Deadline

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Four Anchors...and nothing on

CBS Early Show has shown some real ratings growth since they changed their format to a four person anchoring desk. Instead of one talking head, there's four.
I think the ratings went up because Bryant Gumble left the show and people just don't like the guy.

Even with four hosts they haven't changed the format of a talk show. It's still host intro's segment, throws to host #2.
Host #2 intro's topic and outside expert.
Outside expert does demonstration while host asks all the right questions off of a blue card to move the segment along.
Expert demonstrates, explains, cooks, etc.
Then host plugs the book and mentions there's more (actual) information on the show's website.

One show I watched was on how to exercise better. "Wow," you maybe thinking, "It's the new year. How did they know I was thinking about losing weight?"

One woman introduced the piece and threw it to the guy.
The guy, Henry I think, was in a living room type set. It looked a study in a British murder mystery. It was most likely there that Mr. Blum did it with a candle stick.

Then Charley, or whatever his name is, introduced the outside expert. A hot trainer type from some gym wearing a work out outfit.
She went on each machine that was there and told us how to do it better.

Then he plugged her book and website.

The producer put the piece together. The producer most likely found the idea in a magazine or the expert pitched it.
Why not have one of the 50 hosts on the show, teach another one of the many hosts how to cook or whatever? Why do you need to find an expert, get tape, do a pre-interview, tell the expert how the segment is going to go, send a car, hope they show, hope they aren't too nervous, have them do the segment, pay them an appearance fee, get them another car, tell them that you can't get them a copy of the show, ignore their calls for the next month, telling them that you can't give them a copy of the show?

Just teach one of the many hosts to lead the segment.

People should start listening to me more. I will save TV.
There's four people there. Why not
Tonight on ABC Primetime Thursday there's a one hour special on the evils of Pornography. It doesn't stop them from showing the faces of women having sex in the movies. I think if you're going to say that showing young girls having sex is bad, you shouldn't show it.

They are showing sex under the false pretense that they are against it.

"What you are about to see, is so disgusting and horrible that it will guarantee us great ratings!"

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Not a shocker
In a move that can only be described as; "No shit," NBC announce last night that there's one more season of FRAISER after this.
If I was the protesting type; I'd be in front of NBC right now with signs that read, "THAT SHOW HAS GOTS TO GO!"
I'm surprised that this wasn't their last season. The ratings started to drop this year. The only way people watched is when they almost killed off Niles. They gave him a terminal disease that was miraculously cured at the end of sweeps.

This show is went from being the new "Cheers," to the new "Coach."

How much more money do you need? Go home!

And whatever happened to Fraiser's son? Is he in some neglected TV daycare with Ross' son?

I never really liked that show. "Hidden Hills" looks like it's canned too.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

What the fuck is with TNN?

When the network went from Country music Hillbilly shows to an USA Network clone it had lofty goals.
"Everything POP,"was their slogan.
I still don't what that means. Neither did anyone else.
Despite good ratings, TNN, with most of the same programming changed into a channel for "anything about pop culture."

Now in a sign of executives desperately trying to save and justify their jobs, TNN is now the channel for men. Just like Lifetime is a channel for woman. Ahhhhhhhh! I see! What lazy crap.

I'm not so much offended but tired of the interpretation of what "Guy TV" is. Apparently we just like to look at T &A. Just because it's true with me, doesn't mean every guy feels that way. I'm looking out for the other guys who watch TV.

One of TNN's new shows is "Striperella." A super hero cartoon by Stan Lee about a stripper who fights crime. Pamela Anderson is the voice of the hero. This is sickening. You'd think someone would jump up and say "This is terrible. This is desperate!" I mean, does Stan Lee, the inventor of Spier-man and Pam Anderson need the money that badly? What did Stan spend all his comic book money on? Was Stanlee.com such a failure?

In a move that baffles me, they're showing reruns of "Blind Date." The new episodes run in syndication and can be on at any number of times. Most often it's between 5 - 8 PM and/or after 11 PM. Some markets show it 3 times a day.

Now TNN is show the original episodes at 5:30 and 6:30. they can go up against the new episodes. They are competing against the channels that are paying very high fees to show air the show.
So? So the show is pretty much the same. It's not like a sitcom where the newer shows has an older fatter version of the original cast plus a new cute kid. This dating show, is pretty much the same.

FX was going down the same route. After a couple of misfires, FX changed their focus to programing for men. They put on a Howard Stern sitcom, a show hosted by a hot babe, and lots of action films from the 80's.

