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post #58591 of 96476 Old 09-22-2010, 06:23 PM
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TV Review
NBC's 'Outsourced'
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFlix.com - September 22nd, 2010

I'm not sure where to begin in expressing my dismay over NBC's new "Outsourced" (Thursday at 9:30 p.m.), a new comedy (based on a 2006 indie film) about an American sent to India to manage a Midwestern novelty company's relocated call center.

Start with the fact that NBC over the last few years has had a fantastic track record with putting actors with South Asian backgrounds - Mindy Kaling on "The Office," Vik Sahay on "Chuck," Danny Pudi on "Community" and Aziz Ansari on "Parks and Recreation" - into its shows, not to play "the Indian character," but just to play characters. "The Office" did an episode about Diwali, but Kaling is there because she plays such a memorably superficial ditz. Ansari's character on "Parks and Rec" actually had to Google facts about India to impress a more worldly friend at a party.

So it's startling to watch "Outsourced" and realize that the large, predominantly Indian cast is for the most part asked to deliver lines that could only seem like jokes when delivered in an Indian accent. (Or, in one case, where an Indian character is able to affect a perfect redneck accent while explaining what grits are.) All the goodwill NBC has engendered in this area goes out the window by the end of the pilot episode.

Or maybe I should start with the show's American hero, Todd Dempsy, played by Ben Rappaport. Rappaport himself comes across like a smarmy imitation John Krasinski, and the character is not only clueless about Indian culture, but abrasively, sniggeringly clueless about it, cracking jokes about sacred cows and the fact that one of his new employees is named Manmeet (Sacha Dhawan).

Or perhaps I should have begun by noting that the handful of jokes that have nothing to do with accents come from another American call center manager (Diedrich Bader), whose role in the pilot episode is to explain early and often that Indian food gives you diarrhea.

But really, what's most upsetting is that NBC decided to bench "Parks and Recreation" not only the best comedy on that network, but on all of television last year - in favor of this cheap, lazy, unfunny mess.

Just depressing. Nothing to see here - and hopefully not for long.

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-al...bcs-outsourced
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post #58592 of 96476 Old 09-22-2010, 06:31 PM
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TV Notes
NBC Lands J.J. Abrams' Project With Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com's TV Editor - September 22nd, 2010

What do you know, the Lost castaways have found new primetime land. A new hourlong project starring Lost alums Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn and executive produced by Lost co-creator/exec producer JJ Abrams has landed at NBC with a big put pilot commitment. Lost's home network, ABC did bid aggressively on the the show and came close to locking it in, but, after going down to the wire with ABC, NBC ultimately got it. Life on Mars co-creators/exec producers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, who worked with Abrams on his ABC spy drama Alias, are writing the project, from Warner Bros. TV and Abrams' Bad Robot. Appelbaum and Nemec are executive producing with Abrams and Bryan Burk. Like with all JJ Abrams projects, the premise for the show, referred to as Odd Jobs, is kept under wraps, but Emerson and O'Quinn are expected to play former special ops agents.

After having done no projects with Abrams until last year, NBC has now picked up 2 in a row, last year's Undercovers and now the untitled Appelbaum/Nemec drama. NBC landed both after a bidding war with ABC. This marks the first sale for Appelbaum and Nemec under the overall deal with Warner Bros. TV the due signed earlier this year. On the feature side, they are writing Mission Impossible: 4 for Abrams.

It's been a strong selling season for Bad Robot with 3 production-size commitments. Its drama Alcatraz has already been officially greenlighted to pilot at Fox, with the Appelbaum/Nemec project at NBC and another one with Jonah Nolan at CBS both looking good to get to pilot stage.

http://www.deadline.com/2010/09/nbc-...nn/#more-69269

* * * * * * * *

TV Notes
'Alcatraz' Picked Up To Pilot At Fox

It's been a quick green light for Alcatraz, the J.J. Abrams produced drama, which landed at Fox with a pilot commitment a week ago. I hear the project, described as "a show about mysteries, secrets and the most infamous prison of all time: Alcatraz," has been picked up to pilot by the network with a production order. Elizabeth Sarnoff penned the final script, while Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt wrote earlier versions. All 3 are credited as writers on the pilot. Sarnoff will serve as showrunner and will executive produce with Abrams and Bryan Burk. Lilien and Wynbrandt will co-executive produce. Abrams' Bad Robot Prods is producing with Warner Bros TV. This wis be the second off-cycle pilot order for Fox, which also recently greenlighted comedy pilot Outnumbered.

http://www.deadline.com/2010/09/gree...ox/#more-69232
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post #58593 of 96476 Old 09-22-2010, 06:40 PM
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TV Sports
ESPN to blitz James' first Heat camp
By Michael Hiestand, USA Today - September 22nd, 2010

You knew ESPN's hour-long LeBron James infomercial in July wasn't the end of its spotlight on the new Floridian.

ESPN will formally announce Wednesday that it's going to training camp with James' Miami Heat, with its coverage likely to outdo anything it did on Brett Favre's annual summer soul-searching. Starting at the team's media day Monday and continuing when its training camp starts Tuesday at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., ESPN will erect a set and parachute in analysts Jalen Rose, Josh Elliott and Jon Barry and reporters including Rachel Nichols for continuous surveillance across ESPN platforms.

While senior coordinating producer Mark Summer isn't sure ESPN will get practice video, the mission is clear with a team he says has unbelievable story lines. "Obviously, with all the buzz, it's a bigger deal (than) past NBA training camps," he says. "Fans want to hear about the Heat, so we'll want to rampup the coverage." And presumably get air support against any threatening sorties from Cleveland.

Spice rack: The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum generally has about 17% of its 2.5 million items on display at any one time. But in a project that might last into 2013, it plans to make it all digitally available online, including more than 500,000 photos, 140,000 baseball cards, 12,000 hours of audio and video and 40,000 artifacts. ... For viewers who really want to see what lurks in every nook and cranny in the Hall: the Syfy Network's Ghost Hunters, a series devoted to finding paranormal life forms, looks for them in the Hall in a show Wednesday night (9 ET). Hey, is that Babe Ruth chatting up Marilyn Monroe while Joe DiMaggio looks on peevishly? Hard to tell. But spooky. ... Fox Sports Radio on Saturday debuts a weekly sports and money Stox 'n Jocks morning show (7 a.m. ET) featuring brothers Pete and Jon Najarian, professional investors and CNBC regulars and ex-NFL players. Says Jon, on whether he'd buy long on the NFL and players solving labor issues and playing games next season: "It's just a question of which one blinks first. Both sides are smart enough and greedy enough to not screw this up." ... Augusta National, which tightly controls the Masters, will next year allow an extra hour of weekday TV coverage. ESPN's coverage Thursday and Friday will start an hour earlier at 3 p.m. ET. Or, presumably it will get to do that as long its coverage remains sufficiently reverential.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/colum...pn-james_N.htm
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post #58594 of 96476 Old 09-22-2010, 07:25 PM
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TV Reviews
'Outsourced' (NBC) and '$#*! My Dad Says' (CBS)
The former is a smart, deft sitcom; the latter is better left to Twitter.
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times - September 23rd, 2010

One thing connects the protagonists of the comedies "$#*! My Dad Says" and "Outsourced," premiering Thursday on CBS and NBC, respectively: They owe money on student loans, which limits their life choices to moving in with Dad, in the first instance, and moving to India, in the second. Otherwise, these series are as different as tomatoes and ketchup, with the distinction that both tomatoes and ketchup are good, but one of these shows is not.

