Archive for February, 2008

Pre-Valentine to TV Viewers: Writers Strike is Over

It looks as if the picket signs will be taken down and the writers will be back to work on Wednesday. You can check out the details on Nikki Finke’s fine blog Deadline Hollywood or the most recent Bloomberg report.

That’s just two days before the “drop-dead deadline” to preserve the remainder of the season and allow some bit of a pilot season. The fact that it also saves the Oscars is just an added bonus that makes the writers and actors happy. It’s one thing to miss out on the Golden Globes, that bloated tribute by a small group of foreign press. It’s quite another to miss out on your Uncle Oscar.

Photobucket
Jon Stewart won’t have to cross any picket lines when he hosts the 80th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 24. This is the second time Stewart has hosted the Oscars. Photo: Bob D’Amico/ABC

Oddly enough, on the eve of the strike vote three months ago, I was in the middle of e-chatting with Bryan Fuller of “Pushing Daisies” and again today we spent part of today e-talking.

Bryan’s a fabulous person. But as noted in an earlier post, even with the strike being over, some shows won’t be back on the air this season. And that includes “Daisies.” In fact, this coming fall season looks more like a restart of this past fall. Shows like “Daisies,” “Chuck” and maybe even “Reaper” could get a second shot this fall.

There are a lot of shows on the fence, but it looks like lights out for shows like “Bionic Woman” and “Friday Night Lights.” “FNL” was the passion project of NBC’s former entertainment president Kevin Reilly, who is now Fox’s entertainment honcho. He was replaced by veteran producer Ben Silverman. (“The Office”) and Marc Graboff.

While there has been talk of “FNL” going to one of NBC’s cable siblings like USA or Bravo, that hasn’t been announced, nor does it seem likely. Last March, the series aired unspectacularly on Bravo.

Photobucket
On the season, or series, finale last Friday, Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor, Connie Britton as Tami Taylor and Peter Berg as Morris “Mo” McArnold — NBC Photo: Bill Records

And the jury is still out on “Jericho,” which returns this week after fans threw mountains of nuts at CBS execs, causing them to rethink the show’s cancellation.

But last summer, viewers tuned out in droves to a repeat of the series. We can only hope that they will come back on board with the slate of new episodes.

Photobucket
Things heat up in the kitchen when “Jericho” returns on Tuesday. Emily (Ashley Scott) tries to make Jake’s (Skeet Ulrich) mother feel better mourn the loss of her husband by baking her favorite cake, on the second season premiere of “Jericho” at 10 p.m. Tuesday on CBS. Photo: Mitch Haddad/CBS ©2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Meanwhile, it’s all good news about Hollywood getting back to work. Now that sure beats candy and flowers, doesn’t it?

Comments (6)

Sonja comments on quitter Jonny Fairplay

Walnut Creek’s Sonja Christopher may be known as the first person to be ejected from “Survivor,” but at least she’s no quitter.

Photobucket
Affable breast cancer survivor Sonja Christopher, a real “Survivor.”

The ukulele lady had this to say:

Here’s my theory about Johnny Foulplay:

He undoubtedly got a fee for appearing (on All-Stars it was $25,000).
What easier way could there be to earn a quick 25 grand for three days
work than to get on the show and then quit?! Of all the Survivors I
know, he is the most despicable in my book.

You are absolutely correct. He could have easily continued, but clearly his game plan from Day 1 was to go in, grab the easy money and bug out. What a loser.

Hopefully, “Survivor” producers have learned their lesson – and anyone else crazy enough to hire this clown. And if you’re out there, casting people, give Sonja another go.

Here’s a look at the first episode, which includes Sonja getting cut up on the island, and Dr. Sean fixing her up. She also does a funny twist on “Bye Bye Birdie” while playing her ukulele:

And Sonja sent this link to her appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” She says she’s “a little more cleaned up” than in the Survivor video:

Comments (1)

No more “Pushing Daisies” Until the Fall

A quick email from creator Bryan Fuller confirmed what had been recently reported: We won’t be getting any more new episodes of “Pushing Daisies” until this fall.

Photobucket
The fabulous Bryan Fuller, creator of “Pushing Daisies,” “Wonderfalls” and “Dead Like Me.”

Bryan says ABC didn’t think it was wise to put the show up against “American Idol” and I agree. He also says that airing just a handful of episodes before the end of the season won’t do the series any good. Again, we concur.

