The Latest in TV with Lisa de Moraes

Jul 27, 2012

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

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Hi everyone -- the chat will start at 11:45 a.m. Thanks for your patience!

Fred Willard stops by ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’


ABC sets fall premiere dates


ABC News president addresses questions about network’s Colorado shooting coverage


Norah O’Donnell takes over Erica Hill’s co-host spot on ‘CBS This Morning’


Things fall apart with ‘Modern Family’ cast contract negotiations


Sarah and Todd Palin attend NBC’s press tour party, compete for attention with a monkey


Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert renew Comedy Central deals


TV Land plans tribute to Sherman Hemsley


Todd Palin explains why he’s on NBC, home of ‘Saturday Night Live’


NBC orders ‘Dracula’ drama starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers


NBC boss says network is looking for comedies with a “broad” audience


Sharon Osbourne leaving NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’?


Alex Trebek back on ‘Jeopardy!’ set after recovering from heart attack


Conan O’Brien developing another late-night show for TBS


‘American Idol’ judges: A timeline (Mariah Carey, do you know what you’re in for?)


Mindy Kaling talks new rom-com for Fox, Indian actors on TV


Nat Faxon locked to star in Fox’s ‘Ben and Kate’ before he realized he’d made a huge mistake


Britney Spears doing ‘X Factor’ to ‘give back’


Mariah Carey replacing Jennifer Lopez on ‘American Idol’; Randy Jackson helped broker the deal [Updated]


PBS chief defends firing of Fred Willard after his arrest


Meg Ryan, America Ferrera plug PBS docu on oppressed women while Diane Lane plugs herself


TV critics to billionaire David Geffen: Buy our newspaper

Hello from Summer TV Press Tour 2012. My "P" key is sticking on laptop, so you'll just have to fill in all the missing P's in this chat. Should be interesting... here is this week's reading material. let's get started....

Pookie, there was some serious scene chewing on last night's episode of Dallas! I'm totally enjoying watching the actors' facial expressions. Also, "Horace" and "Greeley" were looking especially pert last evening.

Emmy eisode: Horace and Greeley go to the barbershop for their first trim.....I have not yet watched last night's eisode. sounds like everything you'd want in an eisode of Dallas, and then some...

Any idea when the next seasons of Downton Abbey and Mad Men debut?

Downton Abbey: they lose all their money...the crazy in love coule has a fight... Shirley MacLane chews a lot of scenery and has vivid orange hair. Maggie Smith grimaces and makes the best of the situation. Season will move slowly through the 1920's... that's all I know so far...

What were the ratings for this sludge this season? Who watches this drivel?

Serious students of television watch this show.....and eole who believe in love... anyway that's ABC's story and they're sticking to it...but the number of eole who fit into that category is dwindling:  "The Bachelorette"  suffered its lowest rated season finale ever.. only 9.5 million tuned in....

At the behest of my niece, I watched the first epi of "Girls." Clearly, as a middle-aged woman, I'm outside of their demographic. But when it got Emmy-love, someone called it "not leading edge, but bleeding edge." I don't get it. As I told my niece, it reminded me a lot of the Kardashians, only not as highly-styled. It's basically a bunch of whiny girls with small problems who can't seem to sit upright no matter where they are. I guess all that angst is enervating? My niece was really upset by that description, but I just didn't get the appeal. Should I give it another whirl? I have a lot of TV to catch up on, but I'd also like to end the niecely eye-rolling.

I think that for your niece's sake you should watch again. That said I love, love, love your descrition of the show -- articularly the "who can't seem to sit uright" bit... you sound like my mother when I was growing u, and I means that as a comliment... FYI, I hoe you guys are doing okay with the whole no P key thing...

It's only fair they get paid what they deserve, I suppose. But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth whenever a show gets successful and the stars end up fighting for more money. Meh.

Yes, it's no longer the hay family comedy we like to think it is... and by hay i mean HAPPY... (the P key works if I hit it really hard with my index finger)....

That is 9.5 too many. Anyway, I think in solidarity with you, every one on the chat today should disable their P's.

Hooray! I need all the suort I can get this morning... "suort"  -- such an interesting word!

Is the strike going to seriously disrupt the start date?

It's not a strike... they showed u at a table read... it's really not as bad as it sounds.. this is kind of standard oerating rocedure when a cast is trying to get its contracts re-negotiated these days... this one just made the ress because the show is so huge on the TV landscae... ABC announced all its remiere dates yesterday and Modern Family does not debut for two months.. I'm confident they'll have this settled by then, if they don't already.. the head of ABC is going to seak to the ress at the tour in about an hour and he'll be sure to get questions on it... I will blog his resonse....

