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April 20, 2012

1:04
P.M.

Lisa de Moraes' TV Column Live

Total Responses: 71

About the hosts

About the host

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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About the topic

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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Q.

Time for Bed, "Awake"

The first few episodes were pretty intriguing but then it died off, shifting point of view from Britton to other characters who aren't dreaming. And it's pretty obvious that the wife and son are both alive, but Britton died in the crash.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Aaaargggghhhh! You've ruined it for me. Okay, actually I had come to the same conclusion after watching the pilot and I'm guessing everyone else on this chat did too because we are all not only very good looking, we're extremely smart. So, if the show survives to another season --- hahahaha!, oh sorry -- at what point do you think they reveal this, and he becomes the show's official 'ghost' and it becomes a show about a ghost cop? Or, is it this season's cliffhanger finale?

– April 20, 2012 1:05 PM
Q.

Biggest Losers in more ways than one

I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but all the drama on Biggest Loser this week actually made it a really interesting show to watch! What the heck was up with those crazy contestants? I totally didn't understand what principle they were standing up for when they left. Such a slap in the face to all the people who would have loved to have that opportunity. Although it actually seems consistent - this season has really turned me off with the bitchy, self-entitled, whiny sorts of contestants, especially Conda and Kim. So does this mean the two that left are out of the running for the finale?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

For the many millions of people not watching this show: the contestants revolted because of a new twist in which producers would bring booted contestants back on to the show... given that there is a $250,000 cash prize at stake, and they were told at the show it was all about who lost the most weight,  you can see their point. But the producers need to do something to shake up this show which last week only averaged about 6.5 million people. Oh wait -- no, they don't need to shake it up. NBC's doing so badly this season, that's actually a good NBC number! And, among 18-49 year olds who are the currency of NBC, "Biggest Loser" rises to its fifth highest rated show of last week, because everything else on the lineup is doing so badly. The Voice shows ranked NBC's No. 1 and 2, followed by Apprentice and Office and then Loser. In the larger, broadcast TV landscape, Loser is No. 32 -- not great, but NBC will take it these days... I'm frankly not sure what it means for the chances of those two. I hope they're toast -- adds to the drama.

– April 20, 2012 1:06 PM
Q.

Martha Stewart

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Martha Stewart is getting her own cooking show...up I kind of am. Do people still actually like her enough to tune in? With so many other cooking shows out there with likable, talented personalities, it seems like it would be hard for her to compete.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

She's like the Elise Testone of cooking. Sorry, Idol joke. Elise is the extremely talented, but dour and argumentative Idolette this season, who only keeps getting more dour every time she's in the Bottom 3. Which is, like, every week. This week she said the judges judge her unfairly, because she's older than the others -- she's in her late 20s.... Oh, breaking news. It appears the internet has gone out at the Post ...anyway, to answer your question, if she keeps moving to new platforms that have lower thresholds for success, she can keep going forever!....

– April 20, 2012 1:11 PM
Q.

CBS Thursday Comedies

Pookie, it looks like CBS' 2-hour Thursday Comedy Experiment worked. What do you think they will put in? I'm hoping for: 8pm The Big Bang Theory 8:30pm Mike & Molly 9pm 2 Broke Girls 9:30 New Show (possibly Super Fun Time)
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Don't move too many Monday sitcoms to Thursday! But yes, CBS always conducts these experiments as its working on next season's schedule -- I've written about it for years -- and this season will not be an exception. Look for four comedies on Thursday and four on Monday...

– April 20, 2012 1:14 PM
Q.

Smash, season 2

Pookie -- What do you hope that a new showrunner will bring to season 2 of Smash? BTW, I have slightly revised my opinion that Ellis needs to meet the front of a speeding subway. He can continue on the show provided that he only interacts with Eileen.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I thought we'd decided he needed to have a piano drop on him, like Dorothy's house.....I'm hoping the new showrunner brings a large bottle of Smart Pills for the characters producing the Marilyn musical, so they wake up and see how wrong KMcP's character is for the role. That would be a nice start...Then, give me someone to root for.

– April 20, 2012 1:15 PM
Q.

