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post #5071 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: MONDAY

Surface

The tagline you'll never see: Don't hold your breath.

The basics: Four disparate but not exactly compelling story lines about bizarre new sea species converge in this show's pilot. Single mom Laura (Lake Bell), unpopular preteen Miles (Carter Jenkins), fisherman Richard (Jay R. Ferguson) and government scientist Aleksander (Rade Sherbedgia) all encounter the creatures, and each has a different reaction. Richard believes the encounter has changed him, Laura seeks to expose the truth and Aleksander wants the world to think this is all a big whale tale. Miles takes an egg home as his pet -- a very bad idea. He's going to need a bigger fish tank.

The lowdown: The series may have changed its name from the equally vague "Fathom," but the show has bigger problems than a confusing moniker. The sea monster is not seen but is merely alluded to, raising more questions for viewers: What is it? Where does it come from? Why is it electrically charged? How many are out there? And, more important, why should I even care?

Reality check: We have "Lost" to thank for the plethora of sci-fi and fantasy shows invading the airwaves this fall. And like the ABC hit, this cast has its share of little-known actors -- a risky move in today's TV landscape. Executive producers Josh and Jonas Pate are banking on the intricate plot being strong enough to pull in viewers. But something was lost in translation.

By Amy Amatangelo The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301184_pf.html
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post #5072 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: MONDAY

Out of Practice

The Los Angeles Times

Stars: Christopher Gorham ("Jake 2.0," "Popular"), Paula Marshall ("Cheaper by the Dozen"), Ty Burrell ("Dawn of the Dead," "Black Hawk Down"). With Henry Winkler ("Happy Days," "Arrested Development"), Stockard Channing ("The West Wing," "The Matthew Shepard Story") and Jennifer Tilly.

The premise: Psychologist Gorham, a relative low-achiever in a family of MDs "real doctors" gets estranged surgeon parents Winkler and Channing into the same room just as his own marriage breaks up. Brother Burrell is a cosmetic surgeon and failed ladies' man who thinks any girl who won't date him is a lesbian; sister Marshall is an ER physician, and actually a lesbian. Oh, they have their issues, but blood, you may know, is thicker than water.

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedi...rint.htmlstory
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post #5073 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: MONDAY

Out of Practice

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist

Everyone in the family is a big-deal doctor, except our hero (Christopher Gorham), who's just a lowly psychologist. Of course, they won't let him forget he has no MD near his name. Yet he helps them through their petty, dysfunctional, self-destructive lives. Isn't it ironic?

What's What: The attempt is a comedy of manners and wordplay. Think: "Frasier," since this is from the producers of "Frasier." Except it doesn't quite get there. It also has a good cast (including Stockard Channing, Henry Winkler and Paula Marshall) that should be funnier. It's OK.

Rickster Scale: 2

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14413378c.html
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post #5074 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: MONDAY

"Out of Practice"

The tagline you'll never see: Trying to put the "fun" in dysfunctional.

The basics: Cutie psychologist and youngest son Ben (Christopher Gorham) must deal with his gastroenterologist father (Henry Winkler), his cardiologist mom (Stockard Channing), his ER doc sister, Regina (Paula Marshall) and his plastic-surgeon brother, Oliver (Ty Burrell). Ben thinks he'll never earn the respect of the family because he's the only one who's not a doctor. In the pilot, the family finds out that recently divorced dad is sleeping with his much younger assistant (Jennifer Tilly). But the worst part is that Ben's activist wife, Naomi, is leaving him -- and the family finds out before Ben does.

The lowdown: The series, from "Frasier" executive producers Joe Keenan and Christopher Lloyd, boasts a coveted time slot and a terrific cast. Now they just need a script that's as good as they are. The never-seen Naomi seems poised to become TV's next Maris, just like Niles's wife on "Frasier." Paula Marshall has the perhaps undeserved reputation of being a show-killer ("Hidden Hills," "Snoops," "Cupid" and, well, it seems cruel to go on). Has she finally picked a winner?

Reality check: Even when working with mundane material, the seasoned actors infuse the dialogue with pizazz and create a classic comedy of errors. The deadpan Burrell is a hoot as Ben's smarmy but well-meaning older brother, but there are only so many jokes he can make about giving women a surgically enhanced chest. Our prescription: The paramount rule in comedy is less is often more.

By Amy Amatangelo The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301184_pf.html
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post #5075 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: MONDAY

Just Legal

The Los Angeles Times

Stars: Don Johnson ("Nash Bridges," "Miami Vice"), Jay Baruchel ("Undeclared"), Jaime Lee Kirchner ("Rent"), Marika Dominczyk.

The premise: The season's mismatched-buddy-comedy-legal drama that isn't "Head Cases" features an appropriately haggard Johnson as a burned-out, sold-out Venice Beach attorney who finds himself teamed with teenage genius lawyer Baruchel, whose uncorrupted yen for justice restores the older's faith in the possibility of effective action. "Rio Bravo" without the horses.

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post #5076 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: MONDAY

Just Legal

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist

Doogie Howser-like lawyer prodigy (Jay Baruchel) can't get hired because, well, he's 19. So he teams with a burnout (Don Johnson). Turns out they need each other.

What's What: Pretty dopey, and not exactly loaded with logic. But it's occasionally adorable. Geeky-but-eager Baruchel and cool-but-weary Johnson make a good pair, and if you're picking a show to throw your hands up and accept, this is it.

Rickster Scale: 3

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14413378c.html
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post #5077 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: MONDAY

Just Legal

The tagline you'll never see: Doogie Howser, J.D.

The basics: David "Skip" Ross (Jay Baruchel) is an uptight 19-year-old legal prodigy who dreams of becoming a top trial lawyer. The problem is that no law firm will hire him because he's too darned young. Heck, he's two years away from legally ordering his first drink. Enter run-down lawyer Grant Cooper (Don Johnson), a boozer who was a top lawyer until a tragic case sent one of his clients to the electric chair and made him the cynical court-appointed lawyer he is today. Cooper's looking for an assistant to do his dirty work, so Skip happily takes the job. The two couldn't be more different but, rest assured, each has something to learn from the other.

The lowdown: Jerry Bruckheimer, who has enough shows on television now to start his own network, is the brains behind this legal drama. It's a departure from his other current projects, including the visually exciting and sometimes gory "CSI" franchise and the heart-thumping "Amazing Race" series. Might he have another hit on his hands? The return of Mr. Miami Vice to television definitely will draw some eyeballs, and while more than enough legal dramas are out there, "Just Legal" at least provides a new twist to the genre.

Reality check: Johnson's return is a welcome one and the best part of the drama. He looks weathered and beaten, but it suits his grizzled, alcoholic character. The problem is there's just no chemistry with his teenage co-star, who has done some great work on film in last year's "Million Dollar Baby" and on Fox's brilliant but short-lived comedy "Undeclared." Combine that with a not very compelling, run-of-the-mill plot line (at least in the pilot episode), and "Just Legal" comes out "just okay."

By John Maynard The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301184_pf.html
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post #5078 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 09:47 PM
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Do the Emmy voters even watch these shows, or do the nurses at the old folks home just poke them and have them point at something they recognize?
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post #5079 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree with you on some of the votes, which I found bizarre. But I was very pleasantly surprised by several others.

Remember that the Emmys, in many if not most cases, seem to follow popular(and/or critical) tastes by a season or two -- or three.

Do you have some specific votes you found most egregious, Tabasco?

