The Latest in TV with Lisa de Moraes

Sep 07, 2012

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

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What's next for Mary McCormack from" Miss her! In Plain sight?"

Last I heard, she'd been cast back in February in a multi-cam/laugh track comedy for ABC in which she played a newly unemployed corporate bigwig now being full-time mom for her two teen daughters. Not only does that sound like a plot for the next season of "American Horror Story," as opposed to funny, I can't see McCormack doing comedy -- though I freely confess I'm still in recovery since having to watch her in "K Street,"  which, yes, was a long time ago.

Television has changed so much in the last forty years, Sex seems to be themain topic in most of the shows we watch, even so called "family shows', Will this trent continue, and what are your thoughts on it?

My thoughts on sex? I'm for it. And, it's the best way we've come up with yet to procreate. But there are other main topics of shows these days. Zombies for instance. And politics. And terrorism. And crime dissection. Geesh, this is a depressing answer.


Who's terrible decision was this? Who will be the one to tell the world that the contestant is "Pitchy"?

That one's easy -- Nicki Minaj! Personally, I can't wait for the next season of "Idol" if, as speculated, the judge lineup on the show is Mariah Carey, Minaj, Keith Urban, and Enrique Iglesias.  You have to admit, that's pretty craptastic...

How soon will SNL be back for Bill Hader to do a new Clint Eastwood impression (with an empty chair)?

I think the season debut was announced for Sept. 15, though I don't know if an Eastwood sketch is planned...did you see that Dotty Harry told his local paper the Talk to the Chair gag during his RNC appearance was semi-spontaneous?

Is this coming back for a season 3??

I certainly hope so. It's one of my fave shows

Should they start making the spinning chairs bulletproof? Maybe put a dome around it as well!

I'm still getting my head around the idea that Simon Cowell thinks TV networks stand down from competing against one another for viewers -- gentleman's agreement, he calls it...what flat rock is he living under?

I've seen Mary appear a couple of times on Chelsea Lately as a guest and she's quite funny, very deadpan. She might be able to pull it off. For how long, though, is anyone's guess.

multi-cam sitcom on ABC? -- not long...

Although what you described sounded awful, I would have no problem with Mary McCormick is a good sitcom. "In Plain Sight" was not a heavy drama, it had many light moments, and she was very good delivering sarcastic lines.

Like I said, I'm probably scarred permanently from my "K Street" experience... and what's left of me would run like mad from a sitcom about an frustrated out of work AAA women now trying to micromanage her teenage daughter. ick.

What will they do with the show Mob Doctor when they start making new episodes of My Boys and Jordan Spiro has to leave? This has me confused.

Thank you -- I feel safer now... I'm not sure Mob Doctor is here for the long haul..

I just laughed at a headline about Clint talking to his hometown paper about The Chair: "Eastwood Discusses Chair with Carmel Pine Cone." Someone come medicate him!

I love that there is a newspaper called the Carmel Pine Cone....

If Modern Family = The New Normal, and Community = Go On, then what does Parks & Rec = ? Or should I be waiting on a mid-season replacement sitcom titled "Everything's Local" about a former big city politician who's demoted to his/her hometown and forced to learn the lesson that, yes, Virginia, all politics are local. Honestly, should I just give up on ever seeing another unique sitcom idea within my lifetime?

"Modern Family" and "The New Normal" have absolutely nothing in common, so your starting point is flawed. And "I Love Lucy" wasn't a unique set-up in its day -- husband and wife, hilarity ensues.. It's all in the execution.

Why are they having "Son of Axel Foley" in the reboot? Does Eddie Murphy have something better to do?

He doesn't want to work that hard? Murphy is going to be a recurring character if it goes to series.

Poor widdle Simon has to share a night with "The Voice"! His whining is ridiculous and shows he lacks all confidence in his show. It would have been far smarter for him to come and say he welcomed the chance to trounce the other show head-to-head.

I'm with you. But the best part of yesterday's phoner, in which Simon whined about NBC having scheduled a third night of The Voice opposite the reboot of X Factor during  the week both shows return, was Demi Lovato telling reporters how fortunate she felt she was just to have a job in this economy... It was priceless.

