Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Top Ten Rockies excuses

If you missed it on Monday:

Top Ten Colorado Rockies Excuses
10. "Even we've never heard of most of our players"
9. "Didn't want game 5 to preempt 'House""
8. "Relax, there's still a lot of baseball to be played"
7. "The curse of the Bambino?"
6. "At that altitude, the beer really knocks you on your ass"
5. No number 5 -- writer preparing to go on strike
4. "Turns out our 'flaxseed oil' really was flaxseed oil"
3. "O.J. stole the equipment!"
2. "Manager distracted by Joe Torre walking around with his resume"
1. "Forget us -- someone want to explain the Jets?"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

World Series ratings

It's good news/bad news for Fox from the World Series.

The good? Ratings are up.

The bad? Advertisers do not love sweeps.


Monday recap

Wooooooooooooohoooooooooo Go Pack!

Sorry, allowing my Wisconsin roots to show there. So that's what I was doing instead of watching scripted television, although I did catch up with "Heroes" this morning. Sorry I did - another nothing of an episode. That was a big collection of stories I don't give a fig for. Ah well, another week... as soon as I need a column idea, I'm ditching this show and writing about why you should too.

Speaking of columns, Thursday's is on why swapping "The Amazing Race" for "Viva Laughlin" is a good thing for everyone, plus a few cheap shots at "Man Vs. Wild," which begins a new season a week from today.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Maybe they could take up hula dancing?

Another Lostie bites the dust. If these guys were stuck in the middle of Kansas with nothing to do but drink, I'd get all the DUI's on that show. But they're in Hawaii. I'm pretty sure there are one or two other things they could do to kill time. Scuba diving. Surfing. Bird watching. Basket weaving.

And what about ABC? At this point, they have to seriously be considering handing out bus passes or something.

Summer radio ratings - Y96 tops the heap

Interesting stuff in the latest Arbitron radio ratings: Country station KCCY trounces its top competition, KATC (although those numbers are always closer in the 25-54 demographic), KKLI has a great book, "The Peak" holds pretty steady, KKMG easily beats KIBT (but we'll have to see the 18-34 numbers), KVOR slips and KBIQ climbs.

1. KCCY (96.9 FM)
2. KKLI (106.3 FM)
3. KILO (94.3 FM)
4. KKPK (92.9 FM)
5. KBIQ (102.7 FM)
6. KATC (95.1 FM0
7. KKMG (98.9 FM)
8. KVOR (740 AM)
9. KKFM (98.1 FM)
10. KVUU (99.9 FM)
11. KIBT (96.1 FM)
12. KYZX (103. 9 FM)
13. KOA (850 AM)
14. KRDO (1240 AM and 105.5 FM)
15. KCMN (1340 AM)
16. KZNT (1460 AM)
17. KGFT (100.7 FM)
18. KHOW (640 AM)

October returns in November

ABC's "October Road" is coming back in November. Manitoids rejoice: Geoff Stults will be buying a round for the house next time he's in town.

Trading Spaces - Roller girl style

A few photos from the Pikes Peak Derby Dames "Trading Spaces" episode, which airs Saturday on TLC:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Pushing Daisies" will keep pushing them out

This is one of the most unexpected pickups of the season: ABC gave a full-season order to "Pushing Daisies."

Its ratings have fallen off since the premiere, but it still attracts about 10 million viewers and wins its timeslot. I'm pretty well astounded: I was sure "Daisies" was headed to the pile of killer, never-seen TV shows. Things like "Action!" and "Profit" and "Cupid" and "Firefly." Somehow, it broke through - at least for a season.

I wonder if that says something about TV viewers' evolving tastes, or is it just an aberration?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rockies vs. Red Sox ratings

We'll find out soon which is the better team on the field, but in the TV ratings, the Red Sox absolutely spanked the Rockies.

Game 7 of the Boston-Cleveland series drew 19.15 million viewers and came in third place in the broadcast Nielsens.