MY FORMER MAYOR ON CURRENT TV

Pookie, do you realize what a trainwreck of a gift the American public is about to get in a Gavin Newsom-hosted talk show? This is a man who cheated on his 19-year-old girlfriend (the local press loved her, she was always happy to pose with drinks at bars) while having an affair with his campaign manager's wife. He likes to storm out of press conferences if the questions are too hard. Two months ago he made the media rounds and called for the elimination of the lieutenant governor job because no one seems to know what the job entails...including himself. Sadly, I will not be able to watch the carnage myself because Current TV isn't carried on Bay Area basic cable. So for you first timers: start working on your drinking game charts now. Here are a few "hi Bobs" to get you started: Every time Galvin talks about the poor, he adopts an odd Southernish accent. If he talks to a disadvantaged person, he usually assures that person that he too knows what it's like to be disadvantaged because few understand the pain of growing up upper-middle class in San Francisco while you're hanging out with members of the Getty family. I could go on, but the show is likely be canceled before I could finish the list. Oh, and Pookie, you look fabulous today!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

This show just got 30 percent more interesting.....I am so there!

– April 20, 2012 1:16 PM
Q.

Colton doesn't care and neither do we

As soon as Colton said "Honestly, I'm not trying to sound cocky, but I don't care, " I knew he was gone. You don't tempt the Gods of Idol like that. You don't care, then we'll send you back to obscurity. Enjoy trying to get a real job with a haircut like that.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

That, in marked contrast to his "I need to apologize" and I got away from who I am lines when he actually got the hook...Yes, it never helps your chances on Idol when you start dissing the judges, even when they say very stupid things -- not that their comments about Colton's performances this week were stupid... BTW, Elise also dissed them this week, saying she thought they judged her more harshly than the other Idolettes because she's older  (in her late 20s)...bye bye Elise. I've got her down to go next week, unless Hollie actually refuses to perform...

– April 20, 2012 1:19 PM
Q.

Smashed

Two of the reasons why I find this show so dreadful are: Debra Messing and Katherine McPhee. I'm probably putting way too much energy into this but could it be because these are the only two actors in the show who haven't actually done any live theater? Whatever the case, I'd be thrilled if they sent those two on a fact-finding mission to the hellmouth.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

But they're only performing lines given to them by people who have worked in the biz... not that I wouldn't like to see a show in which the two were sent on a fact-finding mission to the hellmouth.. NBC could air it at 9 o'clock Wednesday and do a better number than it's getting now with "Rock Center with Brian Williams" which last week clocked 2.6 million and this week did even worse....

– April 20, 2012 1:21 PM
Q.

WETA changes

Thanks for the info in your coluimn today on the changes WETA is going to be making. I am not familiar with WETA-How To. Is it the same as the Create channel? I'd hate to see Create become UK shows.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Not a big fan of "Are You Being Served?" Or have you already seen each episode 235 times...I think you're out of luck...

– April 20, 2012 1:24 PM
Q.

Today Show

I have been waiting all week for this chat and to discuss the Today Show (yes, I lead an exciting life!) I read your article on GMA taking over the #1 spot from the Today Show -what did the final numbers end up looking like? I'm one of the longtime viewers that is fed up with poor Ann (surely even she isn't happy with how things are going?) and am weary of the total lack of chemistry between her and Matt. Oh, how I miss the days of Meredith. This week, with Ann gone, has been like a total refresh of the show with Savannah Guthrie doing a great job - she's actually a joy to watch and she and Matt have been getting along swimmingly. Bottom line - what kind of discussions do you think are going on at NBC right now? Thanks!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Looks like an audition week to you too, huh? The discussions going on at NBC are how to fix the ratings hole into which the show has sunk... NBC already lost its No. 1 status in primetime -- in fact, it's No. 4 now. Now it looks like they're losing their grip in the morning, which is a big money maker for the company... someone will go soon and we know it's not Matt...

– April 20, 2012 1:27 PM
Q.

Big band theory

Could you please, please explain why my boyfriend likes this show so much? It is threatening domestic tranquility.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I assume you are talking about "Big Bang Theory" though I'd be happy to discuss the big -band theory -- I like Glenn Miller best, but only because he was played by Jimmy Stewart in the movie...anyway, getting back to your question, I used to be able to explain your boyfriend's love of the show as being all about smart writing and great character acting... now, sadly, I have to break it to you that it's all about raunchy, obvious gags and great character acting.  My advice -- hide the remote...See, Carolyn Hax isn't the only one here who can dispense relationship advice...

