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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Still Ticking

Looks like three CBS News victims of the Memogate scandal still won't take their shoes for a walk.

Former 60 Minutes Wednesday executive producer Josh Howard, his deputy Mary Murphy and CBS News senior VP Betsy West still haven't given official notice to CBS.

Are they planning legal action? Are they dummying up some other stories to further their agenda? Or are they just moving at the pace CBS News does when covering breaking news- s-l-o-w?

Oh, Deer: Paris and Nicole In The Crosshairs Again

One thing is becoming clear: New Jersey hates Paris and Nicole.

Officials in Dennis Township claim that Simple Life staffers poached a deer, out of season, so Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie could gut it on the show. The production company, of course, denies that they killed this particular Bambi.

The thought of watching these two morons skin a deer doesn't exactly have me running for my TiVo. Unless, of course, they do it nude. Come to think of it, I may have already downloaded that video off the internet...

Ratings Roundup

In the Nielsen ratings race, CBS won the week in total viewers, and NBC edged out a win in adults 18-49.

Some highlights:

Week two of NBC's midseason success story Medium continued to impress, beating a repeat of CBS' CSI: Miami.

NBC's The Biggest Loser finale posted the network's best ratings in the Tuesday 8-9:30 p.m. period in almost two years.

Fox's reality series Nanny 911 drew its largest audience ever, and Monday's back-to-back episodes of 24 won their time periods in adults 18-49. Its new drama, Jonny Zero, did only slightly better numbers than its name, with 5.2 million viewers.

Over on cable: Sci Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica" premiered reasonably well, with 3.1 million viewers.

Total Viewers
1. CBS (13.9 million viewers)
2. NBC (12.3 million)
3. ABC (10.7 million)
4. Fox (9.8 million)
5. UPN (3.4 million)
6. WB Network (2.7 million)

18-49 demo
1. NBC (4.5/11),
2. CBS (4.4/11)
3. Fox (4.1/11)
(tie) ABC (4.1/11)

Top 10 Programs
1. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS. 27.6 million viewers
2. Desperate Housewives, ABC. 24.1 million viewers
3. NFC Playoff: St. Louis at Atlanta, Fox. 23.7 million viewerss
4. AFC Playoff Postgame: Indianapolis at New England, Fox. 23.6 million viewers
5. NFC Playoff Pre-Game: St. Louis at Atlanta, Fox. 21.4 million viewers
6. Lost, ABC. 20.8 million viewers
7. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC 20.4 million viewers
8. Without a Trace, CBS. 18.8 million viewers
9. ER, NBC. 18.4 million viewers
10. Golden Globe Awards, NBC. 16.8 million viewers

Heeeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!

The New York Post reveals today that Johnny Carson has been feeding monologue jokes to David Letterman from time to time.

In a related development, TVGS sources reveal that Tonight Show host Jay Leno may have a smiliar deal with talk show powerhouse Chevy Chase. Details as they develop.

Star Trek: The Final Frontier?

Looks like the Star Trek franchise may be headed to where many have gone before: the scrap heap.

With Star Trek: Enterprise struggling, and the last Trek movie a box office bust, Viacom's Video Vulcan Les Moonves yesterday said the long-running franchise may be on its last legs, although no official decision has been made.

This will not be a popular choice amonsts several of my fellow geeks, but my feeling is clear: take this horse behind the shed and put a bullet in it already.

Related Link: Geek/CounterGeek: Star Trek Enterprise

News Roundup

President Palmer returns: Dennis Haysbert will return to 24 for this season's last 6 hours. No word if his evil (and possibly, dead) TV wife will join him... Debra Winger's still got it. Her Lifetime Original Movie Dawn Anna attracted 4.4 million viewers, landing it in cable's top 10 for the week... Former Restaurant-eur Rocco DiSpirito is in hot water after dropping an F-bomb on his New York radio show Wednesday... Former Survivor Richard Hatch is in trouble with Uncle Sam. The accusation: tax evasion. Man, these reality show folks will do anything to stay in the spotlight... NBC Sports has just added the National Lacrosse League to its depleted lineup. What's next: tiddlywinks?

Wiggin' Out! with Sydney Bristow: Week Three

Welcome to week three's Wiggin' Out! with Sydney Bristow, the only place on the 'net counting Jennifer Garner's Alias wigs.

Episode 4 x 04: "Ice"

Disappointing episode! The wig count was not furthered at all.

Also, note to J.J. and Co.: One cool special effect and a pair of non-prescription glasses does not an episode make. This one was a snoozer.

"Ice" total: 0 wigs

Season total:
5 wigs

Sportztyme!: Public Displays Of Stupidity

Sports and TV are a match made in heaven. But the tube often brings about the worst in athletes. Will there ever be a middle ground? Uncle Buster examines the issue in this week's Sportztyme.

How much responsibility should network television take for the gratuitous celebrations that seemingly permeate professional sports?

Because it’s fresh in everyone’s mind, let's consider Minnesota Vikings receiver Randy Moss and his fake mooning incident in Green Bay two weeks ago. After scoring a late touchdown in their playoff game, Moss pantomimed dropping his pants and mooning the Green Bay crowd.

It calls to mind the old riddle about the falling tree in the woods making noise. If the TV cameras aren’t there to capture it, does it really happen?

We’ll never know, because TV cameras are everywhere, documenting each moment of a live event. At least that’s the argument you are likely to get from network executives justifying their playing and replaying of such a display. They will tell you they have something of a journalistic obligation to show the event as it happens, sometimes warts and all. They are not concerned with the morality, only the controversy because that gets ratings and it gets people talking.

On the other side, you have sportscasters like Fox’s Joe Buck, who callled that particular game. Buck immediately editorialized the move, calling it “disgusting” and apologizing for its airing. It’s not Buck’s place to tell us whether or not to be offended at what we see. His job is to call the action and provide information. Had he ignored Moss' actions, they may not have gotten the attention they did. Some viewers might not have seen it or had an opinion, but because he immediately chastised the player, the viewer naturally draws the same conclusion.

Either way, it draw attention to the player and the action, and that’s all the player is looking for in the first place. These displays seem to be more prevalent in football, which baffles me. Football is one of the ultimate team sports. No one player can make things happen alone. Yet folks like Randy Moss, Joe Horn (he of the cell phone in the goal post) and Terrell Owens (Mr. Sharpie) are hell bent on making sure fans know their names and cameras see their faces.

And too often, television is only too happy to oblige.

Tonight's Tube

Thursday: It was nice while it lasted. The silence ends tonight, when it's dumbasses vs. college grads on the premiere of The Apprentice. And on Fox, the Point Pleasant experiment continues.

Thursday Trivia: Network Knowledge, Part Four

Which show never aired on FOX?

A) Women In Prison
B) The Larry Sanders Show
C) Dream On
D) Grounded For Life

Answers tomorrow.

Wednesday Trivia Solved: 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

The answer is C. All the other shows, at one point or another, aired on the Alphabet Net.

Oh, Deer: Paris and Nicole In The Crosshairs Again

One thing is becoming clear: New Jersey hates Paris and Nicole.

Officials in Dennis Township claim that Simple Life staffers poached a deer, out of season, so Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie could gut it on the show. The production company, of course, denies that they killed this particular Bambi.

The thought of watching these two morons skin a deer doesn't exactly have me running for my TiVo. Unless, of course, they do it nude. Come to think of it, I may have already downloaded that video off the internet...