Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Pat The Perv

Have you heard those (alleged) Pat O'Brien voice mails yet? No? Well, you're missing out.

Meanwhile, amid wails of hipocracy, some journalists are calling for his head, and would like him to resign from his gig as host of The Insider.

We say there's no chance of that- Paramount can't wait to cash in on the ratings bonanza awaiting him upon his return.

Meanwhile, you can check out those voicemails here. Don't play 'em at work- unless your boss is a perv. Then there'll be no problem.

Balki Alert!

VH1 has selected its next wave of washed-up wannabes who want to revive their careers on The Surreal Life.

The new cast includes America's Next Top Model judge Janice Dickinson; former slugger Jose Canseco; Sandi "Pepa" Denton of Salt-N-Pepa; Bronson Pinchot, the dude who played Balki on Perfect Strangers; Omarosa from the first season of The Apprentice; British model Caprice; and motorcrosser Carey Hart.

Will it be a hit? Of course it will, don't be ree-dik-u-lous.

Does Product Placement Pay?

It's expected that advertisers will pay over $4 billion on sneaky product placement this year... but are they getting any return on their investment?

A Boston ad agency says sometimes, like the way Sears integrates itself with ABC's hit Extreme Makeover. But the agency also thinks shows like The Apprentice, which comes close to hitting viewers over the head with a logo-emblazoned lead pipe, may be pushing the envelope a bit too far.

Gee, ya think?

Idol, Inc.

There's no end to the success of American Idol.

In addition to being the nation's top TV show, the nouveau-Gong Show is earning millions of dollars with CDs, concerts, dolls, trading cards, magazines and books.

Well, at least they're not overexposing the brand.

CBS Gets Real

Oh, goody. More reality shows.

Sure, CBS promises that their new upcoming shows are different, but it sounds like the same old crap to me:

Reunion: Regular people try to track down family members with whom they lost contact. Hosted by Melissa Gilbert. Yawn.

: Regular people get a look into an "alternative reality" byletting them see what their lives might have been like if they made a different choice earlier in life. Snore.

Shenanigans: Witness the wild and wacky daily goings-on at a restaurant in the Shenanigans chain. Some of the employees, coincidentally, happen to be improv actors. Zzzz. But don't forget to wear your flair!

Split Decision For Court TV

Court TV is going all Nick at Nite on us.

The network announced plans on Tuesday to split into two "channels," separating daytime legal coverage from its evening slate of entertainment programing.

The network's courtroom-based daytime schedule will now be known as Court TV News; investigation-themed series, movies and specials that air after 6 p.m. shall henceforth be known as Court TV but add the tagline: "Seriously entertaining."

Got it? Good.

Showtime Knows Horror

No, we're not talking about Kirstie Alley again.

Showtime, everybody's favorite also-ran pay-cable network, has given the go-ahead for production of an anthology film series called Masters of Horror. The series will feature the work of legendary horror directors Roger Corman, John Carpenter, George Romero, Dario Argento, Don Coscarelli and John Landis, among others.

Thirteen one-hour episodes already were set up for a DVD release, so it ain't nothin' but a thing to port 'em over to the little watched premium channel.

The only stipulation in the deal: producers asked Showtime to keep Kirstie away from their craft services table.

Headline News: We're Number Three!

CNN Headline News recently hired Nancy Grace to anchor its new prime-time lineup and boost ratings... and it's working. Very well, in fact: CNN's sister network has supplanted MSNBC as the third-place cable news channel.

And it's not just in primetime: for the full day, CNN Headline News beat MSNBC for the first three months of the year. Drinking Games: Alias

We've got you loaded watching CSI: Miami. We got you smashed in The O.C. Now, it's time to get you inebriated off Alias.

When a change of locale is highlighted by flying text, drink once.

When a L.A. skyline bumper shot is used, drink once.

When said bumper shot is accompanied by a disembodied and unmotivated siren in the background, drink once.

If any agent dismisses Marshall in a vaguely rude manner, drink once.

Each time Syd gives Sloane a dirty look, drink once.

Each time an agent’s earpiece inexplicably beeps, drink once.

If the episode features subtitles, drink once for each line of printed on-screen dialogue .

When Syd dons glasses that are clearly only for cosmetic, "hott librarian" eye-candy purposes, drink three times.

Each time the word “debrief,” “intel” or “communiqué” is used, drink three times.

If a cast member dons a wig or speaks in a foreign accent, finish your drink.

If Syd enters a loud Eurotrash nightclub, finish your drink.

If Marshall over-explains new gadget in a briefing, finish your drink.

If Syd wears a wig or elaborate hairstyle for a mission, Do a shot.

If Syd and Jack seemingly resolve all issues by agreeing to have dinner, do a shot.

Tracking device planted? Do a shot.

Tracking device discovered? Finish the bottle.

If a character previously and universally thought dead inexplicably returns, finish the bottle.

If said character now has an entirely different accent and personality, finish the bottle and hit yourself over the head with it.

And finally, if Sloane rips off mask to reveal he is really Lauren in disguise, drink a 12-pack.

Special thanks to Irina D. for her contributions to this piece.

Tonight's Tube

In the wake of the hideous Blind Justice, ABC tries to prove it still has enough vision to create new hit series with Tim Daly and Eyes. This, of course, after a new Lost (finally!) and Alias (I'd prefer an episode from one of the good seasons). On Bravo, Best in Show is brought to life with the new reality series Showdog Moms & Dads. And the dream might be over for NBC's American Dreams, so you better check out the season finale tonight if you know what's good for you.

Idiot Box Poll Results: Screw Cybill- Who Should Play Martha?

We asked: Dammit, Cybill already got to play Martha. Who should've gotten a shot to play the demonized domestic diva instead?

You answered:
David Spade 59%
Ana Gasteyer 22%
Kathleen Turner 14%
Goldie Hawn 3%

Static From The Geek-In-Chief: Censor This, Fuckers

This week, it becomes more clear that the FCC is drooling at the prospect of adding cable TV to its increasing sphere of influence. They want to regulate pay TV (meaning, a service people voluntarily request by paying money for it) and hold it to the same, ever-tightening standards that over-the-air broadcasters must (according to this appointed panel of Nancy-boy wusses) adhere to.

Isn't anyone else scared by this prospect? How about irritated? Or even enraged? I'm starting to feel a bit of all three.

I don't want to turn this column into some sort of big, whiny diatribe against censorship. But I can't help but wonder when average people (and I know you're out there) who feel like they're smart enough to decide what to watch and what not to watch will stand up and tell the FCC to stick it.

As a person who generally votes conservative, I'm way more moderate when it comes to social issues. And the only thing I want censored from TV is American Idol (now that's offensive!) I don't want anyone telling me what I can and can't watch- especially when I'm paying extra for the priviledge. I'm shelling out 100 beans a month so I can enjoy cheezy titty flicks and potty-mouthed comics- and it shouldn't be illegal for me to get 'em!

I'm fully aware of the responsibility that comes along with said adult fare. I know I have to keep it from the kids, although I'm sure the average 8 year old hears far worse language on the playground than on the most recent episode of Deadwood.

Sure, it's easy to sit quiet and do nothing. Maybe censorship on TV hasn't affected you personally just yet. If you only watch Jeopardy and SpongeBob, maybe it never will. But it scares me that a small, extremely determined group of people can dictate policy for the masses because of sheer indifference.

With all due respect, they can thump their Bibles all they want. But that thumping doesn't replace common sense, or good parenting, or our right to freedom of speech, no matter how loud.

So let's all watch this situation carefully, and be prepared to act. After all, The Shield would really suck without the curse words.

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Tuesday Trivia Solved: Who's The Boss? week, day two

What was the name of the Bower-Micelli dog?

A) Rover
B) Rocky
C) Jim
D) Grover

Answer: D) Grover.