The Washington Post

The Latest in TV with Lisa de Moraes

Aug 17, 2012

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

- Find everything Lisa de Moraes:
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-- NBC to rerun 'Animal Practice' and 'Go On' premieres Tuesday -- with ads and without the Olympics fan outrage

-- PBS CEO 'extremely disappointed' with Mitt Romney's promise to cut PBS funding

-- London Olympics viewing: Washington ranks No. 17

-- Mitt Romney promises to end funding of PBS if elected

-- Kelsey Grammer, five-time Emmy winner, thinks he did not get an Emmy nom for 'Boss' role because he's Republican

-- Michael J. Fox to star in new TV series; networks bidding

-- Chad Johnson: VH1's loss -- HBO's gain

-- Robert Pattinson's first TV appearance since KStew breakup attracts 1.8 million

-- PBS celebrates Julia Child birthday with remix

-- NBC's Olympics-hyped 'Stars Earn Stripes' launch beat by TNT's 'Major Crimes' launch

--  Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte to make TV series debut on '90210'

-- Michelle Obama explains Kiss Cam incident

-- NBC proclaims its London Olympics coverage most watched TV event in U.S. history

-- Kristin Chenoweth drops out of 'The Good Wife' role after suffering head injury on set

-- VH1 cancels 'Ev and Ocho' after Ocho arrested for allegedly attacking Ev

-- Archbishop Desmond Tutu joins other Nobel Peace Laureates in blasting NBC's 'Stars Earn Stripes' for 'glorifying warn and armed violence'

-- Presidential debate moderators already making news

-- ABC announces pairings for all-star edition of 'Dancing with the Stars'

-- Newly cropped Miley Cyrus to play Angus T Jones's girlfriend on 'Two and Half Men' arc

-- Former CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras joins WJLA

Hi. Thanks for joining me. Here's this week's reading material -- it's a long-ish list. Let's get started ......

Lisa I can't believe how some of your readers trash shows like Girls, Veep, Newsroom, Shameless, The Big C, and Nurse Jackie. I mean I liked My Name is Earl as much as the next guy, but except for The Good Wife and Rescue Me, TV is a wasteland. One reader suggested that the actors on Newsroom didn't talk like real people. Are you kidding me? Girls is actually better than Sex and the City. Listen to the dialogue. Just one man's opinion.

You had me until " 'Girls' is actually better than 'Sex in the City' "-- you're clearly not taking into account the wardrobe and boyfriends. But we'll let that go and focus on the bigger picture, to which my response is "you betcha!" Like I said last week,  the newsrooms in Ben Hecht's "The Front Page" and "Nothing Sacred" bear virtually no resemblance to how people really talk in newsrooms, but both are considered classics.  Do people  actually think hookers in Deadwood in the 19th century spoke in iambic pentameter? I'm frankly baffled by some of the criticism of some shows these days...

Why doesn't NBC admit that what's really wrong with the "Today" show is that horrible Matt Lauer? He is so struck on himself! Plus he's plain mean to his female co-hosts, always trying to put them in an bad light or embarrass them. He is not good at interviews and not good with news stories. Why is he still there?

Because NBC has research that show's viewers like him... Networks don't make these calls without looking at piles of focus group testing.. Meanwhile, did everyone see the marvelous moment making the rounds recently in which Al Roker was with Savannah and Matt and the rest of the gang and the swim team said their tradition after a competition is to throw one of their own into the river and Al added that "Today" show's tradition is to throw one of their own under the bus....suddenly I'm seeing Al Roker in a whole new light. So much more than a weatherman!

First off, I totally agree with you that Crystal the monkey is great! But the rest of the show - meh. I think they mistook frantic for funny, and I took an instant dislike to several of the characters. As a result, I am not sure I will watch it. Do you know if future episodes are better? 'Scrubs' turned me off initially, but I eventually watched it in reruns and it was better than I thought.

I will watch anything with Crystal in it. I intend to watch every epsiode. She's my new Meryl Streep. I'd even watch her star in a remake of "Mama Mia!"

