Monday, December 20, 2004

Showtime Goes To Pot, Again

Looks like Showtime is toking up for yet another project. First it was their new Mommy's-a-drug-dealer series "Weeds." Now they're making a musical version of Reefer Madness."

They'd better keep them funny cigarettes away from Kirstie Alley, or munchie-binging will necessitate renaming her new series Really Fat Actress.

Hey, Kid: How About A Free TiVo?

In a great PR move, TiVo gave away 2,000 units to Comcast subscribers who were denied the cable behemoth's own DVR. (NYT, subscription required)

To us, it's a brilliant maneuver- TiVo has gotten tons of nearly free press, the evil behemoth Comcast looks bad, and maybe- just maybe- the whole concept of DVRs will continue to catch on. Plus, subscribers still must pay for the service, so it's not like no revenue will be generated from the giveaway.

Just a reminder- TiVo is a great holiday stocking stuffer for those hard-to-buy-for friends, relatives, spouses, eff-buddies, and bribable clients. And they're on sale now!~ Ho, ho, ho!

The Rather Replacement Search: Today, CBS Adds a New Name To The List

Now a new name has surfaced to replace departing Dan Rather: Katie Couric. Seems she's not tied to NBC for that long, and CBS would like to steal her away (this news should make Connie Chung shut her pie hole.)

They can offer her big-time exposure, gobs of cash and much more palatable hours. But would Katie make the jump? Stay tuned.

Chappelle's Slow

Due to production delays partially caused by the star's illness, it looks like cable's new king of comedy is gonna need some extra time to ready the new season of Chappelle's Show.

Maybe the staff was too devastated by Rick James' passing to continue? Or maybe the writing, which has been overrated anyway, just wasn't that funny, bitch?

Six Flags' Fogy Flops

Remember that dancing old guy they shoved in this year's Six Flags commercials? How could you not?

The ads were ubiquitous. Were they also memorable? Sure. How about hilarious? Debatable. Irritating? Certainly. But the $64,000 question: Were the ads effective? Not so much.

While sales at other corporations' parks were up an average of about 2%, sales were flat or down at 12 of the 13 Six Flags parks this summer.

So the good news is, they'll retire the character and try something else, right? Fat chance. They promise he'll be back.

Of course, none of this matters to me, your humble writer. I skip these parks for one simple reason: I'm not taller than Tweety's wing, so I can't go on any of the cool rides.

Viewers to Apprentice Finale: "You're Fired!"

NBC must really be bumming, now that its once-powerhouse Thursday night is receding faster than Matt Lauer's hairline. Even ratings for "event" programming, like this week's Apprentice finale, are way off from last year.

We'll be the first to speculate: might NBC fire Trump after season three (already in the can) airs? Or move it from its ultra-competitive Thursday timeslot? We'll see...

A Very Special Geek Files: There Must Be A Pony

It's Christmas time, and when better for "Pusher" to give the gift of classic tales of tube. (Hope she kept the receipt.)

At this very special time of year I feel the need for a very special Geek Files entitled "The First Time TV Made Pusher Cry*."

Anyone ever see that made-for-TV movie, "There Must Be a Pony"? Good stuff. But anything with Robert Wagner has to be, right? Especially when it also stars Elizabeth Taylor, James Coco and Chad Lowe. James Coco, people! I don't remember too much of the plot - Liz was a washed up actress or something, building a new life and reconnecting with her son after getting out of the loony bin. It doesn't matter.

The important thing (besides R.J. starring) is the letter that Chad's character finds in a secret hiding place in the spiral staircase railing. It was written by RJ's character just before he died. He was making sure Chad would look positively on his future with his mom. Obviously, it quoted the old joke about a father who presents his two sons with a room full of horse shit. The angry, pessimistic son scoffs at the room while the level-headed, optimistic boy starts shoveling away. The father asks, "What are you doing?" to which the boy replies, "I figure, underneath all this crap, there must be a pony!" Cue the tears.

It was the Robert Wagner voice-over that did it. They may have even thrown in a half dissolve of RJ's face, just like they did at the end of "The Outsiders" when Johnny wrote his letter to Pony Boy. It was so sappy- but I just couldn't fight off the tears. And with that, Happy Holidays!

*Not counting the final episode of M*A*S*H because, really, who didn't cry at that?

Pusher's "The Geek Files: Memoirs of a TV Addict" appears every Monday.

Monday Trivia: Friends

Which of the following items about Friends is faker than Courteney Cox's rack?

A) Téa Leoni was the first choice for the part of "Monica", but turned it down.
B) Chandler's middle name is Muriel.
C) Ross's middle name is Eustace.
D) The drawings on the Magna Doodle in Joey's apartment were done by Matt LeBlanc.

Answers tomorrow.