Archive for November, 2007

KNTV’s Allen Denton bids Farewell to Bay Area

As announced in my Nov. 14 blog entry, Allen Denton has left KNTV-Channel 11 news and tonight was Allen’s final newscast.

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At the end of the 11 p.m. news, his co-anchors bid him a fond farewell, with Lisa Kim saying that Denton would be “movin’ on to near Nashville to actually having a real life outside of news.”

“We’re going to try,” Denton says, adding he will miss “all of you,” then added “y’all” before laughing about taking on the twang.

A few snapshots, then it was over.

According to the bio posted on the KNTV-Channel 11 Web site, Allen started in the business while still in high school as a radio DJ and spent the next 10 years working at several radio stations, holding positions in sales, news, programming, and eventually management. Allen landed his first TV job as an anchor/reporter in Bowling Green, Kentucky and anchored at three other stations before calling the Bay Area home.

When he’s not at work, Allen usually trades in his suit and tie for a tank top, cotton shorts and a pair of sandals. In his spare time, Allen enjoys gardening. Allen and his wife, Mary Jo, have two sons, Spencer is following in his dad’s footsteps, working as a TV Meteorologist in Alabama and his other son is attending college in San Diego.

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Web and striking writers

Pencils down means pencils down.

Except, of course, when the striking writers want to romp on the Web. And of course the irony is lost on no one that these guys are writing for the Web when the main sticking point in the negotiations is over pay they think they should get from the studios for their work being used on the Internet.

Having made that point, it seems like TV and movie writers, like Judd Apatow, have been using their free time to make some pretty funny videos that are being posted on the Web.

We like Judd’s piece starring Palo Alto’s James Franco and Mila Kunis in a spoof of “The Hills” that was posted on the Funny or Die web site.

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With the assistance of Christina Applegate, “Samantha Who?” writer Bob Kushell churned out this little piece on how his marriage is suffering because of the strike. Bob says since his wife was uncooperative, the part was played by Christina.

But really, what can these guys actually do if they can’t write?


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Survivor:China Backstabbing

Oh, yeah. Time to let the dogs out.

When Peih-Gee won the challenge to go to the Shaolin Temple, she picked Hunky Eric and Lunch Lady Denise to come along. Turns out Denise has some wicked karate moves, which she shared with the people at the Kung-Fu temple. Very cool.

But without the three, the remaining Survivors back in camp could plot like MacBeth witches around a cauldron.

The surprise came when Amanda told the camera that she didn’t see herself being in the final four with any of these hound dogs. And who could blame her? Machiavellian Todd, ripped James and skinny mini Courtney.

Please snuff out Courtney. Please snuff out Courtney.

Of course, it’s too soon for that to happen. Too soon strategy wise, never too soon for me.

Why do I dislike Courtney in this game? Because she’s an idiot, and an annoying idiot to boot. Case in point: Before the challenge, both she and Amanda plotted to get James out if he didn’t get immunity. Of course, James could still use one of the two immunity idols he already possesses. But everyone figures he won’t do that because he’s still feeling secure.

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Jeff Probst (left) watches as the survivors (l-r) Amanda Kimmel, James Clement ,Courtney Yates, Erik Huffman, Todd Herzog and Peih-Gee Law prepare for the Immunity Challenge

But at the challenge, Courtney insisted on giving the wink-wink, nod-nod to Amanda all through the challenge, which James ultimately lost. If he had even a smidgeon of observational skills, he would have noticed the scheming taking place and used one of the idols at Tribal Council.

But he didn’t.

Todd took the biggest risk tonight, because if James had been canny enough to use the idol, then Todd would have been snuffed for sure. And he knew it. Still, he’s enough of a gamesman to risk it, and the risk paid off handsomely.

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Todd, you are the ultimate player

Actually, it was amazing strategy on the part of Todd, Amanda, Courtney and Denise. They got rid of possibly the strongest player in the game AND both of the immunity idols. James just trusted too much. He should have known people were gunning for him.

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James, you shoulda played the idol.

You can check out James’ final words on the Survivor site.

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Writers Strike: End in Sight?

It looks like there could be some movement in the writer’s strike. This statement was released this evening by the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, although no statement has been issued by the Writers Guild of America.

