What are the odds that this is the year that How I Met Your Mother makes it into that hallowed circle of Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series? If it were up to me, I'd rank HIMYM over Two and a Half Men, for instance, but I'm not the one filling out the ballot. One thing working in Mother's favor this year, though, is that on July 16 when the nominations are announced, there will be six nominees in each category instead of five.
The folks behind the HIMYM Emmy campaign must believe they have a good shot. Look at this trade ad that TV Week reprinted. It's a good ad; clever and memorable. The nod to Magritte is unmistakable, and attests to the wit of the show's creators. If this doesn't send a subliminal message to Emmy voters, nothing will.
To this I say, hooray! Especially for The Amazing Race. There's a reason this show has won the Emmy so many times. The current race has been terrific. Survivor seems to be having a bounce back season, as well.
I was turned off to the last couple of seasons -- China was a drag -- but I'm enjoying the current contest. Anytime an antagonist like Ace emerges, that's good TV to me.
As I type this, there are 11 court shows currently in first-run syndication, with Judge Judy leading the pack. These shows have become one of the more stable franchises for stations across America, as original programming has made way for pre-packaged fare. With the market seemingly saturated by the amount of court shows, you would think that the studios would be holding off in producing any new series.
Hello! It's television -- the obese glutton of the media world!
Four new series are being worked on right now. Three of these will make their first appearances as the fall season officially begins in a few short weeks. The fourth may not appear until 2009. However, when it does, it may push Judge Judy out of the top spot its held for several years. According to TV Week, former Minnesota governor and pro-wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura is currently in negotiations to host a court show aimed at the daytime television audience. Should the negotiations work out, Jesse could be presiding over some type of court cases by the fall of next year.
I don't say this as a guy who writes about television for a living, I'm talking about as a television fan. The questions have been remarkably easy, especially in the early rounds, even up to $25,000, and the players are just failing miserably. Even with the lifelines the show offers! That's inexcusable. Of course, the audience hasn't always been a help either. They screwed over one contestant by saying that Eliza Dushku's show was called Tru Colors and not Tru Calling.
The veteran newsman, who'll be 72 this year, had announced his retirement. He was going to leave the Black Rock as of the January presidential inauguration. Now he's decided to postpone the rocking chair. According to TV Week, the network didn't have to twist his arm; the deal was easily and simply done. All Schieffer had to do was get his wife Pat's approval and he was able to tell CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus asked him not to step down as planned with the inauguration of a new president that he would remain.
Roker, currently the main weatherman and easy-going interviewer on Today (the first three hours at least!), would seem a perfect fit for this job. He's friendly, funny, personable and has a high recognizability/likability rating. He's also busy on the dial with Food Network shows, both producing and hosting. In fact, in 2006 his production company put out Celebrity Food Fights, about competing celebs -- not unlike Family Feud concept -- for Food Network.
A couple of times a year, TV Week asks TV critics from print and online media to fill out a survey with their lists of the best and worst TV shows of the season. The summer list this year doesn't hold too many surprises in the "best" category, though I think the "worst" has a few (worst lists are always more fun to read anyway, right?). First, the ten best:
1. The Sopranos (HBO)
2. Lost (ABC)
3. Friday Night Lights (NBC)
Responding to criticism in a recent Los Angeles Times piece that this season's 24 is lackluster and that viewers are tuning out, a co-executive producer of the show said failing to chart out story lines and sending several characters to sleep with the fishes are largely to blame for this predicament.
"You try to keep things interesting, find new ways to tell the story, and unfortunately we wound up repeating ourselves somewhat," David Fury, co-executive producer told TV Week. "I still would claim that regardless of the quality drop-off that people are saying, the show's still very strong. It's still one of the best things on television."
I'm not exactly sure what they mean by "powerful" whenever these lists come out. Does it mean influence? Does it mean the most-watched? Probably a mish-mash of both, since the list includes anchors and network executives. Here's the list, according to TV Week. Last year's rank is in parentheses.
1. Roger Ailes - Chairman and CEO of FOX News (1)
Writers on 24 put an end to the suitcase-nukes-on-the-loose story arc because they were "bored to death" with having their characters ask, "Where's the bomb?," show co-executive producer Manny Coto told TV Week.
Coto said that because writers knew they weren't going to have a second nuke detonate this season -- one flattened Valencia in the first hours -- they had Jack Bauer simply find the bombs and then they changed the story's direction.
Coto also told TV Week that, as a direct result of the consultations 24 creators had with terrorism experts, they decided that instead of having Jack torture terrorist Abu Fayed to coerce the location of the nukes out of him, they'd devise a scenario where Fayed was "rescued" from CTU custody by CTU agents posing as members of a splinter terrorist group.
Some have guessed that the announcement involves a surprise celebrity guest, such as Michael Jackson or Paul McCartney (although the producers have already denied this). Others think the producers have planned a surprise twist in the voting system. Possibly, wild cards could be brought back to the show, or more boys could be sent packing than girls. Perhaps the judges will override America's vote for the first time ever. These would all be big surprises.
Want to know why some of the bad guys in 24 are painted in shades of gray? (Think former President Charles Logan. The Day 6 version. The one who quotes the Bible in the bathroom.)
Want to know how long it takes to write one of these action-packed episodes?
Curious as to 24 staffers' thoughts on the controversies sparked by the show's graphic scenes?
TV Week has been posting a series of interviews with 24 producers and writers as part of their 24 "Backlot Talk" series. You can either download the audio of the interview or read the transcript. The site also has a place for readers to submit questions that could be posed to 24 creators in future interviews.
That's the theory pushed by veteran TV critic Tom Shales in this piece over at TV Week. The numbers for the Today Show are declining, and Shales thinks that the reasons are twofold. One, viewers haven't warmed up to Meredith Vieira since she took over for Katie Couric. And two, he actually thinks that Matt Lauer is trying to sabotage her work:
If viewers haven't hugely warmed up to Vieira, then part of the reason may be misbehavior by her hammy co-host. Repeatedly and perhaps vindictively, Matt has seemed intent on tripping Vieira up on the air-interrupting, hogging the spotlight, cold-shouldering her, subtly putting her down. Matt perhaps doesn't want to be outshone by a woman once again.
I don't watch the show as much as I used to so I have no idea if this is true or not. Readers?
Shales also doesn't have kind words for the pairing of Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts over at Good Morning America.
[via TV Newser]
While I won't disagree on their picks for the worst programs, I do disagree on their choices for best television. This season's Lost wasn't so hot and The Sopranos seems tired. My hands-down favorite television program right now is The Office (tied for 19th among the critics). This season, I came to adore the characters. Everytime I hear the music for the opening credits, I can't help but bounce on the couch and clap my hands like a two-year-old.
What do you think is THE BEST show on television? Choose only one.
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