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Friday, June 03, 2005

Vote in our new Idiot Box Poll!

What's worse than Dancing with the Stars? Tell us in our new Idiot Box poll!

Operators are standing by. Vote now- in the right hand column!

Geeks Of The Week

Jeff Zucker and his cronies at NBC get this week's nod. Why? They'll clearly be the last big network to sell out its commercial inventory in the upfront markets this week, despite slashing prices from last year.

They better hope they can squeeze out some hits this fall, ABC style, or they'll be checking the couch cushions in Katie Couric's office for spare change.

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

Hey, Lost fans:

Go here and click the seat numbers, in sequence, as listed above.

Pretty cool!

Chung Chung: L&O: TBJ May Return After All

Cynthia Turner's great Cynopsis reports that NBC may reconsider its earlier decision to axe Law & Order: Trial By Jury. Rumormongers whisper a midseason 13-episode pickup is a possibility.

And you know how we love to spread rumors.

ABC Dancing In The Streets

In the latest example proving the old adage, "There's no accounting for taste," ABC's Dancing with the Stars boogied its way into the winner's circle Wednesday night.

The reality show, which features quasi-celebrities being taught by professional dancers, averaged 13.5 million viewers in its Wednesday debut, easily winning the night and becoming the biggest summer series debut since Survivor in 2000.

I'll admit peeking in to this train wreck, as morbid curiosity got the best of me. But will the numbers hold up from week to week?

American Dream

Father's Day came a little early for Seth MacFarlane.

The creator of American Dad has been given an additional 13-episode order from Fox. The show is already on the network's fall schedule.

The 'toon, from the creator of the way funnier Family Guy, had an original order of 19 episodes, including the pilot.

Everybody Wins In The Evening News Race... Sorta

All three networks have something to crow about in the evening news race these days.

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams averaged 8.6 million viewers during the May sweep, compared with World News Tonight's 8.3 million on ABC.

However, World News Tonight won in the key 25-54 demographic.

And the CBS Evening News? They haven't had an anchor step down in three months now. Isn't that some sort of record?

Moonves: "The Theme is Team"

CBS News president Andrew Heyward indicated Thursday that the new, improved version of CBS Evening News will feature correspondents in a much more prominent role, somewhat de-emphasizing the traditional anchor behind a desk.

"The theme is team," Heyward said during his annual presentation to CBS affiliates. "We have a great team of correspondents we do want you to know and care about."

Heyward also suggested that the network will unveil its plans before fall season begins. Interim anchor Bob Schieffer is not expected to be named permanent anchor.

Weekend Tube

Sunday's a busy night on the tube: The season premiere of Entourage is followed by Lisa Kudrow's The Comeback on HBO. Or perhaps you'd rather watch the search for The Next Food Network Star (not me) or E!'s Fight for Fame (pass).

Hey, it's your weekend. What do you want from me?

Housewives Lead TCA Nods

The Nominees are out for this year's ABC's Television Critics Assn. Awards, and there are few surprises.

ABC's Desperate Housewives picked up a leading five nominations, while Lost and Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart earned four apiece.

Here's the full list:

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Arrested Development (Fox)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Deadwood (HBO)
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Lost (ABC)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
Arrested Development (Fox)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS)
Gilmore Girls (The WB)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
24 (Fox)
Deadwood (HBO)
House (Fox)
Lost (ABC)
Rescue Me (FX)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT MOVIES, MINI-SERIES AND SPECIALS
Lackawanna Blues (HBO)
The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers (HBO)
The Office Special (BBC America)
Something The Lord Made (HBO)
Sometimes In April (HBO)

OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
House (Fox)
Lost (ABC)
Rescue Me (FX)
Veronica Mars (UPN)

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)
Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives)
Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives)
Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond)
Jon Stewart (The Daily Show With Jon Stewart)

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Matthew Fox (Lost)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Ian McShane (Deadwood)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING
DeGrassi: The Next Generation (The N)
Dora The Explorer (Nickelodeon)
Nick News (Nickelodeon)
Postcards From Buster (PBS)
SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS & INFORMATION
60 Minutes, Sunday edition (CBS)
The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
Frontline (PBS)
Meet the Press (NBC)
The News Hour With Jim Lehrer (PBS)
Nightline (ABC)

HERITAGE AWARD
Frontline (PBS)
M*A*S*H (CBS)
Nightline (ABC)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Sesame Street (PBS)

Idiot Box Poll Results: First New Show Cancelled

We asked: What will be the first new show cancelled in the fall?

