The Latest in TV with Lisa de Moraes

Feb 22, 2013

Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes discussed all the latest in TV news - on and off the screen.

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Thursday's POI had all the hallmarks of a spinoff pilot, with Reese and Finch hardly appearing as we watched Sarah Shahi kicking butt on the other numbers produced by Finch's machine. Is there a spinoff in the works?

It's CBS -- CBS is always working on spinoffs of their procedural crime dramas -- even when they're not! Through December, "PoI" was the fastest-growing drama on broadcast television from the 2011-2012 season to the 2012-2013 season. CBS would be nuts not to try to clone it, like they've done so successfullly with their other hot dramas. One of the reasons CBS is in the good shape it is this season, and NBC isn't -- NBC started the season in first place but has plunged back to the bottom among the broadcast networks --  is because NBC has no procedural dramas it can clone across its primetime schedule. NBC is starting from scratch in every timeslot with a different franchise that is has to sell to viewers. That's extremely tough to accomplish in today's TV environment. CBS has the closest model to a cable network -- a handful of franchises it can run all over the place. Drama-wise, it's "CSI" which a one point had two spinoffs,  "NCIS" which is about to get its second spinoff, and the network tried, but failed to do same with "Criminal Minds." Comedy-wise it's tougher, but CBS has done a pretty good job of making a franchise out of Chuck Lorre -- people who like one of his comedies will at least sample the next one - and, yes, Lorre's got a new one in the works for next season.

Lisa, a few months back I asked if you knew why Arrow used, as a stand-in for Starling City, a variety of cityscape shots throughout the episodes in between scenes. This past Wednesday, they used: Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and some other cities I didn't recognize... Have you figured it out? Is this some kind of in-joke between the editors, or just... the way it's done?

Warner Bros, which produces the show, is trying to create a fictitious Starling City, so it would make sense it would not feel constrained to use exteriors from just one actual city -- in fact it would be far better not to. Meanwhile, my guess is, since this is being produced for CW, which means on a smaller budget, they're using some stock exterior shots left over from other Warner Bros. projects. They must have hours and hours of exteriors -- can a drinking game be far behind?

Oh Pookie. I'm really going to have to work tomorrow afternoon. Drat.

I'm terribly sorry, though I don't understand.  [UPDATE] Someone informed me that while our homepage correctly said today's chat was on, elsewhere on our Web site it still said "CANCELLED" which is incorrect.] Again, very sorry for last week's last minute cancellation.  

I swear this show looks like some bit from SNL. The experienced, chubby African American cop with the good looking, young white dashing partner. Guess what? They don't get along. But, I bet they'll be fabulous at their jobs together! SO BORING AND OVER DONE...I would rather watch old episodes of Magnum, PI (not really)

"Lost" Plane crashes on mysterious island. Boring. Overdone.

"Sherlock": Adaptation of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. Boring. Overdone.

"Modern Family": Ensemble comedy about large, zany family. Boring. Overdone.

My ham-handed point: it's all in the execution. And, so far as I know, viewers haven't seen it yet. Unless you're with CBS? Or one of its competitors? Wait until the first episode airs next week -- then re-submit your comment on Friday. Who knows -- we may agree with you entirely!

 

Merely Dead, or Sincerely Dead? What were they trying to do that made Christina Applegate and the writer leave?

What they're trying to do is turn a traditional NBC single cam comedy into a multi-cam sitcom shot live to tape in front of a studio audience. It's like turning "Community" into "Mike & Molly." Applegate and the writer bailed.. Arnett did not have that option, apparently, and so has signed to headline a new comedy for CBS, but that project is in "second position" which means he has to fulfill his "Up All Night" contract should NBC decide to move forward... NBC's entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said during Winter TV Press Tour 2013 that he knows the whole idea is a long shot, but it was one worth taking, given the cast and auspices of the show -- it's from Lorne Michaels after all. Now he has one less cast member and another with one foot out the door.

Good Morning Pookie. Are they going to have a new episode against the Oscars this Sunday?

