There could be a silver lining in all of this though. Since your favorite shows are in repeats or aren't on, why not take this opportunity to watch a show you've never seen before? For example, tonight's CBS comedy lineup of How I Met Your Mother, Accidentally on Purpose, Two and a Half Men, and Big Bang Theory are all repeats, so why not check out House if you've never seen it before? Sounds good in theory (big bang or otherwise), though I'm not sure if people think like that with their TV show watching.
Apparently, its darker tone didn't fit in with the network's plans anymore. After all, the 10 p.m. slot, where most of your more sophisticated shows used to live on NBC, is the home of Leno now. Immediately word came out that various cable networks were looking to pick up the series, but no one knew exactly what that meant. There were theories, of course, and TNT emerged as the front-runner.
Now we know, and it looks like everyone was right. TNT has secured the rights to Southland; primarily the right to broadcast the 13 episodes produced so far.
I have to admit that, when the Yankees are in the playoffs, most of my regular TV watching gets obliterated. Thankfully, DVRs and online TV sites (and, in the mid-'90s, VCRs) help me catch up. For instance, even though I have to review Cougar Town, I'll likely won't watch it until tomorrow morning, on either ABC.com or Hulu. Why? World Series game one, of course. Nothing, not even the Yankees being behind 22-0, is going to tear me away from FOX at 9:30, when I should be watching Cougar Town on ABC.
Which leads me to something that I've been wondering lately: Didn't networks used to program more reruns against the World Series? Tonight, NBC has a lineup of new episodes, as does ABC (except for Charlie Brown in Hank's slot, for understandable reasons). Tomorrow, all three of FOX's competitors have new episodes.
So, I'm watching a new episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on USA Network this past Sunday and, like all upstanding Americans do, I was flipping through the channels during a commercial break. As I passed by these channels at the speed of light my eye caught something on Bravo. It was another episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Not a new episode, mind you, just a repeat of a repeat of a repeat that Bravo airs during their Sunday night block.
Now, you're probably saying to yourself 'So what? Cable channels are allowed to air whatever they damn well please.' Well, after lecturing you about your tone of voice I would mention that you had a point. But, thanks to the wonderful world of corporate synergy, your argument would not meet the mustard. You see, Bravo is under the huge umbrella known as NBC Universal, which is the same company that owns USA Network, which is currently airing new episodes of Law & Order: CI on Sunday nights. With all of this information at hand the following question comes to mind:
Who the hell is programming these networks?
FOX recently signed on with Xbox Live Video Marketplace, and the first series available for the digital download-to-own service is Family Guy. FOX joins other television networks and movie studios on the service, including CBS, NBC Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros., MTV Networks and Lionsgate.
Family Guy was chosen to kick off the new content deal because of its attraction to the younger male demographic responsible for most of the downloads on the Xbox 360's Video Marketplace service. Starting next week, the series' first two seasons will become available, along with the Family Guy DVD movie/three-part episode, Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story. Newer seasons will follow, with fresh episodes hitting Video Martketplace the day after they debut on television.
Burn Notice is great summer fare: a series that doesn't exactly break new ground but is still fun to watch. USA's motivation in picking new shows has been to focus on strong characters, and that's exactly what keeps Burn Notice from being just another crime/detective/mystery series (even though it is just another crime/detective/mystery series). It's also what keeps me tuning into Monk after all these years, even though every episode is pretty much the same. The lead players, Jeffrey Donovan, Sharon Gless, Bruce Campbell and Gabrielle Anwar, work well within the sometimes cookie-cutter self-contained plots, elevating the series to something worth checking out each week. It's not the plots so much, it's the people.
Every April we can be sure that several things will happen: the weather will alternate between warm/sunny and cold/rainy, kids will enjoy spring vacation before going back to school for the end of the year push, and a bunch of people will decide "hey, this is the week I won't watch television!" for some reason.
Yup, it's that time of year again. Today is the start of TV Turnoff Week (they've changed their name to "The Center For Screen-Time Awareness"), that week when all the misguided souls around the country decide to shut off their televisions and read a book and eat salad. Or so they'd have you believe. I write about this every year, and a couple of years ago even debated a guy on MSNBC about it, so I won't rehash all the points here. Check out this post, where I give all the reasons why this week is such a silly idea.
