Lisa de Moraes' TV Column Live

Apr 13, 2012

Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes chatted about the about all the drama, comedy and heartbreak of the world of television. See below to see what questions readers brought up and what Lisa had to say about in response.

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If this line doesn't win you a Pulitzer (or at least one of those crappy Peabodies), I don't know what will: "'The Revolution' will no longer be televised."

Thanks! But, in truth, I'm guessing I'm not the only person covering TV who'd had that lead in mind when the new ABC daytime show started to flame out. I only hope my column will be considered good enough to be ranked among The 100 Best News Stories to Use 'The Revolution Will No Longer Be Televised' Gag...

What's the truth behind the feud between Chevy Chase and Dan Harmon? Is this helping or hurting the prospects for Community's 4th season?

Well, it's definitely getting the show a lot of free press, and when it comes to a show like this, press is press...NBC is in a such a world of ratings hurt these days I don't think the particular ravings of Chevy Chase, or of Dan Harmon will hurt the show, unless advertisers stay away over it. It may mean Chase is not back next season, but I don't think that's a show killer either.

Is Alec Baldwin really leaving 30 Rock, or is that just more posturing? Or, has NBC decided to cancel the aging sitcom?

you got it right on the third guess. NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said back in January that Baldwin had been signed for another season, which means it's NBC's call. But NBC has not given the show an early pickup and the clock's ticking....Tina Fey said as much to The Ladies of the View this week....

Look, I've loved Bill Lawrence's work ever since Spin City. But I can't get into Cougar Town, and it really is about the title. I can't put on Facebook that it's one of my favorite shows. Is the show doomed?

Not looking great, but I'm intrigued that you think putting the name "Cougar Town" on hour Facebook page will somehow tarnish your reputation. Is it because of what the show is, or is it really just about the word "cougar"?

When will the singing shows die?

When they stop making money for the networks and the record labels, and the corporate sponsors...which is to say: not for a while and don't hold your breath...You are not a fan, I take it...Me, I'm a fan of live TV shows that create sense of communityand sometimes feature good singing...speaking thereof,  how about that drama on last night's "American Idol" --

Some good body language last night when Ryan asked Skylar to pick a group; she gave him a great wave-off, like "you're crazy if you think I'm gonna engage with that" Also when they were sending people into the two groups both Elise and Joshua looked so pleased when they were told to join Jessica. Clearly, they're unaware of the AI voting population in their mansion bubble.

You mean Palazzo Foreclozzo -- which Fox is now suggesting is haunted? Didn't they say last year's Palazoo Foreclozzo was haunted, and it turned out be just be leaky ceiling and mice? And yes, I enjoyed when she told Ryan to go boil his head -- good training for when he officially starts as the newest member of the NBC News team in London...

Lisa, Even though the promos looked awful, I watched the pilot of the B in Apt 23 and I didn't hate it. I thought James "Dawson" VanDerBeek was great in it and I liked the two girls better than the 2 Broke Girls that I really wanted to like but didn't at all. How did the show do this week and does it have any chance of survival?

It clocked about 7 million viewers which, these days, passes for a good launch... It did, in fairness, hang on to more of its "Modern Family" leadin audience than has any other show in some length of time -- ABC touted it but I've forgotten the time.. Anyway, it's a pretty good launch. Week 2 will be very telling, though. I liked the pilot very much.

Did you catch this show? It was terrible: three completely unlikable characters doing mean and unfunny things to each other. Who thought this was a good idea?

Um, me? I can't help liking them... Kind of like Tony Soprano, you know what I mean? And the characters on "Seinfeld,"...and the entire gang on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" -- you know they're loathsome, but you kinda like having them in your life once a week...

Does anyone think Tracy Morgan is funny?

anybody out there?

How were the ratings for ABC's new show? I really enjoyed it, though, I wonder how much material they have for an exaggerated James Van Der Beek. Are this show and "Happy Endings" in competition for renewal or can they both make it to next season?

Both can make it, because they can share a timeslot. And, ABC has another night with a small comedy block, though somehow I don't see either as being even remotely compatible with Tim Allen's "Last Man Standing."....

First off, love ya pookie and all ya do. Second, what are the chances Parks & Rec comes back next year? I really enjoy the ensemble cast, especially Ron Swanson!

