's the point? Some will say you need human companionship, but you can get a dog or a cat for that! I guess I'm talking from the perspective of someone who's very happy being single. I can see why a law firm would put up an ad that says "get a divorce", because there are a lot of bad marriages out there --- marriages that happened for the wrong reasons and things like that.

Also, this is yet another instance where divorce law is made out in the press to be some "sexy" area of law. It's made to look like an area where hot rich people are splitting up all the time so they can hook up with other people. I want to once again debunk this whole image of divorce law. Most divorce law clients aren't rich or good-looking, or even looking for love! In fact, they usually hate each other. They are busy arguing over property and custody and other boring things like that, or accusing each other of being drunk or abusive. You have these spouses wanting restraining orders issued against people, trying to keep them away from their kids! Divorce law as "sexy" and "trendy", my foot. This area of law is a total cesspool.

That's it!!!

LAW & ORDER MAY BE SAVED BY TNT


Looks like some good news, finally, about the future of Law & Order. Word is that the good folks at TNT, who also bring you your favorite NBA basketball games, may just rescue the Mothership and stick original episodes in their prime-time lineup. TNT already shows Law & Order reruns ad nauseum anyway, and they run original series like The Closer, so it would be a good fit for them.

You think this news leaking out about TNT's interest might spur the numbskulls at NBC to renew this series? I read that TNT had been interested in taking Law & Order off of NBC's hands before, and NBC intervened. Methinks this story might be a perfectly-timed leak by some publicist.

Also, no new word about the cast, or whether Fred Thompson still intends to run for President. What does this do to the Gunsmoke record, folks, does this mean the attempt to beat the record would go up in smoke? Gunsmoke ran 20 years, but it was 20 years on "network television", and TNT isn't considered a "network" by some people because it's on cable. I guess they could still claim it to be a "prime-time series". It's rare for network series to leave for cable- Monday Night Football left for ESPN from ABC, and ESPN also rescued The Contender from NBC. And I believe The Simple Life left for cable as well.

In other network news the latest rumor is that Veronica Mars, crummy ratings and all, may indeed return as an FBI agent on the CW.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

IMPORTANT L&O: CRIMINAL INTENT NEWS

Couple of items about Law & Order: Criminal Intent to pass along.

Futon Critic is reporting that starting next week this show will move the final two episodes of the season to the 10PM/9 Central timeslot on Monday nights to replace the just-pulled Real Wedding Crashers. The episodes will then repeat on Tuesdays. To me it looks like this might be a vote of confidence in the show, and the folks at NBC may be looking at Monday as a potential place to put the L&O franchise. Just my thought. On another note, NBC renewed Medium, so I don't know what that does to the Law & Order shows and their chances of survival. We should know more by the end of the week.

Also, tonight at 9PM/8 Central is the famous Anna Nicole episode that has been rumored and talked about, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer herself Kristy Swanson portraying some sort of semblance of her on tonight's show. (I think names are going to be changed to protect the innocent, etcetera, etcetera.) For those of you who thought Willa Ford was playing Anna Nicole-- actually she still is, but it's for a TV movie, not this show.

Tonight's show may be a make or break episode as far as the ratings are concerned. Hey, it's sweeps you know.

In other TV news--- this has nothing to do with Law & Order: Criminal Intent, but Fox renewed the Saturday late-night show Talkshow with Spike Feresten. Good.

NANCY GRACE THE LATEST TO BAIL ON COURT TV

The ill-tempered, bigmouthed legal show host Nancy Grace has announced today she is leaving Court TV to focus on her Headline News show and all the rest of what she has going on. Not that I'll miss her any. But it sure says a lot when the biggest star that the Court TV network has takes a hike.

It sure seems to me that this is a case of yet another Court TV star fleeing the Titanic before it sinks into the ocean depths. Court TV is FINISHED.

Monday, May 07, 2007

SPIDEY IS A HUGE, FREAKING HIT


Well, the word is that Spider-Man 3 was a massive freaking hit everywhere it played. It smashed records in Asia when it opened there. Then this weekend it blew away all the competition in the United States, thoroughly justifying its sky-high price tag ( rumored to be 300 million dollars) by raking in 151 mil. That's downright incredible.

