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Costas Closes Olympics with "the Always Enjoyable Giant Inflatable Beaver"

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 1st 2010 8:30PM
Bob Costas is a broadcasting legend and rightfully so. He has a commanding presence and an intellectual curiosity that can never be fed. He has conducted probing and thoughtful interviews with just about everyone who ever meant anything to the news and sports world. But now, he will be forever remembered for uttering a phrase that united the world.



Costas uttered this now immortal phrase during the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics last night, and it set the Internet afire with its "beaver" and "inflatable" Google keyword alerts. It not only appeared all over Twitter, but it now has its own Facebook page with 1,500 members and growing. Someone out there, a lucky businessman, is putting it on a T-shirt, and the world will become just a little bit better for it.

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Craig Ferguson's Late Night "Experiment" Should Be Done More Often

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 26th 2010 7:04PM
Craig Ferguson
If you tuned into Tuesday night's 'Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,' you might have found yourself questioning if there was something wrong with your hearing, your brand new surround sound speaker system, or both.

Nothing was wrong, though. The show didn't have a monologue. It didn't have any pre-planned comedy bits or hand puppets talking about Lindsey Lohan's latest coke binge. It didn't even have an audience.

The entire hour just featured two guys sitting in two chairs talking about anything and everything all at once. It was the most normal hour of late night television I've seen, despite the fact that both of them were taking an occasional sip of water from angry rattlesnakes.

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'(500) Days of Summer' Scribes Land NBC Sitcom

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 18th 2010 9:02PM
Here's one summer that just got a little more mileage.

Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, the writers behind the indie romantic comedy hit '500 Days of Summer,' scored a piece of NBC's primetime schedule. Their single camera comedy concept is called 'Friends with Benefits,' which sounds like a 'Friends' rehash but with way more schtupping.

And since it's a smart concept by a couple of equally smart writers on NBC, expect it to be replaced by an all new Jay Leno show by the end of the year.

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Jimmy Fallon Gets 'Lost' in 'Late'

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 15th 2010 9:15PM
'Late Night' host Jimmy Fallon really has come a long way in a short while. His comedy has been very focused, imaginative and (above all else) funny enough to stand on its own two feet. That makes it an even more perfect time for Fallon and company to spoof the dramatic mindf*#&ery of shows like 'Lost'.

Take a look at the show's first in a long series of 'Lost' spoofs appropriately titled 'Late'.

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'The Late Shift 2': Who Should Play Whom?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 15th 2010 11:06AM
News that New York Times reporter Bill Carter is working on a pseudo-sequel to his groundbreaking book The Late Shift' made a smile creep across my face. I haven't yet read the book, but the buzz it caused and the weird stories that came out of it just by word of mouth gave it an aura of mysterious wonder that made the television industry infinitely more fascinating than it already was.

It also spawned a pretty decent made-for-TV HBO movie. Now I don't know what kind of craziness "Round Two" has to offer, but the players involved are definitely going to have all sorts of wild secrets revealed from Carter's work and when it does, HBO is going to want the movie rights. So here's who should play who in this new tragic merry-go-round of television programming hilarity that shall be called 'The Late Shift 2'.

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White People Like Coco O'Brien

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 10th 2010 9:02PM
Are you a fan of Conan O'Brien? Were you so incensed at NBC's treatment of him that you considered launching some kind of letter writing campaign that, at best, could cripple NBC's mailroom department and force them to take a half day? Chances are you're also really white.

Christian Lander's hilarious Stuff White People Like blog featured the former 'Tonight Show' host the No. 113 thing that white people, presumably, like.

Lander said the lighter skinned people of the universe are behind Coco because "he embodies so many of the things they already like before he even opens his mouth: Ivy League Schools, Red Hair, the Boston Red Sox, Self Deprecating Humor, The Simpsons, and Bad Memories of High School (likely, but not confirmed). Seeing him on television five nights a week is a comforting reminder of community to the white people who still have televisions."

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Paul Reiser Is Thinking About a Return to NBC

by Mike Moody, posted Feb 9th 2010 10:29AM
Paul reiser mad about youPaul Reiser, one of the stars of NBC's "Must See TV" heyday of the 1990s, is reportedly returning to the Peacock Network. Thankfully, he's not producing a hokey reality game show like his pal, Jerry Seinfeld.

Reiser, co-creator and star of NBC's hit sitcom 'Mad About You', is executive producing and starring in a new single-camera pilot backed by Warner Bros. Word is that NBC has picked up the project, possibly to help fill the coming gaps in its schedule thanks to Leno's return to late night.

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NBC News Chief Defends Jeff Zucker

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 3rd 2010 8:08PM
Steve Capus, president of NBC NewsIt's no secret that Jeff Zucker is the most hated man in broadcasting. That is, if you don't work for NBC or GE. While Zucker has spent his time overseeing NBC and NBC Universal tinkering and experimenting the broadcast network into a fourth-place laughingstock, there is a reason why he continues to remain at the company and get more and more responsibility: the man makes GE money.