– April 20, 2012 1:34 PM
Q.

30 Rock and the biggest loser

Question #2 today brought to mind that episode of 30 Rock where there's budget cutting. Alec Baldwin holds up a pie chart to Tina Fey, saying, "These are NBC's priorities: 80 percent The Biggest Loser; 15 percent, return to 1996-97 through time travel and magic; 5 percent everything else."
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

The show is so good. Why are only 3 million people watching. If it weren't for Community, 30 Rock would be the least watched show on NBC's Thursday lineup -- and that's saying something because the numbers all across NBC's Thursday really, really stink... Thank you, Community!

– April 20, 2012 1:37 PM
Q.

Grays anatomy

How much longer do you think this show has?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

ABC's third most watched show, among 18-49 year olds, last week, behind only "Modern Family," "Dancing with the Stars"...I'd say it has a few more seasons to go...

– April 20, 2012 1:38 PM
Q.

reality shows

If you could be on one, which one? We are thinking of trying out for the Amazing Race, but also feel an inordinate amount of shame by the very thought of auditioning.

A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I would never, ever, ever participate in a reality series. Ever. Ever. Meanwhile, news update: WaPo's IT team is "investigating" the internet issues at the building. Meanwhile, I will continue to answer questions that had already been submitted when the outage erupted.

– April 20, 2012 1:42 PM
Q.

Apartment 23

How did the 2nd episode do ratings-wise?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

The second episode clocked 6.4 million viewers. The first episode had logged 6.9 million. That's pretty good retention of the premiere....Meanwhile, Update to the Update: I am able to access new questions....the rest of the company is on their own!

– April 20, 2012 1:45 PM
Q.

Glee?

In this week's Glee episode, Quinn didn't appear at all (with the exception of one brief appearence in one of the group numbers -- she was absent from the others). Strange, since last week's episode featured her "wheelchair" storyline, which seemed to be going somewhere. And Sugar, who has appeared in most episodes recently, wasn't in this one at all. But that long-haired guy apparently is now in the glee club and even got to sing on one of the numbers. No explanation in the show for any of this, of course. Oh yeah, my question...Why do I keep watching this show?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Pookster, I cannot help you. It's a mystery. You could be watching "Biggest Loser" in that hour instead, and helping NBC out -- that would be an act of charity and compassion....

– April 20, 2012 1:47 PM
Q.

Community

What are you thinking its chances are for another season? How are the ratings doing since its return?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's NBC's worst performing comedy on Thursday night. It's the saving of "30 Rock" -- it's a very important show in my world. Thank you Community!

– April 20, 2012 1:48 PM
Q.

Don't trust the B--- in Apartment 23

This is a wierd show, but I found myself laughing through it. If they renew it next season, do you think they can shorten the name to DTTBIA23 or "Apt 23" or "Cougartown with Dawson"?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Well, the name "Cougartown" will be available.....I think it's hilarious. There, I said it....

– April 20, 2012 1:48 PM
Q.

Where Do They Find These People?

On Toddlers & Tiaras there were a nasty bunch of moms and three little girls who were (a) too young to be in pageants and (b) not really interested. One mom was divorced because she spent too much of her husband's money, and another had maxed out three credit cards! Full glitz pageants should be outlawed! There weren't any better people on Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. We've had a maid of honor who insisted on standing out by wearing a different color dress and others that were just nasty & insulting. Don't they know better?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Know better than what? Better than to act in reprehensible ways so as to get cast in a TV show and get their 15 minutes of fame? I think you just answered your own question....

– April 20, 2012 1:51 PM
Q.

DWTS

Any chance they'll have Gavin DeGraw back as the musical guest? A role much more suited to his abilities.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

They did that Michael Bolton, even though he was not, as I remember, nearly so gracious in defeat...so I don't see why not...

– April 20, 2012 1:52 PM
Q.

