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April 23, 2014

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Wanda Sykes heading to Fox

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 1st 2009 10:01AM
Wanda on ChristineAside from being a very funny performer, nobody would ever accuse Wanda Sykes of being a shrinking violet. She's a strong, determined and no-nonsense woman and if I was in a foxhole, I'd want her with me.

Therefore, it's my belief that Sykes' deal with Fox for a Saturday night late night show will succeed. It won't be easy, going up against the giant of Saturday night comedy Saturday Night Live, but Wanda's a good bet to give them a good challenge.

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Why is Oprah's show in a slump?

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 14th 2008 11:41AM
Recently, TV columnist Aaron Barnhart took note of the fact that Oprah Winfrey's show is sinking in the ratings. Her talk show, which is the centerpiece of her multimedia success -- a success that has made her the richest woman in show business -- has been losing ratings consistently for the last six months. At first blush, the politically minded of you might think it's because she endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, but I think it's more than that. After all, if anything, the vast amount of grassroots support that the Senator from Illinois has engendered might be a plus for Oprah rather than a minus.

Therefore, there have to be other factors to explain why Oprah's landmark TV talk show has lost its luster -- at least ratings-wise. I've come up with six possible reasons.

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Mythbuster's Buster will speak

by Adam Finley, posted May 18th 2007 11:02AM

mythbustersIf you're a fan of the Discovery Channel series Mythbusters, then you know who Buster is. He's the resident dummy on the program, the lifeless model who gets shot, stabbed, blown up, dismembered, and has all kinds of other nasty stuff done to him in the name of myth debunking (or proving).

Recently, the gang at Mythbusters decided to let Buster speak his first words, and they asked fans to submit lines. Now, you can go here and vote for which line is your favorite. Buster will utter the winning line just before he's smashed to pieces in an upcoming "car myth" episode. The site doesn't specify which episode, though, so I guess you'll just have to watch. The series airs Wednesday nights at 9:00 p.m.

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Oprah will appear on Ellen's show

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 14th 2007 12:01PM

oprahIt will all happen on February 22: Oprah, the most powerful woman in the known universe, will share the small screen with Ellen DeGeneres, the funniest woman in the universe with the name "Ellen DeGeneres," when Ms. Winfrey appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for the first time.

I'm here to tell everyone that we cannot allow this to happen.

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Bill Maher pimps Real Time With er, Bill Maher - TCA Report

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 12th 2007 8:44PM
Bill MaherBill Maher appeared at the TCA to tease the upcoming fifth season of Real Time with Bill Maher (that's already four Bill Maher mentions between the headline and this -- I hope the check's in the mail). He let us know that he wishes (hopes?) that he could get Bill or Hillary Clinton as a guest, and that they have trouble getting a lot of conservatives to appear because, "most of them are in bed by 8PM on a Friday night, getting ready for church."

Real With Bill Maher (*cha-ching*) premieres on February 16th.

Quotes from Bill:
  • "Truth is like sex. It's best when it's a little painful."
  • "HBO pays me the same whether I listen to the guests or not. It's all: bullshit, bullshit, bullshit -- my line."
  • "Fox News hates us, for good reason, I make fun of them a lot ... and for good reason, they suck."

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Freaks and Geeks reunion (of sorts) at UCB Theater

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 22nd 2006 9:03AM
freaks and geeksIf you never saw Freaks and Geeks, you probably don't remember much about it because memories are formed by first experiencing the thing you later remember. For example, I have no memory of my recent trip to Florida because I've never taken a trip there before. If you did watch the show, however, you were lucky enough to see one of the best television shows in the last ten years, and one of the most accurate portrayals of high school life. So accurate, in fact, that it was sometimes uncomfortable to watch, especially if your school experience was anything but ideal. If you happen to find yourself in Los Angeles on August 31, Paul Goebel of Beat the Geeks will be hosting his King of TV talk show at the UCB Theater and chatting with four of the actors from the series: John Francis Daley, Samm Levine, Busy Philipps, and Steve Bannos. It should be loads of fun.