You answered:
The Ghost Whisperer: J-Love gets no love (44%)
Fathom: Success is unfathomable for this one (22%)
Inconceivable: Infertility problems make sterile TV (11%)
Commander In Chief: Geena Davis as President? Puh-leeze (11%)
Everybody Hates Chris: Will be as bad as Rock's movies (7%)
E-Ring: E-nough, Mr. Bruckheimer (3%)

Static From The Geek-In-Chief: The Summer of my Discontent



So, it's become a trend: for the last few years, the networks have shied away from summer repeats and have trumpeted their "fresh, new programming." In addition, cable networks use the weakened competitive atmosphere to launch new shows of their own. A tube lover's paradise, yes? Hardly!

Granted, reruns suck, especially when you're talking about serialized dramas. But the majority of this "fresh, new" programming is neither fresh nor new. Ninety percent of it is rehashed, warmed over, half baked reality chum dumped in the water by the networks trying to catch a guppy or two.

I understand the rationale: It's cheap, it doesn't have a little (R) next to it in the TV listings, and it beats plugging in a thirty-seventh rerun of Law and Order or CSI in its place.

But is this really the best these guys can do? Here are some of the winners planned for your summer viewing pleasure (these are not made up):

Fire Me, Please: Two people compete to see who can get fired first. Big whoop- half the people I work with seem to be playing this game on a daily basis, with no prize at stake. (CBS, June 7)

Being Bobby Brown: see also Being a Washed-Up Pop Star, Being a Felon, and Being Married to a Crack-Addicted Diva Bitch-ass Skankbag. (Bravo, June 30)

Hogan Knows Best: Hulk Hogan wrestles with being Dad. Sounds to me like you'd have to be put in a sleeper hold to sit through more than 30 seconds of this one. (VH-1, July 10)

Minding the Store: Pauly Shore attempts to save his mother's comedy club. Let me get this straight: somebody paid money to put Pauly Shore back onTV? I'm flummoxed. (TBS, July 17)

So You Think You Can Dance: Miss The Solid Gold Dancers? The producers of American Idol bring us this dance competition that's sure to turn heads- and stomachs. (Fox, July 20)

Venus and Serena: For Real: The tennis-playing sisters put their lives on display for all to judge. You know, for real. I'd rather stand in front of a serving machine sans racket for an hour. (ABC Family, July 21)

Stranded, With Cash Peters: Man travels the world with no money. Just like millions of college students do every year. Big friggin' deal. (Travel Channel, July 25)

Situation Comedy: Comedy writers compete to get their sitcom to be the next Life on a Stick. (Bravo, July 26)

The Law Firm: Attorneys compete for valuable prizes by trying real cases in court. I guess the thought of fighting for justice isn't enough. (NBC, July 28)

Meet Mr. Mom: Dad's in charge when Mommy takes a vacation- with no Michael in sight. (NBC, August 2)

Kathy Griffin: My Life on The D-List: I'd rather watch videos of her many plastic surgeries. (Bravo, August 3)

Tommy Lee Goes to College: Bad-boy Motley Crue drummer hits the university of Nebraska. Hope there's a kegger, because I'd have to be beyond loaded to watch this crap. (NBC, August 16)

And finally, the bottom of the barrel:

Battle of the Network Reality Stars: Where all those reality stars that you hate from all those reality shows you despise all congregate on one show! How fun! (Bravo, August 17)

Clearly, this "new" summer programming isn't all that hot. But it beats reruns of Blind Justice.

On second thought...

Sportztyme! Those Women Drivers



There's nothing in this world that cannot benefit from a little sex appeal.