The New Girl as ensemble show

This program started out purely as showcase for Zooey Deschanel. It seems to have morphed into much more of an ensemble, with all four loft residents--and Cici--getting equal time. It's also much more, uh, adult in its themes. Was this a conscious decision, or do these sorts of things evolve as a show finds its personality? Thanks.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Great observation. Yes, shows that survive are those that adapt. "Family Ties" -- reaching way back in history -- was supposed to be this show about two super liberal parents who found themselves with a conservative kid and couldn't figure out what had happened... Very quickly they realized Michael Fox was the breakout star and made the show all about him....

– April 20, 2012 1:54 PM
Q.

House

What do you think Hugh Laurie will do when House ends? Is he employable?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

If Kiefer Sutherland was employable after those last couple seasons of "24" then anyone is employable. I don't know why you'd think Laurie wasn't employable... it's not like he cost the network and studio pots of money because they had to re-work their shooting schedule around his prison sentence or anything. He's a fine actor and did his job and well... He's extremely employable, unless you know something about him I don't...like he said he will only take roles in which he gets to play monarchs or something. In which case, nevermind....

 

– April 20, 2012 1:56 PM
Q.

Reality shows

My cousin was on one - a lesser dating show. And, it wasn't as horrid as you would think. She did nothing to stand out, so she was barely broadcasted, and she got a month of free rent in a "mansion" after she was booted, tons of free booze, and a surprisingly large check for her trouble. She is an idiot, but she channeled it for the greater good.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I was in some shop the other day and one of the sales people was telling me that their roommate was on a dating reality series and the amount of booze they poured into these chicks to get them to act all wild and crazy was awesome....of course, she said it like it was a really good thing, and that made me feel like I've turned into my mother. But I go the last laugh. I didn't buy anything.

– April 20, 2012 1:59 PM
Q.

Vote for Savannah Guthrie

If nothing else, they will make Matt and Al not go outside lest the audience sees how short they really are!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Is she tall? They'll just put a "must wear flats" clause in her contract...

– April 20, 2012 2:00 PM
Q.

"I would never, ever, ever participate in a reality series"

Oh Pookie, I would've loved for you to have been on the "Jeopardy!" DC Power Players tournament. I bet you'd have wiped all those others off the board.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Yeah, right -- if all the questions were about Anthony Trollope, cute rescue dogs, and TV shows....

– April 20, 2012 2:01 PM
Q.

Never Try Out for a Reality Show

I second your sentiment. When they were casting that "greatest artist" show for Bravo a friend sent me the PDF application. It was 23 pages long and had a lot of questions in it like "What's the most outrageous thing you have done for your art?" "Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?" (but they didn't ask about a husband/wife) "How do they feel about your art?" It became clear that they were looking for kooky characters and drama queens. Moreover, they said you had to be prepared to take off 5 weeks to spend on location, but they couldn't tell you where. No thanks!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

But don't they always send people to really hot places, so they don't wear much clothing. That could be a good thing in January....

– April 20, 2012 2:02 PM
Q.

Today Auditioning

If NBC was smart, they would make a reality competition show out of it. They could see which could do better at inane cooking segments, keep Donny Deutch to only 2 minutes per comment, and keep the booze away from Kathy Lee Gifford! Final Challenge: Shill the Olympics by Jumping off a British Bridge!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

But Ann Curry would win that competition, and then where would they be?

– April 20, 2012 2:02 PM
Q.

The Mentalist

Has it been picked up for next year? I don't know how they could out-do last year's finale, though.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's safe -- picked up for next season.

– April 20, 2012 2:03 PM
Q.

Re: Elise

Elise's problem is the fact that she's a mature singer, and a mature woman. She doesn't kowtow to the teenybops who vote and she's not one of them. She looks, sings and acts like an adult. She's the most soulful singer on the show for my money, but for those reasons, she can't possibly win.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Elise is 28, but Phillip Phillips is 21, so he's "old"  too, I guess....

– April 20, 2012 2:06 PM
Q.

Community

So it's the lowest rated show on Thursday - so what? It's completely awesome and their fans demand another season so they can finish their four-year terms at Greendale. We need closure!!!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Sweet, sweet Pookie:  NBC is what is known as a "business." It needs to make something we call "money." In order to do that it needs to sell something that's called "advertising time" to people who make things and want to pitch it to something we call "viewers" with things called "ads." Advertisers want to reach as many of these viewers as possible, so they like to buy ads on shows that get a lot of viewers -- not on shows that get only a few viewers....I'm very sorry to break it to you, but it's time you knew.

