Tuesday, December 27, 2005

NBC finally has a good problem
And I don't mean, "What to do with Zucker?"
What to do with an actual hit?

NBC got an early Christmas present in the form of decent ratings for "Deal or No Deal." They quickly gave the show a pick up and told everyone, I told you so.

Now where so they put the show?

NBC revamped the schedule hiding their failures like a country singer hides his bald spot with a cowboy hat.

They moved moderate hit Earl and almost moderate hit Office to Thursday - putting Joey out of his misery and my favorite show The Apprentice on ice. That's right - I said something positive. Starting the night is the guest that wouldn't leave - "Will & Grace" and their friend that no one at the party knew or invited - new show "Four Kings."

In "EarlOffice's" place is two episodes of another show I like - Scrubs. Obvious NBC is burning off the episodes so we can have more shows like EarlOffice (not funny but low key so think it's funny.)

After killing off Martha Stewart's prime time show they replaced it with 1 hour versions of "The Biggest Loser." Going against a big fat hit like "Lost" will hurt the show's ratings and value. Ultimately hampering another pick up.

I say this - Put "Deal or No Deal" Tuesdays at 9. Push Scrubs to Thursdays at 8:30 after you cancel "Four Kings."

They can also use a boost on Fridays. Maybe 8 PM.

But the best night is Sunday at 7 PM displacing "Dateline." That has to have the embarrassing task of going against mega great news show "60 Minutes." "D or ND" is more family friendly than "news" reports about Shanghai brothels.

Just because you asked...
Other shows I like:
The Wire - Best show
The Shield - runner up.
Lost - first season was so good, I'm putting up with this year's nonsense.
Arrested/Family Guy/Sopranos/Curb - the shows everyone says. It's trite, but true.
Reality shows: Donald Trump, Parco PI, American Casino

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Too much publicity:

In showbiz some stars get all the press. Jen (Aniston or Lopez) can't buy a cup of coffee without it ending up on a cover of Us Weekly. More details about Tom and Katie's baby has been released than facts on the latest Bush war. Jon Stewart has become bigger news than the news he's lampooning.

Stewart has appeared on tons of magazine covers and all the news shows. Publicity is good for Stewart's "The Daily Show." Reminding the public that it's relevant and they really should catch the show that night.

But last week, the Comedy Central publicity machine stepped way over the line.

On Monday, a horrible thing happened when a staff member took his own life. One can only imagine the pain that his family, friends and co workers are going through.

An item appeared on the news wires and around the world regarding why there would be not show shot on Monday. The article published the name of the deceased and that he took his own life. It also mentioned that the Comedy Central sent in a grief consoler - showing that they are a sensitive company that's not afraid to tell the Drudge Report or any other news outlet that's willing to follow it up with "Mondays- Thursdays at 11 PM."

The gentleman who took his life was neither a celebrity nor a politician. There was no reason that the public needed to know that a private citizen had passed away or how it happened. This is the sickest use of the press as a publicity machine and Comedy Central show apologize to the victim’s family - privately.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Court TV will produce its first original scripted series, and has ordered a pilot from theatrical film producer John Waters called 'Til Death Do Us Part (produced by KaBoo Prods). The show is a dramatization of real cases of spousal murder, according to Hollywood Reporter. Each episode begins at the doomed couple's wedding, where Waters himself plays the role of the Groom Reaper, setting the scene for the viewer (a la Rod Serling in Twilight Zone). Assuming all goes to plan, Court TV expects to order 12 episodes, and begin airing after the first of the year.

Isn't it great when you can take someone's true murder and make it campy fun?!?!?!

Why do people keep giving John Waters money to do anything? He did one commercial hit film 25 years ago.

people: stop giving him and Eric Schaffer money for movies or shows. And Kevin Smith for that matter. But KS makes money and for some reason the kids love him. Like he's Woody Allen (70's and early 80's Allen not creepy post "husband and Wives" married his daughter Allen.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

OK NBC!There's a movie star in your show. We get it.

NBC has been banging the drum loudly to anyone who'd hear it that movie star STEVE CARELL stars in THE OFFICE (Tuesdays 9:30 after the baffling My name is Earl).

In the ads for the 40 Year old Virgin they'd plug his TV show. After the movie became #1, NBC went nuts reminding people that he's on their network too. We get it.

But I still ain't watching that boring show. I like dry, slow humor. I don't need to be knocked in the head to laugh, but I find this show boring. Plus I can't watch it for moral reasons. I refuse to watch any scripted show that has characters doing confessionals like it's MTV Real World. It's lazy writing. Reality shows need it in case they don't have the footage and no time to doctor it.

I can barely stand narration. I hate confessionals in reality shows because most of the time they tell you what you just saw. What are you confessing? I saw it!

I digress. The Office is still not funny. And yes Steve Carell was great in the 40YOV. But that still doesn't mean I want to watch that boring show. PLUS! America agrees with me. The ratings aren't that great. the lead in "My name is Earl" is pulling some numbers but people aren't sticking around for free Steve.

Basically American is saying, "I'll get in my car and pay $10 to see Steve Carell in some movie with a weak premise and enjoy it, but watching 'The Office,' which comes on right after a show I watch anyway, is just too much to ask.

Despite low ratings, NBC picked up the show for the rest of the year.

I can't help but assume that Carell and his agents are dying for the show to end so he can take more films.

Maybe NBC doesn't want to be accused of pulling a Tom Hanks. Networks have cancelled shows just before an actor from that show broke out into a movie star.


Tom Hanks was in "Bosom Buddies" which was cancelled just before "Splash!" and "Bachelor Party." They made up for it by pushing the reruns.

Same with the Wayans Bros. That show was cancelled just before mega hit "Scary Movie." The WB network was forced to plug the reruns too.

"The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" ran it's course and most likely was ready to end, just before we entered the Willenium.

