Friday, December 21, 2007

An Early Happy Festivus

Just wanted to wish you loyal dozens (and judging by the number of replies that I've been getting lately, that number seems to be growing) a happy Festivus. As you (should) know, the holiday is upon us Sunday, so take out those aluminum poles and gear up for the feats of strengths. (I've long had my list of grievances ready to air).

It really says something about the staying power of a TV show like "Seinfeld" that over a decade after the Festivus episode aired, people still actually celebrate this holiday.

Some news and notes before the holiday season begins:

WILL JAMIE LYNN'S PREGNANCY BE A SPECIAL?: As you've no doubt heard by now, Britney Spears' 16-year-old sister has announced she's pregnant. Jamie Lynn Spears, star of Nickelodeon's "Zoey 101," made the announcement in a celebrity rag earlier this week.

In the wake of the Spears family becoming more of a punchline, some good may actually come of this (besides the miracle of childbirth, of course). Nickelodeon is in talks with journalist Linda Ellerbee to do a special on teen pregnancy. Considering Nick's audience, and considering some of the other terrific specials aimed at kids that Ellerbee has done in the past (the one on AIDS, with Magic Johnson, springs to mind), this could end up being a great forum to deliver a message to thousands of teens and pre-teens.

Meanwhile, the network said it wouldn't yank "Zoey 101," which has wrapped up its final season of filming.

USA BIDS ADIEU: Fans of "The 4400" and "The Dead Zone" got a lump of coal for their stockings this week, as USA cancelled the two low-rated cult favorites. The network dragged its heels forever on making a decision, bu it seems like a mini-run of six episodes for each or even a TV movie to wrap up the storylines might have been a nice parting gift to loyal fans.

"DEXTER" KILLS: The sensational season finale of "Dexter" drew 1.4 million viewers in its initial airing, setting an all-time mark for Showtime. (The network only has between 15 and 18 million subscribers.) It was great to see star Michael C. Hall get deserved nominations this week from both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild for Best Actor, and Season 3 can't come soon enough.

Meanwhile, CBS is toying with the idea of airing heavily edited versions of "Dexter" during the WGA strike. Though I like the idea of introducing "Dexter" to a wider audience, the cuts the network would have to make in regards to the violence, sex and language would detract from the storytelling, IMHO, and I don't think a watered-down "Dexter" would make the same impact.

LIFETIME CONTEST: From a press release: Lifetime Networks’, the ultimate digital destination for women’s entertainment and escape, is searching for America’s most inspiring and creative New Year’s resolutions to be featured in an original Web series.’s “Clean Start Challenge” invites users to share their New Year’s resolutions online for a chance to host their own Webisode series and win cash prizes. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 and a trip to Disney World. Nine runner-ups will each receive $2,000.

Users “audition” by submitting photos or videos describing their New Year’s resolution on, now through January 9, 2008. A panel of expert judges will narrow down the entries to ten contestants, who will be given webcams to track their progress on keeping their resolutions from January 21st to March 31st.

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: Well, we've pretty much hit the end of new dramatic programming for the year, and even the college football bowl games aren't going to provide much relief. Tonight we get the mighty New Orleans Bowl, featuring the sexy matchup of Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic (ESPN2, 8 p.m.)

Other matchups over the weekend include the Papa John's Bowl (ESPN, Sat., 1 p.m.); the New Mexico Bowl (ESPN, Sat., 4:30 p.m.); The Las Vegas Bowl (ESPN, Sat., 8 p.m.); and the Hawaii Bowl (ESPN, Sun., 8 p.m.) as East Carolina looks for a Festivus miracle against Boise State.

"Duel" (ABC, 8 p.m.) continues tonight before ending Sunday night with its final four battling for more than $1 million.

"The Amazing Race" (CBS, Sun., 8 p.m.) returns for a new episode. It's followed by the documentary, "In God's Name" at 9 p.m., in which a dozen major religious leaders from all faiths around the world talk about modern issues.


zodin2008 said...

I will not acknowledge your deliberate slight at "The 4400" and "The Dead Zone" by calling them "low rated cult" shows. As I talked with you offlibne yesterday about this, you've continued this falsehood/lie and it's simply not true.

Both USA shows were among the top 10-15, consistently, of Cable series. For you to argue this point and then perpetuate this falsehood on your Blog with that snide little "low rated" remark, really presents a falsehood to the few people that read your Blog and it's shaemful to say the least.

I have nothing else to comment on this Blog if you are going to belittle USA series (one of which I know you watched - "The 4400") that many of us watch; And 'no offense', but I find "Burn Notice", your pet project, to be highly overrated.

zodin2008 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phillip Ramati said...

According to Variety, this summer's airings of The 4400 were down 29 percent while The Dead Zone were down 16 percent. Both shows had started out with pretty good ratings when they first debuted, but had been declining over the last few years.

Most sci-fi genre shows have cult-like followings; nothing wrong or insulting with that. I was a fan myself of The 4400 and wanted to see it continue, so if I were insulting the fans of the series, I'd be lumping myself in there.

And if you don't like Burn Notice, that's your deal. I found it to be a lot of fun, and the ratings were among the best of any show over the summer, with the exception of the TNT shows.

Edge said...

Don't forget about the all day athon of the 'Christmas Story' on Christmas Eve. My all time fav Christmas movie. Of course you may mention it on Monday...."you'll shoot your eye out"