While the NBC broadcast network hemorrhages cash, NBCU's cable consortium makes money in buckets. Even in the NBC microcosm, NBC News is making money with 'Today' and the 'NBC Nightly News' while the entertainment and sports divisions aren't doing well. Which is why it's not surprising that news president Steve Capus defended his boss to Jon Friedman of Marketwatch.com.

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'Outsourced' the Movie, Not the TV Show Coming Soon

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 3rd 2010 9:00AM
'Outsourced,' one of what seems to be many Indian-infused situation comedies inspired by the wild success of 'Slumdog Millionaire,' actually came to a theater near you long before NBC picked up the pilot.

The movie as well as the TV show is based on an American who finds himself running a customer service department for a novelty company. The trailer included below actually gave me a couple of good chuckles and some hope that NBC isn't picking up its one-millionth 'The Office' clone.

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Diane Sawyer's Ratings Success at ABC's 'World News': Lessons Learned

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 27th 2010 2:30PM
While NBC has been mired in a public bloodbath over job changes among some high-profile employees, ABC has quietly and smoothly managed the job transition between two of its biggest on-air personalities, Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer. Not only did Sawyer's replacement of Gibson last month as anchor of 'World News' occur with a minimum of fuss and strife, but it also has met the network's goal, at least so far, of a ratings boost for the nightly newscast.

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NBC gets in one last jerk move against Conan O'Brien

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 22nd 2010 6:34PM
Now that Conan O'Brien only has one show left to go, that NBC only has a few hours to left to screw with the guy before he's no longer in their "To Screw" work bin.

The other night, O'Brien unveiled a new segment on The Tonight Show: bits that aren't funny but are incredibly expensive and therefore are incredibly funny. The first bit involved a Bugatti Veyron, one of the world's most expensive and sought after supercars, dressed up as a mouse to the tune of the original press recording of The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction." The bit in total cost approximately $1.5 million.

Apparently, NBC wasn't as amused as I was at the bit. They have refused to put the sketch on the show's Hulu site and on the show's official website, both as a clip and from the full episode. NBC's jerk-quotient is doubled when you realize the bit didn't even cost nearly that much.

That's why God invented YouTube.

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The Late Night Wars: Winners and Losers

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 22nd 2010 9:00AM
Now that the battle over 'The Tonight Show' is officially over, with Jay Leno taking back his old job and Conan O'Brien all but out the door with an eight-figure severance check, it's time to sift through the rubble to see who's come out on top. Surprisingly, the debacle has turned out to be a win for almost everyone involved, with three glaring exceptions.

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Major Networks Pick Up New Pilots

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 20th 2010 12:00PM
Hey, TV fans: Do you like medical dramas, ensemble comedies, and shows about Las Vegas? The major networks hope you do, since they bought six series pilots yesterday that could make those elements staples of this fall's primetime schedule.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, ABC bought three pilots, including a new medical drama from 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Private Practice' creator Shonda Rhimes, as well as a medical/crime procedural and a comedy about a group of young adult friends. Fox picked up another group comedy, centering on an Indian-American family. Set in Vegas are a new NBC pilot from the makers of 'Reno 911!' and a CBS buddy cop drama.

Here's our breakdown of the six new pilots and their chances for success.

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Five reasons why Jay Leno should be Conan O'Brien's final Tonight Show guest

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 20th 2010 9:00AM

The Tonight Show
has a handsome list of throwback guests, Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks who were the first and second guests when Conan O'Brien took over, on what is presumed to be his last show this Friday. Seriously, they still haven't resolved this thing. Say what you will about the dunderheads-in-chief at NBC, but at least they are consistent at failing.

And while it is nice to remind the audience and the network of the heavy hitters that Conan will have in his corner when he bids his former employer farewell, I'd like to see him take it one step further. Conan O'Brien should have Jay Leno (yes THAT Jay Leno, is there another?) as his final guest.

Sure, it sounds like a bigger pipe dream than mounting a Van Halen reunion tour with the undead corpse of Jimi Hendrix as the opening act, but here's five reasons why it would not only make sense for another small chapter of The Tonight Show dynasty, but for the television dynasty as a whole.

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Got an extra arm and/or leg? Bet it on Conan's next move

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 19th 2010 9:00PM
Ahh, Las Vegas. That hotbed of sin and vice. That holy mecca of fleshly pleasures and the most basic of human instincts. The only place in the world that would give the likes of Carrot Top full time work.

Vegas oddsmakers have weighed in on Conan O'Brien's next move and Fox has topped the list with whopping odds of "-185." ABC placed second followed by CBS, HBO and the Internet. What? No PBS? Sure it's a long shot and the payout would be the entire known universe for a buck bet, but a bet's a bet.

So now that you know the odds, it's time to put your money where your meathole is...

What would your bet be on Conan's post-NBC move? (listed in order of Vegas odds)
Fox975 (73.8%)
ABC57 (4.3%)
CBS34 (2.6%)
HBO116 (8.8%)
The Internet69 (5.2%)
PBS18 (1.4%)
Public Access22 (1.7%)
NBC31 (2.3%)

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