NBC went out of their way to avoid that situation when the co star of "Mad About You" and almost movie star Helen Hunt was up for an Oscar. The day of the big awards, the network and her people were mad about money for the next season. She got $1 million an episode and since Paul Reiser's contract had them at equal rates, he too got $1 million. $2 Million to start for a show that was losing steam. The ratings that year were terrible.

So crow all you want NBC, I ain't buying.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Wheaton beats Alba; again.

In a strange twist of fate, former "Angel" Alba gets knocked out by a bunch of space pirates for the second time.

Years ago Jessica Alba was the star of "Dark Angel" a show that started with promise, but ended in a wimper. With crappy ratings and a diva star, FOX was on the fence about renewing. Finally they decided to replace the show with something from the creator of "Buffy."

That show was "Firefly" a show about a bunch of space pirates and Ron Glass' afro. The show was quickly cancelled due to low ratings and good writing.

Writing so good in fact, that fans of the show multiplied after it's death and DVDs were (fire)flying off the shelves. So Joss Wheaton, creator, decided to take it one step further than just going back on the air like "Family Guy" he went full out and made a movie.

After Dark Angel, Jessica took a slow rise to movie star. With a couple of bumps (Honey and well, Honey) she hit it big as 1/4th of the Fantastic Four.

"I showed them," she must have said to her assistant while sitting at her pool and reading through panphlets on Kabala and other religions courting her since her "A list" status, "Those Fireflies can kiss my $4 million a movie ass.* That show is history and I have a film career." Then she asked her assistant if she had read amy good books lately. "Does Us magazine count?" Luckily for the assistant, in LA it does. In fact My book group is reading this week's Star. I have to have it done by Thursday. What a drag. If anyone knows the highlights, please tell me.

Today, Jessica Alba is the "it" girl and in the new movie about something or other, "Into the Blue." This movie comes out the same weekend as "Serenity" the "Firefly" movie. Who wins? Ron Glass' 'fro.

Serenity came in second in box office molla and Alba's film just "Blue."

1. Flightplan - $15 million. (No one warns their friends about bad movies?)

2. Serenity - $10.1 million.

3. Tim Burton's Corpse Bride - $9.8 million.

4. A History of Violence - $8.2 million. (I saw this last week. I'm still not sure if it was good. Crazy sex scenes and over the top violence held together with an unbelievable plot.)

5. Into the Blue - $7 million.

I wonder if Serenity 2: The Wrath of Wojo will open the same weekend of her next action film. Or maybe her obligatory rehab movie. Or her movie about fun loving sisters.

(* I have no idea how much she makes.)

Friday, September 30, 2005

Stop cursing! Comics step on their own punchlines.

Attention late night cable comedy hosts.

Watch your mouth!

David Spade and DL Hughley both experienced comics and hosts of their own shows. During the punch lines they curse. A "shit" or "Mother Fucker" to sprinkle the punch. But it's TV so it gets bleeped. Then you can't hear the joke. There's a bleep. You take time to craft a joke, write a set up and then boom "BLEEP!" Thanks for ruining the joke.

This isn't the Osborn's, it isn't funnier to hear the bleep. Cut it out.

I'm watching Primetime LIVE with Diane Sawyer - respected journalist. She's interviewing George Clooney who made a movie about Edward R. Murrow.

DIANE SAWYER - (Voice Over) So we wondered how would Murrow, the crusader, feel about television news today?

GEORGE CLOONEY - Nowadays it's car chases. You know, local news. We love car chases. There is no news value in that.

DIANE SAWYER - (Off Camera) Would you ever put "Brad Pitt marries Angelina Jolie" in any broadcast?

GEORGE CLOONEY - Entertainment shows, sure. If I, you know, gave birth to a goat, it should be on an entertainment show. I think that -which, by the way, has never happened.

Why is a journalist asking a movie star if he would put an entertainment story on news show. He says no - but on an entertainment show. This is a news show. Why is a real journalist on a real news show asking a movie actor if he would do a fluff piece on a news show during a news show doing a fluff piece.

The answer is Yes.

DIANE SAWYER - What do you think about Murrow's accommodations? He did person- to-person entertainment show to keep the money coming in.

What do you think of it? You're doing it now!

Here are some more hard hitting questions.


(Off Camera) Okay. You can answer these or not answer these.


All right. I'm going to answer them all.


(Off Camera) Okay, here we go. Blonde or brunette, skinny or curvy?

GEORGE CLOONEY - Blonde or brunette? I have no preferences.

DIANE SAWYER - (Off Camera) The thing you're most shy about?

GEORGE CLOONEY - A room full of strangers always still.

DIANE SAWYER - (Off Camera) Last time you cried in a movie?

GEORGE CLOONEY - It was -I think it was at the premiere of "Solaris."For those of you who don't know, since probably no one does, that was a film I was in. I don't know. God, that's tough to think. "Terms of Endearment," you know. Big sappy movie. She brings the little kid in, you're like ...

DIANE SAWYER - (Voice Over) And when you get to heaven, what will be the sign that it really is heaven? What do you know for sure will be there?

GEORGE CLOONEY - If you get to heaven, it will be Rosemary sitting there singing with Nat Cole playing the piano.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Thoughts on the Emmys:

Last night, coming out of comercials and just before the segment where teh best dramtic actress is announced, they had a promo for the news. "tonight's Emmy winners" and they showed Patricia Arquette, the extra large Medium. Thanks.
How did she beat Glenn Close?

why was every late night host there but Jimmy Kimmel?
How much did Carson hate Jay if Letterman did a tribute and Leno was no where to be found? He did take the torch. "If Carson was alive today, he'd say, "Fuck that long chinned fuck."

The Scottich host of the late late show guy was unfunny and smug. Stepped on his own joke.