"Outsourced" (which I think of as the tomato in the simile above) is a cross-cultural fish-out-of-water/gang-of-losers tale that joins NBC's Thursday night institutional comedy block, quite comfortably, alongside "The Office," "Community" and " 30 Rock." ("Parks and Recreation" returns midseason.) Based on a 2006 independent film by John Jeffcoat, who is on board for the series as well, it concerns Todd (Ben Rappaport, new to the medium), a salesman for a Kansas City novelty company who is packed off to the subcontinent to head their newly outsourced call center and school the people of Mumbai in the art of selling foam cheeseheads, toilet-shaped coffee mugs and various plastic excrescences.

I approached with trepidation you walk a fine, slippery line when you contrive to build a comedy around People Who Talk Funny and lampoon, from a superpower's perspective, a foreign culture. But "Outsourced" seems to me the most deftly realized sitcom of the new season. It is no closer to reality than any of its Thursday night neighbors ( Ken Kwapis, of "The Office" and other good things, developed it and directed the pilot), but it has a top-flight cast, characters who show you who they are rather than telling you, smart writing, sure rhythms and a cheerful attitude.

Of course, the culture shock, and the schooling, will run both ways. (If anything, this is a comedy about American values.) "This is how you celebrate the birth of the son of your god?" asks Asha, played by Rebecca Hazlewood, when Todd attempts to explain what's funny about a "mistletoe belt." And though there are the victories the genre demands Todd himself references "The Bad News Bears" they're scented with irony: "How would you like to pay for your vomit and your poo?" asks shy Madhuri (Anisha Nagarajan), having made a sale.

William Shatner, who has most always played comedy whether or not he was playing in a comedy, has beamed down into a standard three-camera sitcom, "$#*! My Dad Says," based on a Twitter feed (!) by Justin Halpern, who also co-created the series. The opener, in which Halpern's flat-broke alter ego, Henry ( Jonathan Sadowski), comes home to San Diego, has been substantially revised from the original pilot but not improved, only made more sentimental.

Shatner's Ed is hardly the first difficult dad of television. (Redd Foxx, Jerry Stiller, we could go on.) Old folks speaking uncomfortable truths, talking dirty, riding on motorcycles such things have long been considered comic dynamite. Oddly, at 79, Shatner comes across as too energetic and youthful even for the 72-year-old he's playing. The bigger problem is that he's given nothing to do or say worth the doing or saying. He gets better mileage from a Priceline commercial.

Though a certain no-nonsense philosophy of life might be extracted from the utterances of Halpern's actual $#*!-saying dad, as edited for television he's just a hard nut with a soft center, a cuddly misanthrope with a shotgun, like some " Andy Griffith" moonshiner. He complains that downtown "smells of motor oil and hummus" and observes that, "if it looks like manure and smells like manure, it's either Wolf Blitzer or manure." Henry, for his part, reads as self-pitying and whiny much the worse company.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to register "$#*! My Cat Says." I think that $#*! could turn into something.

$#*! MY DAD SAYS
CBS, Thursday nights at 8:30 PM.


OUTSOURCED
NBC, Thursday nights at 9:30 PM.


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,3993167.story
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post #58595 of 96476 Old 09-22-2010, 07:42 PM
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"Goodfellas" TV series getting 'shopped around' after success of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire": http://www.deadline.com/2010/09/good...-gotti-jr-pic/. Uh, didn't we have one already? I think it was called, I don't know, THE (freakin') SOPRANOS??!!
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post #58596 of 96476 Old 09-22-2010, 07:56 PM
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CBS Back on Top on Thursdays

Most would be surprised to learn that CBS has won Thursdays in A18-49 for three of the past four regular seasons, largely on the strength of demo-magnet 'Survivor'. ABC, which won the night last back in the 2006-07 season, has seen its fortunes steadily erode over the past four years, largely due to 8 pm weakness. This season, ABC's strategy to attract A18-49s back to 8 pm is 'My Generation', probably one of the worst-reviewed pilots of the season, and unlikely to survive into the November Sweep. CBS, on the other hand, has strengthened the night by transferring their biggest hit 'The Big Bang Theory' over from Mondays.

FOX and NBC will fight it out for third, and both are dealing with line-up weaknesses on the back-end of their skeds, FOX after 9 pm and NBC after 9:30 pm. The CW will remain steady to last year, with 'Vampire Diaries' down a bit and 'Nikita' up a bit on 'Supernatural'.

What follows is a chart indicating the average A18-49s for each English broadcaster over the last four seasons, together with my prediction for the upcoming season, along with some thumbnail comments outlining my rationale. While it is difficult to predict a full season with just a fall sked known at this point, the biggest mid-season adjustments will probably be made by the poorly-performing nets...the top-ranking networks tend to stick to what works.

I've quoted from fredfa's post #3 to recap the programs appearing on Thursday night.

2006-2010: Thursday Night A18-49 Regular Season Averages

Season Years 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 YOY  
Thursday A18-49 Net Regular Regular Regular Regular Predix +/-% Comments
Thursday NBC 3.6 3.1 2.9 2.5 2.1 -17% post-Office fall-off
Thursday CBS 4.7 3.8 3.5 3.1 3.5 12% CBS brings big bang to Thursday
Thursday ABC 5.0 3.5 3.2 3.0 2.6 -12% aging lineup, MyGen gone soon
Thursday FOX 2.8 3.1 3.0 2.6 2.3 -11% Fringe withering
Thursday MNT 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4 0% Without a Trace = movies
Thursday CW 1.4 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.1 2% steady

Thursdays


ABC
8:00 p.m.: MY GENERATION
9:00 p.m.: Grey’s Anatomy
10:00 p.m.: Private Practice

CBS
8:00 p.m.: The Big Bang Theory (new day and time)
8:30 p.m.: $#*! MY DAD SAYS
9:00 p.m.: CSI
10:00 p.m.: The Mentalist

NBC
8:00 p.m.: Community
8:30 p.m.: 30 Rock (new time)
9:00 p.m.: The Office
9:30 p.m.: OUTSOURCED
10:00 p.m.: The Apprentice (return)

Fox
8:00 p.m.: Bones
9:00 p.m.: Fringe

CW
8:00 p.m.: The Vampire Diaries
9:00 p.m.: NIKITA




ABC's decline this season to a poor second can be blamed on 'My Generation', a remake of sorts of FOX's failed 'Reunion', where mid-20s actors have fun in the make-up department getting ready to play themselves as younger and older versions.
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post #58597 of 96476 Old 09-22-2010, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

"Goodfellas" TV series getting 'shopped around' after success of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire": http://www.deadline.com/2010/09/good...-gotti-jr-pic/. Uh, didn't we have one already? I think it was called, I don't know, THE (freakin') SOPRANOS??!!

They could call it "!$#@ my Godfather Says". (rimshot!)