Amy Poehler increases its chances enormously... Honestly, NBC has so many sinkholes on its schedule, I don't even know where they're setting the "pick-up" bar these days...

Who knew texting and walking was a gateway drug to texting and driving?

We do now.....texting will kill you... consider yourselves warned...

The ratings are up. Jason Segel, Neil Patrick Harris, and Cobie Smulders have budding film careers. The show is already renewed for another year. But given all this, and the fact that this is the one of the few shows that hits the right demographics for CBS, do you see the network trying to stretch out the show beyond season 8?

Of course. So long as these numbers hold out and the cast wants to come back, CBS is in...

Lisa, Why are the networks putting so many good shows on Sunday night? Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, The Borgias, The Big C, Nurse Jackie, Once Upon a Time, etc.--too many to decide which to watch live (so no spoilers the next day) and which to DVR. Why are they making us choose?

Sunday is the most watched night of the week -- people love ending their weekend watching TV...many of the shows you've listed are pay cable shows -- and those networks long ago pegged Sunday as their night of original scripted programming....

I'm late to the "Downton Abbey" party, but I've finished Season 1 and while it's very enjoyable, I'm not as rabid about it as others seem to be; but I have noticed that enthusiasm for Season 2 is much more muted. Is it not as good? Should I continue on to Season 2? (Just FYI--every single time Mr. Pamook is mentioned in Season 1, all I can think of is that very naughty piece of Victorian literature, "The Lustful Turk," so perhaps I snicker too much to truly enter into the spirit of the show.)

Absolutely watch Season 2. Even if it's not as good as season one, it's fun to watch -- I love trying to recognize where Fellowes got his storyline ideas.  But, of course, I'm obsessed with every aspect of crunchy-gravel dramas, including sets, costumes, etc... Had brunch with an exec at NBC Universal, which produces the show, who promised to find out what is the paint color in the kitchen. Seriously, I have to know...

Lisa, It doesn't make sense to bring in Uma Thurman as a replacement star for a Marilyn Monroe musical when she is at least 15 years older than the actress she is replacing and several years older than Monroe was when she died. Couldn't they find someone younger for the part?

Guess not -- and thank you for pointing these things out... This show gets stranger and stranger....I think we're supposed to buy that because her character is a "big star" she's going to sell tickets and that, because it's theater, audiences won't notice too much she's too old for the role...

Hey, Pookie, I think I suddenly understand why Ann Curry seems not genuinely nice: I'd be seething under the surface, too, if my co-worker, who never takes any risks, got a salary bump to $25 MILLION a year, while I (Ann) actually go to war and disaster zones to report and get paid $2 million (maybe $3 by now). But that's a side issue. What I really want to say is, No wonder there aren't foreign bureaus like there used to be, all the budget that used to pay for offices and equipment and cameramen and correspondents and satellite feeds, now goes instead to a couple of people sitting in the home office! And how is an anchor like Matt Lauer (or even Ann Curry, Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopolous, etc) supposed to understand anything about the economic concerns of normal folks when he is paid more than most Hollywood stars -- More than ALL the members of the US Senate COMBINED plus half again!? I hadn't really thought about this until reading about Matt Lauer's new salary -- again, $25 MILLION a year. That's almost $100,000 per DAY. That puts him in the top 0.000000001 percent, I think.

Yes, it's stupid money. On a similar subject, I was speakign with someone the other day about the "$10 million chandelier" that is Keith Olbermann and how odd/funny it was that the first complaint he ticked off to Dave Letterman the other day about his former employer Current TV, was about the limo service... This person responded that Keith doesn't drive and needs a way to get to work. And all I could think of was how millions of other New Yorkers who don't drive manage to find a way to get to work every day...There is this sort of reality-disconnect that happens at some point to on-air talent, don't you think?

I know Zucker was Katie's producer on The Today Show but geez. Doesn't the lingering stench of the The Tonight Show debacle still cling to his porcine carcass? Is he worth the hassle?

Setting aside your icky description of Mr. Zucker: he is still, to this day, considered the guy with the golden gut when it comes to morning television. Let's not forget he was exec producer of "Today" during its "golden" years. Fortunately for Katie, she's not doing a late night TV show, but a daytime one... And, she trusts him. And he knows her strengths and weaknesses. I say it was a good choice....

