Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh, Right, The Blog...

Been distracted with the run up to the coming TV season. Will get some reviews out eventually, especially as the screeners pile up.

Unfortunately, that will be delayed further by today's California Supreme Court decision, as my RL self is pretty damn active in the LGBT community. Will be at the WeHo protest tonight at 7pm, outside the Beverly Hilton where Obama will be tomorrow, in Fresno on Saturday, and probably Pasadena on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Playing It Safe


And here I thought CBS was in a position to do something radical.

Sure, Big Bang Theory moves to the post-Two and a Half Men slot, and How I Met Your Mother returns to its old 8pm timeslot (where it never did as well as it has at 8:30pm...)

Sure, after one season after NCIS, The Mentalist is moved away and a compatible combination is broken up (will The Mentalist flourish on Thursdays at 10pm? Who knows... there's certainly less competition, though the CSI lead-in, at this point, will be questionable). Putting NCIS and NCIS2 together seems like a smart move... but with how well The Mentalist did, why not try NCIS2 at 10pm? How well The Good Wife can do out of these shows compared to how well The Mentalist certainly would have done in the mix is going to be at the forefront.

No Wednesday changes? Hm.

Survivor/CSI stay the course on Thursdays despite CSI's recent decline? In some ways, to move it could be too knee-jerk... but something more than sticking The Mentalist on at 10pm seemed in order.

Medium after Ghost Whisperer is the biggest no-brainer, so, while we have no idea if the ratings will pay off, it certainly seems like CBS did the right thing here.

Three Rivers on Sunday between relative-demo-factory The Amazing Race and ancient Cold Case. We'll see how that works out.

Performance Finale

Lambert: Mad World not as good as the first time.
Allen: Ain't No Sunshine better than the first time.
Lambert: A Change Is Gonna Come outstanding.
Allen: What's Goin' On merely okay.
Kara: Wow, she let her name be attached to that song? Not good for either contestant. Out of range / wrong key for Kris, and far outside Adam's genre.

Le shrug.

At this stage it doesn't matter *to me* who wins (especially with Allison Iraheta out of the competition... she had the most distinctive sound this season even if her song choice was rarely spot on and she didn't do the now-seemingly-necessary rearrangement of her songs... listen to the studio versions of her songs, she's amazing).

Adam and Kris were both amazing in their own rights and ways throughout the season, and they're in very different places for the industry. And, no doubt, both will be getting record deals.

In the long run, I don't think winning Idol is going to help or hurt Adam's career. Winning Idol will help Kris' career.

Conversely, a Kris win hurts Idol, as a show. Adam is the reason the show has been buzzing so loudly this season, even if the Nielsen ratings reflect a decline in viewership. An Adam win is electrifying, and his not-the-Idol-single debut single release, and album release, around the time of the Idol premiere will be a massive PR boon... no matter how bad it might suck (and it sooooo could... I mean, just because you have Christina Aguilera's pipes doesn't mean you go on vocals runs all the time instead of singing melodies... which is where I, again, point to the studio versions of Adam's songs, which restrain his screaming and runs in a way that makes even the more offensively outrageous performances listenable). Kris is safe and I don't think his single/album will create the whirlwind of buzz that Adam's will... even though they probably will be more radio-friendly (in an easy-listening, Adult Contemporary sort of way).

Ultimately, a Kris win tomorrow night simply means a disappointment for the show. Not for viewers or listeners.

That said, I think Kris will win. You either love or hate Adam. It's hard to hate Kris. You might find him bland, but you don't hate him. He's the underdog, and he will likely pick up more of Danny Gokey's voters than Adam will (because people had already made their decision on Adam).

Oh, and, yes. I'd love Adam to win what with the whole "he's probably one of us gays" thing.

PS - What'd you all think of Glee? I liked the longer rough cut I saw months ago better... but, darn it, if those last minutes with the kids singing "Don't Stop Believin'" isn't still massively uplifting and creating of the warm fuzzies. Hope you stuck around for it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CW Pickups

Melrose 2.0, Vampire Diaires, and Beautiful Life are a go for fall.