But among the critics and movie experts there is considerably less enthusiasm for this sequel than for the previous two. Rotten Tomatoes barely gives this movie a passing grade at 61%, saying the action sequences save the movie. The cream of the crop, though, were even less enthusiastic, and Roeper and Whomever gave it two thumbs down. (I believe it was Christy Lemire who was on this week.) Not exactly good news. I guess people don't like the "sensitive Spider-Man" that was portrayed in the movie; people want to see action and special effects! But that hasn't stopped people from going to the cinemas. I notice James Rocchi of CBS 5 in San Francisco thought Kirsten Dunst seemed bored in the movie. Rocchi only gave it 1 reel out of 4 (ouch) and I notice Richard Crouse out of Toronto only gave this two stars.

Maybe these filmmakers will take the criticism to heart when they do Spider-Man 4. And don't worry, there will be a Spider-Man 4. There are 151 million reasons why we'll see Spidey again.

WOMEN I LOVE: THE BARNSTABLE TWINS


(Pictured: the cast of Quark. Check out the leggy blondes.)

Hot on the heels of my declaration that I would do a "Women I Love" post every... so often, I thought I would post today about the Barnstable Twins.

Turns out I ran across some old episodes of the sci-fi show Quark over the Internet this weekend. It's a sci-fi spoof series from 1978 that starred Richard Benjamin. He plays Adam Quark, captain of a space garbage scow. You might automatically think this show was a piece of, uh, junk, but it actually got some decent reviews. It was created by Buck Henry, who of course was one of the creators of the spy spoof Get Smart. It seems to me that what this show was trying to do was be a science-fiction version of Get Smart. This was 1978 and Star Wars was all the rage, and Star Trek was getting its movie franchise started up around the same time. So the whole genre was ripe for parody. But this series didn't last very long; only eight episodes were produced. It was scheduled by NBC as a midseason replacement for the flop Sanford and Son spinoff Sanford Arms, and was mowed down in the ratings by Wonder Woman and Donny and Marie on Fridays.

Anyway, a Quark episode was posted at YouTube and there's a site devoted to the series which has some old episodes on it that people can watch. Fun stuff. Unfortunately there's no DVD of the series yet, but some people are hoping that will happen soon.

Anyway, the best thing about the show were the Barnstable Twins, Cyb and Tricia. They played the identical-blonde hotpant-clad hotties, Betty I and II, on the show. The joke was that one of them was a clone of the other, but neither of them knew which one was which. Anyway, I loved their outfits (this was the Seventies, after all) and thought these two girls were drop-dead gorgeous! Before they babed it up on Quark, Cyb and Tricia were best known as the "Doublemint Twins" from the famous series of commercials for Wrigley's Doublemint chewing gum.

They later appeared as guest stars on TV shows like the Love Boat and in 1981 they graced the cover of Playboy. But the Barnstable Twins never did get as famous as Audrey and Judy Landers. The one big thing the Barnstable sisters had going for them was that they were gorgeous identical twins (unlike the Landers sisters who, incidentally, weren't twins). They were able to capitalize on that, but they were kind of limited in that respect--- there are only so many roles that identical twins could play. So they did not end up as big stars.

Anyway, the other reason why I mention these two is because the Kentucky Derby was on this weekend, and these sisters play an instrumental role in throwing a big star-studded bash every year at the Derby. It's called the Barnstable Brown Gala and it's held on Derby eve, and that's probably what these sisters are best known for these days. It's the see-and-be-seen event of the whole weekend, with attendees including bigshots like Richard Branson, Cheryl Ladd, Bill O'Reilly and the like (Bill O'Reilly?). Notably, I read that noted racing fan Larry Birkhead met Anna Nicole Smith for the first time at the Barnstable Brown Gala, so that's something interesting for you tabloid fans to ponder. In fact, I noticed on ET that Larry was there at the party again this year, hangin' with the likes of Gene Simmons and all those famous people. Bottom line is that these two twins Tricia and Cyb know how to throw a party and get all these famous people to show up.