The news anchor thing was great. If not just for the Jennings tribute. All three men were forced out. one by age, one by scandal and the other by death. You pick which one.
Dan Rather keeps talking about having America's trust. He don't. He shouldn't.
It was cool that Lost won (get it). I hope it doesn't suck this year.
"Everybody love Raymond" won for best comedy. the cast looked like they would kill Raymond. "one more year!" Why did Brad Garret win and not Peter Boyle?
HBO might have the best shows and movies but who saw "Warm Springs?" "Empire Falls?" or SHowtime's movie about men of the cloth that love to love too much?
When will the Wire win everything?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

From the Programing INsider at

Insomniacs, Take Note:
GSN will remember Bob Denver this Friday, Sept. 9 with episodes of Beat the Clock and Password from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Oh, that's a bold move.

"For all that Bob Dever gave us, please have your family join our family for a special tribute in the middle of the night when no one is watching anyway. Good nite little buddy."


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Early review

"The War at Home" has Michael Rappaport as a Archie bunker type dad with teenagers. Of course they have three kids. All sitcom families have to have 3 kids. This time it's two boys and a girl. With the way youger kid being a boy. All sitcom families have the "change of Life" baby. As is 90% of sitcom wives, this one is blonde. Exceptions include "Everyone Loves Raymond" and most black family sitcoms. (The one show about an inter racial marriage had a black husband and a blond wife.)

If they put no laugh track what so ever, it would look like it was a smarter show. People would see it as a ballsy move like with "Arrested Development" or "Berni Mac." They could've push this show off as a smart look at families by just getting rid of the laugh track all together. The Lafftrack just makes the show look stupid, so bad that they had to tell people when to laugh.
The show is funny, but with the laugh track it has the feel of one of FOX's old loud sitcoms.

If Bernie Mac was a brightly lit show with a sreaming audience, no one would praise it. Same show, different feel.

The show does have funny moments. I laughed out loud twice, which is a lot for 30 minutes. But the laugh track is out of control. it's so loud, my neighbors asked me to turn it down. They are hitting the floor boards. Wow. I was shocked that it was funny since they jacked up the laughter.

At first you just see the father doing Bernie Mac type narration for the show. He's standing in front of a white background and they add clever touches. But then you learn that everyone gets a narration. Whenever the plot allows or a joke can be had, you see a character in a confessional type situation. This would be an orginal take ona sitcom if it wasn't sone on every reality show on E! and every where else. It makes me nuts to see it. Just let the plot run without interuptions. But luckily it's used to make jokes andnot to tell the viewer of what they just saw.

The show is funny, but with the laugh track it has the feel of one of FOX's old loud sitcoms.

If it's on, watch it. But I wouldn't tell anyone about it.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

"Over There" a drama set in a war that we are
currently fighting.

The show did really well, but not for me...

I'm not interested in watching a show about the war we are in right now. It might be too soon to put it on.

If I want a fictionalize version of the events in Iraq, I'll turn on Fox News.

It'll be strange to wait every week to see what romances evolve or what the
"bitch" or "jerk" is going to say. It's not Dynasty, it's war. If someone throws a glass of wine on someone else I'm leaving. People have children and sposes
over there, they don't need a reminder. And who knew everyone who fights is so good looking. I would've been 4f'ed. Only able bodies and models to fight.

What's the point of view? M*A*S*H was a jab at the Vietnam war set in the Korean war.

Is anyone else bothered by this? FX is plugging it like it's a great service, showing us that war is hell. Thanks. I had no idea.

It's a strange time with new things coming out about the war to do a show about it.

there were complaints from the FDNY about another FX show "Rescue Me" a show I watch religiously. they complained that the characters are flawed. Dennis Leary is an alcoholic that's sleeping with his wife's cousin. Sure, it's TV! It makes great drama.

I don’t want to watch a show about a guy driving a truck, opening a hydrant putting out a fire, getting back into the truck and going to the station house to
whip up some ziti. Besides Randolph Mantooth, who cares?

For Over There" to be a compelling drama, it needs to have flawed characters. I'm not sure if we are ready to see our heroes in a dim light.

TV tried before to a war TV show. Tour of Duty on CBS was a Vietnam show that followed a platoon. It went on the air after Hollywood's string of Vietnam War films.
The good, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill, Gardens of Stones and a list of others.

The TV show didn't make it to a full season. I guess people didn't want to see the war in their living rooms again.

FX is flaunting Steven Bocho's name around like it's a golden pinata. As if to say, "This guy knows about war, he did Doogie Hoiser." great the creator of Cop Rock.

He's great and by using his name, it creates trust that he won't fust too much with the events of the war.

FX trying to be HBO. After The first season of the Sopranos everyone was running wild. FX made a play to go from the man's channel to a free HBO.

The advantage HBO has is that they only need on hit show to make the channel profitable. You pay them the same amount if you watch one show or every showing of
"Ready to Rumble" or "Boat Trip" they have.

FX needs to fill 24 hours and 7 days to make a profit.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Man Show Host tells out of line reporter to shove it.
Comment below.
From:« Bourdain Confidential »

July 16, 2005
Adam Carolla, Outta Controla

Adam Carolla, forced to appear in front of a room full of people he loathes for the second time this week. He was here two days ago for his Comedy Central show "Too Late With Adam Carolla," debuting in August. I missed that session, but it must not have gone well, because in the middle of the press conference for his TLC show "The Adam Carolla Project," due Oct. 5 at 10, kid had a meltdown.

After he said that, all someone had to do was ask the former co-host of "The Man Show" and "Loveline" about a failed sitcom that apparently never happened...and, as
you can read here, the session quickly tumbled south.

"Hold on. Listen, why don't you just go to the bar, write whatever
(expletive) you're going to write. Just write the show sucks and I'm using
my own money and I'm -- just go and write it now and leave me alone, would
you? Jesus Christ!" he yelled.