Had heard a week or so ago that Body Politic was not going to be for fall, but still could be in for midseason. Gossip Girl spin-off has been varying between yay or nay depending on what time of the day it is and, THANK GAWD, is now officially dead. No word on Light Years (or whatever the title of it became, since it's no longer Light Years). Priviledged is also officially dead.

Seriously, though, CW. You *must* order something for midseason. You will be utterly, completely screwed otherwise, even with giving up Sundays.

ABC Fall Schedule

I'm disappointed in ABC's fall schedule. It does some things that it needs to (um, anything on Wednesday nights). But it doesn't make the bold moves I wish it did (Sunday stays intact).

Monday: same as the spring, DWTS / Castle

Tuesday: Shark Tank (whatever that is, it's a reality show... I'm sensing Opportunity Knocks failure?) / DWTS Results / The Forgotten (I'll get to the review later... this move actually makes sense, it's practically the one place on CBS's schedule there isn't a massively successful crime show... at least until CBS makes its announcements tomorrow)

Wednesday: ALL NEW. 2-hour comedy block (I've seen 9pm entrant Modern Family and, I was complete shocked as it's an ABC sitcom, it was funny) and Eastwick.

Thursday: Flash Forward at 8pm, I'm good with this move, Survivor is the only major player left in this hour. Fox should be happy, too, it will (hopefully) deliver male viewers to the night who will then switch over the Fringe at 9pm. I'm assuming ABC is hoping that FF will deliver male viewers to Grey's... we'll see. The crossover audience, I suspect, isn't much. However if FF can pull decent-to-great numbers... the crossover aud boosting Grey's won't matter.

Friday: Ugly Betty, for its final season, gets the Friday night treatment it was headed for in its first season.

Sunday: same as, um, the last 3 years... but with a weakening, um, everything...

ABC has a lot of midseason programming. The question is... what fails? What changes? Where does Lost go? Scrubs / Better Off Ted? V? Happy Town? The Lawyer Show That Isn't From David E Kelley (yay)? So much up in the air.

This upfront comes down to CBS's announcement tomorrow. Until recent numbers for CSI, I was pretty sure CBS was going to stay the course... but now I'm thinking some major changes are in order.

NBC Fall Schedule

Reactions... Thursday 8-10pm could be stronger for SNLWUT leading into P&R... but without the election happening (or Fey's scorchingly buzzful Palin impersonation), is it really going to generate the kind of heat it did last year? And, once again, 30 Rock delayed until late October... but in this case for a good cause, Community. Having a few weeks of Community after The Office, then moving it to 8pm is a good call. I've seen Community, and it was rather funny. Chevy Chase is underused, but Joel McHale is hilarious.

The rest of the week, The Jay Leno Show hurts NBC's scheduling ability. There's very little flow to, really, any of it.

Monday: Heroes / Trauma. Male skewing, presumably. High action?

Tuesday: The Biggest Loser (2-hours). Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? Especially with a 90 minute winter/spring edition planned to give a spot to comedy 100 Questions.

Wednesday: Parenthood / SVU. Yeah, those fit together...

Friday: L&O / Southland. So, L&O is finally going to die a quiet, middling death on Friday night. And decreasingly rate newbie Southland is joining it. Okay, this pairing makes a modicum of sense (crime shows, at least), but it's such a towel throw that I still have to disparage it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

FOX Fall Schedule

FOX always confuses me...

We'll see how So You Think You Can Dance? performs as a fall series, but part of the fun and excitement of that show has, for me, always been as a summer diversion... and having two cycles in a row of it seems like overkill. Having SYTYCD from 8-10pm on Tuesdays doesn't make me very happy, because, outside of some initial audition and performance shows, really, it should be one hour. Put the 9pm slot to good use (and, interesting that Past-Life, for now, gets the post-Idol Tuesday slot... that pilot must've come in something amazing, I'm so very curious to see it).