While I am glad they pulled this on principle, I think it is really hypocritical at some level because they have no shame whatsoever showing women beating up on each other in these shows.

except the women aren't arrested....or are they? I wish I had a searing retort, but I just don't -- and the  popularity of shows in which women pound on each other makes me question the notion that Man is Nature's Final Word..

Is the Good Wife this gen's iteration of L.A. Law?

Well, "L.A. Law" was hugely popular, ratings-wise, in its day, where as "The Good Wife"  is hardly what you'd call a ratings hit... but yes, it's a legal ensemble in which many storylines are woven in amongst each other -- that sort of short-attention-span writing style that became industry standard during the "LA Law" era...

I clicked on ' Find everything Lisa de Moraes', but I can't find a picture of you. Is there one in the ether?

Just use the photo of Crystal -- she's much cuter...

How is Here Comes Honey Boo Boo doing on The Learning Channel? Your tv critic buddy at the Post seemed to love it.

You're showing your age if you stil think TLC is The Learning Channel... that marching order went out the window more than a decade ago... They just kept the letters because they were too cheap to throw out the stationery....In much the same way A&E in no way is the Arts & Entertainment network -- there was a time when TV critics were suggesting there was no need for PBS any more, now that A&E was beating it out in bidding for crunchy gravel dramas -- the Colin Firth version of "Pride and Prejudice" aired on A&E -- not PBS. Ditto that great adaptation of "Vanity Fair."  Now it's the network of "Storage Wars" and "American Hoggers." Meanwhile, AMC used to be an all-movie channel -- hence the "M" and the "C" -- and was considered hot competition to TCM -- which still stands for Turner Classic Movies even today...

I didn't have any big problems with NBC's coverage of the Olympic competition. But what were they thinking during the closing ceremony? They break for an hour to promote their new show and let the local news (here in D.C.) broadcast, then go to the big finish after midnight? On a work night? Since it wasn't clear when or if the broadcast would continue, I turned off the tv in disgust, figuring NBC just cut The Who, Ray Davies (Kinks), Kate Bush, and others. Since this was a tape delay broadcast, the geniuses at NBC couldn't figure out how to fit the broadcast in before midnight (or make it clear so I could record the split broadcast)? I won't be watching their new series in protest. I suggest the high ratings for the preview were accidental (while viewers tried to figure out what was going on).

Pookie, pookie. Here's the first question to ask in any discussion of Closing Ceremony: When the the Olympics Closing Ceremony become such a bloated, lumbering orgy of commerce? Some faded pop star is peeved because NBC cut his performance of his new single? We don't get to see What's Left of The Who until late night?  NBC had said days, if not weeks, before that it would air "Animal Practice" that night, in primetime. In fact, NBC waited until primetime was nearly over to "interrupt" the Ceremony That Would Not End, in order to try to get its important new franchise sampled... NBC paid the equivalent of several third world country's GNP for broadcast rights to the Games and NBC has to find a way to make it worth its while financially. And one of the things that makes it worthwhile for a broadcast network to shell out this obscene amount of money is if the Closing Ceremony drives millions of viewers to the launch of one of its new series. It's a business -- not a public service and it is not our right as tax paying citizens to see the entirety of the Closing Ceremony in its entirety.  I am sorry to have to disagree,  but I do. NBC telecast more than 5,000 hours of the Olympics this time -- twice as much as the previous record.

Maybe the problem is that the show is no longer a serious news show but a cheap sensational tabloid.

It's no better or worse than the rest of morning infotainment TV... maybe that's its problem...

I can't believe NBC is going to re-air this piece of terrible, terrible television again, and with ads! I recorded it, and almost deleted it after 5 minutes. I kept watching because I thought it had to get better, but, no, it got worse. Even that adorable monkey can't save this mess. One and done for me.

