Hot Off The Press! The Latest Television News and Info - Page 31 - AVS Forum
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post #901 of 25503 Old 12-05-2004, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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In case you are wondering, Saturday's ratings have been delayed.
I hope to have them later in the day.
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post #902 of 25503 Old 12-05-2004, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Saturday's ratings have finally been posted in Latest News.
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post #903 of 25503 Old 12-05-2004, 07:11 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by fredfa
At 9 p.m., CBS moved into first with the 5.6/10 for "NCIS."

I watched this show for the first time yesterday. Good but it's lacking the "military formality" as seen in JAG..IMO that would make it better. Great show though.

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post #904 of 25503 Old 12-05-2004, 09:23 PM
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Wow, I can't believe I've never noticed this thread here before! Very informative - keep up the good work Fred!
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post #905 of 25503 Old 12-05-2004, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Symbios -- and welcome to the thread and to AVS!
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post #906 of 25503 Old 12-05-2004, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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This could just mean that Cablevision actively is in negotiations to sell VOOM.
Or it could mean something else entirely.

Cablevision again delays troubled spinoff
By PAMELA MCCLINTOCK Variety.com

NEW YORK -- Cablevision won't be ringing out the New Year by celebrating the spinoff of Rainbow Media Enterprises after all.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, cabler quietly revealed it is once again delaying the spinoff of Rainbow -- which includes the troubled high-def satcaster service Voom and national cable nets AMC, Independent Film Channel and sports programming -- into a separate company.

Hold-up comes as Cablevision continues to fight to resolve an SEC inquiry into accounting practices at AMC. Company did not say in its latest filing when the spinoff may occur.

Cablevision was to have spun off Rainbow in September, but delayed the launch until the final quarter of 2004.

The New York-based Cablevision envisions the spinoff as a way of luring more high-risk investors, since Rainbow assets are national in reach. Wall Street hasn't eagerly embraced the plan, pointing to the money-losing Voom as a trouble spot.

Voom may be the country's first all-high-definition TV provider, but so far it has been getting shaky reception from viewers in a market dominated by powerhouse satcasters DirecTV and EchoStar. Cablevision topper Charles Dolan launched Voom at the beginning of the year, convinced that high-def will be as big a revolution as the transition from black-and-white TV to color. Voom, which has had a hard time signing up customers, has about 26,000 subs, vs. DirecTV's roughly 12 million and EchoStar's 10 million.

Some on Wall Street speculate Cablevision will scuttle Voom and sell the sat service to EchoStar or DirecTV as they ramp up their HD channel capacity. This fall, DirecTV said it would spend $3 billion on satellites over the next three years that would add capacity for 1,500 HD channels.

Voom has 35 HD channels, including 21 it created called Voom HD Originals; among them are Rush HD, for extreme sports, and Divine HD, which caters to gays and lesbians.

Cablevision has already spent more than $150 million on the service, including the launch of the Rainbow 1 satellite last year. Rainbow DBS reported revenues of $5.9 million in the third quarter, with losses of $75.3 million -- attributed in part to outlays for Voom.

Friday's filing came after U.S. markets closed.
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post #907 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 09:17 AM
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Love the thread, but I have to ask: I keep seeing Extreme Makeover in the top ten on the ratings lists. Is this referring to Extreme Makeover, the plastic surgery show which airs Thursday nights? Or is it really Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, a different show entirely?

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post #908 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 09:23 AM
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I can't believe they stuck LAX on the night they did. The MNF spot was better than Lost and Smallville. Oh well it was a good show that failed only when they kept banging on the "cheat on your wife" drum.
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post #909 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Sunday's ratings have been posted in Latest News.
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post #910 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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dline:
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is usually in the top 10.
The Thursday Extreme Makeover often/usually runs fourth in its time period (behind Survivor, Joey/Will & Grace/ and The O.C.).
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post #911 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Midseason replacement shows ready for moment in spotlight

By Joanne Ostrow Denver Post TV critic Monday, December 06, 2004 -
Itching to have Keifer Sutherland back in your life? Wondering how Steven Bochco's newest cop show will compare? Dying to see Playboy pinup Jenny McCarthy act out as a naughty girl?