There you go, my piece on the Barnstable Twins, which proves once and for all what a big TV geek I am. Posting on an obscure show like Quark-- yes, I am a geek.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

GREAT-LOOKING TV WOMEN



I thought I would post a old photo of beautiful Catherine Bach wearing her trademark Daisy Dukes. I'm doing this for my own amusement. What can I say--- I love it when women wear shorts. Whether it's NFL cheerleaders, or Catherine Bach, or Kate Moss. Kate Moss wears short shorts a lot these days,too.

Also, I am going to post about the Barnstable Twins who appeared on the TV show Quark, another show where they got to wear shorts all the time. What's with the late Seventies/early Eighties anyway? Women showed leg on a number of shows during that era-- Dukes of Hazzard, Three's Company, any number of them.

Man, I love women.

BIG WINNERS THIS WEEKEND


FRENCH ELECTION COVERAGE

Nicolas Sarkozy won the French presidential election today: more here.

For more coverage of the French presidential election runoff between Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal, click here and here. And here. And oh by the way, it's in French.

Friday, May 04, 2007

CATHERINE CRIER ON THE DEMISE OF COURT TV

Found an article in which Catherine Crier talked about all the bad changes happening over at Court TV, her former network, which is about to consign its trials to the Web and go heavily into reality TV. And of course they are changing their name over there.

Crier's own show, of course, was cancelled and she was sort of bemoaning the end of trial coverage on TV, saying there was a lot of substance covered. Quote: "They have put up a new evening lineup: a lot of explosions, a lot of car chases, a lot of cops, a lot of beach babes," she said.

She ain't the only one miserable about all this.

YEAR OF THE UPSET IN THE NBA


Well, Golden State shocked the world last night. And while it is always great fun to see Mark Cuban lose, I kind of actually feel sorry for him today.

How the heck are the Dallas Mavericks ever going to rebound from this total disaster? Not just this season, but last season, too, when they blew a shot at a 3-0 series lead in game 3 of the finals, and proceeded to lose four in a row and the NBA title. This season they had the best record in the league, the sixth-best record in the history of the NBA, a club record for wins--- and they go down in flames after six playoff games after throwing away home court to the Warriors on the opening night of the playoffs. And not only that, they lost to their former coach Don Nelson.

One writer calls it the worst defeat in the history of American sports. Honestly, this is worse than David beating Goliath; more like a cockroach beating Goliath. They lost to the Warriors, people. Stinking bad Golden State, one of the worst-run franchises in the history of the NBA who hasn't been in the playoffs in 13 years and only qualified on the last night of the regular season this year. The only major sports loss that comes close to this total debacle is that time in the baseball playoffs a few years ago when that fan in Wrigley Field prevented that Cub player from catching that fly ball. The Cubs ended up losing that game and eventually the series. But the Cubs are basically the Golden State Warriors of major league baseball anyway; what do you expect.

That night when that ball went through Bill Buckner's legs was pretty bad, too, for the Red Sox. But at least they lost to the Mets. The Mavericks have no such excuse because they lost to GOLDEN STATE. They lost to a franchise summed up by one word: "chumps".

That's how bad a reputation the Warriors have, and they've been bad for at least 30 years. But they looked really good in this series. It's been fun to see those Warriors fans react to all this success. They are getting attention from the likes of Charles Barkley, who gained notoriety for trashing the city of Oakland on TNT. This is what makes covering sports fun, folks--- people make rude comments on TV and people get all excited and angry, and so it is really sweet when you end up winning. ( On a side note, most of these Golden State fans are also big fans of the Raiders. So if you think these fans at the game were acting a little like Raiders fans, well, guess what, folks... they are!!! Just an interesting observation.)

This has been a terrific first round in the NBA, full of surprises. The defending champion Miami Heat went down in four very short games to the Chicago Bulls. And the Atlantic division champion Toronto Raptors are throwing away their good season against the New Jersey Nets, trailing three games to two. Usually these playoffs are dull and boring, but this year these playoffs are unfolding as if it's the NCAA Tournament. They're making the NHL playoffs look boring in comparison.