(That being said -- and asked -- I do believe a lot of nursing home pointing must go on in the voting process.)
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post #5080 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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THE EMMYS
Complete list of winners announced Sunday night:

(The Los Angeles Times)

Comedy series
"Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS

Drama series
"Lost," ABC

Actor, drama series
James Spader, "Boston Legal," ABC

Actor, comedy series
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk," USA

Actress, drama series
Patricia Arquette, "Medium," NBC

Actress, comedy series
Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives," ABC

Miniseries
"The Lost Prince (Masterpiece Theatre)," PBS

Movies
"Warm Springs," HBO

Writing, comedy series
Mitchell Hurwitz, Jim Valley, "Arrested Development (The Righteous Brothers), Fox

Directing, comedy series
Charles McDougall, "Desperate Housewives (Pilot)," ABC

Actress, miniseries or movie
S. Epatha Merkerson, "Lackawanna Blues," HBO

Writing, miniseries, movie or dramatic special
Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," HBO

Directing, miniseries, movie or dramatic special
Stephen Hopkins, "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," HBO

Actor, miniseries or movie
Geoffrey Rush, "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," HBO

Writing, drama series
David Shore, "House (Three Stories)," Fox

Directing, drama series
J.J. Abrams, "Lost (Pilot)," ABC

Variety, music or comedy series
"The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central

Supporting actress, comedy series
Doris Roberts, "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS

Writing, variety, music or comedy program
"The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central

Variety, music or comedy program
Bucky Gunts, "The Games of The XXVIII Olympiad Opening Ceremony," NBC;

Supporting actress, miniseries or movie
Jane Alexander, "Warm Springs," HBO

Supporting actor, miniseries or movie
Paul Newman, "Empire Falls," HBO

Supporting actress, drama series
Blythe Danner, "Huff," Showtime

Reality-competition program
"The Amazing Race," CBS

Individual performance in a variety or music program
Hugh Jackman, "58th Annual Tony Awards," CBS

Supporting actor, comedy series
Brad Garrett, "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS

Supporting actor, drama series
William Shatner, "Boston Legal," ABC

Nonfiction programming
James Miller, "Death in Gaza," HBO

http://www.calendarlive.com/custom/e...ll=cl-tv-blurb
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post #5081 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Tabasco: You are not alone......

THE EMMYS
'Lost,' 'Raymond' named top shows at Emmys
ANALYSIS: VOTING BORDERS ON EMBARRASSING

By Charlie McCollum San Jose Mercury News

Let's start by noting that, in all fairness, the Emmy voters did get some things right Sunday night.

``Lost,'' the complex show about a group of airline passengers stranded on a mysterious island, took home the Emmy for best drama -- the first freshman series to win the award since ``The West Wing'' five years ago.

It may have been a surprise when Felicity Huffman beat out fellow ``Desperate Housewives'' Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross for best actress in a comedy, but she was excellent on the show.

But aside from those moments, and a few others, when there was some semblance of judgment, good taste and common sense, this was a long, rather embarrassing evening for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which is supposed to honor the best in television.

Here's how the telecast started: Brad Garrett of ``Everybody Loves Raymond'' somehow beat out Jeremy Piven (``Entourage'') for best supporting actor in a comedy. William Shatner (``Boston Legal'') inexplicably won best supporting actor in a drama. Hugh Jackman, host of the Tonys, snagged the Emmy for best performance in a variety show even though his competition included Jon Stewart of ``The Daily Show.''

That all took place before the first hour was up. And things didn't get much better as the evening wore on, climaxing in ``Everybody Loves Raymond'' taking the Emmy for best comedy away from ``Housewives'' and ``Arrested Development.''

Now, I was as sorry as anyone to see ``Raymond'' leave after nine seasons. But if ever an award was handed out for past glory instead of current artistry, it was that one.

The winners in three of the top acting categories weren't just surprises, they were embarrassments. James Spader of ``Boston Legal'' over Ian McShane (``Deadwood'') and Hugh Laurie (``House'') for best dramatic actor? Tony Shalhoub (the declining ``Monk'') besting Jason Bateman (``Arrested Development'') and Zach Braff (``Scrubs'') for comedy actor?

The biggest shocker: Patricia Arquette, who does a nice job on ``Medium,'' beating out favorite Glenn Close, who was terrific on ``The Shield,'' for best actress in a drama.

Doris Roberts won best supporting actress in a comedy, even though her work last season on ``Raymond'' was some of her weakest over the show's nine-year run. ``House'' creator David Shore won the Emmy for drama writing for an episode that was very good -- but it beat out such great ones as the pilots of ``Lost'' and ``Rescue Me.''

One particularly sublime moment of inconsistency came when HBO's ``Warm Springs'' won the best TV film award -- even though the same premium channel's ``The Life and Death of Peter Sellers'' took more Emmys than any other program, including those for best film direction, best writing and best actor (Geoffrey Rush, who played Sellers.)

Occasionally, though, things were right in Emmy world.

``The Daily Show'' won for best variety show and for best writing on a variety show for the second year in a row. (Which, if you think about it, makes the snub of Stewart even more of a head-scratcher.)

The marvelous S. Epatha Merkerson of ``Law & Order'' unexpectedly but deservedly took home the best actress in a TV film award for her compelling performance in HBO's ``Lackawanna Blues.''

Equally unexpected was the comedy writing Emmy that went to Jim Valley and show creator Mitchell Hurwitz for an episode of ``Arrested Development.'' Hurwitz took the opportunity to make a big pitch for the ratings-impaired sitcom, saying, ``We'd be remiss if we didn't point out that you've twice rewarded us for something people won't watch.''

In a major upset that actually made artistic sense, ``The Lost Prince,'' a beautifully-executed film that aired on PBS's ``Masterpiece Theatre,'' won for best miniseries over the heavily-favored, star-studded ``Empire Falls.''

Perhaps the ceremony's finest moment came when ``Late Show'' host David Letterman, who generally has avoided the Emmys throughout his career, came out for a tribute to the late, great Johnny Carson, who died in January. In an unusually serious speech, Letterman spoke movingly of how ``The Tonight Show'' under Carson was similar to the New York Times: ``the nightly television comedy of record.'' And he noted that people who did not have the opportunity to see Carson would now never have the chance to see television with ``such wit, charm, intelligence and grace.''

One running gag -- ``Emmy Idol,'' in which TV stars sang the theme songs from various shows -- actually turned out to be a pretty good idea, if only because it gave Kristen Bell from ``Veronica Mars'' the chance to show off her formidable musical chops on ``Fame.'' It also left viewers with the surreal memory of Shatner doing the theme from ``Star Trek'' with Frederica von Stade.

Come to think of it, the Academy should really hope viewers remember these Emmys for Shatner-von Stade duet. Better that than for Sunday's winners.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...n/12682404.htm
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post #5082 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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THE EMMYS
'Lost,' 'Raymond' named top shows at Emmys

By Verne Gay Newsday Staff Writer

Surprise, surprise! The sure bet of the 57th annual Emmy awards -- "Desperate Housewives" -- failed to reverse the long-standing Emmy tradition of confounding expectations and predictions. Though widely assumed a lock for the best comedy Emmy, "Desperate" fell short, with the award instead going to the sentimental favorite, "Everybody Loves Raymond," which ended its nine-year run last season.

But where "Housewives" stumbled, "Lost" soared, picking up an Emmy for best drama, and, in the process, upsetting a handful of veteran shows, like Fox's "24," which have had multiple nominations, and losses, over the years.

Meanwhile, "Housewives" also scored in other key categories, with awards going to Felicity Huffman (best actress-comedy) and Charles McDougall, who directed the "Housewives" pilot episode and won for best direction. The hit that saved ABC was nominated for a total of 15 awards, and while that was hardly a record, it was also a clear signal that Sunday would be a "Desperate" night. Alas, it was not.