Television's midseason replacements are in the wings, returning a few favorites and introducing a slew of newcomers beginning in January. Midseason is traditionally a time when offbeat, sometimes challenging series get a break, out of the onslaught of September debuts. "All in the Family," "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "The Wonder Years" had January starts.

With more networks giving lip service to the idea of year-round scheduling, the idea of midseason starts to sound antiquated. Still, the networks are trotting out new shows over the next few months to replace the goners.

Getting the hook:
NBC's "Hawaii" and "LAX,"
CBS's "Clubhouse" and "dr. vegas" and the WB's "Drew Carey's Green Screen."

Coming soon:
From ABC: "Grey'snatomy," a medical drama starring Ellen Pompeo ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") as a first-year surgical intern and Patrick Dempsey as a staff surgeon; Bochco's "Blind Justice," starring Ron Eldard ("ER") as a recently blinded detective relearning how to live and work; "Eyes," starring Tim Daly as a private investigator of corporate dirty tricks.

From CBS: "Numb3rs" - that's not a typo - from brothers Ridley and Tony Scott premieres Jan. 21. Rob Morrow ("Northern Exposure") plays an FBI agent who recruits his mathematical genius brother, played by David Krumholtz ("The Lyon's Den"), to help the bureau solve crimes in Los Angeles. The cast includes Peter McNichol ("Ally McBeal"), Judd Hirsch ("Taxi") and Sabrina Lloyd ("SportsNight"). CBS also has two reality series coming up, "The Will," with friends and family competing for an inheritance, and an untitled series hosted by Joan Lunden, seeking the next Martha Stewart. CBS did so well last season, it needs little tinkering.

From Fox: "Jonny Zero," about the life of Jonny Calvo, ex-con and strip club bouncer, starring Franky G ("The Italian Job"); "Life on a Stick," a comedy from Victor Fresco ("Andy Richter Controls the Universe") about buddies working in a mall food court; "The Sketch Show," a Kelsey Grammer comedy based on a British import; and "Hell's Kitchen," a reality show about chefs competing in Gordon Ramsay's L.A. restaurant Cordon Bleu.
Mainly, Fox can boast the return of "24" with a two-hour premiere Jan. 9.

From NBC: Bill Pullman and Natascha McElhone portray a scientist and a nun in an apocalyptic drama titled "Revelations." Patricia Arquette sees dead people in "Medium"; Jerry Orbach stars in the latest "Law & Order" franchise, "L&O: Trial By Jury"; Josh Cooke and Jennifer Finnigan play attracted opposites in "Committed"; and David E. Kelley ("Boston Legal," "Ally McBeal") tries reality TV with "The Law Firm," offering prize money to real lawyers who try real cases.

From UPN: "The Bad Girls Guide," with McCarthy in an adaptation of the Carmen Tuttle books; "Cuts," a spinoff of "One on One" with Shannon Elizabeth as a busybody in a barber shop; and a reality series, "The Road to Stardom With Missy Elliott."

From The WB: Fran Drescher ("The Nanny") takes the Demi Moore role in "Shacking Up," playing a single mom of a certain age whose 20-something boyfriend is the same age as her son. The WB's only bright spot this season was "Jack and Bobby." Somebody better come up with something better than the creepy Drescher concept, and fast.
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post #912 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I usually find Tim Goodman's TV column thought-provoking and/or amusing.
So I thought I'd share it:

TV -- another thing women like to do alone
Tim Goodman's TV column from the San Francisco Chronicle
Monday, December 6, 2004
Everything we know we learned from television:

-- It took the esteemed journal Science to conduct a revolutionary psychological survey that found women like watching television alone more than a whole lot of other things in life, like shopping, taking care of their kids, talking on the phone or cooking. To which we say three things: 1. Duh. 2. More proof men add little value to the world. 3. Haven't we been saying the same thing about television for years now, without all the big words?

-- So we go on "vacation" for two weeks (preferred and psychologically approved phrase: "work stoppage"), and Dan Rather steps down. It never fails. We get off the couch and news breaks. Byline goes missing, something big pops up. In case there's a connection here somewhere, we'd just like to alert Larry King that we're taking another two weeks in late December. Start packing.