I hated some of the human characters, and the writing was the usual NBC too-hip-to-live snark,  but adored the animals. On the bright side, even if the show does not survive, Crystal has a brilliant career ahead of her, and I will watch every week to see her performance. Plus the turtle racing.

As liberal Democrat who works in the energy sector of Dallas, I knew there were a lot of Republican in this field before I got into it so I don't whine about it now. I've got no sympathy for Kelsey Grammar on this front.

I hope he focuses on promoting the show and on his performances. The public has little patience for whining...

I like "Grimm" - There, I said it out loud. It is hokey and sweet and oddly addictive. Will it live up to NBC's expectations of helping to save the network?

No. It did not open with numbers that are any great shakes, despite all the Games promotion.. It's a solid little performer for a network that's in a rebuilding mode, so it will be around for a while, but it's not the big breakout hit NBC so desperately needs....

Oh Pookie, be careful darling--from your mouth to NBC's ear--I can see remakes of classic musicals staring monkeys, real ones, then there will be the Front Page with monkey, Dragnet with monkeys, oh with CGI we'll have dancing monkeys...I think your words are floating around those creative programmers' offices already.

..and driving PETA crazy.. they've already begun sending notices to reporters about the downside of starring a capuchin monkey on a primetime TV show. I take their point -- thousands of Dalmations were purchased, and then given up because they aren't necessarily great family dogs, after the remake of "101 Dalmations," etc...

Speaking of Turner Classic Movies, they replayed Footlight Parade with Jimmy Cagney a few nights ago. Is there anything better, more surreal, more wierdly perfect than the Busby Berkeley dance numbers in that film? Give me hardbitten chorus girls in the Honeymoon Hotel and international prostitutes in Shanghai Lil any day!

In case any of you are not aware, August is TCM's Summer of Stars month -- I know I'm getting the marketing name wrong, but anyway it something like that -- in which they run, nonstop, the films of one star for 24 hours... The other day was Jimmy Cagney day. If you've never checked it out, do yourself a favor and jump in the last few days of this month, and don't forget it next year... It's DVR heaven...

Were you making that up about Ryan Lochte's mom saying he only has one night stands. I'm at work, so Im terrified what google would bring back...

no -- I'm not that's in clips from an interview....

hi Pookie, if a cast member from the Jersey Shore ever hooked up with a cast member from Bachelor Pad, how quickly would the resulting super virus wipe out mankind?

the mind reels... I sense this chat is sliding downhill fast.. Quick, someone -- a question about  world peace or something, to bring out average up....

Summer TV is blah. How are Winkie and Vandy?

Vanderbilt is happily curled up at my feet and Winkie is shoring on his bed....thank you for asking.,, Summer TV is not so blah if you look closely -- see TCM question, earlier, and add "Political Animals," "Newsroom," "The Closer" finale, "Breaking Bad," the long-overdue final season of "Damages" (thank you, god), original episodes of  "The Daily Show" and "Colbert Report," the Summer Olympics-palooza, "Anger Management," Russell Brand's new late night show... I'm exhausted from all the Must See TV...maybe we're all just getting spoiled...

Hypothetical ? here. How many times would ABC interupt Olympics coverage to have a bunch of talking heads argue endlessly about the NFL?

It is not inconceivable that the Olympics will wind up being telecast entirely on cable in the future...

I'm curious as to what you think about the future version of "The Munsters" and how it will go over with viewers. "Munsters" was updated once for the 80's, I believe, and it seemed to fizzle. The "Wonder Woman" pilot didn't even air (which I was actually looking forward to). Think shows like that have legs or are they a nostalgic flash in the pan?

"Mockingbird Lane" as the remake is being called, is being developed by NBC, which also did the "Wonder Woman" remake that never aired... I'm sensing desperation... campy desperation....

How does Kelsey Grammer explain all the Emmys, Golden Globes, etc. he's won even in recent years, when his political views were already well-known?

The last Emmy he won was in 2006. He won the Globe recently for his "Boss" work but, of course, those trophies are handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press, so his politics would not matter -- if you take his suggestion seriously...

