Archive for December, 2007

“Lost” Airlines Flights begin today

Those wacky “Lost” publicists are back at it again, sending out press releases for phony companies associated with the ABC series.

On Friday, they sent out a press release saying today Oceanic Airlines is back in business. If only the TV networks were back in business and the Writers strike was over. But that’s just my own personal New Year’s wish.

Instead we get funky press releases like this one:

December 28, 2007

OCEANIC AIRLINES ANNOUNCES ITS RETURN TO THE AIRWAYS
“TAKING YOU PLACES YOU NEVER IMAGINED”

Flights Begin December 31 To Nine Markets

Oceanic Airlines announced today their return to the airways. Beginning December 31, operations and flights to nine markets will resume, “Taking You Places You Never Imagined.” Destinations include:

Los Angeles, CA
Tustin, CA
Ames, IA
Miami, FL
New York, NY
Portland, OR
Knoxville, TN
Seoul, South Korea
Sydney, Australia

“We are very eager to resume flying and apologize for any inconvenience our temporary closure may have caused our loyal customers,” said Michael Orteig, President, Oceanic Airlines. “Oceanic Airlines is proud to be a top tier flight provider and looks forward to providing travelers with many more years of unparalleled service.”

About Oceanic Airlines
In business for over 25 years, Oceanic Airlines is a major airline carrier and offers the highest caliber of service for international and domestic flights. Destinations include Los Angeles, London, Sydney and South Korea.

###

Oceanic Airlines Contact:
Georgia Cavanagh (818) 460-5520

If you call, Georgia tells you to leave a message. Let me know if they get back to you. Also, you get an address to go to the Oceanic Airlines site There’s not much there, but then that would also be the same for the series.

Viewers were promised 16 episodes this season, with no interruption. Only eight were completed with a quasi-cliff hanger at the end that insiders say will make viewers more angry than enticed. Because of the strike, there simply aren’t any more episodes shot.

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Ben, don’t make Danielle mad. You know you don’t like it when Danielle gets angry…(ABC/MARIO PEREZ) MICHAEL EMERSON, MIRA FURLAN in the Jan. 31 season premiere of “Lost”.

But you can spend the better part of the day getting caught up with previews, recaps, webisodes and even full episodes on the official “Lost” Web site. The hilarious video recap is worth the trip to the site.

The show swaps to Thursday nights beginning Jan. 31 with an episode titled “Beginning of the End.”

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On the season premiere of “Lost” at 9 p.m. Jan. 31 on ABC, everyone looks happy except Claire (Emilie de Ravin). (ABC/MARIO PEREZ)

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Christopher Titus “Big Shots” not canceled

The one thing Christopher Titus wants you all to know is that his ABC series “Big Shots” has NOT been canceled.

“It hasn’t been picked up, but it hasn’t been canceled,” he says, sipping on a cup of coffee at Tommy T’s Comedy House in Pleasanton before tonight’s show. “So I’m not getting paid, but I’m not going for unemployment yet.”

Titus says he was hired as an actor, not a writer, on the show. But he started doing some writing before the Writers’ strike and hopes to get back into scriptwriting. He says he’s still a member of the Writers Guild, so he can’t work during the strike. And he says he’s amazed that people are getting hostile towards the writers.


This YouTube shows Titus and his son, as well as an array of stars supporting the strike

“The producers are making a lot of money on the Internet, and they are going to make even more, so why shouldn’t the people who are actually creating the shows and writing the shows get some of that money?” Titus asks. “The writers got ripped off with DVDs and they don’t want that to happen again with Internet sales.”

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Brody (Christopher Titus) finds the charms of a sexy stranger (Charisma Carpenter guest starring as Heather) increasingly irresistible when “Big Shots” returns with new episodes at 10:02 p.m. Jan. 10 on ABC. (ABC/VIVIAN ZINK)

He apologizes for his messy hair, and the fact that he just woke up from a nap. The night before he was on a $20 mil boat partying with people who are interested in producing his movie about drag racers. Then he had to zip up to the Bay Area for a round of interviews before his stand-up show tonight, Saturday and New Year’s Eve at Tommy T’s in Pleasanton.

