Hot Off The Press! The Latest Television News and Info - Page 173 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #5161 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
Networks pursue the 'super fan'
Marketers are going to extremes, and even into nightclubs,
to reach people who will talk up shows for the fall season


By Meg James Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Maria Johnson, a bank teller from Memphis, N.Y., watches TV with a devotion that borders on the religious. On Sundays, pro football plays on her family's 25-inch set from noon until night. Thursday evenings revolve around "Survivor" on CBS, so she has to tape Fox's "The O.C.," which airs during the same hour, for later viewing.

Johnson, 31, not only watches a lot but also prides herself on spreading the word to get others to tune in. She hooked her husband, Corey, on ABC's hit drama "Lost" last season and they haven't missed an episode. Johnson also talked so much about Fox's "American Idol" and CBS' "Amazing Race" that a friend at work became addicted too.

"I'm really into TV, I know what shows are on and I plan out exactly what I'm going to watch," Johnson said. "And if there's a reality show on, I have to watch it right away so I can talk about it the next day."

Johnson gives new meaning to the term TV evangelist, and lately reaching people like her has become the Holy Grail of network executives. As the 2005-06 television season officially kicks off today, the six major networks have rolled out multipronged marketing campaigns to create the buzz that drives viewership.

But this year more than ever before, those campaigns have been aimed at "super fans" a chatty, peer-influencing group that networks believe can help them win the ratings wars.

"They are the fuse that lights the firecracker, and really sets things on fire," said Lewis Goldstein, co-president of marketing for the WB network, which after two lousy seasons desperately needs to scare up a new hit.

So for "Supernatural," its new Tuesday night suspense thriller, the network which is owned by Time Warner Inc. and Tribune Co. (which publishes the Los Angeles Times) has gone beyond mere promotional ads. To reach the show's intended audience young, hip horror fans the WB installed special mirrors in about 200 nightclubs in three cities. The mirrors displayed a haunting image from the show's pilot: a terrified woman seemingly pinned to a ceiling.

The idea was simple, said the WB's other marketing president, Bob Bibb: to get people talking.

"Our best chance of success is getting the core group hooked up from the very beginning," said Bibb, who also sent "Supernatural" coffee cup sleeves to nearly 500 cafes around the country. When heated, the sleeves revealed the same spooky image of a floating woman.

This year's widespread push to try something different is fueled at least in part by a desire to mimic ABC's success last season. The network, owned by Walt Disney Co., won plenty of free publicity last year for the clever stunts it used to launch its most promising new shows.

To lure women to "Desperate Housewives," for example, the network supplied dry cleaners around the country with thousands of bags that carried the show's catchphrase: "Everyone has a little dirty laundry." To spark interest in the mysterious, trapped-on-an-island drama "Lost," ABC arranged for tiny bottles to wash ashore on beaches. Inside was a message: "Lost" could be "found" on Wednesdays.

"If you do things right, you get higher 'talk value,' " said Michael Benson, ABC's senior vice president for marketing. This season, he's at it again: to hype "Commander in Chief," a new drama starring Geena Davis as the first woman president, ABC got the U.S. Treasury to OK the circulation of an undisclosed number of dollar bills with stickers of Davis' face covering George Washington's.

"It's about creating something that you want to tell your friends about, and show your family members," Benson said, adding this caveat: "You've got to make sure it's organic to the show, original and unexpected."

This year, the networks together have spent more on marketing than ever before: $200 million, by some estimates.

In part, that expenditure is prompted by the fact that the networks are locked in a tighter-than-usual ratings race. In contrast to years past, when NBC was the undisputed leader, less than one ratings point separated the Big Four networks last season among the coveted 18- to 49-year-old demographic. As a result, the fight to pull ahead has gotten even more intense.

The battle to reach more eyeballs has also grown desperate as many people have left TV behind. This summer, network ratings plunged as millions turned to other entertainment options, including the Internet, video games and movies on DVD.

Stuart Fischoff, a media psychologist at Cal State L.A., said the decline in viewership meant the networks needed to be more creative. "What they have been doing hasn't been working," he said. "They are trying to staunch the hemorrhage."

That's where the super fans come in.

Consider "The Biggest Loser," NBC's weight-loss reality show, which began its second season last week. To ensure a strong kickoff, the network hired a firm to arrange 1,000 house parties across the country. Nearly 5,300 people showed up, some donning "Biggest Loser" T-shirts, and received gifts such as yoga mats and gym discounts.

The ratings for the 90-minute installment were solid, but not spectacular. The show averaged 7.8 million viewers. The hope, however, is that dedicated viewers will help those numbers grow.

"We are in a sense deputizing these people to help market the show," said Parker Reilly, president of House Party Inc., the firm that organized the "Biggest Loser" events. "The whole point is to find people who are obsessed with the show. We're empowering the choir to go out and spread the word."

Fox Broadcasting had the same goal when it targeted an unlikely group of proselytizers tattoo artists to promote the gritty new drama "Prison Break." The show centers on a young man who robs a bank so he can be sent to the prison where his brother sits on Death Row. Plotting escape, he has blueprints of the prison tattooed on his torso.

So Fox sent crews to about 100 tattoo parlors to give patrons a sneak peek of the show. Chris Carlisle, Fox's executive vice president for marketing, unleashed "chain gang" street teams that offered free head shaves and henna tattoos.

According to Carlisle, who in past seasons arranged private screenings for hair and nail stylists, "The best way to get your message out is word of mouth. The most important thing is to have someone [viewers] trust in their lives tell them that they have to watch a show."

Buzz has become so crucial to success that the ad-buying firm Initiative has designed a system to analyze chatter on the Internet about upcoming shows and to assess whether viewers' perceptions are positive or negative.

Stacey Lynn Koerner, an Initiative executive vice president, considers the denizens of Internet chat rooms "higher-order evangelists." To reach them, she said, "the networks need to create experiences around their core programs rather than just putting shows out there. They need to feed that experience in order to survive."

How well does any one gimmick work? It's impossible to tell. George Schweitzer, CBS marketing group president, is philosophical, calling each promotion "part of the buzz-building. It's another reminder of the show."

Or at least, it's another coffee sleeve. CBS has one to promote its new comedy, "How I Met Your Mother." "You've got your Joe," it says, "but have you met Ted?" a reference to the show's lead character. CBS also sponsored a "speed dating" event at New York's Grand Central Station and sent DVDs of the pilot episode to magazine subscribers.

Johnson, the New York bank teller, was among those who received a DVD. It worked: she's already slotted the Monday night show into her schedule.

"I would actually watch that show again," she said.

http://www.calendarlive.com/tv/ratin...l=cl-tvratings
fredfa is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #5162 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
Carat Releases Report Projecting ABC as Tops Among 18-19 Demo

By Jon Lafayette TVWeek.com September 20, 2005

Media buying firm Carat projects in a report released Tuesday that ABC will be the top-rated network among adults 18 to 49. According to the report, written by Shari Anne Brill, VP of programming, ABC will average a 4.2, followed by CBS with a 4.0, NBC with a 3.8, Fox with a 2.9, the WB with a 1.6 and UPN with a 1.5.

Ms. Brill expects eight new shows to be canceled by January. Those shows are ABC's "Night Stalker" and "Hot Properties," CBS's "Ghost Whisperer," NBC's "Inconceivable," Fox's "The War at Home" and "Killer Instinct," and UPN's "Sex, Love & Secrets" and "Love, Inc."

The top-rated shows among adults 18 to 49 will be "Desperate Housewives," "CSI," "Grey's Anatomy," "Survivor: Guatemala," and "ER." The top rated new show will be "Apprentice: Martha Stewart."

http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=8570
fredfa is offline  
post #5163 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
Emmys, 'Survivor' Lead CBS To Weekly Title

(zap2it.com)--An improved showing by the Emmy Awards and the premiere of the latest "Survivor" helped CBS win the final week of TV's offseason while the rest of the Big Four fought it out for second.

