Thursday, May 26, 2005

Upfront: Which Show Won't Survive?

Which will be the first show cancelled when the fall TV season kicks off? Vote now in the right hand column!

Get Lost! "Exodus" Parts 2 and 3

I spent the day absorbing the finale of Lost (Exodus Parts 2 and 3). I am not sure that I can really sum up in words how I feel about it. I am both disappointed and excited for next year. On one hand - holy "smokes," what is that monster? And that whole Arzt thing - hilarious! "You've got some Arzt on you" - Hurley, best...quote...ever.

On the other hand - The Frenchwomen going all sobby... The hatch having a broken ladder.... the "others" on the boat taking Walt... and the ridiculous time-wasting scenes with Hurley running thru the airport... and the constant fascination with the numbers (4,8,15,16,23,42... did you see the kids wearing the soccer jerseys in the airport scene?)... makes me so frustrated at the lack of answers - it's like we were given a clue but no idea as to what.

I've spent a good part of the day reading internet message boards and maybe everyone else's opinions sum it up better than mine - here are a few from comments left at Lost Remote:

"The show best represents how each character is lost. Locke searching for the meaning of life... Rousseau being lost for 16 years... Sawyer wanting to die... Charlie to overcome his addictions (or not)..."

"Jack saving Locke in the hole.... Walt's abduction at sea.... Sayid's breakneck pace thru the jungle with Charlie to the black smoke... The scene of everyone boarding Flight 815.... Claire's statement of disbelief in many things I loved."

We have a long summer and a long wait for the Season 1 DVD ahead of us. In the meantime, may i suggest catching The 4400 on USA starting June 5. It should tie you over.

Fox Wins!

Despite early predictions that its biggest hit American Idol would take a step backwards this year, Fox has won its first-ever September-to-May victory among adults 18-49- the numbers that really matter to advertisers.

The network's victory is especially impressive, given the awful cards they dealt themselves to start the season (The Next Great Champ or Rebel Billionaire, anyone?)

The race was exceptionally tight, with just .6 of a ratings point separating Fox, CBS (an unbelievably second), ABC (third and rising) and NBC (in the toilet, going from first to worst). Among total viewers, CBS finished first, averaging 13.1 million viewers. NBC finished second in that race (11 million), followed by Fox (9.6 million) and ABC (9 million).

NBC News: Headless?

Neal Shapiro, the president of NBC News since 2001, has told his superiors that he wants out, presumably before he gets pushed.

On his watch, Today, NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press have all been consistently No. 1. However, Today, which is a huge cash cow for the network, lately has been running neck and neck with ABC's Good Morning America.

No hints as to who Mr. Zucker may be considering to succeed suspenders-man.

UPN Has No Love for Dougherty

Man, this broad must really piss people off.

Just days after appearing at the UPN upfront touting her upcoming new show Love, Inc. the network has dropped her from the series. Their excuse? "Preview audiences were not responding to her."

They needed to show this to focus groups to figure that out?

More Comings and Goings

Lots of firings and hirings in Hollywood yesterday:

✘ Gap-toothed, big-breasted Laura San Giacomo (Just Shoot Me) is no longer part of the cast of the WB's Related.

✘ Rachael Leigh Cook is departing Fox's new Chris O'Donnell-led drama series Head Cases.

✘ Sarah Clarke (24) is out at NBC's new Pentagon-set drama E-Ring.

✘ Becki Newton is out of The Loop, Fox's upcoming comedy series.

✘ Sasha Alexander is leaving CBS'NCIS.

✘ Monica Potter and Rhona Mitra out at ABC's Boston Legal, to be replaced by Julie Bowen (of Ed and a recurring role on Lost) and a chick to be named later.

NBC Nabs Court TV programming

Looking for some cheap summer filler, NBC will co-opt some more of Court TV's programming.

Beginning in June, NBC will air episodes of Court TV's Psychic Detectives on Wednesdays, leading into Law & Order.

It's the third programming agreement between NBC and Court TV: in 2002, NBC aired Court TV's Forensic Files. The two networks also co-produce Dateline/Court TV specials.

Just Call Him "Death Wish" Danza

You'd think after crashing his go-kart a few weeks ago, talk show mega-klutz Tony Danza would be a bit more careful.

But now, he's apparently jumping onto the roofs of taxicabs?

I hope his insurance is paid up.

KenJen Loses!

Turns out Ken Jennings ain't all that.

The all-time Jeopardy! champ lost a three-day tournament of champions and a $2 million prize to some dude from Pennsylvania, who beat Jennings in three individual games.

Jennings' consolation prize? That Comedy Central deal. Not too shabby.

Wiggin' Out! with Sydney Bristow! Week 20

Welcome to Wiggin' Out! with Sydney Bristow... our exclusive weekly wig count of the totally impregnated Alias star Jennifer Garner.

Episode 4 x 22: "Before the Flood"

No wigs this week, but who the hell cares- JJ finally cuts the crap and gives us a classic Alias-caliber episode! With plenty of baddies, intrigue, a hell of a cliffhanger ending- and even some zombies thrown in for good measure!

This nearly makes up for the mostly lackluster season. Hopefully, s5 will start off at this level in the fall and continue to improve- otherwise its new timeslot (Thursdays, 8pm) could mean curtains.

"Before the Flood" total: 0 wigs

Final season 4 wig total:
15 wigs

Sportztyme! Sportzpourri

I know you've been sworn in, I have read your complaint.

Just a couple of things that caught my eye this week.....

First off, I have to admit I didn't watch any of The Contender this year, NBC's boxing version of American Idol. But I did flip around the other night to see the season finale... when all the talk ended and the punches started flying. I don't know if the entire season was like this... but the finale was very compelling. Even Kelly Ripa (hott, hotter, hottest!!!), who doesn't strike me as the world's biggest boxing fan, sought fit to comment on how riveted she was to the season ending bouts.

And I think HBO or Showtime would be wise to give Sylvester Stallone a shot as a boxing commentator. I know he has no real ring experience, but he clearly shows an interest and knowledge of the sweet science that validates his thoughts on the sport. I found myself paying more attention to his insightful and enthusiastic commentary than some of the action in the ring. I'm not saying you throw him on the high-dollar fights right away, but he is already better than half the no-minds they are asking to grunt through their telecasts now.

The second thing brought to my attention was the list of last week's most watched cable programs in the preferred demo of Adults 18-49. According to Nielsen Media Research... the top four programs (and 6 of the top 7) were either live sports or sports-related programs. And taking 2 of the top 3 slots for the week were WWE's Monday Night Raw... drawing over 3 million viewers for their second hour. Most people (our esteemed Geek-in-Chief included) will dismiss this as tripe and uneducated flotsam. But numbers are numbers and for the most part they do not lie. Sports and even sports entertainment can and always will draw big numbers in this country.

Gotta go. Gotta game.

Uncle Buster writes the brilliant but occasionally flotsam-filled Sportztyme! every Thursday.