When "The Shield" came on the air and they got actual ratings, FX changed again. They became the low budget, commercial TV copy of HBO. FX is like Showtime with ads.

FX jumped right in and fired their old staff. You know the people that got them "The Shield" in the first place. Then they brought in over paid dinosaurs to carry the torch that was lit by the same people that were now packing their boxes.*

I love "The Shield." Apparently advertisers pulled out. FX claims that better advertisers came on board. I don't know about that. The only ads I see are for a local BBQ place and lumber yard. I've seen bigger advertisers in the penny saver.

I think I might advertise my garage sale on the hit Emmy winning show.

Speaking of garage sales, TNN should buy someof FX's male programming. I'm sure they can get "Son of the Beach" reruns for a song.


* This is not the opinion of The Media Yenta. This is only hearsay and might not be totally true. It's in fact the opinion of Bill Jacobs. So sue him. I'm not standing by anything.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003



With the release of the new film "Kangaroo Jack" I need to point out a trend that's as out of date and offensive as the boxing kangaroo film genre itself.

The Black sidekick.

Since the invention of the white man, there's been a black sidekick.

"We're not racist, we have a black guy int he film."
Yes but he's usually the comic relief. He's the one who make big eyes and gets scared (Evolution, w/ Orlando Jones, 2001).
The white guy is the one who gets the girl, finds the treasure and learns something about himself.

Even the movies set in the middle ages had a this guy. "Dungeons & Dragons" had Wayans #412 playing the funny, but loyal, but scared, sidekick.
I spent many a Saturday Night rolling 20 sided dice and being a warrior or fighter. I never remember being an outdated stereotype.
Charisma 16
Strength 19
Step-n-Fetchit 24


On the other hand, whenever there's a movie with mostly black people, the one white guy is either dumb or a wannabe black guy. What does that mean? That he only gets to hang because he's stupid?

Movies and TV shows with the black sidekick:
Scrubs
Fastlane
I got to get to work and stop obsessing about a problem that isn't mine. Email me any suggestions and I'll put it on. One day I'll fix the comment thingie. One day...

Saturday, January 04, 2003

He should've seen it coming
Tribune axes "Beyond with James Van Fraud"


Before the Christmas break, everyone from the Tribune talk show "Beyond with James Van Fraud" thought they were coming back to finish the season.

The day after New Year's, the staff gets a call that the show is canned and they have like two weeks left to go.

I'm saying they should've guessed that they weren't going to finish out the season.
Not because James Van Fraud has psychic powers, but because Tribune has a history of dumping out on shows. They should've kept the show in production until the end of the season, making a gamble that the ratings will go up. They could've at least waited until February sweeps to see what's up. Now they have to spend lots of money to sell and launch a new show.

Tribune has bailed out of other TV shows. "Dream Maker" and "Talk or Walk" both lasted about 6 months each.

Fox, Paramount, and Telepictures all try and retool and fix up their shows to save it or at least buy some time.
Fox gave "Forgive or Forget" a new host and a Ricki! Lake feel. That gave everyone jobs for another three months. But as I said before, this isn't Socialism, it's TV.

Next year, Tribune is going to launch a talk show with the very funny Ellen Degeneres. Let's see what they do when she doesn't come out a ratings powerhouse. They should really spend the money and keep her on for at least two years before making a decision. But who knows? Maybe the audience will be there for the funniest comic next to Chris Rock and come back every day.

James, what do you think?

A Note to Tribune:

Now, Ellen might take time to take off. Don't waste her talent and name.
Don't throw her back in the pond and fish around for another host. You need to play hardball, not join a softball team.
You need to be butch.
If the ratings are dipping, you need to put your finger in the dyke and stop the leaking.
You need to... I'm out of steam. Anyone want to pick up the softball?
It must be tax time again
The radio is blasting ads on how you can get your income taxes back. This old guy with a gruff voice tells you you're wasting your money by "giving it to the government."

I picture that if they did testimonials from real clients, they'd be from jail.

(Noise of a prison riot going on in the background)
Client: "I'm Jim, or #18232. I used this new method and saved thousands of dollars in taxes that I thought I had to give to Uncle Sam. But thanks to Bill Saver, I kept all that money. It was Bill Saver that taught me how to get money back from the government. It was Bill Saver. Only Bill Saver...
(to the side) Was that good enough? Can I make a deal with the prosecutor now?"


I feel a little embarrassed that I listen to a radio station that has ads for nothing but weight-loss stuff, hair-regaining products, and dating services. What's their demographics? Who sent in my picture?