You betcha! Zombies aren't afraid of a mere trophy show --  they ran against the Grammys last week. The only thing that frightens away zombies? The Super Bowl!

I used to be a TV addict, but I realized this week that there are only five shows that I make time to watch: Top Gear, Top Chef, Revenge, Once Upon a Time, and The Vampire Diaries. Are there any shows I should be watching - you know so I don't lose my pop culture cred completely.

You've got a lot of catching up to do, pookie:

"Girls"

"Revolution" (back in March)

"Homeland" (just wrapped its season, sorry)

"Game of Thrones" (back in March)

"Scandal" (because it's the best worst show on TV)

"Community" which, I'm told by a fan here, is "what the cool people are all watching" --  by way of accounting for its miniscule ratings. Like when it got beat last night by an episode of "Vampire Diaries" on CW in 18-49 year olds.

"The Americans"

"The Walking Dead"

and I'm sure I'm missing a couple more...

It should be a given that Robin Roberts is very bravely fightihg a life and death battle with her illness. However, the way both ABC and Ms Roberts are exploiting her situation for attention for GMA, and ratings, is very disappointing. Everyones life is equal in value. But not everyone makes the same contribution to society. Hundreds of years from now when people read about this situation, they will probably think Ms Roberts was another "Mother Theresa". The say part is this exhibition, if you will, worked. As you know Lisa, it was a ratings bonanza.

There's a fine line between promoting her situation to raise awareness of the condition, etc. and melodrama for the sake of goosing sake. I cringed watching President Obama and the First Lady welcoming her back...Personally, I'm very uncomfortable with a news division seeking and/or airing such a message from the president of the United States, to promote the return of one of its on-air talent, during a sweeps period.

I've enjoyed The Following -- although it is relentlessly gruesome. How's it doing in the ratings?

This week: about 8.4 million viewers (okay) and 2.9 rating in among 18-49 year olds (improving on its "Bones" lead-in). This season, that all adds up to "renewal"....

Spoiler Alert: THEY KILLED MATTHEW! Probably the only decent character in the Series, after Sybil got killed off. I read in an interview that creator Julian Fellowes will let any actor who wants off the series, but does he have to kill them all? Will the series eventually get down to Isis the Dog?

The version I heard had the actor telling Fellowes he wanted off and intended never to return. Don't say that to a writer about his pet project unless you really, really mean it.

Who do we need to harass at WaPo to get back your Idol 'WWSYDHT' recaps? It's not even the full game-on stage of AI yet, and I desperately miss your snarky and witty recaps - you've given me some of my best AI memories over the years! Why is WaPo being so grinchy? Why, Pookie, why? (P.S. to WaPo: seriously, why?)

As it was explained to me, we have research that indicates competition show recaps bring in what in the TV business would be called a "borrowed" audience, I think is the best way to explain it. Think of the 100 million people who watch the Super Bowl on CBS -- about 90 million of them don't then stick around to watch other CBS programs, no matter how many times the network plugs "Mike & Molly" or "Elementary" during the game -- they are sports fanatics and go back to ESPN and regional sports network viewing after the game is over. I have been told "Idol" recap fans tend not to migrate over to the Post's political stories. (Shame on you? Shame on our political stories for not making "Idol" references? ) I'm also told the Post is mulling a plan to recap shows about Washington, in hopes those recap readers will migrate over to our political reporting I'm guessing.  And John Templs is in charge of the Post's digital operation.

 

 

Lisa, I so miss your commentary on Idol. I used to watch it so I could better appreciate your take on the singers and the judges. Why did you stop and is there any hope you will come back to make my Wednesday and Thursday mornings more enjoyable?

It was not my choice (See previous answer).

A former mayor of a major California Coastal city gambles $1 billion while mourning the death of her husand -- a founder of a fast food chain -- and fighting a horrible disease. If this pitch was made Wednesday, would any TV executive have believed it?

Yes, but they would not have bought the project. Except Lifetime -- they'd eat it up with a spoon...