The workaholic still works his stand-up routines, joking that he needs to build up his bank account after getting wiped out in dealing with his divorce. His act centers on his break-up with wife Erin. The two grew up in Newark and were high school sweethearts. Working through the pain is what Titus does best. He cut his comic teeth on joking about his father’s multiple marriages and having a mentally ill mom.

“I asked God for some new material for my act. Turns out you have to be very specific with God when you ask for things,” Titus quips. “He gave me a divorce to write about. Here’s some pain for you.”

Even more pain may await Titus when he does the New Year’s Eve show. He says that it’s insane working on that night because people tend to be more outrageous on that night.

“There was a club owner who handed out noise-makers right before the show,” Titus says. “Now there’s a guy who just doesn’t get it, because nothing’s better than being a stand-up comic in front of a lot of people who are loud and drinking and have noise-makers too.”

Yet, Titus wouldn’t want to be any other place than on stage making people laugh as they ring in the new year.

“There’s only one time in 23 years that I wasn’t on stage for New Years and it just didn’t feel right,” Titus says. “I need to be up there.”

For tickets, just go to Tommy T’s.

Want to see the SueTube with Titus? Check it out here:

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Desperate Housewives Fantasy League

According to my “DH” producer pal, who should be downing egg nog and taking advantage of the mistletoe, Mary Alice says in the teaser that “one of the women will lose a husband, and they all will lose a friend.”

We already know, or think we know, that the husband refers to the obviously dead Victor. Could the friend be Ida? I’m not so sure I’d call her a friend to the Wisteria women. Let’s try someone more imaginative. I don’t want to lose Tom, but he would certainly fall into both those categories.

And thanks blog reader Rene for commenting on the sad demise of a main character: The ugly, noisy fountain.

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Could Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) fill the bill as the “husband and friend” on “Desperate Housewives”? We already know the fate of Victor (John Slattery), who was no friend to anyone on Wisteria Lane. (photo Danny Feld/ABC)

Talk among yourselves while I check on those Christmas cookies.

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Fantasy TV League: Desperate Housewives

OK, I’m sensing a need for some picket fence chat time. We know there’s only one episode of “Desperate Housewives” in the can, and that one according to an inside source, will answer most of the cliff-hanger questions when it airs on Jan. 6 on ABC.

But after that, we’re going to have to face the fact that there won’t be an end of the strike before January and we’ll all be facing a very bleak winter without new episodes of DH.

So what’s a fan to do?

Let’s hark back to the baseball strike of who-gives-a-crap, when baseball fans were forced to live without the game. They decided to start fantasy baseball leagues. Playing off the notion, I say we form a fantasy TV League for Desperate Housewives.

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Tom, say you aren’t gone! We’d be “Desperate Housewives” indeed if that’s true.

We’ll all put in our thoughts as to what we think happened. Did Tom and the kids perish? Did Ida go to the cat house in the sky? What about Carlos? I think that Victor biffed it, primarily because he got that new gig on AMC’s hit series “Mad Men” playing the head of a New York ad agency.
Oh, and I base it on the fact that he got staked like a vampire.

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Looks like Victor’s bit the big one on “Desperate Housewives”

OK, let the fantasy begin. Who do you want to be gone? Who do you want to see back? And better still, how would you like to see the season continue?

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Well, at least the hideous fountain is now a moot point on Wisteria Lane as Bob (Tuc Watkins) surveys the post-tornado damage.
Photos by ABC/CRAIG SJODIN

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TV Yule Log

Time to roast your virtual chestnuts over an open fire, TV style.

With holiday music playing in the background, “Your TV20′s Yule Log” airs from 5 to 9 a.m., 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. on Christmas day. The Neiman Marcus Adolphus Children’s Parade airs at noon.

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The Yule Log should put you in the holiday spirit. And if the WGA strike continues, it may start filling in the blank screens in January.

Independent Bay Area TV station KBWB-Channel 20 has the distinction of being the first West Coast station and second in the country to broadcast the burning of the Yule log. The tradition was started in the 1980s by that wacky owner Jim Gabbert to fill Christmas air time.

(He also had these crazy parties that he aired at night, but that’s another story).

For about 15 years, the TV burned brightly until the flame was doused.

“Our viewers have been asking about the original TV20 Yule log for years now,” says TV20 President and General Manager Craig Coane. “It was time to give the viewers the tradition they’ve been asking for.”

