The Washington Post

Michaele Salahi, 'Sister Wives' and the TCA Tour -- The TV Column Live

Aug 06, 2010

Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes takes your questions about the drama, comedy and heartbreak of the world of television -- both onscreen and behind-the-scenes.

IMPORTANT ADVISORY: Since she is still at the press tour, Lisa is at the mercy of network executives. The chat schedule might have to be adjusted again.

They are all truly horrible (except Mary who is truly boring). They are Michaele's voice is grating and her hyperactivity exhausting and annoying. I can find no redeeming qualities of any of them. They are petty, condescending and prejudiced.

Hi.. in response to your question -- oh wait, where is the question? Anyway, I agree with you on all points but the question is, does this mean you love it or hate it..I think a large swath of Housewives franchise viewers watch it religiously because it makes them feel better about themselves -- not that there's anything wrong with that..

Who do you think will be the judges...and if it were up to you who would be the judges? It would be fun to see Rosie and Donald as judges they would undercut each other every chance they had (though both lack in any music talent).

If it was Rosie and Donald they would never get around to talking about the singers' performances. it would be me, me, me all the time... I really enjoyed Harry Connick Jr. and think he would bring a lot to the show. I like the idea of J-Lo and Steven Tyler is the gift that keeps on giving...

Not really a question - just a comment - your column re: the nincompoops and the CBS person was really just stellar!

thank you for keeping alive my effort to bring back the word "nincompoop"...

Hi, Pookie. Any word as to when ABC will burn off the remaining episodes of the late, lamented "Better Off Ted"? I would have thought they'd put them in one of the two Wed. night spots now occupied by "The Middle," but I assume Saturday night is the most likely spot. Thanks for any info you can dig up!

Now that the head of ABC has been "resigned" and Paul Lee is taking his place, all bets are off in re what's ever going to be burned off on Saturday night.. I'm guessing you may have to buy the DVD boxed set or something..

Pookie, I worry so when I hear you are "at the mercy of network executives."

There is no such thing, is there?

No, and it was wrong of my brilliant producer Paul to frighten you like that.. I'm at press tour and since it's a cable day naturally they're running very very late which is why the chat got pushed back. I could not miss TLC's announcement that they are going to air a reality series about a guy with four wives who lives in Utah, which is being produced by the same company that did "Jon & Kate Plus 8" and "19 and Counting" -- or is it "18 and COunting".. I can't keep up with that family...

Hi Lisa: You've spent nearly two weeks attending and covering the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. Sounds terribly exhausting and I bet you don't want to go near a TV for a while. By now, can you tell the difference between Glee's Matthew Morrison and Rubicon's James Badge Dale if you saw both at the same party? Cheers!

Well, Matthew Morrison is in the Buying his Own Publicity stage of TV on-screen careerdom that you unfortunately see almost all TV stars go through at some point...especially the guys. The chicks all seem to go through a phase where they become frighteningly thin. Speaking thereof,  I did not recognize Lea Michele wen I saw her here for the TCA Awards. She has  become half the woman she was..

Pookie, you outdid youself with "Boris, feeling he'd made his point, sat contentedly on the chair, his back to the critics, chewing thoughtfully on a granola bar, while the lemur, who was snack-less, stared daggers at him." When does the TCA end? Not a moment too soon?

 Matthew Morrison I can take or leave but I feel madly in love with Boris at the tour, which ends Sunday, in answer to your question. I admit I'm always sorry when a press tour ends and go through a few days of post-party depression. Imagine a pig in mud suddenly finding itself mud-less. That's me when the tour ends. 

At what point do the other participants kill Ms. Salahi? ...or would that be a spoiler?

Well, since the show's already in the can and she's been cited on TV over the past few days, I'm guessing that's too much to hope for...

"Sister Wives"!?! Really, TLC? Is this the worst reality show idea ever?

Actually I think it will do okay, but not great. It's better on paper. They just had their session at the tour and I can tell you there is a lot less here than meets the eye. The biggest question I came away with is that after marrying only blondes, why did he just go and marry a's like he's breaking up a set of perfectly good dishes.. however, the new brunette wife was quick to assure the TV critics that her two girls from previous marriage are blonde, though her son, sadly, is brunette, as is she.. .

Which cast would you rather be marooned on a deserted island with: Real Housewives of DC or Jersey Shore? Death is not a choice!

If death is not an option, I would have to go with "gouge out my eyes and ears"... unless you told me I'd be allowed to consume cast members for sustinance. Then I'd naturally go with Jersey Shore because here is so much more meat on those bones..

In your column, you mentioned that ABC's new programming chief is a Brit who used to run BBC America. Does this mean we can expect a bigger influx of British shows adapted to America? Because actually... I wouldn't mind an American version of "Gavin & Stacey", or "The Inbetweeners".

Well, for the past six years Paul has run ABC Family and I can't think of a single Brit adaptation he's done on that network, though I freely confess to being pretty brain dead after nearly two weeks of press tour...

If you were given the power to grant any tv show from the past one additional season from the time it was canceled/ended which would you choose? I would have to pick Farscape because that's how this nerd rolls.

I would always pick Keen Eddie. I will pick Keen Eddie any time you have hte words "TV show" and "additional season" because it was a brilliant show killed by cowardly network execs who bought it and then became afraid of it...

What should we be watching this fall? Did you see anything promising last week?