"Write something (expletive) about the show and give the mike to someone
else, please. I don't care if any of you like the show. It's going to be a
great show, and you'll just be wrong. Everyone hated 'The Man Show,' and
everyone had a problem with 'Loveline.'"

Actually, I wanted to tell him I liked "Loveline," but by then the lunatic
was on a roll. "Everyone has a problem with everything I do, but the shows
are good. So there you go. Thank you. Thank you! Oh, 'The Man Show,' minus
four stars, minus three stars, I got minus a million stars! You look up at
night when you're in Colorado, that's how many stars I got minus! Fine! The
shows go on! Everyone likes the shows!"

Then a Discovery executive must have hit him with a tiny tranquilizer dart,
because he calmed back down to his usual level of surliness and started
ragging on Ty Pennington.

Better Ty than me, I say.
Posted by Melanie McFarland at July 16, 2005 07:59 PM

Carolla is right. the reporter was there to write a fluff piece about his show. Teh reporter (who we'll call "Bob")was sent there to promote his show. Why bring up his failed TV show? What does that get her? "Yeah, it sucked. so instead of making $400,000 a week I get $1,000 for two shows."

Why do that? Everyone in Hollywood has failed projects. It's a numbers game. This is LA, not Nebraska, she should know that.

I never heard of a Carolla sitcom. It's not liek it was a flop of Joey (just wait) proportions. It quietly went away. He had a sitcom deal that went away, so what? It's news in Hollywood if someone didn't.

Should Adam have talked about the Bob's failed marriage? Or the fact that Bob was fired from her last job? (I don't know if it's true.)

That's the problem with entertainment publications, like say EW (Pronounced "ew"), they try to be edgy and political about something that just is what it is.

Why go to a place where you are expected to write about a show and then bring up the guy's failures? It's rude. What paper did Bob write for anyway? The Star? Or in Adam's case the Negetive Star?

Was it a case of a bored reporter looking for a story?

Adam isn't running for president. We don't need to know his past.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Buy yourself a Peabody and an Emmy.

Why stuggle and work your way up to a job at a well respect place like the Daily Show, when you can take a class and get the job when you getgraduate?

May 18, 2005
Classes at The PIT will get you on The Daily Show, says The PIT

"PIT Student Hired at The Daily Show!"

PITizen Rachel Axler was recently hired as a writer on The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart. After taking "Writing for The Daily Show" with PIT
faculty member (and Daily Show writer) J.R. Havlan, her work was read
by the producer that reviews submissions for the show. On May 2nd, her
first day on the job, she joined PITizen Bob Wiltfong as a member of
The Daily Show staff. Congratulations Rachel! To find out more about
"Writing for The Daily Show" and other PIT classes, visit our classes


This is crazy. You can't go to a school and be promised a job at a fancy place writing comedy; unless you go to Harvard.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Yes, That Byron Allen

Talk show host Byron Allen is making a play to buy Paxson Communication's PAX TV with an offer of $2.2 billion in cash. Cash? Yes, according to cash. He wants to have an "African American-oriented network including some of the network's current family-focused programming."

Who's this guy?
You know the guy who interviews people at 3 AM? Amazing. Where did he get that kind of money? You know when you stumble home at 3 AM and turn on the TV and there's that guy again talking to a bored celebrity? That guy is buying a network. Ain't showbiz grand!

A short history of the black Barry Diller:
He's a comic that was a host on Real People back in the Go-Go 80's. Then he had a weekly syndicated talk show, "The Byron Allen Show." I'm guess somewhere between not being able to book guests and not wanting to pay for a studio audience or writers, they started do press junkets. Like you see on the evening news. Free sit-down interviews that are paid for by the movie studio so the local news or cable station or ET can show 2 minutes of their star answering the same question for the 1,000th time and trying to look like they remember the reporter from the last time they did one of these.

It's brilliant. For years he's been taking interviews and footage he got for free and stringing them into a show. No over head. It's like having a store and just selling promotional items...and charging.

Then a few years ago his catalogue of free interviews was "bought" by a company "Entertainment Studios (.com)." I use the literal air quotes because I've never heard of the company before and it seems to just have old interviews and sell the products people are hawking. Brilliant! if you are promoting a CD, why not sell it too?

I think he started the site. He also spun off his show that's usually burned off at the wee hours in the morning into three shows that stations have to buy in order to get some other show they want.

The show:
It can get painful. He gets the biggest names, But sometimes it feels more like he's taking them hostage than interviewing them.

Now he's looking to have his own TV network. It's going to be a shock when he realizes he needs to pay for content. He might have enough archives of his own show to fill a 24 hour network.

But it's ambitious. Starting an African American network. Not Cable channel, but a seventh network. Remember, PAX was started as a "family network" and it's folding. Theses two idea are based on what the owners want there to be on TV not what the public is demanding. No one was demanding a family network.

There are many choices for African American networks, BET, MBC (run by another black comic Robert Townsend) and there's one more...I can't remember...because I just can't! And the pay movie channel, Black Stars.

Then there's the matter of programing.
It's hard enough to get Black programing on TV. It's not like you're going to get a lot of old shows. Where are you going to find repeats? Of what?

MBC shows "Rock Live." That's nothing to build a network on. And Black Stars will show some popular black movies, independent black films, lesser know black film, unknown black films and finally films with possible one black guy in it.
BET with all it's money behind it, just started showing less videos and more shows.

Since it's going to be the Byron Allen Network, will it only air at 3 AM and plug movies?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

From the No shit file:

Get Dan Rather back! We have a ground breaking story!

The New York Post reported that the talking head shows that have invaded our cable airwaves are fake! Those witty comics, magazine writers and actors (that you've never ever seen before) are told what to say! You mean that guy from In Touch Mag. didn't think of that Britny Spears joke on his own?