I think someone on this board said "it really stands for the Train-wreck Life Channel" I think watching "Hoarders" has damaged my soul permanently!"

and yet, they watch... and changing TLC from a "learning channel" to it's current programning strategy has greatly increased its ratings performance -- it's considered one of the bigger success stories in the TV industry -- and made shareholders very happy...

So how IS "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" doing in the ratings?

The premiere of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" averaged 2.2 million viewers. That's a good TLC launch. See -- you've Learned something...

Lisa: So Kelsey Grammer is saying that "Boss" doesn't get any Emmy love because he is an "out of the closet Republican," which is supposedly anathema in Hollywood. But, as Grammer's political views have long been on public record, how does he explain winning four Emmys for his work on "Frasier"? Dumb luck?

Grammer has won five Primetime Emmy Awards -- four for playing Frasier and one for his "The Simpsons" voiceover work. He said on Leno's show that he became a member of the GOP after his last win, which was back in 2006 -- but then he giggled, as if to signal,  "I'm kidding -- but not really."

I believe Patricia Heaton, whose conservative views are well known, received multiple Emmy nominations, and a couple wins, for her work on "Raymond" nonetheless.

Whether you think Grammer deserves an Emmy nom for his "Boss" role, his wanting to talk about having been snubbed (questions are pre-set on late night talkers almost all the time, during "pre-interviews" conducted by show producers, which probably explains why the Leno "chat" looked so scripted) leaves him looking petulant and I hope he stops. I've seen do it twice already, and it didn't get any better the second time around.

For those of you who missed it, Grammer went on Leno's show the other day, and Leno asked why he won a Golden Globe for his starring role in Starz’s “Boss,” but not an Emmy.

“I don’t know.. it’s a question that will remain one for me throughout the ages,” Grammer responded, then added, “It may have to do with several things honestly, but I think it’s possible --  I am a declared out of the closet republican in Hollywood. Do I believe it’s possible some young person… or older voting member [of TV academy] would sit there and go,  ‘I hear that’s great performance but ooh, I hate everything he stands for.’ I don’t’ believe that’s possible!” Grammer said, looking out at the audience and laughing – translation, “consider it possible.”

Then Leno noted Grammer’s five Emmys and Grammer joked he became a Republican after getting the last one (that would be in 2006). Closing out the discussion, he said, “No, it’s nothing personal. Obviously,  I’ve been overlooked because the work is not up to standard,” laughed and looked at Leno and the audience, as if to tell them that was their cue to express their disagreement 

This had worked well for him during his Q&A at Summer TV Press Tour 2012, where he was also asked about not getting an Emmy nom. That time, however, he cued up the show's other Q&A participants:

"I didn’t get a SAG nomination, so I figured a lot of the same people were probably voting for the Emmy, and to me, I kind of thought I wouldn’t get one, honestly, because it didn’t happen the first time. Why would it happen next? For some reason, my peers don’t seem to think this is worth recognizing."

SANAA LATHAN: I don’t think it’s that.

DEE JOHNSON: I don’t think it’s that, Kelsey.

KELSEY GRAMMER: Well, it’s happened twice now.


Pookie, this show can be hit or miss sometimes but last week's episode of "Fat Matt" was darkly hilarious! Has this been renewed by Showtime for a third season?

I don't think they've said. But yes, it was a hilarious episode and I should have added that to my "summer TV is not blah" answer...

Snookie + Kalon = Snookalon You're welcome.

thank you!

I was really disappointed that The Finder was cancelled. Is there any chance that one of the cable channels will pick it up?

no -- sorry...

Both Zach Galifianakis and Jimmy Kimmel get taken off the market in the same week. Are there any good single fat funny guys still out there???

Isn't Jonah Hill available. He's putting some of that weight back on, though I'm not sure I file him under "funny".... anyway, there's no end to them,  they keep getting movie deals every day.. If that's your taste in guys, you've hit the motherlode.

He only won those because he was married to half of Hollywood. Bum dum da. We'll be here all week, tip your wait staff.

thank you for making me laugh out loud...

What sad sit-com cliche assembly line did this jalopy roll off of? Protagonist who wisecracks to cover up his pain? Check! Therapy group chock-full of lovable whack-jobs? Check! Attractive therapist for the requisite love-hate relationship? Check! As Chandler would say: Could this beeee any more lame?

Then I take it you're not a fan of "Community" which, as one critic noted, is eerily similar to "Go On"?

Doesn't 5000 include ads

well, yes, okay, that includes about 1,000 hours of ads, but still....

Elevating this conversation, just for you, Pookie: Will there be some NEW crunchy-gravel dramas on PBS's "Masterpiece" this coming season? Not that I don't look forward to the next series of "Downton Abbey," and the updated "Upstairs, Downstairs," if it's on too...

New episodes of the "Upstairs/Downstairs 2.0" in the fall, and the third season of  "Downton" in January...


 Wasn't the question about the ratings. Meanwhile,  no more caffeine today, k?

Hi Lisa. I think we all understand that in order to get back some of the gobs of money it paid to broadcast the Olympics, NBC had to perform some annoying scheduling tactics. So maybe the question should be, why has it gotten to this point, where the network that wins the right to televise the Olympics calculates it has to interrupt the Closing Ceremonies to show a new TV show, and then run the rest of the ceremonies into the wee hours of the night on a work night? Where you can't watch prime events live on TV because NBC wants to show them tape delayed in prime time? I do think NBC made an effort to be accommodating - showing things live on the web and showing the women's Olympic soccer gold medal live (woo hoo on that!). So this is not a slam per se on NBC. But the bigger issue is, how did we get to this place where it is hard for the TV viewer to watch the Olympics the way he or she wants to watch it, and watch it unfold in real time? It's too bad it has gotten to be this way. I suppose the Olympics cost so much to put on, that the Olympics needs the TV money, which means the TV network needs to do these scheduling shenanigans to make the financials work.

It didn't get harder -- it got easier... I think the real problem for NBC these days is that, what with "the internets" and the streaming, and everyone having access to the BBC, Americans can now see very very clearly how the sausage is being made -- "sausage" being Olympics coverage on a broadcast network... We're suffering from Too Much Information Anger....

I'm on a game where we try to predict which new Fall Show will get cancelled first. Could you give us your prediction of who the next "Lone Star" would be?

I'd say the answer is "something on CW"  -- because the network used to always start its shows early so the odds of one of its shows being first cancelled -- it is CW, after all -- were high. Exceptthat wily Mark Pedowitz, who now runs CW, cleverly decided to hold off launching his shows until LATER than the other broadcast networks, foiling my foolproof  First Cancelled strategy... Emily Yahr has her money on "Guys with Kids" but she's sweet and naive and doesn't know that any show with Jimmy Fallon's name attached airing on NBC will not be the first show cancelled because it's in Lorne Michaels's contract with the network. My money's on ABC's "The Neighbors" because it's in the most high-demand timeslot -- the one after "Modern Family" where a show has got to put up or shut up very very quickly.. Ironically, I think I l isted "The Neighbors" as best new show in a recent feature in Emmy magazine. This one's about a gated community populated entirely by aliens -- from outer space. It's either the next "3rd Rock from the Sun" or the next "Work It." Either way I approve of ABC's swing for the fence on this one...

There always seems to be a controversy over the outfits the athletes wear. Are they required to wear clothes? It used to be the other way around.

If they'd do away with the clothing, it would solve NBC's ratings problems and the network would, most certainly, air absolutely everything in its entirety and live! I think you have just solved, happily, our disagreement over NBC's broadcast of the Games... No More Clothes!

I think they are having an August programming competition for most idiotic/cringeworthy segments. Did you see the stupid "Let's recreate an iconic photograph" series? Up next: Watch Matt Watch Water Boil. See Al Roker Ride the Subway. Follow Savannah as she Walks a Dog. (No, wait, the dog would make the last idea too entertaining)

They're pretty desperate -- the switch from Ann to Savannah did not pop a number, which they had hoped and which has been the "replace the female" pattern for decades....hence the segments...

I disagree with Lisa. We have one closing ceremony every two years. It can go on all night if it wants. I want to watch it all and in its entirety all at one time. I to will not watch the new sitcoms on NBC. Mostly because I forget to check out NBC not because I'm protesting. But still

And it does go on and on. Just not on NBC when it needs to launch a new show... But why didn't you just watch it on BBC?

Don't be yelling at our Pookie! We will hunt you down and find you and make you watch bad reruns of craptastic television if you keep that up.

Thank you but I think that chatter is already a fan of craptastic TV if they're getting that worked up over Honey Boo Boo. I assume all caps means really angry. Unless it's an email from my mother, in which case it means she's accidentally hit the caps-lock button and can't find it to unlock it... I was getting all-caps emails from her for weeks. You have no idea what it does to the nervous system to sit down computer every morning to:




I like how the storylines jump across time to cover actual news events, but the (incredibly boring) romantic subplots continue as if they are days apart, not months or weeks as the main story suggests. Also, I stopped calling the blonde actress Moon Face Girl. Her new name is Pikachu.

I think she's been looking very pretty the past couple episodes. They'e definitely given her a bigger hair and makeup budget -- maybe that's supposed to suggest she got a raise?

This is week's old, but your coverage of the Summer TV Press Tour was FANTASTIC. Your snark has done a great service for this community

That's very nice of you to say. I love the press tour. .you show up in the morning and the news just comes at your in waves.. it's like Christmas every day for three weeks...

Rumor has it Jason Segel wants out of "How I Met Your Mother" after this, the 8th season. CBS, on the other hand, is considering a 9th season of the show, which hasn't been consistently good since about season 3 or 4. Given Segel's success in film and ties to Judd Apatow, one of the biggest producers out there, is he serious or is it all part of ploy to get more money to do a 9th season?

I hear he says that comment was taken out of context - he syas he was  speaking to an Australian reporer and his comment got  "lost in translation." I love Hollywood stars -- honestly, you can't make this stuff up... Australian reporter -- lost in translation -- hahahahaha! Oh, sorry. next question!

Most of the shows I watch are getting old and boring ("The Office," "HIMYM") or on the verge of being cancelled ("Community," "30 Rock"). Any suggestions for what to tune into this fall? I tried "New Girl" last year, but Zooey Deschanel drives me to fits of rage. All I've got is "Happy Endings" and "Apartment 23".


"The Neighbors" on ABC.

"The Mindy Project" on Fox.

"Arrow" on CW -- for the workout scenes.

"Elementary" on CBS

"Emily Owens" on CW to see Meryl Streep Jr. actually act (as opposed to her work on ABC's dreadful "Off the Map")

"666 Park Avenue" on ABC, for Harry O'Quinn and the Ansonia Hotel, which plays the Park Avenue Satanic Condo Building.

"Animal Practice" on NBC. For Crystal, so she can make that $11,000 per episode -- or, her trainer can and she presumably gets extra treats....

I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot but it's a start...


I am SO done with the Today Show. And I really mean it this time. The more it tries to reclaim the top spot, the worse it gets. I'm not mad because they fired Ann, who they never should have promoted, although it was fun to watch the train wreck. I like Savannah just fine and I hope they don't make her the scapegoat. It's the programming, which is insulting and unwatchable. I understand the need to cross promote with their sister stations but the 7:00 - 8:30 viewer (listener, actually) cares not at all about Kate Gsoselin or the freakishly large Dugan family. Why can't they promote their drivel in the 5th hour for people who probably like that crap. And why do they think I want to see newspeople try (badly) at Olympic sports or dress up like Charlie Chaplin. WTF is that about!! Memo to NBC: Matt, Savannah, et al are not the news. There are real stories out there. Spend a little grrr and go cover them! Or just invite print journalists who have covered interesting stories to come on air and report them. Then you could have good content and stay w/in budget. I had a brief flirtation with GMA and it's just as bad. On Wed I watched CBS until Gayle King asked Mitt Romney about his bromance with Paul Ryan. Really? Way to ask hard hitting questions, Gayle. At least Lauer knows how to do an interview. I guess I'm done w/ morning "news" shows. TG for NPR! And thanks for the rant, Pookie. I feel better.

You are welcome! thanks for letting me know Gayle King asked Mitt Romney about his bromance with Paul Ryan..that's very funny.

Some friends and I were having a (drunken) discussion about who has most regretted going on a reality tv show. Who's life has been made more worse and miserable by their partcipation. Who do you think?

No question: Richard Hatch. He went to jail for neglecting to pay taxes on his "Surivor" winnings.. nothing tops that...

I thought Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey was really funny in Twenty Twelve on BBC America. Didn't realize he had such comedy chops. I realize the Olympics are now over, but will Twenty Twelve be back?

Since it was a mockumentary about London gettting ready for the London Summer Games, my guess is it's not coming back for a second season...

Hey, Pookie: It's nice to have the Summer Olympic Games behind us and I don't think I've tuned the TV to NBC all week long. Speaking of NBC and its treatment of the Olympics, when is the Peacock Network going to realize that the Olympics are a sporting event and not an entertainment spectacle, and should be covered and presented as such? They need only look at how the BBC treats its coverage of the Olympics. I watched a lot of BBC's coverage online and thoroughly enjoyed it because it wasn't all glam and glitzy.

Yeah -- it's a sporting event -- that's why the Olympics Committee suddenly realized their was this shocking lack of chicks in bikinis playing volleyball on the "beach" and added "beach volleyball" to the competition. Not entertainment at all....

I really enjoyed "Go On" but found "Animal Practice" to be pretty boring. I think the monkey will be cute to some, and disturbing to others.

Just like Carol Channing...

I love Political Animals - any scoop on when/if it's likely to return as a regular series? And please tell me that I'm not only one dying over the Dallas finale?? It's just like the old days of Dallas - awesome cliffhangers! I could do without the actors who play Christopher, Elena, and John Ross (although he's growing on me), but I'm digging all the rest, especially Annie. January can't come soon enough for me!

The network kept calling it a "miniseries" which I think was their way of covering themselves in case it did not work. It would not be "cancelled" -- it would just "end"... so far, no word...

Did their ratings improve with the Olympics?

The ratings were up, compared to before the Games started, which isn't saying much, but I believe the ratings were down compared to "Today" during the last summer Games... I'll look into that and report back..

I enjoyed "Sex and the City," but even on a bad day, I'll giggle to myself when I remember that moment on "Girls" when the guy that Jess and Marnie follow up to his condo starts playing his mash-up of Len's "If You Steal My Sunshine" with noises of children at a playground.

that was pretty hilarious, but the outfits weren't that great...

Hi Ms. de Moraes, I was wondering, what were the biggest surprises this past year. I mean, what show(s) defied expectations and succeeded wildly. And, on the other token, what shows with great expectations failed miserably.

Last season, all the talk was about the retro shows "Playboy Club" and "Pan Am" but both died miserable ratings deaths... I'm not sure about the biggest surprise of last season -- maybe ABC's "The Middle" going up in the ratings in its third season. Oh, and "X Factor" being a moderately successful singing competition -- instead of The Show That Takes Down American Idol" like everyone had forecast, including creator Simon Cowell..

TLC, home of the 600-lb bride and the Tree Man, is now debuting shows about conjoined twins and twin little people. Still less creepy than "Girls", though.

Ouch -- not a "Girls" fan, I take it?

And with that statement from last week's chat, you have limned the trajectory of American pop culture for practically the last 100 years. Your Pulitzer is at the engraver's.

thank you, but I was only stating the obvious.... I'm out of time. Thanks for joining me -- have a lovely 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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