“The AMPTP today unveiled a New Economic Partnership to the WGA, which includes groundbreaking moves in several areas of new media, including streaming, content made for new media and programming delivered over digital broadcast channels. The entire value of the New Economic Partnership will deliver more than $130 million in additional compensation above and beyond the more than $1.3 billion writers already receive each year. In response, the WGA has asked for time to study the proposals. While we strongly preferred to continue discussions, we respect and understand the WGA’s desire to review the proposals. We look forward to resuming talks on Tuesday, December 4.

We continue to believe that there is common ground to be found between the two sides, and that our proposal for a New Economic Partnership offers the best chance to find it.”

We want the writers to get a fair shake, but we also want to get new episodes of “Lost,” “Pushing Daisies” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” If the WGA thinks this is a good offer, things could be back on track pronto.

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Project Runway: Man O’Fashion

“What was it they had right before the Titantic sunk? Oh, yeah. Panic.”

Steven nailed it. Tonight, the designers were in full-on freak mode as they struggled to make something snappy in men’s wear for “Today” correspondent Tiki Barber. The designers admitted they didn’t know much about designing for men and that was an understatement. The clothes overall were horrible.

Even the tonight’s top designers shouldn’t be patting themselves on the back. It was more about judging the best among the mediocre. There was a sea of barely wearable, with the bottom trio justifiably ashamed of what they had created.

“This challenge is going to be so difficult to judge because there’s going to be so many things that are so jacked up,” Christian said, summing up the fashion disaster that was tonight’s show.

True words, Christian my friend.

U.C. Berkeley grad Jack won the challenge with an interesting stripe pant and shirt combo. He wisely decided not to try to make a vest or jacket to go with it, because he knew he didn’t have the time or the expertise to pull it off.

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Jack’s creation

And speaking of pulling it off, when he couldn’t figure out how to make a pattern for the pants, he pulled his own pants off and turned them into a guide to making a pattern. Cheater? Maybe. But the judges decided to give him the win anyway.

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Jack takes the win tonight

Actually, I thought Kit’s design was better, but Tiki seemed to like the idea of parading around in stripes.

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Sweet Pea in her less haggard pre-taping days

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And her pitiful creation

Sweet Pea dodged a major bullet, probably only squeaking out because of her previous work. Her shirt’s collar went wildly out of control, with too much fabric slopping around the neck. So what did she do? Sweet P put a tie on it. That’s like the days when pregnant women put a big bow on their blouses so no one would notice the huge basketball they were carrying in their tummy.

The tearful Ricky blubbered away when he got a pass for a boring suit held together with pins and good thoughts.

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Ricky when he’s not crying

But at least he didn’t drape fabric around his model’s neck to hide the fact that he wasn’t wearing a shirt under his jacket. Tiki’s wife called the jacket very “Members Only” – a dated throwback that had problems all on its own without any help from the drapery.

And before her model could even leave the dressing room, Carmen was sewing the waistband where a button would have worked so much better. And safer. There was no doubt who was getting Auffed tonight:

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Carmen — Bravo Photo: Barbara Nitke

And the loser is….

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House: Choices – Odd Girl Out

Am I the only one who feels a little bad for cutthroat bitch?

I mean, it’s bad enough to be the last pick, but she wasn’t even a choice at all in the end. We even sort of felt sorry for her as she looked wistfully out the window. Oh, well. Moving on now.

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Poor CB, AKA Dr. Amber Volakis (Anne Dudek)

After conducting an uncoventional competition that started with 40 fellowship candidates, Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) has officially closed the case on who will join his diagnostic team in tonight’s episode.

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Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson), Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) and Dr. Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn)

Fellowship candidates Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson), Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn) and 13 (Olivia Wilde) came out the “winners” in the competition, while only CB was eliminated. Actually, Taub and Kutner (why don’t THEY have nicknames?) were the ones chosen by House.

When House told Cuddy he had chosen Taub and Kutner after she suggested them, she told House she only said that because she thought House WOULDN’T take her suggestions. But hey, didn’t we all know that House was up to something when he told 13 he would have chosen her if he could have taken three of them?

The trio joins Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) as part of House’s Diagnostic Medicine team at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital. Fellowship candidate Amber Volakis, otherwise known as “Cutthroat Bitch” (Anne Dudek), was fired at the end of the episode.