But that wasn't the biggest shocker of the night. This was: Patricia Arquette who plays Allison Dubois, a medium who can see ghosts on NBC's "Medium," won for best actress on a drama. Most professional Emmy watchers figured Frances Conroy of "Six Feet Under" was a lock. However, Paramount, the producer of "Medium," had heavily promoted the show to Emmy voters.

"I want to thank you for this honor, for putting me in this incredible company," Arquette said. She offered her "respect and gratitude" to volunteers helping Katrina victims and prayed that soldiers in Iraq "come home safe and sound." Among the key actor categories, James Spader, who plays Alan Shore on "Boston Legal" won best actor in a drama -- his second straight win -- while Tony Shalhoub won for best actor in a comedy series for his work in "Monk." He was nominated the last three years, and last won in 2003.

The night began well for an old and enduring favorite of Emmy voters -- "Everybody Loves Raymond" -- when Brad Garrett won his third for best supporting actor in a comedy series. An hour later, Doris Roberts won for best supporting actress on the show.

William Shatner also won his second consecutive best supporting actor in a drama series, for his portrayal of lawyer Denny Crane, in ABC's "Boston Legal." Blythe Danner won her first Emmy ever, as best supporting actress in a drama, for "Huff," the Showtime series that was heavily promoted this year, and also managed to sneak in a political message, saying, "Let's get the heck out of ."

Last night also belonged to Jon Stewart and "The Daily Show," winning the coveted best writing award for a variety series, and later the Emmy for outstanding variety, music or comedy series. And if the Emmys weren't exactly stuffed with surprises -- are they ever? -- there was at least a surprise appearance when David Letterman introduced the tribute for Johnny Carson, who died Jan. 23, saying that "for 30 years, he shimmered to a soft, steady brilliance." Letterman hasn't shown up at these awards, which he has dominated in the variety category, in memory, and in tribute to him, Stewart said, "the way he feels about Carson, is the way we -- comedians of our era -- feel about him."

"The Amazing Race" was named outstanding reality-competition program for the third time. The directing and writing awards for a drama series were split between two new hit shows. "Lost" won the former and "House" took the latter. Geoffrey Rush was honored as best actor in a miniseries or movie for "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," HBO's dramatic take on the comic actor that also claimed writing and directing awards.

S. Epatha Merkerson was named best actress in a miniseries or movie for "Lackawanna Blues," on HBO, and preceded to charm the audience by announcing her acceptance speech, which she'd tucked into her bosom, had slipped down and couldn't be retrieved.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment...sion-headlines
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post #5083 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: MONDAY
An Appealing Just Legal

With Thoughts on Kitchen Confidential, "Surface" and How I Met Your Mother

Roger Catlin Hartford Courant

Though it's not likely to rank among TV's great law shows, the new "Just Legal" (The WB, 9 PM ET/PT) has an easy familiarity that makes it appealing.

Amid a field of shows that move forward as dryly as a legal brief, led by attorneys who more resemble well-dressed robots (or, as in "Boston Legal" and "Head Cases," robots gone haywire) the new drama offers an unlikely pair of lawyers at opposite ends of their careers.

Don Johnson returns to series TV as a grizzled lawyer past his prime and way past his ethics; Jay Baruchel ("Undeclared"), the whiz kid new to law, has to explain at every turn that it really is legal to practice law in California at age 18. His gumption clashes with Johnson's cynicism, but they're fun to watch in a series that succeeds by not taking itself too seriously.

Sure beats the other major new network drama starting tonight.

"Surface" (NBC, 8 PM ET/PT) is another of those alien-invasion shows booked after the success of "Lost," this one with unidentified creatures emerging from under water. The longer they're unidentified, the better - the mystery is the life support of these shows. For now, only three people are affected so far: a kid who brings something home to his aquarium, another who lost a pal while fishing and the third a beautiful oceanographer played by Lake Bell. They don't get far in finding out what it's all about tonight. You won't either.

Also New Tonight

For being the No. 1 network, CBS certainly doesn't have a steady hand at developing comedies. "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 8:30 PM ET/PT) comes close, with some appealing characters, but it also has some pretty off-putting banter and a twist in the pilot that proves the show isn't completely predictable yet. It's better than the network's other new offering, which plays like a way station for temporarily unemployed cast actors. Stockard Channing, Henry Winkler and Christopher Gorham all star in "Out of Practice" (CBS, 9:30 PM ET/PT), which is about a crumbling family of doctors who bicker at one another.

There is hope among sitcoms, though, with Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" (Fox, 8:30 p.m.), a sassy serialization of a tell-all book about behind the scenes at an eatery. The show works well with the network's recent successful reality series "Hell's Kitchen" even as it introduces a strong ensemble cast, led by Bradley Cooper, recently of "Wedding Crashers."

Returning Tonight

Harry Winkler has the distinction of being in both the best and worst network comedies tonight. Besides starring in the aforementioned "Out of Practice," he turns in another brief, but memorable role as the lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn in "Arrested Development" (Fox, 8 p.m.). The high-flying series, still the best comedy on network TV, picks up on its new night where last season left off, with cousins George-Michael and Maeby all uncomfortable after their kiss, the elder Bluth still on the loose, after taking the Blue Man Group slot coveted by Tobias and an ongoing gambit about being left behind for a fishing trip that affects just about everybody.

With the Emmys over, today is the official start of the new fall TV season, if you haven't noticed.

That means the new season starts for the comedies "The King of Queens" (CBS, 8 p.m.) on a new day, "One on One" (UPN, 8 p.m.), "All of Us" (UPN, 8:30 p.m.), "Girlfriends" (UPN, 9 p.m.) and "Half & Half" (UPN, 9:30 p.m.) as well as new episodes of "Las Vegas" (NBC, 9 p.m.), "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 10 p.m.) and "Medium" (NBC, 10 p.m.).

By starting its 10th season tonight, "7th Heaven" (The WB, 8 p.m.) surpasses both "The Waltons" and "Little House on the Prairie" as TV's longest-running family drama. Tonight's season premiere is also its 200th episode. All I can think about is how old Ruthie is nowadays.

http://www.ctnow.com/tv/hce-tveye091...hce-utility-tv
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post #5084 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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THE EMMYS
'Lost' and 'Raymond' Garner Top Emmys
By JACQUES STEINBERG The New York Times September 19, 2005

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 18 - "Lost," the mysterious drama about castaway life on a Pacific island after a plane crash, and "Everybody Loves Raymond," the comedy about a dysfunctional family that ended its nine-year run in May, were honored as the top series on television Sunday night during the 57th annual prime-time Emmy Awards.

"Lost," which helped revive the fortunes of ABC, was honored as top drama, and "Raymond," which leaves a hole in the CBS lineup, received the Emmy for best comedy, beating out another new ABC show, the dark satire "Desperate Housewives."

If those selections might have been predicted, though, many others qualified as surprises on a night when no program or network could be characterized as decisively dominant. Patricia Arquette, who plays the medium on "Medium" on NBC, won for best actress in a drama, her first such honor, beating out Glenn Close of "The Shield" and Frances Conroy of "Six Feet Under," as well as Jennifer Garner of "Alias" and Mariska Hargitay of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

The award for best actor on a comedy went to Tony Shalhoub, who portrays a lovably neurotic detective on "Monk" on USA. In winning the second Emmy of his career for the role, he beat out Ray Romano of "Raymond," Eric McCormack of "Will & Grace," Jason Bateman of "Arrested Development" and Zach Braff of "Scrubs."

"Boston Legal," the spinoff of "The Practice" on ABC, won two major awards, for James Spader (best actor in a drama) and William Shatner (best supporting actor). Each had won an Emmy before.

One of the biggest questions hovering over Sunday evening's ceremony concerned how the host, Ellen DeGeneres, would acknowledge the death and devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina while still giving Hollywood license to poke fun at itself.