CBS averaged a 6.9 rating/12 share and 10.49 million viewers in primetime for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 18. ABC and NBC tied for second in households at 4.9/8, narrowly beating FOX's 4.7/8. FOX, however, took the No. 2 spot in viewers with 7.49 million, beating out ABC's 7.31 million and NBC's 6.89 million. The WB (2.2/4, 3.37 million) finished fifth, ahead of UPN (1.7/3, 2.55 million).

CBS also held the top spot among adults 18-49 with a 3.6 rating for the week. FOX, 3.1, was second in the ad-friendly demographic, followed by ABC, 2.7, and NBC, 2.2. The WB averaged 1.4 and UPN 1.0.

(The numbers for CBS don't include Sunday's "60 Minutes," which aired an abbreviated episode in the eastern half of the country and its full hour out West.)

The first "Monday Night Football" game of the season was the week's No. 1 show, drawing a 13.0/22 for ABC. With most of its schedule still in reruns, though, the brief "MNF" pregame show (9.9/16, fifth) was the only other ABC program in the top 20. "Wife Swap," which has the difficult task of being football's companion on the night, began its second season with a 4.5/8, tied for 43rd overall.

The Emmy Awards, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, finished second for the week at 12.5/20, a huge improvement over last year's weak performance. The awards averaged close to 18.7 million viewers, nearly 5 million more than in 2004, when they aired on then-struggling ABC. On the flip side, "Survivor: Guatemala" (10.9/18), though it finished third overall, drew its smallest premiere audience since the show's first incarnation in the summer of 2000.

FOX's "House" proved its ability to stand tall without an "American Idol" lead-in, beginning its second season in fourth place overall with a 10.0/15. New Tuesday-night companion "Bones" also cracked the top 20, tying for 14th with a 6.7/11. "Prison Break," 5.8/9, snuck in just under the wire to tie for 19th.

A couple of other premieres -- CBS' "Threshold" (5.5/10) and NBC's "The Biggest Loser" (5.3/8) -- finished not far outside the top 20, tying for 23rd and 26th, respectively. The WB's "Gilmore Girls" (4.1/7) and "Supernatural" (3.6/6) also enjoyed healthy debuts, finishing 52nd and tied for 61st overall.

UPN's top show was "Friday Night Smackdown!," which finished 80th with a 2.3/4 -- down some from its previous average on Thursday nights.

http://tv.zap2it.com/tveditorial/uti...&cntn_id=97629
fredfa is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #5164 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
(The complete listing of last week's prime time programs and their Nielsen ratings will be posted when it becomes available later in the evening.)
fredfa is offline  
post #5165 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEW:
Back in their prime
You'll see some familiar faces on television again this fall

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist

Geena Davis says her role as the United States' first female president in ABC's "Commander in Chief" is a natural progression from the strong characters she played in "Thelma and Louise" and "A League of Their Own." And maybe the best preparation was Davis' turn as an assassin in "Long Kiss Goodnight."

Neil Patrick Harris keeps moving away from his "Doogie Howser" days and is now in a group of friends in CBS' endearing "How I Met Your Mother." Harris is the well-intentioned bad influence, about as close as the show gets to a wacky neighbor.

Alfre Woodard is a new neighbor and, since her street is the lovely and teeming Wisteria Lane of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," you know she's come with heavy baggage. She's a single mom of an 18-year-old son, and she's got a secret.

TV loves Benjamin Bratt as an action hero. So on NBC's "E-Ring," he's a special forces major, fresh from the field, who's now at the Pentagon sending others into action while he monitors the doings. He does get to run down halls.

Don Johnson's burned-out lawyer on WB's "Just Legal" could be exactly the guy "Miami Vice's" Sonny Crockett would become if he let the job get to him. Now, Johnson plays the voice of experience and of living too large, too long.

Jennifer Love Hewitt is a newlywed and business partner who doesn't just see dead people, she solves their problems as the star of CBS' "Ghost Whisperer," a generally uplifting show with the nonetheless downbeat message that you can still have problems when you're dead.

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14413404c.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5166 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
Last week's network prime-time ratings have been posted near the top of Latest News the first item in this thread.
fredfa is offline  
post #5167 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEW: WEDNESDAY
Government and alien infiltrations
In "Invasion," other- worldly creatures are among us.
"E-Ring" looks inside the Pentagon.


By Paul Brownfield Los Angeles Times Staff Writer September 21, 2005

After Hurricane Katrina, ABC pulled promos for its new sci-fi series "Invasion," which debuts tonight and opens with a storm ripping apart a coastal Florida town.

While "Invasion uses a hurricane only as its opening number, over at NBC they have an entire series, "E-Ring," set inside the Pentagon, which in its first installment makes only the most obscure gestures toward the war in Iraq.

I know the Pentagon is busy with threats the world over, but that gap is one of the reasons that "E-Ring" comes off right now as impossibly glib, whereas "Invasion," from writer-producer Shaun Cassidy ("American Gothic," "The Agency") is merely digging itself out from an accident of timing.

You might guffaw during tonight's episode when a local TV reporter tells a hurricane victim, "If FEMA isn't out here by tomorrow, call me," but "Invasion" isn't about a hurricane. It's an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"-like serial with two competing themes going the alien nature of aliens and the alienating nature of broken families. The first one involves more mystery but fewer awkward negotiations of visitation rights and parental responsibility.

The "Invasion" premiere follows the highly anticipated return of "Lost." Can you get mystery overload? Unlike "Lost," which ended its first season twisted around itself with mystery and mythology, "Invasion" doesn't seem poised to madden you that way. Its ambition is smaller and more self-contained; weirdness will visit a town and change relationships among an extended, and messy, family.

Our hero is a divorced father of two, park ranger Russell Varon (Eddie Cibrian). He's got an ex-wife, Dr. Mariel Underlay (Kari Matchett), a new wife who is pregnant, TV reporter Larkin Groves (Lisa Sheridan) and two kids from his marriage to Mariel, who has since married Sheriff Tom Underlay (William Ficht-ner).

As the hurricane approaches, family tension simmers. Mariel is portrayed as nettlesome and smothering in her distrust of Russell; she comes by the house as the storm picks up to check on son Jesse (Evan Peters) and daughter Rose (Ariel Gade), and when Rose can't be found, she and Russell have a row. If her concern for her children's welfare comes off as reasonable, the show doesn't seem to agree; the night of the hurricane she too disappears and is discovered the next morning, naked in a swamp, alive but different.

"How do you spend all night in a hurricane and not have a mark on you?" Russell understandably wonders. Soon, Rose is noticing that her mother "smells different," creepy Sheriff Underlay is telling her the "first days are the toughest," and Dave (Tyler Labine), Russell's brother-in-law, discovers a skeleton in a swamp.

Russell's perplexed, but what seems to give him greatest pause, what tips him off that something's truly amiss, is that his ex-wife is no longer on his case.

Dennis Hopper is not an alien, although we like him to play strange or eccentric or hubristic people; it's what makes him lovable. On "E-Ring," which, lands like a bad spinoff of "The West Wing," he plays Col. McNulty. McNulty works for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expert in clandestine missions; he has a German shepherd named Otto and likes classic rock.

It's Hopper, all right. The show gives him lines like, "Sunday mornings at the Pentagon, can't you just feel the love?" and "We are America; we can do anything we want. It's should we?" and "It's a group of tribes, 25,000 strong, all competing against each other for the sec-def's love, i.e. money. And the love often dictates the mission."

That line's pretty good. He's talking about the Pentagon, by the way. McNulty has the whiff of Donald H. Rumsfeld, I suppose, but in the end I'd rather watch the real guy give a briefing; it's more believable. "E-Ring," which refers to the outermost ring of the five rings of the Pentagon, the one where approval for military action must come, is about infighting and turf wars.

It's a veritable office of homeland insecurity. We're placed squarely on the side of McNulty and his new charge, hotshot Maj. Jim Tisnewski (Benjamin Bratt), who's just returned from a 14-month mission in Afghanistan.

Quickly, Bratt and Hopper emerge as can-do renegades, but these characters are really working for executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer. In the pilot, which was directed by Taylor Hackford, McNulty and Tisnewski are going over heads and beyond protocol to try to save an endangered spy in China. Cue the dissenting bureaucrats and stern generals. As the mission's race against time ticks down, "E-Ring" thinks it's got you by the throat, and that's true, because you feel like you're being led around on a leash.
fredfa is offline  
post #5168 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist

As if you didn't know. Martha Stewart, fresh out of prison and freed from her ankle bracelet, plays the next Donald Trump, with 16 foolish, foolish people wanting to become an assistant to the ice queen of gracious living.

