James Durbin out, Haley Reinhart stays on 'Idol' plus Kutcher replaces Sheen - Lisa de Moraes' TV Column

May 13, 2011

Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes will talk about all the drama, comedy and heartbreak of the world of television -- both onscreen and behind-the-scenes!

Because of some breaking news, Lisa will be with us in just a few moments. Hang in there. Wow, a lot of you have submitted questions today!

You look sensational! And hello to Winki--that is all.

You have no idea how much I needed to hear that today -- thank you! Meanwhile, in case anyone missed the news, Ashton Kutcher is, indeed, the new Charlie Sheen.

Since there was a link to this week's chat at the bottom of last week's (May 6) chat, I copied the link for the May 13 chat and pasted it in a text document. So, as long as I don't forget where I saved the text document, I will be able to easily find you May 13 chat. Unless it gets moved during the next week (or was moved during the past week). Boy, this time travel stuff is hard.

Once created, we do our best not to move the link. When you submit your questions, those certainly won't disappear. Lisa sees your questions! So get 'em in early.

Particularly on Friday the 13th! Yes, I am a deeply superstitious person. And, while we're complaining, my computer is spitting out words at the rate of about 2 letters every three minutes so I am going to shut down my computer and re-start it which, I have been assured, is the answer to all my problems. Hope to be back in about 2 minutes....

We're having some tech problems, so Lisa's re-booting her computer -- she'll be back ASAP!

13:00 on Friday the 13th!

My point exactly! I appear to be back in action, so to speak. Anybody taking bets how long this lasts?

In all the talk of who will replace Charlie Sheen, haven't heard whether they plan to create a new similar character, or just have the guy be Charlie Harper. Just curious.

New character....

What was the rating for the show with Obama, I know my mom and I watched it and we have not watched the show in years, I guessing that the ratings were very very high (Love you on TK show)

It did a fine number -- but not a record of any kind. Best in several weeks, as I recall...

I know I shouldn't overthink a TV show, but what principal would allow that humiliation of a gay student to go that far by crowning him "prom queen"?

Welcome to the Golly This Show is Mean Spirited Club! we meet every Wednesday morning, after recovering from the previous night's episode of "Glee."...

Any word on whether "Chuck" will see another season?

All systems appear to be "Go" on that. What pictures of KabletownNBCUniversal suits do the Chuck producer have that this show survives year after year?

With all the cool characters on the show to carry it...why replace Charlie Sheen at all!?!? Jake went from cute & witty to dumpy & stupid. People will be shocked to see him physically now. Writers: smarten him up now! He can carry more at his current age.

I agree. I'm the captain of Team Eye Roll on the whole Ashton Kutcher hire. They're touting him as this social media genius who's going to tweet young viewers into watching the show. We all know how well that went with his CW series "The Beautiful Life" -- gone after two episodes hardly any of his 6.7 million Twitter followers watched....

If Scotty was told he was never really in the bottom three, why we he put there a couple of times? Was it done to give someone another chance to perform/ Could it have been jackob who should have gone a long time ago?

They are very careful to say when it's down to the bottom two that while one of them is going home they are not necessarily the two bottom-vote getters. Which means the other person who survives may not have gotten the second fewest number of votes. They put Scotty there on stage a couple weeks -- acutually I thougth it was just once but it's Friday the 13th so I'm not reliable -- to ratchet up the drama -- and to make good television viewing because we were getting pretty sick of seeing Haley Reinhart there week after week after week....

All season long, how is it determined who sings first and last? When they put a killer performance last, and it does seem rigged that way, the audience has all but forgotten the first performer. Thanks

They try to mix it up, to be "fair" -- we are talking about network TV here so "fair is relative" -- but they definitely hold the most popular to perform last, to keep people watching the show to the end...

I know he has millions of fans and, therefore, attractive to the suits, but the idea of Ashton Kutcher being on 2.5 Men ensures I will never watch it again. Ugh.

I will watch because I'm a huge trainwreck fan -- and let me hasten to say that I mean that figuratively, since it's Friday the 13th....

Glad Haley made it. James was too much of a screamer. I heard "Chuck" actually "is" being renewed for a 5th season. :o) Your thoughts? Thanks.