What makes this Yule log unique is that it isn’t a loop, but an actual burning fire filmed over a four hour time period. Adding to the kitchy charm is the occasional anonymous arm adding logs and a cameo from Santa’s boots. The video was shot in the home of “Paul from the Diamond Center,” a popular local personality.

Of course, TV20 isn’t the only Yule log in town. The Holiday Log returns to Channel 36 from 9 a.m. to noon on Christmas Day. No word on whether we’ll get any arm or boot cameos.

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Bay Area in for a Fox station shuffle?

Of course this comes up when I’m on vacation and trying clear a path to the bed in the guest bedroom for my son John. Guess he’ll just have to hope no earthquake comes so he’ll be safe from falling stacks of DVDs.

Alex posted this question on Thursday:

Hi Susan and is it true that the Fox network is shopping for a new affiliate station in the San Fran Bay area? It was leaked out on the Gary Radnich radio show Wed that KRON4 is in the running to be the NEW FOX network affiliate in the SAn Fran Bay Area in the future, any new news on this?

It’s an interesting question Alex. When the FCC met on Tuesday, it approved a new rule allowing a company to own both a newspaper and either a television or radio station as long as the market has at least eight other independent sources of news. The rule also requires that the television station cannot be one of the top four in the market.

This opened the door for MediaNews chief executive Dean Singleton, who owns the newspaper chain I work for and includes the Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, the Contra Costa Times and virtually every other paper in the Bay Area except the SF Chronicle, to achieve his long time goal of owning television stations.

Currently, MediaNews owns only one TV station in Anchorage.

Singleton was looking at several stations to purchase back in 2003 when it looked as if the FCC was going to back off on the ownership rules. When that fell through, he moved on.

Now, it would look as if he’s in a position to make a purchase. In this market, you have ABC, CBS and NBC owning their own stations, with only KTVU-Channel 2 working an affiliation deal with Fox making it a top four station.

So, I was assuming Singleton had his eye on KRON-Channel 4 and he would be looking in that direction to buy. KRON’s the cheaper date between it and KTVU, which has been for sale in the past.

KRON has been very nicely running Fox’s MyNetworkTV programming, which might suggest Fox would be looking to buy KRON. So maybe Fox buys KRON, making KTVU slip from a top four station which would allow Singleton to purchase it.

And, since KTVU is based in Oakland, it would be a nice little jewel in the East Bay-South Bay-North Bay circle of MediaNews power. But I still think that chances are better than Singleton might purchase KRON before Fox.

Again, if I was in a position to know such things, I would also be making enough money to hire someone to clean out that spare bedroom.

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Lunch Lady Denise Donates $50,000

Guilt has overwhelmed our Denise, so she’s opted to donate the money she was given by “Survivor” producer Mark Burnett to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

In her statement, issued on Tuesday through CBS, she thanks those who have supported her and asks forgiveness for her actions. Her claims that she was not able to go back to the job she loved because her presence was too disruptive now that she’s a reality star just didn’t ring true. As we noted in a previous post, Denise had switched jobs to her janitor position – a better paying job – before she went on Survivor. So she did return to the job she left.

We understand how she may have gotten caught up in the moment. And how difficult it must have been to turn down that 50 grand. The amount of money could have been used to change her family’s life. But I think her family’s life was changed for the better by Denise donating the money.

She showed through her actions that what she did was dishonorable, and she wanted to show the world and her family that what she did was wrong. How many of us would be able to chuck that 50 thousand, knowing what kind of impact it would make our financially strapped family?

Denise, you did the right thing.

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Primetime Ratings Day – Dec. 10-16

OK, I’m a day late. But heck, I’m actually on vacation yet hopelessly tethered to this beast…