What's What: Hard to believe this could be as fun as Trump's version. Stewart says she's chosen the challenges herself. Oh, the prison joke possibilities. (Jon Stewart says one chore will be fashioning a knife from a lamb shank.)

Rickster Scale: Unavailable for review.

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14413378c.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5169 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
E-Ring

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist

Action drama set inside the Pentagon, where Benjamin Bratt is the fresh-from-action special forces guy now doing strategy and reporting to a cranky lieutenant. Wait, that's in cop shows. He reports to a cranky colonel (Dennis Hopper).

What's What: Does the name Jerry Bruckheimer ring a bell? He produces this one, too. Which means it's snappy, pretty slick, generally satisfying. And a little rah-rah. It's decent escapism, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. Bratt is appealing and Hopper is fun in anything. The E-Ring, if you care, is the outer ring of the Pentagon, where the important people work. And get windows.

Rickster Scale: 2.5

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14413378c.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5170 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
Freddie

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist

Freddie Prinze Jr. plays a happy bachelor and hot chef - hot chefs are hot this year - whose life has gone cold, or at least domestic, because his sister, niece, sister-in-law and grandmother moved into his apartment. But, oh, the high jinks.

What's What: So cliché yet mundane. At one point Freddie says, "Stupid works for me." It's going to need to. Best I can say is, it's probably not the worst new show. Close, though.

Rickster Scale: 1

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14413378c.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5171 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
E-Ring

By Judith S. Gillies The Washington Post

The tagline you'll never see: Lords of the E-Ring.

The basics: Maj. Jim "J.T." Tisnewski (Benjamin Bratt), a Green Beret, is newly arrived in the nation's capital when he's summoned to the Pentagon for an urgent situation. There, he meets Sgt. Jocelyn Pierce (Aunjanue Ellis), a no-nonsense Marine who makes it clear that her job is to keep him and their boss, Col. McNulty (Dennis Hopper), out of trouble. That's not an easy thing to do, because J.T. and McNulty are pretty independent guys.

The lowdown: "E-Ring" has seen some changes since its original pilot -- most notably, Bratt's character is now single. The stories are centered in the Pentagon -- and some scenes were shot locally -- but the covert action takes place all over the world. Despite being executive-produced by Jerry Bruckheimer ("CSI") and boasting the star power of Hopper and Bratt, "E-Ring" is in an incredibly tough time slot against ABC's runaway hit "Lost."

Reality check: Ken Robinson, co-creator and executive producer, writes what he knows: He's been a U.S. Army Ranger and has worked in the Pentagon. That said, he acknowledges that there's a fine line between fiction and fact in "E-Ring" (aka the Pentagon's outer ring). In the pilot, J.T. needs wheels -- so he borrows a bicycle and pedals to the Pentagon. That seemingly farfetched ride was based on a real trip Robinson took (eight-and-a-half minutes, all downhill from Columbia Pike, he says). But the show's ride is going to be uphill.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301184_pf.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5172 of 25503 Old 09-20-2005, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
"Invasion"

By Debra Leithauser The Washington Post

The tagline you'll never see: They will survive.

The basics: The plot seems eerily prescient: A major hurricane slams into the United States, leaving in its wake ripped-up buildings and shell-shocked survivors. However, this tragedy takes place in Homestead, Fla., and might -- or might not -- be a cloak for something supernatural. In the aftermath of the storm, park ranger Russell Varon (Eddie Cibrian, "Third Watch") starts noticing some strange things: His ex-wife who disappeared during the hurricane reappears unharmed but is acting a bit peculiar. His daughter, Rose, says she saw lights coming down from the sky. And his brother-in-law's oddball theories start to sound strangely plausible.

The lowdown: If ABC goes ahead with airing this show so recently after Hurricane Katrina (at press time, the network still was considering its options), "Invasion" has a good chance of succeeding. It's about the paranormal -- a hot topic in TV land right now -- and "Invasion" has one of the best lead-ins of any show, airing after the powerhouse "Lost." It's got a great cast, including William Fichtner as the sheriff with a shady side.

Reality check: Executive producer Shaun Cassidy's wife's family is from Homestead and lived through Hurricane Andrew in 1992. And in creating this show, Cassidy says he was trying to capture the aftermath of surviving something so unreal. In the pilot episode, he succeeds in introducing compelling characters viewers will actually care about. But the real-life grief so many have faced might make this reality TV that hits too close to home.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301184_pf.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5173 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart

The Los Angeles Times

The premise: Stewart in a Trumpian image-remake exercise. Though the ostensible issue is who gets to be the next Martha, or at least Martha's new best friend, the real question is which of her many reported or reputed faces the doyenne of domestic invention will show. Tough boss, mad diva, nurturing mother-substitute, humbled ex-con? Will she cut contestants with relish or with regret?

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedi...rint.htmlstory
fredfa is offline  
post #5174 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
Freddie


NOTE: This show was mistakenly posted here. Moderator's error. "Freddie" doesn't premiere until October 5. I'll leave it, but repost it on the proper day.)

The Los Angeles Times

Stars: Freddie Prinze Jr. ("Scooby-Doo"), Brian A. Green ("Beverly Hills, 90210"), Jacqueline Obradors ("NYPD Blue"), Chloe Suazo, Jenny Gago, Mädchen Amick.

The premise: Prinze is a successful yet slow-to-mature Chicago chef living in a luxury apartment full of women: sister Obradors, sister-in-law Amick, niece Suazo, grandmother Gago (whose dialogue is all in subtitled Spanish, striking a blow for reading). They cramp his playboy style, keep him honest and make him store his pool table in his wine room, if you can imagine such an inconvenience. Green steals scenes as the star's dumbbell rich-kid neighbor/best friend.

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedi...rint.htmlstory
fredfa is offline  
post #5175 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
E-Ring

By Scott D. Pierce Salt Lake City Deseret Morning News

Among the most surprising new shows of the year is NBC's "E-Ring." Surprisingly bad, that is.

It's shocking that producer Jerry Bruckheimer, whose TV shows include "CSI," "Without a Trace" and "Amazing Race," could put out something this bad. That actors like Benjamin Bratt ("Law & Order") and Dennis Hopper could look this foolish.

But they do.

Bratt stars as Major Jim (J.T.) Tinewski (apparently because he looks so Polish), the new guy at the Pentagon whose job it is to solve big problems. He's earnest and true, and he'll do anything to do the right thing. In the premiere, that means getting a Chinese woman who's an American operative out of the country, no matter the risk.

But he runs up against the bureaucracy, and his boss, tough guy Col. Bob McNulty (Dennis Hopper), who's little more than a cartoon.

It's not that the plot of "E-Ring" is so awful. The spy stuff has the making of a good story.

But not one character rings true. And those characters are forced to speak hackneyed, unbelievable dialogue.

In one scene, Tinewski delivers a heartfelt speech that turns the American government around. Really. In another, McNulty hugs a subordinate in a scene that's laugh-aloud ludicrous.

Taylor Hackford, whose reputation went up when he was nominated for an Oscar for directing "Ray," directed this pilot. And he ought to be hoping nobody watches this, or his reputation will take a huge hit.

NBC moved "West Wing" to Sundays to make room for this piece of junk?

http://www.desnews.com/dn/print/1,14...152287,00.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5176 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
Invasion

The Los Angeles Times

Stars: William Fichtner ("Crash," "Empire Falls"), Eddie Cibrian ("Third Watch", "Tilt"), Lisa Sheridan, Kari Matchett, Tyler Labine, Evan Peters, Ariel Gade ("Dark Water"), Alexis Dziena, Aisha Hinds.

The premise: Hurricane hits Florida town, causing devastation and new suspicions among loose family led by park ranger Cibrian. Post-hurricane quandaries include: Is local sheriff Fichtner for real or, you know, not of this place? And what's with the hundreds of lights that were seen floating toward the water? And how about the fact that after the hurricane, Fichtner's ex-wife, Matchett, is found alive but naked in a swamp? She's now married to the weird sheriff, so it's family dynamics meets "The Twilight Zone."