By the way, the Raptors have no excuse now if they lose to the Nets. All the excuses I heard about the Raptors' problems in this series was about how they lacked playoff experience and all that. But heck, Golden State didn't have any playoff experience! And look what they did!

Should the Raptors go down to the Nets, they can take solace in one thing: as bad as Raptor fans might feel if they lose to that bum Vince Carter, the Mavericks fans are bound to feel worse.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

GILMORE GIRLS CANCELLED


The bloodbath has begun in TV land. Gilmore Girls, the winner (or co-winner) of Kristin Veitch's Save One Show campaign over at E!, has been cancelled. The final show will be May 15.

And honestly, I thought this show was going to be back when all was said and done. I thought they were going to get 13 more episodes to finish out the arc.

Doesn't affect me, though---never watched the show, though it seemed like a good show. I will say Lauren Graham does seem like great girlfriend material. Anyway, expect more big announcements on bubble shows to follow in the days ahead.

I sure hope that Veronica Mars is given the boot, too, now. How can the CW justify keeping that show on when they just cancelled a show with better ratings? I think the CW might have just sent a big message to a lot of their bubble shows with this decision. As in: "your show is doomed."

NOTES FROM THE WORLD OF BLOG MEDIA

Found out today that Elizabeth Spiers left Dead Horse Media, the company she founded. Say what?! And this happened a couple of weeks ago apparently. Are times so bad in the media that it's affecting the blogs, too? We know newspapers are dying, but this too?! One rumor has it that Spiers might have fallen victim to a power struggle. She states on her blog that it's creative differences--- she wanted to expand the empire and try new, experimental web sites while the other backers wanted to concentrate on the three blogs they already had. Whatever. Anyway, she's chilling out at home apparently, and might do another startup again. Or she might not.

In other news, Melissa Lafsky of Opinionistas fame left the Huffington Post's "Eat the Press" section for a new, supposedly fantastic gig--- but she refuses to say what it is. I'm wondering: coincidence? Hmm.

UPDATE: Melissa has joined Freakonomics as the blog editor there.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOWS ON THE FENCE


Well, here is an article about the fates of your favorite bubble TV shows and where they stand going into the network upfronts in a couple of weeks. I think we can safely say that it really is up in the air for Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, How I Met Your Mother (pictured), The New Adventures of Old Christine, and What About Brian. I think these shows are going to go right down to the wire and it will come down to money in some cases, and scheduling. I think most of these titles will be back, but underline the word "most" because any of these could get the boot, upsetting the fans.

How I Met Your Mother has been fighting like mad to stick around. They keep on showing one classic episode after another. On Monday they showed Barney's appearance on The Price is Right to meet his "dad" Bob Barker. I find it hard to believe that this show won't be back based on the quality of the episodes and its growing fanbase. If CBS cancels this show they surely have rocks in their heads. From what I gather, though, CBS might be ready to overhaul their schedule and attempt a number of new and "sexier" shows. Are these guys going to try and become like ABC? I sure hope not.

That article mentioned that CBS' cuts could go pretty deep and that a number of shows could be on the hit list, including The Class, Jericho, Close to Home, even The Unit. THE UNIT!!! Yikes! If CBS is readying for a big housecleaning then none of these CBS shows on the bubble are safe, not even How I Met Your Mother. Would CBS be so cruel as to cancel a show before we met the mother of these kids?! Somehow I doubt it, but this is TV and the ratings are in the toilet everywhere, and CBS is actually due for a housecleaning with all the veteran shows they air.

In more bad news for situation comedies, ABC is said to be ready to give the knife to both According to Jim and The George Lopez Show, and I'm surprised because my understanding was that they would keep at least one of these two. And this year's classic veteran sitcom coming to an end is The King of Queens, and that show doesn't have too long to go. These are sad times for sitcom fans.