– April 20, 2012 2:09 PM
Q.

reality show cousin

She also got a free DepoPovera shot. And, if you knew who the potential conquest was, it would not be enough...
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Oh. My. god. Are you kidding? Now you must tell us what show and what network....

– April 20, 2012 2:10 PM
Q.

Rock Center with BW

might do better numbers if they'd settle on a time and date for it. I used to catch it on Mondays at 10, but I don't know when the heck it's on anymore...
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Wednesdays at 9.. But, honestly, I don't think it will help...I wish they'd send correspondent Chelsea Clinton out on assignment every week and see what she comes up with. I find her strangely mesmerizing as a "journalist".....

– April 20, 2012 2:12 PM
Q.

Girls

So basically, it's "Sex & the City" without the humor, acting, or eroticism. Why am I supposed to watch this?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

and, let's not forget, without the couture clothing...I think you're supposed to watch for the brilliant acting by Brian Williams' daughter, David Mamet's daughter, drummer from Bad Company's daughter, and Laurie Simmons' daughter...

– April 20, 2012 2:14 PM
Q.

Office Reboot

I heard half the people will be leaving the office so they might do a reboot. Why can't they stop beating the dead horse?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Because they're out of ideas and desperate and don't have much confidence in their new ideas after the disaster that has been this seasons. That's my guess....

– April 20, 2012 2:15 PM
Q.

Elise kind of has a point...

Did you notice that Jimmy Iovine nodded when she said that she thinks she's being judged harsher than the others? I think she may be right. But she really does need to work on coming across so dour and angry when the voting doesn't go her way. If she wants a career in entertainment, being a gracious loser will go a long way towards building an audience!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Even if she's right, she did not do herself any favor saying it on national TV....

– April 20, 2012 2:16 PM
Q.

Savannah Guthrie

Is she tall? Yep! I was actually trying to figure out how tall when watching today - she was standing by Matt and was a good 2-3 inches over Matt's head - and she was wearing heels! Woot.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

then she won't be wearing heels much longer...

– April 20, 2012 2:16 PM
Q.

Set design for singing competitions

Why are the sets of the singing shows so busy - particularly with video backdrops - that you can barely find much less focus on the singers?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's a mystery to me, but I think we can blame Simon Cowell's "X Factor" which went in for light shows whole hog... The other shows seemed to follow suit...

– April 20, 2012 2:17 PM
Q.

Arrested Development

Any predictions on the quality of the upcoming Netflix-financed AD season? Would you expect it to be the same, better, or worse than the original series? Just as important, how much will people care (outside of those who religiously follow the TV biz)?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I expect it to be the same and because this show has an obsessive audience, it will do just fine and the bar for success on Netflix will be much, much lower than it was on Fox.. So, this show has found the right home...

– April 20, 2012 2:18 PM
Q.

Reality Show Cousin - Must have been flava flav

It had to be the Flava Flav reality show right? I mean that one was pretty bad. Either that or Brett Michaels! lol
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

good guesses both...

– April 20, 2012 2:18 PM
Q.

Girls

I think a better title would have been "Daughters: a tale of nepotism"
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Then they'd have to rename virtually every scripted show on TV to something similar....

– April 20, 2012 2:19 PM
Q.

REALITY SHOW COUSIN

Tell me it wasn't the Flava Flav one??? I don't know why but the whole DepoProvera wasnt enough comment leads me to someone pretty creepy . . .
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

we need to know....

– April 20, 2012 2:19 PM
Q.

I just texted my cousin

and she hasn't responded. She signed a ridiculous amount of non-disclosures, which I assume have expired but who knows. I can say is was on VH1 and didn't involve Flavor Flav (thank god!) I will try to get her to join this chat. She was only in the "competition" for three days, but you are right about the booze. The were served mimosa at 7 am.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I got the impression you knew which show it was....please do get your cousin to join us.. we've got so many questions....

– April 20, 2012 2:20 PM
Q.

Reality Show Guess!

Wasn't Tommy Lee on a dating show? Brett Richards?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

the mind reels....

– April 20, 2012 2:21 PM
Q.