After only two weeks I am starting to really miss seeing Keith Olbermann on cable. Is there a chance that his strong, but limited, group of fans would prove attractive to some cable outlet? Wouldn't his pass numbers look good to even CNN?

Not the numbers he was getting on Current TV, but yes, the numbers he got on MSNBC would be welcome at CNN...I'm not sure they think those numbers are worth the headache...

American Idol should pay you a commission, because after the voting last night we were so disturbed by the voting results it took all the cheesy fun out of watching the show, and the only thing that made me think I should keep watching was your recap, reminding me that part of the fun is reading your humorous account the next day and interacting with the other commenters. Do you think voting off really talented people of color will hurt the show? I'm white, but I do wonder if it's a racial thing.

In the past few years, "Idol" has, sadly, turned into a show that's won every year by safe scruffy guitar strumming white guys with soulful eyes,  whereas in the past "Idol" has been notable for having such diversity among contestants and winners (Fantasia,  Ruben). Jessica's family is from the Phillipines and I take your point about her chances based on ethnic background -- but I think it has as more to do with gender these days and Mentor in Chief Jimmy Iovine has made reference to it more than once this season -- stating flat out that the chicks are doing the voting and they love to vote for the "cute" guys. Being the optimist I am -- no, really -- I focus instead on the ide that it really does not matter if someone wins this clambake or not. Last night's guest, Jennifer Hudson, is the best case in point. This weeks' guest mentor, the producer/performer Akon, on Wednesday said Jessica is this season's best singer and Iovine said Akon had, very early this season, asked him if he could "steal" Jessica, presumably to produce an album with her or something... Jessica's launched a career off of her appearances on this show, whether she wins or not. ...

 

Ok, Lisa, don't you think that whole American Idol thing was a ratings set up. Some how the best singers are in the bottom 3? And Randy lobbying for votes for specific idols seemed unfair to the others. This show has really gone down.

No. Yes. No. I think I covered all your questions.

I came across back episodes of this show on Hulu and find them weirdly watchable, although it took me a few episodes to realize the two main characters are father and daughter. My question is, is this the television equivalent of crack-laced cotton candy or is there some redeeming value that keeps me coming back?

great acting -- love the character actors at the school, and of course, the neighbors -- and really fun sets. Very "Pushing Daisies."

but why? What is so wrong with the network? Why are CBS/ABC/FOX in such better positions?

Because they invested in developing good programming while NBC invested in programming to margins and outwitting viewers for too many years... Yes, supersizing "Friends" squeezed a couple more seasons of No. 1 ranking on Thursday night for NBC and was a really clever gag to have come up with, but it did nothing toward developing the next generation of hits....

I was surprized to hear that the American Idol judges were able to save Jessica Simpson. I didn't realize their power went that far and besides, her show sucks.

Jessica Simpson has a lame see-the-dress/buy-the-dress reality series on NBC.  Jessica Sanchez is an enormously talented 16-year-old competing on "American Idol." It's not nice to mess with us when we're so tired on Friday!

If they think those DWTS rules are confusing, wait until America learns about the Electoral College.

lol.... for those of you who missed it.. people were very confused when they did not have a dance to the death on "Dancing with the Stars" this week because, last week, host Tom Bergeron said that after this week the two people with the fewest points would have a dance off and the judges would decide which goes home... Many people, myself included, thought he meant that after this week's Monday performance night, the new system would kick in, on Tuesday night.. So when there was no dance off and no judges decide, people commented. Bergeron decided the best defense was a good offense and nicked people for not paying attention and not listening closely... When, of course, the real problem was that he was NOT CLEAR...

I know she was once one of America's darlings, but what turns me off about Cougar Town is Courtney Cox. She is the least appealing person on the show. She's not the character you love to hate--she's more of the character who could fall in a hole and nobody would care.

 I agree, in re her time on Friends and Dirt,   but on this show she is at her most appealing. Which, yes, I know, is setting the bar pretty low, but...I never saw the "Scream" flicks -- was she appealing in those? Anyway, she had this show developed for her because it appeared that America loved her.

Does NBC think Ann Curry is the reason for the narrowing of the gap between Today and GMA?

If they don't, add that to the reasons NBC is in trouble these days...

