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Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Honeymoon's Over

They've nabbed high ratings. They've won Golden Globes. Now the Desperate Housewives beauties are feeling slighted and want what's coming to them.

The stars of TV's hottest new show are looking to cash in and they're threatening to walk if they don't get a big raise.

We think the actresses clearly need the dough. The upkeep on Nicollette Sheridan's boobs alone...

Web Whiparound: The Exonerated Well-Executed

Tonight, count Court TV among The Exonerated, a dramatic TV movie telling the story of six innocent people who were convicted and sentenced to death.

Based on a successful stage production, it boasts a strong cast featuring Brian Dennehy, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, and Aidan Quinn.

It sounds a tad artsy for a Court TV made-for. But the critics are loving it. Maybe it's worth a look.

NY Post: Wrongly Convicted Get Voices
Hollywood Reporter: "Heavy Hitter"
Boston Globe: ''The Exonerated Exudes Honesty"
NY Daily News: "There's much to praise about The Exonerated"
TV Guide: "Compelling Adaption"
TV Guide: "Pulls No Punches But Packs Plenty"

ABC's Scheduling Hijinx Snaring Ratings, Enraging Viewers

If you've watched ABC on Wednesday nights, you may wonder if schedulers are smoking crack. Lost ending at 9:03? Alias finishing up at 10:02? A 20 minute opening segment before the first commercial? Well, these annoying new tricks are intentional- and in fact have helped ABC's ratings by holding on to more viewers for longer amounts of time.

Sure, it hooks us in, but this practice tries viewers' patience and wreaks havok with VCRs and TiVos. Not to mention how annoying it is to stack all the commercials between shortened segments towards the end of the program. And now I keep misisng the opening vignette of Law and Order while watching the closing moments of J-Gar's ass-kicking tour-de-force.

Since all that matters to executive is ratings, we're sure this successful trick will be implemented immediately at the other networks. Soon everyone's shows will start a minute or two late, effectively nullifying the practice- or forcing them to go even farther (running Lost until, say, 9:12 or something).

Oh, joy.

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Kiss My Ash

The Ashlee Simpson Show had its season premiere last night.

We refuse to talk about her, or her show. We just thought we'd take this opportunity to remind you of this alternative way of paying tribute to Ashlee..

223,964 people (and counting) can't be wrong.

Related Link: Stop Ashlee Simpson Petition.

Blind Justice: "This is f------ ridiculous."

If you've seen the promos for ABC's upcoming new series Blind Justice, about a sightless cop who carries a gun, you surely rolled your eyes.

So it's no surprise that real cops have similar feelings.

The fact that this show ever got made begs one question: How could a development team responsible for smash hits Lost and Desperate Housewives greenlight this turd?

Star Ron Eldard, who plays the blind gunslinger, calls his character a "ballsy metaphor" and likens the show to a great piece of art. Sounds like he at least got the "great piece" part right.

The I-Man to Become Jersey Boy

Imus moving his show to the MSNBC studios in Secaucus?

Like this will make the doddering, stammering old fart watchable?

Wiggin' Out! with Sydney Bristow: Week Four

Welcome to Wiggin' Out! with Sydney Bristow, week four... the only place on the 'net for an up-to-date count of Jennifer Garner's Alias wigs.

Episode 4 x 05: "Welcome to Liberty Village"

Big bummer: this was the second straight week of no wigs, threatening both the future of this feature, and the series!

J.J.: You better send J-Gar undercover in a wig warehouse in two weeks. Pleeeeeze.

"Welcome to Liberty Village" total: 0 wigs

Season total:
5 wigs


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Tonight's Tube

Thursday: Death penalty fan? Court TV is looking to change your mind with its special The Exonerated. An opportunistic NBC looks to capitalize on a CSI: repeat by airing a supersized Apprentice. And Everybody Loves Raymond stars Ray Romano and Brad Garrett shuffle up and deal on Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown.

Sportztyme!: Printies, Stick To Your Word Processors

There has always been an unspoken rift between members of the print and electronic media. Print reporters never think they get the credit they deserve for researching and breaking stories… both in news and sports. TV reporters and anchors always scoff at their print brethren for asking inane, long winded questions about backup punters and fourth-string long snappers.

Think about it: the average newspaper column in the sports section might take you 3-5 minutes to read. That 3-5 minutes is an eternity in the world of television. So print media has the ability to be more in depth than TV ever dreamed of being…while TV personalities are instantly recognized and receive far more credit for doing their jobs.

Somewhere in this private civil war, someone thought it would be a good idea to let the newspaper guys (and gals) take their shot in front of the camera. This has spawned a myriad of shows where a face is finally attached to a byline. The problem is the newspaper folks found that microphones have a volume control that their word processors don’t have. And they like it.

The only example of this idea that actually works is Pardon The Interruption, the ESPN gabfest with Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser both of the Washington Post. PTI, as it is commonly known, brings out the best of these two distinguished journalists. They are witty, knowledgeable, insightful… and most importantly, concise. The best part: the producers limit the amount of time the hosts can discuss each topic… keeping things moving and, more importantly, not bogging down the discussion.

But for all of PTI’s positives, there are too many other shows that are nothing but negative. The Sports Reporters puts four columnists on a set at the same time, each believing that the loudness of their yelling is directly proportional to the relevance of their argument. None is a bigger offender than Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, who I believe yells because he thinks that it makes him sound smarter. And taller.

I don’t mind putting a beat writer on the set to answer some long form questions about a team, player or situation. But these shouting contests disguised as sports forums have got to go. People used to hate Howard Cosell because he talked too much. A lot of those detractors were columnists. Time to look in the mirror folks.

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Wednesday Trivia Solved: 1985-1986, Part Three

Which of the following aired for the last time during the 1985-1986 TV season?

A) Gimme a Break!
B) Amazing Stories
C) Moonlighting
D) The A-Team

The answer is A) Gimme a Break!

Thursday Trivia: 1985-1986, Part Four

Which did NOT air on Monday night during the 1985-1986 TV season?

A) Hardcastle & McCormick
B) Scarecrow & Mrs. King
C) Kate & Allie
D) Charlie & Co

Answers tomorrow.