But I’m going to miss that show something awful. Still, it’s good to know that with the writer’s strike coming to a close, good shows will be able to get back into production for a nice fall return.

As always, we look to tireless reporter Michael Ausiello of TV Guide to give us the low-down on the status of the shows coming back.

Photobucket
Michael Ausiello on a set visit to “Heroes” last July. I think I was standing behind the camera.

But as he says, refresh the page often. Things are changing rapidly.

Comments (7)

WEE Gets Smackdowned by CW

According to a report in TV Week by Jon Lafayette, The CW will stop carrying “WWE Smackdown” at the end of the 2007-08 season.

Photobucket
Good-bye WWE Friday Night Smackdown! superstar Brian Majors. Photo: Rich Freeda/WWE. ©2007 World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.

A few years ago, a network honcho told me they were going to try to get rid of the WEE because it was an embarassment to the network. Now, with the network drumming up an audience that could fit into any football arena in the country with room to spare, the only reason why they would want to cut it loose is for money concerns.

Lafayette writes that the WWE said it began talks with other networks after the CW’s exclusive negotiation period expired on Jan. 31.

Among those likely to be contacted are MyNetworkTV, which is the Fox-generated programming currently airing on KRON-Channel 4, the former NBC affiliate currently up for sale.

Another contender is NBC Universal, which runs some WWE events in late night and whose USA cable channel carries WWE Raw on Monday nights.

Comments off

“Lost” recap: Confirmed Dead

It’s not just because of the herniated disc in my neck that I look to Will Smith to write this week’s recap. It’s also because he’s been a devoted fan of the show and one of my first Unscripted commenters.

So take it away, Will:

Well it’s good to see you have come to recognize my immense talents….

5th Ghostbuster Found!

Photobucket
KEN LEUNG as the explosive Miles Straume, EVANGELINE LILLY, NAVEEN ANDREWS

This week’s episode of Lost revealed that Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson originally had a partner named Miles Straume. With the group split in to the “Jack’s” and the “Locke’s” we start by meeting Daniel Farady who is a bit jumpy for me and you can’t trust anyone who parachutes onto the island now can you?

Answer: no, no you can’t. As we were teased at the end of last week, they are here but they are not here to help our lovable band of island misfits. Getting back to flash back mode and away from the flash forward mode we meet the members of the “rescue team” who have been on the other end of the satellite phone.

We have the 5th Ghostbuster Miles, who is shown at some old lady’s house charging her $200 to vanquish the soul/ghost of her grandson. Instead Miles communicates with him to find a stash of cash in the wall.

Then there is the wily, unshaven and clearly Jimmy Buffet-esque pilot named Frank Lapidus. He is watching an old television that is showing some murky underwater wreckage of…drum roll please…OCEANIC FLIGHT 815!!!! Oh wait, the dead pilot still strapped in isn’t wearing his wedding band, that can’t be him, what craziness is this going on here??

Photobucket
NAVEEN ANDREWS (Sayid), REBECCA MADER (Charlotte), JEFF FAHEY as scruffy pilot Frank

Then fade to Tunisia where tough nosed Indiana Jane, err I mean Charlotte Lewis is paying off some Arabian archaeologist on site where she charges over to the bones of an ancient…ok well it’s a polar bear. With a handy collar that identifies it as a Dharma bear. She gets the creepy smile and wide eyed look that can really only work on TV or maybe a movie like Raptor Island (watch this movie, you won’t be sorry…for long).

Lastly we get a little flash that shows the all business black guy from Hurley’s flash forward asylum shot and he is talking to the bodyguard military trained and yet only dead member of the team, Naomi. So there we have it, Daniel, Charlotte, Miles, Frank and Naomi have left the freighter but what are they after if not rescue?

Meanwhile Locke et al are trapsing through the jungle and just when we think Locke is gifted he gets duped by Ben yet again.

See a theme here?? Sawyer/James has about had it and wants to beat Ben up some more. This reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer goes into boxing and wins all his bouts by letting the other guy exhaust himself hitting Homer’s stomach. Ben can take more abuse than any other human…must be a cage fighter.

They stumble on to Charlotte who tells them to hang tight, Locke says no way. They head off to find Jacob’s cabin, Ben is angered by this but just shoots his rat eyes around at anyone and everyone. You just know something bad is going to happen with Ben.

