Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More TV Goodness

Well, if you haven't heard, Ken Burns' World War II documentary miniseries "The War" (PBS, 8 p.m.) drew a whopping 18.7 million viewers for its debut Sunday night, unheard of for the network except for all the other times Ken Burns has a documentary airing.

Whether the numbers hold remains to be seen as "The War" continues to go head-to-head with all of the network season premieres, but odds are, "The War" has its own built-in, loyal audience. It just goes to show that there's no way to predict the tastes of the average American.

COUCH NOT SO UGLY: Former Maconite Christina Stefano Wood's couch was ugly, just not ugly enough. It made it to the final three of the "Ugliest Couch" contest to earn a spot this morning on "Live With Regis & Kelly," but fell short of the ultimate prize of $5,000 and a selection of seat covers.

Of course, if you saw the couch that actually one, it was pretty much no contest. The winner could have won the "Ugliest Couch of All-Time" award.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: CBS kicks off the night with the season premieres of "NCIS" at 8 p.m., followed by "The Unit" and the debut of "Cane." "Cane" is probably worth a look, although it will require a major commitment from the viewer to stick with it. But the cast, including Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo, Rita Morena, Nestor Carbonell and Polly Walker, is stellar and the pilot was better than I expected.

Fox programmers are showing a lot of common sense, moving "Bones" to Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and pairing it with its top-rated drama, "House." Both shows carry that same sort of tongue-in-cheek charm in a procedural form, so the audiences for both shows should be similar. "House" picks up with House all alone after his staff rebels and leaves him, forcing him to hold a cattle call of young doctors to be the new team. Poor saps have no idea what they are in for...

Tonight marks the debut of the male dancers on "Dancing With The Stars" (ABC, 8 p.m.) (Go Wayne Newton!) It's followed by inexplicable Emmy darling "Boston Legal" (ABC, 9:30 p.m.)

NBC is also all-new, with a two-hour "The Biggest Loser" at 8 p.m., followed by the season premiere of "Law & Order: SVU" at 10 p.m.

Finally, the pick of the night is TV's coolest and cleverest new show, "Reaper" (CW, 9 p.m.) Though the comparison to shows like "Buffy" are apt (though "Reaper" is much more tongue in cheek), this should appeal to a variety of ages. I watched the pilot with my mom, who loved it. In fact, the only possible nitpick for this show is that Ray Wise is so brilliantly cast as the Devil, you actually find yourself pulling for Satan, and I'm not sure how good a thing that is.


zodin2008 said...

Wow, they brought "The Practice" back and dumped "Boston Legal"? Who knew! Just kidding - I know you meant "Legal" but as far as I am concerned, you can't tell these series apart. Anything by David E. Kelley is pretty much the same - poorly written, poorly acted, and at least 1 "important" episode a year to mail to Emmy voters so that James Spader can keep stealing Emmys from far more deserving people.

David E. Kelley, is and will always remain, the biggest, least talented hack in Television.

I am stunned about 'The War'. Really, I know PBS and various national media outlets promoted the hell out of this, but I am downright stunned at the ratings.

I will give 'Reaper' a shot tonight and I will at least watch the season premier of "Bones". But I am still so livid over "Bones" awful, hate-inducing season finale from last year, that a lot of the goodwill I felt towards the show left.

The fact that yuo compare it to "House" is not helping me have any more love of "Bones", since I loathe "House"!

Phillip Ramati said...

Sorry, in my addled brain, all those Kelley shows appear alike.

I didn't hate the Bones finale the way you did. It's one of those shows that works more on the chemistry of the actors than on the plots.

Jonathan said...

I found the "Bones" season finale to be dissapointing compared to the context of the regular season, but I find most finales to be just that. There seems to be this overwhelming need to throw everything but the kitchen sink in those final episodes of the season on most series, that it's gotten to the point of being ridiculous. "Lost" seems to be the only show that can do this and still get it right, and what do you know, they had the best season finale last year hands down. Although, I would also point out "Supernatural" as having a pretty damn strong one as well.