Been reading the fan boards about the CW shows Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars. Seems the Veronica fans and Gilmore fans hate one another. Both their favorite shows are fighting for survival and the success of one might be seen as ready to kill the other. Based on the ratings I do not see how Gilmore Girls doesn't come back, unless the main cast quits (as has been rumored). But these rabid, vocal, loud Veronica fans refuse to believe that their show is going to get the axe. I know E! keeps on reporting that there's a good chance this show will come back with Veronica as an FBI agent, but everyone else is saying they're going to stick a fork in it. The show returned to the schedule on Tuesday for the first time in ages and fans were hoping that the show would do well enough to justify its continued survival. Instead, Veronica Mars got demolished. It got something like a 1.5 rating overall and a pathetic 1.1 among 18-49, and not only was dead last in its time slot but dead last for the entire evening! It also bled viewers who tuned in to Gilmore Girls earlier, and didn't do as well as that lame Pussycat Dolls reality show that held the time slot the previous week. How the heck this show makes it to Season 4 is beyond me. It makes it to season 4 if people at the CW are interested in getting killed in the ratings.

In the grave for sure, it seems, are Studio 60, Crossing Jordan, The War at Home, and The Class. Scrubs will probably move to ABC.

LAW & ORDER: NEARING THE GRAVE

By the way, Law & Order continues to get killed on NBC. It got a pathetic 1.8 rating last week. That's terrible, ladies and gentlemen! It used to be that hit shows would get 20 ratings on weeknights! But these days shows are lucky to get a 5 rating! And you can count on cancellation if your ratings are any lower than 2. This is really brutal--- no one is watching this L&O show. Or maybe people can't tell the difference between the new shows and the reruns anymore. How the heck can NBC justify keeping this show on the air if the numbskulls out there at home won't tune in? I read that NBC is planning to clear the schedule, bigtime, so they can program shows that might be the next Heroes. This is so depressing. I am almost throwing in the towel on Law & Order's long-term future. I've lost all hope that this show will beat Gunsmoke's record. All I'm hoping for now is for this series to get another season (like Las Vegas just did) so that it can make it to 400 shows and at least die with some dignity.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

HILARIOUS RICH EISEN STORY

I post here a lot about TV news and hilarious stories about all the goings on in that business. Well, check this story out. Rich Eisen is a prominent anchor at the NFL Network. You may have seen him this weekend with live coverage of that long first round of the NFL draft (six freaking hours?!), where the main story of the day was how quarterback Brady Quinn dropped all the way down to #22 before being plucked by Cleveland. But I digress. Anyway, as seems to be quite common in sportscasting, Eisen married a fellow sportscaster. His wife is Suzy Shuster.

Anyway--- this is really funny. Alycia Lane (pictured), a sexy local TV reporter in Philadelphia with the CBS station KYW, recently got a divorce and is apparently looking for a new husband. And for some reason she was interested in Rich Eisen, so she fired off some hot bikini shots to him.

Except they landed at the wrong address.
Read all about how Mrs. Eisen got Alycia's saucy bikini pictures and how she fired off an e-mail complimenting her on looking good in a bikini and commenting on the seven e-mails she sent to Rich Eisen. Funny stuff.

Hey Alycia, why don't you give up on Rich Eisen; there are plenty of single guys interested in you. (Like, uh, myself.) But I guess you prefer married guys.

TV News--- what a fun business.

THE SIMPSONS MOVIE: HAVIN' A COW


Well, you have probably heard that The Simpsons Movie is coming. And it's obvious that the producers of The Simpsons TV show are out to do all sorts of things in the movie that they couldn't do on TV. Like, have plenty of foul language. And wardrobe malfunctions involving Bart Simpson.

Oh. My. God.

All I will say is, guys, if this is true then this is definitely a new low for The Simpsons and a new low for the cinematic medium. I do NOT want to see Bart Simpson naked on screen, it definitely isn't funny and sounds like a bad stunt. People out there who say they are really looking forward to seeing this should probably, definitely, be locked up.

I sure hope the test audiences for this flick have a cow when they see this. Then maybe these morons will excise this scene from the movie. If they don't, well, I think I won't go to this piece of junk. I'll go see Spider-Man 3 or something like that.

Spare me a sight for sore eyes. Yecch.