-- This study of women and what makes them happy -- 909 of them in Texas -- was conducted by a team of psychiatrists and economists. How much do you want to bet one of the recurring answers was this: "I swear to God, if you keep asking these stupid questions during 'Oprah,' I'm going to beat the life out of you."
And only a psychiatrist would be stunned that taking care of the kids would rank low. "Hey, Freud, you want to know what'll make me happy? How about changing that poopy diaper, Mr. I'm Working Late on the Survey."

-- CNBC canceled "McEnroe." Does that even need a comment?

-- Only in America can "Jeopardy!" brainiac Ken Jennings not only be vilified for being smart, but have the IRS take roughly half his earnings. That'll send a message to the youth of America: Thinkin' makes people hate you and costs you money.

-- Eddy W. Hartenstein, essentially the man who created satellite television by launching DirecTV, retired. If for nothing else, he should be thanked for saving his customers from those dreadful Comcast "news" bits. Good work, Eddy.

-- Pretend this is a make-believe press conference from the executives at CBS and NBC who turned down an advertisement by a church that said it was accepting of gays: "Look, if we let you walk in that door, you're only gonna want to get married." OK, now pretend we've cut away for a commercial while they explain that the ad is too controversial. Now, we're back listening to them: "Say, why not just stay at home and watch 'Will & Grace.' And hey, there's still one lesbian left on 'Survivor.' "
-- Hypocrisy? You're soaking in it, Madge.

-- In case you're wondering: Yes, we're on "the clear."

-- It would probably take a team of psychiatrists and economists to find out the appeal of Jessica Simpson and her husband, Nick Whatever, so we're not going to tax ourselves on that. But reader David Eckstein points out that after the heat left the hot kitchen that was the Terrell Owens-Nicolette Sheridan set-to on "Monday Night Football," nobody said anything about another locker room scene involving Ms. Simpson's smarter half (OK, so we did watch part of their "Newlyweds" series, so we know that much is true). Anyway, Mr. Eckstein -- who admitted he might have been the only person with taste in the entire country who watched "Nick & Jessica's Family Christmas" -- says that Nick had his own locker room scene. Now, mind you, we apparently have a lower threshold for pain than Mr. Eckstein does, so we didn't watch this special. In fact, we'd rather chop off our own (hey you can't print that) than watch such a soul-killing special. It could have been "Nick and Jessica's Porn Christmas" -- still, a nonstarter. Anyway, Mr. Eckstein said Nick entered the skit wearing only a towel, desperate househusband that he is. Nick then puts on deodorant. (Perhaps the brand was flashed?) Then, in a succession of scenes we can only imagine as woeful and insipid, a woman wearing a towel proceeds to lick Nick's armpit.
That's what the e-mail says. She's followed by a "burly man" who licks Nick's other pit.

OK, everybody take a 30 or 40 second break here. Put the paper down. Breathe. Think about a beautiful field in Ohio. Good. Breathe out. It's morning in America and ... d'oh!
So a guy in a towel gets a bisexual (that counts, right?) armpit licking on a "Family Christmas" show and nobody phones the FCC? What the hell is wrong with this country? We've got your moral values right here, pal.
Anyway, who knows. Maybe Mr. Eckstein made this up. We were too busy gouging our eyes out to watch. Then again, it could be things were far more heinous. Maybe Nick and Jessica sang.

-- We don't care what kind of woman you are. If you sat at home and watched that Christmas special alone, that's no kind of happy. That's just pathetic.

-- A study in the United Kingdom declared that reality programming was bringing families together. Now, as Americans, we know this isn't true. We may sit there and watch people eat bugs, but our Garbo-esque womenfolk are unhappy.

-- Of course, things are done differently there. They have a reality show called "The Farm," where a bunch of D-list celebrities do dumb things. (Yes, we have versions of that, galore.) Anyway, soccer star David Beckham's alleged ex-flame, Rebecca Loos, got in a world of trouble for, um, "stimulating (a) boar for 10 minutes to produce a flask of semen," according to one news report. Some Britons were outraged, calling the act sexually perverse bestiality. A government official, however, cleared the show. He said it was a task "that occurs regularly on U.K. farms." The official added: "We don't believe that the scene was degrading or harmful to the boar."

