Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Oprah Can't Sell Cars

Here's proof positive that everything Oprah touches doesn't turn to gold.

The armies of brainwashed hausfraus heeding the heiferous host's every whim and command finally drew the line: despite tons of publicity from her season-opening giveaway where every audience member received a Pontiac G6, the new vehicle is a colossal flop.

Sales figures show that the the brand new model didn't benefit from the Oprah exposure- in fact, it's selling less than a quarter of what the car it replaced- the Grand Am- sold. Meaning the Oprah factor was negligible, if not compeletely non-existent.

Sounds like The Big O should stick to slapping her flabby face on her magazine covers and leave the car sellin' to the pros.

Probation Pains Gold

Ex-Growing Pains star Tracey Gold was sentenced Monday to three years' probation and 240 hours of community service for a felony DUI conviction.


FCC Flipping and Flopping on F Bombs

Bono's use of the "F" word at the Golden Globes is indecent, but Democratic Convention producer Don Mischer's isn't? Exactly! Confused? Well, just ask the FCC- they'll not make sense of it for you.

Even though cable isn't under their jurisdiction (meaning; no hefty fines), the FCC ruled that Mischer's potty-mouthed slip, which was uttered and heard on CNN during the convention's botched balloon drop, wasn't obscene. The Commission also notes that viewers who wish to block "unwanted television programming" do have a number of tools available to do so. But I ask: what tools are available for those viewers who want to block "unwanted FCC interference?"

Sopranos Fans Still On Ice

Is it Spring, 2006 yet?

Why Does The TV Season Start In September?

The answer may surprise you. Click here to read an interesting Washington Post article.

Contender Continues to Disappoint

Despite the $2 million per episode price tag, NBC's The Contender is still not knocking 'em out, ratings-wise (NY Times, free signup). Even the last episode, which highlighted Najai Turpin, the contestant who committed suicide during the show's production, tanked.

Can NBC Universal salvage this growing money pit? Or do they have another Father Of The Pride on their hands?

Networks Lookin' For Laughs

One thing that NBC's potentially dicey adaptation of The Office proves: when it comes to comedy, the networks are willing to shake things up in the search for the next big hit. But will they be patient?

With Everybody Loves Raymond departing, next year could potentially be the first in, like, forever that there's no comedies in the Nielsen top ten. USA Today has a list of what the networks are planning: familiar faces, quasi-new concepts. But will there be any yuks? Have our tastes, as a society, finally evolved past the stale laugh-track saturated sit-coms that rely on overdone setup-joke-punchline structures?

The Office will tell us a lot.

Americans: "TV's Too Dirty, Ya Fucks!"

In another apparent Red State/Blue State disagreement, a new Time poll reveals that even though they think the FCC overreacted to the Janet Jackson boobfest, most Americans like their tube good-n-clean. They favor a continued clampdown on sex, violence and saucy language.

These are many of the same folks that dig Larry The Cable Guy's fart and homo jokes. How progressive of them. Git-R-Done!!!

Headline News' Graceful Entry Into Primetime

Headline News' risky break from its rigid format appears to be paying off.

In its first month, Nancy Grace is doubling what CNN-HN used to pull in. It's even clobbering MSNBC's Keith Olbermann-led Countdown, pulling in 33% more viewers.

Beats the heck out of a news wheel.

24 in 99: 8:00pm-9:00pm

JoeVideo is on assignment this week, so the Geek-In-Chief wrote his 99 word recap in his stead.

Audrey’s dying ex is rushed into surgery, and may be vegetable-ized. Michelle, unhappy with Edgar, reinstates Chloe. Evil sleeper cell dude (FakeGeneral) assumes identity of RealGeneral. Jack forces Dina to go undercover, threatening “No son for you!” The plan: Jack will be her hostage! But it goes horribly wrong! Marwan demands the lying Dina prove her allegiance by killing Jack. She tries to shoot Marwan instead. BURN! The gun’s empty! Marwan’s goons kill Dina and haul Jack away! Finally, FakeGeneral uses RealGeneral to get onto the base, kills him, hacks off a finger, and accesses… a bomber plane? Yikes!

Back to!

Monday Mouth Off! Solution

This is the mouth of a well-known actress whose most popular projects involve deadly dreams. Who is it? Answer: Patricia Arquette, of course!

Monday Trivia Solved: X Files Week, day 1

Scully's father served in what branch of the Armed Forces?

A) Army
B) Navy
C) Air Force
D) Marines

Answer B). Navy!

Geek/CounterGeek: Who's On First?

Think Vito can't get any geekier? Think again.

Geek: Doctor Who is Back... And It's About Time

British sci-fi classic Doctor Who is often ridiculed for its cheap sets, bad makeup and laughable special effects. The show was on from 1963 - 1989, so somebody liked it. Actually, it was incredibly popular for much of its run in England, and PBS reruns of the seven-year Tom Baker run won it a loyal audience in America.

The last new Who aired in 1996, a one-off TV movie that aired here on Fox. Despite the high production values, the attempt to "Americanize" the show removed what the audience loved so much about it, its uniquely British approach and sensibility.

This Saturday, Doctor Who returns to the BBC. The show is getting a huge amount of press in the UK. The biggest buzz overall, however, was when the first episode popped up on the Internet three weeks before it was scheduled to air. Reviews of the first episode varied wildly, from raves to out and out derision. I've seen the first episode and I have mixed feelings about it. I'll withhold judgment until I see more, but that may be a while- there has been no announcement as to a US broadcast.

CounterGeek: Doctor Who- Cheaper Than Ever

I could look past the shortcomings of classic Dr. Who because I thought the stories were mostly good and the acting was usually top-notch. I was excited about the revival, hoping for a Battlestar Galactica type rebirth - High production values, mature tone and themes and a 21st century feel.

Having seen the first episode, I can only say that the show has failed on all counts. Shot on video to save money, the show alternates between looking like well-done porn and Saved By The Bell. The content of the episode reminds me of The Power Rangers, with silly gags, cheesy villains and a dumb plot. The show truly seems to be aimed at eight year olds.

Christopher Eccleston, who had dead-serious roles in Elizabeth and The Others, seems to be on methamphetamines in the role of the Doctor. His portrayal is so manic and goofy it's hard to watch. It's no wonder there's no U.S. distribution deal.

What do you think? Post a comment now!

Vito's Geek/CounterGeek airs every Tuesday.

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TV on DVD: This Week's New Releases

✪ 24: Season One, Episodes 1-2
✪ Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 1, Episodes 1-2
Clutch Cargo Complete Series Volume 1 (Set)
Clutch Cargo Complete Series Volume 2 (Set)
Dora The Explorer: Big Sister Dora
Dora The Explorer: Big Sister Dora
The Flintstones: Seasons 1-3
The Flintstones: The Complete Third Season
Mary Tyler Moore: The Best of Season 1
Nova: Welcome to Mars
The Pretender: Season One, Episodes 1-2

✪ TVGS recommendation