House’s Diagnostic Medicine team:

Dr. Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn) – His specialty is rehabilitative and sports medicine. This wacky dude is even further out than House when it comes to how to diagnose a patient _ and that’s a whole new zip code.

Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson) – His specialty is plastic surgery. Probably the least interesting character right now IMHO (OK, so that’s a lie. I’m not so humble and neither are my opinions). Anyway, just like House, we’d like to know why Shallow Guy left a successful practice just to be tortured by House.

13 (Olivia Wilde) – Her specialty is internal medicine. She cares about her patients, but she’s no fuzzy bunny. What does make 13 tick?

Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) – Neurologist who quit at the end of last season because he didn’t want to end up like Dr. House. But after he’s fired from his next job and no other hospital will hire him because of his “House-like” reputation, Hospital Administrator Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) placed him back on the diagnostic team to watch over the brilliant but unpredictable House.

Should be a snappy new second-half season, if the writer’s strike ever ends.

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OK, I downloaded this pix just because it looked cool.Clockwise from center: Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps, Jennifer Morrison, Jesse Spencer, Lisa Edelstein.

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Tuesday Ratings Day!

Yep, it’s that day of the week when the weekly ratings report comes out. No bells, no whistles, just a nice little list of where all the shows ranked last week for you to see and ponder.

These are the regular and special primetime program rankings based on total viewers Monday through Sunday ratings from Nov. 19-25. Read ‘em and weep. I’m trying to figure out how “You’re a Bully, Charlie Brown” could have bested “Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” It’s no “Charlie Brown’s Christmas,” but still…

1 DANCING W/THE STARS-MON 22850 8.0
2 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL 21810 7.6
3 DANCING W/STARS RESULT-TU 20960 7.3
4 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES 18640 6.5
5 NCIS 17340 6.1
6 HOUSE 16890 5.9
7 60 MINUTES 16130 5.6
8 CRIMINAL MINDS 15880 5.5
9 CSI: MIAMI 15830 5.5
10 EXTREME MAKEOVER:HOME ED. 15030 5.3
11 CSI – THANKSGIVING SP 14750 5.2
12 CSI: NY 14560 5.1
13 SAMANTHA WHO? 14380 5.0
14 GREY’S ANATOMY SP-11/22 14110 4.9
15 TWO AND A HALF MEN 13910 4.9
16 COLD CASE 12980 4.5
17 SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK 12910 4.5
18 BACHELOR:AFTER FINAL ROSE 12300 4.3
19 BROTHERS & SISTERS 12250 4.3
20 WITHOUT A TRACE-THANKS SP 12210 4.3
21 AMAZING RACE 12 11800 4.1
22 LAW AND ORDER:SVU 11690 4.1
23 SURVIVOR: CHINA-THANKS SP 11580 4.0
24 RULES OF ENGAGEMENT 11480 4.0
25 BACHELOR, THE 11220 3.9
26 SAT NIGHT FOOTBALL 10960 3.8
27 HEROES 10800 3.8
28 UNIT, THE 10760 3.8
29 HE’S A BULLY, C. BROWN 10420 3.6
30 EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-7P 10370 3.6
31 DEAL OR NO DEAL-WED 11/21 10160 3.5
32 NUMB3RS 10120 3.5
33 SHARK 10070 3.5
34 GHOST WHISPERER 9980 3.5
35 CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGVING 9940 3.5
36 FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 3 9710 3.4
37 FAMILY GUY 9520 3.3
38 SIMPSONS 9010 3.1
39 BONES 8700 3.0
40 SIMPSONS SP-11/25 8:30P 8580 3.0
41 PRIVATE PRACTICE 8540 3.0
42 FAMILY GUY SP-11/25 9:30P 8450 3.0
43 HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER 8060 2.8
44 CHUCK 7790 2.7
45 WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB-11/23 7580 2.6
46 BIGGEST LOSER 4 7540 2.6
CANE 7540 2.6
48 48 HOURS MYSTERY 7520 2.6
49 BIG BANG THEORY, THE 7510 2.6
50 UGLY BETTY SP-11/22 7490 2.6
51 PUSHING DAISIES 7480 2.6
52 MOONLIGHT 7320 2.6
53 NBC MOVIE OF THE WEEK-FRI 7120 2.5
54 COPS 2 7070 2.5
55 HOUSE-MON 8P 6990 2.4
56 KID NATION 6950 2.4
57 SAT NIGHT FTBL PRE-GAME 6860 2.4
58 AMW: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK 6590 2.3
59 CRIMETIME SATURDAY 6570 2.3
60 NBC MOVIE OF WEEK8P 11/22 6560 2.3
61 COPS 6410 2.2
62 DIRTY SEXY MONEY 6370 2.2
63 PHENOMENON 6160 2.2
64 OCTOBER ROAD SP-11/22 6000 2.1
65 20/20-FRI 5820 2.0
66 JOURNEYMAN 5610 2.0
67 SIMPSONS-SUN 7:30P 5600 2.0
68 NBC SAT NIGHT MOVIE 11/24 5570 1.9
69 MEN IN TREES SP-11/23 5540 1.9
70 KITCHEN NIGHTMARES 5350 1.9
71 BACK TO YOU 5270 1.8
72 FRI NIGHT SMACKDOWN-11/23 5090 1.8
73 CRIMETIME SATURDAY 8PM 5040 1.8
74 K-VILLE 4690 1.6
75 TIL DEATH 4670 1.6
76 DON’T FORGET LYRICS 11/23 4260 1.5
77 FOX MOVIE 11/22 THKSGVNG 4130 1.4
78 KING OF THE HILL-SUN 7P 3990 1.4
79 OFFICE 11/22 3870 1.4
80 AMERICA’S TOP MODEL-3 3640 1.3
81 30 ROCK 11/24 3310 1.2
82 FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 2 3170 1.1
83 NEXT GRT AMER BAND 11/23 2580 .9
84 BEAUTY AND THE GEEK-2 2500 .9
85 GAME, THE 2350 .8
86 EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS 2150 .8
87 GIRLFRIENDS 1800 .6
88 REAPER 1770 .6
89 AMERICA’S TOP MODEL-3-ENC 1390 .5
90 ALIENS IN AMERICA 1370 .5
91 GOSSIP GIRL 1210 .4
92 RAISE YOUR VOICE-THNKS 1120 .4
93 LIFE IS WILD 1090 .4
94 ALIENS IN AMERICA-SUN 800 .3
95 CW NOW 750 .3

