Friday, June 22, 2007

Think happy thoughts

So many angry, anonymous posters with poor spelling skills. It makes my little heart go pitter-pat.

Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts.... I'm on vacation next week... the final, really final, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" airs Thursday... Shaquille O'Neal dispensing weight-loss advice on "Shaq's Big Challenge" (starting Tuesday on ABC)... "Hey Paula" on Bravo (so bad it's... well, not good, but at least funny) on Thursday.... and Canada Day July 1!

Whew, I'm feeling better now. I'll be back July 2 to see whether the comment thread has spontaneously ignited.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Speaking of local news

You should start seeing promos for KOAA's new 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. newscasts today. The new newscasts will launch July 16 on KOAA's News First Now cable channel (seen locally on Comcast channel 9).

The station is also introducing Laura Rojas as the anchor for those newscasts, along with meteorologist Mike Madson. Rojas comes from the CBS affiliate in Amarillo, Texas, where she was a morning anchor and also helmed the 5 p.m. newscast on the Spanish-language Univision station.

Dog is back on the streets

I was just talking to local bail bondsman Bobby Brown, who's once again brought Duane "Dog" Chapman and crew to town to hunt down scofflaws. Actually, Brown said he was calling from the jail, where they'd just turned in one of the bail-jumpers.

So if you have recently jumped bail, take note. Dog is supposed to be in town another couple of weeks.


May Nielsen numbers

The May book is in and it's hard to tell whether the folks at KOAA or KRDO are jumping higher.

KOAA actually expanded its lead at 10 p.m. -- this in a sweeps period in which NBC posted some truly atrocious ratings. Remarkable.

KRDO won the mornings outright, and came thisclose to taking over second place at 10 p.m. -- plus they continued to bring in the viewers for their weekend morning news.

KXRM's 9 p.m. news was up slightly, and tied KRDO's second-place 10 p.m. finish among viewers 25-54. It wasn't far behind in total viewers, either.

All this good news came at the expense of KKTV, which was down rather sharply at 10 p.m. from last year.

These numbers don't include KRDO's new noon news hour, or new KOAA morning anchor Adam Atchison. Next time out, we'll also have to factor in KXRM's new morning news, and try to judge whether KOAA's cable-only 4 and 9 p.m. newscasts put a dent in the other guy's broadcast news.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Age of Love

The look at Mark Philipoussisosousisis' face between the introductions of the 40-somethings is priceless. You have to wonder why he'd be dumb enough to sign up for this turkey, but as my wife said, "I had no idea who he was before, and, after this, I certainly will."

I hope they're paying the "cougars" some serious dime, though. Seems only fair for putting up with this doorknob on national TV.

I guess I shouldn't be too hard on Markie Mark. I mean, he's been playing tennis since he was six, he probably hasn't had that much time to watch TV. This whole thing may be a learning, growing experience for him...


The summer drought continues

Although there's a chance of showers -- "The Closer" begins its season tonight on TNT and NBC's heavily promoted "Bachelor" rip-off "Age of Love" starts.

I hope like heck that it doesn't turn into a hit, because I seriously dread having to spell Mark Philippoussis.

I'm still toying around with this week's column. I'm pondering expanding on last week's kvetching about "Man vs. Wild" and "Ice Road Truckers" into a riff on the role imitation plays in TV.
I use "role" in the same sense you might refer to role oxygen plays in the atmosphere: Not the primary ingredient (Geek alert: nitrogen composes 78 percent of the air we breathe), but certainly the part everyone cares about.

Hmmm... At the moment, I'm really distracted by how awful this picture of Mark Philippoussis is. That's the best NBC's publicity department could come up with? He looks like they caught him wearing a shark's tooth necklace and prowling the bar at the Copacabana. Shudder.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

For God's sakes, somebody step on that cockroach!

Intriguing item for "Heroes" fans: Sylar is not only not dead, he'll be a series regular next season.


Man Vs. Wild - Goooooooo Wild!

Anyone catch "Man Vs. Wild" "star" Bear Grylls on this morning's "Today" show? I hate that guy, but I love watching the show to see what utterly stupid thing he comes up with next.

It's really an incredibly smart concept. Les Stroud does the same stuff on "Survivorman," but his show is realistic and sort of educational. Grylls understands that the whole thing is just entertainment and vicarious thrills, so whatever the most ridiculous, extravagant thing you could do in a given survival situation is, he does it.

So he parachutes into places with bus service, pees on his t-shirt to stay cool, jumps off cliffs to escape imaginary bears and pretends this stuff is all in a day's work for a former British special forces soldier.

His dedication to the ridiculous would actually be kind of admirable, if he presented it with a wink and a nod. But a big part of Bear's schtick is to make everything seem like an actual life-and-death situation, rather than just an idiot running around in the backwoods with a camera crew.