-- Let us assume for the moment that the previous item is -- how shall we say this? -- right in our wheelhouse, and we could smack it deep into the cheap seats. Instead, shall we just agree, that in our little country filled to the brim with moral values and an FCC that is currently playing Whac-A-Mole with people plying their First Amendment rights, pleasuring a pig for 10 minutes might get you fined.

We don't give pigs a happy ending in this country. We're civilized. Except for the armpit licking.
-- You're right. We need to end this subject.

-- NBC announced that Carson Daly is going to host its first prime-time New Year's Eve special. And God help us, but when we read that, we just wanted to throw ourselves under a train.

 You don't need the Poindexters writing in Science to know that watching TV alone is glorious. It's not just controlling the remote, which is essential. It's stumbling across Spanish-language channels and staying put, it's waltzing into the middle of noir gems on Turner Classic Movies, or laboriously but with purpose going around the dial, catching a bit of everything. It's wondering aloud what in the hell is the attraction of Jessica Simpson or any of the other Simpson family replicants, for that matter. It's cursing the country and hurling on the short pile -- alone.

Let's not forget a simple tenet of television: When it's on, you've already got a friend. You don't need anymore.
-- Bring me the head of Ken Jennings.
-- The high-fives: 1. "The Wire" on HBO. 2. Homer Simpson, not Jessica Simpson. 3. English pigs. 4. Turner Classic Movies. 5. "Dwell" on the Fine Living channel.
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post #913 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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"TV Guide and TV Land Present: 100 Most Memorable TV Moments of All Time"e
Tonight at 10 on TV Land
By Linda Stasi The New York Post December 6, 2004 --

NO, no! Not another "list" show. Yes, yes, another "list" show.

Sure, many of these list shows are as bad as the usually dreadful reunion shows (where cast members get to show clips of themselves in old hairdos), or worse, the "remember when" shows, where current cast members of tanking shows get to remember the good times (meaning when the show was still a hit).

But then sometimes a winner breaks out of the box. "TV Guide and TV Land Present: 100 Most Memorable TV Moments of All Time," is one of those winners.

In fact, this five-night extravaganza is not only terrific but an absolute must-see for everyone TV fan or foe.

This isn't just a collection of say, the funniest "I Love Lucy," "Cheers," or "Seinfeld" moments nor is it the best moments of scripted TV dramas (although that is all there as well), but an exhaustive collection of the moments of our lives, our parents' lives and our kids' lives for the past 50 years.

The editors of "TV Guide" and producers at TV Land have come up with clips of the most dramatic live news events (Where do you think the shooting of Oswald falls into the top 100?), to the most incredible Olympic moments (Remember the exhilaration of Nadia's 10, and the horror of the slaughtering of the Israeli athletes?), to TV character farewells (Who can forget Rosalind falling down the elevator shaft during a normal conversation in "L.A. Law"?), to the top reality show moments.

The number of great clips will have you howling, gasping and even crying.

And unlike most of the list shows, you won't find the usual suspect talking heads with the exception of Kathy Griffin, Sandra Bernhard and the incredibly annoying not-funny guy from "The Last Comic Standing," who seem to show up on everything for no apparent reason.

Those over-exposed comics aside, "TV Guide and TV Land Present: 100 Most Memorable TV Moments of All Time" has Mike Wallace talking about his interview with the Ayatollah, astronaut Buzz Aldrin talking about first moon landing, Anderson Cooper talking about current events, Jessica Walter talking about sitcom moments, plus literally scores of other newsmakers, news reporters and actors you just don't see on every show everyday.

My family is definitely not the type to sit through five hours of programs with me nor did they intend to do it this time, yet we were all riveted. But the time we got down to the last 25 or so, we were all disagreeing over which moment would come in as No. 1. Then of course, we all realized there could only be one moment.

This miniseries is one you should definitely record it is a kind of five-hour encapsulation of the last 50 years not only of American history but of pop culture which is often one in the same.
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post #914 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 11:16 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by fredfa
Midseason replacement shows ready for moment in spotlight

Are there premiere dates for these shows? Or did I miss the post? Thanks.
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post #915 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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keenan:
The premiere dates for mid season replacements are (continually updated) and listed at the bottom of Latest News at the top of the thread.
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post #916 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 11:44 AM
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Thanks, I knew it had to be here somewhere...
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post #917 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 03:00 PM
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fredfa,
How come some shows on the midseason and cancelled lists are in bold when others aren't? I thought it was to indicate HD, but don't see a pattern.

