Monday, December 17, 2007

'Clash' vs. "Duel'

With the writers' strike going on, it's hard to tell if some of the programming choices made by the networks would have been made if there had been made if there had been no strike.

Witness tonight, which sees the debut of two new reality game shows that will be airing all week. ABC kicks off "Duel" at 8 p.m., in which sportscaster Mike Greenberg of ESPN's "Mike & Mike" fame serves as host as a group of trivia contestants face off against each other in an NCAA-style bracket for a $1.5 million prize.

NBC counters with "Clash of the Choirs" (NBC, 8 p.m.), in which five choirs, under the tutelage of professional singers, compete in an "American Idol" type format. (Though, would you want to be the judge that disses a choir? I'm sure there's a circle of Hell for people like that!)

Of the two, "Duel" sounds a bit more promising, especially for a trivia nut like me. The problem with a lot of primetime game shows is that the trivia is often not very challenging and the networks overuse the shows. ABC itself did this with "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" a few years ago, showing it so often that people burned out with it.

For me, I'm hoping we have scripted television back soon enough.

WGA UPDATE: Speaking of the writers, the WGA has announced that it will start negotiating with individual studios and production companies, since the conglomerate of studios walked away from the bargaining table over a week ago and refuses to come back. Though there are several hundred production companies to deal with, at least one, David Letterman's "Worldwide Pants" has announced it will eagerly begin negotiating. Hopefully, this tactic will help jumpstart negotiations in general.

'LOST' RETURNS: ABC will give me a slightly belated birthday present (because, yes, it's all about me) when "Lost" returns to the schedule Jan. 31, switching to Thursday nights in February and airing in the "Grey's Anatomy" slot of 9 p.m. Since ABC has obviously been successful in this time slot, it's a good deal for "Lost" fans, especially since it likely won't be going against any new episodes of CBS' "CSI."

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: Pick a new game show, because most of the rest of the offerings tonight are reruns.

Two notable exceptions are "K-Ville," (Fox, 9 p.m.) and "Journeyman" (NBC, 10 p.m.), both of which are likely gone for good whenever the writers do return. "Journeyman" fans will at least get a bonus episode this Wednesday at 10 p.m. Also new is "Notes From The Underbelly" (ABC, 9:30 p.m.), followed by a new "October Road" at 10 p.m. Also new is "CSI:Miami" (CBS, 10 p.m.)

Also of some interest might be "Antiques Roadshow" (PBS, 8 p.m.) which airs three episodes in a row from Savannah.


Jonathan said...

I'm a fan of "Mike and Mike In The Morning," and I think that Greenberg has a pretty good sense of humor, so I'm curious to check this out; plus I love trivia. But I agree with your assessment on primetime gameshows. Although, "Millionaire" was fun for awhile, but got old quickly.

"Clash of the Choirs" shows how low networks are reaching for their reality type programming. As much as the Beauty pageant theme in "Crowned" creeps me out, this one seems even stranger.

Phillip Ramati said...

Especially if they find the William Hung of choirs!

Anonymous said...

Rats. When I saw "Duel" in your headline I thought you meant the killer truck.

Paul said...

I agree... I'll probably catch the Mike Greenburg show. I don't think I'll bother remember its name until it airs and I decide I like it, though.

I don't watch much TV during the week, and I'm not much of a reality TV fan, so most of the other shows don't offer anything for me. This is probably a good thing.

zodin2008 said...

I can't stand Greeny so I skipped the game show BECAUSE of him. He's a prententious, phony, panderer on his show.

That's why I usually listen to Czaban and the guys from Fox Sports on my way to work.

"Journeyman" was great last night & I am really sad that tomorrow night's episode is likely the series finale. What a huge disheartening disappointment.

Phillip Ramati said...

Wow, some interest in Duel, even if it doesn't involve a crazed oil rig. I like Greeny just fine, and he does a decent job with the gig.