Idol

I was really surprised Colton got voted off - mainly because I thought he had a ton of tween girl fans. I have a feeling they are all into Phillip, just like JLo. But I will never believe that Jessica had the lowest number of votes two weeks ago; that was such obvious prodcuer manipulation. I am really surprised Elise is still there - she is the type that usually can't get a fanbase for votes (she does have a great voice, but they all do this year).
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It appears people are voting based on performances, not on their "faves." and Colton was lousy this week, in much the same way Jessica was sub-par last week -- mostly because she chose the song "Stutter" which was like just daring people not to vote for her....you know I love a good conspiracy theory, but I'm not buying this one...

– April 20, 2012 2:22 PM
Q.

re: Elise

she may be the oldest singer, but outdoes them all in immature behavior. At what age are you too old to pout?!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

well said....

– April 20, 2012 2:23 PM
Q.

Matt Lauer

A friend worked with him on a remote and said "he's little and bird-like."
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

that is an apt description....

– April 20, 2012 2:23 PM
Q.

Reality Show cousin

I want to guess too! I think it was that awful one with the tennis "pro" and he had to choose between cougars and young women. Or that hilarious one where the guys wore masks and Monica Lewinsky hosted. Joe Millionaire! I'm having fun.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It is fun! Except, we have one hint: it was on Vh1.....take it away, guessers!

– April 20, 2012 2:24 PM
Q.

The Voice

I think Christina Aguilara was totally right to snub Beiber. There is something unconscionably sexist about a snotty little boy high fiving with the guys but then going in for the kiss with the one woman.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I'd much rather be kissed than high fived, personally. In Los Angeles, a kiss is like a handshake -- or waving as you pass by...was she wearing her bedazzled platter? I'm thinking she has an alter egowith a dark streak who wears the black platter.....

– April 20, 2012 2:26 PM
Q.

Scandal

What are your thoughts given it's DC centricity.....
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I think it's about as much like real Washington as Greys Anatomy is about a real hospital...

– April 20, 2012 2:27 PM
Q.

Ann Curry Career Deathwatch

I also root for Savannah Guthrie to knock Ann Curry out of the anchor spot at Today. If that happens, what do you think Ann does? Where can she go from the 1st Mate's position at Today? I can't imagine her remaining with NBC, but then again, I never believed that her combination of poor teleprompter reading skills and a broken sense of humor would be a good fit for Today anchor. Maybe her best bet is to find a scripted news magazine show like Dateline, although I don't think Lester Holt is going to give it back to her now!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Where did Deborah Norville go? This would  not be the first time the female anchor has gotten the heave ho due to ratings

– April 20, 2012 2:28 PM
Q.

The Upfronts

Who's going first this year? Will the CW be keeping any shows except for Top Model (which it shouldn't)
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

NBC goes first, but only because they squeezed into Monday morning, after a few years in which the braintrust at NBC decided to get out of Upfront Week altogether because that was so Old School, and Fox swooped in and took Monday for its presentation (in the afternoon)...so now, NBC has its press conference on Mother's Day Sunday in order to beat Fox, and last year had its upfront on Monday morning in an awful upstairs conferenc room at a  Times Square hotel -- just like WB network did its first several upfronts when it was just launched. Classy, NBC...

– April 20, 2012 2:30 PM
Q.

Revenge is Back!!

And Madelene Stowe is sounding gruffer and gruffer. Soon she'll be yelling in Baritone! I love this show!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

So does  Emily Yahr, who tells me -- I apparently have some serious catching up to do -- that Stowe's character's son was in prison having been charged with murder, so the lower voice is Stowe's way of registering "serious." On the bright side, Sonny is now at home because Mom paid some prison guards to beat him up... Why aren't I watching this show every week? Sounds fabulous!

– April 20, 2012 2:32 PM
Q.

Don't trust the B

Is very, very funny. That cereal-box head Van Der Beek is really good at mocking himself and the random Dawson-ness makes the show.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

He's wonderful on the show. Makes me wish I'd watched all those years of "Dawson's." I tried to watch, but I'd always start to gag about half way through the episodes....

– April 20, 2012 2:33 PM
Q.