Yes he was and yes it is... James was capable of great diversity, but he kept going down that "give metal a chance" road and I guess people got sick of it... too bad. He's talented and he is definitely the person on in the final four who seemed to genuinely need to get as far as possible for the sake of his family. Didn't we learn early in the show -- like during auditions, that he and his wife were both unemployed, or did I dream that?

After last nights results on American Idol. It shows to me that the fan base is not how many people call in or use the internet to vote, It's about how many times a person is willing to do it. I can only say to you that this is my farewell in being a fan of this Telivision show. Last nights result of James Durbin getting the boot proves once again that the good guy finishes last. Next season I'll start to watch the Survior Show instead of American Idol. Farewell.

So long for now. But I can tell you that if seeing good guys finish last is offputting to you, you're definitely not going to like "Survivor." On the other hand, they wear a lot less clothing on "Survivor" so there's that to compensate...

America voted for the wrong people. I am 62 & believe in James. I love him & his spirit. He rocks & should Not have been voted off. He is THE Best singer of the season.

I think his two performances this week did him in. Which I guess just goes to show how close the voting is this season...

there needs to be a better voting system on American Idol where the judges have a 40% input like dancin with the stars...too many good talents were elimaninated too soon...

One of the executive producers says they're going to take a look at that after this season is over, but I'm guessing with ratings up this season, etc., that's just lip service. Networks don't like it when producers mess with success...

I would like to know what the heck happened to American voters. James IS the Best & most versatile singer we've had in a long time. My vote is still for James, even though I still love Scotty. James should be this years American Idol & IS in my heart. America fudged this one up. JAMES, YOU Rock.

Okay, I was with you all the way till you hit "even though I still love Scotty." Why does he always hold his arms like a Preying Mantis when he sings? Why does he always make any song he picks sound like they're all one song? And I have reservations about someone who, on national TV, kisses the cross handing around his neck and begs god's forgiveness for having spent time in the company of Lady Gaga.

BTW, you look sensational today! I don't know that I was shocked James got eliminated but I was sure hoping the growler would be packing her bags. On the plus side, Lauren is safe for one more week.

Nobody screams "Winner" for me on this season. ...

Doesn't America see Haley's ambivalence toward the criticism by the judges. Her attitude is "you are wrong, but if I have to listen, I guess i have to. She is a little bitch and has been since day one. And then to have James voted off and let Scotty stay - totally a huge mistake. What is American thinking - they have screwed up so many singers on this year's show. HALEY MUST GO

You say [female canine] -- I saw "spunky." It's all relative.  I like that she has not fallen apart in the face of all the judges negativity, which they definitely heap on her more than the others. And, BTW, from everything I hear, that's the only way to survive in the music industry.. I'm far more interested in what Jimmy Iovine thinks about each of the Idolettes and he's clearly a Haley fan and thinks she's marketable...

American idol is just wrong. What happened. I agree with lauren and scotty been in the top 3 but not haley.Yes she can sing but not as strong as the other 3.If australian;s could have voted JAMES would still be there.James should be the winnner.

Okay -- I confess. You stumped me. Australians? Does he have a huge fan base there, or do you just think they're smarter than Americans...

Ms dM: Is there any word yet on Outsourced? The season finale last night was fun but it also looked a lot like they were trying to wrap up some character connections in case they don't get renewed. I've like this show a lot more than I ever expected to. Does it have a chance? Thank you!

Not much. Unless the Chuck producers share with the Outsourced producers those photos of KabletownNBCUniversal suits they seem to have on file somewhere...

...did it get cancelled? If it didn't I hope they're re-writing it before it's inflicted upon us again.

Not looking good... ABC announces on Tuesday...

Will James Durban still get a recording contract after being ousted from Idol last night?

Don't forget, Daughtry was a fourth runner up the season he competed...

Bruno in DWTS has nothing on Greg Garcia when it comes to beating the censors. Did you see the "Raising Hope" episode where they made a joke about a woman in their painting class whose body makes weird sounds? "we call her Georgia O'Qu--f." I'm a big Greg Garcia fan, and I'm not overly prudish, but my jaw dropped on that one.