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post #58598 of 96476 Old 09-22-2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

"Goodfellas" TV series getting 'shopped around' after success of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire": http://www.deadline.com/2010/09/good...-gotti-jr-pic/. Uh, didn't we have one already? I think it was called, I don't know, THE (freakin') SOPRANOS??!!

Ah, but this would be The Sopranos set in the 1970s. So this is the moment period dramas jumped the shark.
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post #58599 of 96476 Old 09-22-2010, 09:04 PM
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TV Notes
NBC Lands J.J. Abrams' Project With Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com's TV Editor - September 22nd, 2010

Like with all JJ Abrams projects, the premise for the show, referred to as Odd Jobs, is kept under wraps, but Emerson and O'Quinn are expected to play former special ops agents.

That's great news but I hope it's not another spy show and instead is the idea that Quinn was shopping around about them being both former hitmen.


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post #58600 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 12:51 AM
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That's great news but I hope it's not another spy show and instead is the idea that Quinn was shopping around about them being both former hitmen.

I remember those 2 actors on the Jimmy Kimmel "Lost" special. They were chatting about how well they both got along, and would like to work together again. Great news! I guess it wasn't just lip service.

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post #58601 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 06:36 AM
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The 2010/2011 Season
Media buyers give Thursday to CBS
Believe relocated 'Big Bang' will give it the edge
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - September 23rd, 2010

CBS is making the boldest scheduling change of the season by moving its smash hit "The Big Bang Theory" to Thursday nights. That should be enough for the network to hold off ABC for the nightly lead, even if new "Bang" lead-out "$#*! My Dad Says" bombs.

That's the feeling of media people, who predicted that CBS will finish No. 1 on Thursdays in a poll about the new season posted last week, one of four nights it is picked to win in fourth quarter.

That's mostly thanks to "Bang," which became TV's No. 1 comedy in its third season while airing behind "Two and a Half Men" on CBS.

Now in its fourth season, "Bang" is taking over the 8 p.m. Thursday anchor spot long held by "Survivor," which switched to Wednesdays.

Readers dubbed "Bang" the veteran show most likely to have a breakout season, with 40 percent picking it. "Community" on NBC was a very distant second at 12.6 percent.

With prospects for "Bang" so strong, 44 percent of readers picked CBS to finish first on Thursday nights, 10 points ahead of ABC at 34.1 percent. Nearly 18 percent picked NBC to take the night, 3.3 percent chose Fox, and 1.1 percent chose the CW.

But media people do have some concerns about CBS's lineup. They are divided on how "$#*!" will perform. Thirty percent said its prospects look good, 26.3 percent said its prospects are iffy, and a quarter said its prospects are bad.

"I don't think 'Dad' will do well and could possibly hurt 'CSI,'" one reader wrote.

More readers were enthused about the prognosis for the CW's "Nikita," with more than half rating its prospects good or excellent.

More than 40 percent dubbed the night's other two shows, ABC's "My Generation" and NBC's "Outsourced," as iffy prospects, predicting they will finish their initial 13-episode run and no more.

In fact, those two shows were cited by several readers when naming their top concerns about Thursday night.

"'Outsourced' will be of little ratings help," predicted one reader.

"'My Generation' at 8P- pretty heavy and depressing show to lead off the night," noted another.

As for what returning show will see the biggest declines this year, readers are not enthusiastic about "30 Rock's" move from 9:30 to 8:30, and they think aging drama "CSI" will be hurt by "$#*!."

The two tied with 13.7 percent of the vote as the veteran show readers expect to see decline the most. "Grey's Anatomy," "The Office" and "The Apprentice," which premiered to a series low last week, tied for third at 12.6 percent apiece.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...day-to-CBS.asp
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post #58602 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 06:39 AM
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TV Review
'My Generation' (ABC)
The ABC dramedy follows a group of friends 10 years after high school. Despite the socially significant stories and the camera it's a mockumentary it's surprisingly fresh.
By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times - September 23rd, 2010

The mockumentary style of ABC's new dramedy "My Generation" is both the best and worst thing about it. By chronicling nine members of the class of 2000 in Austin, Texas, creator Noah Hawley intertwines the lives of unlikely archetypes and injects their story lines with social significance the Bush-Gore election, 9/11, Enron as if it were Botox. Yet despite such heavy-handed manipulation, the characters and camera-aware performances of "My Generation" are precisely what make the show surprisingly fresh, vivid and touching.

Like "thirtysomething," to which it owes an enormous debt, "My Generation" follows a group of friends as they enter the age of disenchantment: Steven Foster (Michael Stahl-David) is the "Overachiever" turned surf bum who gets a surprise call from "Wallflower" Caroline Chung (Anne Son). Anders "the Rich Kid" Holt (Julian Morris) has married not his high school sweetheart, "the Brain" Brenda Serrano (Daniella Alonso), now working on Capitol Hill, but "Beauty Queen" Jackie Vaches (Jaime King). Dawn "the Punk" Barbuso (Kelli Garner) has likewise dumped "Nerd" Kenneth Finley (Keir O'Donnell) for "the Jock," Rolly Marks (Mehcad Brooks), who, after 9/11, ditched Stanford for the Army. Rounding out the group is Sebastian Sozzi as the Falcon, a rock star turned DJ who is considered the group's "Rebel."

None of them is particularly happy, and for mostly good reasons. Despite their previous ambitions, Steven and the Falcon are adrift; Caroline is a struggling single mother; Kenneth still loves Dawn, who is pregnant and living with him because Rolly, her husband, is in Afghanistan. Likewise, Anders and Brenda secretly pine for each other while Jackie longs for bigger things.

While other coming-of-age dramas aim to be timeless, "My Generation" roots itself firmly, indeed obsessively, in the present. Rolly is not the only character shaped by recent events. Brenda wanted to be a scientist but switched to political science after George W. Bush's victory-by-Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Steven and Kenneth were both victims of the Enron scandal, and Jackie did follow her dream to Hollywood, only to become a loser on "The Bachelor." ("It's so political," Anders says kindly.)

Cramming all these cultural nods into an hourlong pilot defines overkill, but perhaps it can be chalked up to exposition, not to mention the hubris of the show's title. Either way, it's overcome by the charm of the cast, whose members quickly color outside the lines of their stereotypes. Stahl-David ("The Black Donnellys," "Cloverfield"), O'Donnell ("Wedding Crashers," "Paul Blart: Mall Cop") and newcomer Son in particular give their characters an exploratory shake or two before punching the fluff and dust right out of them. (As the lovelorn and earnest-almost-to-the-point-of-creepy Kenneth, O'Donnell has the heaviest lifting.)

But all the performers use the documentary setup to their best advantage, shooting the omnipresent camera knowing, comical and anguished glances, and generally treating it as if it were another character. There's a narrator too, but she seems superfluous it's the camera that the characters address. (In fact, they seem more comfortable in reflection than action.)

Twentysomethings are famous self-chroniclers, and it's this easy and casually intimate relationship with the lens, rather than the references to Enron, sperm donors or current legislative battles, that earn "My Generation" its title the first mockumentary dramedy of the digital revolution.

MY GENERATION
Thursday night at 8PM on ABC.


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,6805548.story
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post #58603 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 06:47 AM
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TV Review
Curses, William Shatner's new CBS show is complete '$#*!'
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - September 23rd, 2010

If it's any solace to the handful of organizations that are boycotting this new William Shatner sitcom over its attention-getting title, the title is the least of the reasons not to bother watching.