You can't watch a show with someone looking askew to the camera and saying something snide.

It started with "We Love the 70's, 80's, and 90's" then they caught up with the times and made "Best Last Week Ever." It's people who don't necessarily have anything to do with the subject or any authority at all commenting on a subject. Why is wrestler Jerico talking about the 70's?

Well, it turns out that these people are prompted by evil producers! NO SHIT! It's still TV. It's job is to entertain. Why get someone who is qualified to talk about the 70's when you can get a chippy wrestler? Why get Jimmy Carter? Or the Iron Sheik for that matter?

It helps move the story along. These people are there to serve the story.

This producer quoted in the story was so offended that he was told to say things that he did what any whistle blower would do...he wrote a play and is plugging it in this article.

Good thing he had nothing to gain. How much plot could this play have? And does it have a narrator who talks to the camera?

In the article writers complain that they are invited to do these shows and then producers coach some of their answers. Well yeah. Why? Because you write for a music magazine the whole world needs to hear your opinion on Michael Jaskson's charges or Courtney Love's child costudy? Are you an expert because you're an editor of a gossip mag that prints the same type of trash that the show is showing?

At least it's not a one man show.

It's got to be the shortest play int he world.

Evil Producer: "Thank you for coming to "1000 worst hair moments in Duran Duran history. Tell me about Simon."

Poor pained writer: "Oh, thank you. I'm only here to inform the world of the history of the greatest pop band's hair do's and don'ts. I'm doing God's work, really.
Ok, Simon's hair now..."

Evil Producer: "Say his hair is different than the eighties."

PPW: "I can't! I have what's it called...integrity. I write for Us Magazine. I've had three covers, two were Brad and Jen Break ups and the third was one of the Bachelors."

EP: "You are right. Please tell the world what you really think of Simon's hair?"

And scene.
from ny post

March 8, 2005 -- IF you adore guilty-pleasure shows like VH1's "Behind the
Music," "The Fabulous Life" or "Best Week Ever," get ready for a reality

You know those fast-talking commentators who wittily expound on the trials
and vices of your favorite celebrities?

I've been there. I once participated in an episode of "The Fabulous Life" about Cameron Diaz. The producer asked questions like, "Wouldn't you say Cameron has a real knack for combining high and low fashion?" and I was expected to parrot back, bubbling with enthusiasm, "Cameron has such a knack for combining high and low fashion!!"

Although I didn't cooperate, I was invited to do more shows, but declined.

It was a series of similar experiences that prompted Marc Spitz, a senior writer at Spin magazine, to write his play, a 45-minute, five-man production playing at the intimate Under St. Marks Theater in the East Village.

"These shows are evil," says Spitz. "They're like a virus in the culture. When I started doing them to promote magazine pieces, they were a bit more sincere. But they've gotten worse."

Spitz finally lost his cool after doing a show on Axl Rose. "They kept asking me, 'But Axl Rose was crazy, huh? He started a riot and went nuts on his supermodel girlfriend, didn't he?' It was like they were throwing bait at me, and I wouldn't say what they wanted me to say and I just walked out.

Complete Story

Friday, March 04, 2005

Don't Quote Me
I'm sick and tired of expensive computer-generated animated movies that substitute humor with pop culture references. The Shrek films pulled it off mainly because they're nothing more than Disney piss-takes, and everyone loves pissing on Disney, you know? But I'd rather listen to Michael Ian Black talk about "Diff'rent Strokes" than watch Shark Tale or Robots. It seems like a lot of effort to anthropomorphize sharks and robots just so they can say "Is that your final answer?" or name-check popular movies. What sort of fantasy world would have talking animals that use slang, make potty jokes, and reference Matrix movies? Why is that funny?

Also, as a cartoon fan, why aren't any professional voice talents like Billy West or Tom Kenny used more in these films? Or am I supposed to regress into childlike wonder hearing Jada Pinkett Smith voicing a hippo?

Needless to say, the latest CG film, Robots, wasn't really on my must-watch list. The latest TV ads feature a glowing blurb from none other than Earl Dittman, whose praises are usually attached to bad movies. Dittman, a real person who once appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, writes for the elusive Wireless Magazine and tends to have glowing things to say about garbage films (he likes The Pacifier, for example). Even with that said, the Robots ad rubs wrong.

The first sentence that appears in the Robots ad reads:

"More Incredible than the Incredibles" - Earl Dittman, Wireless Magazine

The next two sentences read:

The Ride of Your Life.
The Most Amazing Action Ever Put on Film.

Notice something missing with the last two quotes? There's no quotation marks surrounding them. So, are the last two statements (which seem a little too hyperbolic, even for Dittman) actual quotes from Earl's review? Or are they statements written by the marketing department and placed after a quote to make it seem like they're part of a review? Maybe the unquoted blurbs are written by an army of Earl Dittman robots. Either way, it seems deceitful to me. But what do I know? I don't find Robots making piss jokes either the ride of my life or the most amazing action ever put on film.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Oscar recap

Chris rock was great. He was funny and a little mean. You have to expect some of that. You don't hire Chris Rock and expect him to sing and dance.

His material about Bush fucking up and still keeping his job was dead on and is why Rock is one of the best comics out there.

Robin Williams should fuck himself. 20 minutes after Rock's very rehearsed monologue, William's decides to blast us with his old material. I think it was in bad form for him to do stand up after the host did. It made him look like he was grabbing onto something.

Rock had 12 writers and a couple of months of going on stage to get his opening straight. Williams took bits he's been doing since the Reagan administration and rehashed them.

Why was Beyoncee singing all the songs? Did 8 people cancel? Can no one else sing? She's great and all, but having her do 3 out of 5 songs was a bit much.

Antonio Banderas needs a shower and some singing lessons. He was making me beg for Marc Anthony.

