Monday, June 20, 2005

David Spade's Hollywood Minutes

Weaselly former Saturday Night Live Just Shoot Me star David Spade has signed on to host a new series spoofing Hollywood, celebrities and the people who cover them on Comedy Central.

The Showbiz Show with David Spade will premiere in September, and will feature a comical take on Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood with on-location field pieces, actual footage, celebrity guests and a cast of faux critics and correspondents, the network said.

If you think it sounds Daily Show-esque, you're not alone.

Where She Is, Miss America?

With three months to go before its traditional start, the Miss America Pageant is still without a TV contract and has yet to announce a date for the competition, which is usually held in September.

Pageant officials have said they are considering a shift away from the usual structure of the fading pageant in favor of a multi-day reality show hat reveals secrets and backbiting of the contestants. Still, no network has signed on the dotted line.

I have the solution in three words: Full. Frontal. Nudity.

Tell us how you'd save Miss America! Vote now in our Idiot Box poll- in the right hand column!

There Goes the Neighborhood

ABC is preparing a new reality show where some closed-minded neighbors neighbors get to choose who will move into a vacant house on their street.

They'll get to choose from a diverse group including African-American, Caucasian, Korean, Latino and gay families, plus one heavily tattooed set of spouses, and one that features a couple of witches. Fair-housing and gay anti-defamation activists are fuming, which means this will be an interesting watch for sure.

It's Not TV. It's HBO. So Why Aren't You Watching?

HBO could use a real Comeback of its own.

Though still wildly profitable, the premier pay cable channel is suffering some serious ratings erosion as its hit shows age and its new shows bomb.

Through the end of May, HBO's average prime-time viewership was down to 25% from the same period in 2004. Why the losses? Deadwood lost 2 million viewers year-to-year; The new seasons of Six Feet Under and Entourage are hemorraging viewers; and Carnivale's ratings bottomed out, causing its cancellation.

And Kudrow's uneven new show has been largely ignored by viewers.

Still, don't feel too bad for HBO: the network made over a billion bucks last year, partially fueled by DVD profits from The Sopranos and Sex and The City.

Batman Begins Its TV Life On FX, AMC

The smash hit Batman Begins has already found a home on TV.

FX cable channel has purchased the rights to the movie for $25 million, sharing the wealth with fellow basic cable channel AMC. FX will first air the movie in late 2007 or early 2008, around the time the Cruise-Holmes divorce is being finalized.

Shameless Synergy, Part 1

This is CNN: The shilling, corporate, synergistic version.

The network will run 25 minutes of clips from sister channel HBO's film The Girl in the Café as part of an hour long special on the film.

To try and obscure the fact that this is nothing more than a intra-corporate commercial, the special will be padded out with a Christiane Amanpour interview of Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain on the subject of global poverty.

So much for CNN being a true news network.

Shameless Synergy, Part 2

NBCU knows synergy.

All of the networks of the NBC Universal empire will simultaneously telecast the world premiere of the first trailer for Universal Pictures' King Kong, directed by Peter Jackson.

The nine networks (NBC, USA, Bravo, Sci-Fi, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, MUN2 and Universal HD- how many did you name?) will all air the two-minute, 30-second teaser trailer at the same time on Monday, June 27, at 8:59 PM ET.

Celebrity Deathmatch to MTV2

MTV2 is getting back in the ring with new episodes of Celebrity Deathmatch.

The former hit MTV series, which features Claymation celebrities squaring off in violent duels, is one of a trio of new series MTV's sister channel is launching along with three other returning programs to its Sic 'Em Friday night block.

May we suggest some early bouts?

Tom vs. Katie
Britney vs. Kevin
Star Jones vs. anyone

Also, as an aside: wasn't the whole point of MTV2 to, you know, PLAY MUSIC? Since MTV doesn't?

Tonight's Tube

ABC Family trots out Wildfire, where a girl gone wild gets a new lease on life- working on a ranch.

Huibba, hubba.

No chance for nudity on ABC Family, though. Dang it.

The Geek Files: Foul-ups, Bleeps, and Blunders

After hours of scientific research* I've come to the conclusion that there is but one "Funniest TV Blooper." Here's how it happened...

It started with some vodka... Oh wait. That's not the important part. Here are the criteria:

1. The screw up should be something all age groups can enjoy. Yes, in-jokes with adult humor are great - especially when you can laugh at it and make up a reason why it's so funny to your clueless kids - but wouldn't it be that much more special to laugh WITH them? (Shut up - just go with me on this one.) Unfortunately, this eliminates one of my all time favorites - a classic X-Files outtake in which Scully goes down on Mulder in an elevator. Bummer.

2. The blooper has to have a celebrity. Sure, strangers can be funny but in terms of mass appeal the more people who recognize the participants, the better. For this reason, game show bloopers are out. So that Newlywed Game mishap with the "up the ass" comment is no good. It is hilarious but it's not so much a TV mistake as a misunderstanding.

3. It has to be from a fictional TV show. News bloopers don't count. They suck anyway. How many times can you watch a naked person run through a reporter's stand-up or listen to a weatherman pronounce "percent" as "penis"?

The conclusion is obvious. The Carol Burnett Show is a haven for blooper perfection. The reigning champ? Tim Conway describing the Siamese elephants at the fair. When he joins his hands and makes that "farrnnnerff!" sound like a muffled elephant roar, it is simply unparalleled in this field. The man knocked Dick Van Dyke off a couch with laughter! It has to be funny. And it has to be "The Funniest TV Blooper."

*minutes of coin flips