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedi...rint.htmlstory
fredfa is offline  
post #5177 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
Winners and Losers
Emmy Wins and a Thwarted 'Comeback

The TV Column By Lisa de Moraes The Washington Post Wednesday, September 21, 2005; Page C07

A revitalized Emmycast and the kickoff of "Survivor" kept CBS firmly in first place for the final week of the full, 52-week 2004-05 TV season.

Here's a look at the week's tough and timid:

WINNERS

Primetime Emmy Awards . Ironically, a boatload of pre-Emmy buzz on two ABC series, "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost," is getting credit for helping this trophy show broadcast on CBS jump from last year's second-worst-ever 13.8 million viewers to Sunday's 18.7 million.

"Monday Night Football." Last week ABC aired the Monday opener of "Monday Night Football." That's as opposed to the previous week, when ABC aired what it called "the Thursday night season opener of 'NFL Monday Night Football,' " which defies even television logic. Anyway, last week's Monday opener clocked 19.6 million viewers, which is the most watched "Monday Night Football" telecast in almost three years.

"Survivor: Guatemala." Yes, the first episode of CBS's "Survivor: Guatemala" logged 18.4 million viewers, the smallest opening number for a "Survivor" since the first edition in May 2000 opened with 15.5 million. Yes, those are the only two "Survivor" series that did not crack 20 million viewers with their first broadcasts. Still, snagging 18.4 million viewers for the first episode of a reality series in its 11th edition is an achievement. We'll keep a close eye on its progress.

"House." The second-season premiere of Fox's hit doc drama more than doubled its series premiere -- 15.9 million viewers last Tuesday compared with 7.1 million viewers last fall.

"Bones." Right before the season debut of "House," Fox's new procedural crime drama, marking David Boreanaz's return to series television, delivered that network's most watched Tuesday drama series unveiling in four years -- 10.8 million viewers.

LOSERS

"The Comeback." HBO says it won't order a second season of its mockumentary series in which Lisa Kudrow played a formerly famous actress trying to jump-start her career with a role in a new series. The final episode averaged only 920,000 viewers in its first telecast, on Sept. 4. An HBO rep told the trades that the network had looked at its schedule and decided, given HBO's "future commitments," it would not be able to give the show "the support it needed."

"The Biggest Loser." Among the things slimmed down on NBC's reality series about losing weight was its opening audience -- 7.8 million people on Tuesday's second-season kickoff, compared with 9.9 million for its premiere last October. On the bright side, last week's 90-minute debut grew by 41 percent among 18- to 49-year-olds from its first half-hour to its last, which is usually a good sign.

"Head Cases." Fox's new odd-couple lawyer series, starring Chris O'Donnell and Adam Goldberg, finished fourth in its Wednesday premiere, with an audience of 6.2 million, after its lead-in had finished first in its time slot, with more than 8 million watching.

World Music Awards . ABC's broadcast of this franchise scored a lowest-yet 5.2 million viewers -- about 1 million fewer than last year. Back in '94, this franchise was attracting almost 20 million fans.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...092001729.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5178 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEW: WEDNESDAY
E-Ring
A Perky Warrior Singing the Pentagon Blues

By NED MARTEL The New York Times September 21, 2005

Throughout the chest-pounding, inept new NBC series "E-Ring," Benjamin Bratt must run around the Pentagon like Theseus in the labyrinth. "Hey, fellas!" he says, by way of salute to passengers on an up escalator that he's running down. "How's it hangin', fellas?" he later asks a collection of men with far more stars and bars than he.

There's a quickness in his step and a larky quality to his patter because he refuses to be slowed by the bureaucratic torpor of the Building, as the Pentagon is called in the show. Fleet-footed and well rested after months in Afghanistan, Mr. Bratt's character, Maj. Jim Tisnewski, now bikes to the 'Gon and hunkers down in the outermost of its five concentric structures. Here, geopolitical shots are called, but that doesn't mean he has to give in to the presiding nonsense.

In fact, with his uniformed valor, he is constantly coming into conflict with the suits, those civilians who run the place - and the country. And while he's doing end runs and two-steps around procedure, these smarties, who have never pulled a trigger, keep getting in his way. Don't they get it? All he wants to do is save the lives of those his code of honor insists we never leave behind.

What's actually maddening is to see any complex institution reduced to the toils of one determined renegade, but that's the televised specialty of the Jerry Bruckheimer genre. Here Mr. Bratt gets to prove each week that diplomatic crises are just as simple and solvable as "Cold Cases" or "CSI" homicides. All it takes is someone with technology and normative clarity, and bad buys will get their due.

Though the pilot was directed by the accomplished film director Taylor Hackford ("An Officer and a Gentleman," "Ray"), "E-Ring" incorporates the rah-rah quality of last year's movie "Team America," but here it tries to be serious, not satyrical.

The plots of the first two episodes are pure first-world fantasia. Patronizing Pentagon types get to rule the globe by remote control. A Chinese intelligence "asset" needs to be removed from a danger zone in Shanghai, and an evil-doing nuclear scientist is making mischief in Uzbekistan. Only Major Tisnewski seems to understand the stakes at hand; only he has the command of the tools that can save the day or the world, as the case may be. Even as he breaks rules, Tisnewski gradually wins the applause of his commanding officer, Col. Eli McNulty (Dennis Hopper). One suspects that McNulty will eventually approve, as he indulges in Monday-morning quarterbacking with his bookie and cranks up Blue Oyster Cult on his office hi-fi. At first, he fears that Tisnewski will get them both court-martialed, but soon he admires the cut of the newcomer's jib. "You're a warrior," McNulty says. "That's why you're here."

In the office politics of the Building, a snooty naysayer impedes the Shanghai mission, and just to make sure contempt for him is emphasized, McNulty mocks his golf game: "I hope he gets skulled in the head by a golf ball real soon." Really, the aims of the show couldn't be simpler: give the macho dudes their weapons and get outta their way. Anyone who resists or doubts is made to look fussy or daft or feminized. One balking diplomat is, of course, French, and McNulty insults him by calling him Françoise instead of François. I sympathize, to a degree, with anyone who wants the debate club on "The West Wing" to give it a rest sometimes, but "E-Ring" sweeps away the subtleties as it raises the stakes. The plots so far are mere ploys to oversimplify big questions to a choice between the go-getters and the thumb-suckers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/21/ar...gewanted=print
fredfa is offline  
post #5179 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEW: WEDNESDAY
Invasion
Exploring the Mysterious Aftermath of a Different Hurricane

By NED MARTEL B]The New York Times[/b] September 21, 2005

The suspense that ABC had hoped for with "Invasion," its skillful new body-snatcher series, has been undermined by menaces beyond the network's control. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the opening episode's terrestrial forms of terror prove far scarier than extraterrestrial ones. An immense hurricane hits South Florida! And oh, yeah, some aliens use it as a shield to invade the United States.

Since Katrina, the suspense has mounted: Would ABC executives broadcast this spooky glimpse at a storm's aftermath while the Gulf Coast is confronting the far-too-real equivalent? Should they? Tonight's broadcast suggests the network believes that it has something good enough to divert public concerns away from the real-life disaster and toward a larger, less-real horror story. It could be argued that the Katrina catastrophe is bad, but at least the survivors aren't playing host to other mind-altering life forms. (Well, the remaining muck might include some unsavory parasites, but let's move along.)

The network is mostly right because the show is mostly well done. The storm tests the mettle of a broken family, with the children blown between their parents, who have new partners. The father (Eddie Cibrian) is a rock-ribbed park ranger in the Everglades who is coupled with an on-air news reporter, while the mother (Kari Matchett) is a doting physician who is remarried to an untrustworthy sheriff.

The split-up couple's son and daughter tend to side with their father. "Why don't you go home and worry about your new husband and leave us alone?" the exasperated teenager, Jesse, asks his mother. But she has a hip stepdaughter, so that new household might have some allure. Still, with Mr. Cibrian's squinting, winning smile, the father is clearly the good guy, despite a willingness to let his oafish sidekick baby-sit. In the storm's onset, the young daughter, Rose, wanders off amid the clattering palm trees, in search of a lost cat.