Anyway, the new season of "Man Vs. Wild" starts at 7 p.m. Friday.

Speaking of bizarre television rip-offs, The History Channel launches "Ice Road Truckers" at 7 p.m. Sunday.

It's a transparent parody of Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" and I have not a clue why it's on The History Channel, other than "Catch" brought in big ratings for Discovery. Anyway, if, at some point in the season, they manage to get footage of an actual truck actually breaking through the ice, I give them huge props. Otherwise, I can't imagine why anyone would care.

I mean, "Deadliest Catch" has a lot of drama even without people actually, you know, dying for our viewing pleasure. There's big seas and ice and clashing personalities and lots and lots of money on the line. It's inherently visual and inherently tense. "Truckers" has elements of that, but seems like a pale imitation in every respect.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Steve Perry: Don't whack Carm and the kids to my song

Love this story: Steve Perry told David Chase that he wouldn't let "The Sopranos" die to "Keep On Believin'."

And here's a special bonus taste of Journey to brighten your Wednesday morning.

Journey. Awesome. If we had some Boston and some Genesis, I'd make you a mix tape.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

They don't want their anchors wearing bikinis down in Texas

This "Anchorwoman" Fox reality show is pretty fascinating. May even be good TV. Probably not good TV news, but good TV.

Summertime, and the viewing is easy

I'm really enjoying my little summer break. Last night, my wife and I actually watched one of the Netflix movies that have been sitting on the TV stand for the last month.

The worm will turn, though. This week's TV Talk looks at the wave of cable shows premiering this month. More good TV than you can shake a remote at.

For now, though, I'm giving thanks for the time to squeeze a DVD in between network shows.

David Chase: Hiding out in France

Alan Sepinwall of the New Jersey Star-Ledger has the one, and apparently only, post-Sopranos finale interview with creator David Chase.


Monday, June 11, 2007

The end is near... no, wait, it's here

I don't subscribe to HBO (despite being the TV reporter, I pay my own way, cable-wise), so I didn't see "The Sopranos" finale.

But I'm not a patient man. When I was a kid, I used to take an exacto knife and carefully cut open my Christmas presents, peek and then tape them back up. So naturally, last night at 7:59 p.m., I started searching for an episode recap of the finale.

And what I found was a lot of unhappy people. A lot. David Chase's open-to-interpretation non-ending ending did not satisfy the restless Sopranos fan base. Is Tony dead? Is he enjoying onion rings with Carm and the kids? Did the feds nab him? The answer lies in your imagination, 'cause it sure wasn't on the screen.
There were a truly hilarious number of people who thought their cable had glitched right at the crucial moment.

It's not surprising -- not after the last two seasons -- that Chase chose to use the finale to poke fans in the eye once more. Not surprising, but disappointing.

If the finale arrives on DVD sometime soon, I'll certainly still watch it, though. I still played with my Christmas presents, too.
UPDATE: Not surprisingly, there are also a bunch of people out there who LOVED the ending. Because David Chase is a genius and all. Some of these people say that fans who didn't like the ending just didn't get it -- because Tony was shot and never saw it coming, so fini -- while others say that fans who didn't like the ending just didn't get it -- because Tony wasn't shot and life goes on and this is the entire message of the series.
Whatever -- a lot of these people seem to be pretentious jerks.
Like the ending if you want, because it gave you a jolt, or it was daring, or you can't conceive of David Chase striking out (despite the abundant evidence of last season), but don't hate on people who hated it. See Petey's comments in this thread for numerous examples of what I'm talking about.
Read the comments on the Time blog -- somebody drops a Choose Your Own Adventure riff that's hilarious.
UPDATED UPDATE: I keep seeing people compare this to the "Seinfeld" finale. That kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it? Ouch.
I'm trying to think of final episodes now. MASH was well-done, but self-indulgent. "Friends" was maudlin. "Seinfeld" was a trainwreck. "Cheers" was pretty good, but didn't aim too high. "St. Elsewhere" was the all-time screw-with-the-audience finale. Hmmm. Most of the other big finales were for shows I'd stopped watching years before.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Washington out on Grey's

I haven't spent too much time following the "Grey's Anatomy" brouhaha, but I did pay enough attention to assume that Isaiah Washington was in the clear when the season ended with him still more or less on the show.

But not so. ABC waited all the way 'til June to give him his walking papers. Odd. But the show must go on.
Tell me what you think. Was Washington's speech unforgiveable from the outset (in which case ABC should have canned him immediately), or should people be able to accept his apologies (in which case he shouldn't have been canned)? I think the reality of the situation was a little more complicated than that, but I think the question is still fair.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

KRDO GM retires after 42 years with station

KRDO/Channel 13 general manager Neil Klockziem is retiring in August after 42 years with the television station.