Watched Elementary last night and got audio interruptions 3 times from Channel 9 news. Not for a meteor about to hit - but to stay tuned and watch the news about the cruise ship. They've already filled the bottom third of the shows with promos for other shows, is the audio warning necessary it is not a tornando warning or such? Please make them stop!

Ah, the joys of February sweep. I did not see this but, if your information is correct, this is a play to goose ratings on their late local news -- "Elementary" being the show that CBS aired right before the late local news. Don't complain to CBS -- it does not own its station in our market. It's an "affiliate" station and owned by Gannett. Send your complaints there way, or to the station, WUSA. At the bottom of the station's web site is a link to information about contacting the station and filing complaints.

I'm trying to clear out my DVR while home sick. The Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliff is on. Earlier, someone said that his car was the first on in the county and they are wearing funny collars, so early 1900's yes? He is looking at a legal document right now that uses the honorific "Ms." in front of a woman's name. The document is in English. This is as much of a howler as I think it is, right? Did anyone use Ms. at all before the 60's? Could it have been on a legal document before the 80's?

According to wikipedia: "Ms." (or at least the pronunciation associated with this spelling) began to be used as early as the 17th century, along with "Miss" and "Mrs.", as a title derived from the then formal "Mistress", which, like Mister, did not originally indicate marital status.[6][7] "Ms." in whatever form, however, fell into disuse in favor of the other two titles and was not revived until the 20th century.

And, in re the flick itself, it was the highest-grossing British horror film in 20 years. Which, for all I know, is damning with faint praise...

All that heartache and now she is living out a chapter from Jane Eyre (sort of, but she at least didn't get duped for long)? This is just sad.

That was quite a hefty "borrow" of Jane Eyre storyline on Julian Fellowes's part, don't you think? Plain women never get a break in British drama. They're forever falling for men with insane wives in the attic and no chance of divorce -- it's epidemic.  Speaking of Jane Eyre, which TV adaptation do you like best? I'm a big fan of the Toby Stevens version, though Ciaran Hinds' was pretty good too. Timothy Dalton not so much, William Hurt version -- ugh.

I heard Monty Hall and Carol Merryl will be back next week. Should I see them, or will I feel old if I do?

I am a big believer in not looking back. I attended one high school reunion and only lasted one hour, after which I hopped into the car and headed straight for a bar, to recover in the company of strangers, who all had their own reunion horror stories, which was actually a lot of fun -- loads more fun than the reunion itself... anyway, the point I'm making is that you're asking the wrong person.  Anybody else out there?

Pookie -- Is it time for Julian Fellowes to hire a writing staff for Downton Abbey? Or will the fourth season feature variations on the existing themes of noble Bates, a cheeky housemaid, clueless Robert and awesome one-liners by the Dowager?

Word is Fellowes says he won't have so much time to devote to "Downton" going forward if NBC picks up his new series "The Guilded Age." Right now, he has a script commitment with a "major" financial penalty attached if NBC balks. On the bright said, the fourth season of "Downton" is already in production, with Fellowes writing, and would be wrapped by the time he'd have to turn his thoughts to NBC's show. And, also on the bright side, the survival rate of new NBC dramas these days is near zero -- think "Do No Harm" and "Deception" and (though not technically "new" "Smash." So, even if Fellowes thinks he'll have to step back from writing every episode of "Downton" going forward and instead supervise a staff of writers, so he can focus on his new NBC drama, odds are that will be temporary...I always like to look on the sunny side!

Hi, Pooks, The TV critic for Fresh Air - can't spell his name - had high praise for both of these shows, especially HoC. What is your take?

I like  "The Americans" very much, but wish it was as miniseries because I can't figure out what is season 5 -- unless they flip sides, which would be trite. "House of Cards" is good but, again, I wish American TV networks weren't so greedy and this project was a miniseries -- like the original UK version. Granted, a Netflix "series" is only 13 episodes at a pop, not the broadcast standard of 22-ish.... Meanwhile,  if you have never seen the original British version with Ian Richardson, do watch it. Nobody loves watching Kevin Spacey chew scenery more than me -- big fan. But Richardson was brilliant, perfect. Spacey is no competition.

The loves and tribulations of a modern, single girl in a cosmopolitan city. Follow Edith in Girls : London, as she deals with friends, family, and whatever Rose is in the 1920s.

Sounds great. They've already got one spinoff in their minds -- a prequel. But why shouldn't they do this too -- like "CSI" with its two spinoffs, or "JAG" which spawned two and a third on the way: "NCIS," "NCIS: LA" and whatever they're going to call the next one they're developing with John Corbett in the lead role...

Best Jane Eyre adaptation was not a TV show but the feature film a couple of years ago with Michael Fassbinder and Mia Wasikowska (but we watched it via Comcast On Demand, does that count?). Even my husband, who grudgingly agreed to watch it with me expecting an unexciting chick flick, ended up saying it was one of the best movies he'd seen in years.

It was terrific... I am the proud owner of all Jane Eyre adaptations that have been put out on video or disc...

Oh, I've watched all of Homeland and Game of Thrones. I watch Scandal intermittently - same with Community and the Americans. I just don't really make time for the shows. So maybe I'm not as bad off as I thought I was. But I still feel like I might be missing something. Well, I don't feel like I'm missing out on the Walking Dead. Sure Andrew Lincoln's easy on the eyes but I don't do zombies.

happy to hear it...

Which is exactly why I don't watch the TV Land Awards show. So sad.

Agreed!

A year ago, I would have been ECSTATIC that you were encouraging people to watch Community to raise its ratings. Having seen the first three episodes of it sans Dan Harmon... well, let's just say that it isn't pretty. I'm sure ratings have, or soon will, reflect that. (Granted, they weren't high to start, but they're doing their darnedest to send the core base running away in horror.) Do you know if any of the cast members are trying to get cast in pilots?

If they've got smart agents, they are...

I will definitely watch! Sure, Monte Hall must be about 147 years old now. Carol Merrill might be using a walker but c'mon, that was a staple of TV for many of us growing up!

Which is why I don't want to see them now... in much the same way I have never visited the neighborhood in which I grew up outside of Baltimore since joining The Post. I have such wonderful memories of the place and I want to remember it as it was. I have no interest in seeing what it has become.

Oh, thank God. I thought I was being mean-spirited in thinking, "Enough already!" I even switched over to Today this morming when we had to suffer through a promo of tonight's 20/20, which is about, you guessed it, Robin Roberts.

We need a support group for everyone who feels bad that they're offput by how this is being handled. You are not bad people.....

Is Mark Valley's presence on the show enough to make it worth watching?

Yes. Period.

I know the show won't last long enough for it to matter, but do you think they have enough footage of Christina Applegate to splice it in with scenes of the other actors? You know, like how they creepily spliced footage of Nancy Marchand into "The Sopranos" and Oliver Reed into "Gladiator" after they had died. Or like the SeinfeldVision episode of "30 Rock" where NBC decided that the cure for the sad ratings of their crappy shows was to inject stock footage of Jerry into them.

This is very funny! But, in answer to your question: yes, for about 2 episodes...

I know this is a super weak complaint, but in "House of Cards" they make a point of telling us in the audience that the White House Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez is a Hispanic American yet I know in real life that the actress is Indian American and it shouldn't take me, but it does. Also the character never really does much of anything.

I think that Indian American actresses should be allowed to play Hispanic American characters. In much the same way really stupid actors have been cast as brainiacs, really rich actors have played poor people, really soulless actors have played compassionate people....

Pookie, where are you? I can only pretend to be on the phone talking to "Weather" for a few more minutes. ha ha ha

It's 33 degrees right now in Washington and rain is forecast this afternoon, possibly turning to snow...

Has CBS acknowledged that they made a big mistake selecting "Elementary" to the Post-Super Bowl slot instead of "Two Broke Girls"? Their ratings didn't go up a bit.