I saw a number of shows that looked interesting but the one that has everyone, including me, most excited is a new show on Showtime that stars Matt LeBlanc as himself. He's down and out since his Friends spinoff got cancelled and is reduced to having to audition for a remake of a British hit comedy that's being butchered in its remakea by idiotic American network suits and the lead character has been named Matt LeBlanc and Matt has to audition to play himself. I"m not doing it justice (no kidding Lisa) and it does not start until early next calendar year and I should hasten to add that I wrote that description in a big rush and that no first episode has been sent out yet so it may be one of those shows that clips really well but doesn't work when an actual episode is made... also ABC's new Wednesday comedy looked good and they've given it so many names I can't remember what is this week's show title. Also the new JJ Abrams drama, though I hear the writing isn't nearly as good in subsequent episodes -- it's the one about the very sexy spy couple... "Undercovers."

"He previously had been focused on overhauling Fox's "Dancing with the Stars," after which its ratings went -- oh wait, what's this? -- down."

Was the wrong show title (should be SYTYCD) a mistake or was it meant be some sort of commentary on how all dance shows are pretty much the same?

Not at all. it's only a comment on my degree of brain-dead-ism two weeks into the tour. Thanks for pointing this out to me, seriously.

OMG, Lisa, you're not serious?!?

I am serious. We just had a Q&A session for the show. Sister Wives it's called...

I vote for either Charlie Sheen or Mel Gibson to take Steve Carell's place next year.

I'm sensing your trend but not sure why you are going in that casting direction. Is there some logic behind this?

Is he going to do double duty with SYTYCD and AI? Why did he say they never should have added a fourth judge to AI, and then adds one to SYTYCD? Also, his creepy comments towards female dancers must give FOX the heebegeebies.

you say "heebegeebies" like its a bad thing. I think his creepiness is one of his greatest charms... I hope they wind up making him judge Idol as well...

A third show? Really? Surely the folks at CBS aren't that afraid of Les Moonves that they keep giving television time to his wife. So are they afraid of Julie Chen, maybe? There must be some rumor that she killed someone.

They apparently felt they needed a "news" woman on the show -- allegedly to help them bring in newsmakers. You know, like President Obama going onThe View. I think, since they wanted it to be somone high profile,  CBS's choices were pretty much limited to Katie Couric or Julie Chen and there was no way Couric was  going to do this. But the idea that Chen is going to get big names in news to come on  this show seems fairly unrealistic. What was her last big "get"?

I read that PBS will be offering a new Sherlock Holmes series. Should I be prepared to be disappointed that the new Holmes can't ever match the incomparable late Jeremy Brett?

I too mourn the loss of Jeremy Brett  as Sherlock Holmes but I think you'll like the new version, even if you are a purist, even though it's set in "modern day".. The actor is terrific. It's time to move on from Brett and if you miss him after watching episodes of "Sherlock" just pop "My Fair Lady" into your DVD player and fast forward to the "Street Where You Live" tune. Works for me...

I would like to offer a counter question: if there was any show that you could lop off the last, oh, two or three seasons and end it earlier that it actually did, which would it be? I would nominate The X-Files, which became disjointed after about season 5.


Has it always lasted 2 weeks?

It used to go for nearly a month in the summer which, yes, I know, begs the question, "So what are you whining about"?....

Isn't that a direct copy of Lisa Kudrow's show after Friends?

It's so much better. At least the clips are.

I saw ads this week (while watching the Bachelorette finale against my will - hope that this convinces you I'm not a network plant) for two new ABC shows - one about a family that gets super-powers, one about a group of high schoolers that reconnect ten years after the fact. The commercials made both look good. Is there any glimmer of hope in either? Thanks.

"No Ordinary Family" is very very corny.Michael Chiklis stars as head of a family that takes a trip to SOuth America, which we all know is a dangerous, , mysterious, exotic place, which accounts for the fact that when their plane crashes into some body of water they survive but the water has given each of them super powers... If you can swallow that you will swallow most anything and you will love this show. The other show is from the guy who shepherded Keen Eddie and used to a programing exec at NBC during its glory days, Warren Littlefield, and I think anything he develops is worth giving a shot becuase he has very good programming instincts..

The currents ads for the new show involving Indian customer service reps (Can't remember the name though) looks interesting. Any news to report good or bad?


It's called "Outsourced" and, based on the reax here, ou're either going to think it's drop dead hilarious or wildly racist.. not much in-between..

I saw that recently LeBlanc stopped coloring his hair and let the natural salt and pepper look return. So, does he dye his hair again for the new show? Or go with the natural color?

Yes, he said he had to color his hair all those years he was doing "Friends." But he is not coloring his hair any more and I can report with absolute authority that he never should have colored his hair because he looks very handsome and much better with his salt-and-pepper hair

Cat the Brit seems even nuttier than Michaele. Last night's scene with Janet Jackson's chef (!) made her look clueless and insensitive. Plus she is new to Washington - not really a local. Just happens to have a very recent husband who gets around.

Quite a few people thought Cat was a major scene steeler and far more nuts which may explain why the Salahis seem to have ratcheted up the crazy in the past couple weeks, starting with the wine-throwing incident at the hotel here during Summer TV PRess Tour 2010... I am very sorry but I am going to have to cut this chat short today. I have to go attend another Q&A session...Thank you for joining me today.

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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