Tag Archives: NBC

2009 Fall TV Season Report Card

Seeing as the Fall TV season has been up and running for a couple of weeks now, thought we’d finally weigh in on the crop of new shows. The good news is that, so far, most of the shows we’ve watched have been good. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time we added this many new shows to our Tivo Season Pass!

"The Beautiful Life: TBL" on The CW

"The Vampire Diaries" on The CW

"Melrose Place" on The CW

And though some of the most heavily-promoted new shows kinda sucked (I’m talking to you, “Cougar Town”) some of them are actually totally deserving of the hype (“The Vampire Diaries”, “The Good Wife”, “Modern Family”, etc.). But rather than bore you with long, detailed descriptions of the shows in question, we felt an annotated report card would be much more to the point.

So, without further ado, I give you our first annual Fall TV Season report card…enjoy!

Letter Grade: A+

“The Vampire Diaries” (The CW) – Long-lost loves, family secrets, dark, brooding vampires in high school…what’s not to love here? “Twilight” be damned, this show is the best of the crop so far…and the fact that it stars mi “The American Mall” amiga, Nina Dobrev, certainly doesn’t hurt. If you haven’t already, you must Tivo this show!

“Modern Family” (ABC) – This show has only aired twice and we laughed our asses off and cried during both episodes. A really sweet, heartfelt and hilarious look at one crazy extended family. Awesome!

“Glee” (FOX) – Best new show that started airing last season. It’s like co-creator Ryan Murphy threw his old WB show “Popular” in a giant pot, boiled away the fat and cheese and created something truly magical. “Glee” is a pleasure to watch from start to finish.

“The Good Wife” (CBS) – This show looked like such a snooze when it was announced, but it is so much more than meets the eye. The cast is superb, particularly Julianna Margulies’ mouthy sidekick, Archie Panjabi, who truly electrifies every scene she’s in. I’m not kidding, these gals have onscreen chemistry to burn. And seeing Josh Charles, Chris Noth and Christine Baranski back on a weekly series is never a bad thing either.

Letter Grade: A

“Melrose Place” (The CW) – Already a hundred times better than the original series, and a million times better than the hideously-lame “90210” remake that debuted last year, this “Melrose” is juicy, campy, sexy and best of all, crazy fun to watch. And unlike the new “90210”, the classic characters actually have a story and a reason to be there when they show up. Ooo, and speaking of, Heather Locklear is checking back in soon…so, bring on the awesomeness!

“Mercy” (NBC) – Didn’t expect this show to be good at all, but caught a few minutes of it in passing and am now totally hooked. Quirky characters that don’t annoy, zippy writing and a first-rate cast in a medical show about nurses? Wow, almost makes me forget that “ER” was canceled…

Letter Grade: B

“Accidentally On Purpose” (CBS) – I normally loathe Jenna Elfman, but it seems that I’ll watch anything to do with babies and pregnancy these days, so, I Tivoed the show. And, you know what? It’s not nearly as bad as it looks. I won’t Tivo it again, but you could find much worse ways to pass a half hour.

“The City” (MTV) – I know this show — a spin-off of the far-more-popular ‘The Hills” — is technically in it’s second season, but, wow, with two new alpha bitches on board, this is a brand new show in my book and it rocks!

Letter Grade: D

“Cougar Town” (ABC) – I am not easily offended, but the onslaught of crass, unfunny, gross-out jokes on this show made me wanna stop watching before the first commercial break. Yuck…just, yuck.

“Eastwick” (ABC) – Three charming female leads does not a series make. I don’t need a crystal ball to see that this mediocre reworking of an already mediocre movie is headed nowhere fast. Yikes…

“Trauma” (NBC) – The show opens with a kick-ass head-on collision between two helicopters in San Francisco, but it’s all downhill from there. Yawn…

Letter Grade: F

“The Beautiful Life: TBL” (The CW) – Models, runways, drugs, and a skeletal, strung-out Mischa Barton badly playing herself? What’s not to love? Well, amigos…everything. I don’t know what’s funnier…the fact that someone at the CW actually thought this show would be popular enough to warrant a cheesy nickname (“TBL”??) or the fact that it was deservedly canceled after two episodes. Urgh, what a train wreck…

Oh, yeah, and just for the record, these grades are for the episodes that have aired so far. So, if a cool show starts blowing chunks and getting all “Alias” or “Heroes” on us midseason, we reserve the right to change our grades. I mean, hello, it is only October…

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NBC’s “Biggest Loser” hits the road…

OK, normally, I am not the kind of person to gloat when bad things happen to jerky people (even if they totally deserve it!) but when I heard that NBC Universal’s much-maligned entertainment co-chairman, Ben Silverman was fired today, I gotta admit, I kinda cheered!