A better one is that it's not very good.

In the process, "$#*! My Dad Says" wastes the talents of Shatner, who over years as a pitchman and in "Boston Legal" has honed his comic timing to a fine point.

Even wily veterans, however, can't amuse us without something funny to say or do. When his highlight-reel moments include barking insults at Girl Scouts ("Beggars with merit badges!"), it's safe to say things have not worked out as everyone hoped.

This show originally sprang from a series of Twitter feeds by Justin Halpern, whose real-life dad walks around saying outrageous and offensive things.

It was a big enough hit in the Twittersphere that it ultimately spilled out into this sitcom - which means everyone along the way apparently shared the blind faith that if a remark was funny as a 140-character throwaway, it could also anchor a 30-minute scripted comedy.

It ain't necessarily so.

It could be noted here that since the dawn of history, half the kids in the world have amused their friends by repeating ridiculous things their fathers said. Cain and Abel, before the fight, probably laughed about ridiculous remarks Adam made about snakes, apples and Eve's wardrobe.

That is to say, this isn't some fresh new phenomenon introduced into the world by Twitter. When Henry Goodson (Jonathan Sadowski) hears his father, Ed (Shatner), say outlandish things, viewers won't be so dazzled by the fact they can be instantly transcribed onto Twitter that they won't also want them wrapped in a coherent, interesting story.

They won't get that here. What happens instead is that Henry runs out of money and must move back in with Ed, from whom he has been estranged for years.

Ed reacts rudely, assuming Henry only wants his money. But it isn't personal. Ed is equally nasty to his other son, Vince (Will Sasso), and Vince's wife, Bonnie (Nicole Sullivan).

One problem, among many, is that none of this seems to lead anywhere. If it's moving toward reconciliation and newly shared humanity, then what happens to all the nastiness on which the show was built in the first place?

On the other hand, if the goal is just to keep setting up situations where those one-liners continue flowing, then paydirt is a scene in the motor vehicles office, where Ed tells the clerk, "You seem like a perfectly nice homosexual."

By the end of this premiere episode, the creators are shamelessly appropriating one of the most offbeat and fondly remembered closing scenes from "Boston Legal."

There, it worked.

Here, it feels like just another tweet.

'$#*! My Dad Says'
Thursday night at 8:30PM on CBS.
Rating: ONE STAR (out of five).


http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain..._show_is_.html

* * * * * * * *

TV Review
New fall NBC sitcom 'Outsourced' needs more work

"Outsourced," a sitcom about a mail-order call center in India, aims at a very large target and doesn't quite score, though at times it comes close.

All Americans at some point have phoned for technical support and been connected to India, often leading to amusement or frustration.

The problem is that some of what's funny to regular people about this may not be appropriate in a sitcom, for a variety of good reasons.

So "Outsourced" must thread its way carefully, and to their credit, the creators realize that. The problem is the execution.

Parts of the show, in which Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport) must move to India to keep his job as manager of a call center for Mid American Novelties, are funny.

They also aren't especially offensive, because most of the jokes target the blundering insensitivity of American corporate managers, not Indian workers.

"I don't know what religion you guys are," Todd casually remarks. This is followed by a sacred-cow joke and a joke about the potential effect of Indian food on American stomachs.

Not offensive. Just not particularly fresh or compelling.

Long-term, "Outsourced" may want to become an Indian cousin of "Community," with diverse off-center people whose eccentricities fuel jokes.

That's fine. The question may be whether, in carefully omitting most things that could offend, the show has enough left to endure.

OUTSOURCED
Thursday night at 9:30PM on NBC.
Rating: TWO STARS (out of five).


http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...more_work.html
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post #58604 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 07:01 AM
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On The Air Tonight:
$#*! from Dad and the Networks

By Roger Catlin, Hartford Courant's 'TV Eye' Blog - September 23rd, 2010

(All times are Eastern)

For all the hype "$#*! My Dad Says" (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) is less like the Twitter-based book on which it's based than it is any number of CBS comedies, with the rimshots provided by musical stings at the end of each scene.

As the dad, William Shatner is much sharper than the character he plays; his non sequiturs on "Boston Legal" may have been funnier. And with Will Sasso and Nicole Sullivan are so good in supporting role, you sort of wish they were starring in their own sitcom instead.

Still, it's better than the other new comedy premiering tonight.

"Outsourced" (NBC, 9:30 p.m.) about an American running a telemarketing office in India, succeeds at being both unfunny and offensive, besmirching what NBC has otherwise built as a quality night of comedy.

And "My Generation" (ABC, Thursday, 8 p.m.) is the absolutely unconvincing faux-documentary about a high-school graduating class a decade later.

It's actually a bigger night for returning shows, with new season starts for "Bones" (Fox, 8 p.m.); "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC, 9 p.m.); "CSI" (CBS, 9 p.m.); "Fringe" (Fox, 9 p.m.); "Private Practice" (ABC, 10 p.m.); "The Mentalist" (CBS, 10 p.m.); The Big Bang Theory" (CBS, 8 p.m.); "Community" (NBC, Thursday, 8 p.m.); "30 Rock" (NBC, 8:30 p.m.); and "The Office" (NBC, Thursday, 9 p.m.).

Divorce is in the air among the newly married couples on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FX, 10 p.m.).

Newsflash: Snooki gets drunk on "Jersey Shore" (MTV, 10 p.m.), this time interrupting J-Woww, in the middle of a visit with her boyfriend.

The contestants on "Project Runway" (Lifetime, 9 p.m.) are faced with an ad campaign challenge.

The revenge series on Turner Classic Movies goes Biblical with "Ben-Hur" (8 p.m.) and "Samson and Delilah" (midnight). Later, it's about a brother's revenge on "Enter the Dragon" (2:15 a.m.) and "The Man from Laramie" (4 a.m.).

In college football, it's Miami at Pittsburgh (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.) and, closer to home, American International at Southern Connecticut (CBSCS, 8 p.m.).

Geno Auriemma and his U.S. women's basketball team, six of whom are UConn stars, begin their international play in the FIBA Women's World Championship with U.S. vs Greece (NBATV, noon).

In baseball, there's just one game on, but an important one in that division showdown, Rays at Yankees (YES, 7 p.m.).

And there's more preseason hockey with Devils at Rangers (MSG, 7 p.m.) and Maple Leafs at Flyers (NHL, 7 p.m.)

Late Talk
David Letterman: James Franco, Sofia Vergara, Shakira
Jay Leno: Jimmy Smits, Jackie Evancho, Brian Wilson.
Jimmy Kimmel: Zach Galifianakis, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Trombone Shorty.
Jimmy Fallon: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Pavement.
Craig Ferguson: Jon Hamm, Jonathan Ames, Betty LaVette.
Carson Daly: Ron Perlman, Robert Hall, Janelle Monae.
Jon Stewart: His Majesty King Abdullah II.
Stephen Colbert: Oscar Goodman.
George Lopez: Kevin Connolly, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Rob Schneider.
Chelsea Handler: Kristen Bell, Boby Lee, Whitney Cummings.

http://blogs.courant.com/roger_catli...nd-the-ne.html
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post #58605 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 07:05 AM
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Nielsen Notes
For CBS, more buck for the bang
Moving its hit sitcom 'Big Bang Theory' to Thursday
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - September 23rd, 2010

"The Big Bang Theory" blossomed into a hit last year behind "Two and a Half Men," surpassing its lead-in to become the No. 1 comedy on television.

