Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Alicia Silverstone Is No 'Mother'

It was rumored a few months ago that we would finally learn the identity of Ted Moseby's future wife on the CBS sitcom, "How I Met Your Mother."

Now in its third season, the series is essentially a giant flashback in which an older Ted (voiced by Bob Saget) tells his kids the story of how he met their mother. For all of the show's run, however, it's followed the misadventures of the younger Ted (Josh Radnor) and his wacky friends. Often, Ted tells his kids of one fling after another, and how the girl who might be "The One" turns out not to be.

"HIMYM" has been one of the most consistently funny sitcoms since its inception, but also constantly ratings-challenged on Monday nights, often being dwarfed in the Nielsen's by its less-funny CBS brethren (someone please explain to me the appeal of "Big Bang Theory").

So the producers of "HIMYM" have resorted to a bit of stunt casting that should give them a temporary ratings bump, but will probably hurt them in the long run.

The producers cast Alicia Silverstone in multi-episodes as a doctor who becomes Ted's love interest. Some even rumored that she would be revealed as the "Mother" from the title.

This wasn't the problem. I think Silverstone has good comic timing and charm, and might have been an interesting mix to the cast. But you won't be seeing Silverstone in the role.

She dropped out when the OTHER guest star for her first episode was announced - none other than Britney Spears, who was going to play her nurse. Yes, the producers have resorted to stunt casting everyone's favorite bipolar tabloid fodder ex-pop queen. Silverstone, meanwhile, will be replaced by the talented Sarah Chalke ("Scrubs"), but the character will only appear in that episode.

In one way, casting Spears could be a ratings coup. After all, you can barely turn the channel anyway and not see her, albeit in usually humiliating circumstances. But I'm guessing the audience that tunes in specificially to catch Spears will not be sticking around for future "HIMYM" installments.

You can read more about the whole fiasco at TVGuide.com: http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-Editors-Blog/Ausiello-Report/Ausiello-Scoop-Chalke/700018100

Meanwhile, Silverstone may appear as a different character in future installments of the show.

"LOST" MADNESS: My brother forwarded me this little tidbit from The Washington Post. It's a little NCAA-style bracket in which the various characters on "Lost" faceoff in a giant popularity contest. (My money is on Sawyer). You can check it out here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/television/features/2007/lost-central/lost_madness.html

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Oh, to be in April, when new episodes of dramatic TV will appear.

In the meantime, "House"-less Tuesdays are going to continue to suck, with two-hour blocks of "American Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m.) squaring off against the likes of "The Biggest Loser" (NBC, 8 p.m.) The CW kicks off a new season of "Beauty & The Geek" at 8 p.m., but only for an hour.

As for scripted TV, "Jericho" (CBS, 10 p.m.) airs the first of its likely final three episodes, while "One Tree Hill" (CW, 9 p.m.) airs its 99th episode. Oh, and "According To Jim" (ABC, 9 p.m.) is also new.


Ryler32 said...

I will explain to you the appeal of The Big Bang Theory. It is a flat out funnier and better show than HIMYM. Obviously CBS and the viewers think so too. Case Closed.

Phillip Ramati said...

Oh, well that totally clears things up.

Using the American viewing public for making a case that something is good is certainly not the best argument.

zodin2008 said...

Wow, ryler32, thanks! I guess now I will have to start watching "Bang" and stop watching HIYM based on you & the American public - the same public that thinks watching American Idol, Survivor and dancing with the Stars is entertainment.


Phillip, I am with you wholeaheartedly.

Mother = funny
Bang = not funny
american public = mostly dumb

As for the stunt casting of Britney Spears and the subsequent departure of Silverstone, I say good.

Not good on Spears. She is what she is - a bi-polar white trash, ho. I don't want her anywhere near a show I like.

However, Alicia Silverstone is your typical egotistical, vain and overrated vegan celebrity. She's marginally funny, nothing special, not a great actress by any means and she lost my respect completely during the infamous "View" fight when she came out & dissed Eisabeth Hasselbeck who had been unduly harrassed by loud & obnoxious Rosie O'Donnell.

I thought Silverstone was a snotty little bi--- for what she did to Elisabeth, especially considering Rosie started the fight. (if you want to look at how to present an opposing political style with class & dignity, Rosie should watch Whoopi Goldberg).

So, if suffering through one appearance by Britney means Alicia Silverstone is NOT the mother, then fine by me.

Jonathan said...

My wife, a huge math geek (But, a hot one, I might add) digs "Big Bang Theory," so I've resorted to watching it occassionally with her. The show definitely improved after the terrible pilot, but it's nothing special. I don't hate it, but if someone I was in the room with wasn't watching it, I wouldn't go out of my way.

I'm kind of torn on the HIMYM news. The show takes a lot of bold steps and usually is the better for it, and so the Spears thing could be great or it could feel like some "Will and Grace" type stunt casting. I've never been a huge fan of Silverstone, but I think her acting style would mesh well with the cast, so I would've been curious to see that match-up.

Phillip Ramati said...

Hey, if Big Bang makes you laugh, more power to you. It has yet to make me even crack a smile.

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