Wednesday, January 19, 2005

33.5 Million People Can Be Wrong

The American Idol premiere belted out its highest ratings ever for its two-hour premiere Tuesday night on FOX.

There's truly no hope for us as a society.

The Apprentice: The Musical?

It's a match made in hell: reality TV and showtunes.

But seriously, The Donald isn't overexposed. No, really. He isn't. Not at all.

Emmy Revamp?

Looks like the networks are weighing in with suggestions to fix the Emmy Awards.

With falling ratings, the broadcast networks want to ditch the movie and miniseries awards from the Primetime telecast to keep the show from dragging. Also, maybe the fact that they don't do as much longform as they used to- or as much as HBO and its ilk- has something to do with it.

The broadcast networks have long whined that they shouldn't be competing on the same playing field as pay cable, reasoning that programs that say "shit" or "fuck" just have to be better. We don't disagree.

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CBS's Evening News Idea Of The Day: Anchor Teams

First, John Roberts or Scott Pelley were to replace Dan rather. Then, Katie Couric topped the list of outsiders being wooed to import into the embattled news division. Todays throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks notion from CBS Sultan of Stench Les Moonves: anchor teams!

The ideas are wild: Different reporters! Different cities! Maybe even Jon Stewart (people- he's a self-proclaimed FAKE newscaster... come on)!

The only thing that seems clear: they're not gonna stick a grey haired news dinosaur behind the desk. Then again, it's CBS News- in the end, can they possibly resist?

Unpleasant Point?

Fox has some big time hopes riding on tonight's premiere of Point Pleasant, hoping to capture some of that The OC mojo. Reviewers, however, haven't been all that kind to the new drama... in fact, even townsfolk from the real Point Pleasant are attempting to distance themselves from the show.

Why? I've met plenty of chicks from Jersey that could feasibly have been Satan's daughter.

Related links:
S.F. Gate: "Lame dialogue... bad acting"
N.Y. Daily News: "A Vague and Only Average Start"
N.Y. Times: "Leaden," "Mundane"
N.Y. Post: "Spooky, creepy and really pretty good"
Boston Globe: "Point gets lost"
DFW Star-Telegram: "Generic"
Detroit News: "Pleasant isn't bright, but it's got great eye candy"
Seattle P.I.: "Little hellfire to speak of"
USA Today: "Isn't very pleasant at all"

Martha To Fire People On Camera Too?

Looks like NBC is making plans for when The Donald ditches The Apprentice.

Speculation is that NBC may be considering a second Apprentice with TV's original domestic diva running the boardroom when she busts out of the big house.

Finally, a show that features Martha's real talent: being miserable.

Tonight's Tube

Wednesday: Point Pleasant, featuring Satan's daughter, premieres tonight. Ooooh, scary. I'm shakin'. Then, NBC gives us yet another reason to skip CSI:NY, as Law and Order debuts Annie Parisse as Alexandra Borgia, the new (and presumably not closeted lesbian) ADA.

Static From The Geek-In-Chief: TiVo Changed My Life, But HDTV Is Ruining Everything

I was a latecomer to TiVo amongst my group of geeks. Despite the persuasive sales pitches of two of my closest friends, I resisted acquiring a DVR two years longer than they did. Finally, my lovely wife ponied up for some TiVo for my thirtieth birthday, and we immediately realized how foolish we had been to delay embracing such a revolutionary and life-changing device.

Now that I possessed the ability to time shift effortlessly, I swore that TiVo had made live TV watching a thing of the past. Never again would I fall victim to the whims of faceless network executives who schedule shows much like the way I put away clean clothes: just stuffing things wherever they may (or may not) fit. Never again would I watch lame commercials and promos: with a bloop, bloop! BLOOP! of the TiVo remote, they were gone. And never again would this idiot cede control of his idiot box to anyone.

But that was before a young punk named HDTV strolled into my life.

Turns out HDTV is quite the charmer. Its picture is wider. Its clarity and detail, jaw dropping. The 5.1 Dolby Surround rattles windowpanes, and the subwoofer's bass vibrates light bulbs right out of their sockets. There is, however, a slight problem: it turns out my TiVo (as well as my shunned old flame, the VCR) doesn't speak HD. At all. Which means I'd have to buy new, HD-capable recording DVR or VCR equipment (which happens to be scarce, and way too expensive) to time shift this now indispensable technology, or otherwise opt for the unthinkable alternative.

Watch live TV.

I never thought it would happen. I never thought it could happen. And yet, every Wednesday night at 9:03 (damned ABC scheduling times), there I am, watching Alias, in full widescreen glory on live TV- commercials and all. Commercials and all! We're talking Quiznos ads! Eleven o'clock news teases! Even- gasp- Wife Swap promos! (Oh, the unspeakable horror.)

I know, I know. HDTV DVRs and VCRs are bound to be more a feasible option in no time. But that fact isn’t doing me any good now, proving one valuable point: staying ahead of the curve ain't easy when you're a TV Geek.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my show. The commercial's over.

Static from the Geek-In-Chief appears every Wednesday.

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Wednesday Trivia: Network Knowledge, Part Three

Which show never aired on ABC?

A) Open All Night
B) Hail To The Chief
C) Charles In Charge
D) It's A Living

Answers tomorrow.

Tuesday Trivia Solved: Network Knowledge, Part Two

Which show never aired on CBS?

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

The answer: C. The Brady Bunch aired on ABC.