Tonight it moves from that cozy Monday spot to the Thursday 8 p.m. hour, becoming the latest in a long series of hit shows the networks have moved to Thursday in an effort to kick up their ratings on the week's most lucrative night in terms of advertising.

Two decades ago, an upstart Fox network put "The Simpsons" on Thursday nights as a direct challenger to the then-dominant "Cosby Show." A few years later, CBS moved its smash summer hit "Survivor" to the night to counter NBC's "Friends," and CBS eventually replaced NBC as the network to beat on the night.

More recently, ABC transplanted then-second-year show "Grey's Anatomy" from Sunday to Thursday, where it gave ABC its first winning Thursday in years.

CBS shook its lineup up a bit last year when it moved "The Mentalist" to Thursday, but "Bang" will have more of an impact. It averaged a 5.3 adults 18-49 rating last season, fifth overall on broadcast and the top scripted program.

Besides ensuring that CBS will win Thursdays, which it has shared with ABC in recent years, "Bang" stands to take a bite out of NBC's sitcom lineup, which has long been the only choice for comedy in the hour.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...r-the-bang.asp
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post #58606 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 07:12 AM
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TV Sports
The NFL Just Tackled Your Kids
Early Ratings Show the League Gaining Steam With Fans Under 12; the Ray Lewis Dance Contest
By Hannah Karp, Wall Street Journal - September 23rd, 2010

So far this football season, one number that's getting a lot of attention is the 16% jump in viewership the NFL saw during its opening week. Already a sports ratings behemoth, the league now appears to be running up the score.

But hidden among the data's finer points was another noteworthy development that hasn't gotten much attention: The NFL may be giving SpongeBob a run for the money.

The largest increase in NFL viewership for any age group during the league's first week, according to the Nielsen Company, was a 30% jump among kids under 12. While these kids make up a small fraction of the league's total viewers, they accounted for a healthy 8% of the overall increase.

The news comes at a good time for the NFL, which despite its high profile, has long been the chosen sport of Baby Boomers. Fans over 55 years old made up 30% of the league's total viewers in week one. It also suggests that a recent push by the league to connect to youngsters may be paying off.

The NFL has made other attempts to broaden its appeal over the years. To reach women, the league's teams started hosting seminars called "Football 101" to teach them the rules of the game. But the league says research into fan affinity convinced it to start targeting kids before junior high.

A tracking survey conducted by the league found that 60% of the most avid NFL fans became engaged with the sport during elementary school, while the majority of casual fans, who aren't as freakishly obsessed, got interested in the sport later.

NFL executive Peter O'Reilly, whose job title is "vice president of fan engagement," says the league has put a "major emphasis" on getting kids hooked on the game.

Two years ago, the league launched an online fantasy role-playing game called "Rush Zone" aimed at kids as young as six. The league says it now has two million registered userstwice as many as it had last year.

This fall, the league began airing short cartoons Monday nights on Nicktoons about a 10-year-old San Diego Chargers fan named "Ish" with football-player super powers who must fight evil overlord "Sudden Death" and free the "benevolent life force" trapped in the strongholds of the NFL's 32 stadiums. The NFL says the first episode, which aired Monday before the season's first game and reran throughout the week, drew 1.4 million viewers.

On September 10, more than 16,000 elementary schools across the country participated in an NFL program that offers schools the chance to win one of 35 $10,000 grants and a visit from NFL players. To qualify, the schools had to compete to show the most team pride.

At Frontier Middle School in Buffalo, N.Y. students in Buffalo Bills jerseys showed their love for the hometown team by stampeding someone dressed as a New York Jets fan. At Ogden Elementary school in Wilmington, N.C., students getting off the bus were greeted by Carolina Panthers cheerleaders and the Panthers' mascot, Sir Purr.

At Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a small catholic school outside Baltimore, all 225 students swapped their school uniforms for their favorite NFL jerseysmost of them purple in honor of the hometown Ravensand appeared in a video where they ran screaming off the school bus. The kids participated in a day's worth of NFL-themed lesson plans in everything from spelling to geography, and participated in a contest to see which student could best mimic the famously barbaric and unrestrained dance that Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis performs on the field before games.

The surge in viewership among kids could just be a statistical anomalyNielsen says detailed data for week two isn't available yet. It's possible some youngsters tuned in after mistaking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for teen sensation Justin Bieber, whose haircut the quarterback seems to be emulating.

But when it comes to some of the tougher issues facing the league, from potential labor trouble to the misconduct of some players, the kids seem to be pretty forgiving.

Eight-year-old Philadelphia Eagles fan Noah Johnson, a student at the OLPH School near Baltimore, said he's perplexed as to why fans are still giving Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who served a prison sentence for dogfighting, so much grief. Noah notes that Mr. Vick has already served his "time out" for not treating his animals with respect. As he watched the game Sunday, snacking on popcorn and soda, he told his mother, "people should forgive you."

Jack Cohen, a New York preschooler who's nearly three years old, sides firmly with the leagueand against its critics when it comes to the debate on whether to extend the NFL season. He said he threw a tantrum and cried all night back in February when he was told the NFL season was over. "I threw my body on the floor," recalls Jack, whose parents are Giants fans. "It was sad."

Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was recently named spokesperson for the NFL's 2010 Keep Gym in School initiative. He says he never knows what to say when kids ask him point blank how much money he makes. "That's always a little uncomfortable," he says. "I say, 'Ask your parents.'"

For all the traction the league made with kids, it has shown some preliminary signs of weakness with young people generally. Nielsen's numbers showed that people aged 12 to 17 and young men between 18 and 24 both turned out in smaller numbers for week one.

The NFL says its numbers in 2009 showed growth in viewership among teens. TV ratings analyst Sam Armando of SMGx Strategic Intelligence says MTV's Video Music Awards may have stolen some of the NFL's young-adult fanbase last Sunday.

Larry Gerbrandt, a ratings analyst at Media Valuation Partners in Los Angeles, says even if the trend holds, it won't be so easy to monetize. "Any viewership is helpful for the NFL, but you're not going to start selling more Budweiser."

Baby stuff is another story. Tricia Woodson of Richmond, Va., says business at her company, Baby Fanatic, which sells NFL-themed pacifiers and sippy cups, is booming. "It's never too early to start them on the right track," she said.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...ArtsEnt_Sports
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post #58607 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Argee View Post

With Shatner starring it should be called "$#*! my GRANDFATHER says"

Well, your age would be the determining factor as to how old your father might be.

In my case, Shatner would be right in the zone. He's only a few years older than my father.
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post #58608 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 07:30 AM
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Nielsen/DVR Notes
Show’s Title, in Symbols, Defies DVRs
By Brian Stelter, The New York Times - September 23rd, 2010

CBS knew that when it ordered a sitcom with a vulgar word in the title, it would get attention. The network also knew there would be some hand-wringing about the coarseness of popular culture.

Here’s what the network did not know: that the title would trip up some digital video recorders.

