A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a taping of The Sound of Young America at Santa Monica's Westside Eclectic Theater. There was music and merriment and a fart orchestra that I won't bother explaining, but the centerpiece of the show was an interview between host Jesse Thorn and Veronica Mars creator and Miss/Guided showrunner Rob Thomas.
I learned many important things about Rob Thomas that night.
The CW's got some funny sitcoms both old (Everybody Hates Chris) and new (Aliens in America -- more on that later), but the network's funniest asset is Paul McGuire, executive vice president, network communications.
Before introducing Dawn Ostroff, president entertainment, The CW, McGuire fires off some zingers to get the reporters up and running.
Of the recycled tote bags that The CW gave to the press (perfect for hauling all our cable swag home), McGuire quips, "They're made entirely from recycled billboards, including some from Hidden Palms -- or as some dirt bag reporter called it -- 'Hidden Ratings.'"
The Sound of Young America, a public radio show and podcast about cool pop culture stuffs, will be taping live this Saturday in Santa Monica, California.
Why should I care about that?, you might ask.
Well ,if you're a fan of Veronica Mars, creator Rob Thomas will be there to chat with SOYA host Jesse Thorn, and tickets only cost ten bucks. Is ten bucks too much to pay to see Thomas, someone who provided you with hours of free entertainment? No, you cheap bastard, it isn't.
When I posted my list of the top 5 best TV dads last Father's Day many of you commented that I missed a few really good patriarchs. This included Keith Mars, Keith Mars, Keith Mars, and, oh yeah, Keith Mars. So, there was no doubt in my mind that a new list of TV dads needed to be compiled for this Father's Day. I mean, you dads out there need something else as a gift other than the glow-in-the-dark tie your kids purchased at the dollar store. So, without fanfare, here are five more of the greatest TV dads. And, guess who's first?
Keith Mars (Veronica Mars): Commenters have mentioned that Veronica's dad, Keith (played by Enrico Colantoni), was one of the most real and believable fathers on television. He was also very loving and supportive of Veronica in her side hobby of solving crimes, big and small. If the series had gone to a fourth season with (as rumors stated) Veronica leaving her friends and family in Neptune behind in order to become an FBI agent, the presence of Keith Mars would have been sorely missed.
Miss/Guided is a single-camera sitcom staring Judy Greer (Love Monkey). She plays a former high school nerd that comes back to her alma mater as a guidance counselor and finds that high school is still high school, even for the adults. It was created by Caroline Williams, a writer on The Office; I'm guessing Thomas is being brought on to guide this show with an experienced hand, since Williams has never run a show before.
This is a great idea. Many of the shows listed get a lot of buzz on sites like ours (because our readers know good television), but the general population doesn't seem to catch on. If only How I Met Your Mother would get on iTunes... it could definitely use some more fans as it heads into season 3.
Those of you who have been diligently sending Mars candy bars to Dawn Ostroff, head of CW programming to save Veronica Mars from permanent cancellation may want to hold off on the next shipment when you hear what creator Rob Thomas has to say. In a recent newspaper interview Thomas pretty much said that VM is over for good as a television series.
Oh, he's not upset with the fans for trying. In fact, according to the interview, he loves that the fans have been making this all-out effort to renew the show. It's just that the CW's Ostroff doesn't get to make the final call if the show stays or not. That call is made by sister company CBS. Thomas believes that head honcho Les Moonves doesn't want to continue the show.
A rather large band of Veronica Mars fans, who won't take the news of the show's death lying down, have started a campaign to ship as many Mars Bars to the person in charge of CW programming, Dawn Ostroff, in hopes that the gesture will force her hand not to sign the final cancellation papers for the show. How many have they sent so far? Put it this way: they've located every last remaining Mars Bar in the country and have moved onto whatever the heck left they can find that's even remotely related to the show.
In case you didn't know, the drop-dead date for any show cancellation decisions at The CW is June 15th, just five days away. Read the organizing party's website for more info on how to help.
[Thanks to the multitude of people who sent in this tip!]
I'm actually looking forward to summer television this year as a break from all the hype and mania surrounding shows like Lost, 24, and American Idol. I get a little burned out on all the talk as the mainstream media outlets (Today, Good Morning America, all cable news channels) try to get their grubby hands on a fraction of the ratings for each show by covering them... heavily.
This summer, I'm taking it easy. I'm watching a few intense dramas that I enjoy and picking up a few more new programs that look light-hearted. No reality programming here. And, unlike Bob and Jonathan, I don't feel any allegiance to Studio 60. It's just not good.
Luckily for all of us, I've got a very reliable anonymous source who has seen a copy of the retooled Veronica Mars, and I have to say I'm in agreement with this person's assessment of the new show. It's only a matter of time before the episode leaks to YouTube, but for those who can't wait for that moment, here's my source's description of the episode with some commentary.
(S03E19/S03E20) Well now I'm pissed. As if I wasn't already pissed before this episode aired, they go and end things with a big ol' fizzle. Unfortunately for all of us, Rob Thomas took a gamble that the series would get picked up for a new season, so we're left what feels very, very much like a season ender, not a series ender. And sorry, but a flash-forward reboot retooling can't possibly clear up the loose ends we're left with after this episode.
With that said, even though we all know this was a series ending episode, this was pretty decent for a season ender.
The CW has kept us on the edge of our seats for months now, not really making much of a peep about the fate of one of my favorite shows. This season definitely had its hits and misses, but I felt another season with the reported possible retooling would bring it back to first-season-like greatness.
Unfortunately for all of us this means we'll be left with a rather lackluster series ender next week, as everyone involved with the show seemed to think it was premature to write an episode that worked as a series ender. Even if the season finale could "work" as a series ender, I'll be surprised if it'll cut it.
Then again, maybe a miracle will happen and the show will move to another network in the future. Ah who am I kidding.
The big news is no news. Veronica Mars was not announced as part of the Fall line-up, but according to rumors, The CW is waiting until June 15th to decide the gal detective's fate. This is supposed to give Rob Thomas enough time to whip up a "Veronica in the FBI" script. (Update: Ausiello reports from the press conference that Veronica Mars is dead, though "something else" may be coming up.)
One Tree Hill is going to do a ctrl-alt-del. Returning mid-season, the show is going to jump four years into the future - after its characters have graduated from college. Online journal entries are going to chronicle the missing years. On Everybody Hates Chris, Chris Rock will finally appear on the show -- as the school guidance councilor!
The more interesting pick of the newbie litter - Josh Schwartz, creator of The O.C., is back with Gossip Girl based on the popular book series of the same name and Kevin Smith directed the pilot episode of the new series Reaper.
The CW's good, bad and ugly after the jump:
(S03E18) I love that although they've done away with the larger mysteries, it's nice that the writers put a little shout out here and there to us longtime fans. Sure they're not mystery related, but at least it's not all boy-girl relationship related.
Speaking of which, I thought I was OK with the whole Pizonica thing until the opening scene of this episode, with the two of them playing, what, armsies? Elbow-sies? It was just ... not right.
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