More FOX mid-season dates:
American Dad---February 6, right after Super Bowl XXXIX, regular timeslot will be Sundays at 9:30pm ET (not HD)
The Inside- March (probably HD being a drama)
Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show- March (dont know about HD)
Life on a Stick- March (I am guessing it will be HD)
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post #918 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 03:01 PM
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Season finale dates (although all of these might end up being series finales):

"With FOX's year-round schedule in full swing, January also will bring the exciting finales of the current seasons of THE SWAN (Monday, Jan. 3, 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT); THE REBEL BILLIONAIRE: BRANSON'S QUEST FOR THE BEST (Tuesday, Jan. 11, 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT); QUINTUPLETS (Wednesday, Jan. 12, 8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT); NORTH SHORE (Thursday, Jan. 13, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT); and MY BIG FAT OBNOXIOUS BOSS (Sunday, Jan. 30, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) - shows that launched in summer and fall on FOX."


Rebel Billionaire, Quintuplets, and North Shore are HD shows. All these finales were scheduled to happen from the get-go due to the year-round thing.
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post #919 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 03:13 PM
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fox needs to cancel that steaming pile of **** known as north shore and bring tru calling back..or at least put forth a press release telling people that it won't air again

Does anyone know why Fox changed their stance all of a sudden after picking it up for s2?? trouble with the creators, money etc etc??

The DVD just came out and I have seen no promotion for it..what's the deal?? why bother releasing the dvd at all?
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post #920 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Rakesh.S
It is true Fox "picked up" Tru Calling, but at the same time it cut back the episode order to six (from 13).
Clearly, with ratings so far a major disappointment, and Fox almost desperately counting on American Idol to save it next month, the place is a Nielsen disaster area.
By its actions, it seems fair to say that "Tru Calling" does not figure in Fox's future plans. I haven't heard a reason given, but the ratings were less than stellar (though not, as I recall, on the magnitude of this seasons Fox stinkers like "My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss").

f44: the bold was orginally meant to convey HD...some day when I have little to do, I'll go back in and make all HD shows conform.
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post #921 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 03:33 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Rakesh.S
Does anyone know why Fox changed their stance all of a sudden after picking it up for s2?? trouble with the creators, money etc etc??


Perhaps a sudden outcry from raging female hormones. I'm sure some of the decision makers at Fox have wives and teenage daughters THEY have to answer to

Correct on the steaming pile

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post #922 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 04:33 PM
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fredfa,

14 Seinfeld Story NBC 14.1 ---should be listed as HD
Edit: just made bigger to indicate it is not news.


Also,
You forgot The Inside (HD) on the midseason list for Fox and also, Life on a Stick is officially March:

From Fox press release:

"Coming to the FOX schedule in March will be the Victor Fresco comedy LIFE ON A STICK. Laz (Zachary Knighton) and Fred (Charlie Finn), both 18, have been friends forever. Just out of high school, and unsure what they want to do with their lives, they take jobs at a mall food court, at the lame "Yippee, Hot Dogs" run by the always yelling Mr. Hut (Maz Jobrani). There, Laz meets the girl of his dreams, the lovely and strong-willed Lily (Rachelle Lefevre). "

Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show is scheduled to air Sundays at 7:30pm ET. Starts probably in February or March.

Life on a Stick was scheduled for Wednesday @ 8:30pm ET before The Simple Life 3 was scheduled but I assume once The Simple Life ends (it always is a short run) that LOAS will have the timeslot. You accidently listed it as "Life On A Stick [b]HD March?" with the bold HTML code.