Meanwhile, Game 4 of the Colorado-Arizona series drew an underwhelming 3.8 million viewers for TBS, good for 12th place among cable programs - and one spot behind a 9:30 a.m. repeat of "SpongeBob SquarePants." For cryingoutloud.

Cable attracts smaller audiences and the Sox-Indians series was more dramatic and yaddayaddayadda, but it's still pretty good evidence that the rest of America just isn't that interested in a little old baseball team from Denver.

Going back a week, the best-rated game of the Rockies-Diamondbacks series (Game 1) drew 5.3 million viewers, which actually beat an episode of "Hannah Montana." Meanwhile, the lowest-rated game of the Red Sox-Indians series - Game 1 - drew 7.4 million viewers. The lowest-rated Rockies-Diamondbacks? Game 2 - 3.3 million.

By comparison, Game 4 of the Indians-Yankees series drew 9.2 million.

Monday recap

Hey, that's two in a row now. Actually, better than that: Last night's "Heroes" not only didn't suck, it was actually pretty intriguing. I thought the Parkman/Nathan dream fight was well-executed. It had a classic "Twilight Zone" feel to it. And Peter and Hiro and PBS girl (can I get that nickname to stick? It's the learning channel, right?) all had small enough bits that I didn't find them too annoying. Ali Larter had her first good scene in like, forever.

And most importantly, I finally want to see what happens next. I wasn't sure they'd get there this season, but here we are.

One complaint, however: Not loving Kristen Bell as the villain. Not feeling it.

Also, for anyone still watching "Journeyman," last night's eppy was pretty good. They're having a lot more fun now exploring how this time travel stuff works and what it means for Dan and his family. Plus, the DB Cooper storyline was kind of fun, although the resolution was cheeze. Loved the newspapers scenes, both old and new, which were dead on (except for the editor saying newspapers aren't profit machines -- where's he working?).

Plus, the funniest "How I Met Your Mother" of the season and a pretty funny "Big Bang Theory" (which I swore I wouldn't watch, but it was too late to switch over to "Chuck."

Agree? Disagree? You know where the comments are.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dead Pool now definitely dead

Well, that didn't take long. CBS axed "Viva Laughlin" after two airings. Not much to say about that, except that American TV viewers really don't get musicals, much less quasi-musicals like "Laughlin." And, of course, that it's still amazin' that "Cavemen" didn't take the long walk off the short pier first.

"The Amazing Race" will take its Sunday night slot starting Nov. 4.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Dead Pool still alive?

Tim Goodman over at the San Francisco Chronicle argues that the Dead Pool (to name the first new fall show to be canceled) is still alive and kicking:

"For all of those people who had "Online Nation" in the dead pool, sit yourselves back down. First, yes, it's been canceled. (For those of you with lives, it was an unscripted series on the CW.) We don't care - about the cancellation, nor the fact that 98 percent of the country hasn't heard of "Online Nation" and 68 percent can't find the CW on a balloon map of the five networks. (It's the green one.) Anyway, we count only scripted series as actually being in the game, hence Fox killing off "Nashville" didn't count, either. When a network cancels a scripted series - "Big Shots," watch your back - we will tell you about it. Nobody cares about "Online Nation."

My take: While obviously nobody cares about "Online Nation," I've accepted "Nashville" as the fall's first cancellation. Just the way it is. I'm perfectly willing to keep a death watch on, however, for the first scripted series to get the axe. Because: A) It's fun. And B) That one really is a crapshoot. "Big Shots"? "Cavemen"? "Moonlight"? One of the CW comedies? Your guess is as good as mine.

Thursday roundup

A lot of people are saying that last night's "Office" was their favorite of the year. I found it depressing. If it had been Pam and Jim having problems - characters I have an emotional investment in - I might have found it moving, but Dwight and Michael flailing is just a bummer. Now, I did love Kelly and Darryl and I sort of liked Andy and Angela, but overall, the tone of the episode put me off.

I think that was the last hour-long "Office," though, so I'm guessing the laugh ratio is going to shoot up as they return to the friendlier half-hour format.