I think Tracy is a hoot on 30 Rock--not so much in other circumstances.

I'd agree with that... anyone else?

Please make "The Office" stop. Immediately. Sincerely, America

Your mouth to god's ears... A reboot? Seriously? Is NBC that idea-bankrupt?

Does she have enough clout to save both Parks and Rec and her husband's show? Will Arnett is someone whose appeal is lost on me.

LOVE him in those Hulu ads... but I'm guessing that's not what you mean....

Just thought you'd like to know.

...you don't need to tell me... it makes me so sad. On the bright side -- remember: Lisa is all about looking at the bright side today -- the music sales are very good....

I'll definitely be watching, but after reading your column and seeing there's a coffee table book buy in, I want to tell anyone who's interested to skip that and instead pick up a copy of The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. I read it a couple years ago and I finally understood that this disaster was 95 percent man made and about 5% nature. By the way, one dust storm blew away so much soil that the cloud reached the U.S. Capitol just as Congress was debating whether, you know, this was a real problem or not.

Thanks for the reading tip!

Or nuked the fridge? Or jumped a shark while nuking a fridge? I mean, c'mon - texting car crash victim returns to school in wheelchair (all drama & healing done, looking cute as ever), and we have ANOTHER wheelchair acceptance song medley? I've completely had it at this point. I'm waiting for the sweeps episodes - SARS outbreak while being held hostage by bullies who've eaten too much pink slime?

You're going to regret that suggestion, because they're probably trolling for next season's sweep ideas as we chat...

What is up with the team leaders on the Voice allowing their team members to pick truly awful songs destined to put the singer in the bottom of the competition? A half-dozen performers did that this week on the voice, and after almost every one, the coach (or whatever they're called) said, Yeah, I know it's not a good song choice. I probably should have said something. Yeah, probably.

Jimmy Iovine is the very best mentor ever, and the producers of 'Idol', and Fox network suits, should, on a daily basis, kiss his ring for saving the show. He is, without a doubt, the very best part of "American Idol" any more. And, getting back to the subject,  the mentoring on "The Voice" is particularly lame...

Did I miss something? Has the show been cancelled or did they already have a season finale? Also, I hate to admit that I watch Unforgettable but I can blame it on my dog who likes horrible Australian actresses. What's the verdict on that show? Thanks!

"Gifted Man" had its season finale in March. But, I'm strangely interested in finding out how you know your dog likes horrible Australian actresses. Have you brought any home to meet your dog? Is this the result of a dog-park encounter? Please elaborate....

By my calculations, Seabiscuit is now drawing paychecks from FOX (Idol), ABC (new years eve), NBC (Today), and the E network (Kardashians). What's Brian Dunkelman up to these days?

he's also launching a network with Mark Cuban -- don't forget about that one....

I have a different take on the casting. Broadway has done Hollywood casting for years, with mixed success. I think Smash is going to let us see that it's NOT always a good idea and look what happens to our lovely show about Marilyn when the producers insist on a "star." Loved loved loved the Darryl Zanuck number!

Teh Darryl Zanuck number restored my faith in the show... I'm happy they're going with a new show runner next season and promise to give it another chance, but if they don't have a house fall on Katherine McPhee's character sometime soon, I'm going to bail again, I swear

Isn't the whole point of casting Uma Thurman as Marilyn the fact that such casting IS in fact inappropriate on several levels -- age, height, probably insufficient singing/dancing ability? At least that was my take on it.

You're giving them too much credit. If that was the case, then the point of McPhee would also be how inappropriate she is, when instead the whole show seems to be about how perfect she is to play Marilyn...

He gets a lot of great lines on 30 Rock, almost always underlining how out of touch, spoiled and egocentric he is, much like the Jenna Mulroney character except lots richer and more famous and from a totally different background. I think it takes guts to play that part 'cause he probably gets flak from some megamillionaire rap stars like the ones he's spoofing. Is he funny otherwise? Not my taste. But the character he plays on 30 Rock is pretty hilarious.

we all seem to be in agreement...

Good grief, Mary Martin was well into her 40s when she played young nun Maria in "The Sound of Music" on Broadway. (At least they didn't cast her in the movie, then have to Vaseline and gauze all the camera lenses to make her look blurry).

I take your point.....