It turns out that the search tools on some DVRs cannot find the new show, “$#*! My Dad Says,” because the symbols cannot be read. (Maybe some DVR developers could not foresee a world where TV shows would have a dollar sign in the titles.) Before the show’s premiere on Thursday, CBS released a viewers’ guide of sorts on Wednesday to help people program their DVRs accordingly.

The case illustrates how some TV networks have embraced the DVR, though tepidly. Despite the commercial-skipping abilities of the recording devices, highly rated shows become even more so when DVR playback is included in the Nielsen ratings that help determine prices for advertising time. About 38 percent of households now have DVRs, though the vast majority of programming is still watched in real-time.

“Obviously, our first choice is that you always watch everything on CBS live; however, we also consider the DVR our friend,” CBS wrote in its viewers’ guide on Wednesday, which was shared on CBS.com, on Twitter and elsewhere online.

CBS recommended that viewers set “$#*! My Dad Says” to record through the program guide rather than the search tool. Most DVR users already record shows through the program guide, said David Poltrack, the chief research officer for CBS, “but we don’t want to make it difficult for any of our consumers.”

It’s a leave-no-viewer-behind strategy.

The sitcom, which was inspired by a 30-year-old’s profane Twitter feed about his father’s blunt observations, stars William Shatner as the father. Mr. Poltrack observed that on some DVR systems, like the one operated by Time Warner Cable in Manhattan, the symbols in the title are actually an advantage, because the show appears at the top of an alphabetical list of programs.

Though networks say they consider the DVR a friend, time-shifting still causes headaches. Because the media tend to concentrate on overnight ratings for shows, even though millions of people now delay their viewing, shows can appear to be less popular than they actually are.

Partly for that reason, CBS this week started to include projections of the DVR playback of its shows in its statements on overnight ratings. For instance, it projected that Tuesday’s “NCIS” would gain 2.5 million viewers after a week of DVR viewing, a gain of 10 percent.

With the projections, “we can see, directionally, whether a show is growing or declining,” said Mr. Poltrack.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/bu...ref=technology
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post #58609 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 07:36 AM
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Business Notes
Blockbuster Files for Bankruptcy After Online Rivals Gain
By Dawn McCarty, Linda Sandler and Tiffany Kary, Bloomberg News - September 23rd, 2010

Blockbuster Inc., the world's biggest movie-rental company, filed for bankruptcy after failing to adapt its storefront model to online technology pioneered by rivals such as Netflix Inc.

The company listed assets of $1.02 billion against debt of $1.46 billion on a Chapter 11 petition filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. The company said it reached a deal with a group of bondholders on a plan of reorganization and secured a $125 million loan to finance operations.

To preserve its three-decade long developed brand value, Blockbuster seeks a restructuring that permits a significant deleveraging of its business so that it can move forward at the digital clip at which its industry and competitors are currently running, Jeffery Stegenga, the company's restructuring officer, said in a court filing.

Sales at Dallas-based Blockbuster, with about 3,000 stores in the U.S., shrank in recent years while Netflix grew by renting movies online and through the mail, and Coinstar Inc. put Redbox DVD vending machines in supermarkets and drugstores.

Under the proposed plan, there will be no recovery by the holders of the company's outstanding subordinated debt, preferred stock or common stock, according to the statement. Blockbuster anticipates it will pay something to unsecured creditors, court papers show. Blockbuster's proposals included bankruptcy for units in Italy, Spain and Canada.

Largest Creditors

The company's largest trade creditor is Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment with a $21.6 million claim, followed by Warner Home Video Inc. with a claim of $19 million and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment with a claim of $13.3 million, according to today's filing.

The filing provides the optimal path for recapitalizing our balance sheet and positioning Blockbuster for the future, as we continue to transform our business model to meet the evolving preferences of our customers, Chief Executive Officer Jim Keyes said in a statement today.

Billionaire Carl Icahn bought about one-third of Blockbuster's bonds as of Sept. 17, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Icahn, 74, a former director of the company, led a proxy fight in 2005 to put himself and two nominees on the board. Last March, he cut his stake in the company to 3.5 percent by selling stock. He left the board in January. He is working with a group of senior creditors in the reorganization plan, the people said.

Significant Time'

Before deciding on a bankruptcy financed by senior lenders, Blockbuster said it spent significant time through the spring and summer this year discussing potential financing deals with other companies. They included two large, financially capable strategic parties and other investors. None of them offered sufficient money for the company to cut its debt enough, Blockbuster said in a court filing.

Blockbuster has support for its reorganization plan from a group of bondholders holding about 80.1 percent of the company's 11 3/4 percent senior-secured notes, it said. The notes will be exchanged for equity in the reorganized company. The company has secured bonds with a face value of $630 million and unsecured bonds with a face value of $300 million, court papers show.

After it emerges from bankruptcy, the only debt expected to remain on Blockbuster's balance sheet will be the $125 million loan, known as a debtor-in-possession loan, the company said. It will convert to so-called exit financing and a revolving-credit line of as much as $50 million.

Normal Business

Blockbuster said all of its U.S. operations will continue normal business while in bankruptcy. The company said it will no longer provide funding to support its operations in Argentina.

Intana Management LLC, M.A.M. Investment Ltd., Prentice Capital Management LP, Michael Zimmerman and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. were all listed as directly or indirectly owning, controlling, or holding, with the power to vote, 5 percent or more of the voting securities of Blockbuster.

Blockbuster has about $57 million of accounts payable, excluding leases and debts to studios. Its global capital expenses are running at $30 million a year, it said in a court filing.

The company has hired Weil, Gotshal and Manges as its legal adviser; Rothschild Inc. as its financial adviser; and Alvarez and Marsal as its restructuring adviser. Lawyers for lenders of the bankruptcy loan are Sidley Austin LLP.

The case is In re Blockbuster, 10-14997, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/bu...ref=technology[/quote]
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Nielsen/DVR Notes
Show's Title, in Symbols, Defies DVRs
By Brian Stelter, The New York Times - September 23rd, 2010

CBS knew that when it ordered a sitcom with a vulgar word in the title, it would get attention. The network also knew there would be some hand-wringing about the coarseness of popular culture.

Here's what the network did not know: that the title would trip up some digital video recorders.

How did such a non-story get such traction?

Most DVR users rarely use or don't know how to use the search and those that do are savvy enough to manually find it in the guide or with keywords.


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^^^ You'd be surprised how many people with DVR's aren't tech-savvy (my dad for instance) and rely on their spouses, children and/or friends to DVR the shows they want to watch because they don't know their way around a channel guide grid. Call it the new 'flashing 12:00' syndrome, only it's an inability to grasp the simple things you (a DVR warrior) take for granted. Plus we're talking about a CBS show which automatically means a higher-than-usual number of 50+ viewers, some of which might want to check out Shatner and don't know how to time-shift his show. You're right, it's still a mountain being made out of a molehill but there's some validity to it.
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post #58612 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 08:07 AM
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TV Review
NBC's 'Outsourced'
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFlix.com - September 22nd, 2010

I'm not sure where to begin in expressing my dismay over NBC's new "Outsourced" (Thursday at 9:30 p.m.), a new comedy (based on a 2006 indie film) about an American sent to India to manage a Midwestern novelty company's relocated call center.