I can't get ahold of my cousin

But she's on west coast time. I know what show it was - and I assure you, it comes up every time we see her I will try to get her to join the chat next week, though I think my Aunt and Uncle would be better guests - what is it like to have your daughter go on one of these. For what it is worth - she actually made a ton of money out of the whole enterprise - nightclubs would pay her and her fellow ladies serious bucks to show up for the night. She's now an adult - I can not wait until she has kids and we can show them the show!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

You really do love your cousin -- that is so sweet! Can you get her parents to join us next week. Seriously, I'd love to hear from them and ask them all those questions, and more...

– April 20, 2012 2:35 PM
Q.

Reality Cousin

Rock of Love with Bret Michaels? Please say it is s o!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's a popular fave in the guessing...

– April 20, 2012 2:35 PM
Q.

Kevin Federline?

He's apparently quite potent. (ick.)
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Why did I need to know this? Oh, is this your "reality show" guess for the cousin? I don't think he ever had a reality show, did he? Or have I just blocked it out....

– April 20, 2012 2:36 PM
Q.

"Wasn't Tommy Lee on a dating show?"

I don't know about that, but there was a short series where he attended the University of Nebraska, flirted with coeds, and found being in the Cornhusker Marching Band challenging. Why do I remember these things???
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Couldn't march? I love that you remember this stuff...

– April 20, 2012 2:36 PM
Q.

Reality Cousin

I just wikipedia-ed VH-1's reality shows. Verdict: Rock of Love.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Hooray!...wait, that isn't Vh!'s only skanky reality series in which chicks  might benefit from birth control shots, though we do need to rule out anything Flavor Flav-related, I think she has hinted....

– April 20, 2012 2:41 PM
Q.

Howard Stern on America's Got Talent

What is the prediction on the ratings outlook for AGT? Howard's talking about it all the time on his show. I'd expect ratings to be up for the first episode (compared to prior seasons) but to largely settle to be identical to prior years / slightly higher? The usual easily offended individuals will boycott, but this will be small compared to those curious what wackiness will be brought on by Howard (my guess - not much).
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

the larger audience is his to lose... loads will tune in, depends on how he does how many come back.. I read somewhere he made a little kid cry and ran up on stage to comfort the kid. That is surely not going to make his diehard fans happy...

– April 20, 2012 2:43 PM
Q.

Cougar Town

ABC must have know how bad this season was. No wonder they tried to kill it!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

it's pretty bad....

– April 20, 2012 2:43 PM
Q.

"Dancing with the Stars"

Like you, I think Tom Bergeron is the best emcee on TV. But I wonder, how many of his seemingly ad-libbed clever comments are actually scripted? And can you suggest how can I tell the spontaneous ones from the scripted ones (and does he write the latter himself)?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Watch Tom Bergeron be a guest on a late night talk show. He's not scripted -- he's witty....

– April 20, 2012 2:44 PM
Q.

Sorry but I just don't find "30 Rock" very funny anymore

I was the biggest fan of this show the first few seasons. I loved Dr. Spaceman, Liz's Irish boyfriend, Dennis, and Jack's interactions with his family. Other than last week's episode with Elaine Strich, I find this season's episodes tiresome and the humor forced. I am particularly disappointed with Jack's character. Maybe I'm just mad at Alec Baldwin and it's affecting how I view the show?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I'm liking this season though it may not be its best...

– April 20, 2012 2:45 PM
Q.

What are we to do if ... ?

Hey, Pookie: So, what are we to do if we don't follow "American Idol", keep up with "Smash," wake up to watch "The Today Show" or care about the fact the U.S. version of "The Office" has exceeded its sell-by date? BTW, Jane Goodall's chimp-like greeting with Jon Stewart was the high-point of my TV viewing week.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

This one's easy: you are to read The TV Column. I'm here for you...

– April 20, 2012 2:46 PM
Q.

Dick Clark

I actually have more memories of him hosting "$100,000 Pyramid" when I watched after school each day. I always liked how after they blew the final pyramid, he would come in the right clue and the contestant woulad get it. If it was hosted by anyone else but Dick Clark you would think of him as a jerk. And who would have thought that Betty White would outlive him? RIP Dick Clark
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

are you suggesting Betty White is guilt of foul play here? I like this theory....

– April 20, 2012 2:47 PM
Q.