Jack and Kate go with Daniel using the sat phone to track down Miles. We see him on a rock by the ocean and he looks unconscious, except the first shot of him shows his hand behind his back and I immediately think to myself, he is going to jump them…he does. He demands to be taken to Naomi’s body so he can talk to her spirit to find out how she died.

She said to tell Miles “tell my sister I love her” That dirty dog; that’s the code for being captured and having a gun trained on her! So he knows something went wrong. They find Naomi’s body, her spirit tells Miles that Locke stuck her in the back with a knife confirming what Jack and Kate said so they decide to track down Frank using the sat phone.

Jack says not so fast my friend. Then pulling a move straight from the season two playbook he tells Miles that he has guns pointed at him and Miles and Daniel need to drop their guns. Turns out it’s true. Sayid and Juliet to the rescue! Finally Jack and Kate don’t get their butts kicked, wow.

We find Frank clamoring up a steep incline to come face to face with a bull. What’s the significance? None other than to say when the bull turns to walk away there is NO question it is a bull! Turns out he landed the helicopter while everyone else bailed out; atta boy! Juliet tends to him and they pick up Charlotte’s GPS signal on the sat phone.

Photobucket
NAVEEN ANDREWS, KEN LEUNG, MATTHEW FOX, JEREMY DAVIES, MARSHA THOMASON, EVANGELINE LILLY get back to the helicopter on “Lost: Confirmed Dead.”

Also Miles calls the frieghter but whoever he wants to talk to isn’t talking back, he’s busy so Miles will have to call back later. Jack tells him it’s about time to tell everyone why they are really here.

Back at the Locke’s, Ben has snuck the gun away from Carl.

Remember him? He was getting the Clockwork Orange treatment on the “other” island and Kate and Sawyer set him free. Kid’s lost his mind and is a bit skittish. We knew something bad was going to happen and just as Frank shoots his flare, Ben shoots Charlotte!

Like OMG can you believe it?? Well lucky for us, the storyline (the writers God bless ’em) and everyone on the island Charlotte had a bullet proof vest on. Sawyer decides Ben has to go and I mean go like kill him off.

Locke says he stands corrected and Sawyer was right but that he will kill Ben. He then asks Ben what the monster (black smoke) is but Ben won’t give up the goods saying “I don’t know”.

Photobucket
Ben (Michael Emerson) takes yet another lickin’ and keeps on tickin’

Locke is about to shoot him when Ben says he knows everything about Charlotte, Miles, Daniel and Frank. Turns out Ben has a guy on the frieghter! My guess is either Desmond (we see him in the preview for next week) or Patchy the Russian mad bomber. Then the climax comes…

WHY ARE THEY HERE!!! Oh turns out they are there for one reason: Ben.

Stay tuned as we still have six more episodes of fresh material before the Soprano’s like hiatus starts. With news of the WGA strike ending very soon we might even get the other 8 episodes in time for May. Based on the first two episodes it is definitely worth the wait!

Will

Thanks Will. And if you want an interesting recap of the Freighter People, including how the character names link back to certain historic figures, check out this blog by Remote Access.

Comments (2)

Auditions for new CW Reality Show

The show is being described as “The Devil Wears Prada” meets “The Assistant” and it comes from Tyra Banks and Ken Mok, who teamed up for “America’s Next Top Model.” The new cycle of ANTM starts Feb. 20.

Photobucket
Miss Tyra Banks of “America’s Next Top Model” is looking for contestants for her next reality show.

Bottom line, do you want to enter the fashion world as a minion?

“It is a competition show about aspiring assistants looking to become assistant editors at a fashion magazine,” says Mok. “At the same time they’re trying to prove themselves as aspiring fashionistas, that they have a sense of style and savvyness, all the things to make it in the fashion world.”

Open auditions will be held this Saturday, February 9, at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District, 750 Kearny St. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Written applications will be available for download here. , however it’s not required that you have a completed application in order to audition. Applicants must be between 18 and 27 at the time of application.

According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, Eli Holzman, who developed “Project Runway” at Miramax TV, and the show’s executive producers Jane Cha and Desiree Gruber, fashion experts and managers of “Runway” host Heidi Klum, came up the initial idea for the new series and pitched it to the CW.

The network in turn suggested a collaboration with Banks and Mok in mounting the production because of Banks’ background as a supermodel and the duo’s experience in the fashion reality genre with “Top Model.”