The Mountain (HD) on The WB gets pitiful ratings and should be listed on the HD in trouble" list. Same with My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss on Fox for the non-HD list, but seeing that they listed a season finale date, they'll probably just let it run out on-air.
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post #923 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I know Fox SAYS KGP:TSS is scheduled for Sundays at 7:30.
But when they actually give it a start date, I'll include the day and time.
Same with Life On A Stick.
I certainly could add The Mountain to the in-trouble list (and Marc Berman has it facing cancellation in his Freshman Update at the bottom of the post).
But with great critical notices (and so little on the WB worth much) I just haven't yet decided to do that. If the WB had a raft of shows doing well, I probably would. But since just about everything they've done this year has gone wrong, they might be looking to at least salvage the show critics seem to like.
I haven't added "Obnoxious Boss" to the list simply because Fox seems to have absolutely nothing on hand to replace it with.
That is why I like to post a wide ranges of artcices on this thread. Because I post them in no means indicates I agree with them, only that I thought many of you might find them interesting, illuminating or amusing.
But they do, I hope, provide food for thought.
Back to "The Mountain": my judgments can, and I am sure, often will be, wrong.
The list is, after all, just my opinion.
I like to think it is a well-founded opinion, but it is all mine.
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post #924 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 04:45 PM
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With LOAS, I was just saying that "?" shouldn't be next to March.
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post #925 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 04:50 PM
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What is "Relations" for NBC?
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post #926 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Lead to Letterman, One Night a Week
By BILL CARTER The New York Times December 6, 2004

If the late-night television competition between Jay Leno and David Letterman really were a war, as it has often been described, it would be the Hundred Years' War. At least. And after a long period of quiet, the latest battle, or at least skirmish, seems to be taking a different turn. David Letterman is making a fight of it on Monday nights. The ratings for late night have consistently favored Mr. Leno for about eight years, to a point where it appeared that Mr. Letterman had no realistic hope of competing on an even basis again. But that trend seems to have shifted, if only slightly, thanks to Mondays.

"Late Show With David Letterman" has had some overall ratings growth this season, while "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" has slipped a bit. But it is on Mondays that the change is most noticeable.

At CBS this is being trumpeted as the harbinger of a monumental comeback, while at NBC the latest numbers are being greeted with so-what shrugs. But Mr. Letterman's side is making one point aggressively. During the current season, "Late Show" has won relatively often on Monday nights, both among total viewers and in the category that NBC says is the one that really counts, viewers between the ages of 18 and 49. (NBC uses that standard because it sells its commercials based on those ratings.)

Rob Burnett, an executive producer of "Late Show," who also runs Mr. Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, said he was willing to "play on NBC's terms," referring to the 18-to-49 group. He pointed out that Mr. Letterman had beaten Mr. Leno in that group six times so far this season on Mondays while losing three.

Overall Mr. Letterman has picked up about 380,000 more viewers this season, and Mr. Leno, who is still comfortably ahead, has lost about 290,000.

Mr. Burnett is not arguing that Mr. Letterman's show has become appreciably better. "It has very little to do with the quality of the shows," Mr. Burnett said. He also dismisses any idea that Mr. Leno may have been affected by NBC's announcement that its other late-night star, Conan O'Brien, would be taking over for Mr. Leno in five years.

Instead, he points to what is different about Mondays. CBS has become a powerhouse in prime time on Mondays, especially at 10 p.m., when its "CSI: Miami" has trounced all of NBC's entries. Though CBS and NBC show local news before the late-night shows, the "CSI" lead-in has spilled over to benefit Mr. Letterman.

For Mr. Burnett this development represents validation after years of NBC declaring Mr. Leno the definitive late-night champ. Mr. Burnett had protested far and wide that it was all about the lead-ins, which NBC dominated at 10 p.m. for much of the decade. NBC dismissed this as excuse-making.

"The days when Jay was beating Dave were based solely on the strength of NBC's prime-time lineup and late local news," Mr. Burnett said. "As that strength is evaporating, 'The Tonight Show' is finally being exposed."

At least on one night of the week, that is. Mr. Leno still wins the other nights, many handily. But with help from "CSI," Mr. Letterman is clearly faring better.

"For years people have been saying the late-night wars are over," Mr. Burnett said. " 'Jay beats Dave because America loves Jay.' Well, do they love Jay less on Mondays?"

NBC declared final victory - if not quite mission accomplished - two years ago and again last year when Jeff Zucker, who was then the president of NBC Entertainment (he is now president of the NBC Universal Entertainment Group), said flatly, "There is no more late-night war."

And he is not backing off. "I see no evidence to suggest that it's changed," Mr. Zucker said in a telephone interview.