Created by the onetime bubblegum pop star Shaun Cassidy, "Invasion" uses the yellow overcast of a major storm to an aptly eerie effect. This is no ordinary maelstrom, as weather-tracking pilots flying into the eye soon realize. Orange, otherworldly lights tumble into warm waters below, and these glowing things await warm bodies to occupy.

In one of several implausibilities, the unfortunate humans who fall prey to these visitors wind up naked yet unscathed in the twisted brush once the rain subsides. Even the local press doesn't look askance at such occurrences, when they happen to upstanding citizens like a kindly priest. At least the oaf has doubts and acts upon them, but he's off base at first: "The whole thing is a smokescreen," he insists. "A smokescreen cooked up by the military."

The interplanetary mischief has some profound but hidden effects on the domestic life of this splintered family. The wedge is bound to be that stepfather sheriff, played by the William Fichtner, who is as chilling and superb as he was in the feature films "Go" and "Contact."

By the end of the pilot, the melodrama of the series is well established, with a few surprises that will keep the audience worried about the welfare of the children, like the ones thrillers like "War of the Worlds" often resort to these days. The series has much in common with cinematic forebears, with expensive location shots and a solemn, postapocalyptic aura.

"Invasion" is a step up from many new offerings on the Sci Fi Channel, but never quite as intricate or engaging as the ABC hit "Lost." It's hard to know where the "Invasion" should colonize next. If the series were truly risk-taking, the writers would figure out something interesting to say about the post-Katrina anxiety about emergency preparedness, with the imaginary intruders as metaphors for America's actual enemies.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/21/ar...gewanted=print
fredfa is offline  
post #5180 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEW: WEDNESDAY SEPT. 21
As 'Lost' dawns, you'll find some answers

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist Wednesday, September 21, 2005

We're in the middle of a wild fall season premiere week, and it's like TV shows are coming out of the air. Actually, they are. That's how it works. Unless you have cable.

Anyway. Lots of TV. Let's get to some of it.

Tonight, last season's most electric series, "Lost," returns where it left off. The mysterious hatch with the mysterious lucky/cursed numbers has been blown open, Walt (Malcolm David Kelly) mysteriously kidnapped and the raft blown up by mysterious "others," and the whole island and the plane crash remain one massive mystery.

By the way, if you missed the "Lost" train last year, ABC is running a catch-up hour (at 8 PM ET/PT) called "Destination Lost" that will help get newcomers up to speed before the season premiere (at 9).

For what it's worth, and if you can trust those guys, co-creator Damon Lindelof and other producers said this summer that Locke (Terry O'Quinn), Jack (Matthew Fox) and company - and viewers - will learn tonight what's in that tough-to-open hatch. They do not promise that anyone will know what it means.

And they said whoever survived the raft incident - maybe Sawyer (Josh Holloway), maybe Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), maybe Michael (Harold Perrineau) -will be separated from the main group for a while. Producers also promise we'll learn why the plane crashed, and become fairly certain this is no random bunch of passengers. Like we didn't already know that.

What is straightforward, however, is that this tantalizing mix of character study, weird puzzle and twisted trip into myth was a great ride in its first season, and I'm hoping we learn just enough to stay fascinated for another year.

For an entirely different kind of mystery, may we present "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart."

Tonight (at 8 ET/PT) NBC gives us the ice queen of gracious living in her biggest move to rehab her image and career after that pesky little prison stint, though I know you're saying that Stewart would never have gotten this gig if she weren't a recovering con.

In any case, here we go tonight. Sixteen people - naive believers all - scramble and game to become her apprentice, and the mystery is, of course, why?

Would you really want to work for Martha Stewart? Though a lot of people wondered that about Donald Trump when "The Apprentice" started. The answer is, some folks will do anything for money or TV face time.

There are other questions to ponder. Can we handle two "Apprentices?" How will Donald, who returns with his "Apprentice" on Thursday (at 9 PM ET/PT) react if Martha does better? What kind of challenges will Stewart concoct for her charges? I'm thinking one ought to be standing stiffly while carefully enunciating every syllable in every word without showing a wink of humanity.

The big question is not whether viewers will watch - of course they will, at least at first; this is train-wreck city any way you look at it - but what will Martha say when she fires her kids?

Stewart has hinted that she won't have one phrase, but I'd like to suggest a few here anyway. How about: "Your bread don't bake," "You ruined my salad," "You are a bad thing" and, the obvious, "I said Merlot."

There's other new stuff tonight, including:

* "The E-Ring": NBC shipped "The West Wing" to Sundays and is filling the slot with an action thriller - in theory - starring Benjamin Bratt as a heroic Special Forces guy stationed at the Pentagon and doing strategy. His boss is a cranky colonel (Dennis Hopper) and it's all fairly conventional, if slickly produced.

* "Just Legal": WB is repeating Monday's pilot from this silly but adorable series that teams a 19-year-old lawyer prodigy (Jay Baruchel) - who can't get hired because he's, you know, 19 - with a burnout, former hotshot lawyer (Don Johnson), and they help each other grow.

It sounds dopey, and it is, but there's chemistry between the geeky Baruchel and the weary Johnson, and it makes for a nice bit of escapism.

* "Invasion": It's the most cryptic of the new sci-fi, aliens-are-coming shows, and ABC hopes people who love the ambiguity of "Lost" will stay for the confusion of this one.

"Invasion" has a hurricane raging through Florida - which now doesn't seem like such a fun idea in the wake of Katrina -as a cover for something strange happening, possibly aliens landing in the Everglades. Unless they're already there.

The tone is semi-"X-Files," but so far without the chemistry or humor, and semi-"Invasion of the Body Snatchers," where maybe no one can trust anyone. Creator Shaun Cassidy promises the tone will lighten some and that there are layers beyond, just, the question: Are they here?

For "Law & Order" fans, detective Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) returns to the beat tonight (at 10 on Channel 3) after getting shot toward the end of last season.

Producers threw in the shooting story line as an excuse for Martin to go off the show for the time he needed to shoot the feature film "Rent," reprising a role he played on Broadway.

Green will be back with his old partner, Det. Joe Fontana (Dennis Farina), after Fontana solved a few cases with a detective played by "The Sopranos'" Michael Imperioli. Producers say Green will have no ill effects from the shooting, though it's possible he may be limping from a case of dancer's toe.

Finally, a reminder that one of the most promising comedies of the season, "Everybody Hates Chris," premieres Thursday night (at 8 EP/PTon UPN).

It's the story, more or less, of Chris Rock's wonder years, and Rock narrates the show. It's a sterling cast besides Rock, led by 12-year-old Tyler James Williams, playing the young Chris, and the whole show is smart, slightly skewed and little bit slapstick, all with a nice little bite and a healthy dose of heart. And, yeah, it's on UPN. The best-looking comedy of the year is on UPN. What can I say?

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14438738c.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5181 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
Tuesday's network prime-time ratings - and Marc Berman's analysis of the first night of the 2005-2006 network prime time TV season --have posted near the top of Latest News the first item in this thread.
fredfa is offline  
post #5182 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 08:47 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
George Thompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 1,116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
NBC TURNS ON THE 'LIGHTS'
By JOSEF ADALIAN, Daily Variety, 9/19/2005



Peacock says thank goodness it's 'Friday'



NBC is getting ready to turn up the "Friday Night Lights," pacting with helmer Peter Berg to turn his Universal-produced feature into a weekly drama series.

Project reps the most advanced example of cross-pollination between the Peacock and its feature sibling since the merger of NBC and Universal. Pilot will be produced by NBC U Television Studio in association with Imagine Television.

"Lights" is said to be on the development fast track at NBC, with an eye on a fall 2006 bow. That would coincide with the return of the NFL to NBC -- giving the Peacock a perfect promo platform for the project.

Berg directed and co-wrote "Friday Night Lights," the gritty 2004 drama starring Billy Bob Thornton as the coach of a small-town high school football team during the 1980s. U and Imagine Films produced the pic, which grossed just over $61 million.

According to NBC U Television Studio prexy Angela Bromstad, Berg's current plan is to set the TV take in the present day, thus reflecting the changes that have gripped small towns over the past two decades. He'll write and direct the pilot, exec producing with his Film 44 partners Sarah Aubrey and John Cameron.

"What Peter hopes to do is to make it even more relevant to today," Bromstad said, noting such trends as the rise of Wal-Mart. "It's going to be a good picture of an American small town and the lives of these people in this town where everything revolves around the sport of football."

A coach character like the one player by Thornton will be at the heart of the series -- "that underdog coach who has all the pressure to make the team a success," Bromstad said. The parents and coaches of students will also be central characters.

Bromstad said having Berg on board will help attract top thesp talent. While NBC hasn't made a formal pilot commitment to the project, Bromstad said the Endeavor-packaged "Lights" was a major priority for her and NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly.

NBC and U flirted with the idea of developing a TV series inspired by some of the characters in Universal's "Van Helsing," but the project stalled once the film flopped.

"Friday Night Lights" was one of the first U features to get a heavy promo push by the NBC broadcast and cable networks following the merger.

As for Berg, his feature credits as a helmer include "Very Bad Things" and "The Rundown." He created the ABC drama "Wonderland" and may be best known to TV auds for his work as a thesp on David E. Kelley's "Chicago Hope."

Views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer or its parent company.
George Thompson is offline  
post #5183 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 08:51 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
George Thompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 1,116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
TV ARM RAMPING UP DEVELOPMENT
By JOSEF ADALIAN, MICHAEL SCHNEIDER, Daily Variety, 9/21/2005



DreamWorks Television offers full slate



Development season is just heating up, but DreamWorks Television has already set up nearly a dozen projects.

Slate for the NBC Universal Television Studio-based company --headed by Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey -- includes a one-hour dramedy from "Bernie Mac" creator Larry Wilmore that's based on an idea from DreamWorks partner Steven Spielberg.

Also, scribe Mike Werb ("Face/Off") and producer Bonnie Curtis ("Minority Report") are teaming for potential 10-hour NBC limited series "Tomorrow/Today." Set at a Los Angeles news station, project will span the lives of characters between the years 2010 and 2030.

Falvey and Frank (whose development roster is overseen by Jonathan Berry) said 2005 is shaping up to be one of the studio's busiest seasons in years.

"Last year we were so busy launching 'The Contender,' 'Father of the Pride' and 'Into the West' that it consumed a lot of our time," Falvey said. "This year we were more focused ahead of the curve, reaching out to some writers we've been wanting to be in business with for a while."

DreamWorks has a trio of comedy scripts in the works at NBC, including a blind script commitment for "Evan Almighty" scribe Josh Stolberg.

For another, DreamWorks has pacted with Jason Mulgrew for a half-hour script about a young New Yorker trying to make a go of it. Deal could rep one of the first examples of a blogger making the leap to primetime.

"It's hard to find an authentic twentysomething voice," Frank said. "And his was a blog we were tracking... (Blogs) are something you've got to look at and pay attention to."

Groundlings performer Mark Rizzo is also developing a coming-of-age laffer for NBC via DreamWorks.

Casting is also moving forward on "Baraboo 2010," the Cheryl Holliday-created half-hour from DreamWorks that Peacock entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly announced in July. Project now has a cast-contingent pilot order, and Allison Jones -- who cast "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Freaks and Geeks" -- has signed on as casting director.

Carol Leifer-penned half-hour "Never in My Wildest," which has a cast-contingent order from CBS, also remains in active development.

On the drama side, DreamWorks has five scripts in the works that are being targeted for NBC, including projects from Les Bohem ("Taken"), Kirk Ellis ("Into the West"), Chris Murphey ("Dead Lawyers") and Gardner Stern ("Las Vegas").

Bohem's serialized drama looks at "a very unique corporation," according to Falvey, who says the show has mystery elements in a serialized format.

Ellis is writing a project about an American family adjusting to life overseas, while Murphey's script revolves around international law. Stern is still finalizing his idea.

Then there's the Wilmore project; beyond hinting at Spielberg's involvement, DreamWorks is mum on details. Project is not yet officially set up at the network.

On the limited series front, besides "Tomorrow/Today," DreamWorks TV development is also heating up on "Nine Lives" for the Sci Fi channel (Daily Variety, Oct. 8, 2003). Project comes from Bohem, who wrote all 20 hours of DreamWorks' "Taken" for Sci-Fi.

This time out, he's on board to write and exec produce 12 hours of "Lives," a supernatural project about life, death and the world beyond. He's currently working on the first two hours of the script.

Frank and Falvey said they also have several other projects in the works, but in very early stages.

"We know our taste. We're driven by what we're passionate about," Frank said. He added that DreamWorks "is hitting our stride" with NBC Universal, working well with the exec team headed by prexy Angela Bromstad.

As for reality, DreamWorks is partnered with Renegade 83 on ABC's upcoming "Miracle Workers" and a second season of Mark Burnett's "The Contender" for ESPN.

Company currently produces the Peacock's "Las Vegas" via NBC U. Skein started its third season with strong ratings Monday.

DreamWorks is also partnered with Sony on "Rescue Me," which just snagged a third season order from FX. Over the summer, company produced the ambitious TNT limited skein "Into the West."

Views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer or its parent company.
George Thompson is offline  
post #5184 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS
The race for drama isn't so amazing this season
Out of 4 contenders, Jerry Bruckheimer's 'Close to Home' appears to have legs

By Hal Boedeker Orlando Sentinel Television Critic September 21, 2005

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer excels in television more often than he does in the movies. CSI, Without a Trace and Cold Case offer more humane, engrossing drama than Pearl Harbor, Armageddon or Con Air. As other producers rush to copy his crime dramas, Bruckheimer proves with CBS' new Close to Home that nobody does it better.

For sheer thrills, no Bruckheimer film delivers as consistently as CBS' The Amazing Race, which won its third consecutive Emmy Sunday as top reality contest.

But with NBC's E-Ring, debuting tonight, Bruckheimer tries to transpose his bombastic movie style to television with uneven results. He's going for a patriotic crowd-pleaser in the Top Gun mold with this drama about decision-making at the Pentagon.

The show's biggest problem is sharing a time slot with ABC's Lost, the Emmy-winning drama that begins its second season tonight. Lost is rarely predictable, yet E-Ring almost always is in two episodes made available to critics.

An agent must be extracted from China or a terrorist leader must be captured. The Joint Chiefs of Staff decide to act after hearing from Maj. Jim Tisnewski (Benjamin Bratt) of the Army. That leads to a screwy montage: the signing of top-secret forms, set to soaring music.

The Pentagon brass listen and watch from afar as the mission is carried out. Those scenes might be more involving if Bratt acted in them. Instead, his character and Pentagon officials sweat and pace as they wait for results. It's sort of like watching someone look at television.

A Pentagon drama these days could be topical and thought-provoking. E-Ring is a fast-moving, expensive-looking show that favors action over discussion. That action usually ends in rousing ways that are definitive and hopeful, a sharp contrast to real U.S. military policy that stirs debate on radio, television and opinion pages.

To put over its stirring plots, E-Ring relies heavily on its actors. Bratt swaggers through his scenes with a bravado that wins over superiors. In an earlier version of the premiere, his character was married. No more: Bachelorhood lets him be sexier. Bratt's dashing major makes his lover swoon and clashes with Samantha Liston (Kelly Rutherford), a former lover who's deputy general counsel for the Department of Defense.

Dennis Hopper portrays the major's boss, Col. Eli McNulty, who's renowned for putting together clandestine operations. This show doesn't want subtlety, and Hopper obliges with his customary bravura. McNulty explains to the major how various Pentagon tribes compete for money: "We ain't going to win every battle, but can win the war."

Aunjanue Ellis delivers the most-disciplined performance as a sergeant who assists McNulty. Ellis fumes convincingly as her character struggles to keep the fun-loving men focused.

Even with such first-rate actors, E-Ring might not win the renewal war. These military characters need more creative marching orders.