Funny, if self-indulgent, "Earl." That's a show that can be as goofy as it wants to be. It's like "Scrubs," if "Scrubs" had never pretended to have real emotions or depth.

And a decent "30 Rock." That's a show that's really, really struggling to regain the heights it hit toward the middle of last season. It's still funny, but it hasn't had a genius moment this season.

UPDATE: Carmen on the copy desk argues that the Liz-Jack exchange constitutes genius: "You're really becoming quite the businessman." "Businesswoman." "I don't think that's even a word."

She may be right.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Today's TV Talk column

Heh. I'm getting a lot of responses for today's TV Talk column. All of it from people who think I'm an idiot and I have terrible taste in television, but I won't complain. I could argue about TV all day, and today I'm getting that chance.


Pushing Daisies still pushing out good stuff

Last night was the episode I was worried about.
The first two shows had been directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, who got the heave-ho from the studio in a budget dispute.
So the third episode was new director/lower budget, which sounds like a troubling combination.

However, I liked it a lot. Yeah, there was nothing as obviously expensive and ridiculous as a car that ran on dandelions, but the writing was still sharp, it still made me laugh and it had plenty of the absurd dark humor that leavens out the preciousness.

Favorite bit? When the coffin closed with the undertaker still alive inside and Chi Rodriguez ran for his life as the minute ran out. Good stuff.

So, I'm a lot more confident now that they'll be able to keep this up. I will be interested to see the ratings come in. The first two episodes were way more popular than I expected - this thing had quickly canceled cult hit stamped on it like a tattoo. But will they stick around?


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The fall season is a complete damn mystery

This is something that's been bugging me about the fall TV season, but it took this Yahoo "story" to crystallize it: Nobody has any idea what's going on.

There's no breakout hits among the new shows and nothing is totally falling on its butt. "Private Practice" is the "hit," but that's like saying "CSI: Miami" is a hit. If you're borrowing a successful name to get your foot in the door, you're not really being judged on your own merits (go ahead and make the Clinton/Bush analogy of your choice).

"Bionic Woman"? "Pushing Daisies"? I like the latter, but I'm far from convinced either of those shows has the staying power of "24" or "Lost," much less the possibility of becoming an honest-to-goodness top-10 hit like "House" or "Grey's Anatomy."

On the other hand, nothing is totally sucking. Yeah, the CW's new shows are putting up miniscule numbers, but "Gossip Girl" already got picked up for a full season, so I can't see the critically approved "Reaper" or "Aliens in America" getting the axe. Fox's "K-Ville" seems like the most likely candidate for cancellation, but Fox just ordered more scripts. Hopefully ones that don't totally blow.

If "Nashville" hadn't blown the Dead Pool before the season even started, this would be the most intense death-watch ever. I just don't know what will happen, and apparently neither does anyone else.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Heroes now mildly heroic

Hey, that didn't suck. I mean, it wasn't classic or anything, but it had a few plot developments I can get behind.

- Sylar popping in on the Wonder Twins with no explanation? I admit being a bit intrigued.

- Nathan's back shorn, which seemed like a good thing. And Peter was missing, which is obviously a good thing.

- The little girl calling out for Matt in her brain? Cheesy, but in a good "Heroes" way.

On the downside, however:
- None of those people in New Orleans can act a lick. And learning stuff from TV? It's like the PBS superpower. Very lame.

- Also lame is the fact that I was planning to write this week's TV Talk about how much "Heroes" has sucked this season. And now I have to find something else to bitch about.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Is the Carey right?

In last week's TV Talk, I reviewed Drew Carey's debut as the host of "The Price Is Right."

That premiere is airing right now on KKTV/Channel 11. So if you have any thoughts on Drew's debut, post a reply up here.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Retro vision

I mentioned KXRM's digital subchannel would be launching the Retro Television Network pretty soon. Well, pretty soon is now -- KXRM GM Steve Dant said "Magnum PI" was on right now and "Kojak" was up next.