Do you think the Fox Decency Police did not get the gag?

7 of the last 8 posts were about AI, James, boo hoo hoo, blah blah blah. As James McLaughlin likes to yell "NEXT TOPIC!"

Okay -- I'm open to other topics. Fire away!

Perfect match--bad network suits' decision to air show about person famous for literary depictions of bad decisions!

Hey, here's a non "Idol" question. I can answer this one! Did you see Chelsea on Piers Morgan's CNN show the other night? I rest my case...It was a great interview. Both of them really on their toes...

Love him. Glad to hear he is hosting the Tonys.

Me too. He should just be made permanent host, like Johnny Carson kinda was on the Oscars for a long time...

Lisa, may I break from the Kutcher news to ask if we know yet about a third season for Justified? My father loves it (as do I) so I told him I'd check with you about whether it was renewed. Thanks!! p.s. I hope Kentucky isn't really like that...

FX is very happy with Justified. Tell your dad "hi' from TeamTV...

It appears Ann Curry has thwarted the producers attempts to kill her off. Now that she's going to be the co-host, does that mean there will be even less than the usual 15 minutes of actual news on the show?

You mean when they had her jump off the London Bridge, and jump out of airplanes without a parachute and step into a gorilla cage and all those other hard-hitting "assignments" they gave her? I'm guessing not in re les actual news, but I confess I can't wait to see her emtional interview with Senator Fill in the Blank about the economy, or whatever... she is the queen of morning news scenery chewing and "Today" just got a whole lot more interesting in my world (see reference to loving train wreck in figurative way, above)...

James was voted off because he was showing less and less versatility. When they recapped Wednesday's show, there we were with a close-up of his trademark upper-register scream in both songs. We've seen that shot many, many times. It would have been smart of him to change it up the way Adam Lambert always did, but of course the judges this season have been refraining from giving any useful advice.

Yes, they pretty much just fawned over him and told him he'd already won the competition which, sadly, he took seriously and did not step up with his A game the past couple weeks...

all the women out there who do vote (but not obsessively) for female contestants got tired of being told that they were only thinking with their hormones AND got tired of witnessing the complete sidestepping of criticism for anyone but Haley Reinhart. So they voted their bloody fingers off to keep her in, with maybe a few votes to Lauren Alaina for her potential. Durbin's voice was the thinnest of the four and had DeWyzian pitch problems. He also wanted to do metal and UMG was not going to let him if they signed him. He's better off this way.

Yes, he probably has more credibility off the show than on... but he was such a sweet kid and I feel bad, I confess. Especially when he said he had accomplished all he set out to do on the show which was to get America to "give metal a chance." ...when, of course, what he really set out to do was make a living for his young family...

"And I have reservations about someone who, on national TV, kisses the cross handing around his neck and begs god's forgiveness for having spent time in the company of Lady Gaga." I don't watch the show but I read the recaps faithfully. Did he actually do that? I thought you were being sarcastic in the recap.

Yes,  he really did that... I think he was trying to be cute. It's not cute...

Will they get at least a half season or tv movie to wrap things up or are they gonners?

This one's not so clear to predict. "The Voice" is doing a lot better in its timeslot, but "Parenthood" was doing okay demographically for the network. And, also working in its favor, NBC has much bigger problems than "Parenthood" across its weekly schedule..

Are all he questions/comments today about AI? If so, that explains why that is the topic of the chat but if there are other questions about other topics, could you please include some of them. No, I'm not an AI watcher so I'm not following all the issues and I would certainly hope that this is not going to be how this chat rolls out week after week. sorry!

No need to apologize. We're getting loads of "Idol" questions because the results night was last night and the elimination was something of a shocker -- James being the judges fave an all, and the judges having already called him this season's winner. But feel free to ask about anything TV related. Or Winkie. I can talk about him endlessly...

Did that god-awful William Shatner show based on someone's lame Tweets go away?

Possibly not, since "Two and  a Half Men" is something of a question mark instead of a sure thing for next season, despite Warner Bros having just signed OMGIT'SASHTONKUTCHER!!! to replace Charlie Sheen...

How is it doing? Will it come back against X factor?

