Thursday, March 24, 2005

Web Whiparound: Will Americans Give Office Some Space?

The inevitable comparisons have begun between the brand-new NBC remake of The Office and the BBC Original. And while few critics deem it as good as the one from across the pond, many seem surprised that it's as enjoyable as it is, easy to do when you consider Coupling. NBC's last disastrous adaptation.

Personally, I can't wait to see it, even though I fully expect it to be disappointing.

Related links:
NY Daily News: "It doesn't work for us"
NY Post: American "Office"-mates are just fine
USA Today: NBC copy machine misfeeds at The Office
Chicago Sun Times: The Office gives wage slaves a laugh
Boston Herald: Office comedy should put in some OT
Seattle Press Intelligencer: Office "Potentially tragic, touch-and-go experiment"
Philadelphia Inquirer: Getting a laugh at The Office shouldn't be awfully hard work
LA Daily News: Office "A surprisingly effective reimagining of a bona fide comic treasure"
Chicago Tribune: American version of The Office works on many levels
Washington Post: Passable Duplicate Of the Brit Hit
Boston Globe: Painfully Funny
SF Gate: Miracle time- Americanized Office is good

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Prime Time NFL Package: A Loose Ball

Even though Fox and CBS have renewed their Sunday football packages, ESPN/ABC are still balking at the cost of renewing their Sunday/Monday night packages.

This could cause a network change, or even see some big games go to the fledgling NFL Network (which may be the intended endgame anyway). A new Thursday/Saturday package is also being pitched to some football-free outlets.

Wife Slap

A father who allegedly struck his 13-year-old daughter during the taping of an episode of ABC's Wife Swap has forced the network to scrap the entire episode.

Which is ironic, because the only way I'd actually watch Wife Swap is if someone threw me a beating.

Fox Calling Dushku; Pleasant Gets Disconnected

Sizzlin' hott Buffy alum (and the Geek-In-Chief's future second ex-wife) Eliza Dushku brings her smokin' bod (as well as her hideously unwatchable show) back to TV as Fox finally decides to burn off the remaining episodes of the truly crappy Tru Calling.

Oh, and to make room, Fox battle-axed Point Pleasant. I don't know about you, but we're devastated.

NBC Ends Watch

After six seasons, NBC is pulling the shades on Third Watch.

The Peabody-winning show, on hiatus to make room for Law & Order: Trial by Jury, will return at some point with a series finale.

Ye Gads! More Annoying Pilot Info

Jenna Elfman has landed the lead role in CBS' comedy pilot Everything I Know About Men.... Jonathan Silverman, hated by millions as The Single Guy, will give it another whirl and star in a CBS untitled project. He'll play one of three adult siblings who rally to support their eccentric professor father... The ubiquitous Martin Mull has been cast in NBC's Thick and Thin, which centers on a former fat woman (Jessica Capshaw) with image issues... John Leguizamo will play a sports agent in an untitled CBS drama pilot...Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Brian Austin Green has been tapped to co-star opposite Freddie Prinze Jr. in Prinze's untitled comedy pilot for ABC. Sounds... awful.

Wiggin' Out! with Sydney Bristow: Week Eleven

Welcome to this week's Wiggin' Out! with Sydney Bristow... the internet's most accurate place to keep track of of J-Gar's Alias wigs.

Episode 4 x 12: "The Orphan"

This week, our beloved Syd slaps on some blonde and curlies in Minsk with Dixon. Just like old times! And if we were in the business of counting Nadia’s wigs, this week's number would be at least one higher.

Next week's forecast: The promo shows Syd wigless (and, potentially, soon-to-be-airless) in a casket. Prospects for fake hair wearin'? Not good. But let's savor the present.

"The Road Home" total: 1 wig

Season total:
10 wigs

Survivor 10 in 99- Plus! Week Six

99 word synopsis: Without Angie, Ulong was left with four members and zero personality. James berated Ibrahem for his pitiful performance in the immunity challenge. In a nail biter reward, Ulong, lead by Stephanie, won when they used a cannon to destroy eight tiles bearing the Koror name. Finally, after winning a challenge, Ulong was rejuvenated and made a new commitment to each other and the game. Which lasted for about a day. After losing an unprecedented sixth straight immunity challenge, another tie vote caused Stephanie and Bobby-Jon to choose between James and Ibrahem. They sent James back to his redneck past.

If I had a vote: The choice between James and Ibrahem was a tough one. Do you vote out the annoying, slightly racist, cocky-for-no-reason James, or the incredibly-fit-but-somehow-ineffective-at-challenges Ibrahem? I was sorry James went before it became obvious to his team that he's actually a complete jackass.

My favorite so far: Stephanie's a fighter and has managed to persevere despite all the losing. If she makes it to the merge and wins some personal immunities, she could be trouble.

Tonight's Tube

Tonight, after much hoopla from the press (and fretting from fans of the original), NBC’s translation of The Office finally punches in. On ABC’s Extreme Makeover, the annoyingly tasty Jenny McCarthy makes over her mom. And, of course, for those who’ve bet the kids’ college funds, the NCAA tourney continues on CBS.

Wednesday Trivia Solved: X Files Week, day three

What was Mulder's mother's name?

A) Tina
B) Samantha Ann
C) Margaret
D) Melissa

The answer: A), and as our own Pusher points out, it's "Teena." (golf clap)

Sportztyme! These Hoop Dreams Are A Nightmare

ESPN, please spare me.

I know that your network is the 5000 pound elephant when it comes to televised sports. You’re one of the main reasons NASCAR is so popular today, and have given outlets to sports and athletes that might not otherwise have never been noticed.

But PLEASE, if you’re listening: stop shoving women's basketball down my throat!

ESPN can't get the men's NCAA tournament because CBS has that sewn up for the foreseeable future. And I know alternative programming is what you go with when the opposition has something solid. But there's a reason we watch sports in the first place, and several reasons why most women's sports just aren't popular:

We can't hit a curveball 400 feet. But Mike Piazza can, so we watch baseball.

We can't hit a drive 325 yards. But Tiger Woods can, so we watch golf.

We can't drive 200 mph. But Jeff Gordon can, so we watch NASCAR.

We can't dunk and shoot threes, but these NCAA teams can, so we watch the tournament.

Guess what? Women can't dunk or play above the rim either. Why would you watch something on TV that you could see or better yet, take part in down at the local Y? But ESPN would have us believe that women's hoops is an event not to be missed.

It has a place and it has its fans. I'm not saying it's not important and that no one is watching, but to constantly overload us with promos touting these girls as athletes on the same level as the network’s other sports is just annoying.

On Wednesday night, Pat Summitt, the women's coach at the University of Tennessee won her 880th game, passing the overall NCAA record set by legendary North Carolina men's coach Dean Smith. It's an honorable achievement to be sure, but to compare the two marks as equal is to say that George Washington and Jimmy Carter were both pretty good presidents.

If you get your sponsors, and you get your ratings, more power to you: after all, making money is the bottom line. But don't expect me to be tuning in. I'll be at the gym working on my post move.