Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ring Around The Rosie

Breaking news here, Rosie O'Donnell and "The View" are done.

According to AP reports, O'Donnell and ABC couldn't agree to a new contract, so she's out in June when her current deal expires.

Let me be the first to say Huzzah! Though I never watch "The View" at all, have little interest in it, I feel like I watch it all the time because of all the outrageous stuff O'Donnell says on it that then gets reported. Denying her a national platform is a step in the right direction.

But if you are a producer of "The View," it's a glass-is-half-full kind of deal. I'm sure she was a pain to deal with on the set, and I'm sure the producers cringed at a lot of the stuff she said, but on the other hand, there's no such thing as bad publicity in show business, and she did bring in ratings and attention.

This is likely not the end of the story. ABC needs Rosie for the ratings, and she can't give up such a high-profile platform, so this will likely be nothing more than a negotiationg ploy.

But one can dream, can't they?

NEWS FROM ACROSS THE POND: A couple of great news items from the Mother country. Sci-Fi has announced Season 3 of "Doctor Who" (or Season 28 if you are counting the old way) arrives in July on the U.S. airwaves. I suppose if you have a satellite feed, you can watch it on the BBC right now, but the rest of us have to wait.

Additionally, there is a good news/bad news report out of last week's Times of London. Doing a terrific feature story on whether or not the British police need men like the fictional Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) of "Life On Mars," the paper reports that show wrapped up production after its second season (which should air on BBC America some time in late summer).

Though I'm disappointed we won't have more adventures of what was TV's coolest show after its second season airs, the good news is that BBC is already set to produce a spinoff focused on Hunt. This time, the setting is 1981, and Hunt has a female partner in London set in the early Margaret Thatcher years.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: To celebrate being in a British mood, we note that tonight marks the second episode of "Hustle" (AMC, 10 p.m.), produced by the same people who make "Life On Mars."

Tonight's installment of "Lost" (ABC, 10 p.m.) focuses again on Juliet, which have made the best episodes this season. I'm totally crazy for Elizabeth Mitchell, and will shamelessly use this space to get her the Emmy nomination she so richly deserves.

"Jericho" (CBS, 8 p.m.) is new tonight. Despite strong ratings early on, this is one of the shows that is considered to be on the bubble for next season, so if you are a fan, you may want to encourage your friends to watch. It precedes a new "Criminal Minds" and "CSI: NY."

I've yet to check out "Thank God You're Here" (NBC, 8 p.m.), but Jonathan Heeter of the Bringing the Heet blog on is a big fan, which is just a huge endorsement. It's followed by new episodes of "Crossing Jordan" and "Medium." I have no idea what Heeter's feelings on those shows are.

It's also a good news/bad news deal on "American Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m.) which is continuing to raise money to fight poverty but is also knocking off a contestant.


Anonymous said...

Zod here:

I am totally on board the "please make her go away" train for Rosie. can't stand her. Then again, I hardly ever watch "The View" and only occassionally set my DVR if I am excited about a particular guest.

Then again, I really can't stand Joy or Hasselbeck either, though at least Hasselbeck is nice to look at. But when she starts talking...well, it's like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Only Barbara Walters is someone I am reasonably comfortable with interviewing or talking. The other best person they ever had, Meredith Viera, is of course now on "The Today Show" which I actually think is better with her more affable style with Matt Lauer, rather then an arrogant primadonna like Couric.

Anonymous said...

More Zod:

Additionally, I just wanted to say how much I love Philip Glenister and I am saddened that "Life on Mars" is only going this 1 more season.

The irony is, David E. Kelley's version will stink, star Dylan McDermott, and last 7 years.

But you have to admire the British TV model that bypasses making a lot more $ on a hit series by forgoing subsequent, less capable episodes. They make short, high quality waste. On the flipside, "ER' has been on now for, what, like 16 years? Ridiculous.

The other side to that argument of course is that while "24" has clearly had their worst year creatively in Season 6, many would argue (myself included) that they had their most creatively entertaining season in season 5, last year's spellbinder with President Logan.

A show like "Star Trek: The Next Generation" didn't hit its stride until season 3. Season 1 of TNG was by far, its weakest.

It's a mixed bag but I admire what they do in England with their shows.

Phillip Ramati said...

The English have a far better understanding of always leaving the audience wanting more rather than wearing out your welcome.

Ricky Gervais is the master, having done only two series each of The Office and Extras. John Cleese only did two series of Fawlty Towers.

I think I'd rather watch the German version that is being developed with Life on Mars rather than the David Kelley version. Of course, I'd rather have hot pokers jabbed in my eyeballs than watch that version.

A lot of US shows could take a page from the British playbook, especially since the average American series runs 22 episodes. Part of it is the greed of the networks, which keep stuff like 24 and ER on the air past their prime, and part of it is producers don't know when to walk away.

One of the things that makes me happy about Lost is JJ Abrams is writing toward a definite ending, so he can tie things up at his own pace, rather than keeping things going on and on, a la 24.

Hotspur said...

Thank God Rosie is gone. She and her henchwomen Barbara and Joy spew a non stop leftist garbage.

Re the British limiting the number of shows, I was upset that the number of episodes of Fawty Towers was so limited. Many of their Mystery series are very limited in numbers.

