Archive for the 'TV' Category

Olbermann on 8

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Good stuff: Keith Olbermann’s “Special Comment” on CA’s Prop 8 (video).

Food Network, Perhaps?

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Monday’s Romenesko carried this blurb on a Hollywood Reporter piece (sub. req.):

Fox News to air “Daily Show”-like program that leans right

…There’s a possibility that it could become a weekly Fox News show. “It’s a satirical news format that would play more to the Fox News audience than the Michael Moore channel,” says Joel Surnow, an executive producer of the unnamed show. “It would tip more right as ‘The Daily Show’ tips left.”

I think a Fox* News Channel version has the potential for tons of unintentional comedy, but conservatism doesn’t otherwise strike me as a barrel of laughs. The other head-scratcher for me is the reference to “the Michael Moore channel.” Does Mr. Surnow refer to Comedy Central? Would anyone, anywhere get that reference out of context? Sure wouldn’t be my first guess that was my only hint.

* Surnow might refer to them as the “We Gave O.J. $3 Million” network.

Definitely, Dave

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

According to Bob Woodward, a military intelligence colonel wrote humorous haikus to describe how the Iraq war was failing.

Fine, but for my money if you want a funny/infuriating summary of how fucked our foreign policy is at the moment, you need look no further than Dave Letterman’s opening monologue tonight, which went something like this:

President Bush has pledged that he will not attack North Korea. Of course he won’t. They actually have weapons of mass destruction.

Another Thought on Reunions

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

From TWoP:

Everyone laughs, because it’s true, and nothing is funnier than watching somebody else’s stupidity pointed out. A Survivor reunion is much like a high-school reunion where you don’t have to be amazing or anything, you just don’t want to be the one with the really bad boob job about whom everyone else says, “What the hell happened there?”

I like that. Don’t worry about being the best, just don’t be the worst.

And no, I wasn’t reading 10-page posts about Survivor. Of course not. Me? What are you talking about?

I Like “Lost”…

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

…but this sort of shit (on broadcast TV!) drives me crazy:
man with on-screen subtitle reading: You're husband...

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

Last week, CBS2 ran a story about how (IL) Gov. Rod Blagojevich did a “Daily Show” interview without even realizing it was fake news.

Following the story package, I watched the anchors joke with each other about how a) Blago could have asked any “kid” about the show to get the real story, and b) the governor would probably fire an aide as a result of the embarassment.

I don’t know about the “kids” part (remember that dust-up awhile ago when O’Reilly made disparaging comments and Comedy Central revealed that adult “Daily Show” viewers are 78% more likely to have a college degree than the average adult?) but I think the staff change idea might not be so bad.

I say that not just because somebody failed to brief the man, but also because his official re-election site is… wait for it…:

Rod for Illinois? Who thought that was a good idea? When Senator Richard J. Durbin runs again, is he going to use

Independence at 10 o’clock

Tuesday, December 31st, 2002

Two indepedent items mentioned in today’s StudioBrief that I found interesting simply by their juxtaposition. First, from the film news:

Finally, My Big Fat Greek Wedding showed it still could surprise after 37 weeks. The film earned $2.8 million on just 951 screens for an average of $2,903 per screen — 89 percent more than it earned a week earlier — to lift its domestic gross to $222,517,469.

And from television:

In the latest example of corporate synergy in the Viacom empire, the company’s CBS affiliate in Seattle will begin producing a nightly newscast for its UPN affiliate in the same city. The 10:00 p.m. newscast being produced for the Cox-owned UPN station, KSTW, will employ the same anchors and sets used at 11:00 for the newscast produced for Viacom-owned KIRO. … KSTW General Manager Gary Wordlaw commented, “We’re very pleased to be able to bring Seattle TV viewers a local news alternative at 10:00 p.m.”

On the one hand, we have a $5m film, developed outside the studio system and ranking as the #5 film of 2002 (and within $5m of the #4, Signs.) On the other, we have a corporation working to keep down costs by eliminating any discernible difference between news on two networks in one market.

Mr. Wordlaw and his masters are delusional if they truly think the same sets, with the same newscasters, from the same corporate owner, represents any real “alternative.” When will we see the indie nightly news?

And if you thought that was weird…

Wednesday, December 4th, 2002

Two more class presentations this week, both on Thursday. Tomorrow is prep for the more important one, so I wanted to review a related videotape in advance.

I turned on the TV and was ready to insert the cassette when I heard a woman: “I work when I choose to, and for just a few hours a day I can make $10,000 a week. That’s good money.” Sure it is, the host agreed.

The channel was very fuzzy (the antenna amplifier was off) but I knew an infomercial when I heard it. The outlandish claim of $10k/wk inspired me to turn on the amp to see the magic product. (I could just barely discern a logo’s outline in the lower left. Was it Carleton Sheets? Don Lapre?)

Nope. It was some weird-ass talk show called The Rob Nelson Show. Her “work”? Legalized prostitution.

Promos for the following segments included a woman who would run over her mother for $1m (surprise guest: her mother), and a man raising money on his website to chop off his own foot. With a guillotine, natch.

I gotta start going to bed earlier.

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, November 20th, 2002

Another Wednesday, another West Wing. I was just able to catch up on the last few episodes in a tape-viewing session with Matt. I see the question of who will replace Mr. Lowe has been answered, and I’m bullish on Lily Tomlin (if I can even use that word without it sounding like a horrible pun.)

I did have one question about the last episode, related to an exchange between Donna and whomever Christian Slater is playing: Donna complained that Pentagon procurement was way out of control, giving the example of a $300 ashtray. (Iowa Senator Charles Grassley actually rose to prominence on this issue.)

Slater‘s character smoothly fields it, noting that on impact, the super-ashtray would break into 3 smooth chunks instead of millions of sharp shards. (No word on what superpowers the $76 screw has.)

Donna failed to ask the simple follow-up question: why the hell are you smoking on a submarine, anyway?