All of this is true, but there seems to be something missing from Mr. Smith's idyllic recollection of a very '90s summer: television. I know it's probably difficult to come up with a rhyme for "True Blood Season Four Premiere," but that notwithstanding, for how many of us is television a part of the true summer experience?
For most of my childhood, television took a Fresh Prince approach to the summer months. After working hard to keep me entertained through the fall and spring, shows would take the summer to unwind and come up with new, innovative ways to showcase Daisy Duke's ass.
Taking that into account, it can be depressing, quite frankly, when the summer months arrive and all those shows we've been manipulating our schedules around are gone. But it doesn't necessarily have to be. The summer is an opportunity to leave that televisual comfort zone that we've spent so many years cultivating and seek new shows to add to our socially acceptable obsession. Here's a shortlist of shows premiering this summer that should be a cure for the "where's my show" blues.
But, out of all the original programs that premiered on the major networks after the completion of the fall 2008 season, not a single one got traction.
According to analysis reports, you can take your pick from any of the following shows: Defying Gravity, The Superstars, The Listener, Mental, The Philanthropist, Hitched or Ditched, Merlin and Great American Road Trip. All of them bombed -- each hovering just above a one market share.
In fact, you don't need numbers to prove that the fall crop crapped out. Ask your friend what his/her favorite summer replacement show was. You'll be waiting awhile.
We're in the middle of the Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week celebration, a whole of programming involving sharks, sharks, sharks, sharks, and the people who love/fear them. But David Zurawik over at The Baltimore Sun doesn't understand why some people get excited about it. He wants someone to explain its appeal.
|It's great! I watch it every year.||177 (36.6%)|
|It's terrible! I mean, who cares about sharks?||46 (9.5%)|
|I don't watch it, but whatevs||260 (53.8%)|
If you were talking high concept like a Hollywood pitchman, you could describe Drop Dead Diva as Ally McBeal for the Lane Bryant set. Or maybe it's Sara Lee meets Heaven Can Wait. However, you put it, Drop Dead Diva is a switcheroo story about a vapid, but lovable, gorgeous size 2 model who dies at the exact same time as a brilliant, generous size 16 workaholic attorney, and in one of those wonderful Hollywood comedy devices, shallow Deb's spirit winds up in good Jane's body.
(S04E01) "This place is absolutely barkin' mad." - Sharon about Seattle
This year's season premiere of America's Got Talent was about the same as last year's and the previous one: same montage of bad and good acts, instant reactions from the host backstage, the same type of comments from Piers, Sharon and the Hoff, and the last act being one where the contestants have a touching story and are great performers.
The main difference was the change in host -- Nick Cannon took over for Jerry Springer -- and the fact that a contestant, whose act was singing and playing guitar, decided to profess his love to The Hoff! That was probably the highlight of the entire two-hour premiere.
I should point out that when I say "coming back this summer" in the headline I mean that ABC is bringing them back to burn off the remaining episodes that haven't aired yet. That's right, six months from now is the earliest you'll see any of these shows return. They could even come back later.
Pushing Daisies has three episodes left, while Eli Stone and Dirty Sexy Money each have four. Fans of these shows might not like this, but the truth is, the shows that have been in the time slots for these shows have actually done better in the ratings.
Well, after months of no news about the show, we learn today that no news is bad news. Swingtown has been cancelled.
CBS president Nina Tassler championed the show, but apparently she couldn't save it. At the press tour presentation she talked lovingly about the drama, even patting the network on the back to taking a risk by broadcasting it. But in the end, the good performances, excellent writing, critical approval and cult following it garnered didn't matter.
USA has picked up Royal Pains, a new summer series starring Mark Feuerstein as Hank Lawson, M.D., a doctor who is on-call to some of the most demanding patients around, the richie-riches who live in the fashionable Hamptons of Long Island.
There are a few reasons to be psyched about this new drama. For starters, it's coming from the same network that brings us Psych, not to mention Burn Notice, Starter Wife and In Plain Sight. In other words, USA has been doing very well in developing idiosyncratic, interesting comedy-drama series. There's no reason to think that Royal Pains will be a dud.
No, it's not another lamentation about those overlooked shows that really do deserve a DVD set, but just can't seem to get them. I've grown accustomed to having Bob's weekly DVD release post arrive like a slap in the face as Beggars and Choosers is not on it, again. Instead, this is about those shows that do get their DVD set, but are late for no good reason at all. At least, not one that I can come up with.
I started thinking about it last week as I was talking with a friend and we were watching the Hellboy/Chuck promo. She commented that she really should start watching Chuck. In full agreement, I quickly pointed her to the Chuck page on Hulu. But wait, there are only three episodes available on Hulu. I guessed that it must be because they don't want streaming to cannibalize DVD sales. So I headed to Amazon. Chuck isn't out on DVD until September 16th. What the hell?
Shark Week will air July 27 to August 2nd. Sunday through Friday programming will run from 7 p.m. till midnight ET/PT. And on Saturday programming will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET/PT.
Find out what show I'm looking forward to and what other shows Discovery has planned after the jump.
Confirmed talent for the this summer includes Panic! at the Disco, Snoop Dogg, The Pussycat Dolls, Flo-Rida, The Ting Tings, Lil' Wayne, Duffy, Boys Like Girls, and Vampire Weekend. These artists are set for either special guest appearances or live stage performances.
The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing are scheduled to begin on August 8th. According to the minutes of a May 29th meeting, procedures which have been used by broadcasters in other Olympics are conflicting with China's authoritarian government. Some plans are months behind schedule, which could force broadcasters to compromise coverage plans.
ABC announced the final four cast members on Friday:
Liz: Age 60, Retired, from Whitefish, MT
Marcie: Age 31, Stay-at-home mom, from Corona, CA (pictured to the left)
Alex: Age 31, Musician, from Haverford, PA
Craig: Age 30, Graphic Designer, San Diego, CA
Click here for a full list of The Mole's cast.
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