Mr. Letterman's improvement this season, Mr. Zucker said, was really a return to the status quo of two and three years ago. "Last year was the aberration," he said. "Dave was in a big slump and Jay was especially strong."

The evidence, he said, was in the differential between the two shows in that 18-49 rating group so far this season. Mr. Zucker pointed out that Mr. Leno led Mr. Letterman by .4 of rating point in that category this season, down from .8 last season. But he said Mr. Leno led by the same .4 in both 2002 and 2001.

Mr. Leno's lead remains large enough that his show can legitimately be called dominant. To cite the current numbers as some kind of comeback by Mr. Letterman would be unfair, Mr. Zucker argued, in the same way that some news accounts had been unfair to NBC's "Today" show over the past several years when its rival, ABC's "Good Morning America," occasionally cut into its traditionally huge ratings lead.

" 'Today' has won 500 weeks in a row," Mr. Zucker said. "Jay has won 122 of the last 123 weeks. He has won 38 of 44 nights this season. Instead of being 44 and 0, he's 38 and 6."

The six nights, of course, were Mondays, which circles back to the "Late Show" argument about lead-ins. The producers of "Late Show" certainly believe it has momentum on Mondays. That is the reason it books the best guests it can on that night. Tom Hanks, Jerry Seinfeld and Colin Farrell appeared on Mondays last month.

Mr. Burnett said the big star bookings work because CBS was able to promote those appearances on its heavily watched shows earlier in the night. He noted that some years ago when Mr. Letterman booked one of his most frequent guests, the sportscaster Marv Albert, when he was caught in a sex scandal, the show expected a big ratings boost that never came.

"Without a lead-in to promote these people, you're spitting into the wind," Mr. Burnett said.

He accused NBC of resorting to "all kinds of spin" by arguing that "Late Show" was only returning to where it had been two and three years ago. "They're cutting off history at the most convenient point for them," Mr. Burnett said.

If you go back a little farther, he said, the advantage Mr. Leno held over Mr. Letterman, in every category, including that 18 to 49 group, was wider: in 2000 it was .7 of a rating point, .9 the year before that.

He noted that Mr. Leno had benefited mightily on Thursday nights, on which NBC had television's biggest drama, "ER." (NBC has used Thursdays to book its best guests as CBS now uses Mondays.) But Mr. Letterman has made inroads on that night as well, again, Mr. Burnett says, because CBS's prime time has become so strong on Thursday.

"The analogy I offer is two restaurants," he said. "One has an exit off the freeway and the other you have to find by the back roads. Suddenly we have an exit too. But it takes a while for people to realize it's there."

Mr. Burnett gave full credit to the CBS chairman and program chief, Leslie Moonves, for the network's turnaround in prime time (CBS has passed NBC this season for first place). "Les has built us that exit ramp and a whole super highway leading to that ramp," he said.

Mr. Zucker said he was forced to wonder why, with CBS having this degree of success, Mr. Letterman was not doing better. And he swatted away concerns that CBS's surge in prime time was a long-term threat to Mr. Leno's supremacy.

"It took Les nine years to get to first place," Mr. Zucker said. "It's not like we're going to be out of first place for nine years."

But the mini-trend this season is apparently enough to make the producers of "Late Show" cocky again, after years of eating crow. They are even daring to dream and to willingly stick out their necks. "I think if the current trend continues, the 'Late Show' will be No. 1 again," Mr. Burnett said. "Originally I thought it would take two years. Now I think it could be as early as 18 months."

Back to the trenches.
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post #927 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 06:33 PM
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I want Dave in HD...NOW!!!!!!!

100% Digital household since 2001
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post #928 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 06:37 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by fredfa
Lead to Letterman, One Night a Week

Since it's so popular to make a wish around here, mine is that when Dave goes HD, he reclaims the ratings lead. Think of the furor that would cause!!!!!!!

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #929 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 06:44 PM
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I would rather watch Leno in HD than Dave in SD. But if Dave went HD It would be ALL Dave. Gimme HD any day.

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post #930 of 25503 Old 12-06-2004, 06:48 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Ken H
Since it's so popular to make a wish around here, mine is that when Dave goes HD, he reclaims the ratings lead. Think of the furor that would cause!!!!!!!

But isn't HD not counted in the ratings?
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