That’s right, amigos, the man who brought you such immortal classics as “My Own Worst Enemy”, “Kings”, “Crusoe”, “Kath & Kim”, the crazy-expensive (not to mention totally unnecessary!) remakes of “Bionic Woman” and “Knight Rider”,¬†and Survival Sunday cheesefests like “Meteor” and “The Storm”, has finally been shown the door. Hooray!

Ben Silverman prom promo!

In his defense, Silverman was a well-regarded producer of such hit shows as “Ugly Betty”, “The Office”, and “30 Days” before taking the reigns at NBC, so, when the network brass hired him to lead NBC out of the crapper in 2007, he seemed like an inspired pick.

But it was soon clear to everyone involved that Silverman was not the “rock star executive” he promised to be. Not only were many of his big ideas just plain lame — hello, “Rosie Live!” anyone? — but by making crass product placement a way of life at the network, greenlighting expensive duds left and right, and calling writers “the nerdiest, ugliest, meanest kids in the high school” during the dark days of the WGA strike, Silverman really was his “Own Worst Enemy”.

My old NBC strike squad actually made up Silverman-specific chants during the strike…of course, I’ve forgotten most of them, but, trust me, they made our Carson Daly chants look friendly!

In fact, at one point, there was talk of staging a Ben Silverman prom in honor of his statement about us “ugly writers” trying to “cancel the prom” when we threatened to bring down NBC’s telecast of that year’s Golden Globes. And though we never held the actual prom, we did get the Globes downgraded to a “news event”, and, as you can see, we crafted some pretty cool paraphernalia in preparation for it…so, suck it Silverman!

Getting ready for the Ben Silverman prom!

Ben Silverman prom corsage and picket sign!

But prom or no prom, the good news today is that the cheesy-ass king of all things crappy at NBC is finally gone. Yay! Now, if we could just do something about those annoying “Jay Leno at 10PM” commercials…yikes…

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“Project Runway” to air on Lifetime

You’ve probably already heard the news by now, but it sounds like crazy old Harvey Weinstein has finally worked out a deal with greedy old NBC Universal that will allow the long-delayed sixth season of “Project Runway” to finally see the light of day on Lifetime. Yay!

PROJECT RUNWAY #1

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and both sides are trying to play it all cool, but you just know it killed NBC Universal to lose another landmark series right now. I mean, with “ER” signing off last night, “Kings” boring audiences to tears and nothing remotely new and exciting on the horizon — except for maybe five nights a week of prime time Jay Leno (yawn) — NBC is, as Heidi Klum would say, definitely “out”.

But Lifetime, on the other hand is so “in” it hurts! “Rita Rocks”, “The 2009 Nora Roberts Collection” and now “Project Runway”? Man, “television for women” never sounded so good!

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Martha and Conan share a 40 for the road…

Don’t know if you guys have been watching “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” this week or not, but tonight is Conan’s last show from New York City before coming west in a few weeks to take over as host of “The Tonight Show”.

Martha and Conan share a 40!

And though the shows this week have all been hilarious — we missed Carrie Fisher unfreezing the Masturbating Bear from carbonite, but it sounded awesome! — perhaps our favorite guest star has been Conan’s old pal, Martha Stewart. Showing up unannounced on Wednesday night’s show, Martha brought some now-classic clips of Conan’s 2002 appearance on “Martha Stewart Living”.

We’d seen the clips before, and the two have appeared on each others shows dozens of times over the years, but this last little visit on the old set in NYC was really sweet. TV bullshit aside, you can tell that these two really like each other and seeing as we love both Martha and Conan, seeing them together is like TV geek nirvana! Wow!