... for jumping to the last question before reading the comment about your keyboard Ps when you started. I couldn't for life of me figure out what an "eole" was. HA HA HA

this will be the hardest you have ever had to work, articiating in a ost chat... I like to kee eole on their toes......

Pookie -- I wear an Arbitron meter. I hate NBC's coverage of the Olympics. If I boycott the prime-time coverage, will NBC listen? Or am I a little pebble in a big sea of Olympic viewers who don't care about "plausibly live" coverage.

You should work in the TV industry. what a great way to describe NBC's Olymics coverage  -- lausibly live....I'm sorry to reort the numbers for the Games, even if they're down, will still be huge and one Arbitron meter will robably not make that much of a difference.. but you go ahead and take that stand... Oh wait. I think i'm not suosed to try to influence meter wearers.. .never mind... do what you were going to do anyway...

Team who? Are the producers being greedy or the actors? Isn't there enough money to go around? Does this type of contract dispute happen on every sitcom? Obviously if this was Grey's or some other ensemble drama, there would be a very special episode involving a plane crash.

Some shows get noticed more at negotiation time --like suer hot comedies. Remember the Friends negotiations. Always banner headlines... This banding together and negotiating as one is always a great ublicity stunt.. gee, maybe that's why they've done it that way... you think?

Best party so far?

Sarah alin vs Crystal the Monkey arty... NBC's arty.... wins by a mile...

Was I the only one who saw the photo in the Style section and first thought it was that Blake guy from The Voice? Take a look - the resemblence, at least in a black and white photo, is startling.

You mean The Voice judge Blake Shelton? Aka Emily Yahr's favorite judge on any reality TV cometition series? Let's ask Emily -- she's the Blake exert. Emily, do they look searated at birth?

MEANWHILE, BREAKING NEWS: CNN Worldwide resident Jim Walton has announced he's steing down at the end of the year.. that's STEPPING DOWN...

Any hope for the all improv show on ABC-TV making it past 3 episodes?

The numbers aren't great.. and then there's the whole Fred Willard thing... don't hold your breath

How is GAA doing ratings wise compared to General Hospital and the last ratings for the cancelled One Life to Live? Personally hope it and any other show that replaces OLTL and All My Children fail miserably. Even if I weren't a loyal fan of the soaps I wouldn't watch this program. Never could stand Lara Spencer. Find her to be intolerably silly. Wouldn't have watched Katie Couric's show either. She's so goofy I've never understood how anyone considers her to be a credible journalist.

Couric was very imressive yesterday. extrtemely poised and well, virtually everything I write, even the serious stuff, looks silly without all the P's... it's amazing how imortant P's are... GAA is doing just fine.. but then there was a very big news story this week, and GAA got to hel with coverage...

If 2 1/2 MEN made Charlie Sheen the highest paid actor on TV then I say give the MF crew whatever they ask for. It's still got to be a fraction of what they generate for ABC.

They will get some nice increase.. my guess is they want a big iece of the backend action, like the show runners/creators got...

eter ier icked a eck of ickled eers

yes, he did....but how many eers did eter iper ick?

I have to say, I don't believe she can do anything to help with AI ratings. People who like her or are drawn to her probably already watch the show. I can't see anyone saying, "Oh, I'll give Idol a chance now that she's on there." They need a really big shake-up. As big a tool as Charlie Sheen is, people would actually watch, at least at first, to see how that plays out.

Loads of eole will come to the first eisode or so, to see how she, and whoever relaces Steven Tyler, does as a judge... the audience will be theirs to lose... but, based on Mariah Carey's time as guest mentor, I don't have high hoes for longterm ratings increases.. it's going to be about Steven's replacement.. If they get Jimmy Iovine to become a judge, or get Steven Van Zandt -- the best guest mentor this show has ever seen -- to become a judge, I'd be really hay.... and by hay I still mean HAPPY....

So will Fred Willard be reprising his role as Phil's dad in a "very special episode"?

I hope so. Meanwhile, Emily had this to say in re Blake and Mr.  alin:

I guess I can sort of see a resemblance...but I've spent a lot of time staring at Blake Shelton's face, so it's a lot easier for me to tell which one he is. (That sounds much creepier than I meant it.)

Pookster, a local radio station here in DC has a morning program and one of the DJs announces another personality passing with a "Summer of Death" reference (see Hemsley, Sherman; Griffith, Andy, etc.). Any predictions on who'll be next? Morbid curiosity makes me ask.