It's the Oscars, it shouldn't be hard to book A-list singers besides the stand out from Destiny's Child. It's official, Bouncy Knowls is carrying that band. She's the David Lee Roth, before the break down.

I hope this doesn't mean I have to read about her in the paper every day like Britney or Paris or Iraq.

Carlos Santana needs a better agent. The guy is a living legend.

Julia Roberts was able to make this show about her, again. She lingered on stage. When Clint won, she kissed him and then before he could give his speech, she went back and cleaned off the little bit of lipstick that was there. Hew as fine. We get it, you're lovable, now let the guy talk.

All the people who won, should have. No upsets, no surprises. Sideways was never going to get best picture. The screen play award was typical and enough.

It would have been nice for Virginia Madsen to win, but it was steep Compton.

Next year's host? Shucky Ducky.
All That Razz

Once again, Media Yenta's Post-Awards Analysis of "Worst
Picture" Razzies

Congrats goes to Catwoman, George W., and the Razzie Awards itself, which celebrates its 25th anniversary with a companion book. Honorary "Our First 25 YEARS" awards went to From Justin To Kelly (Worst Musical), Gigli (Worst Comedy), and Battlefield Earth (Worst Drama). I'm happy to see more recently released pictures acknowledged as
the new classics of mind-numbing drek.

And this year's awards go to: Fahrenheit 9/11
Winners: George W. Bush (Worst Actor), Donald Rumsfeld (Worst Supporting Actor), Britney Spears (Worst Supporting Actress), and President Bush with My Pet Goat or Condoleeza Rice (Worst Screen Couple) What We Said: Please, God, give it to Ben Stiller.

What We Say Now: While politicians make great fodder when visiting Pop Culture Land ("Sock it to me?" Nixon asked on Laugh-In), I feel the Razzie academy unjustly snubbed Stiller, the Olsen Twins, and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2's Jon Voight.

And the awards go to: Catwoman
Winner: Worst Picture, Actress, Screenplay, and Director.
What We Said: We liked Scooby Doo 2.
What We Say Now: It's another bad self-conscious Warner Brothers film loosely based on one of their franchises, like Scooby Doo 2 (named Worst Sequel), Gremlins 2 and Space Jam. Will Batman Begins be next? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Shelved Life

As if this Saturday's announcement of the Razzies Worst Movie of 2004 isn't enough for bad-movie fans, today's IMdb drops a bombshell:

Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein will be leaving Miramax Films with a flourish, releasing as many as 22 movies during the next seven months, including some troubled films that had been shelved or postponed, the New York Times reported today (Wednesday), citing unnamed executives at the studio. The strategy was described by one Miramax executive as an effort to "clean the pipeline" before new managers take over. The Times suggested that some of the films may not be released theatrically but instead will go straight to cable and/or DVD. One such film is Prozac Nation, starring Christina Ricci, which has been shelved for more than four years.

Dude, this is bad-movie manna from the heavens. Miramax has the best catalog of terrible, horrible, unwatchable movies. Many "sit on the shelves" until they have to be released, like the recent Anna Paquin scare-fest Darkness. Billy Bob Thornton is the poster boy for delayed Miramax releases. He starred in the shelf-warmer Waking Up in Reno, as well as Daddy and Them, which he also wrote and directed. Miramax kept bumping the release date of Nightwatch (Ole Bornedal's American remake of his Danish movie, Nattevagten). Despite an amazing performance from Nick Nolte, Nightwatch's butchered editing makes it hard to watch (plus that Saw-esque ending, oy vey).

Other delayed Miramax stinkers (in alphabetical order): Chump Change, Diamonds, Duplex, My Name Is Modesty: A Modesty Blaise Adventure, and View from the Top.

Is there one good film that Miramax held and quietly released on video? My vote goes to Buffalo Soldiers, a very cynical US military black comedy, which was held back post- 9/11. It's unwatchable, only because the satire cuts too close to the bone.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Over Before It Started

Spurred on by last year's Super Bowl, many people have complained about this year's Oscars show, even though the event won't air until February 27th. IMdb had
reported Rush Limbaugh upset with the ending to Best Picture nominee Million Dollar Baby. Why the conservative radio host has issues with the former Republican mayor of Carmel freaking California doesn't worry me, I'm just surprised anyone can make it to the end of a Clint Eastwood-directed movie. I watched Matt Drudge in a "rare" interview
on FoxNews' Hannity and Colmes, where the seminal webhead was upset with Oscar host Chris Rock's comment, reported in the 2/4/05 issue of MediaYenta's favorite magazine, Entertainment Weekly.

Here's the quote: "Come on, it's a fashion show. No one performs; it's not like a music show. What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars?" Shame there wasn't another guest on the program, like say a straight black man, to let Drudge know it was a joke. Rock, according to Drudge, wasn't enough of "a class act" to host the Oscars. He was classy enough to host the MTV awards at NYC's Metropolitan freaking Opera House, so give me a break. Seems like the Oscars like to have a risky host once every ten years (Letterman hosted in 1995).

That said, I would like to join the preshow haters with my own complaint. Hey, Acamedy, don't let Martin Scorsese win. You could have given him the Best
Director Oscar in '81 (for Raging Bull), '89 (The Last Temptation of Christ), '91 (GoodFellas), or '03 (Gangs of New York). But you didn't. Heck, when Kevin Costner
and Dances With Wolves beat GoodFellas, I felt the show Jumped The Shark. Please don't give him the award for The Aviator just to make up for your previous mistakes.

Monday, February 14, 2005


From Cynthia Turner's Cynopsis:

Lifetime Tv has this show in development,
"Thicker than Water is also a comedy from exec prod Carol Leifer, a semi-autobiographical project about a single TV writer living in LA trying to get a job after a wildly successful series (Seinfeld), pitching ideas to exec produces several years her junior. "

This is a show? How lazy was that? No wonder she couldn't sell a show after Sienfeld. With ideas that obvious, who cares? Yes as a writer they tell you to "Write what you know," but they tell you to "Be creative" too.

