Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Late Night Shows To Return

NBC is already rolling out the ads promoting the return of "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and "Late Night" with Conan O'Brien, scheduled (right now) for Jan. 2.

Both shows had been pulled for the WGA strike, but both are set to return -- without writers. What's another name for a late-night comedy show without comedy writers? Usually, it's train wreck.

This is actually a good thing for the writers, since late-night shows without jokes for the hosts are going to wear thin real quick for viewers, and ratings are likely going to drop fast, putting more pressure on the studios to return to the bargaining table.

Meanwhile, "The Late Show With David Letterman" is negotiating individually its own deal with the WGA through Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants. Once a deal is struck, "The Late Show" would return with a full writing staff. Again, with individual deals being struck, it would again force the studios as a whole to return to the negotiations, something they have refused to do for nearly two weeks now in a gamble to try to break the union.

And once Letterman does return, he's one of the most vocal pro-union guys anyway, so it would give the writers a great forum on the air to plead their side of the strike.

AROUND THE DIAL: Some people have been asking, when will the lone filmed-but-unaired episode of "Desperate Housewives" actually return? According to TVGuide.com, Jan. 6. This is the follow-up to the cliffhanger about the tornado that hit Wisteria Lane. If you don't want to find out who lives and dies before the episode, then DON'T go to TVGuide's Web site, because spoilers are posted. ...

Not a TV item, but the new, frakkin' awesome trailer for "The Dark Knight" is posted here: http://www.atasteforthetheatrical.com. I can't believe I've got to wait another seven months for this movie! ...

MONDAY RECAP: So, I checked out "Duel" last night on ABC. Not bad, not great. Mike Greenberg was solid as a host, but enough with the freaking commercials already. It's as bad as "Deal or No Deal," where they try to make every big moment a cliffhanger by inserting another commercial. Even the contestants last night were exasperated, which was actually pretty amusing. Meanwhile, the contestants themselves seemed to be an annoying group of wankers, with the exception of the girl who is leading right now. She seems OK. The questions themselves haven't proven too difficult, either. You can check it out again tonight at 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, "Journeyman" continues to show great flashes of brilliance, which makes it a shame that Wednesday's episode is the series finale. However, producers have said they anticipated this might be the end, so expect several questions about Dan's (Kevin McKidd) time-traveling to be wrapped up.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: The networks continue to horde new episodes like squirrels with chestnuts, offering them slowly and reluctantly. But CBS is all-new tonight, with "NCIS" leading things off, followed by "The Unit" and "Cane."

"Duel" is followed by new installments of "According to Jim" (ABC, 9:30 p.m.) and "Boston Legal" (ABC, 10 p.m.)

NBC is all-reality tonight, continuing with "Clash of the Choirs" at 8 p.m. and followed by "The Biggest Loser" season finale at 9 p.m. Fear not, "Loser" fans; NBC is returning with "The Biggest Loser: Couples Edition" in January.

Finally, cable puts out some interesting offerings, with a new episode of "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 10 p.m.) But the pick of the night is the insanely clever "Life On Mars" (BBC America, 9 p.m.)


Paul said...

I saw The Dark Knight's trailer before I Am Legend. I had no idea it was coming, so it was a very pleasant surprise.

As for the late night shows... I never watch them anyway. I'll rely on you to keep me posted.

zodin2008 said...

The Dark Knight preview was better than the disappointing I Am Legend. Very cool stuff.

Life on mars was excellent again tonight.

Anonymous said...

Who got voted off the Choir island? I missed the results show last night.

Phillip Ramati said...

I remember when I saw the trailer for Batman Begins in L.A. just before Ocean's 12. The trailer got a standing ovation; Ocean's 12, not so much. I spoke to a guy at the Warner Bros. lot who was more interested in my reaction to the trailer.

Sorry, Anon, haven't been following the choirs, so I can't tell you who is still around.

KellyC said...

I'm "anon" in this case -

I miss Maggie and her Amped column - we had a few good exchanges during the American Idol season this past year. I guess if I want to see a similar blog like she had reviewing local talent then I would have to start one myself.

Phillip Ramati said...

A lot of people miss Amped. I tend not to follow the music shows, but I was toying with the idea of doing American Idol updates, especially if the strike goes on, because so many people do watch it.

But as I say to all my readers, feel free to chime in on any TV-related topic at any time.

Phillip Ramati said...

BTW, it was Kelly Rowland's team who was eliminated on Tuesday.

KellyC said...


Sven said...

A professional screenwriter you call yourself?
Than I sincerely wish that your scripts were rejected only after a cursory glance by some arrogant intern in Hollywood.
That would be the perfect medicine for your own snobbish remark about a show you only gave 15 minutes of your invaluable time.
Continue your immersion and the hunt in the Everglades of TV, only you are not the predator, but a small fish.

One of many friends of John From Cincinnati.
Oh, and please, let me know if critics have some kind of ethic code they must follow, I remember that doctors do. Words can kill, you probably know it.

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, Sven, forgive the response time. I thought you might have posted your response on the blog that included John From Cincinnati, not this one.

You mention my screenwriting. Fact is, most agencies and producers only read the first 10-15 pages of a script, which is the equivalent of 10-15 minutes of screentime. If the script hasn't hooked them by then, it's chucked in the trash.

So I'm fairly certain that at least a few of the agents/producers over the years have filed what I've written in said way.

As far as I know, there's no Hippocratic Oath for critics, though perhaps we need one.

My job is to give people my opinions of shows I watched. Whether people choose to follow my advice is entirely up to them.

You enjoyed John From Cincy, and more power to you. But the vast majority of opinions were with me - it was one of the lowest-rated shows on HBO ever, and most critics found it to be bad. I found it to be unwatchable. I'm neither right or wrong - it's my opinion.