People Don't Watch 30Rock because...

It didn't used to be that funny. The show relied heavily on Tracy Jordan and was TERRIBLE. We tried watching it in the beginning and there was just WAAAYYYYY too much Tracy. He doesn't act. He just shouts through his lines in the least funny way possible. The only thing worse is when Sherri Shepherd is on as Angie. Yikes! I really enjoy the show now, but I firmly believe it's because there is MUCH LESS Tracy and more ensemble. Well that and I'd watch James Marsden read the phone book sooo...
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Yes, this show took a long time to find out what it should be. The whole first season was a loss. But I disagree with you in re Tracy Jordan after the first season....subscribe to your Marsden theory however...

– April 20, 2012 2:50 PM
Q.

Ann and Oprah

Maybe I'm nutty, but Ann Curry seems like such a natural for an Oprah channel show. It's not like either of them have anything to lose and Oprah would be comfortable with the way Ann feels people's pain.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

bingo! what a lovely idea....

– April 20, 2012 2:51 PM
Q.

CBS Early Morning Show

How is that decidedly odd pairing working out? Charlie Rose and Erica Hill seem to be operating in parallel universes and Gayle King phones in from another galaxy. How long will this disjointed experiment continue?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

for a long time I hope. I love watching it for the reasons you just explained so well...

– April 20, 2012 2:52 PM
Q.

Today vs. GMA

I used to switch back and forth based on topic, but when Ann 'This morning this morning' Curry took over, I pretty much only watch GMA. BUT--GMA better be caseful because they are getting far too self-referential (if I am using that term correctly). Today their play of the day video was a boring mismash of clips of GMA. Someone there also has a man-crush on the generic, uninteresting, white guy news reader and the show spends too much time trying to convince viewers he is interesting. And although I love Lara Spencer AND pop news, please stop giving 45 seconds of material 5 minutes of air time. If this trend at GMA continues, I may be forced to take drastic measures. Oh, not watch CBS--that would be insane--I might just have to get to work earlier.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

No! No! Don't do anything so drastic. The white news guy reader is Josh Elliott and he came from ESPN, so I'm guessing he's got a really good agent and the amount of air time was carefully negotiated since ESPN has a rabid audience....Ditto Lara Spencer, though I love your description of 45 seconds of material being turned into 5 minutes of air time. Which, BTW, is a perfect description of morning infotainment shows in general -- particularly cooking segments!

– April 20, 2012 2:55 PM
Q.

Shows you're shocked are still on?

I was watching TV the other day and saw a commercial for Grey's, which immediately elicited a "That's still on? I haven't heard anything about that show for years!" I had a similar reaction to One Tree Hill. I know it is your job to stay up on these things, but have you or any other chatters had this reaction to shows?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Me. About "Grey's"...that show used to be a staple of my week -- wouldn't miss it. Now I can't imagine watching it... I think I've matured... Which I'm told is a good thing...

– April 20, 2012 2:56 PM
Q.

30 Rock going squishy

I love "30 Rock" -- the only show I watch consistently. I treasure its quirkiness and refusal to conform to conventional sitcom happy endings. Until now. Last week Jack and his mother (the incomparable Elaine Stritch) ended the episode embracing and having a heart-to-heart talk. This week Jack sent Liz Lemon on a blind date to meet a winsome little girl and convince Liz not to give up on having a kid because "the world needs more Liz Lemons." And crazy Jenna proclaims her true love tor the equally zany Paul (Will Forte). This is NOT what I expect from "30 Rock." What gives?

A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Ugh, they've NBC-ized it... You know, like Pam and Jim on ""The Office"... so sweet you gag....

– April 20, 2012 2:57 PM
Q.

How to Fix "Smash" without dropping a piano on Kat McPhee

Season 2: After extensive rewrites, "The Marilyn Musical" becomes "The Zombie Marilyn Musical." Voila, the wooden Ms. McPhee is now perfect for the role!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Why are you not running NBC? .....and, on that note, I'm out of time. Thanks for joining me... thank you for the patience as we worked through our tech problems. Thank you for ignoring our web site's homepage and believing that there really was going to be  a chat today. You guys are great.

– April 20, 2012 2:59 PM
Q.

 

A.
Host: