Monday, April 11, 2005

NBC Plans Overhaul For Fall

NBC Entertainment Presient Kevin Reilly is hoping to bring the network out of its ratings doldrums next year. How? By choosing from NBC's most eclectic assortment of pilot contenders in years.

Not surprisingly, the Peacock plans to get back into the comedy business- big time. 13 of their 19 pilots are half-hour laughers. There are also some interesting dramas in the running, including the Jerry Bruckheimer pilot E-Ring, 70's cop drama NY-70, and the sea monster thriller Fathom.

Hopefully they'll choose more wisely than last season. Hawaii, anyone?

Legally Shelved

ABC has decided to play its strongest hand.

Rather than returning Boston Legal to its plum Sunday night, post-Desperate Housewives timeslot, it's going to keep the newer, higher rated Grey's Anatomy there instead.

Anatomy has been pulling in almost 5 million viewers a week more than Legal.

The good news: the five unaired episodes from this season will be added to next season's order, bringing the total number of the Shatner-Spader drama to 27.

Return to Mars

In a development that's sure to send our own Irina D. into a euphoric Wendy's-fueled celebratory binge, UPN ratings lightweight Veronica Mars has been given an early renewal for a second season.

Like most people, I've never seen a second of this show, but all three people I know who have seen Mars give it rave reviews. I'm happy for them. Plus it keeps white-hott babe Kristen Bell on the tube.

Maybe a DVD set of season one is in the offing? Please?

TLC: "We Killed Spaces"

Have you had enough of Trading Spaces? Thought so.

TLC knows it has, like, totally overexposed the once-popular fix-up show, and is trying to reverse its downward ratings slide. Perky host Paige Davis has been axed, and the show has just debuted it new, hostless format.

As if that makes a difference. It's over, guys... time to turn the Paige- for real- and try something different.

Apprentice Contestant Pinched

Real estate millionaire Chris Shelton, a contestant on NBC's The Apprentice, was arrested Sunday on a disorderly conduct charge.

Shelton, 22, one of six remaining contestants competing for a job with Donald Trump, was taken into custody early Sunday at a Florida casino for freaking out over a $20 cover charge. He was released after posting $250 bail.

It's unclear how far Shelton made it in the competition, as the outcome is kept under wraps. The entire season, except for the final episode, has been put in the can.

Financial Thunder from Down Under

In a disturbing development, kiddie crooners The Wiggles have unseated Nicole Kidman as the richest perfomers in Australia.

The foursome, who began as guests on Barney (how's that for a resume?), made more than $34 million last year from CDs, videos and other junk- most of it bought by silly Americans keen on destroying their kids' minds.

Actor Russell Crowe is third with an estimated $21 million.

Desperate For 99 Words: 4/10/05

Here's this week's 99 word recap of Desperate Housewives.

Carlos and Gabrielle are experiencing wedded bliss via divorce threats, post nuptial agreements, tampered birth control pills, and the urge to boink the (ex)gardener. Susan's mom wants to move in after leaving her boyfriend, much to Susan's dismay. After detectives question Paul about that old toy chest full o' hacked up woman, Felicia decides to tell Zachary about his early years in Utah. Lynette drops her kids off with Bree, who doles out a spanking to naughty boy Porter, thus infuriating nondisciplinarian Lynette. And Bree learns that Andrew thinks he might be gay. Music to a repressed Catholic's ears!

Desperate For 99 Words airs every Monday on

Tonight's Tube

It's an explosive 24 tonight: will the President perish? Can CTU catch the bad guy? Will Bauer stop to take a whizz? Answers to those questions- and more!

The Geek Files: JAG Off The Air

Bet you thought nobody under the age of 50 watched JAG. Well, Pusher is back to prove you wrong.

Damn terrorists! Seriously, y'all ruined JAG.

By May of 2001 Harm and Mac were kissing on the porch during Mac and Brumby's engagement party. For those of us who had waited six years for them to knock boots, we were halfway home. Just one bad costumed ratings stunt (Oy - remember that reenacted pirate episode? Yikes.) then a cliff-hanger season finale brought about the most anticipated season premiere for September 2001.

Harm was lost; adrift in the ocean and only Mac's psychic ability could save him. Sure it sounded like Passions but who cared? Harm would return to Mac, break-up with Renee, and get Mac to dump Brumby. Let's get this party started!

Then real-life horror created my TV nightmare. JAG suddenly became a military drama. Period. Mac was deployed to a carrier, everyone went to Afghanistan, Bud had his leg blown off and no one kissed anyone. Dude, I didn't sign up for this. By the time the writers were forcing Mac and CIA hack, Webb, together I went AWOL.

When news came last week that JAG was ending I figured the time had come. They're last chance to complete the mission. And after four years of abandonment I'm going to crawl back and watch the finale and pray that they get it right.

Because if they don't, the terrorists win.

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