Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Wednesday's 99 Word Review: Two and a Half Men

Here's our latest 99 Word Review. Pretty self explanatory by now, we gather: must be over 98 words but less than 100. Or else.

Every week while watching Charlie Sheen coast through Two and a Half Men, I ask myself: can you call someone an actor when he’s playing himself? As “Charlie,” Sheen has one facial expression (disinterested), one tone of voice (sarcastic), and one modus operandi (laid-back beaver hound).

Yet, throw him into an unbelievably generic premise, add ubiquitous character actor Jon Cryer, mix in some beaten-to-death sitcom stereotypes (wacky neighbor, precocious kid, wise-ass housekeeper) and somehow, it all works. The cast gels and Sheen plays himself flawlessly. Plus, he’s got the coolest wardrobe since Kramer.

Overall, these Men are worth watching.

TVGS Rating: Three test patterns out of four

“Two and a Half Men” airs Monday nights at 9:30pm et/pt on CBS.

I Yam What I Yam: A Disturbing-looking, CGI-Animated Sailor-Freak

Popeye, Olive Oil, Swee'pea and the gang are back in a new, computer-generated cartoon special on Fox.

If the 3-D animation isn't bizarre enough to get you to skip this one, consider this: Paul friggin' Reiser wrote it. < shudder >

Saving Affils Airing Private Ryan

In a move that's sure to have ABC affiliates sighing in relief, the FCC apparantly will not fine stations that aired the uncut movie.

Now, the FCC can go back to investigating whether there were any nip-slips in the Olympic opening ceremony, and continuing their "Sirius" witch hunt against Howard Stern. Thank goodness!

Fox Looks For Father Figure

Proving once again that reality TV has no boundaries of taste, Fox is about to unveil a paternity competition called Who's Your Daddy. The premise: an adopted woman has to decide which of several losers is her biological father. There's $100k involved, a few twists, blah blah blah. Oh, joy. I'll stick to the paternity tests on Maury, thanks.

No word yet on whether Pedro Martinez will host.

Ratings Race: CBS Takes Week

CBS kicked some major Nielsen boo-tay this week, easing their way to to an easy victory in primetime in the week that ended Dec. 12. Some highlights:

On Sunday, the Survivor: Vanuatu finale couldn't outwit, outplay, or outlast ABC's ratings powerhouse Desperate Housewives (21.6 million, 9.2/20); Thursday's Vanuatu actually pulled better numbers than Sunday's.

ABC's Lost delivered its highest ratings to date (18.9 million viewers, 7.0/19).

Wednesday's Law & Order (15.7 million, 5.0/13) beat a CSI: NY repeat. Go NBC, it's your birthday!
1. CBS (13.1 million total viewers, 4.3 rating/12 share in 18-49 demos).
2. ABC (10.3 million, 3.7/10)
3. NBC (9.6 million, 3.5/10)
4. Fox (7 million, 3.0/8).
5. UPN (3.3 million, 1.4/4)
6. WB's (3.1 million, 1.3/4)

Here's a rundown of the 10 most watched prime-time shows for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research:

1. CSI, CBS, 29.8 million viewers
2. Desperate Housewives, ABC, 21.6 million viewers
3. Survivor: Vanuatu (Thursday), CBS, 20 million viewers
4. Survivor: Vanuatu (Sunday), CBS, 19.7 million viewers
5. Without a Trace, CBS, 19.5 million viewers
6. Lost, ABC, 18.9 million viewers
7. ER, NBC, 18.2 million viewers
8. Monday Night Football, ABC, 16.6 million viewers
9. Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2004, ABC, 16.3 million viewers
10. The Apprentice 2, NBC, 16 million viewers

Nanu, Nanu

NBC has announced the latest in its series of unauthorized, "Behind the Camera" movies. This time, Mork and Mindy is on tap, with Canadian actor Chris Diamantopoulos on board to play hyper hairball Robin Williams.

It's interesting how NBC only chooses ABC properties to trash in these movies (Three's Company, Charlie's Angels, and soon, Dynasty). Maybe it has something to do with how unwatchable NBC was in the late 70's/early 80's.

Behind the Camera: Manimal just wouldn't pull the same numbers, I guess.

Tuesday Trivia Solved!

Which item about All in the Family is false?

A) Mickey Rooney was Norman Lear’s first choice to play the lead role.
B) “Those Were The Days” reached #43 on Billboard’s chart.
C) Jean Stapleton turned down the role of Jessica Fletcher on "Murder, She Wrote".
D) Archie Bunker’s toilet, which belched the first flush ever heard in prime-time, is housed in the Smithsonian.

The fake fact is D. Archie and Edith's chairs are in the Smithsonian, but the "terlet" ain't.