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In an article that ran in yesterday's New York Times, Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence confirmed that ABC, the show's new home, might continue the show in some form after the upcoming eighth season. As we reported in November, star Zach Braff and Lawrence are both leaving Scrubs after season eight, even if the show continues. I'm not opposed to the idea of keeping the show going without them, but I got one question -- What would a Braff and Lawrence-free Scrubs look like?
"It would have to be like Frasier was to Cheers, " Lawrence told the NYT.
Co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade showed the photos which portrayed Jacques Steinberg with yellow teeth, a wider chin, and big ears, and Times television editor Steven Reddicliffe with the same yellow smile and a receding hairline. The caricatures seem to be done with Adobe Photoshop (tm) tools.
Think about it: he wasn't only the longtime moderator of Meet The Press, where he took the venerable show and rejiggered its format, making him the face of the show. He was also NBC News' Washington bureau chief and the main political voice for the network. "It's going to take four or five people to replace Tim," CBS' Bob Schieffer told The New York Times.
For now, though, the immediate question is who will replace him on Meet The Press. Speculation is already underway.
By now, you've surely heard about the writers' strike currently in full swing across the television and film industry in New York City and Los Angeles. And apparently, the writers are not the only ones getting in on the act. The Huffington Post is reporting that Jon Stewart of The Daily Show has committed to pay the salaries of his own writers and those of The Colbert Report for the next two weeks, so his writers won't be harmed financially by the strike during that period.
What, Eddie Haskell suing someone isn't enough for you today? OK, how about this: former CBS anchor Dan Rather is suing CBS for $70 million. Also named in the suit are CBS CEO Les Moonves, Sumner Redstone, and former CBS news chief Andrew Heyward.
The lawsuit claims that the network forced him to step down from The CBS Evening News and did not give him enough time on 60 Minutes. He also claims that because of all this, the network aired a "biased" and "incomplete" investigation into the National Guard story and seriously hurt his reputation. New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg broke the story earlier this afternoon. Rather is currently an anchor on HDNet.
Now let's see if Katie Couric (or Harry Smith, if he's still filling in) reports this story on tonight's show.
It's a typical night in Moscow. You have just finished supper and are now ready to sit down with your wife, children, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to watch some television. On the screen a sad-faced shoe salesman is anchored to his living room couch watching his own TV. Strutting behind him is his gaudily-dressed, shockingly red-haired wife. To the side his ditsy blonde-haired daughter and fairly intelligent son, who dreams of something bigger in his life, bicker over something or other.
Sounds a bit like Married... With Children, doesn't it? Well, truth be told, it actually is. The name of the show is Schastlivy Vmeste (translated to Happy Together) and it is an authorized copy of the former FOX sitcom featuring Russian cast members and dialog. It is also a huge hit in Russia, especially among younger viewers. According to a spokesperson for Russian channel TNT, Vmeste is the most popular scripted series among the 18 to 30 crowd.
However, I also realize that much of my beloved television programming (and now) internet content wouldn't be possible without the support of its sponsors. Advertising is an unfortunate necessary evil. For bloggers it means the difference between getting paid (like here at TV Squad) or diligently toiling away without any compensation with the unselfish commitment of a Harry Potter house elf.
Writing is one of the oddest professions. A lot of people just don't get what we do, why we do it, how we do it, or what we get paid. I've encountered countless numbers of people who think that I'm rich because I'm a writer and "that lady J.K. Rowling is a writer and she's rich!" or they think I shouldn't get paid that much because "writing is easy and fun" or some other sort of logic.
Brookes Barnes doesn't get it either. He has an op-ed piece in the New York Times this week about the latest negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP. TV and film writers want a piece of the DVD sales pie. Barnes seems to think that they're asking for too much because...well, I'll let Barnes explain it himself, in his opening paragraph:
This review confused me for a moment. New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni gives Perilla, the restaurant owned by first season Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle, one star out of four. Now, if you're talking about movies or TV shows or albums, that's probably the "poor" category. But the way Bruni and the Times do it, it actually stands for "good" (if you get zero stars or just get a "satisfactory" rating, that's a bad thing). I wonder what four stars means? Best meal in the history of the universe?
Lots of changes this week in the land of TV news:
- Liz Claman is leaving CNBC. She was going to renew her contract, but decided she wanted to go some place else. She has to wait 90 days, however, because of a non-compete clause in her contract. She's been with the financial network for almost 10 years. I remember Claman from her days on Channel 7 in Boston.
Fun Q & A with Entourage creator Doug Ellin in the New York Times. They touch on everything from what it was like growing up on Long Island, how much money he makes at HBO, and his irritation at how people nowadays want a quick "home run" in their career instead of working hard for success.
He also has a lot of interesting things to say about the four main characters on the show. HBO originally considered the show a satire, but Ellin had to convince them that it's actually reality and he knows people like this. It's how he perceives friendship and how it was when he was growing up.
He also says that he'd kill himself if his own kids grew up to be like Vince or Drama or Turtle or Eric, so I guess even friendship has its limits. Entourage returns for another season June 17.
According to an article in The New York Times, running the contest takes about as much time and energy as it would just to come up with their own damn ad campaign. So far, Heinz has rejected more than 300 submissions because they're too long, pointless, or gross. You can see many of the horrible submissions on YouTube, including this one of a guy brushing his teeth and shaving with ketchup. Ew.
Heinz has also become the target of angry commenters who accuse the company of being "lazy" and "cheap" for asking people to do advertising for free. I have to admit that I bristled when I saw ads for the contest. Even though it turns out Heinz is still paying a lot for the advertising, I'm still annoyed that it is asking people to essentially create a viral video for them.
How do you feel about companies like Doritos, Heinz and Dodge holding this user-generated advertising contests?
When I watch 24, I don't expect to see depictions of families trying to figure out whether it's time to bring the minivan in for service. I'm not expecting to see characters drinking copious amounts of java while revealing their angst to one another. That's what Grey's Anatomy is for.
I watch 24 for its depiction of counter-terrorism and of what U.S. agents might face when trying to protect the country, as well as for its dramatization of the political implications of fighting stateless bands of terrorists. Plus it's fun to watch Jack Bauer kick some bad guy behind. So why in the world would a New York Times critic assail 24 for being anti-family and for the fact that the program doesn't demonstrate "ordinary social intercourse?"
So why have the ratings for the CBS Evening News fallen to historic lows? The New York Times asks that question today and suggests two theories: Either viewers don't like Katie Couric, or they're just uncomfortable getting their network news from a woman (the fact that there are female anchors in the cable news world isn't mentioned).
While the newspaper noted that Couric has received criticism for everything from her makeup (too much or too little) to her interview style (too soft or too hard), Sean McManus, CBS News president told the Times, "There is a percentage of people out there that probably prefers not to get their news from a woman." (Remember how much flak she endured from people who obsessed over her debut outfit?)
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