In short, don't celebrate TV Turnoff Week this week. To quote Jim Halpert on The Office when Pam told him to get a life, "but who will watch my television?"
God damn it, Monk takes a midseason break and then tosses one new episode out in November and I totally miss it. What's doubly upsetting about that is I'm the one who posted about it in October. This may be a sign that my plan to stop reviewing the show is a good idea. I still love Monk, and I'll keep watching it, but I find I just don't have as much to say about it as I do other shows. Monk is kind of like popcorn to me: it's a lot of fun, and when it's all gone I wish I could have more, but there's just not a lot I have to say about it once it's over.
Now then, before the fifth season finishes off in January, there will be another episode airing on December 22, "Mr. Monk and the Leper." I'll try not to miss that one, though being so close to Christmas, who knows what'll happen? The episode will actually air twice, once in black and white (9 pm) and again in color (10 pm).
The latter half of the fifth season, which kicks off January 19, will feature several guest stars including Sean Astin, Steven Weber, Charles Durning and Andy Richter, among others.
But, as I watched the coming attractions promos for each show, I found out I was wrong.
Everything's new tonight: Ugly Betty, Grey's, Deal or No Deal, ER, and all of CBS's lineup. Even the late-night talk shows are new (Letterman has had new Thanksgiving shows for many years -- love seeing which pies his Mom makes every year! -- but I can't recall the rest of them ever being new).
Finally, some religion is coming to iTunes. Religious satire, anyway.
Starting tomorrow, and following the premiere of each episode of Moral Orel on Adult Swim, the latest episode will be available on iTunes. If you're bummed about Morel Orel not being shown on Adult Swim Fix, or you're like me and can only enjoy animation when it's on a tiny screen you hold in your hand, then sing hallelujah and rejoice, brothers and sisters. Moral Orel joins Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Venture Bros. and Sealab 2021 in the iTunes store. This news is according to the always-informative bumps that pop up during Adult Swim's block. That onscreen text hasn't steered me wrong yet. I trust it more than my own mother, who doesn't even watch Adult Swim if you can believe it. Since the show doesn't hit iTunes until tomorrow, I'm not sure of the cost per episode, but one would assume the usual $1.99.
I'll preface this by telling my fellow Home Movies fanatics that right now there's no guarantee this is ever going to happen, but according to an e-mail sent to Landstander, maintainer of the Home Movies Super Site, Shout! Factory, the company that produces the Home Movies DVD sets, wants to commission new episodes of the series for either download or as a straight-to-DVD type thang. The episodes would cost five dollars each. Episodes would run from fifteen to twenty-five minutes, and there would be about eight of them. It seems that at this stage the company is just putting out feelers to see if there would be enough people out there who would buy these episodes to make it a worthwhile endeavor. Home Movies is one of my favorite shows of all time, but it seems to me everyone involved, especially Brendon Small, has already moved on to new horizons. I guess we'll wait and see.
[via Adult Swim HQ]
I noticed that Lifetime has been doing it with Will and Grace reruns. They'll start showing the credits at the bottom of the scene while the last 30-40 seconds of the episode runs up top. But it's OK in this case, because it doesn't squish everything into a smaller box. It's not annoying or obvious that they're trying to save time. But in Bravo's case, it doesn't look right. And I've never understood how the people in the credits stand for squished credits, or credits that are sped up so fast you can't even read them. Don't they have rules for stuff like that?
Right now the only thing we're missing on Bravo are scenes from the previous week's ep, and not the actual start of the new ep, but I can see that coming too if they keep up this trend.
(Look at the 2nd paragraph for info on Futurama.)
[Thanks to readers Mack Swift and Tim UF for the tip.]
When a show takes a break for awhile it's easy to forget about it, what with our crazy fast-paced lifestyles, cellphones, outboard motors, uranium-powered waffle makers and what have you. Therefore, I thought I should take a moment to remind my fellow Monkheads that Monk is coming back with new episodes this Friday. Our favorite obsessive-compulsive detective took some time off during the Winter Olympics. The new episode, titled "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut" pits Monk against an astronaut who he claims committed murder, despite the astronaut insisting he was in space at the time. I've used that alibi several times, and it never works.
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