What's really silly, depending on where Olbermann's home and office are, is that it's usually faster to get around NYC by subway than by limo. I've known rich Wall Street traders who rode the subway to work and took limos everywhere else, including to their Hamptons estates.

Yes, there are other means by which New Yorkers who don't drive can get around.....

Has it been picked up for next season? Fox is so quick to kill sitcoms that aren't big hits but that have strong appeal to a niche audience. (R.I.P, Arrested Development, etc.)

it's been picked up for next season...

Yes, when Ryan started the tired old trope of creating two groups, I was wondering who he'd torture as #7-who-has-to-pick-a-group. Her reaction was great.

Yes, she handled it very cutely....and I think Seacrest got the point, since this is now two years in a row that his victim has refused to go there. I can't remember who it was last year but their reaction was the same...

Tracy Morgan not at all funny. 30 Rock may have had a chance without him.

oops.. guess we don't all agree...

Hey, Pookie: Is it safe to say that Jon Stewart has become the most trusted name in TV news? Certainly, he's become the most entertaining name in TV news.

depends on your political leanings. I'm guessing political conservatives don't feel that way...

Packs of girls vote for the cute boys instead of the most talented singers? Really??? OK seriously, who didn't figure that out years ago?

the problem is... guys and other demos have trailed away from the show, leaving tweener girl voters in charge... This is NEVER good... the show's only hope is that its remaining non-tweener-girl watchers get motivated and get to voting...

Well, they can't stretch out meeting the mother too much longer, as Monday's ep showed Ted with a baby in the year 2015.

You'd be surprised... how about a "prequel" season? Ever thought of that?

Years ago, I watched one episode and thought it wasn't very funny. I just figured this wasn't it's best episode and probably other ones are better. Then saw an interivew of Tina Fey by Oprah Winfrey. And Oprah Winfrey is going on and on about how funny "30 Rock" is, which isn't new ground for a Tina Fey interview, and then as her example, Oprah starts to describe the only non-funny episode of "30 Rock" I've seen and that Rural Juror joke. Then Tina Fey says that is the episode people ask and compliment her on all the time. Never had the desire to see an episode after that.

Too bad -- it's a funny show...

I guess some of the things we find preposterous---Kat McPhee as Marilyn, Uma Thurman as Marilyn---can be explained by the "magic of Broadway." You can do a lot with stage makeup.

No, you can't turn Kat McP into a dancer with stage makeup..or into an actress....

I have enjoyed the conspiracy theorists coming out of the woodwork. People disagree with me! It must be rigged! I agree that the producers must have had collective heart attacks when Tyler announced that they were going to use the save no matter what-- that is some fun live TV! Did you notice how surly P2 was in the opening production number. Admittedly, Broadway Pink is not his thing, but he looked like the older brother who is being forced to participate in the little kids' play because Little Bobby got sick and they need a warm body in his spot...

My eyes are always glued to P2 during Group Sing... Could anyone look more uncomfortable?

It's my new best worst show to watch! They trot out wretched clothing and then buyers for major stores actually compete to buy the stuff!! It explains why I can never find anything good when I shop.

Best description of fashion industry yet.. thanks!

Also, the voting audience doesn't usually take too kindly to anyone the judges push too hard. I must say last night she was remarkably humble: "I never expected this to be easy." Amazing sixteen-year-old.

The judges have not been particularly fawning over Jessica Sanchez for weeks, though. Meanwhile, P2 gives the exact same performance every week and Tyler gushes about how much he's grown and evolved week to week..... The objects of the judges affection have been Phil, Elise (go figure), Joshua (hooray), and Colton (gak), but not Jessica...

Saw it and you were dead right about actor playing Pip being way more pretty then Estella. Thought that Jaggers, underplayed in most adaptations, was good and the guy who played Herbert Pocket was good, but otherwise nothing that great. Estella wasn't the "word ABC likes to hint at in TV shows' titles" that she is in the book and... I was going to go through a list of faults, but you've seen it.

Estella actress was utterly underwhelming. But the best part was watching Gillian Anderson chewing the scenery, in character as Helena Bonham Carter Does Miss Havisham.. It was priceless... 