If the British limit their shows we do not know when to stop. "Prison Break" was a great idea for ONE SEASON. "24"has jumped the shark. They will stay on the Island in "Lost" for ever. Isn't it amazing they have not run out of clothes.

At least Seinfeld new when to quit.

zodin2008 said...

Actually, Hotspur, Barbara is much more centrist then you give her credit for.

Yes, Rosie is very far to the left, but so was Viera and she was a much better host.

Someone's politics do not have to satnd in the way of being good at their job. Rosie, unfortunately, has to pick a fight every other day and most of us, including probably some leftists as well, wish she's just shut up.

re: "24"

First, again, enough with the bashing. Yes, this has not been a good season but your point about "24" being on 'way past its prime' is moot by the fact that most would argue its most enteraining season was season #5, the season of President Logan.

Now, I personally enjoyed seasons 1-5, but this season, #6, is the first one where I have been kind of bored and not enjoying it. Since I did enjoy the previous 5 seasons, I am perfectly willing to give the "24" producers a chance in S7 to make a full recovery.

Many, many shows have had better seasons later. Just because I admire the Brits willingness to forgoe making $ in favor of artistic credibility, doesn't mean that every American show is better or worse after season 1.

"Star Trek: The Next Generation" was mostly unwatchable in Season 1, season 2 was solid but had many misfires, and their best seasons were probably 3-5! Same with DS9: the show got BETTER each year throughout its 7 seasons! I know you agree with that.

Had a fantastic show like DS9 ended after just 2 seasons, would you not admit you would have missed 5 great years of television?

It's not a slam dunk. It more depends on the quality of the writers. "Buffy" and "Angel" both were fantastic well after season 2 because each show was fortunate to have amongst the best writers ever on Television. Also, "Rescue Me" and "The Shield" have both gone past 3 seasons and I see no let up in either.

I saw enough greatness in Seasons 4 and 5 of "The Sopranos" to make it through a lackluster season 6 and a rebounded final season. And while a portion of the 2nd half of "Battlestar" season 3 wasn't great, the first half of season 3 (on New Caprica), was some of the best stuff I have seen on Television in years.

This is my point...we can respect what the Brits do w/ their shows but you can't deny how many good or great American shows that we have watched have been good to great well after season 2.

Phillip Ramati said...

I never said a show should end after 2 years. What I said was, in general, British shows end while creatively still in their prime while US shows go well past the point of expiration.

There are plenty examples of US shows that were still strong when they left, a lot of which Zod mentioned. Some were shows the networks gave up on (e.g. Angel) and some were shows where the producers decided to pull the plug.

I'm not picking on 24, except to point out that virtually all of the plotlines this season (trying to stop a nuke, the president fighting with his cabinet, jack breaking into an embassy, jack rescuing his girlfriend, suspected moles in CTU) have all been recycled from previous years. Last year, making Logan the villain, was much more original.

24 could have stayed more original by making this season focus on rescuing Jack from the Chinese, set entirely in China, which would have worked much better in the single-day format of the show.

There are plenty of other shows that I did mention or could have mentioned that stayed on past their prime, not just 24.

zodin2008 said...

But again, the phrase "past its prime" isn't necessarily fair to "24' since myself, most fans and almost all critics, would argue that "24" had its most creative season in season #5.

I also agree that having Jack get off the plane in episode #1 was a mistake. I agree again that setting the show in China would have been so different and would have definitely gotten people's attention instead of rehashing everything the show has done before.

You could have had a bit more of James Bond feel to the thing and hell, even had Jack escape towards the beginning of the show and the Chinese follow suit so Jack could be involved in the action. You have some American agents in Beijing looking for him, maybe Curtis (since he still would have been alive) and a few others along with a Chinese mole helping them on the inside.

You still could have used CTU in terms of Curtis and his team checking in and using satellites, as to not eliminating Chloe and Buchanan, 2 sold supporting characters.

The other problem I see with "24" is they have killed off way way too many popular characters, such as Tony, Michelle, Edgar, David Palmer, Nina, Sherry, etc. You can kill some off but I said LAST year that killing Tony & Michelle was a huge, huge mistake. These were beloved supporting characters and Jack needs friends.

Now you are left with a whole host of weak new characters that the audience either doesn't like or doesn't care for...Milo, Morris, Ricky Schroeder as the the biggest a-hole agent ever, a weak Wayne Palmer as President, etc. Honestly, I like Nadia (because she's very attractive) but not a great actress either and certainly not at all believable as the new head of CTU. Really, 24?

The only characters after Jack I care about are aybe Audrey, Buchanan and Chloe.

Phillip Ramati said...

I wouldn't say Season 5 of 24 was its most creative. It did have a great villain in Logan, but the plotting was weak. Season 1 is still probably the best season.

Speaking of Logan, 24 makes a big deal of bringing back him and Martha, has Martha stab him, then leaves it hanging. As far as the show is concerned, that is last appearance of both actors on the show for this season. Why make a point of bringing back Logan in this manner? Don't you think someone might at least mention the medical condition of a former president who is dying over a five- or six-hour span?

zodin2008 said...

Phillip, get off it already with your 25 bashing. Your obssessed and it sucks everytime I have to hear it.

The show isn't good this year, FINE. But every real critic in America liked season 5. You are alone. Get over it. Everyone liked season, Roush, Bianco, Goodman, etc. These are big time critics.