The subchannel is available over the air for people with digital television on 21.2, or on the Comcast digital tier on Channel 142.

I think I may actually watch this one. I love '80s television.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

That's two

I wasn't sure if "Pushing Daisies" could pull off anything to match it's charming, funny, gorgeous premiere. But the second episode was, to my eyes, every bit as good.

Will this twee-ness wear out its welcome? I'd have to think so.

And word on the street is that ABC slashed the budget after the second episode. So that's worrying.

But still, it's just so... gosh darned good. Maybe even great. Definitely unique. I was going to write down some of the jokes ("I don't know anything about you." "There's not much to tell, I bake pies and wake the dead") just aren't as funny without the primary hues and the fairy tale settings. But the little stuff, it's good.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Heroes has me feeling like Dr. Doom

Oh, Peter suddenly doesn't want to know what's in the box. Lame. (Plus, wouldn't it just be like his wallet and stuff? Why the stupid build-up?).

Hiro sending notes to Ando through the sword? Lame. Hiro's powers conveniently stop working?Lame.

Claire's new boyfriend bagged and tagged by dad? Lame. (Plus, in the real world, that would be the appropriate spot to explain what's going on and your father's change of heart, just to stave off the inevitable and even lamer plot twist to come).

Sylar's powers gone? Lame. Sylar can't get them back? Lamer.

The brother and sister in Mexico repeating the SAME DAMN plotline like five times in one episode? Incredibly lame.

Uhuru as DL's mom/aunt/something? Somewhat cool.

Seriously, a couple more episodes like this and I'll be paying a lot more attention to Monday Night Football.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Extreme reveal

I covered most of this in the story today, but a few extra "Extreme Makeover" thoughts:

- Favorite random crowd quote: "I got a picture of Ty's butt!"

- Where I parked: Kansas. Or possibly New Mexico, it was on the south side of the build.

- Best TV moment: Ty leading the family out and everyone acting all excited. Four times.

- Best TV moment that involved me: When my cell phone rang during take No. 2.

- Crowd's favorite designer. Ed, for some reason, even though Eduardo and Rib were there. They made Ed sign autographs for like an hour and a half.

If you get the chance, drive down there and take a look (take Powers south to Fontaine, head east, it's on the other side of Marksheffel). It's the very first house in what will eventually be a giant subdivision. Right now, it looks like aliens landed on the Moon in a ranch house with a two-car garage. It is, I will say, a nicer looking home than I expected based on the early descriptions. They used sort of a warm tan for the stucco, with some rough-hewn wood accents.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Ty is not, alas, ours alone

Apparently, Ty Pennington is getting around this week:


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday recap

"My Name is Earl" The material was a little uneven, but "Earl" continues its creative resurgence. By that I mean, it's funny again. And less precious. And more hot gay sex in solitary. So it's got that going for it.

"30 Rock" season premiere - That was... flaccid. "What happened to this network?" Jerry Seinfeld asks, in his completely unnecessary and mostly unfunny cameo. What happened to my second-favorite NBC comedy, I ask? When did it get so damn boring? Where's the genius? What happened to my damn genius?

"The Office" Oh, wait. Here's the genius, it all slid half an hour. My favorite? Kelly telling Ryan she's pregnant, then silently shaking her head to the camera. Also, everything with Jim and Pam, but mostly the air high-five. Gotta say, though, the hour-long episodes are padded. Apparently even two shows worth of genius aren't enough to make an hour-long sitcom work.

News of the weird

- HBO renews "Tell Me You Love Me" for a second season. Prosthetics rule!

- ABC's "Cavemen" scored with men 18-49. Further proof that men 18-49 have trouble picking matching socks, much less what to watch on TV.

- And "Jericho" could be back on the air by the end of the month.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Wednesday recap

First off, I really, really, really hope you watched "Pushing Daisies," because I'm sick of having my favorite new shows canceled every year. Seriously, watch it, DVR it, tape it, turn it on in the spare room and go do something else.