Primetime Ratings for Dec. 10-16

1.CSI
2 SURVIVOR: CHINA FINALE
3. WITHOUT A TRACE
4. NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
5. SURVIVOR: CHINA
6. CSI: NY
7. Criminal Minds
8. CSI:Miami
9. OT, THE
10. 60 MINUTES
11 DEAL OR NO DEAL
12.DEAL OR NO DEAL
13. SURVIVOR: CHINA REUNION
14. EXTREME MAKEOVER:HOME ED.
15. NCIS
16. TWO AND A HALF MEN
17. DEAL OR NO DEAL
18. SIMPSONS
19. BIGGEST LOSER
20. HOUSE
21. SHREK THE HALLS
22. GHOST WHISPERER
23. NUMB3RS
24. RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
25. BOSTON LEGAL
26. SMARTER THAN 5TH GRADER
27. AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS
28. DATELINE-WED
29. FAMILY GUY
30. HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
31. WINNIE-POOH AT XMAS TOO
32. CANE 9PM SPECIAL
33. CANE
34. KING OF THE HILL
35. WANT A DOG FOR CHRISTMAS
36. HOUSE
37. MOONLIGHT
38. DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS
39. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
40. BIG BANG THEORY, THE
41. KID NATION
42. GREY’S ANATOMY
43. AMERICAN DAD
44. PUSHING DAISIES
45. 20/20-FRI
46. LAW AND ORDER:SVU
47. SAMANTHA WHO?
48. COPS 2
49 AMW: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK
50. WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB
51.BONES
52. KITCHEN NIGHTMARES
53. ACCORDING TO JIM
54. COPS
55. CBS MOVIE SATURDAY- The Notebook
56. SNL XMAS
57. OFFICE
58. 30 ROCK
59. NBC MOVIE OF WEEK – It’s a Wonderful Life
60. AMERICA’S TOP MODEL
61. ACCORDING TO JIM SP-2
62. BROTHERS & SISTERS
63. JOURNEYMAN
64. OCTOBER ROAD
65. K-VILLE
66. PRIVATE PRACTICE
67. UGLY BETTY
68. FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN
69. ABC SAT MOVIE OF THE WEEK Suriviving Christmas
70 PRIVATE PRACTICE-THU
71. DON’T FORGET LYRICS
72. SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE-PRIME
73. NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY
74 48 HOURS MYSTERY
75. BACK TO YOU
76. TIL DEATH
77. MEN IN TREES
78. WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB-SAT
79. SMALLVILLE
80. DIRTY SEXY MONEY
81. SNL Special
82. SUPERNATURAL
83. NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND
84. VICTORIA’S SECRET FS
85. CROWNED
86. GAME, THE
87. EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS
88. GIRLFRIENDS
89. ALIENS IN AMERICA
90. AMERICA’S TOP MODEL
91. AMERICA’S TOP MODEL
92. CROWNED-ENC
93. CW NOW
94. ALIENS IN AMERICA-SUN

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Who Survived Desperate Housewives Tornado?

When last we saw our “Desperate Housewives,” Lynnette emerged from her house with Mrs. McCluskey only to discover that Mrs. McCluskey’s home – where husband Tom and her children were staying – had been razed.

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“Desperate Housewives” wait to see who survived on the Jan. 6 episode. KATHRYN JOOSTEN, TERI HATCHER, NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN, FELICITY HUFFMAN, MARCIA CROSS (photo: ABC/CRAIG SJODIN)

We suspect that Tom and the kids are just peachy, and that Ida Greenberg may or may not have survived. But we won’t know for sure until Jan. 6, when we see the conclusion. This episode of “Desperate Housewives” will be available on ABC.com the day after airing so you can watch it online.

In “Welcome to Kanagawa,” Lynette faces the possibility that her family and Ida Greenberg may not have survived; Katherine finds out that someone knows the truth about her mysterious past; and the residents of Wisteria Lane begin to rebuild their lives after the deadly tornado.

The good news is that we get some closure. The bad new is that this episode is the last original produced before the WGA strike. Depending on whether the strikers return soon or not, the episode may just have to last us until the spring.

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Jimmy Kimmel’s Back

Well, you knew it had to happen. First Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien announce they’re coming back Jan. 2 whether or not the WGA strike is over, and now Jimmy Kimmel has followed suit.

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Jimmy Kimmel with Nicole Richie on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”

New episodes of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” pick up at 12:05 a.m. on Jan. 2, but not without Kimmel issuing an under-pressure press release:

“Though it makes me sick to do so without my writers, there are more than a hundred people whose financial well-being depends on our show. It is time to go back to work. I support my colleagues and friends in the WGA completely and hope this ends both fairly and soon.”

Kimmel has, without fanfare, been paying staffers out of his own pocket during the strike to cushion the blow. Even though Leno, O’Brien and Kimmel have given in to the networks about coming back – and we do think they have an honest concern about the financial well-being of the staffers – when the strong lines start breaking down, it could result in a much longer strike.

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