Banks, Mok, Holzman, Cha and Gruber will executive produce the series, which has received an eight-episode order and will begin production in April for a launch in late spring or summer.

Comments off

Survivor: Micronesia: Jonny “Quitter” Fairplay

It was so game on from the beginning when our own favorite Survivor, Yau Man Chan from Martinez, literally took down Jonny Fairplay to snag the immunity idol.

Immunity Idols love Yau Man, the guy who came up with both idols last time he played. When Fairplay stupidly found the first idol, on the wrong boat, he turned to correct his mistake. But a flying tackle send Fairplay into the side of the boat while Yau Man came up with the prize.

You go, Man.

We didn’t see much of Emeryville’s Mary Sartain, a real estate/financial company owner.

Photobucket
Although she did a Playboy-style pose for the publicity shots for “Survivor: Micronesia.”

Now, I have to be happy that Fairplay appears to be the guy everyone wants on their team. After all, who wouldn’t want to go up against him in the finals? I like having Fairplay in the running because he gives good game. OK, time to confess: I also have him in the department pool and I could really use some money.

Photobucket
Jonny Fairplay, the rat-faced weasel who made me lose the “Survivor: Micronesia” pool.

Wait, that was what Fairplay said about having a stable relationship and a baby on the way. But my favorite quote from him was when everyone was vying for his participation in their various alliances:

“I find it insane that there are nine of your favorite survivors of all time and they all believe what I say,” Fairplay tells the camera. “Have you not watched the show before?”

The favorites proved that experience pays off when it comes to working together to make camp. They have a great shelter, know how to get food and fire. But what they lack is the knack for winning challenges.

In the immunity challenge, which consisted of putting together puzzle pieces to make the wheels on a cart, then taking the cart through an obstacle course and finally putting the wheel pieces back in another puzzle, was won by the fans.

For a brief, shining moment, I thought that my man Fairplay was going to be in the game. Then, he went insane. He started telling people he wanted to go home to his pregnant girlfriend, to spend time with her and his baby. He wanted to be a good dad more than he wanted to play the game.

Fairplay and his fiance, Michelle Deighton, who was an America’s Next Top Model finalist, became parents on Jan. 16 when daughter, Piper Addison was born. Seems like Piper would have liked to have a little cash in the piggy bank instead of a legacy of having a dad who was a quitter.

Fairplay didn’t quit to be a good dad. What he wanted was to change his image to become more commercial. What he wanted to do was bail while he still could be seen as a nice guy, and not the weasel everyone remembers from his previous “Survivor” appearance.

What he wanted was to screw me out of the “Survivor” pool. Good riddance, JP. Now I’ll stick with the locals, Mary on the Fav side and Yau Man, who deserves more than anyone to win this time around.

Photobucket
My man Yau Man, with dirty skunk Fairplay slinking around the background in this shot from “Survivor: Micronesia.”

Comments (5)

Tuesday Ratings for week of Jan.28-Feb. 3

Of course, we all knew that the Super Bowl would trounce the competition, but who knew that the schlocky reality show “Moment of Truth” would edge out the return of “Lost” ?

Photobucket
Mark Walberg hosts “Moment of Truth,” the game show that uses a lie-detector test to determine whether or not contestants are willing to tell the truth for a chance to win half a million dollars

Here’s the rundown of prime time Nielsen ratings for the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3

