The problem is a couple of those ads were sold to odd buyers when you consider that this is supposed to be a massive entertainment event. People are supposed to have fun watching the game they've waited all season to see. It's a reach to ask them to think about heavy socio-political issues.
The network estimates more than 100 million viewers will tune in this weekend when Peyton Manning (right) and the Indianapolis Colts take on Drew Brees and the upset-minded New Orleans Saints. The Saints look to be the sentimental favorite as the city struggles to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina.
Meanwhile, the Colts are playing in their second Super Bowl in the last three years -- having beaten the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.
So, with Treme, debuting on HBO in April, Simon tries to examine the lives of ten people who are trying to pull things together three months after Hurricane Katrina flooded out New Orleans.
"New Orleans, to me, represents a place where it's a triumph of American urban culture," said Simon. It's what - it's the best that an American city can be and also the worst in a lot of ways, as I said before, but it has created a culture that has gone around the world."
David Simon, creator of The Wire, is shifting his lens from the mean streets of Baltimore to post-Katrina New Orleans with Treme. The HBO series is set in a Crescent City neighborhood rich in Créole and African American history. Unlike The Wire, Treme will tighten its scope to focus on the musicians and working class people living among the city's ongoing reconstruction efforts.
The Wire was a dense and sprawling tale, unearthing corruption and secrets everywhere from grimy back alleys to city hall. Treme's reportedly smaller scope recalls Simon's first series, Homicide: Life on the Street. The pioneering NBC drama centered on the tough and streetwise detectives sweating away at a Baltimore police precinct. Simply put, the show was a masterpiece that offered a rich, compelling and sometimes avant-garde micro-study of overworked cops.
David Simon, the creator of The Wire, has received a nine-episode greenlight for his new show Treme, a character drama that looks at the lives of New Orleans musicians in the post-Katrina reconstruction.
Simon brought the show to life with Eric Overmeyer, both of whom worked together on Homicide: Life on the Street. It will also star former Wire stars Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters as well as Steve Zahn, Khandi Alexander, Melissa Leo, Kim Dickens and Rob Brown.
Before I talk about the winner and what happened specifically in the finale, I have to ask why Top Chef failed to really make use of the location this time around? New York is all about food and great restaurants and amazing chefs, but I can't think of one episode that really used the city in a creative way. Where was the Little Italy challenge? What about a trip to Chinatown for wild ingredients? Gail Simmons' bridal shower could have taken place anywhere. The Super Bowl challenge was generic. And when it was time for the finale, TC went to the Big Easy. Is that any way to honor the Big Apple?
At its upfronts presentation last month, the net announced two new reality shows, three new comedies and five new dramas. Of those, we have seen all the comedies and dramas except a drama called Nashville, which Fox has not yet released for preview.
Director Johnatan Demme obtained over 200 hours of footage of the Katrina aftermath, and the resulting documentary, Right to Return: New Home Movies from the Lower 9th Ward will air for five consecutive nights on Tavis Smiley's PBS show beginning this evening. You can check for times in your area by clicking here. The series concludes on June 1.
In: 'Til Death, House, Bones, The Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill, American Dad, America's Most Wanted, Cops, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, American Idol, 24, Prison Break,
New: K-Ville, New Amsterdam, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Back to You, Return of Jezebel James, Rules for Starting Over, Kitchen Nightmares, Canterbury's Law, Nashville
Out: The Winner, Standoff, Drive, The War at Home, The O.C., Justice, Happy Hour, The Rich List, Vanished, The Wedding Bells, The Loop
Moving: 'Til Death, Bones (spring)
Lee's documentary was four hours long and initially premiered to a New Orleans crowd before airing on HBO last August. The program was filled with news photos and video footage, and all sorts of interviews from celebrities and regular folk who recount their experience in the aftermath of Katrina. Ultimately, the federal government and the Army Corps of Engineers are blamed for the sub-par levees and the response to the disaster.
Other New Orleans-themed shows include two more cop shows based in the city that ABC passed on, and one called NoLa that NBC passed on even with the possibility that Spike Lee would direct the pilot. It's surprising, really, that K-Ville made the cut because the crisis in New Orleans continues. If nothing else, maybe it will renew the public's interest in that very damaged city.
[Via TV Tattle]
One Night Only: The Series, a new reality show on BET, debuts tonight at 7:30pm. The new series follows a group of students from McDonogh 35 High School, the oldest African-American high school in New Orleans, as they compete for roles not in Dreamgirls, but in One Night Only: Live on the Stage, a multi-media tribute to Dreamgirls. Taped in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the series will not only focus on the upcoming musical, but on the students' efforts to rebuild their homes and communities. Watching high school kids try out for a musical doesn't really interest me, but the mix of trying to be "normal" kids while dealing with one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history might make this one worth checking out.
The series will also feature guest appearances by Jennifer Hudson, Blair Underwood, Dwayne Martin, Tisha Campbell Martin, George Faison and Damone Roberts.
Did anybody watch Comic Relief on November 18th? I caught a little bit of it but had to turn it off because A) Robin Williams is no longer funny, and B) Dane Cook isn't funny either. I was actually more interested in the on-location stories about the current situation in New Orleans than the performances by a long list of guest comedians.
- At 7, NBC has more coverage of the 2006 Visa Gymnastics Championships.
- The WB has an episode of the canceled series Just Legal, though I'm not sure if it's a new ep or a repeat. There's another episode at 9.
- At 8, CBS has a new Big Brother: All-Stars.
- ESPN has The Little League World Series at 8.
- TNT has Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman in Paycheck at 8.
- There's a new Emeril Live on Food Network at 8, "New Orleans: Healing One Meal At A Time."
- Also at 8: Encore has Kim Basinger and Chris Evans in Cellular.
- At 9, HBO has a new Deadwood, followed by new episodes of Entourage and Lucky Louie.
- USA has a new episode of The 4400 at 9, followed by a new Dead Zone.
- HGTV has a new Design Star at 9.
- At 10, Showtime has a new Brotherhood.
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