Start with the fact that NBC over the last few years has had a fantastic track record with putting actors with South Asian backgrounds - Mindy Kaling on "The Office," Vik Sahay on "Chuck," Danny Pudi on "Community" and Aziz Ansari on "Parks and Recreation" - into its shows, not to play "the Indian character," but just to play characters. "The Office" did an episode about Diwali, but Kaling is there because she plays such a memorably superficial ditz. Ansari's character on "Parks and Rec" actually had to Google facts about India to impress a more worldly friend at a party.

So it's startling to watch "Outsourced" and realize that the large, predominantly Indian cast is for the most part asked to deliver lines that could only seem like jokes when delivered in an Indian accent. (Or, in one case, where an Indian character is able to affect a perfect redneck accent while explaining what grits are.) All the goodwill NBC has engendered in this area goes out the window by the end of the pilot episode.

Or maybe I should start with the show's American hero, Todd Dempsy, played by Ben Rappaport. Rappaport himself comes across like a smarmy imitation John Krasinski, and the character is not only clueless about Indian culture, but abrasively, sniggeringly clueless about it, cracking jokes about sacred cows and the fact that one of his new employees is named Manmeet (Sacha Dhawan).

Or perhaps I should have begun by noting that the handful of jokes that have nothing to do with accents come from another American call center manager (Diedrich Bader), whose role in the pilot episode is to explain early and often that Indian food gives you diarrhea.

But really, what's most upsetting is that NBC decided to bench "Parks and Recreation" not only the best comedy on that network, but on all of television last year - in favor of this cheap, lazy, unfunny mess.

Just depressing. Nothing to see here - and hopefully not for long.

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-al...bcs-outsourced

It seems like having people of Indian decent is now the rage in TV. For many years, most shows left like that had to have a person of color in their show. In recent years, there has been the token gay character mostly found in sitcoms. Since Big Bang Theory has scored big with their Indian character, here comes more of them. I saw Rules of Engagement added one, a character that really dumbs down the show. Other shows have added them and now NBC has a whole show about them. It's nothing against any of them, it just seems like when one show scores big with something, many others think they need to do the same. TV is the biggest monkey-see-monkey-do business.
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post #58613 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 08:09 AM
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How did such a non-story get such traction?

Most DVR users rarely use or don't know how to use the search and those that do are savvy enough to manually find it in the guide or with keywords.

I almost always just select the show in the guide since it's a pain the the @$& to type in the letters with the remote - especially since several DVRs use ABC keyboard layouts instead of QWERTY style ones. I feel like I'm playing the worst arcade game ever when I'm navigating the keyboard with the arrow keys. It's even worse than typing letters with a numeric keypad on a cell phone (at least that has the T9 option).

When I used my UltimateTV, though, I always searched since it had a hardware keyboard. I could just type like with any computer.

It actually bugs me that with two available USB ports on my DVR, D* can't see fit to include an generic TWAIN driver so one could actually hook up a standard USB keyboard (wired or wireless).
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post #58614 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 08:25 AM
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I saw Rules of Engagement added one, a character that really dumbs down the show.

Two things:

1. Adhir Kalyan is South African (and so is his character)
2. It's not possible to dumb down Rules of Engagement


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post #58615 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 08:31 AM
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^^^ You'd be surprised how many people with DVR's aren't tech-savvy (my dad for instance) and rely on their spouses, children and/or friends to DVR the shows they want to watch because they don't know their way around a channel guide grid. Call it the new 'flashing 12:00' syndrome, only it's an inability to grasp the simple things you (a DVR warrior) take for granted. Plus we're talking about a CBS show which automatically means a higher-than-usual number of 50+ viewers, some of which might want to check out Shatner and don't know how to time-shift his show. You're right, it's still a mountain being made out of a molehill but there's some validity to it.

I visit my parents twice a year, and although they have a HR10-250 in their living room, and a HR20-100 in their basement theater, they stick to the very basics. They use the main functions, but are intimidated to go much further.

The first thing I do is completely go through the program guide and clean up all the added PPV, sports channels etc. that pollute the guide over time. Mom watched me go to the "to do" list. She said "tha great!"

I plead with them to just play around, your not going to break it.

Former USSB uplink operator.
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post #58616 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MRM4 View Post

It seems like having people of Indian decent is now the rage in TV. For many years, most shows left like that had to have a person of color in their show. In recent years, there has been the token gay character mostly found in sitcoms. Since Big Bang Theory has scored big with their Indian character, here comes more of them. I saw Rules of Engagement added one, a character that really dumbs down the show. Other shows have added them and now NBC has a whole show about them. It's nothing against any of them, it just seems like when one show scores big with something, many others think they need to do the same. TV is the biggest monkey-see-monkey-do business.

"Outsourced" is getting mixed reviews (Sepinwall hated but Lloyd over at the L.A. Times liked it), unlike the nearly-unanimous disdain for Shatner's new sitcom. So maybe it's just about getting used to Indian characters that are usually supporting players in the background on other sitcoms taking center stage in this one. As with "Lone Star" on Mondays though I'm not sure the high-profile Thursday time slot was a good idea for NBC. "CSI," "Grey's Anatomy," "Nikita" and "Fringe" would have to be truly sucking at the halfway mark for someone to tune out in the middle of those shows and sample "Outsourced." This assuming "30 Rock" viewers even stick around for it.
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post #58617 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 08:40 AM
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TV Review
ABC's 'My Generation'
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFlix.com - September 23rd, 2010

Of the three terrible new shows debuting Thursday night, the ABC drama "My Generation" (which airs at 8) is the most disappointing. "$#*! My Dad Says" is a misguided cash-in project that nobody expected to be good, and hopes weren't much higher for "Outsourced." "My Generation," on the other hand, had an interesting creative pedigree and premise.

It's based on a Swedish series, and writer Noah Hawley's last show was the flawed but memorable cop show "The Unusuals," and the concept - a film crew that made an unreleased documentary about nine members of an Austin high school Class of 2000 returns to see what happened to them after a tumultuous decade that included 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Enron and more - had the potential to meld soap opera with national events in a way that felt like nothing else on television.

But the execution is just awful - leaden and predictable and eyeroll-inducing at nearly every turn.

We open with the characters back in those rosy days of the spring of 2000. None of the actors look in any way convincing as high schol students, which will be a problem if Hawley intends to spend a lot of time in future episodes bouncing back in time. The bigger issue, though, is the sledgehammer approach to setting up a series of dramatic irony revelations, each less surprising than the one before.

We're introduced to our nine characters with subtitles "The Nerd" (Keir O'Donnell), "The Brain" (Daniella Alonso) and "The Rich Kid" (Julian Morris). They're all given names as well, but the only two who register as actual characters and not broad types (and then only in the present-day scenes) are Dawn (Kelli Garner) the punk and Caroline (Anne Son) the wallflower. The off-camera filmmaker (Elizabeth Keener, a soundalike for sister Catherine) asks them to use one word to predict their futures. The Jock (Mehcad Brooks) says "victory," The Over-Achiever (Michael Stahl-David) says "success" and The Beauty Queen (Jaime King) says "glamour."