Pookie, I was one of those who was really, really prepared to hate this show when it first came on, but felt compelled to watch it for trainwreck potential. Which is how I discovered it wasn't all that bad. Then the boyfriend character became my platonic man-crush, so I started actually watching it like a fan. Then I discovered I found the rote "let's get engaged" episode kinda' touching, and have to admit I'm kind of a fan. So I repeat -- Damn you, Whitney Cummings! On the plus side, I still find the collaboration she's doing with the SATC guy (2 Broke Girls) offensive and unfunny, so there's hope for me, right?

Yes, there's hope.. And yes, the boyfriend is the best thing that happened to "Whitney" and saved the show by giving it some heart...

I'm kind of glab that Sudekis, Wiig and Samberg are leaving if it's true. Samberg hasn't done a good SNL DIgital Short in a long, long time. Wiig's characters are all the same and tired whether it's the lady who gets too excited for a suprise party or that hammy 1960s Broadway actress in that game show skit. Sudekis has been pretty one-not lately with the swarmy guy stuff. If only they could get rid of the worst of the worst, Fred Armisen

I've got a scrap book filled with articles in which fan/critics say the show can't survive the exit of [fill in the blank]...remember when Tina Fey left? Anyway, it's time to bring in fresh players, and nobody is irreplaceable on this show. Nobody.

Don't diss Tom Bergeron. Pretty please.

I too love Tom Bergeron -- you know I think he's the best host of any live reality TV show, hands down -- but he should not have nicked viewers for their confusion..they're obviously fans of the show and you don't nick fans...

Can your further explain what that means?

create "success" by slashing costs, rather than developing hit shows.. .Programming Jay Leno at 10 p.m. Monday through Friday was classic "programming to margins." When NBC suits announced that plan, they couldn't stop talking about how much money they'd save, even paying Jay some stupid money salary, compared to having a new scripted drama on every week night at 10....It was a particularly egregious example....at a news conference shortly before the show debuted, it was pretty clear they didn't really know what the show was going to be -- just that it was going to be cheap....

What are the chances it will be picked up for a second season? Would it help if the producers promised that the blonde chick won't be back?

in my world it would help a lot, but I don't see how it's possible -- not without a shower scene, anyway...

I think his next project should be developing a show for his wife. Christa Miller is great--I think of her as Wendy Malick Lite.

And I think Bill Lawrences next project should be developing a hit....

I am one of what seems like many viewers who finally ditched Today because of Ann Curry, but as I adopted GMA, I've noticed that they've heavily recruited from ESPN's SportsCenter. Is this ABC trying to pick up male viewers or merely a Disney-based coincidence?

I'm guessing the latter. That said, the ESPN show is great training for morning infotainment TV...

"Glee" is like a high school musical version of "East Enders," where after the writers had exhausted all the story lines re Important Social Issues they began devising utterly implausible ones.

If that's what happened with "East Enders" then I agree...

Since I've never heard of most of these "stars" (and I suspect I'm not alone in that), why don't they just get rid of them and have a real dancing competition among the pros?

They do. it's on PBS....

Am I the only one still watching the Voice? How many times can the coaches say "I love you" to their team, each other and the person being booted? I have to DVR the show to fast foward past most of the sugar coating.

the phrase needs to be banned.. I'll alert Paul Telegdy...

But surely they've realized they've been awful for the last 6-7-8 years. A good show now and then sure... but... shouldn't they have fixed themselves?

It takes a long time to turn around a network -- and the right programming exec.. the guy they've picked, Bob Greenblatt, is a brilliant program development execs, but I'm not sure the right guy if you're looking for mass-appeal shows that get "tonnage." He's known for "Six Feet Under" and "The Tudors," etc... great shows, niche audiences...At a recent press tour, he got up on stage and before anyone could ask him a question, he said the season has not been good and this job has been much harder than he expected. His candor is one of his greatest traits...

I just did a quick Google search and the DA kitchen color is supposedly Farrow & Ball "Cat's Paw" #240 in Estate Emulsion finish. :)

I saw it too -- yes, obsessed -- but when I look at the color sample -- yes, I did -- it doesn't look the same.. May be all about the lighting.. I'll keep you posted.. I'm also interested in learning more about the silver used in the show. I have an antique dealer friend who swears the candlesticks are 1954's, which would just be wrong! They've gone to great lengths to get things like that right, so I'm looking into it...