The show feels too inside as they say. Do women care if she sells the TV show?

Part of the show's pitch is that she has to pitch the ideas to TV execs who are younger than her, ie. "They don't get it." How uncomfortable that muct has been?

"The execs are dumb. tehy don't get it. Unlike you guys, who are young...but..."

I'm going to sell a show about a guy who forgot to set his alarm this morning and is now late for work.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

David Cross Almost cries

David "Don't call me 'Dave'" Cross was almost in tears as he announced the cancellation of his great sitcom "Arrested Development." He was the lead guest on the press resistant "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The Pope can announce that he's gay on Kimmel and no one will report it.

Canceling a very funny show like "Arrested Development?" That's criminal. And when I say funny, I mean really funny, not "I heard that 'Sports Night' doesn't have a laugh track and they talk real fast - but new do anything funny" funny.

I love this show. It's funny, strange and always worth watching.

It was created by Ron Howard because he felt TV comedies were changing and he wanted to be on forefront. Boy was he wrong.

The show about 8 (or so --I'm too lazy to count) distinctive funny characters that torture the straight man Jason "It's Your Move" Bateman is vastly more original than it's replacement.

Starting in May, "American Dad" will step into the post Simpsons spot. An animated show about a clueless dad, his housewife wife and their kids. It’s made by the people who do "Family Guy." The animation, plot, humor and characters are very similar.

On FG the dad is dumb and not successful. On AD he's successful and dumb. American dad is a copy of Family Guy whish is a copy of the Simpsons.

Sunday night on FOX now has 4 shows that are animated and that center on dopey fathers of great families with housewives.

King of the Hill- hank is good natured but clueless. Peg teaches piano lessons on the side and their son is dumb and the niece is hot.

Simpsons - Homer is well...Homer. Marge doesn't work. Son is a monster - loser. Daughter is smart and there's a baby to keep the wife busy.

Family Guy (see Simpsons) Dumb father, housewife, loser son, smart daughter, baby (who talks!)

American Dad - (See family guy minus the baby.)

The Munsters - Husband dumb - wife too hot for him. Son is a dope. Hot niece who's above it all. Plus Grandpa and a thing that lives under the stairs.

Honorable mention:
King of Queens, Still Standing, Listen up, According to Jim, My Wife and Kids, Rodney, George Lopez and others.

Fuck Network TV. I'll go watch a make over show on cable!

Monday, January 24, 2005

And the Nominees are...

Forget the Oscars. The one movie awards we follow are the Razzies®, the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation's annual pick for Worst in Show. Announced Monday
afternoon, here's the noms, which we'll handicap and, a first this year, we'll tell you if we actually saw the films. Congrats to the Razzie's celebrating 25 years, by the way. We took this off their press release at

Who will "win": This year is a toss-up. All are bad, granted, but usually the Foundation likes to peg projects with big egos who fall short. This summarizes
all of them. We say the Razzie goes the most expensive film, Alexander.
Which ones did we see: None, but we do plan to rent Catwoman and White Chicks.
Who deserves it?: Did we mention we didn't see any of them. But it's nice not to see the funny-at-times Stepford Wives on the list.

Ben Affleck (Jersey Girl, Surviving Christmas), George W. Bush (FAHRENHEIT 9/11), Vin Diesel (RIDDICK), Colin Farrell (ALEXANDER), Ben Stiller (All his 2004 movies
except Meet the Fockers) Who will "win:" 2003 winner Ben "Gigli" Affleck's got
some competition this year. Please, God, give it to Ben Stiller. Which ones did we see: We saw Starsky and Hutch and it wasn't even a movie. Bush and the other politicians nominated (see below) were bigger embarassments in other docs from last year like Bush's Brain and Uncovered: The War on Iraq.
Who deserves it?: Stiller.

Halle Berry, Hilary Duff (2 films), Angelina Jolie (ALEXANDER and TAKING LIVES, but not Sky Captain), Mary-Kate & Ashley, "The Wayans Sisters" (WHITE
CHICKS)Who will "win:" It's either the Wayans or Joliexander.
Which ones did we see: New York Minute is next on our Netflick list, we swear.
Who deserves it?: Wayans

Affleck & EITHER J. Lo OR Liv Tyler (JERSEY GIRL),
Berry & EITHER Benjamin Bratt OR Sharon Stone
(CATWOMAN), George W. Bush & EITHER Condoleeza Rice OR
His Pet Goat (F 9/11), Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, The
Wayans Brothers
Who will "win:" The President and the Goat. They make
such a great couple.
Which ones did we see: New York Minute is next on our
Netflick list, we swear.
Who deserves it?: Wayans

Carmen Electra (S & HUTCH), J. Lo (J Girl), Condoleeza
Rice (F9/11), Britney Spears (F9/11), Sharon Stone
Who will "win:" Former winners usually do, J. Lo,
Sharon, talking to you.
Which ones did we see: All but Catwoman and Jersey
Who deserves it?: Dr. Rice, for her performance in
the doc Uncovered when she emoted: "We don't want the
smoking gun to turn into a mushroom cloud."

Val Kilmer (Alex), Schwarzenegger (AROUND THE
WORLD...), Donald Rumsfeld (F 9/11), Jon Voight
Who will "win:" Lambert deserved it for the Matrix
movies. Gov. Schwar is a long time winner. We believe
Daddy Angelina will get it.
Which ones did we see: We refuse to see the fucking
sequel to fucking Baby Genius.
Who deserves it?: Schwarzenegger

Bob Clark (SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2), Renny Harlin
and/or Paul Schrader (EXORCIST 4: THE BEGINNING),
Pitof (CATWOMAN), Oliver Stone (ALEXANDER), Keenan
Ivory Wayans (WHITE CHICKS)
Who will "win:" Oliver Stone
Which ones did we see: None, but we promise to
watch...sigh...BG2, followed by...sigh...E4,
Who deserves it?: No brainer. Schrader's version of
Ex4 got shelved and then Renny Harlin made a new
better version. Which apparently really sucked more.