Secondly, I really, really, really hope you skipped the second episode of "Bionic Woman." Blow big, chunky chunks. All the Isaiah Washington scenes looked tacked on. The action scenes were terrible, the acting was terrible, the plot... I don't even know what the heck that was about. I wasn't a fan of the pilot (which drew 14 million viewers, BTW), but it was freakin' genius compared to that piece of garbage.

Thirdly - no really's here - still not loving "Dirty Sexy Money." I wasn't as big a fan of the pilot as a lot of people were. I thought Peter Krause was miscast and the rest of it was kind of an occasionally entertaining mish-mash. The follow-up was a heaping helping of more of the same. It wasn't terrible, but it was kind of all over the place - every Darling having their own plotlines in every episode is exhausting - and it's not as sharp as it ought to be.

I do love Donald Sutherland, just not anyone else here.

Cupid returns

This is the craziest TV story I've heard in forever: ABC and "Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas are bringing back "Cupid."

If Clinton's second term has receded to a hazy memory for you, let me help:
The year was 1998. Peyton Manning was the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft (the Broncos picked Marcus Nash). "Titanic" topped the box office charts. And on television, a quirky little show named "Cupid" debuted on ABC.
It paired Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall. Piven played Trevor Hale, a man who claimed to be Cupid, the god of love, cast down from Mount Olympus and forced to wander the earth until he united 100 couples in true love. Marshall played his court-appointed psychiatrist.

Great premise, great actors, funny, touching, all around wonderful. Canceled after a dozen episodes or so.

I did a column over the summer talking about all the TV shows coming back from the dead ("The Apprentice," "Jericho," "According to Jim"). But going back to 1998? Bejeezus.
Obviously, "Bionic Woman" goes even farther back for its inspiration, but that's a "Battlestar Galactica" style reinterpretation. What ABC is talking about with "Cupid" is bringing back the Exact Same Show. Well, maybe not with Piven and Marshall. But with Rob Thomas and the same premise and the same everything.

Thoughts: I loved "Cupid." I'm not sure it would work without Piven. Obviously, it didn't work with Piven in 1998, but Thomas and ABC say the material was ahead of its time and the outlandish premise would fit better in 2008. Which is totally true.

Still... this is all so deeply weird.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Tube goes down the tubes

Has anyone else noticed this? I was flipping over to "House" tonight and saw this message on 21.2, KXRM's digital subchannel, which featured a national music channel similar to what MTV used to be:

"Dear friends of The Tube music network we regret to inform you of the fate that has befallen The Tube music network on October 1, 2007 The Tube will cease its national broadcast. Thank you for inviting The Tube music network into you (sic) lives.
Sincerely, The Tube music network staff"

Meanwhile, over on The Tube's Web site, we find this:

"Dear friend of THE TUBE Music Network, We regret to inform you of the fate that has befallen The Tube Music Network.
October 1, 2007 The Tube ceased its national broadcast.
Viewers, Artists, Music Companies, Investors, Business Partners, TV stations, Cable companies, Advertisers , Friends and our creative partners @Radical Media - your support of The Tube has always been highly valued and appreciated. The collective efforts of this team, fueled by the letters we received from viewers, sustained THE TUBE as it struggled through the financial limitations that ultimately contributed to its incapacitated state.
Thank you for inviting The Tube Music Network into your life.
The Tube Music Network staff"

Although I didn't spend a lot of time watching random music videos, it's fascinating to see its demise, isn't it?

A bowling alley

That's what "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is putting in the basement of the Woodhouse family's new home near Fountain. Thought you'd like to know, so you can invite yourself over once it's finished on Sunday.

The new house is the first in the Lorson Ranch subdivision waaaaay out east at Marksheffel Road and Fontaine Boulevard, which means the Woodhouses will be feeling pretty lonely on the prairie until some more houses get built. It should actually be pretty funny looking -- one little green lawn amidst a sea of dust and prairie.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Extreme Makeover returns

From Tak at KRDO - the hammers begin swinging on Tuesday.