Glee on Wednesdays at 9pm works for me, even though it will have to be off the air for a little while in the winter due to Idol auditions. It also seems to mean that Idol's results show is actually going to be in the 8pm hour this year... perhaps ABC should reconsider my earlier suggestions and program Flash Forward at 9pm (or at 8pm this fall, then shift it to 9pm once Lost returns, so FF can avoid Idol).

Fringe on Thursdays at 9pm is an EXCITING programming move. Not so much for fans of Supernatural, who I suspect will be up in arms over this. We have no idea how Fringe will perform outside the post-Idol bubble. But, y'know, which the exception of a resurgent Grey's Anatomy (which, honestly, can't share much of an audience with Fringe)... this timeslot is ripe for the taking. CSI is down (though maybe moving to 10pm, if I had any say in the matter). NBC's comedies are down.

And then there's Friday. Where we see Dollhouse getting the substantial lead-in support that, um, 'Til Death will surely be (after how many months off the air? 24?)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

ABC Pickups

Wow, ABC sure is picking up a lot of comedies this season (Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Middle, Awesome Hank, and of course renewals for Scrubs and Better Off Ted... they just couldn't let Scrubs die a slightly dignified death...) Here's hoping any of them are actually funny! Hm, and I totally recommended launching a couple new comedy blocks, didn't I (Next Season - ABC)?

On the drama side, the only mild shocker is that ABC picked up The Forgotten (which I panned). I've now seen the pilot and a review is forthcoming this weekend. ABC really wants a procedural hit, so, yes, I understand taking a chance on a Bruckheimer pilot (because it's not like CSI revitalized an entire genre or anything). No news yet on V, or on Empire State (sob!), but I'm hoping that ABC and WBTV can work something out for V that (a) lets Elizabeth Mitchell come back to Lost at least for some cameo-ing, and (b) gets the thing on the air. Make like NBC with Day One and do a limited series of it (because, y'know, the original V was a miniseries so we know it can work!)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pilot Screener Review - Lost & Found

Status: Busted

For script review, see Pilot Script Review - Lost & Found.


I have so very little to say about this pilot except that EVERYTHING IS WRONG.

Katee Sackhoff's Tessa Cooper is not the Starbuck-esque badass the script sort of tried to make her. She's kind of girly. And wears a lot of pink (NOT her color), which is only one of many wardrobe problems. And has waaaaaay too much wavy hair (something shoulder length and straight would've worked much better).

The voiceovers sucked. Instead of voiceovers, Tessa should've showed emotion on her face to convey whatever it was she was supposed to (i.e. when on the phone and VOing that the person on the other end is a bastard).

Tonally, it tries to be funny and spritely and quirky-funny-cops when it should be playing dramatic.

And the act outs are so soft. So soft I don't even remember what they were. For you writers out there, you know that act outs are supposed to be the big twists / reveals that launch the story in a new direction for the next act. The act outs here did that... but they weren't punchy in the way that reveals like "our victim found out he had a daughter four months ago" should've been.


Anyway. Everything is wrong. Easy to see (even back in the script stage) why NBC passed / is passing on this one.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


8-9 months until Lost returns.

I'm going to die.











So many thoughts about various things in the finale. I was at a viewing party, so was only paying as much attention as I could, and I didn't write anything down to discuss later, so I won't be doing a blow-by-blow.

1977 - the Swan / Jughead plotline
- not the least of which, thank you, Miles, for pointing out the "trying to prevent it may actually cause it" of it all...
- the electromagnetism craziness that happened at the Swan cite, we now know, was not caused by the bomb, but rather by the drilling and release of that energy...
- it will be interesting (um, to say the least) to see the effects of Juliet activating the Jughead core... god, didn't you feel for her in that moment? Presumed dead, and there's a tiny inkling of a shot in hell that Jack might be right (though what he bases his theory on, I really still have no clue) that blowing up the H-bomb at the Swan cite will lead to 815 never crashing on the Island... AND THUS JULIET WILL NOT ONLY NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE HEARTBREAK OF LOVING SAWYER, BUT SHE WON'T BE DYING IN THE FIRST PLACE (though she'll be living an imprisoned, subordinate's life under Ben's thumb)
- I really don't give a fig about the Jack/Kate/Sawyer triangle, or any of the emotional trauma therein, but I looooooved the Jack/Sawyer fistfight (and Jack being on the receiving end of the bloody beatdown like he gave Ben in "Through the Looking Glass")
- Miles helping his dad out was a nice moment
- Phil getting impaled = the whole room cheering. Seriously.
- Sayid getting shot = the whole room silent. Gasp-worthy moment... though he didn't die (yet?)
- Rose! Bernard! Vincent! Awwwwww. Also hilarious.