Still, "Bones" was also hands down the most improved show in its second season last year, and created great character arcs throughout not to mention having wonderful guest star appeareances throughout the season; most notably, Stephen Fry as Booth's shrink. And when we were discussing all of the Emmy snubs a month or so ago, I think T.J. Thyne should have also been thrown into the mix; he actually is able to nail the wisecracking smart ass character that most shows never get right. So, I'm looking forward to the season premiere tonight, and have hopes that the show continues its successfull streak. But, Zod, I agree with you whole heartedly on "House." I've never gotten its appeal; I think it comes down to whether or not you like Laurie's protrayal. I find him annoying and just too much of a prick to like most of the time in the few episodes I've watched, and I don't find the supporting cast interesting at all, but a lot of people dig the hell out of it, so what do I know?

zodin2008 said...


Tim Goodman, interestingly, is also tired of "House". He highly recommends "Reaper" and agrees w/ you.

I agree with Jonathan. The 2nd season was quite strong - Stephen Frye (whom I like a lot more than his overblown former co-star, Hugh Laurie) was a fun addition and while TJ Thyne wouldn't have necessarily made my top 5 for Best supporting actor in a Drama (it's such a deep pool of actors to choose from), I agree, Jack Hodgins was one of the best things about Season 2 of "Bones".

Hodgins' pursuit of Angela and their entire courtship was one of the warmest, sweetest and nicest of the "Bones" season 2 elements.

Which is why the finale and that horribly annoying (and unrealistic) NON wedding of Hodgins and Angela was such an injustice to us fans of the show. To watch that sweet romance unfold over the course of the 06-07 season, and then the PAYOFF is some stupid, farce ending that ends up with them not together, really chapped me big time.

To make matters worse, they are apparently looking Enrique Iglasius-up the role of her ex husband. (referring to the joke on "Mother" last night with Robin coming back with the hottest guy that no regular guy can really compete with).

Apparently, the plan from the 'Bones' producers is to find a guy that may look like say George Clooney and be a giving, kind philanthropist/hero. Apparently, we are supposed to enjoy watching Hodgins squirm this year.

Phillip Ramati said...

You guys can continue to hate on House all you want, doesn't bother me.

I'd hesitate to call Reaper the best new show of the season, but only because there are some terrific shows out there competing with it. I think Chuck, Life and Journeyman are all excellent entries, as is Aliens in America and Dirty, Sexy Money, which I saw last night.

I'm also popping in the DVD pilot for Pushing Daisies tonight, the only show I've seen that has gotten as much critical praise as Reaper.

But if Reaper does last the season, Ray Wise has to be a shoo-in for an Emmy nod. He is absolutely perfect.

zodin2008 said...

First, would Ray Wise be nominated for an Emmy for a Drama supporting role, or comedy one? "Reaper" is a hybrid show. I have brought it up before, but it maybe time to create a hybrid, "Dramedy" category.

A lot of shows...Entourage, Pushing Daisies, Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal, Reaper, Chuck all seem to fall into that middle zone. You can add in a ton of Cable fare like Rescue Me, Monk, Psych, Nip/Tuck, etc. that also fall into those medium zones.

I think it maybe time for Emmy to grow up and separate these shows. It may have helped the likes of Buffy more had those categories been around.

I will take the critics word that new shows like Cane, Dirty Sexy Money and Pushing Daisies all deserve some to a lot of critical praise. However, I can't afford to add the sheer number of shows I have in the past and really need to start cutting. I watched another mediocre "Prison Break" last night and along with "Bones" and possibly "My Name is Earl", all these shows maybe hung out to dry in an effort to scale back and leave some room open for new shows like "Chuck", "Journeyman" and "Reaper".

With a baby on the way in 2 months, I simply need to shave some of the amount of total time I spend with Television, even if it means ending my allegiance to a show like "Bones".