twenty good years
If you had told me a year ago that the top three shows on my "Best of" list would be on NBC, I would have said you were crazy. Then I would have asked you how you knew this. Are you psychic? Can you see into the future? You're the devil I say, the devil!
But that's what happened. Below is my list for the 5 best shows of the year and the 5 worst, along with various odd and ends. Yeah, let me have it in the comments about what I got wrong.
Update: After a few days of thinking about it, I've changed one of my "worst" picks. I'm sure you'll see why.
Tambor and his wife Kasia welcomed daughter Eve to the world on December 10th. Jeffrey Tambor's most recent television outing - Twenty Good Years - with John Lithgow went south about as fast as you'd expect a network sitcom starring two AARP card holders to, but his genius card was handed out a long time ago with series like Larry Sanders and Arrested Development under his belt. Tambor and Kasia also have a two-year old son, and get this, his 31 year-old daughter has a son the same age. So, Tambor's children and grandchild are of the same generation. Chaplin-esque, isn't it?
- At 8, ABC has a new Dancing with the Stars (is this show on every night?), followed by new episodes of Lost and The Nine.
- CBS has a new Jericho at 8, followed by new episodes of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY.
- NBC has new eps of 30 Rock, Twenty Good Years, The Biggest Loser, and Dateline.
- FOX has another baseball playoff game at 8.
- The CW has new eps of America's Next Top Model and One Tree Hill.
- There's a new Extreme Engineering on Discovery at 8, followed by a new Mythbusters.
- ABC Family has the original Willy Wonka at 8.
- Food Network is showing a new (?) Essence of Emeril at 8, not sure why. It's followed by new eps of Tyler's Ultimate, 30 Minute Meals, and Paula's Home Cooking.
- At 9, PBS has a new Moyers on America.
- At 10, Bravo has a new Project Runway.
- Also at 10: Comedy Central has a new South Park, followed by a new Freak Show.
It's not a surprise that ABC's Lost did big numbers last night, it's two other pieces of news that were a little surprising.
One is that Criminal Minds actually got better ratings than Lost in the 9pm slot. Not a higher average of viewers (Lost won that), but a better rating. It's all so confusing. The other piece of news, and this makes me a little queasy in the stomach/intestinal region, is that The Nine lost 55% of the Lost lead-in audience. For some reason, everyone was watching CSI: NY and Dateline (doing better numbers than Kidnapped was doing in that slot, by the way).
Sigh. At least Jericho is still doing really well, keeping it's audience from the first few weeks intact.
Also, the debuts of NBC's new comedies, 30 Rock and Twenty Good Years, weren't so hot either.
For the record, CBS won for the night, though ABC won in that key 18-49 demo that everyone does cartwheels over. I'm only 8 1/2 years from 49. Does this mean that I have to start watching Matlock reruns and buying Polident? I mean, I'm sure Lost will still be on, and we'll all be wondering why Kate turned out to be a robot and why there was a combination Pizza Hut/time portal on the other side of the island no one knew about, but I'll probably have lost interest by that point.
Hoof it on over to AOL TV, which is showing video of the entire pilot. In case you're not familiar with the show, Lithgow and Tambor are playing two sixty-year-old friends who have decided to break the shackles of their high-profile but comfortable lives (Lithgow's a surgeon, Tambor's a judge) and live life to the fullest in the twenty good years they have left. The pilot was pretty standard fare, a "let's set this thing up" episode that was barely saved by the comedic skills of its two stars. But it's worth watching, especially if you need to kill time before or after lunch. And if you go watch the 30 Rock premiere online, too, you'll be able to watch the Mets-Cards game tonight without guilt. So everybody wins!
Entertainment Weekly's Dalton Ross gives his list for the best and worst pilots he's seen, and he doesn't really like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. In fact, he calls it "underwhelming," and he's amazed by the "awfulness" of Amanda Peet.
In other observations, he calls Twenty Good Years "excruciating," Ugly Betty "mindless fun," and The Nine "the best new show."
I don't know, I really liked Studio 60's pilot. Do I think it's at West Wing or Sports Night level yet? No, of course not, it's just a pilot. But it's very good, and with Sorkin behind it and the great cast, I have really high hopes for it.
Matthew Gilbert has an interesting article in The Boston Globe, about the new season of shows and how TV shows are now more complicated than ever (but that's a good thing). Not just returning shows like 24 and Lost, but new complex series like DayBreak, Kidnapped, and Vanished.
One page that the print edition of the Globe has that the web site doesn't (at least I couldn't find it) is Gilbert's grades for all the new shows. Quick summary: he thinks the best new shows are The Nine, Studio 60, Heroes, Six Degrees, Smith, The Knights of Prosperity, and Justice. The worst are Happy Hour, Twenty Good Years, and Help Me Help You.
So, to start things off, we've got a slew of NBC pilots to cover: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Heroes, Friday Night Lights, Kidnapped, 20 Good Years, 30 Rock and The Black Donnellys.
Despite all the rumors that Arrested Development was getting picked up by Showtime, 20th Century TV released a statement earlier this week that there was no future plans for production of the show. Plus, show creator Mitch Hurwitz moved on this week.
Hey, at least Tambor's moving on to something that sounds pretty good. Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow? Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.
[Via The Hollywood Reporter]
So, I'm happy to announce that he's returning to primetime television as one of two stars in the NBC comedy, Twenty Good Years. It's about two aging men who have epiphanies and set out to live their final two decades to their fullest. Kinda sounds like My Name is Earl. No idea who the other lead is.
Is anybody else out there a John Lithgow fan?
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