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Short-Lived Shows: Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 19th 2006 3:57PM
Colin QuinnBased on his stand-up and his work on Saturday Night Live, I always gathered that Colin Quinn wanted to be seen as an everyman, the sort of guy you could have a beer with and watch a football game; somebody who wouldn't be offended if you swore or cracked an off-color joke. Whether or not this also made him funny is, like anything else, subjective, but his comedy show/gabfest on Comedy Central certainly had a unique approach, though I'm not certain I watched it because I enjoyed it, or because it followed The Daily Show and I wasn't really doing anything else at the time. The basic idea of the show is that Quinn and four comedians (some regulars, some guests) would talk about current events and what annoyed them. Quinn's theory was that comedians always told the truth and never held back, which is true, and it gave the show an edginess other shows didn't have. The reason the series didn't last, I feel, is that uninformed opinions, even in the guise of jokes, grow tiresome after awhile, and the novelty of the show wore off quickly. Once in awhile a more thoughtful comedian would appear on the show, but was typically shouted down by the regulars. That's fine, since it was a comedy show after all, but listening to five guys prattle on about subjects they know nothing about gets old no matter how you dress it up.

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Grammer wins Emmy for Simpsons work

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 20th 2006 6:02PM
sideshow bobKelsey Grammer has won a voice-over Emmy for his work on The Simpsons episode "The Italian Bob." The voice-over Emmy is a tad different than other categories since winners are determined by a jury rather than a nomination process. Either way, I'd say the award is richly deserved, since I really couldn't imagine anyone else playing Bart's poofy-haired nemesis, Sideshow Bob. That particular episode was also a great showcase of his voice talent, since he got to not only speak but also perform opera. Other cartoons also received awards, including Robot Chicken and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.

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Conan gives high school commencement speech

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 8th 2006 1:01PM

conan o'brienEvery high school graduation speech is exactly the same chain of cliches and navel-gazing pabulum. This is why Conan O'Brien should deliver every commencement speech at every high school in the nation. He'd have to do some kind of molecular split in order to accomplish this, but I think it would be worth the scientific and ethical risks. Recently he gave the commencement speech at Stuybesant High School, and you can watch both parts here and here. There's plenty of Conan's signature humor, but he also offers some sage advice to the students, all of which are at that point when they feel they must have their entire life planned out right now. A truly great speech, and for you readers who are getting ready to graduate high school, I recommend you check it out.

Thanks to Tucker for the link.

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Wonder Showzen: Clarence Special Report (finale)

by Adam Finley, posted May 19th 2006 11:04PM

wonder showzenIt has become clear from the last couple episodes of Wonder Showzen that the creators like to mess with people, whether it be people on the street or the people at home. Last week's episode, which was devoted entirely to a show-within-a-show called "Horse Apples," coupled with this episode which consisted of nothing but Clarence telling people on the street they could make better TV and then leaving the camera on them while they either stare blankly, pontificate, or get angry, both seem to stem from the same dadaistic mindset that made Andy Kaufman both hysterical and frustrating. This, I guess, is both a praise and critique of the show. On one hand, it's embracing the kind of "anti-everything" attitude a show like Wonder Showzen should have, but the gag doesn't feel especially new.

Stepping back and looking at this season as a whole, and disregarding the last two episodes, I think it was pretty solid, and if the show gets renewed for a third season, I would expect to see more great episodes with gags packed in so tight you have no choice but to watch episodes more than once to catch everything. I also expect more episodes like this last one, where they take a few risks and try something different so some guy can write some boring blog post about the philosophy behind it all. And honestly, I think that's great. Exceeding expectations is always cool, but when you flat out refuse to even try to meet expectations ... well, it doesn't make for great television, but I admire that kind of moxie.

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Oprah to appear on The View

by Adam Finley, posted May 4th 2006 2:05PM
oprahOn May 12, talk show host Oprah Winfrey will appear on The View for the first time. It's unknown as to whether the Big O will merely walk onto the set, or if she'll beam down from the heavens on millions of beams of pure light and energy while cherubs festoon her head with garlands and the audience shields its eyes from her holy radiance. Either way, I won't be watching, but I'm sure the ladies of The View will be thrilled to have her on. Oprah will be there to promote her upcoming special, Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball, which will air three days later on May 15 at 8 p.m. The special will focus on accomplishments made by African-American women over the years.

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Short-Lived Shows: Turn Ben Stein On

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 24th 2006 10:34AM
ben steinBen Stein was not the first person to try and reinvent the celebrity talk show, and he's also not the first to have failed. Whoopi Goldberg and Chevy Chase each had spectacular failures in the world of late night gab fests before Ben Stein followed his successful game show Win Ben Stein's Money with Turn Ben Stein On in 1999.

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