Crime drama

One revelation should come early in the new season: Are viewers tiring of crime drama?

A few new series fall into a lamentable rut by focusing on horrendous crimes against women. CBS has stocked its schedule with too many CSI versions from Bruckheimer. But that hasn't stopped top-rated CBS from turning to other producers for Criminal Minds, which debuts after CSI on Thursday. Next week, it moves to its regular slot opposite Lost and E-Ring.

Criminal Minds represents CBS' attempt to do The Silence of the Lambs on a weekly basis. An elite team of FBI profilers roves the country and scrambles to solve disturbing cases. This week it's the Seattle Strangler who has killed four; next week, it's an arsonist at an Arizona college.

This grim series exploits psychological problems for thrills and mysteries, which spawn convenient explanations. A stutter can say so much, according to this show, which uses it for cheap effect.

In the early going, the main question is whether Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) has recovered from a breakdown and can carry on as a behavioral analyst. Patinkin gives such a glum performance that the recovery hardly matters.

Weakly written roles limit Patinkin's co-stars, such as Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore. The scripts, however, do let Patinkin quote Samuel Beckett, Joseph Conrad and others. The show tells us that Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Imagination is what most crime dramas are lacking.

At least Criminal Minds transmits words of wisdom. Fox's Killer Instinct, debuting Friday, merely wallows in revolting cases. In the premiere, a San Francisco detective (Johnny Messner) scurries to unravel why young women are being tortured in their beds.

Killer Instinct isn't a Bruckheimer show; it plays like a bad knockoff of the producer's work. The drama wastes Chi McBride of Boston Public as the detective's boss, and Messner gives a performance that could charitably be called robotic. The series deserves no charity: It's the worst new drama of the fall.

With Close to Home, arriving Oct. 4, Bruckheimer and his colleagues inject some needed humanity into the crime formula. The drama follows a young prosecutor, Annabeth Chase (Jennifer Finnigan), who's returning to work after having her first child.

Annabeth takes cases that are happening close to her home in an Indianapolis suburb. The first is the dire story of a family in a burned home. The script supplies several smart twists that keep this awful story riveting.

The crucial ingredient, however, is Annabeth, played with eagerness and empathy by Finnigan, a three-time Emmy winner for daytime's The Bold and the Beautiful. Close to Home sharply draws workplace conflicts between Annabeth and her single-minded boss, Maureen Scofield (Kimberly Elise).

Close to Home inherits Judging Amy's old time slot and seems designed to appeal to fans of that canceled legal show. The new series also echoes Bruckheimer's underrated Cold Case and brandishes the cinematic look of the producer's best shows. Close to Home is no breakthrough, but it is competent, and that counts for a lot in drama this season.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/enter...l=orl-caltvtop
fredfa is offline  
post #5185 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
E-Ring NBC

The Los Angeles Times

Stars: Benjamin Bratt ("Traffic," "Miss Congeniality," "Law & Order"), Dennis Hopper ("24," "Blue Velvet," "Easy Rider," "Rebel Without a Cause"), Kelly Rutherford ("Melrose Place"), Aunjanue Ellis ("Ray").

The premise: Rule-bending Army major Bratt takes up new post at the Pentagon under unlikely commanding officer Hopper, his disinterest in protocol restoring the old man's faith in the possibility of effective action. (See also: "Just Legal.") Together they fight military bureaucracy and pesky civilian oversight to do the right, if not always the economical, thing by servicemen, spies and assorted other guardians of a homeland in continual international crisis. Also starring submarines, satellites, Navy SEALs.

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedi...rint.htmlstory
fredfa is offline  
post #5186 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: THURSDAY

Everybody Hates Chris

The Los Angeles Times

Stars: Tichina Arnold ("On the One"), Terry Crews ("The Longest Yard"), Tyler James Williams ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"), Tequan Richmond ("Ray"), Imani Hakim, Vincent Martella. Chris Rock ("The Chris Rock Show," "Head of State"), narrator.

The premise: Narrator-creator Rock relives his Bedford-Stuyvesant adolescence in this sweet, smart, working-class "Wonder Years" (with a hint of "Malcolm in the Middle") set in the early '80s. Juggling jobs and sleep, young Chris (Williams) looks out for his taller younger brother (Richmond) and demanding little sister (Hakim) and for himself while taking care not to tax his busy parents (Crews, Arnold).

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedi...rint.htmlstory
fredfa is offline  
post #5187 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: THURSDAY
'Everybody Hates Chris'

By Amy Amatangelo The Washington Post

The tagline you'll never see: "The Wonder Years" in the middle.

The basics: Comedian Chris Rock reminiscences about his childhood in Brooklyn during the early 1980s. Thirteen-year-old Chris (Tyler James Williams) navigates his way through his predominantly white junior high school while crushing on the girl next door (Keisha Ridenhour) and dealing with his two younger siblings (Tequan Richmond and Imani Hakim). Chris's father (Terry Crews) works three jobs while Chris's mom (Tichina Arnold) dishes out advice and manages the family's frugal budget. In the pilot, Chris makes a new friend (Vincent Martella) and loses his lunch money to the school bully.

The lowdown: It's open season on Thursday night now that NBC's "Must-See TV" has become a thing of the past. (Sorry, "Joey" and "Will & Grace.") And what better show to pick up the comedy torch than this poignant new sitcom. Newcomer Williams is a true find: He deftly balances Chris's necessary bravado with adolescent awkwardness. His expressive eyes say more than most child actors can with pages of dialogue.

Reality check: Narrator Rock, who is known for his blunt humor, doesn't shy away from controversial topics, race-related comedy or taboo words. Yes, his parents didn't have much money and his neighborhood had a crack epidemic. Classmates called him bad names, and adults were afraid of him because of the color of his skin. But there is no sense of pity about his childhood. There are some social messages here, but laughs are the first priority.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301184_pf.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5188 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: THURSDAY
'Everybody Hates Chris'

By Hal Boedeker Orlando Sentinel Television Critic

Everybody Hates Chris, which debuts Thursday, has generated the most critical praise of any new fall series. Raves are deserved, and comparisons to The Wonder Years are apt.

Here's a family comedy that celebrates family, specifically Chris Rock's in 1980s Brooklyn. The show draws identifiable humor from everyday life. Series co-creators Rock and Ali LeRoi serve choice jokes about unpaid bills, dirty shoes and sibling rivalries.

Wonderful actors make this a TV family to embrace. Tichina Arnold and Terry Crews are dynamic as Rock's strict but loving parents. Tyler James Williams is convincing as Chris at 13. The other child actors are naturals: Tequan Richmond and Imani Hakim as Chris' siblings, Central Florida's Vincent Martella as Chris' new friend.

The main draw, however, is Rock's edgy narration. He talks frankly about family, race, bullies and school shootings. He confers a tart authenticity on Everybody Hates Chris, and a hugely likable sitcom is born.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/enter...-ent-promos-tv
fredfa is offline  
post #5189 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS: THURSDAY
'Everybody Hates Chris'

By Melanie McFarland Seattle Post-Intelligencer TV Critic

With: Tyler James Williams, Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, Tequan Richmond, Imani Hakim, Vincent Martella

Premise: Executive producer and series narrator Chris Rock takes us back to Brooklyn, 1982, when Chris (played by Williams) turned 13. That means nothing to his no-nonsense, hard-working parents Rochelle (Arnold) and Julius (Crews), who look to Chris to take care of his little sister Tonya (Hakim) and brother Drew (Richmond) while they work. Skinny Chris also has to face down racist bullies at the junior high where he's the only black kid, has a single pal (Martella) and no backup other than quick thinking, superior comic timing and the ability to withstand frequent butt-kickings.

The Word According to Us: Real and relatable, "Chris" may be the best new comedy of a season filled with sitcoms worth viewing. Sharp, poignant and occasionally cruel as the humor can be, it hits viewers on multiple levels, working its sense of nostalgia, striking chords with families and singles alike. If coming episodes can meet or exceed the pilot, UPN has a hit on its hands.