Moments after stepping onstage at the Shrine Auditorium here, Ms. DeGeneres addressed the puzzle head on. Wearing a magnolia - the state flower of Louisiana and Mississippi - on her right lapel, Ms. DeGeneres said, "New Orleans is my hometown, and I have family in Mississippi."

Then, after acknowledging that it was the second time she had been host of the Emmys after a national disaster - the first was after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 - she said, "It's times like this we really, really need laughter."

And with that, the tone of the evening was set. Lest there be any doubt, Ms. DeGeneres was soon followed by the sight of Donald Trump in denim overalls and straw hat, pitchfork in hand, singing a duet of the "Green Acres" theme with Megan Mullally of "Will & Grace" as the first entry in a running tribute to television themes called "Emmy Idol." (The pair won, as voted by viewers.) Mr. Shatner had been among those who challenged Mr. Trump in the "Emmy Idol" competition by performing a duet, of sorts, with the mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade of the theme from - what else? - "Star Trek," the show that made him a star.

The surprises had begun early in the evening. Brad Garrett of "Everybody Loves Raymond," who had won the award for best supporting actor in a comedy twice before, was acknowledged again, beating out Jeremy Piven, who had captivated Hollywood insiders with his dead-on portrayal of the talent agent Ari on HBO's "Entourage." Doris Roberts, who plays Marie, the smothering mother of Mr. Garrett's character, Robert, won the award for best supporting actress in a comedy. It was her fifth Emmy.

Like "Desperate Housewives" itself, the Emmy voters had pitted three of its female stars - Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman - against one another in the category of lead actress in the comedy category. Ms. Huffman won. (The academy had left out the show's two other co-stars, Eva Longoria and Nicollette Sheridan, in favor of Patricia Heaton of "Raymond" and Jane Kaczmarek of "Malcolm in the Middle.")

Blythe Danner won her first Emmy, for supporting actress in a drama, for "Huff" on Showtime.

"The Daily Show," Jon Stewart's irreverent fake-news show on Comedy Central, won two awards, including best variety, music or comedy series. "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," an HBO movie, won three awards early in the ceremony, including one for Geoffrey Rush as best actor. J. J. Abrams, a creator of "Lost," won for his direction of the ABC drama.

All told in ceremonies on camera and off, HBO received 27 awards; ABC, 16; CBS, 11; and NBC, 10, tying it with PBS. The Emmy Awards, which are voted on by writers, actors, directors and other members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, often serve as a telescope trained on the changing order of the television universe. The 57th ceremony was no exception, and not just in terms of the awards bestowed.

A somber David Letterman, in an appearance that had not been announced in advance, spoke at length about the impact of Johnny Carson, both on his own career and on American life. "Every night in four different decades, Johnny Carson put Americans to bed, making them feel a little better about how the day had been and perhaps even making it splendid," he said.

The broadcast also featured a tribute to the three anchors who dominated television news for two decades: Tom Brokaw of NBC and Dan Rather of CBS, who stepped down in December and March, respectively, and Peter Jennings of ABC, who died last month. Mr. Brokaw and Mr. Rather then appeared and received an extended standing ovation, after which they lauded both Mr. Jennings and television's coverage of the hurricane.

"Raymond" was recognized with 13 nominations, including one for each of its stars and co-stars. Only Peter Boyle has never won for his work on the show.

The academy gave even more comedy nominations, 15, to "Will & Grace," which will depart NBC's schedule next spring and is arguably the last in a line of smart, urbane NBC sitcoms that began with "Cheers" and continued with "Seinfeld," "Frasier" and "Friends."

But however much the academy may have tipped its cap to the old, it also recognized the new.

"Lost," which helped vault ABC's prime-time ratings by fusing elements of the film "Cast Away," "Survivor," "The Twilight Zone" and even a dash of "Gilligan's Island," had received 12 nominations, including two for supporting actors - Naveen Andrews and Terry O'Quinn. (They lost to Mr. Shatner.) "Desperate Housewives," the dark comedy about suburban scheming and sexual restlessness that was another new pillar of ABC's comeback strategy, received 15 nominations, tying with "Will & Grace" for the most for a network program. In the category of best drama series, two HBO series, "Six Feet Under," which concluded this summer after five seasons, and "Deadwood," which just completed its second outing, were up against "24" on Fox, "The West Wing" on NBC and the eventual winner, "Lost."

For best comedy, "Raymond" had been challenged by "Desperate," "Will & Grace" "Arrested Development" on Fox and "Scrubs" on NBC.

This year, two HBO movies tied as the most-nominated shows, "Peter Sellers" and "Warm Springs," each with 16 nominations. "Warm Springs" was named best made-for-television movie.
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post #5085 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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THE EMMYS
'Lost' and 'Everybody Loves Raymond' top winners at Emmys
"Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman wins lead comedy actress award.

By Scott Collins and Susan King, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

Old favorites and veteran performers won the hearts and many of the top awards at TV's 57th Annual Emmy Awards on Sunday, although voters still found room to reward "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives," the two new hit series that helped rescue ABC from the ratings cellar last season.

Television viewers heard the ring of familiar names throughout the evening, as voters dispensed awards to the likes of Jane Alexander, Blythe Danner, William Shatner and Paul Newman as well as repeat winners such as Doris Roberts and James Spader.

"Lost," the ensemble drama about a group of plane-crash survivors on a mysterious Pacific island, won for best drama series, as well as for direction. Felicity Huffman won for best actress in a comedy for her role in "Desperate Housewives," but the show, a fan favorite, was upset in the best comedy series category by CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond," which ended its nine-year-run in May.

After winning the award, "Raymond" creator Phil Rosenthal joked, "It's nice to remember the elderly. Thanks. We're grateful and shocked." "Raymond" cast members Roberts and Brad Garrett picked up their fourth and third respective Emmys for their supporting work.

ABC's performance was astonishing, given that the network was considered creatively moribund only one year ago, with "Monday Night Football" its highest-rated program. Including last week's Creative Arts awards, ABC earned 16 Emmys, second only to perennial Emmy leader HBO, which won 27. In perhaps the most closely watched race, Huffman of "Housewives" vaulted past her more glamorous co-stars, Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross.

HBO took an early lead at the ceremony, telecast from the Shrine Auditorium on CBS and hosted by daytime TV host Ellen DeGeneres for the first time since the twice-delayed post-9/11 broadcast in 2001. The premium cable network's original biopics "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" and "Warm Springs," about Franklin D. Roosevelt's battle with polio, each won multiple prizes.

But with critical favorite "The Sopranos" taking a hiatus this year and therefore ineligible for Emmy consideration, HBO found itself in a weaker position than years past. The network's best series performance came from its dark, revisionist western "Deadwood," which netted five technical awards.

But "Deadwood" was not able to surge in the major categories. Actor Ian McShane, who previously won a Golden Globe award for his critically acclaimed performance as the foul-mouthed, ruthless saloon keeper Al Swearengen, lost out to Spader, who plays the ethically challenged attorney Alan Shore on ABC's "Boston Legal." Spader won last year for playing the same character on the network's series "The Practice." Spader's co-star Shatner also won his second Emmy in a row for his role as the eccentric attorney Denny Crane.

HBO did much better in the long-form Emmy categories, thanks to its heavy investment in the format, which used to be dominated by broadcast network movies-of-the-week.

Oscar-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush ("Shine") won his first Emmy for playing Sellers, the tormented comic actor known for his roles in "Dr. Strangelove" and as Inspector Clouseau in the "Pink Panther" comedies. Rush earlier won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for his performance.

Stephen Hopkins of "Sellers" also won for best direction of a miniseries or movie. And writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely won for their "Sellers" script.