I hear NBC is mulling a fall run for the show. It's doing well and they just decided to expand the live shows to two hours a night, based on the early numbers...

A commenters have said you look sensation. Is there -gasp!- a picture of you somewhere? If so you gotta share!

No. This is happening because last week someone wondered why we don't have TVs that can give us hugs and I said I would prefer a TV that told me I looked sensational every time I turned it on.... You had to be there...

I see that the president of OWN is out due to low ratings. I am not surprised at the low viewership. I have a feeling I am their demographic and try to watch it and yet there is nothing very interesting on (Judds - Gak!). Only show I have enjoyed is that behind the scenes on the Oprah show, where she displays an astounding lack of self awareness. What do you see for the future of the much hyped OWN?

Challenged, unless Oprah agrees to do a daily talk show on it. The most popular show is that "behind the scenes" show about her last season doing her syndicated talk show. The problem with that show is that it's terminal -- because it is the last season of her syndicated talk show! They've already announced they're going to add a sort of "Masterpiece Theater" of Oprah's syndicated talk show next season, in which we get to re-live some of the best episodes over the 25-year run of her syndicated talk show. It will also include Oprah's celebrity pals sometimes picking out their fave episodes from the run and explaining why it's their fave etc... That might pop a number for the network. But nothing would attract viewers like -- you know -- an Oprah hosted talk show. People don't want to see shows Oprah has waived her wand over nearly so much as they want to see Oprah... 

Why are people congratulating you on your appearance today? Where did you appear? How did they see you? I thought your visage was a state secret.

They're filling in until some electronics company starts manufacturing the TV set that tells me I look sensational every time I turne it on. It seems like a small thing to ask of electronics companies...

Any thoughts on the season finale last night? Ron made me laugh as usual, and I'm glad Ben and Leslie finally kissed - they dragged out the "will they won't they" a bit too much

One of the downsides of blogging "Dancing with the Stars" on Monday and Tuesday and  "American Idol" on Wednesday and Thursday, is that by the time start work at the crack of dawn Friday, I am waaaay behind on my TV viewing for the week. My only hope is to catch up over the weekend. So I have, sadly, become far less useful to chatters in re questions about last night's episode of "Parks and Rec" -- which I think was not actually the finale.... anybody else out there want to weigh in on the episode?

What's up with the shows on Oprah's Network. They look awful. Couldn't she attract anything better?

I think Oprah has been stretched pretty thin trying to do her syndicated talk show and launch a network. I think she's even said as much, recently and acknowledged that it might have been better to have waited until her syndicated show wrapped in May to launch OWN...

As a seasoned TV/pop culture maven, what do you foresee as the arc of Bristol Palin's "career." We''ve gone from unwed teen mother/daughter of divisive political figure to dance show contestant to star of BIO ":reality" series to...Where will this lead? And will there be a discernible talent revealed along the way? Thanks.

Does Snooki have a discernible talent? I have never heard anyone accuse reality stars of needing a discernible talent to be successful. In fact, the only chatter I'm seeing on Bristol morphing into a bona fide reality TV star has been all about her new face... now that IS important to becoming a successful reality TV star!

I thought it was cancelled so I didn't bother to watch the final 3 episodes. I heard on The View this am that it is coming back? Was I hallucinating or do I need to catch up?

DirecTV is bringing back the show, in reruns, on its 101 channel that's only for its customers....

NBC has ordered the Chelsea Handler sitcom "Are youthere Vodka"? Hank Azaria's "Free Agents" And Amanda Peet in "Bent"? Could you comment on any of these? Does this mean no "Wonder Woman", Pookie?

Wonder Woman looking bad, sorry. Apparently the photos of her in the costume were a deal killer -- die hard fans of the franchise seemed to have nothing good to say about the metallic blue spandex pants... I am a big fan of the new head of programming at NBC, Bob Greenblatt and am looking forward to seeing what he thinks is going to turn around the fortunes of this fourth-placed network. Next week's upfront presentations will be particularly interesting because the guys in charge of developing programming at three of the networks are new. I don't think that's ever happened in all the years I've been covering TV. New-ish guys at ABC, NBC and CW, though outgoing CW programming chief Dawn Ostroff will be at that network's presentation with the new guy, I'm told. 

read in your column about the new producer who plans to young up This Week. I find the whole idea of focusing on the young demo for the Sunday News Shows to be ridiculous. I watch This Week, but I'm 40+. When I was 20 wouldn't have watched any of them, no matter what. Seems they're trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

I don't remember writing anything about Rick Kaplan being expected to "young up" the show. I did write about some people thinking Ashton Kutcher is a great hire to replace Charlie Sheen because he will young-up that show...