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Heroes: Truth and Consequences

Let’s face it. Most of us are going through a love-hate relationship with “Heroes” this season.

In this episode, we had some nice suspenseful moments that carried us through some weak stories. We’ve lost one of the Troublemint Twins, which can only be a good thing. But that Maya is really getting on my nerves. Even Sylar isn’t as compelling this season because he’s so over-the-top evil I’m surprised the didn’t give him a long mustache to twirl.

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In the creepiest kiss on TV, Sylar (Zachary Quinto) gets a smooch from Maya (Dania Ramirez) — NBC Photo: Chris Haston

Few deny it hasn’t quite lived up to expections, although the last couple of episodes have stepped up the game. But here’s what I’m not getting into:

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Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohinder Suresh — NBC Photo: Chris Haston

Suresh: I understand how the writers want to make this character go in another direction, but it just doesn’t ring true. I don’t believe he’s convinced that The Company is good and Bob’s the guy to lead the charge into a better world.

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Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrelli, Stephen Tobolowsky as Bob, Kristen Bell as Elle — NBC Photo: Chris Haston

Bad Dad Bob: He looks like a kindly papa, but we knew he wasn’t one of the good guys. That was confirmed when Noah Bennet told us about how he put his daughter Elle through unspeakable torture when she was just a child. He’s still goading her into bad deeds, and we think it’s just a matter of time before Elle gives Dad a buzz he’ll never forget.

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Kristen Bell as Elle — NBC Photo: Chris Haston
Ell-ectric: Oh, my beloved Kristen, this just isn’t working for me. You’re fabulous, but this just isn’t the role for you. Elle doesn’t strike fear, or loathing or any kind of emotion at all. You just want to toss some cold water on her to make her short out.

We’ve only got one more episode before this “miniseason” is over. It looks like we’re all back in New York again to save the world.