I thought Tina Fey told The Viewharpies -- er, ladies -- that the series will still be around for a while, but haha not after she's gone gray. Well, since she's hawking hair dye, she'll never go gray! This is the smartest non-cable sitcom since Seinfeld, puh-leese don't let them pull the plug!

yes, I thought the "grey streak" gag was unintentionally hilarious, given that she plugs a hair color line on TV....she did not say it was going away, she just left it vague...

Whatever this show is called, I stumbled across it last night and I think last week, and could not figure out what the backstory is. Can you help? Or do I need to wait for reruns, if any?

Kiefer Sutherland plays a dad whose son is autistic, but can see the whole universe in numbers and Sutherland has finally gotten wise to this and every week his son throws a bunch of numbers around and Sutherland shouts "Eureka" and saves somebody from something... much trademark Sutherland huffing and puffing... I think you'll find you're up to speed now...

Why oh why was there a recap episode for Revenge? I hated that about Desperate Housewives!

This one's easy: to pad out the season with an "original" in a non-sweep month... that's TV for you!

I can't say that I'm all that intrigued by Aaron Sorkin's latest project for HBO, The Newsroom. And I say that as someone who loved the Sorkin years for The West Wing. And come on, 1.1 million viewers on cable is actually pretty paltry. Though, I did like describing someone as the "Jay Leno of news anchors"!

You kidding? CNN would love to have a new show that averaged a steady 1.1 million viewers...And I love the line "Jay Leno of news anchors."...honestly, you watch a Sorkin show for the writing...  If he did a show about a laundromat, I'd watch.

 

Is it pretty clear that she's beating Chelsea Handler in the "semi-offensive female genital joke telling comedienne" category in their major network endeavours? Sure, Chelsae has the books and the late night basic cable thing pretty well sewn up, but it looks like Whitney's 2 major network shows are trouncing Chelsea's in the ratings. Is that an accurate interpretation?

Yes. "2 Broke Girls" is this season's most popular new sitcom....

I just looked up the cast, and saw the reason the character of Jaggers was so well-played--it's David Suchet, the ultimate Poirot. I've never seen him give a bad performance.

yes, some of the casting on this one is terrific and I encourage everyone to watch... think of the Anderson-as -Bonham -Carter-as-Havisham scenery chewing as  a bonus...

But what is this "GMA" but in the afternoon? Wouldn't that make it "Good Afternoon America" or GAA?

that's why they're calling it "GMA: The Afternoon" or something like that. Anyway, it's only for a few weeks, while they try to revive the 2 p.m. timeslot before "Katie" debuts. After that, "General Hospital" is probably going to move to the 2 p.m. timeslot and "GMA" will go back to being "Good Morning America." Unless the numbers for "GMA: The Afternoon" are huge, in which case, all bets are off...

So how did the experiment work last night? How could they be sure when it was all repeats?

Big Bang: No. 2

Rules of Engagement: No. 2

Big Bang: No. 1

2 Broke Girls: Tied for No. 2

That's how each half hour did, among 18-49 year olds and total viewers, according to early stats...Behind "Idol" and second half hour of "Grey's Anatomy." My guess is CBS is very happy...

Me, too. Hate sports, watched/loved his Sports Night.

It's like we're twins....

Is So You Think You Can Dance? coming back? Speaking of real dance competition featuring real dancers...

Yes, but only one night a week..

As a GH fan, was ecstatic that it was given a stay of execution. But the blurb about GMA in the Afternoon made me laugh saying the plan is to "lighten the tone and broaden the scope " compared to GMA mornings. How much lighter can you go? Guess we'll find out.

It will float away...Katie Week was the first time in ages I've sat down and watched either "GMA" or "Today" in their entirety for several consecutive days. I was impressed at how caffeinated "GMA" has become... wow.

I agree it's terrible, with Curry behind the desk. The show's main redeeming feature is that it gives Hoda and Kathy Lee a couple of good hours drinking time before they go on air and entertain us with their one hour Vita-meta-vegamin commercial.

Hoda and Kathy Lee are a hoot. There, I've said it...

Sure, she's not been great on a couple of crappy songs, but she has a groove and a cool rasp. She's been more consistent than some of the others, including on the Gaga song.