Klockziem, 65, started with KRDO as a director and copywriter in 1965, then worked his way up to become general manager in 1980.

Last year, the Hoth family sold Pikes Peak Broadcasting, including KRDO-TV, a second TV station in Grand Junction and KRDO radio (1240 AM and 105.5 FM) to the News-Press & Gazette Company of St. Joseph, Mo. Klockziem said he wanted to stay through the transition.

“It’s been an incredible place to work with incredible people,” Klockziem said of KRDO. “Really, broadcasting has been my entire life.”

Tim Larson, general manager for the News-Press & Gazette’s TV station in Idaho Falls, was named the new general manager. Larson will start in July.

John From Cincinnati

Today TV column was sort of generally about HBO's post-"Sopranos" prospects and sort of specifically about HBO's new series "John From Cincinnati," which follows the Sopranos finale Sunday night.

So I thought I'd just throw out the question: Is anybody psyched for this show?

HBO's promos for it have featured on a dude wearing a wetsuit, levitating, and that's certainly part of the show. But there is a plot and stuff, too.

So, any huge surfing fans out there? The surfing scenes are actually really good. Or David Milch fans? He essentially gave up "Deadwood" so he could do this show, you know.

Or will you all be too busy crying in your beer over Tony getting whacked (I'm speculating) that you won't even watch?


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Jericho - tougher than cockroaches

It seems that, after the apocolypse, the only things to survive will be cockroaches and "Jericho." CBS, which made the show a surprise casualty last month, is now talking with the producers about bringing it back.
It's 7th Heavenesque, I tell ya!
UPDATE: It's now officially coming back.


It's almost time for the Television Critics Association awards... always my favorite awards show of the year, because they let me vote.

Here are my picks (marked with an X):

“American Idol” (Fox)
“Friday Night Lights” (NBC)
X - “Heroes” (NBC)
“Planet Earth” (Discovery)
“The Wire” (HBO)
“When the Levees Broke” (HBO)

X - “30 Rock” (NBC)
“The Daily Show” (Comedy Central)
“Entourage” (HBO)
“The Office” (NBC)
"Ugly Betty” (ABC)

X - “Friday Night Lights” (NBC)
“Heroes” (NBC)
“Lost” (ABC)
“The Sopranos” (HBO)
“The Wire” (HBO)
“Broken Trail” (AMC)
X - “Planet Earth” (Discovery)
“Prime Suspect” (PBS)
“The State Within” (BBC America)
“When the Levees Broke” (HBO)

“30 Rock” (NBC)
“Dexter” (Showtime)
X - “Friday Night Lights” (NBC)
“Heroes” (NBC)
“Ugly Betty” (ABC)

X - Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”)
Stephen Colbert (“The Colbert Report”)
America Ferrara (“Ugly Betty”)
Tina Fey (“30 Rock”)
Jon Stewart (“The Daily Show”)

X - Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”)
Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”)
Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”)
Hugh Laurie (“House”)
Helen Mirren (“Prime Suspect”)

“Dora the Explorer” (Nickelodeon)
“Johnny and the Sprites” (The Disney Channel)
X - “Kyle XY” (ABC Family)
“Lincoln Heights” (ABC Family)
“SpongeBob Squarepants” (Nickelodeon)

“Baghdad ER” (HBO)
“Bill Moyers Journal” (PBS)
“Galapagos” (National Geographic)
X - “Planet Earth” (Discovery)
“When the Levees Broke” (HBO)

“M*A*S*H” (CBS)
“Roots” (ABC)
"Sesame Street” (PBS)
“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (CBS)
X - “The Sopranos” (HBO)

Mary Tyler Moore
Ed Bradley
X - William Shatner
Bill Moyers
Larry Gelbart

Monday, June 04, 2007

Is the opposite of "real estate" "false estate"?

A&E's "Flip This House" has landed in another imbroglio:

That show is just a magnet for trouble. A&E has already recast its Atlanta flip crew (and what does that mean, are these real business people or just TV actors?), and says on its Web site that it won't rebroadcast any of the episodes with Sam Leccima.

Meanwhile, has anyone watched the original "Flip This House" crew on their new show, "The Real Deal"? I've been meaning to check it out, but keep forgetting. Richard C. Davis and company were a little sleazy at times, but they were not, as far as I know, actual crooks. Plus, they made great TV.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Jeannette Hynes joins KXRM

Former KKTV/Channel 11 anchor and reporter Jeannette Hynes will be joining KXRM/Channel 21 to co-anchor the station's new morning show. Hynes left KKTV a year ago to spend time with her baby daughter.

KXRM's new morning news will start Aug. 6. The station has also hired a reporter, Meaghan Collier and two producers, Cory Morlock and Tara Kurtz. Still to come are a co-anchor for Hynes and a morning meteorologist.