Yawn.

Here’s the low-down on the finale, in which we’re told heroes will die! For some of them, it can’t be soon enough.

IT’S HERO VS. HERO AS THE SERIES’ “VOLUME II: GENERATIONS” COMES TO AN EXPLOSIVE, BLOODY FINISH — Deep below Primatech Paper in Odessa, TX, Peter’s (Milo Ventimiglia) reunion with Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) turns violent when the brothers, Matt (Greg Grunberg) and Hiro (Masi Oka) all clash thanks to Adam (David Anders) and his pursuit of the deadly Shanti Virus. After watching his heroic cousin captured by a street gang, Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) turns to the one person who can help him save Monica (Dana Davis) — his mom (Ali Larter). Meanwhile, Maya (Dania Ramirez) tragically learns how much of a monster Sylar (Zachary Quinto) really is during his kidnapping of Molly (Adair Tishler) and Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy). Meanwhile, Elle (Kristen Bell) decides to play hero to get back into her father’s (Stephen Tobolowsky) good graces. Jack Coleman, James Kyson Lee and Hayden Panettiere also star.

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Adrian Pasdar as Nathan Petrelli in “Powerless”– NBC Photo: Adam Taylor

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America’s Next Top Model: Twiggy out, Paulina in

I meant to blog about ANTM on Wednesday, but there were pies to bake and turkey to thaw…you know the drill.

It was a little sad to see Lisa go, because I was hoping to see her in the top tier. Instead, she got the boot. Lisa came a long way from her exotic dancer roots, but she started a downward spiral on the show that she just couldn’t control.

The girls traveled to Shanghai, China and at the Shanghai Film Studio their first challenge was to learn some martial arts poses – and they they had to recreate the poses while being dangled on high wires
The next day, the girls met with Jay and CoverGirl representative Brent Poer to shoot their commercial and print ad for the Queen Collection. Lisa struggled to memorize her lines.

“The problem is that Lisa is only focused on failing,” Jay said. “She instantly broke down in tears.”

Heather also completely fumbled her commercial, even when she was fed the lines. But Heather’s got supermodel written all over that face.

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Heather Photo: Elizabeth Carrillo/The CW

As for Lisa, she’s got the pretty. But she’s probably not supermodel material.

“We’re not sure if you can handle the harsh realities of the top modeling business,” Tyra told Lisa before eliminating her.

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Lisa Photo: Elizabeth Carrillo/The CW

But the real news came today with the announcement that Twiggy’s moving on “due to a scheduling conflict and supermodel Paulina Porizkova will be on board for cycle 10 as a new panel judge.

Paulina’s younger than Twiggy, but she’s still past her model prime. (OK, that was bitchy). She was chosen twice by People magazine as one of the Fifty Most Beautiful People in the world, in 1990 and 1992. Which means back when these models were barely out of diapers. (double bitchy).

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International supermodel Paulina Porizkova

Here’s the part of the press release that seemed really strange. She lists her management company and her ATTORNEY. Geeze, Hollywood. Get over it.

The judging panel for cycle 10 will again be led by Tyra Banks and will also include runway expert J. Alexander and renowned fashion photographer Nigel Barker.

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“Crowned” Mother & Daughter from Hayward

Although the new CW reality show “Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants” doesn’t air for a couple of weeks, we thought we’d avoid the holiday rush and let you know that Hayward mother-and-daughter Annette and Alana _ no last names _ are featured on the show.

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Annette and Alana

“We proudly represent Hayward,” says the mother-and-daughter team, which unfortunately chose their “team name” to be Silent But Deadly.

School children across the country will be snickering over that one. It certainly got to judge Carson Kressley, who asked them how they could not think of breaking wind when they came up with the moniker.

The women looked truly perplexed by his questions, because they thought the name conjured up the image of strong, stealthy creatures rather than something that would make you leave a room with the utmost speed.

Still, the other teams didn’t do much better with names like “Reigning A’s,” “Blonde Bombshells” and, variation on a theme, “Redheaded Bombshells.”

Too bad Annette and Alana didn’t keep their original name, “Sophisticated Ladies,” because that fit the two so much better.

“Crowned” premieres at 9 p.m. on Dec. 12 on the CW.

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