Ten years later, the filmmaker returns to find that, shockingly, everyone's life has turned out (ITAL)exactly the opposite of that one-word prediction!(ITAL) Rather than victory, The Jock is now a soldier fighting an endless war in Afghanistan. The Over-Achiever is a college dropout who surfs and tends bar in Hawaii, The Beauty Queen is a bored housewife, etc.

If the point is that none of these characters are where they expected to be ten years ago - in the same way that the America of 2010 would be shockingly different to a time-traveler from the Clinton years - that's fair. How many people actually live out their dreams to the last detail? But to have every single character wind up at an 180-degree angle from the futures they planned for - for The Rock Star (Sebastian Sozzi) to wind up as a bottom-rung DJ, or for The RIch Kid to marry The Beauty Queen when he and The Brain were so much in love - feels clumsy and cheap.

And the documentary device, which is even more overt and central than on "The Office," never quite clicks. We're in theory seeing everything the filmmaker does, but there are scenes where it's either hard to fathom a character bringing the camera crew with them (The Brain goes on a blind date, and the guy doesn't even bother to ask what the cameras are about until halfway through) or where the cameras are still there even when the characters have explicitly gotten away from them, and are doing things that even "The Real World" generation wouldn't want recorded. We get it: these people grew up accustomed to being filmed 24-7, but exceptions are made when, for instance, you're preparing to cheat on your spouse, no?

I respect series with ambition, but when the show continually falls so short of its lofty targets, it can be even more annoying than when something is bad without trying nearly as hard.

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-al...-my-generation
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post #58618 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 08:44 AM
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TV Review
Is being 'Outsourced' overseas funny? It's your call
By Robert Bianco, USA Today - September 23rd, 2010

Can a sitcom navigate troubled waters?

That's the task facing Outsourced, a culture-clash comedy about a Midwestern white guy who follows his outsourced call-center job to India. In a country touchy about race, rattled by unemployment and infuriated by overseas job flight, that's a risky proposition.

Outsourced hopes to counter that anger — and any potential backlash from an Indian community that may not like how it's being portrayed — with humor and an essential sweetness encompassing both cultures.

The sweetness certainly helps: It's clear tonight that Outsourced is going out of its way to keeps its jabs gentle. But it could afford to up the humor quotient from "cute" to "reliably funny."

Still, it's also clear that Outsourced has some potentially strong assets working in its favor, starting with newcomer Ben Rappaport's appealing gung-ho performance as Todd, the show's requisite fish-out-of-water.

Sent to Mumbai to manage a novelty company's call center, Todd thinks that his toughest task will be adjusting to a new country.

But he soon realizes that his Indian staff won't be able to sell novelties until they understand our fondness for fake vomit — and the fundamental, democratic genius behind its production: "Maybe no one needs this, but in America, no one can stop you from making it."

Despite its Indian setting, Outsourced is in essence an American office comedy, and the office is filled with typical sitcom employees. Those include an over-ambitious assistant manager (Rizwan Manji); a naive would-be playboy stuck with the name "Manmeet" (Sacha Dhawan); a socially inept guy who talks too much (Parvesh Cheena); a shy girl who talks too softly (Anisha Nagarajan); and a lovely woman (Rebecca Hazlewood) who smiles a lot at Todd.

Todd, however, and his new American friend (Diedrich Bader) only seem to have eyes for a beautiful blond Australian (Pippa Black) who runs an airline call center. Which does make you wonder why, exactly, in a country with millions of beautiful women, the show feels the need to import a love interest.

While it's possible that the staff is the butt of a few too many of the jokes, the pilot is good-natured enough to stay on this side of the offensive line.

That line, however, could easily fray — as could our patience if Outsourced devolves into a two-joke show: silly Indians who don't understand our silly customs.

For now, mark it down as a show worth watching.

Only time will tell if it's worth the trouble.

OUTSOURCED Thursday at 9:30PM ET/PT (8:30 CT) on NBC.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/televis...ced23_ST_N.htm
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post #58619 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 08:47 AM
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TV Review
In My Dad,' only the title is fresh
By Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe - September 23rd, 2010

If volume meant quality, $#*! My Dad Says'' would be a comedy gem. The actors, led by star William Shatner, shout their punch lines like infomercial pitchmen, and the laugh track makes your ears wish they could blink.

I don't have a problem with the fact that $#*! My Dad Says,'' which premieres tonight at 8:30 on Channel 4, has its roots in Twitter it's based on Justin Halpern's popular feed. Whatever. Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld have made brilliant comedy careers out of less out of nothing.

But I do have a problem with the way $#*! My Dad Says'' is so blandly traditional, so predictably brash, and so lazy. Even though Twitter is in the show's DNA, executive producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (from Will & Grace'') haven't added anything fresh to the mix. Will & Grace'' had an old-school sitcom vibe, but the material was ahead of its time. $#*! My Dad Says'' has the multi-camera vaudeville-based style but then sticks stubbornly to a far too-well-trod odd-couple path.

Shatner plays Ed, the dad who says crazy and mean things. Like so many grumpy men in family sitcoms, he's Archie Bunker without the satirical spin, and without the overt prejudices that made Archie so edgy. When his son Henry (Jonathan Sadowski) loses his magazine job and comes back home, conflict ensues, peppered with non-sequitur exchanges such as when Dad says about his garden, You should see my zucchini'' and Henry responds, I think I did last night when you answered the door in your jammies.''

Ed doesn't want to pamper Henry, even while Henry is longing for a few warm bonding gestures. But, this being a retro sitcom, a number of aww'' moments pop up in the premiere. Of course, deep down Ed is actually hoping to connect with his son, but he's too proud to be overt about it. Divorced, unsocial, and irritable, Ed is secretly afraid of being alone.

Septuagenarian Shatner is one of the older TV stars, like Betty White, who's still working regularly, and who has found an unexpected place in our youth culture. He's fine in $#*! My Dad Says,'' although I find a little of him goes a long way, especially when he's hamming it up without the benefit of the clever scripting of Boston Legal.'' All of his punch lines end up sounding the same.

Sadowski is neither a minus nor a plus, although he makes Henry a little too gratingly whiney to be entirely likable. As Henry's half-brother, Will Sasso is the calm center, especially when he's with Nicole Sullivan, who plays his high-strung wife. I like Sullivan, but she's overly amped-up on this show, putting a little too much oomph and eye emphasis into each of her lines. Like so much in the formulaic and disappointing $#*! My Dad Says,'' she's all hollow emphasis.

$#*! MY DAD SAYS
On: CBS, Channel 4
Time: Tonight, 8:30-9


http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles...itle_is_fresh/
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post #58620 of 96476 Old 09-23-2010, 08:50 AM
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TV Notes
Jeff Zucker doesn't deny NBC departure
By Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter

NBC Universal president and CEO Jeff Zucker wasn't ready to make anything official on Wednesday about his future or the future management structure of the entertainment company once cable giant Comcast controls it.

Recent reports have said he is expected to leave his post around the time the Comcast deal closes. Regulators are expected to rule on the planned combination near the end of the year.

Zucker in an appearance at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia investor conference here on Wednesday wasn't asked about his future.

Asked by The Hollywood Reporter after the session whether he is in or out and what the future NBC Uni management structure would look like, Zucker would only say that he expects final decisions and announcements "when [there is] more certainty around the timing of the deal closing."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/...d76ef01379877b
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