"Warm Springs" was named best made-for-TV movie, and veteran actress Alexander picked up the supporting actress award for her role as Roosevelt's mother. Alexander was nominated 28 years ago for playing Eleanor Roosevelt in the TV miniseries "Eleanor and Franklin."

On Sunday, Alexander paid onstage tribute to the Roosevelts: "They were great leaders at a time when our nation needed great leaders."

HBO's star-laden miniseries "Empire Falls" also earned an outstanding supporting actor Emmy for Newman, the 80-year-old movie icon. Following his longtime habit, Newman did not attend the awards.

"Law & Order" regular S. Epatha Merkerson won her first Emmy for best actress in a miniseries or movie for HBO's "Lackawanna Blues." Merkerson ran to the stage tugging at her decolletage. "I actually wrote something ... and it went down [my dress] and I can't get it," the embarrassed actress told the crowd.

In addition to Huffman, "Housewives" took a prize for Charles MacDougall's direction of the pilot. But the comedy writing prize went, for the second year, to Fox's "Arrested Development," which has struggled in the ratings despite winning the best comedy statuette last year.

Another repeat winner, this time in the comedy acting category, was Tony Shalhoub, who took home his second Emmy for the title role as an obsessive-compulsive detective in USA's "Monk." Addressing his rivals from the stage, Shalhoub joked: "There's always a next year ... except for Ray Romano."

More surprising was Patricia Arquette's victory for best drama actress in NBC's midseason sleeper "Medium." Playing a woman who helps authorities solve crimes by communing with the dead, Arquette faced difficult competition, including Glenn Close in "The Shield," Frances Conroy in "Six Feet Under" and Jennifer Garner in "Alias."

Emmy voters gave a nod to "House," the Fox medical drama that became a surprise hit last winter when it followed "American Idol." David Shore won a writing award for the series, thanking title actor Hugh Laurie "for making me look like a better writer than I am."

For the third year in a row, CBS' "The Amazing Race" blazed past its unscripted rivals, this time in the reality competition category.

"The Lost Prince," a historical drama that ran on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre," won for best miniseries. The last time "Masterpiece Theatre" won in the category was eight years ago, for "Prime Suspect 5."

The Emmy telecast contained a few references to the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war. But often the show stressed the silly, including a send-up of "American Idol" that featured some unlikely singers belting out renditions of classic TV tunes, including an overall-clad Donald Trump and "Will & Grace's" Megan Mullally performing the theme from the 1960s sitcom "Green Acres." Shatner also joined mezzo soprano Frederica von Stade to sing the theme from "Star Trek," the '60s sci-fi series that made Shatner a household name.

But the few political references did stand out. Veteran actress Danner, winning her first Emmy for a supporting role in Showtime's drama "Huff," paid tribute to her late husband, producer-director Bruce Paltrow, saying, "I know Bruce would want me to pay tribute to New Orleans, his favorite city, and all the Gulf Coast and our kids in Iraq. Let's get the heck out of there."

Several presenters and winners also wore magnolias on their lapels and couture gowns in support of the victims of the hurricane.

Jon Stewart whose "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" on Comedy Central won for writing and for best variety, music or comedy program got one of the biggest crowd reactions with a bit that criticized government officials for their response to Hurricane Katrina but censored out the many presumed expletives and insults.

"When I first said that I wanted to put together a late-night comedy writing team that would only be 80% Ivy League-educated Jews, people thought I was crazy," Stewart joked on accepting the writing prize. "They said you need 90%, 95%, but we proved them wrong."

The ceremony often took a somber turn, as when a surprisingly subdued David Letterman turned up to pay tribute to his longtime idol Johnny Carson, the former "Tonight Show" host who died in January.

Tom Brokaw, former anchor of "NBC Nightly News," and Dan Rather, who retired this year as anchor of "CBS Evening News," received a standing ovation from the crowd and paid tribute to "ABC World News Tonight" anchor Peter Jennings, who died Aug. 7.

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post #5086 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
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THE EMMYS
You Can't Spell Emmy Without 'Me'

By John Eggerton bcbeat.com

Since you can't spell Emmy without "m" and "y" and m" and e" here are my impressions about how the Emmy awards broadcast struck me. Think of it as a sort of sleepy writers' notebook.

These observations and a fivespot will get you a double latte, but here goes:

Last night's awards seemed to be as much about the past as they were the future.

The best comedy was not Desperate Housewives, but Everybody Loves Raymond, which ended its network run after nine seasons. The show also picked up best supporting actor and actress nods.

The biggest hand was not for Emmy winners, but a valedictory standing ovation for evening news anchors Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw (and the late Peter Jennings in absentia).

The longest speech was not by one of the many surprised-and-humbled-but-grateful or cocky-but-caring winners, but by funnyman David Letterman introducing a montage saluting the late Johnny Carson....

Maybe it was just me, but the show seemed sedate, and, despite the sparkler wielded by host Ellen DeGeneres at one point, pretty sparkle-free.

The dresses were black; the tribute to Carson, with Letterman being superserious and perhaps a tad long in his intro; the poigniant absence of Jennings; the Katrina relief pitches.

It all added up to a "let's just get on with it pace" that made for few high points.

One of mine was S. Epatha Merkerson, who won for Lackawana Blues but grasped for something to say after conceding she had stored her speech in the top of her dress only to have it migrate southward and out of reach.

The "Emmy Idol" may have once been a good idea, but it seemed to lack in execution, although the right pair prevailed. Donald Trump and Megan Mulalley doing the Green Acres theme got the strongest applause and wound up winning among the four theme songs performed by TV stars.

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post #5087 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
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'Extreme' tragedy

By MICHELLE CARUSO New York Daily News

LOS ANGELES - The producers of "Extreme Makeover" promised Deleese Williams "a Cinderella-like" fix for a deformed jaw, crooked teeth, droopy eyes and tiny boobs that would "transform her life and destiny."

But when the ABC reality show dumped the Texas mom the night before the life-changing plastic surgeries, it shattered her family's dream and triggered her sister Kellie McGee's suicide, says a bombshell lawsuit filed in L.A. Superior Court.

As part of the premakeover hype, producers coaxed McGee and other family members to trash Williams' looks on videotape, the suit alleges. When they suddenly pulled the plug on the project, and the promised "Hollywood smile like Cindy Crawford," a guilt-ridden McGee fell apart.

"Kellie could not live with the fact that she had said horrible things that hurt her sister. She fell to pieces. Four months later, she ended her life with an overdose of pills, alcohol and cocaine," said Wesley Cordova, a lawyer for Williams.

"This family is shredded. There is a human cost to this," Cordova said.

Williams, 30, and her husband, Mike, are raising McGee's two children, along with two kids of their own. The suit seeks unspecified money damages for breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other offenses.

"Deleese is so hurt and humiliated, she won't leave the house now. She grocery shops at midnight," Cordova says.

ABC declined to comment on the allegations.

The show announcing Williams' selection for a mega makeover had already aired on Jan. 7, 2004, when the producers abruptly dropped her because the dental surgeon told them her recovery time would be longer than expected, Cordova said.

Williams was alone in a Los Angeles hotel room reading her pre-op instructions when a producer showed up and dashed her dream of a new life with a "pretty" face, the suit alleges.

"You will not be getting an extreme makeover after all. . . . Nothing. It doesn't fit in our time frame. You will have to go back to Texas tomorrow," the suit alleges she was coldly told.

Williams broke down sobbing: "How can I go back as ugly as I left? I was supposed to come home pretty," the suit says.

The 31-page complaint begins with the line "Deleese Williams is considered ugly."

It details a horrendous tale of pain and humiliation that began when she applied for the reality show in December 2003 and had to submit a "full body shot" video showing "all of the body parts that need help."