Nope... Why should they? The games' half hour delay pretty much killed off any usefulness the post-Bowl broadcast might have had. Oh, that and it was a pretty weak episode, don't you think? I expected much more from them for that episode of "Elementary".. I was hoping to see Hugh Laurie or Judy Dench cast as Moriarty -- something really zingy.. What we got was just another episode. Very disappointing.

in addition to the shows you listed, must see TV in our house includes: Justified, Copper, and Ripper Street.

done, done and done!

Have they acknowledged that they will finally show the mother in the final season next year?

They'd better, or the blood of CBS suits will run in the steets of Studio City the next morning....

Pookie, how did this do for NatGeo? I must admit, I watched it at 8 pm, and then watched it again at 10 pm. (And yes, forced myself to turn off the television at 12:30 am when it was on a third time. I get easily engrossed in stuff like that.)

Wow, twice in a row is one thing but three times in a row is crazy (says the women who watches "Random Harvest" at least once a month. For years.)

Pookie, when will GOT be back?

March 31.

And of course, he's played by the dashing yet expired plot device, er, Turkish diplomat from Downton Abbey, Kamal Pamuk!

That too!

Are there really THAT many acting jobs for pleasant looking blond guys in England?

Apparently that pleasant looking British blonde thinks so -- according to the report I heard...

Good Morning America is part of the "news" division? You're adorable.

I AM adorable. And it is...

Pookie, your editors need to rethink this recap thing. It was your "Idol" recaps that made me a regular reader of the Washington Post. Just sayin'.

Thank you for saying so -- that was lovely of you!

Any chance Maya Rudolph lands in a better spot? She's been consistently attractive and engaging in most everything she's done.

She's terrific in "Up All Night" -- really stole the show. Hence its re-tooling. That said, I read a report the other day that she's pregnant, so she may not want to be cast in something else right away...

It fit into WUSA's current fascination with raw sewage (talking about you, Russ Pstacek). The station execs must have wet themselves (sorry, not a phrase i normally use, but it seems appropriate here) when that story came over the wire. All the coverage mystified me, too--it was a story that affected exactly .0000001% of Americans.

I was fascinated to watch CNN's wall-to-wall coverage the day the ship hobbled in to its port. That's Jeff Zucker in action. Apparently it affected almost no one, but we were morbidly fascinated at the picture being drawn in our heads of raw sewage streaming down a cruise ship's walls, and the actual shots of people waving from the deck.

Let me pitch this to you, Pookie. A cruise ship is tossed in a storm and runs agroound on an uncharted desert island. Through the indefatiguable of the staff, they manage to keeps their spirits up and await their final resue, despite it being scheduled for a 3 hour tour. A 3 hour Tour.

Sold! I'm seeing a red-headed bombshell and a well-scrubbed girl from Kansas among the passengers. 

I saw where Jeff Probst's Talk Show got cancelled. Good thing he didn't give up his day job!

Did you ever see his daytime talk show? He's being saved from himself.

Hey Lisa - Matt Lauer skiing during a sweeps week with GMA crushing Today... with that big contract?? Today seem to be auditioning a lot of potential replacements these days, Seacrest, Geist, etc. Is Lauer going to make it through his new(ish) contract?

In fairness, "Today" had caught back up with "GMA" among 25-54 year olds -- the currency of morning infotainment TV...

My college-age (and college-going) niece and her friends don't like "Girls." She says they don't identify with any of the characters or their rich-girl situations, so they bailed on the show a while ago. That leaves me believing that the main audience for Girls is over-30 pop culture writers living in Brooklyn. True or false? I myself didn't really like it and haven't tuned in again, but I'm old.

The show, and its creator, are definitely the darlings of the media, and the audience for this show is actually small, compared to a broadcast hit like "Modern Family" for instance... But HBO measures success in other ways than ratings. With HBO it's all about subscriptions and ancillary markets and a "sticky" show like this is good business...those viewers it has are very loyal and will buy the "stuff" -- you know, like the nail polish!

