Tuesday, January 18, 2005

This Is What Happens When You Ruin A Nationally Televised Halftime Show

Remember... only you can prevent forest fires.

Only... YOU.

The Stop Ashlee Simpson Petition

Networks Freaking Out About TiVo: Article 51,968 In A Continuing Series

Today's LA Times is the latest to report that network executives are freaking out about DVR usage, predicting financial gloom and doom as viewers zap through commercials.

They also quote a study that shows viewers would be willing to pay to see shows they like. As if this is a surprise- they've never heard of cable TV, pay-per-view, and video on demand? Even old-school movie rentals follow this "old school" economic model.

There may be an added advantage to networks relying on viewers paying to see their shows: they may actually have to make shows people want to see. Execs, are you listening?

Housewives vs. Housewives: ABC Scores In Ratings And Awards

Despite being their own toughest competition, ABC's Desperate Housewives cleaned up on Sunday night. NBC's Golden Globes, which featured the stars of the ABC smash-hit as presenters and winners, finished a distant third.

I don't know why, but I love it when awards shows stumble. It gives me hope that we'll see less of them- The Razzie Awards notwithstanding.

What Year Is This?

Las Vegas TV Weatherman Rob Blair was shitcanned for using a racial slur when referring to Martin Luther King Jr. during his weathercast.

And it wasn't even an ironically funny, contemporary, "hip," Chappelle-style slur. When will these old-school racists get with the program?

In a statement, Blair apologized and said the slur would have been taken in the vein it was intended had he been able to apply blackface before air as he'd hoped.

Fox Faces Reality: They Overdid It

Fox chief Gail Berman is fessing up. She admits that the network may have scheduled with too many reality shows. The words "no duh!" come to mind.

Our own Irina D, who in her 2004 Geekie Awards implored someone to tie up Berman and force her to have an original thought, released the following through a TVGS spokeperson: "What a stupefyingly obvious statement. Here's another one: Maybe FOX's problem wasn't necessarily too many reality shows, but too many shitty reality shows."

In fact, it was revealed that the abhorrently shitty Who's Your Daddy special, which recently flopped in the ratings, has five additional episodes on the shelf that will never air. Now that's admitting a mistake.

At least they're bringing back Family Guy to air in the slot immediately after the Super Bowl, followed by new episodes beginning May 1.

American Midol

As our all-Gail-Berman edition continues, the Fox Czar-Of-Crap better get a grip on things.

In a statement that's sure to get News Corp shareholders reaching for their pain relievers, Berman is hedging her bets when it comes to the jewel-in-her-crown-of-shit American idol, publicly saying she expects ratings to drop this year.

Never mind that ratings rose stratospherically for the show's third season and that Idol is an inexplicable phenomenon that has millions of taste-challenged twits from coast to coast ready to text message like mad.

CBS News Continues To Irk Bloggers

After an independent panel published its findings on "Rathergate," the entire 234-page report was made available on the CBS News Web site and Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham. the law firm hired to handle the inquiry. But hours later, they reposted it in a format that won't allow copying and pasting.

Bloggers howl that the move is meant to slow them down, since they'd have to retype anything they'd like to quote. A CBS News executive says it's simply to help prevent cyber-punks from altering it and then circulating a phony version of the report.

We love it either way because it keeps this hot-button media bias story in the headlines- and on TVGS.

24 in 99: Hour 5

Here's JoeVideo's indepth synopsis- well, as indepth as you can get in a sub-100 word recap- of last night's action packed hour of 24. Here's this week's 24 in 99.

Jack's got the cops working for him now, after being un-arrested, and continues tracking Kalil. Heller and Audrey try suicide-by-gasline-leak, but fail. Edgar tires of Marianne- "I'm not your bitch." After she blackmails him, he gets her Level-3 clearance. Driscoll gets Chloe to resign from CTU. The Araz family disposes of Debbie's car and body- but almost gets caught when Mom comes looking for her at the Araz's. Kalil kills himself. Schizo Daughter returns for no reason. Audrey recognizes mysterious Briefcase Dude. Heller's trialwebcast begins. The president orders an airstrike on the revealed trial location. Jack goes renegade- again.

Related links:
24 in 99: Hours 3 and 4
24 in 99: Hours 1 and 2

Tonight's Tube

Tuesday: American Idol is back, beginning anew its onslaught of thrice-weekly crap. Drat. Also, trivia questions and bizarre physical challenges combine for Distraction, the game show premiering on Comedy Central at 10:30. Any chance Jeopardy's KenJen will be a contestant? I'd love to see him get kneed in the nads.

Geek/Countergeek: The Shortened Season Debate

Sometimes, less is more. Or is it? Well, Vito hasn't really decided either, but damned if that's gonna stop him from writing this week's Geek/CounterGeek.

Geek: The Short Season Trend Sucks

It used to be that you could count on a solid 22 to 24 episodes of your favorite show per season. There were few exceptions to this rule. Famously, after four straight short-seasons, the fifth season of '80s hit Moonlighting opened with the cast performing a musical number pledging to fulfill their 22 episode order (they made only 13). Now that number has become the norm for many shows. It’s bad enough that cable networks typically run just about 12 to 14 new episodes per season, but now even that is shrinking. The first season of HBO’s Entourage was a paltry 8 episodes! It was over just when it started to get good. Having a three month break is manageable, but when there are nine months or, in the case of the Sopranos, 18 months between seasons, who can remember what’s going on?

CounterGeek: Short Seasons Rule

A long, long time ago, when the vinyl LP was still king, most albums were under 45 minutes long. Records were limited to about 23 minutes per side. The wide acceptance of the 80 minute CD brought about the 60 – 75 minute album that had only 40 good minutes of music. The same holds true for TV shows. Most shows are stretched thin over the course of a season. Shows that have on-going stories are forced to have horrendous stand-alone episodes or just introduce totally lame plotlines. If 24 were 12, we wouldn’t have to deal with mountain lions, schizophrenic kids, or on-the-job babysitting. It’s also easier for a network to gamble on an unconventional or innovative show when they only have to pay for a handful of episodes. Shorter seasons allow for more creativity, taut storylines and a minimum of nonsense.

Where do you stand? Post a comment now!

Tuesday Trivia: Network Knowledge, Part Two

Which show never aired on CBS?

A) Gilligan's Island
B) Cosby
C) The Brady Bunch
D) Good Times

Answer tomorrow.

Monday Trivia Solved: Network Knowledge, Part Two

Which show never aired on NBC?

A) The Naked Truth
B) Taxi
D) The Golden Palace

The answer is D. Although it was a spinoff of NBC's The Golden Girls, it aired on CBS.