Elise Testone to Jason Segel, when he took time out of his "busy" day to congratulate her on her work and wish her well, via Skype-thinggummy:

"Is that all you got?"

 

 

You forgot that the boy's mother died in the World Trade Center, so every episode has to have some reference to family's Great Trauma. And everybody is connected, so a butterfly flapping its on an Australian payphone may put Dad in the right place to prevent the suicide of a person with a similar bank account number.

My bad -- thank you for filling in the important details...oh, and 2, 5, 94, and 29835673455 -- don't forget those...

Quick, somebody alert the "Twilight" and "Hunger Games" franchises!

Have you SEEN the latest "Twilight" flick? I rest my case....

The non-tweener demographics went away when unlimited texting took over the voting. Young girls madly texting for their Idol is today's version of screaming and fainting girls at a Beatles concert.

If only any of the safe scruffy white guys who have won Idol the past four-ish seasons was as talented as any of the Beatles.. Even Ringo...

I feel like I'm drawn to shows that are so engrossing early on, and then seem to get in a rut (Glee, Walking Dead, Modern Family), or just plain weird (Being Human). Am I picking the wrong shows, or is it that I like them so much early on because they're new, and then I get bored when they're predictable? I feel like I watch so many episodes with friends and family and end up saying "I swear, its usually funnier/better than this." ......why do I feel like I just described my entire social/dating life?

wow, it's like you can see into my soul from your computer. You just described my entire social life...

She has the best-toned arms I've seen outside the White House. Would love to hire her trainer.

great arms.. I'll give her that.. No, wait, I can do more.. Great voice.. But, can't act. can't dance.. and no resemblance to Marilyn, emotionally or physicially. Every time she's dressed up in the peroxide wig, she looks like a clown -- not Marilyn...

If Kathy Lee did a parody of herself, do you think anybody could tell the difference?

you mean she isn't every day? No way....

Is anyone watching the latest incarnation of CBS morning programming in the GMA//"Today" time slot?

During Katie Week, when "CBS This Morning" had the biggest "get" -- Oprah -- it averaged slightly more than half the crowd of the other two shows...

Did you catch the multi-epi arc with Jamie Lee Curtis guest-starring on "NCIS" with Mark Harmon? Imagine, romantic scenes between two people with lined faces and naturally grey hair! If only there were more such...

only on CBS, pookie, only on CBS....

Are you hearing any buzz about the new Dallas show coming this summer? As a fan of the original, I'm very intrigued. I hope it's good!

you'll be disappointed. Sorry...

I think the only show I've never had to apologize for is The Big Bang Theory.

I felt the same way until it moved to Thursday and "broadened out"....

Does he teletransport?

frequent flyer miles

Pookie -- We've watched 'em pick cooks, singers, modistes. What's next? Real law firm hires?

more dog trainers.. because dogs are a metaphore for how messed up their owners lives are.. or some such nonsense.. on CBS. it's the next big thing... dogs are cute..

Should we worry about Don Draper being dangerous? It would certainly be a new arc if he kills someone in a flu-fueled rage and then has to cover it up.

I loved that episode! I like him dangerous.. most of the time he seems to be sleeping walking. I like him sleep-strangling....

Sorry, Pookie, I should have expounded. I was trying to say that your "no good can come of this" statement might serve as motivation to drive a stake through the heart of the sparkly vampires and female Robin Hood wannabe(s). We're on the same page here.

Oh... then nevermind....yes, tweener girls should not be entrusted with picking our idols... leave that to middle aged business suits...

Yeah, I've been watching because they promised it'd be real news, not fluff. Starting to think maybe I shouldn't believe everything I hear on TV "news" programs.

OMG, did you see their interview with Ricky Gervais the other day? It doesn't get much fluffier than that.. They forgot to ask him about his controversial new series, and spent most of the interview talking about Karl and how great Ricky looks now that he's lost weight and grown a beard...

Now I may have to tune in to watch Great Expectations. Randomly saw her on the Graham Norton show a few years ago and she had a full on British accent through the entire interview. No explanation given, and he never called her on it! It made Madonna's adopting a British tinge look positively subtle.

Shame on Graham Norton for not bringing it up....I'm out of time. Thanks for joining me.. have a lovely weekend, and we'll chat next week!...

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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