If Robert Osbourne asked you, would you appear on TCM with your fave classic movie picks? As usual, you would look marvelous!

In a heartbeat....

I love the show - i love the relationships of the characters. I usually have no idea what's going on...but I still watch. I bet they don't care about that, at all. just that i tune in...

You kidding? NOBODY understands what's going on in that show. I think the two lead actors said they don't understand what's going on in the show at some press-tour Q&A. Or maybe I just dreamed that... Anyway, sometimes it really doesn't matter. Ever watch "The Big Sleep" with Bogart and Bacall? Seriously, NOBODY knows what's going on in that flick -- it's a well-known fact. And yet, it's a classic.

This past Sunday was the SECOND episode where I've heard a character use the now current expression "learning curve" -- which I'm pretty sure wasn't used back in the early 1920s. Could someone please beg Julian Fellowes please to stop this nonsense?

I've seen someone making such a suggestion to Fellowes. It's not pretty...

I see the show got cancelled. Do all the contestants get fired now?

Interesting question! If a TV show purports to get unemployed people some jobs, but there's no one watching, did the job offers really happen? (CBS has not said if and/or when it will burn off the remaining episodes)...and if I were one of those contestants who'd landed a job at one of those companies I'd be pretty-ing up my resume...

About 10 years ago, my wife was agitating for a cruise because we know a lot of old people who love doing that. I told her that I would go on a cruise with her as soon as the industry went twelve consecutive months without an epidemic or a poo-storm. Reset that clock, baby...

That's too funny. You need to be interviewed on CNN...

Let's all wish a happy 95th birthday today to veteran NBC-TV announcer Don Pardo, who STILL announces the opening of each "Saturday Night Live"! To paraphrase Rob Reiner's mom, "I'll have what he's having."

Happy birthday!

My brocther had the same kind of Caner as her, got treatment, lost his hair, got through it, and even HE thought it was over the top!

He can be the spokesman for our support group...

I heard that the TV ratings will soon start including people who stream videos from the networks and Web sites like Hulu, after the live braodcast. How long after a show airs will a "viewing" count? And will the count everyone (since they can), or will there be "broadband families) are there are now for over-the-air and cable viewing?

I think they're thrashing all that out as we chat... and who knows how long before they get it ironed out. It often amazes me how crude are the means by which television content viewership is clocked...

Ba dum bum. We're here all week. Tip your wait staff. Try the fish.

lol....

Doesn't anyone at NBC remember what happened to "Beacon Hill," CBS's knockoff of "Upstairs, Downstairs"?

No. And I'm not joking.

Can we ask for that for giving us another lame "Fans vs. Favorites" Seaon of Survivor?

absolutely.

I read an interview somewhere in which Julian Fellowes claims he'll never kill off Dowager Duchess Violet (Maggie Smith), even if she leaves "Downton Abbey." At that rate, we could wind up seeing the character's centennial on the series (ha-ha!).

That's because, he explained, she'd come back to visit sometimes...

"Send in your pledge or another Downton Abbey character dies!"

brilliant!

Left to star on Broadway.

Yes -- a very secure job...

Have you seen the jack in the box commercial making fun of it? Where the jack in the box is in a band, and he's showing a video to his kid - and just as the lady in the audience is about to take off her shirt, jack pauses the vid - and says to the kid: and that's how I met your mother. Brilliant.

I have not seen it but will find it online as soon as this chat is over.. that's hilarious!

I have fallen for The Neighbors. Is it doomed or will it be around for a while?

I'm lighting a candle...

I put so much energy into Flash Forward AND that summer show a few seasons ago about those 10 people that somehow found themselves in a hotel on the old Gilmore Girls set . Please tell me that Zero Hour will not suffer the same fate!

ABC's "Zero Hour" last night got beat among 18-49 year olds -- the currency of broadcast TV -- by CW's "The Vampire Diaries." This does not bode well for "Zero Hour."