For years, Williams' friends and family "didn't notice or pretended not to notice" her homely looks, but once she got picked for the show, they were coached to focus on nothing but her physical flaws, the suit says.

In McGee's taped interview, she tried to play up her sister's good points. But the hard-nosed producers "peppered Kellie with questions about her childhood with the ugly Deleese . . . and repeatedly put words in her mouth," the suit says.

To please the producers, Williams' mother-in-law also laid it on thick. "She said things like 'I never believed my son would marry such an ugly woman.' " Cordova says.

The family's comments never aired on TV, but Williams, who was in an adjoining room, heard them all.

The experience ruined her family life.

"Now that she returned in the same condition in which she left, there were no secrets, no hidden feelings, no reward," the suit says.

McGee's "guilt was overwhelming." She OD'd on May 25, 2004, four months after the show's producers sent her sister packing.

"These programs are cheap to produce - there are no actors or screenwriters to pay. But there is a very high human cost," Cordova said.
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post #5088 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

THE EMMYS
Complete list of winners announced Sunday night:

Actress, drama series
Patricia Arquette, "Medium," NBC

Writing, drama series
David Shore, "House (Three Stories)," Fox

I scored about 35% on the one's I picked.

I was especially happy to see the two above win. Arquette was fantastic all season long with a role that must have been very difficult to pull off and be close to being believable. That particular episode of House was an instant classic IMO and I believe it will stand up well years from now, truly a cut above.
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post #5089 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 11:39 PM
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I didn't want to get specific until you posted your updates on the winners. I was referring to the Raymond wins. It just seems that in a year when network television has obviously had a bit of a revival, giving Raymond all these awards based on nostalgia makes it seem like voters are out of touch, or at least more so than usual.

My complaint is that Raymond beat Arrested Development for the best comedy series. I thought Desperate Housewives would win (even though it's a drama), and could have lived with that. But seeing a show that's been well past its prime for years beat what I feel is the best sitcom (I know you're not an AR fan) since Seinfeld is pretty annoying.

Normally I'm not an award show guy, but I'm sure AR would've been canceled had it not won the Emmy last year. Since I doubt it's ratings will improve, and now not winning the Emmy, I'm scared Fox will axe the show after this year.

I know I shouldn't get worked up over TV, but I can't remember ever being this excited about a new TV season. As always, I appreciate your hard work on running this excellent thread and look forward to reading your thoughts on the Emmy results.

Edit: Completely forgot the biggest slight. Ian McShane losing to James Spader.
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post #5090 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree on both counts, Jim, and was also delighted to see the Olympic Opening Ceremonies get honored.

There were a few winners, though, as Tabasco noted, which seemed (to be very charitable) to be a bit odd.
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post #5091 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words, Tabasco.

I share your feeling about "Raymond". What a shameful waste of a vote for the various winners from that show.

Yes, they did nine seasons, and a number of them were pretty good TV, but to give the awards this year would have been laughable if it weren't so foolish.

Personally, I am not a big AR fan, but certainly could have understood if it won. How DH didn't -- given its impact on TV and even society as a whole -- leaves me without a clue.

(Which, based on a lot of the results announced last night, makes me about even with a great number of Emmy voters.)

One thing to remember in these days of greater media consolidation: there has been some grumbling in the past about pack voting either for fellow network shows or fellow production house programs.

And now that the networks own their own production houses, I would have to assume the pressure to do something to help your company's bottom line has only increased.

edit: I would have picked Hugh Laurie for best actor in a drama, but Spader would have ranked fifth on my list.
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post #5092 of 25503 Old 09-18-2005, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
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In case you neglected to keep score.....

THE EMMYS
Sunday's Award Totals

Networks (16)
ABC 6
CBS 5
Fox 2
NBC 2
PBS 1

Basic Cable (3)
Comedy Central 2
USA Network 1

Pay Cable (9)
HBO 8
Showtime 1
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post #5093 of 25503 Old 09-19-2005, 07:17 AM
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Comcast Spending $6 Mil. on HD Campaign
September 19, 2005
By John Consoli

Cable giant Comcast is spending an estimated $6 million on a television ad campaign on ABC's Monday Night Football, which began on Sept. 12 and will continue with spots in each game throughout the regular season.

The move represents the first time a cable operator has promoted its services on a broadcast network in prime time. The campaign touts the quality of high definition telecasts on Comcast systems, and includes a 10-second spot just prior to kickoff, promoting the cable operator as a sponsor of MNF's HD telecast, and a first-half :30.

Marvin Davis, senior vp of marketing for Comcast, said now that the cable operator reaches 40 percent of U.S. cable households, noting we have enough of a critical mass reach where it economically makes sense to run a national broadcast campaign. He would not comment on the cost of the HD campaign.

Even though cable and broadcast do battle on many fronts, Ed Erhardt, president of ESPN/ABC Sports Customer Marketing and Sales, said the campaign was accepted because it touts HDTV's benefits. We are in agreement that high definition is an important initiative, and that is the message in their campaign, Erhardt said.

Davis said the campaign is designed to motivate current Comcast analog subscribers to step up to a digital/HD package, and to convince nonsubscribers that Comcast offers more and better HD programming than the satellite TV services. ABC will run nine different regional feeds of the ads, which allows Comcast to offer local phone numbers for interested viewers to call.

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post #5094 of 25503 Old 09-19-2005, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Networks Get a Jump on the Fall Season

By A.J. Frutkin MediaWeek.com September 19, 2005

With more than a dozen new and returning shows premiering last week, several networks got a jump on the fall season's official launch. The results were generally positive: Both Fox and the WB drew strong ratings for their Tuesday night lineups, while NBC Universal's strip Martha got off to a solidif not spectacularstart.

The week's most notable ratings were for Fox's Tuesday 8 p.m. launch on Sept. 13 of crime show Bones, followed by the second-season return of House at 9 p.m. Bones drew 10.8 million viewers, and scored a 3.9/11 among adults 18-49. House logged 15.9 million viewers, with a 5.9/15 in the demo. Preston Beckman, executive vp of strategic program planning at Fox, said House's strong return proved that the show no longer needed American Idol as a lead-in. We knew when the training wheels came off, it would do just fine, he said.

The WB's Tuesday night pairing of Gilmore Girls and new thriller Supernatural defied critics' early predictions that the two shows may not be compatible. Gilmore drew 6.2 million viewers, and scored a 3.1/10 among its target audience of adults 18-34.

Supernatural retained almost 84 percent of that key demographic, scoring a 2.6/7 in it, and drawing 5.7 million viewers.

After a lackluster summer at the network, WB entertainment president David Janollari said Tuesday's original fare was a great way to turn the lights back on for the season.

Also on Tuesday, NBC launched a second cycle of The Biggest Loser. The 90-minute premiere drew 7.8 million viewers, and a 3.3/9 among adults 18-49 (good enough for second place in the key demo). But with the heavily hyped comedy My Name Is Earl launching in the 9 p.m. slot Sept. 20, several advertisers said Loser may not serve as much of a lead-in.

Part of NBC's strategy this season was to get out of the gate strong at 8 p.m., said Laura Caraccioli-Davis, senior vp/director of Starcom Entertainment. [Loser] could put the network at a disadvantage. Several other launches proved disappointing as well, including Fox's Sept. 14 premiere of Wednesday show Head Cases, which drew 6.2 million viewers and scored a 2.3/6 among adults 18-49.

Last week's top-ranked debut likely will be CBS' Thursday premiere of Survivor: Guatemala, which on Sept. 15 drew 17.8 million viewers and a 6.4/19 in adults 18-49, according to fast affiliate ratings. Those numbers are down from a year ago when Survivor: Vanuatu's premiere drew 20 million viewers and a 7.8/22.