Will you be reporting live from the Upfronts next week?

You betcha! I've got my sturdy shoes all packed and am flying to NYC this afternoon -- yes, on Friday the 13th!

I am so disappointed that Fox is canceling this show. Are ratings that bad? What about "Raising Hope"?

"Raising Hope" will be back. Sorry about Traffic Light. I love the Brit on that show -- sorry I can't remember his name because I've only had one cup of coffee. You know, the "Love Actually" guy...

New pet? Dog? cat? Fill me in.

Winkie is a stray dog I have adopted and he's quite the little character -- so named because he looks like the Winkies, of Winkie Forest from "Wizard of Oz."

How long before she makes a guest appearance on Two and A Half Men do ya suppose?

good lord. I hadn't thought of that. That would be dreadful!

I follow Dax Shepard on Twitter (yes, I know), and he said last night that "Parenthood" was renewed -- other TV sites have reported that as well. Is that not accurate?

Yes, that's the word....

How is "The Killing" doing in the ratings?

I think the most recent episode clocked about 1.9 million viewers in its premiere telecast. That's a strong number...

to the producer of this chat, who gave us a link to the chat a few weeks ago to bookmark. I can't find anything else on this accursed site, but at least I can find the Divine deMoraes every Friday.

Wow, Fox is taking the scorched earth policy to heart with its dramas, huh? I thought the general thought was at least a few of their bubble shows would get picked up. i kinda like Lie to Me, the Mark Valley show, and Chicago Code, but I guess it's the "kinda like" part that doomed them all? (I mean i can't even remember the Mark Valley show name, just the fact that i can stare at Mark Valley for most of 42 minutes - oh keen eddie how i miss you). But I was really getting into Chicago Code. Is this really all about room on the schedule for Simon Cowell?

None was a home run and yes, Simon is going to gobble up about three hours of Fox's 15 hours of primetime a week -- remember, Fox does not program the 10 o'clock hour like ABC, CBS and NBC do. So real estate is very tight on the Fox lineup.

Kicked Major Assets! What do you thing the WB will do with it next season (if there is one)?

Word is it's coming back. does really well in international sales...

Ashton Kutcher seems about right... but what was up with the Hugh Grant rumor? Are leading man (or cad) roles really drying up for him that he'd need to stoop to replacing a drug addict on a fourth-rate (in terms of quality, not ratings) U.S. sitcom?

I don't care what was the reason -- for one brief shining momennt I was really thrilled at the prospect of seeing Hugh Grant every week on TV. Sadly, my hopes and dreams were dashed about six hours after they were born. And now, all I'm left with is the prospect of Ashton Kutcher. You can see me but I have just flung myself on my office chair and am chewing the armrest in a ecstasy of grief... So much so that I think I need to conclude this chat. Thanks for joining me. I will be chatting with you next Friday about all the new network schedules... Bye!

In This Chat
Lisa de Moraes
Pulitzer Prize winner, Peabody recipient, Medal of Freedom honoree -- Lisa de Moraes is none of these, but she is an authority on the bad direction, over-acting, and muddled plot lines being played out in the TV industry's executive suites. de Moraes worked for a decade as the television editor at The Hollywood Reporter, the entertainment industry trade paper, where she was routinely on the receiving end of more shouting phone calls from TV suits than Paula Abdul's manager.

When she upgraded to The Washington Post in 1998, a well-known executive producer called to suggest she have someone else start her car, but her trenchant writing (and refusal to use words like "trenchant") earned her the following praise from the brilliant, handsome media observer at Slate: "She writes like a wicked bitch." Wikipedia has called her "a noted television columnist," but they're often unreliable. It's pronounced "deh more ICE."

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