Tuesday, February 07, 2006


As I was on vacation for two weeks (due to B-Fest), I didn't see the Feb 3rd issue of Entertainment Weekly. I grabbed it today, and saw a couple of interesting little tidbits.

One story is on the CW network, the merging of UPN and the WB. EW comes up with a mock line-up, which amazingly has three sitcoms "to be filled in later." Yep, out of two networks they only picked one extant sitcom, Everyone Hates Chris. They filled in another slot with Arrested Development, which is a nice pipedream, but every day somebody doesn't pick that show up the more chance that vital cast and crew members will be grabbed by other shows. I'd love to see it come back, but I'm not holding my breath.

One notable absence is the wrestling show that UPN has week, WWE Slam or whatever the hell it is. I think that's just pure snobbery (justified snobbery, but still), and I'm sure the CW will opt to keep that one, as the rating are, as far as I'm aware, comparatively decent.

One area I do agree with EW is that they don't chose any of UPN's black oriented sitcoms. I don't know what any of them are, but I know they have a night or two of them. This might create a small amount of controversy, but I don't think the shows draw enough to justify keeping them. I could be wrong, though.

Meanwhile, director Steven Soderbergh comments on one of my long cherished dreams, that multiplexes will start devoting a screening room or two to showing old movies. My friend Joe Bannerman, who works in a theater, doesn't think the rental charges would justify this, but Soderbergh believes that digital uploading of films (rather than having to procure actual film reels) will make this more viable. I'd love to see it.

There's a hilarious puff piece on Commander in Chief, a dumbed-down West Wing which like many shows got an initial look-at from a sizable audience, who then got bored and moved on. This paragraph, following the obligatory description of star Geena Davis as, you know, a jus' plain folks anti-diva, made me laugh:

"But as soon as [shooting begins], Davis seamlessly morphs into kick-butt mode. She slips into some serious heels, spits out the gum, and heads for Chief's war room set, where she fixes her eyes with fierce intenstity on a monitor showing footage of the suicide bomber threatening to blow up Air Force One. The terrorist steps off the plane. "Wait!" [her character] Allen orders. "Don't shoot!" The entire room hangs on her every syllable. Even the grips on the set look tense, as if they really believe the 50-year-old actress holds the country's future in her hands."

Man, it's a good day at the Jabootu site when I write a paragraph that funny. And no offense, but I myself wouldn't describe a President who orders that a terrorist *not* be shot as "morphing into kick-butt mode." Luckily for the show, I imagine, the would-be bomber is one of those merely ill-served people who only seek to kill and maim innocents because they want Somebody to Listen to Them, and who are relieved when they can set aside violence for serious discussion about, you know, those damn Jews and all. Funny how many more terrorists there are like that in TV shows and movies than in real life.


At 2:39 PM, Blogger Marty McKee said...

CW execs did say that they expect WWE SMACKDOWN to be part of their lineup, but networks lie all the time, so who knows if that will actually happen. I think you're right that most of the UPN black-oriented shows will bite the dust. In fact, I think CW will bite the dust within a decade.

I'm a Bochco fan, but--let's face it--all of his shows since HILL STREET BLUES have basically been retreads of HILL STREET BLUES, even NYPD BLUE, which is maybe the only series he's created that's better than HILL STREET. I assume he's done the same to COMMANDER IN CHIEF since taking that show over. I'd like to see him getting back to his mystery roots and doing a show similar to COLUMBO or DELVECCHIO, something plot-oriented. Maybe he'd consider that a regression, but I think it might be refreshing.

What I really wish is to see that "future cop" pilot he did a few years ago about the NYPD officer who was frozen and woke up 200 years from now, when he rejoined the police force to fight, I dunno, space crime or something.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

Did they cancel the show when Bochco wanted the future cops to sing?

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I work at UPN and came across your blog. Wanted to let you know that Leslie Moonves announced that WWE has been renewed and will be on the CW line-up.

Happy Viewing!

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Marty McKee said...

Yeah, here it is: NYPD 2069.


Come on, it had to have been more interesting than Bochco's blind-cop show.

At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Prankster said...

Sheesh. Straw man much, Ken?

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

On what point? Mostly, I'm laughing at the article. Davis plays the President on a TV show, for Pete's sake, and that stuff about the spellbound grips is HI-larious.

But yeah, the pseudo-'sophisticated' portrayal of the terrorist makes me weary. Maybe I'm wrong, though, and the show will end with Davis learning an important lesson about evil after her daughter is randomly blown up in a pizza joint by one of this guy's comrades.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

Marty --

The problem is that networks are too cowardly to pull out all the stops. How about blind, pretrenaturally young singing future cops who spend as much time dealing with their personal problems as with crime?

At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Prankster said...

My point is that, while I don't watch that much TV, I've missed the shows that portray terrorists as just people who need someone to talk to. Unless you're talking about the "John Travolta in Mad City" kind of "terrorist", which I don't think oughta count.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Keith said...

What "Commander in Chief" really needs is a cross-over appearance by Jack Bauer.

When Jack Bauer falls down, he doesn't hit the ground -- he pulls the ground toward him!


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