Is the "Golden Boy" white? I thought he was the Turkish diplomat that Lady Mary Crawley power banged to death in "Downton Abbey. Considering her husband Matthew also died in a car crash as well as previous fiancé Patrick being lost in the Titanic sinking, girl has a rather bad track record.

She does seem to be cursed -- my guess is she was born on Halloween. 

I know it's all a show to get people to movies, but do you usually watch it all the way through, Pookie? What part do you like the best?

I always watch all the way through and the best part is ALWAYS the host's opening bit.. The acceptance speeches are insufferable and as I told Tony Kornheiser on his radio show this week, the AcademyAwards should adopt the Kennedy Center Honors models -- those who win don't get to say a word.. It's the only way to get these people to shut up. They're in front of tens of millions of people but instead of giving an acceptance speech that speaks to those tens of millions, they give a speech that speaks to the 10 people who are their entourage -- lawyer, agent, manager, personal trainer, spouse, psychic, and one or two others. They every year fail in their main responsibility -- which is to entertain us. I think they have lost the right to speak at the show.. I hope the producers will attend to it immediately.

The Mayor with the tumor? Story line done a couple of years ago on L&O SVU, but it was a teacher with the tumor and she was kicking it with a teenage student.

Wow -- so it's not even original!

Thanks to the Oscars, there is going to be no new "Once Upon a Time" episodes and it was just getting interesting! Rumplestiltskin is actually Henry's grandfather and along with Emma, are all trapped in New York City! Meanwhile, Regina and her mother (Barbara Hershey in her best role ever--she seems to delight in playing evil) have a plan to kill Rumplestiltskin and Emma. Maybe it is good that they are trapped in New York! Hmm...sounds like a new reality series! I'd rather watch that than the Oscars because I am disappointed in some of their picks, especially, "Django Unchained." It is a movie pretending to care about slavery but really is nothing more than a glorified, "Friday the 13th," with a higher body count. Thank you for allowing my rant!

I'm sorry, but I just can't be the other half of an adult conversation about Rumplestiltskin without first having had a great deal to drink.

I'm at a loss to understand why TV execs think America can't get enough of Will Arnett. It was (almost) understandble when he was tethered to Golden Girl Amy Pohler, but now it's unfathomable. Can you enlighten me?

Watch Fox's "Arrested Devleopment" . It explains a lot.

Renewed. Did the ratings improve or was it a "buzz" renewal?

The ratings were fine...

So... how did your father meet your mother?

Mine met on a blind date, I've been told. How about yours?

The Broadway show Dan Stevens left Downton for, "The Heiress," has already closed. Hope he has something else in mind for follow-up.

Oops.

Lisa, are you my Mom? She's the patron saint of Candle Lighting.

I'm nobody's mom -- lucky nobody...

Man! That's a lot of cancellations in a short spell: Anderson, Ricki, Probst..Is the market that tough or these shows that bad?

Both

No one knows what's going on in The Big Sleep because they changed almost every major plot point that occurs after the 20-minute mark. (I assume the book was too racy for Hollywood's morality rules of that time?) Yea or nay on a remake, sticking to the original plot? And since this is a tv chat, that reminds me: what is the latest word about Frank Darabont's LA Noir?

n re: Frank Darabont's "L.A. Noir," my esteemed colleague Emily Yahr says the show will air sometime this year, and the name's been changed to "Lost Angels" because some video company that has a game called "L.A. Noire" threatened to sue...

It takes a few viewings to realize how snarkily, subtly funny this show really is. The Blind Side episode last week was hilarious.

I'm a fan, as you know.

Except Sally Fields. "You like me.You really like me."

And Roberto Benigni when he jumped on the back of some chairs in the hall. There have been some good speeches, but they're too few and far between.

What television scene, transmitted over the air, do you hope the invading space aliens see first, either to make them stay away or to accelerate their conquest of planet Earth?

Any episode of "2 Broke Girls" because a civilization that embraces this show does not deserve to survive..  On that note I think I should stop chatting before I do some serious damage.. Have a great weekend!

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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