I am a deely suerstitious erson and therefore can't name names... but you all are welcome to do so....

He wasn't on the strike list. Is he not siding with his colleagues? I can't imagine Al Bundy is making more than the others (even though he is absolutely supurb on the show!)

Ed O'Neill was not originally articiating because he has a different contract -- translate: makes more money because originally he was the show's big star -- but he joined in the whole kerfuffle as a show of solidarity...

Pookie, does it bother you that Newsroom takes place in 2010-11? I love Sorkin, but this feels like cheating. The West Wing characters were brilliant and ideal without resorting to knowing the news ahead of time. These characters seem to only be brilliant because Sorkin has the benefit of knowing how the stories turned out. I am less than enchanted.

Me, I love the show... Even if he does not understand the basics of barometric ressure....I love a show in which journalists are resented as heroes.. I'm sitting in the ABC "Nashville" Q&A session and Hayden anettiere (s?) is tyecast...very Eve Harrington...

Is it okay to be totally into the Matthew and Mary romance on "Downton Abbey" yet still cringe when she refers to him as "Cousin Matthew"? Seems only the very highest members of society and very lowest members of society (i.e. backwater hillbillies) are allowed to get away with some cousin lovin'.

Yes, you can cringe if you like.. It's written into the scrit for just that reason, I suose...

So there's this new commercial for Siri with Martin Scorsese in a taxi. Initially, I thought it was kind of sad that a director of Scorsese's stature was doing some cheesy commercial. But then, I thought, you know what would make this commercial more awesome? If when Scorsese talks to the cab driver, it panned to Robert De Niro as the cab driver, who would then say "You talkin' to me?" Needless to say, when does the fall season start, pookie?

I just saw that ad for the first time. I can't hel it:  I think Scorsese is cute....meanwhile, TV season officially starts Set. 24, but NBC is going to launch most of its new and returning shows much earlier, to try to take advantage of its huge Olymics audience....

I've been watching PBS Mysteries and when an English detective want to shield a country murderer, they blame it on a passing tramp, and the police shrug their shoulders and move on. Was England plagued by murderous passing tramps, and where did they all get to?

I thought it was a hedgehog plague...I can't hel you here.. meanwhile, TV critics are madly tweeting because Hayden anettierre is wearing a hat -- yes, an actual hat -- at the "Nashville" Q&A session. Yes, this passes for journalism at the tour.. She's wearing a hat because, duh, it dras attention to her and away from Connie Britton, the alleged star of this show... Like I said, very Eve Harrington... oh, and it's just a hat, an ordinary hat. not a Cat in the Hat tye hat...I'm not sure why all the critics are so knicker-knotted about it, but they are...

Dearest Lisa, I'm hooked. Political Animals has yet to disappoint. Feeling the same way? I know you were a bit ambivalent at first.

Not ambivalent at all, just wished Ciaran Hinds wasn't doing the clown accent... And yes, I'm hooked too...

Sorkin was on some NPR show last week and explained that he set the show to be behind the times because the idea is that they would use real events where the viewer knew how things played out and part of the purpose of the show is for the viewer to judge the characters initial instincts on things and then see how they played out. Or something like that - its part of the purpose of the show though.

Yes -- that too.. He exlained it before the show launched.. He's going to have a Q&A session at the tour, during HBO's day, about the show. that should be zingy since some TV critics have panned the show, including the ost's Hank Stuever...

I'm in a ublic library and am drawing stares for giggling uroariously at your P-less answers. Maybe I've had too much coffee, but this is the most unintentionally hilarious chat I've ever read.P-less solidarity for all!

Down with P's... Next to get the axe: Q's. Death to Q's!!

Who's been more ruthless in whacking cast members, Shondra Rimes or Dick Wolf?

Dick wrote the book. I am going with Dick because he was whacking cast members before Shonda was Shonda... He'd the godfather of cast culling...

For those of us who don't want to watch today's-competitions-tonight, are the other networks doing any counter-programming, or have they written off the whole period and plan to spend it on summer burn-offs?

The other networks mostly curl u into a ball and wait out the Games...

But Mary and Matthew are like 3rd cousins once removed or something crazy like that. That isn't even related anymore...probably has more to do with those crazy British standards on how to appropriately refer to people than any kind of message the writers are trying to give about their double relationship. Now, she did used to be engaged to her first cousin, who theoretically went down with the Titanic...if you want to be ooged out by anything, I'd go with that one, especially since she didn't even like him.

Yes, third cousins do'nt really count... and yes, it's a eriod and a language thing which Fellowes says he deliberately uts a lot of in the scir to snag our attention... as well as some hrases that we might think are very contemporary but he insists are of that eriod. But then, he also insisted Anthony Trolloe has a character in a book ublished in 1867 who said "Go tell it to the Marines" which I'm dubious about and will look into as soon as Summer TV ress Tour is concluded..

Who may join Sheriff Andy, Cmdr McHale, George Jerrson and Dr. Gannon? The smart money is on Rob Petrie; Mary Richards, Bret Maverick, Rowdy Yates and Lou Grant

Man, that's ghoulish! Any other lists out there?

Haven't seen in it. But in all your previous chats about it, I was reading Ciaran Hinds as Cillian Murphy, and I could not get how anybody would think that was a good idea. It was messing up my head for awhile.

Glad you finally sorted it out in your head...

Dearest ookie, do you seriously think the new show with Todd alin will get the ratings it needs in order to survive? I'm hoing not, with some confidence, esecially with its being on NBC.

I'm not ure, but I'm also not sure it matters... my guess is it's going to get lots of military recruiting ads -- one of the  military guys who's on the show said at the ress tour that the show is intended to hel with recruiting... Hayden just said of her "Nashville" character dissing Britton's character that it's soooo hard for her to do that becuase she's so respectful of her elders, turning to Britton and saying, "I'm so sorry you know I adore you and resect you!"  Britton looked at her briefly. She is even more Eve Harrington than I originally thought. This Q&A is better than the ilot eisode.....

I'm so disappointed that Benedict Cumberbatch's name doesn't have any Ps in it.


He did another commercial a few years ago that was pretty funny. He picked up photos at the drugstore and was critiquing them. I think they were of a kid's birthday party. I have no recollection was the commercial was selling

That's the roblem with a Scorsese ad. He's so fun, you can't remember what the roduct is -- you just remember him and how much fun he was...

Lisa: When you say "back end" are you talking about a piece of the syndication money? Since Ed O'Neill had a separate contract can I presume that, as the only actor who was an established TV star when the show began, he already had some back end participation in his initial contract? I know a lot of folks see this as rich people squabbling over who will get even richer. but the payout is enormous. It can mean never having to work again if you don't want to.

Frankly, even on their original salaries, they will never have to work again when the show run is done -- unless they buy $5 million houses and Bentleys, etc... Yes, it's hard to feel bad for any of these eole, esecially when there are so many eole really struggling in this economy. I think they should knock off negotiating this in the ress and get a deal done before they destroy any more of the good will toward the show...

Are any of the new shows promising?

So many new shows. But my choices are retty crazy.. For instance, this this is ABC's day at ress tour, I confess I thought I would hate ABC's new comedy "The Neighbors" about a family that buys a townhouse in a gated community that, turns out, is ooulated entirely by aliens -- the outer sace kind... And yet, it was so stuid and silly, I found myself really liking it... I may change my mind by eisode three, but.....

But she was such a nice cheerleader in HEROES!

"I was getting so shy about crying," she just said about her character... And then, there's the HAT....

How could I forget....Det Fish! But Sue Ann Nivens will never die!

I can't even comment. I'll just post eole's lists. yes, I'm deely, deely suerstitious...

Just for the record, I'm a middle aged woman (52), with a middle-aged husband (56) and we love Girls. Great show. It does take a few episodes to really grow on you, but Lena Dunham has created something really remarkable. And the courage of Peter Scolari and the woman playing his wife! I'll never look at Bosom Buddies the same again.

Hooray -- finally, a fan weighs in... thank you!

Please tell me I won't be cringing the entire time tonight during the Olympic Opening Ceremonies because of Bob Costas.

sorry, can't do that...

I don't have a question, I just wanted to write that.


Ookie, I understand it's not uncommon for the actors in a successful show to get raises, but what about the rest of the gang -- the cameramen, the writers, the hard-working grunts who never get glory? Is it like a race team -- the winnings are shared -- or are the folks at the bottom screwed no matter what?

Winnings shared with the crew? You are so sweet -- don't ever change... no, that's not how it works here in Hollywood....

How's Dr. Oz's primetime show "NY Med" doing in the ratings? I like it, but then again I also liked the documentary series on Johns Hopkins doctors a few years ago.

NY Med clocked about 4.3 million viewers on Tuesday. I'm sorry but I'm out of time. ABC rogramming chief aul Lee is about to start.... hoe you'll join me next Friday, when the chat will be moved to 11 a.m. ET to accomodate ress Tour schedule... bye!

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

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

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