That includes auto racing.

The speedsters at Indianapolis have been running around in circles since 1911... but never has the nation's attention been as rapt as when a 100 lb hottie got behind the wheel and threatened to beat the boys at their own game.

Danica Patrick did wonders for open wheel racing, which has been roadkill for NASCAR for the last decade or so. (A 58% increase in ratings proves my point) She also helped elevate the profile of women, not only in the IRL, but in sports in general.

She's not the first female to run at Indy... just the most successful and best looking. It doesn't hurt that she has cover girl good looks, and it certainly doesn't hurt that she knows the business end of a shift stick. Her fourth place finish validated her talents, and opened up perhaps millions of new fans, if not viewers.

Does it sound like I'm overdoing it? Well you didn't listen to ABC's coverage of the 500 on Sunday. Even with all her success, ABC managed to go over the top with their laudatory comments. Todd Harris had the play-by-play and just stopped short of a marriage proposal merely 30 minutes into the race.

"She'd definitely worth the price of admission" and "She's living up to the hype" are just two examples of Harris's supposedly unbiased coverage. Now I know Patrick was the main reason a large part of the audience was tuning in in the first place...but this wasn't even the halfway point of the race.

Later... when Patrick took the lead... Harris actually gushed, "Danica Patrick leads the 500. Everyone say a prayer."

WHAT??? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???? Say a prayer that some driver stays in the lead of some stupid race somewhere? Not only is that an affront to every religion in the world...it's also damn insulting to the 32 other drivers and teams racing their hearts out.

But Harris wasn't done. Later, noting the "history making performance" (which, granted, it was)... Harris said, "Fifty years from now, you will remember where you were."

Todd, much like you, 50 years from now, there's a decent chance I won't know where I am then, much less where I was in 2004.

Aching News: You’ll Have to Look Deep for Coverage of Mr. Throat on FNC



From the Desk of MC Hatorade at United Hate Press International:

On May 31st, 2005, one of the great stories in the history of journalism reached a sort of a denouement. If you don’t know what denouement means, look it up in the dictionary. That’s what my mother taught me to do: always read with a dictionary close by. I still do it, especially when I read The New Yorker, which requires constant trips through the pages of my Merriam Webster’s.

Yes, we had something of a denouement to the Washington Post’s historic Watergate story this week, as Deep Throat was revealed, or he revealed himself, as it were. Take a wild guess which network didn’t give a shit? Fox News Channel. That’s right. Fat-cat neocon Roger Ailes, who worked for Nixon by the way, buried the story, and had Bill O’Reilly talk about some murder story from whoknowswhere, U.S.A. because, well he’s smart. Mullet-men watch FNC. Oh, and O’Reilly also felt it crucial on the day one of the biggest stories in months hit to devote some time on his broadcast to the very important issue of people in Hollywood pushing Scientology.

It didn’t stop there. Hannity and Colmes mentioned five other stories in their show open before doing just a nuts and bolts segment on Deep Throat with Steve Cent'anni. Then they got off the topic for the rest of the hour including a lovely piece detailing how “Live Aid” was actually bad for Ethiopia back in 1985. Good lord, man. Sorry, I didn’t watch the entire show. Who can watch Hannity and Colmes for an entire hour anyway?

You know what’s great about Roger Ailes? He probably thinks MSNBC and CNN were all over the Deep Throat story so they’d have another chance to trash President Nixon. Well, Mr. Ailes, it just so happens that we have an even more pathetic Republican in office today, so why would the more “liberal” news nets care about making fun of Tricky Dick again? Even Mr. Ailes should realize that as a journalist, well, not sure he deserves that title, but as a person in the news business, that Watergate is one of the biggest news stories of all time, and it deserved the bulk of his network’s primetime attention that night. Yet another reason why FNC is not fair and balanced.

Now, the other part of their slogan…”that America trusts,” well, I don’t trust FNC, but I can’t speak for everyone.

Until next week, don’t be a CREEP, oh and did you know there was a Watergate Hotel in Thailand? I sure as hell didn’t.