- Jacob touches (almost) everyone. They're marked, supposed to eventually come to the Island.
- Jacob was not in Juliet's flashback scene.
- Most significant flashback seems to be Locke's. Was Locke dead after his fall that eventually broke his back? And did Jacob resurrect him then and there? Or was that just a horribly cruel implication that I read far too much into?
- Saddest flashback was certainly Sayid's. Poor Nadia.
- Hurley and Sayid's flashbacks were after getting off the Island. Kate's and Sawyer's flashbacks were as kids (as was Juliet's, but Jacob wasn't there...) Jack's, Locke's, and Jin and Sun's were as adults, as was Ilana's.

- Ilana has a box. She shows Lapidus what's in the box. He reacts. We don't get to see it until much later. WHY WILL THIS SHOW NEVER LET US SEE WHAT CHARACTERS ARE LOOKING AT!? ARGH!
- Ilana was sent by Jacob, to the Island, to do something for him.
- Locke (...?) is a master manipulator, regarding Ben. Even though Ben was told that he has to do everything Locke says, Locke didn't know that (... or did he?) but then he finds out, but to make sure that Ben really does do the dirty deed at the end, he manipulates Ben's mind (Ben getting manipulated! Love it!) to truly question the value of following Jacob's every word for so long and having nothing, and having lost much, to show for his devotion.
- Still no idea why Sun is in 2008 and not in 1977 like the rest of the alive Oceanic 815 passengers who returned in Ajira 316.
- Richard / Ricardos (so, he's Greek... which goes with that parchment / tapestry / whatever, and sounds like it goes with the answer to the "what lies in the shadow of the statue" question) doesn't age because something Jacob did to him (no idea what / why).
- Lapidus is a candidate (for Leader, presumably, which makes sense-ish now that we know what we know about Locke)
- Ben stabs Jacob.
- Locke kicks Jacob into a fire.
- Locke is dead. Dead is dead. Locke's body was in Ilana's box.

So, who's been masquerading as Locke all this time? My money at this point is Smokezilla, which is the spirit / embodiment of the other, nameless guy with Jacob in the first scene of the episode (with The Black Rock on the horizon). They seem to be the leaders of the two sides of the war that is coming to the Island. And now Jacob is dead? And "they're" coming (they meaning the return of the time travelers, perhaps, but also perhaps some external faction under Man #2's thumb?)

Looking at the stone tablet carving in The Temple, Jacob is Anubis (or whatever they wind up saying the Egyptian God is) and Man #2 is the monster on the left side of the tablet, aka Smokezille. Which for reasons I won't get into here, makes me think more of Yu-Gi-Oh than I ever suspected Lost would...

Um, yeah.

Jacob. Dead? Let's be honest. Three stab wounds and a little fire shouldn't be able to kill some mystical somesuch who has been alive for centuries / millennia, and seems to have certain controls or at least vision of fate / destiny / the future. After all, he asks for Ilana's help. That's rather prescient (or perhaps he's just excellent at game theory).


More on not-Locke. Who is Kara Thrace only EVIL (we believe).