Who will "win:" Exorcist 4, for backstage noise alone.
Which ones did we see: We liked Scooby Doo 2
Who deserves it?: Paul WS Anderson's Alien v

Who will "win:" Alexander or White Chicks.
Which ones did we see: Now that the nominees are out,
we're going to watch all of them. Well, except for
BG2, come on we're only human.
Who deserves it?: Mankind.

Monday, January 17, 2005

It's "the latest example of TV network self-censorship," as CNN reports that FOX blurred a butt on Sunday's re-airing of "Family Guy."

That's some great irony because Family Guy is a cartoon show; that particular episode aired unedited on the network five years ago; and, earlier that night
on FOX, Moe showed his bare butt on the "The Simpsons."

So why the hecka is FOX airing 5-year-old Family Guys - a show they cancelled - on prime time anyway, especially when reruns are on Cartoon Network and TBS,
like, always? DVD sales. The Fox DVD sales of Family Guy rival only Chappelle's Show. To spawn future DVD sales, a new season of Family Guy starts this year.
Fox is now airing reruns for the next couple Sundays, perhaps to test the ratings, but seems more to test their restrait. Here's to Cartoon Network or TBS airing the new shows unedited.
Carter Country

Another year, another MTV film released in January.
Like the 1/01 release Save The Last Dance, Coach
Carter is directed by Thomas Carter (he directed Swing
Kids, too). In the ads, the announcer blares: "Coach
Carter, directed by Thomas Carter." So, are they
related? No. However, the director does have a basketball
connection. According to IMdb
Thomas Carter did act on TV's White Shadow.

"Hey, Salomi! I got the #1 film!"

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Golden Globes - How the other channels successfully sucked off the franchise with pre-show shows.

Let me be the first one to say that Joan and Melissa are a great addition to the TV Guide Channel. As time goes on, I think people will stray over to the "channel channel" and watch the mother daughter team that created the genre of awkward red carpet chatter.

It funny to watch J & M and Star on E! have strange 2 second conversations with the celebs that were just grabbed by a producer and put in front of the camera. It's like a really bad party where you are waiting for one of you to go "freshen my drink."

Star spent much of the time saying, "They say I shouldn't talk about fashion but...," or "They say I shouldn't gush but..." What else is there for her to talk about? The tsunomi? This is a red carpet show not a third date. Get up, see the dress and move on.

Star is a strange choice because she she's not a comedian so she just stands there and gushes, but they won't let her gush. Last year she only talked about her wedding. They stopped that. Again, what else does she have to talk about?

The best thing E! did was add Kathy Griffin to their coverage. She's funny and slightly mean. Other than Kathy, why else watch the pre show? She should have a bigger presence on the coverage. Forget Star.

J & M are funny and crazy. Instead of giving the Rivers only half a screen they put the TV guide stuff on the way bottom. They also put up random Golden Globe trivia. " Awkward!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Prince Harry dressed in a Nazi uniform? Well he was on his way to a "Bad taste Party." he came in second. Someone dressed as his mother in a car wrapped around a pole came in first.

How can the palace apologize now? It's now like he just did it on his own.

You and I get dressed on our own, but the prince? Someone could've stopped him. It's not like he went to the thrift store got a shirt and put the arm band on himself. Someone could have stopped him.


Fox is offering its cancelled series on line - some on a pay-per-view basis, and some free. According to Variety, come Monday you can order up all eight episodes of the busted series Playing it Straight for $9.99 for all eight, or $1.99 per ep. You may recall only 3 episodes of this series made it into primetime. Also available is My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, thought he final five unseen eps of that series are free to anyone interested.

Great, you can pay $10 for something you didn't even want to watch for free. I wonder if it'll have commercials.

This is a great experiment. The internet needs content. Why not try and make some of your money back? Normally these shows get sold off to third world countries. Now they can be pushed off on one of many reality or new gay cable channels or sold directly to the TV watcher.

I think the draw back to internet TV is you have to give people a reason to go over to their computer and watch something. FOX is saying that you can see a show you might have liked that they won't show on regular TV.

Just doing a shitty perverted cartoon doesn't cut it.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Media Yenta -- Out of retirement to slam Entertainment Weakling.

This week's EW's (pronounced "ew") "Must List" has a curious item. They named the CBS reality show "The Will" as the #2 must thing of the week.

"Scheming friends and family compete for a ranch estate on CBS' reality series. Viewers win; their faith in humanity loses.“

The show premiered this Saturday on CBS. It was the lowest rated show on the network for the week.

Monday the Eye Net canned the show making it one of those prestigious "one aired wonders."

Thursday Entertainment Weakling hits the news stands and puts it at #2.

Other things that were lower on the list: #9 Don Cheadle in 'Hotel Rwanda' - Apparently his performance is better than Javier Bardem in 'The Sea Inside" (#10) but not as good as a reality show.

Normally the snarky EW would take opportunity to publish an article about the decline of reality shows because one show got killed in the ratings - ignoring the fact that the show was put on the least watched night of the week and against a play off football game.

Now they can't. Well...they have flipped flopped on their opinions on performers and shows. They'll print a blurb trashing an actor calling him a loser. But once that said actor gets some heat ...they love him. It's not a magazine covering politics.

It's doesn't need a point of view. But a political mag will have on point of view. Left or right. But entertainment has no sides, so EW has arbitrary opinions.

The "ML" is the weekly ass kiss to publicists. The "Must" means they must give a pay back to a publicist.

Fuck EW. It's just Us Weekly with a better spell check.