Also of note was Fox's Monday night broadcast of Prison Break. In its third week out, and up against ABC's dominant season premiere of Monday Night Football (Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles), the action drama drew 9.2 million viewers, and a 4.5/11 among adults 18-49.
Of the three new syndication launches last weekNBCU's Martha, Warner Bros.' Tyra, and Twentieth TV's Judge AlexMartha premiered to the strongest numbers, logging a four-day average household rating of 2.2/7. Given the publicity surrounding star Martha Stewart's recent legal woes, some analysts suggested Martha's ratings should have been higher. But NBCU execs remain content. It's a better business as a 3 or 4 rating, said Barry Wallach, president of NBCU domestic TV distribution. But at a 2, [Martha] will be around for a long time to come.

[urlhttp://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/recent_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001138541[/url]
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post #5095 of 25503 Old 09-19-2005, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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MediaWeek's Mr. Television Column
Season Opener

By Marc Berman MediaWeek.com September 19, 2005

TV viewers, start your tivos. after a summer flooded with nonscripted fare, I am ecstatic that the new TV season is about to begin. This week alone we'll see 17 series premieres, 40 season premieres, the return of Cybill Shepherd as Martha Stewart, and Kelly Monaco and John O'Hurley

facing off once again in ABC's Dancing With the Stars: Dance-Off. With so much to choose from, let me make a few viewing suggestions.

Let's start with Monday and the return of Fox's critically acclaimed, but minimally sampled Arrested Development. While it's unlikely the relocated Emmy-winning comedy will catch on opening the week, we can be grateful Fox is giving us at least one more year. And this season, the center of the Bluth insanity (Jason Bateman) will get some lovin' from Academy Award winner Charlize Theron.

Although I can't say I don't like Fox's Kitchen Confidential Monday at 8:30 p.m., CBS' competing, youth-drenched How I Met Your Mother is a better option, even if grating former Doogie Howser star Neil Patrick Harris is present. After can't-miss Two and a Half Men on CBS Monday at 9 p.m., my suggestion is to skip new CBS comedy Out Of Practice (I hope Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing kept their options open on Arrested Development and The West Wing) and head to Fox for the second half of the over-the-top, but still addictive, Prison Break. This could be the water-cooler show of the season.

Unless you're a fan of Monday Night Football (and don't forget, this is the last season ABC is airing it), it's a toss-up at 10 p.m. between CBS' veteran CSI: Miami and NBC's midseason surprise hit Medium. My suggestion: Tivo one and watch the other (or TiVo both if that's your style). Medium's Patricia Arquette is far more believable talking to dead people than Jennifer Love Hewitt is on CBS' upcoming Ghost Whisperer.

Fans of the WB's Gilmore Girls should not miss the show this season. I saw the first two episodes, and it's time Emmy took notice. I also applaud new Tuesday at 9 p.m. occupants Commander in Chief on ABC, and My Name is Earl on NBC. While I don't expect ratings to sizzle, in a sea of crime dramas and supernatural thrillers both are distinctive. If you're not addicted to the competing Amazing Race on CBS or House on Fox, give either new series a shot.

On Wednesday at 9 p.m., there's one place to be: ABC. That's when the season-premiere of Lost, arguably the best drama on TV, begins. I don't think I could wait another minute to find out what the heck is in that hatchthe best cliffhanger ending since ol' J.R. was shot on Dallas more than 20 years ago!

If you are bored with forensic crime solving, skip 10 p.m. shows Law & Order on NBC and CSI: NY on CBS, and check out ABC for Thriller, the one new science-fiction drama of the six debuting that will really suck you in (and scare the hell out of you).

While nothing would ever make me miss Survivor on Thursday, I will make sure to tape (am I the last person on Earth without TiVo?) the Chris Rock-narrated sitcom Everybody Hates Chris on UPN, which has the most buzz of any new series this season.

Although Alias, Smallville and Everwood have moved to Thursday, CBS' Survivor and CSI should not lose any sleep. Unless you're a die-hard fan of NBC's ERthe addition of Tony winner John Leguizamo is worth samplingCBS is your best bet on Thursday, and that includes the underrated Without A Trace at 10 p.m.

After a long week of work, ABC's relocated Supernanny at 8 p.m., followed by the addition of Three Wishes, a wish-fulfillment show hosted by Amy Grant on NBC at 9 p.m., are the sort of mindless entertainment people need on a Friday night. And 20/20 on ABC at 10 p.m. is still a worthy way to cap off the week, despite the absence of Barbara Walters.

I won't even bother to discuss Saturdaywhy should I if the Big 3 refuse to program on the evening? Instead I'll head to Sunday for 60 Minutes at 7 p.m.still a strong show as it begins its 37th seasonfollowed by ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. Although NBC coined the phrase "must-see TV," ABC owns the rights to it on Sunday from 8 to 11 p.m.

My one hope is that Desperate Housewives does not burn out this season. The danger of being hot one season is that expectations can be unrealistic for the next. If Housewives can maintain its edgy, dark comedy, and restrain itself from going over the top, the ground-breaking series could live for years.
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post #5096 of 25503 Old 09-19-2005, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Hurricane Katrina Whips Up Spectrum Storm in D.C.

By Todd Shields MediaWeek.com September 19, 2005

Hearst-Argyle Television senior vp for news Fred Young has a message for the rising chorus of officials telling TV broadcasters to move, and soon, off the spectrum they've used for decades: Look at the example of WDSU in New Orleans, and think about whether it's smart to take away TV signals that are a lifeline for many people.

Beginning two days before Hurricane Katrina laid waste to the city, the Hearst-Argyle NBC affiliate preempted all normal programming with bulletins about the approaching storm and how to survive it. There were no car races, there were no sitcoms, no movies, no golfnothing associated with television in the traditional sense, Young told federal regulators on Sept. 15. Even after rising waters knocked WDSU off the air, staff fed a Web site that garnered 25 million page hits over several days. The role that we play may not be fully understood by those who advocate premature return of the analog spectrum, Young said.

Premature is not the word on the minds of some, notwithstanding Young's presentation to the Federal Communications Commission, which met in Atlanta to mull lessons of Katrina. As the agency decided to set up its own bureau for public safety and homeland security, officials elsewhere were lining up to point at communications failures afflicting emergency workers responding to Katrina. A solution has long been mooted, but never enacted: Finish TV's move onto the digital spectrum and use part of the vacated analog spectrum for emergency workers. It all had a frustratingly familiar ring for Thomas Kean, who headed the 9/11 Commission that concluded communications shortfalls hampered rescue operations during the attacks in 2001.

It is a scandal that four years after 9/11 we have not yet set aside spectrum to ensure reliable communications during attacks or disasters, Kean told a Washington news conference on Sept. 14. We cannot go through this again. If Congress does not act, people will die.

Some in Congress appear ready. What level of crisis must we endure before we act? said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) from the Senate floor on Sept. 13. Some congressional leaders have proposed ending analog TV broadcasts by 2009; McCain called for a switch by Jan. 1, 2007. He'll get support from the likes of Kean, who called 2009 totally unacceptable.

Broadcasters are loath to publicly oppose the notion of hustling spectrum over to first responders. But they worry about losing chunks of their audiencethe 21 million households who rely on over-the-air reception and would need new equipment to receive digital signals. Many of those people are not prosperous, like those stuck in New Orleans during Katrina. We make the point that broadcasters play a critical role in times of peril, said Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters. Broadcasters are undoubtedly a lifeline service.