Would We Watch Again? Yes. And should NBC's "Joey" watch out? Yes.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/printe...0677_tv15.html
fredfa is offline  
post #5190 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 48,893
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 73
TV SEASON PREVIEWS:THURSDAY
Chris Rock Hates Everybody's Fussing

By JOE RHODES The New York Times

LOS ANGELESChris Rock is pleased that "Everybody Hates Chris," the UPN comedy series that's kind of, sort of, but not-quite based on his less-than-idyllic adolescent years in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, is making its debut Thursday at 8 p.m. But he would have preferred that it not be preceded by the kind of critical superlatives and anticipatory hype usually reserved for the crowning of emperors.

So far they have included a wave of "best new show of the year" reviews, a billboard-and-bus placard marketing blitz, and talk that the series could single-handedly do for UPN what "The Simpsons" did for Fox, or even, as some of the more breathless reviews have suggested, resurrect and revitalize the family sitcom genre, much as "The Cosby Show" did more than 20 years ago.

"I'd rather be a midseason replacement," Mr. Rock said by telephone, uncomfortable with the raised expectations, but resigned to all the fuss. "Some little show where people go, 'Hey, that Chris Rock show is kinda funny.' I don't like to hear all this other stuff."

Then he probably ought to cover his ears. The promotional drumbeat for "Everybody Hates Chris" has been growing since last spring, when potential ad buyers got their first look at the pilot episode and started raving about the show's potential appeal for a wide audience.

"Look, the pilot is O.K. - it's good," Mr. Rock said. "But I think we're going to do better shows than that, a lot better shows than that. I think part of the reaction to the pilot is based on what everybody has come to expect from black people on television."

"We hold ourselves to a higher standard than that," he said, referring to himself and Ali LeRoi, the show's co-creator and his longtime collaborator. "It's not enough for us just to be on TV."

Indeed, Mr. Rock won't be on TV at all, at least not visibly so. Wary of being tied down by a long-term commitment to star in a series, Mr. Rock, 39, will serve as executive producer and off-screen narrator. A couple of years ago, he and Mr. LeRoi, 43, were suggesting possible sitcoms at Fox, and they came up with the idea for an urban "Wonder Years"-type comedy. (Fox decided to pass.) The original premise was for the series to be set in 1992 and be built around a fictional teenage protagonist from an inner-city family.

"And then it dawned on us: We've got a show about a kid. Why isn't that kid Chris Rock?" explained Mr. LeRoi, a former stand-up comic from Chicago who has known Mr. Rock for 17 years and who was a writer on his 1997 HBO talk series, "The Chris Rock Show."

"Here's the thing that separates this from every other show of this type that you've seen: you know how the story ends," Mr. LeRoi said. "That kid on 'The Wonder Years' could have ended up being a drug addict, he could have gone to jail for burglary, we don't know. But we do know where this kid ends up.

"We know that he became Chris Rock, this acerbic, wry and caustic comedian. What turned him into this guy? Where did he get the point of view that informs those observations? What was it about his mother and father and this difficult landscape, these experiences, that shaped him? For one thing he had a strong nuclear family, which is something that set him apart from the rest of his crowd. Does that mean everything in the show is using his particular experiences? Does he really have a hundred stories that are interesting enough for a series? Well, there might be 30. So we'll be using some poetic license. We're gonna fill in the gaps."

Although some of the details may be fudged (Mr. Rock, for instance, has six siblings; his 13-year-old television alter ego, played by Tyler James Williams, has only a brother and a sister), the essential truths of the show are taken from Mr. Rock's life: his family's move out of the projects and into Bed-Stuy at the end of the 1970's, when he was 13; his stern-but-loving father, Julius (played by Terry Crews), working multiple jobs to keep the family afloat; his proud and strict mother (played by Tichina Arnold) struggling to make the most of the money they had; and Chris, the oldest son, being bussed across Brooklyn to Bensonhurst, where he was the only black student in a white school, a circumstance that led to regular beatings, constant name-calling and the necessary development of a quick and cutting wit.

"It's kind of like 'Oz' with jokes," Mr. Rock said, when asked to describe the show. "Think of school as jail, the principal as warden and bullies as cellmates.

"The thing I try to get across to the writers - and I do a lot of the writing, too - is that when I do stand-up, nothing I talk about is funny. Everything is really sad and tragic and then I make it funny. So I'm trying to get people to follow that formula."

So TV Chris hears gunshots at the bus stop near his apartment, gets his bus pass stolen and is called racial names by the bullies at his new school. His parents ("At the end of the day, this show is a love letter to my parents, both of them," Mr. Rock said) constantly struggle with paying bills and keeping their children fed. The show, like Mr. Rock's provocative stand-up routines, is often brutally funny, but it's not cute.

"Had we known Bed-Stuy was gonna be the center of a crack epidemic, I guess we'd have moved somewhere else," he says in the pilot's narration. "Bed-Stuy even had a motto: Bed-Stuy, Do or Die. Those are some of the guys who are gonna die."

But, harsh as the context might seem, Mr. LeRoi stressed that the show really revolves around small, universal truths of family life: a kid's wanting a radio his father doesn't think he should have, trying to impress the cute girl next door, getting blamed for something your adorable little sister did.

"We're using different people's experiences," said Mr. LeRoi, who, like Mr. Rock, went to a mostly white junior high school. "If you were 13 and a nerd then you probably have a story that fits this show. When I was 12 my best friend was a little white guy, so that's in the show. I grew up in a family with a father who worked really hard and a mother who didn't have much money. So it's all in there."

While Mr. Rock, who now lives in New Jersey, has been on the Paramount back lot set frequently during the first few weeks of filming and has the final word on every script, it is Mr. LeRoi who runs the day-to-day production, sitting in a chair next to the director, his Powerbook at the ready, sometimes changing dialogue on the fly. Although Howard Gewirtz, a veteran sitcom writer whose credits range from "Taxi" and "Wings" to "Oliver Beene" is also listed as executive producer, it is clear that Mr. LeRoi serves as Chris Rock's eyes and ears.

"I have a lot of confidence in Ali," Mr. Rock said. "He's probably the only guy I know that can take my mumblings and make sense of it,'cause I'm all over the place. When we're writing a script, it's literally me walking around a room, pacing and talking, talking, talking with Ali writing down everything I say and adding his own jokes."

Mr. Leroi is also, he admitted, much better suited to the pressures and distractions of running a high-profile production, especially one where the network and studio have so much at stake and aren't shy about dropping by the set, sometimes just to check in, sometimes with notes and suggestions about the scripts. Mr. LeRoi, a tall, serene, athletic presence, seems to take the intrusions in stride. Mr. Rock would just as soon as avoid them.

"Comedy is like cocaine," Mr. Rock said, acknowledging that notes from executives are an unavoidable part of doing a network series. "Every time you cut it, it gets worse."

Mr. Rock stresses that "Everybody Hates Chris" is not a literal version of his childhood. "When you watched 'Fat Albert,' you weren't really thinking about Bill Cosby," he said. "This is just based on my life, which is a very broad term. I think it just requires we have a black kid. It doesn't even have to be a boy."

But he and Mr. LeRoi understand that, for the show to succeed, audiences have to buy into the notion that TV Chris , however fictionalized he might be, will some day become the real Chris Rock.

It's not, however, a transition that audiences will see. The real Chris Rock dropped out of high school and became a stand-up comedian by the time he was 19. However successful "Everybody Hates Chris" turns out to be, Mr. LeRoi and Mr. Rock are adamant that the show will end before the fictional Chris makes that leap.

"The show only works as long as he's a regular guy having regular problems," Mr. LeRoi said. "Nerdy guys can put themselves in the position of the guy not getting the girl. Mothers can put themselves in the position of trying to raise kids under difficult circumstances. But once he starts becoming a comedian, all that changes. Then it becomes the 'Roseanne' year when they hit the lottery. And people will go, 'That's got nothing to do with me.' "

"Nobody wants to see this kid with a microphone pretending he's Chris Rock," Mr. LeRoi continued. "I don't want to see that. And Chris doesn't want to see that. So, if I've got anything to say about it, the minute he walks into a comedy club, the show is over. Thank you. Good night. We're all going home.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/18/ar...gewanted=print
fredfa is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Closed Thread HDTV Programming

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off