Smokezilla has always been able to take the form of people who are dead (and, perhaps, those whose corpses are on the Island? Jury's still out on what Hurley's vision of Dave was). Eko's vision of his brother. Christian Shepherd. Why couldn't Smokey get to Jacob in any of these other guises? It's not entirely that he couldn't get to Jacob, but that he couldn't kill him. There's probably something within The Rules that this guy / spirit can't kill Jacob... though he certainly seems able to kill others (Eko). He needs someone to do it for him (OMG, YOU GUYS, HE'S THE FIRST EVIL FROM BUFFY). So why can't Christian Shepherd do it? Christian doesn't have relationships to anyone on the Island. He couldn't manipulate anyone the way Locke was able to (although he was able to manipulate Locke to, i.e. turn the donkey wheel). So he engineered this circuitous plan. Get Locke off the Island. Have Locke killed. Have Locke's corpse come back. Masquerade as risen-from-the-dead Locke and convince someone (Ben) to do his dirty work for him. There's the loophole.

It's all very... okay... and...? Sigh, I really need to know what happens next...

I don't believe Jacob is dead (and if he is, we need to know WTF that means in the grand, immortal scheme of things).

I believe Jack/Kate/Sawyer/Sayid/Miles/Hurley will arrive in 2008.

I believe we need to see more from Desmond, Widmore, Hawkings, Claire, and AARON next season.

We're getting towards the one "end" that Jacob said there would be, and everything else is just progress to get there.


8-9 months.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Two Fox pickups

Hearing Fox has picked up Human Target (my favorite of its drama pilot scripts... but that wasn't saying much!) as well as the comedy Sons of Tuscon.

As If

After watching last night's Gossip Girl spin-off backdoor pilot, I'm quite glad the buzz around the project has been vacillating on a daily basis from "sure thing" to "dead" and back again. I can't make up my mind. I know I didn't love it, but it does have the potential for fun in the 80s in LA. Still, Krysten Ritter was the only character who popped (not that Ryan Hansen had a ton to do, but he's always enjoyable). I usually love Brittany Snow, but I wasn't feeling her take on Lily. Your thoughts?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Taking All Bets...

Who's got odds on there being ratings released today? Anyone? Bueller?

Seriously, though, we should (GOD WILLING) be getting finals for Sun/Mon/Tuesday throughout tomorrow...

It's not like ratings are important or this is sweeps or the upfronts are coming and ratings performances in these late weeks may stave off or usher in cancellation or anything...


Monday, May 4, 2009

CW Sundays No More?

Per Joseph Adalian, CW is close to giving Sundays back to the affiliates next season.

Good for them (see Next Season - CW for my proposed schedule that still has CW picking up all new dramas but Light Years, and not scheduling Sundays...)

A couple changes...
- CW will probably keep 90210 at 9pm on Tuesdays and put the new Melrose Place at 8pm on Tuesdays (after all, 90210 needs lead-in support)
- if Privileged airs on Fridays, the five drama pilots can still all be picked up, but CW will have 2 options for midseason replacements... something the network needs to have up its sleeve

Getting rid of Sundays, CW can have Gossip Girl level "success" with all of its new programs and still have massive gains in its average versus year-ago (especially if it can find some degree of success on Fridays).

NBC pickups... first round!

Alright! All four of my Thumbs Up / Jury's Out drama scripts from NBC were announced as pickups today (Parenthood, Trauma, Mercy, and Day One).

The news that Day One will be a "limited" (aka mini-) series actually turns my head on the project. You can pour money into something like that and have a good, entertaining product for however long they're going to do it AND THEN BE DONE WITH IT. But it just wasn't continuing series material.

Very excited to see screeners of all these pickups... my question now is "where's Legally Mad?" Was it so bad that they decided to incur the series penalty? Or just wait to announce it until May 19th when NBC announces its schedule (and say "it's midseason")?

Also no official word on Chuck... until May 19th?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

NBC pickups almost here!

Glad the info I was sitting on about the (rumor of the) Chuck 13-episode pickup seems like it's come to pass, as the rumor was it was part of an NBC/WBTV deal that included Southland (picked up for 13). Now that other places are reporting it, I'm sure my source won't mind me chiming in with the info!

Also potentially part of the the deal: Legally Mad (gah!), but we all knew it was getting picked up because of the series penalty...

As we ramp up towards infronts/upfronts, the news usually breaks about 2 days in advance for each network (on pickups, not on scheduling), so with NBC's infront on May 5th... today could be a big news day.