That notion should soon get a test before Congress, where lawmakers deluged with Katrina legislation have given themselves an extra month, until mid-October, for key budget votes. Legislation could set a date for the digital TV conversion so budgeteers can count on the billions of dollars to be reaped by auctioning analog spectrum to high-tech companies. An early indication of lawmakers' eagerness could come Sept. 22 when the Senate Commerce Committee gathers to consider communications lessons left by Katrina.

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/rec..._id=1001138525
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post #5097 of 25503 Old 09-19-2005, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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(From Marc Berman's Programming Insider column of Monday, September 19, 2005 at Mediaweek.com)
New Program Descriptions:

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER - comedy
Narrated through flashbacks from the future, a family man (Josh Radnor) looks back on his single life and how he fell in love and ultimately got married. With Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segal, Cobie Smulders and former Doogie Howser star Neil Patrick Harris.

OUT OF PRACTICE -comedy
A family of physicians (including Henry The Fonz Winker and West Wing star Stockard Channing) share the same profession but have very little else in common.

SURFACE - science fiction drama
A variety of individuals including a family in San Diego, naval officers in the South Antarctic Sea, scientists from the Oceanographic Institute, and fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico encounter not-so-innocent creatures living under the sea. The ensemble cast includes Lake Bell (Boston Legal), Jay R. Ferguson (Judging Amy), Rade Serbedzija (Snatch), and Carter Jenkins (CSI: NY).

KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL - sitcom
After hitting rock bottom a young chef (Bradley Cooper) lands a job as the head chef at a top New York restaurant. Based on chef Anthony Bourdain's best-selling autobiography.

JUST LEGAL - drama
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer shifts gears in this light legal drama with Don Johnson as a down-in-his-luck ambulance chaser who tries to mentor a young and brilliant legal prodigy (Million Dollar Baby's Jay Baruchel).

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/newslett...ider/index.jsp
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(From Marc Berman's Programming Insider column of Monday, September 19, 2005 at Mediaweek.com)
The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards:

And the Winners Were...

On a night of multiple surprises at the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, HBO remained the most honored network for the third consecutive year, with 27 wins. First among the broadcast networks, and second overall, was ABC with 16 wins, followed by CBS with 11, and NBC with 10. PBS tied NBC at 10 trophies, followed by Cartoon Network (7), Fox (6), Comedy Central and Showtime (3 each), Nickelodeon (2), and one apiece for A&E, Discovery Channel, Hallmark and USA. The most honored program of the evening was original HBO movie, The Life and Times of Peter Sellers, with 9 Emmys, including Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

ABC's Lost and Desperate Housewives scored the most Emmy wins of any broadcast network series, with 6 apiece, followed by HBO's Deadwood and made-for television movie Warm Springs at 5 each.

Although ABC's Desperate Housewives was considered a lock for Outstanding Comedy Series, the final season of CBS' Everybody Loves Raymond pulled a major upset. The last comedy to win this category for its final season was ABC's Barney Miller in 1982. Raymond's Brad Garret and Doris Roberts were also named Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series for the third and fourth time, respectively.

While odds were either on Teri Hatcher or Marcia Cross of ABC's Desperate Housewives winning as Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series, co-star Felicity Huffman as harried housewife Lynette scored an unexpected victory. I'm afraid I'm become one of those dramatic actresses, said a teary eyes Huffman as she accepted her award.

Other notable surprises, and there were many, included wins by Patricia Arquette for NBC's Medium over The Shield favorite Glenn Close as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series; James Spader and William Shatner of ABC's Boston Legal repeating their wins last season and Outstanding Lead Actor and Supporting Actor in a Drama Series; and Masterpiece Theatre's The Lost Prince on PBS as Outstanding Miniseries. Two time Academy Award winner Paul Newman, who was not present, won the first Emmy of his career for his supporting turn in HBO miniseries Empire Falls.

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/newslett...ider/index.jsp
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post #5099 of 25503 Old 09-19-2005, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Sunday's network prime-time ratings have posted near the top of Latest News the first item in this thread.
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THE EMMYS
Emmys up on 'Housewives' buzz
Pulls 18.8 million viewers for CBS telecast

MediaLifeMagazine.com--- Desperate Housewives didn't win the Emmy for Best Comedy, but all the buzz over its chance to win may have helped revive the Emmys.

Last night's Ellen DeGeneres-hosted telecast on CBS averaged 18.8 million total viewers from 8-11 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, the award show's best showing since 2002.

That's based on preliminary numbers that measure time slot performance. Final ratings, which will be out tomorrow, will measure the actual ceremony's performance, though for once it stayed in the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. timeframe.

It's nearly 5 million more than the 13.96 million last year's telecast on ABC averaged, according to overnights.

That was down from 17.94 million on Fox in 2003 and 19.99 million on NBC in 2002. In 2001, the last time CBS aired the event, it averaged 17.12 million total viewers.

Whereas last year's show was relatively buzzless, this year there was tons of pre-show chatter over Housewives, ABC's rookie sensation that most expected to win Best Comedy (Everybody Loves Raymond pulled the upset).

Much of the speculation was over who would take best actress, Housewives' Marcia Cross or Teri Hatcher. But in one of the night's biggest surprises, castmate Felicity Huffman won.

Though the Emmys fared better than recent years, viewership declined steadily through the night. During the 8-8:30 p.m. half hour, CBS averaged 18.94 million viewers, which grew to 20.40 million during the 8:30-9 p.m. half hour.

But during the last half hour, the Emmys averaged 16.96 million viewers.

The telecast averaged a 6.0 rating among viewers 18-49, according to Nielsen overnights, a 27.7 percent increase over the 4.7 overnight rating ABC averaged for the Emmys last year.

The telecast also led CBS to No. 1 for the night in the demo with a 5.8 average rating and a 15 share. Fox was second for the night at 3.9/10, ABC third at 2.6/7, NBC fourth at 1.8/5 and the WB fifth at 1.3/4.

CBS swept all four primetime hours last night, starting with a 5.0 average at 7 p.m. for NFL football runover and 60 Minutes. Fox was second that hour with a 3.0 average for a repeat of The Simpsons (2.8) and the season premiere of King of the Hill (3.2) and NBC third with a 1.7 average for Dateline.

Among households, CBS led the night with an 11.8 average rating and a 19 share. NBC was second at 4.8/8, just edging ABC's and Fox's 4.7/8, with the WB fifth at 2.0/3.

A night that most thought would be a coronation of "Housewives" turned into a tribute to "Raymond." Despite a few imaginative choices in the actress categories, last night's Emmy telecast was mostly the same-old, same-old, with "Raymond" taking home three major awards and HBO leading all networks with 27 wins.

"Raymond" took Best Comedy and supporting actor and actress awards for Brad Garrett and five-time winner Doris Roberts.

The Best Comedy nod was a big surprise. ABC's "Housewives," last season's top new show, was considered a lock. But Emmy voters are long on sentiment, and in its final season, "Raymond" took its second trophy in three years.

But the Academy did deliver a few surprises, most notably in the acting categories. Felicity Huffman, who had been overshadowed by the showier performances from castmates Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross, won for her turn as a harried stay-at-home mom in "Housewives."

She seemed genuinely shocked by the win, as was Best Actress in a Drama winner Patricia Arquette ("Medium"), one of only two NBC individual winners last night.

It was still a big night for ABC, even if "Housewives" didn't deliver. As expected, "Lost" won Best Drama. Other acting surprises: "Boston Legal's" repeat victories for James Spader (Best Actor in a Drama) and William Shatner, who won Best Supporting Actor in a Drama a year after being recognized as a guest star on "The Practice."

That gave ABC 16 total Emmys, second to HBO. CBS was third with 11, including the third straight reality series nod for "Amazing Race," and NBC and PBS tied for fourth with 10.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/New...ws1monday.html
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