1 FOX SUPER BOWL XLII 34.0
2 FOX SUPER BOWL POST GAME 22.3
3 HOUSE SP-2/3 10.1
4 AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY 9.9
5 AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY 8.9
6 HOUSE 7.9
7 MOMENT OF TRUTH 6.2
8 LOST 5.6
9 LOST-Recap 4.6
10 NCIS 4.1
11 CSI 4.1
12 ELI STONE 3.9
13 LAW AND ORDER 3.9
14 SMARTER THAN 5TH GRADER 3.7
15 WITHOUT A TRACE 3.6
16 DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS 3.5
17 DEAL OR NO DEAL-WED 3.4
18 TWO AND A HALF MEN 830- 3.4
19 DANCE WAR:BRUNO/CARRIEANN 3.3
20 LAW AND ORDER:SVU 3.2
21 LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT 3.1
22 CRIMINAL MINDS 3.1
23 CSI: NY THURSDAY SPCL 3.0
24 AMERICAN GLADIATORS 3.0
25 LOST SP-1/30 3.0
26 BIGGEST LOSER 5 2.9
27 HOUSE-FRI 9P 2.8
28 1 VS 100 2.7
48 HOURS MYSTERY TUESDAY 2.7
30 APPRENTICE 7 2.7
31 HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER 2.6
32 GHOST WHISPERER 2.6
CSI: NY 2.5
34 CBS EVENING NEWS 2.5
35 NUMB3RS 2.5
36 LAS VEGAS 2.4
37 UNIT, THE 2.4
38 COPS 2 2.4
39 20/20-FRI 2.4
40 LAW AND ORDER-SAT 2.3
41 AMW: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK 2.2
42 COLD CASE 10PM SPECIAL 2.1
43 TERMINATOR:SCC SP-1/28 8P 2.1
44 COPS 2.1
45 WIFE SWAP 2.0
46 MOONLIGHT 2.0
47 ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9PM 2.0
48 FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS 2.0
49 ABC SAT MOVIE OF THE WEEK 2.0
50 LAW & ORDER:SVU-SAT 1.9
51 BONES-FRI 8P 1.9
52 MY NAME IS EARL 1.8
53 BOSTON LEGAL 1.8
54 RULES OF ENGAGEMENT-SP 1.8
55 60 MINUTES – 8PM SPECIAL 1.8
56 JUST FOR LAUGHS-TU 8PM 1.8
57 OLD CHRISTINE-WED SPECIAL 1.7
58 OLD CHRISTINE-WED SPCL 1.7
59 JUST FOR LAUGHS 1.6
48 HOURS MYSTERY 9PM 1.6
61 FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN 1.6
62 OFFICE 1.6
63 AMER FUNN HM VIDEOS-2/3 1.5
64 CRIMETIME SATURDAY 8PM 1.4
65 SHARK – 9PM SPECIAL 1.4
66 ABC SUN MOVIE OF WK-2/3 1.4
67 GREY’S ANATOMY-FRI 8PM 1.4
68 CARPOOLERS 1.3
69 SMALLVILLE 1.3
70 SAMANTHA WHO SP-1/28 1.3
71 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES-FRI 1.3
72 OFFICE 1/28 1.3
73 AMERICAN GLADIATORS 2/2 1.2
74 EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED- 1.2
75 CBS REPORTS:FATHER,SON&BR 1.1
76 BIGGEST LOSER 5 9P 2/3 1.0
77 SUPERNATURAL 1.0
78 ONE TREE HILL 1.0
79 BIGGEST LOSER 5 7P 2/3 .7
80 GOSSIP GIRL-MON .6
81 ALIENS IN AMERICA-1/28 .6
82 REAPER-TUE .5
83 CROWNED .5
84 ONE TREE HILL-WED .3
85 LIFE IS WILD .3
86 CROWNED-ENC .3
87 ALIENS IN AMERICA-SUN .2
88 CW NOW .1

Photobucket
This week on “Lost,” Locke’s hostage (Ken Leung) may be the key to getting off the island, so Sayid (Naveen Andrews) and Kate (Evangeline Lilly) go in search of their fellow castaway in an attempt to negotiate a peaceful deal.

Comments off

The Grossest Commercial Ever: Scrape It

You’re going to hear a lot about TV commercials today, because the Super Bowl is never just about football. It’s about what’s going to happen at half-time and what commercials are going to knock us out of our recliners.

But last night while watching HGTV, my husband and I saw a commecial that literally had us covering our eyes and wondering what in the heck someone was thinking.

Just prior to the commercial, HGTV did a little filler piece with a lovely creek running past beautiful green banks. I turned and said, “Guess they are having trouble getting paid ads these days.”

And then it happened. The Scrape It commercial featuring people with perhaps the ugliest feet in the world tackling heaps of icky skin. It’s the “professional” corn and callus remover.

If you have a strong enough tummy, check it out.

If nothing else, you’ll have a greater appreciation for those Super Bowl ads.

Photobucket
You have the watch the Scrape It video. This picture doesn’t do it justice.

Comments off

Thanks for visiting my site

Just wanted to thank everyone who has been visiting, and posting, to my Web site. I have a herniated disc in my neck, so I haven’t been able to post as often as I would wish in the last three weeks.

But I’m feeling better and hope to start making up for lost time. Thanks so much for sticking with the site.

Susan

Comments (3)