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Monday, March 06, 2006

Tubeservations: The Oscars

Another year, another excruciatingly self-important Oscars telecast.

In a year where most of the nominees were obscure, art-house films, most expected a ratings drop for the interminable awards show. And they got it, with a 10% decrease from last year. Of course, last year's host, Chris Rock, probably drew more curious viewers looking for controversy than the funny but overrated Jon Stewart, who did an adequately average job as emcee.

There were a couple of high points- Ben Stiller's green screen gag, the Will Ferrell/Steve Carell makeup skit- but the telecast otherwise suffered from blandness and self-importance ("Go to the theatre! Don't rent!"). Oh, please.

The low point? A trembly and overmatched Lauren Bacall fumphering her intro, possibly due to a faulty teleprompter. She looked noticeably upset as she finished. Painful to watch.

And how many montages does one show need? Yeesh.

Back to Stewart. He had some funny lines, but most seemed to fall flat in the theater. I dug the Stephen Colbert-narrated attack ads. I wouldn't expect him to host again. And why would he want to? It seems like a can't-win job for a comedian. Even the press, who is constantly fellating the Dail Show host in print, agreed his performance didn't set the world on fire. I guess it's back to basic cable for him.

Thank heavens for TiVo. I was able to zip through the whole schmegagy in about 90 minutes. 90 minutes, of course, that I'll never get back.

No, Really, She's Back This Time

The least-awaited return to prime-time TV finally happens tonight: Elisha Cuthbert's Kim Bauer returns to 24 tonight.

Thankfully Cuthbert, who plays the annoying, underwritten daughter of Jack Bauer, will only return for a few episodes.

A misleading USA Today article a few weeks back led many (including us) to think the character was returning sooner than tonight. The reprieve was welcome, but, alas, it seems to really be happening .

We can only hope the mountain lions get the job done this time.

Charmed No More

The merging of UPN and the WB seems to have claimed its first victim.

A WB spokesman says the series, which stars Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs, will end after eight seasons in May.

This crap has been on eight years?! Now that's magic.

More Trouble In ABC's Oval Office

More behind the scenes changes are in store for the turmoil-laden ABC drama Commander in Chief.

Steven Bochco, who replaced original showrunner Rod Lurie last fall, is now out of the day-to-day operations but will remain as an Executive Producer.

Last week, Broadcasting & Cable magazine reported that Bocho was unhappy with ABC execs, who were giving him too many notes on the show. Which seems appropriate, considering the show's continual slide into the ratings abyss.

Dee Johnson will take over the increasingly ignored Geena Davis drama. It now seems like a headache that ABC will surely eliminate at the end of the season.