But even more awesome was the final parting gift Martha brought Conan. To commemorate a now-legendary visit to his show back in the days of Andy Richter, Martha brought Taco Bell bean burritos and a pair of ice-cold 40 ouncers for her and Conan to share. It was hilarious!

Martha and Conan share a 40 #2!

Martha and Conan share a 40 #3!

I’m sure Martha will make many a return visit to Conan’s show when he moves out here, but I gotta tell ya, seeing those two drink malt liquor while noshing on Taco Bell on the old Late Night set left us both a little verklempt.

Seriously, we’re gonna miss that shit when he moves up the dial an hour to 11:30. So, best of luck with the new gig, Conan, and here’s hoping we don’t weep too much while watching your final show tonight…

Conan’s last new show from NYC airs tonight at 12:35AM on NBC.

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“Rosie Live!”

Judging from the ratings, I think Christine and I were the only losers who actually watched this train wreck of a TV special last week. And considering that Christine stopped watching after the opening number with Liza Minnelli, I guess that means I’m the only loser who watched it all the way through. And, let me tell ya, it was God-awful…

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No offense to mis hermanos at Telemundo, but “Rosie Live!” was like a Mexican variety show minus the subtlety. Not only was Rosie herself spectacularly unfunny, but the line-up of guest stars was beyond unholy.

Of course, I expected NBC stars like Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski, and even Conan O’Brien — who appeared just long enough to have a pie thrown in his face by Baldwin! — to show up to shamelessly promote their own shows. But who in their right mind thought of inviting Rachel Ray to wordlessly trot across the stage with a giant fake turkey?

And trust me, Ray was on the normal end of the spectrum. The rest of the show reads like a laundry list of bad ideas: Clay Aiken chatting Rosie up in his full-on “Spamalot” togs, Harry Connick Jr. playing Santa, Ne-Yo cheesing out with the “Solid Gold” dancers, Alanis Morisette going totally goth, a troupe of acrobats spinning to a crazy techo remix of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)”, Gloria Estefan singing with dancing Thanksgiving food, and last, but not least, Kathy Griffin inexplicably dressed as (and lamely spoofing) that old CNN harpie, Nancy Grace.

Seriously, NBC, who thought any of these things were gonna pull in the big numbers? I think the funniest thing about this whole debacle is now that the show has reportedly been canceled after one airing, NBC is retroactively referring to “Rosie Live!” as a “special”. Ha!

How a show widely-touted as a new series one week is downgraded to a one-off special the next is beyond me, but no matter what they call it, “Rosie Live!” was jaw-droppingly bad television. And I watched every lame minute of it. Yikes…

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Beijing Olympics: Week Three!

Everybody keeps saying that the Summer Olympics ended on Sunday, but according to our Tivo, Christine and I still have almost 48-hours worth of Olympics yet to watch. Weird…huh?

Well, the way I see it, until we finish plowing through the many moons of Olympic coverage we have stored up, the Games of the 29th Olympiad are very much alive and well in Burbank, amigos!

Now, before we get back to watching those rocking Synchronized Swimming and Modern Pentathalon finals, Christine and I just wanted to take a moment to wish that nice Michael Phelps boy well.

Man, we sure hope he wins all those swimming medals he came to Beijing for! Go for the gold, Phelpsy!

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Panda porn with Mary Carillo!

OK, Christine and I are still days behind in our Olympics coverage so this might be old news by now, but according to the fetching young lad on NBC, I think his name is Mary Carillo, panda experts in China actually show male pandas “panda porn” to get them in the mood! Crazy, huh?

And just in case we doubted the veracity of these reports, NBC actually showed us footage of a horny panda pacing back and forth in his cage while some juicy “panda porn” played on a TV nearby. Hilarious! All that was missing were some classic porno jams thumping away in the background.

And yes, I know Mary Carillo is a woman with a husband and two kids, but man, that old foghorn she calls a voice gives me the willies sometimes.

And though Ms. Carillo has taken a beating online for her looks, her voice and even the kinda borderline racist slant (no pun intended) to several of her reports from Beijing, we still love us some sweet Mary Carillo Olympic Moments. So, rock on, dude…er, Mary…and hooray for “panda porn”!

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