Not that it's worth losing sleep over -- especially for those watching baseball -- but who was the final winner: the NFL or the Democrats?

Democrats. See this week's reading material. Based on the commercial networks numbers -- ABC, CBS, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC -- Clinton was just 350,000-ish behind the NFL season kickoff. If you add in Current TV and PBS, which says it averaged 4 million viewers, that puts Clinton comfortably ahead of the game in head to head competition...

Pookie, I've watched this show since the first season and was happily surprised by the J-Lo/Tyler years (although their non-judging got a little old last season). But can the show survive Nicki Minaj? I just can't gather any enthusiasm for any of the names they're tossing around.

The reboots of both of Fox's singing competitions make it clear these shows are all about the judges and nothing about the singing... Britney Spears and Demi Lovato? But I'm really looking forward to watching Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj smackdown...

If someone hypothetically participates in a TV death pool, what shows from the big four networks would you recommend selecting to not make it past this season?

If we're talking about what NEW series:

Everything on NBC (because its track record the past couple seasons has been pretty bad, and because I've seen The New Normal and even Ryan Murphy has stopped talking about it)

"The Neighbors" on ABC which, ironically, I think I called the show I was most looking forward to this season because it's stupid silly and about aliens (once again demonstrating why I'm not The Post's TV critic)

Vegas on CBS because Dennis Quaid looks awful and has hat hair in ever scene because they have him wearing a ridiculous cowboy hat (see Why I'm Not The Post's TV Critic, above)


My daughter and I have a new guilty pleasure---watching Reba on CMT before bedtime. Daughter finds the characters funny and and for me it sure beats watching Disney & Nickelodeon any day! However, the commercials that air during Reba are just awful. Not just the topics of the commercials---Transvaginal Mesh lawsuit and Melothesioma lawsuit --but the tone of the commercial; yelling and stating way too much information. Not even adults would like to hear. I have also seen these commercials on TeenNick channel. Are these the only sponsors CMT and Nick can get to air?

Sound like bottom feeder ads to me so the answer would be yes... I appreciate your angst and urge you to DVR the shows to avoid them

Just curious if you think the young people in particular (and there plenty of them since PBS Masterpiece market took great pride is their outreach on social media) will watch "Downton Abbey" as it airs in Britain on ITV (starts there September 16th) or will they wait until January 6th when PBS will start airing it. I think of course some will watch the online bootlegs, but will is be a sizable number?

If they haven't done it so far, they probably won't do it for season 3. PBS seems very pleased with its "Downton" numbers, despite the silly lag time behind its British seasons.

Did I read correctly that PBS actually garnered the second-best ratings (after NBC) among networks in Democratic convention coverage, beating CBS, ABC, Fox, et al.? How did this compare with PBS's RNC coverage? Must admit that I thought PBS's anchor duo was very polished and professional.

If you're talking about my coverage, NBC did not air the convention Wednesday night -- they aired NFL football... That's the only night for which we'ver reported broken-out PBS numbers and yes, PBS insists it logged 4 million viewers that night, which is a boatload of viewers...PBS is basing its estimate on less reliable stats than the other networks get because it costs more to get those more reliable stats, they say...

Why does Kelly Ripa even need a co-host? Clearly she wants the entire show to focus on her.

Don't you fret about Kelly -- she'll do just fine making the show about her, even with her new co-host...

Is it really an achievement for Clinton to beat the NFL....when you count 13 networks covering the conventions?

Yes, it really is.....given that it was the kickoff game, the two teams playing, it's football, aka America's religion, and it's the DNC, at which absolutely nothing actually happens. And, it's not Clinton's fault the DNC is covered by so many networks. They do it because they consider it the price of their news divisions' credibility.

I don't have cable so watch some of the digital "sub" stations. DC50-3 has movies (some good, some bad, some real classics) and these are exactly the commercials the run. All. The. Time.

bottom feeders....

Great idea, Pookie, but I'm not sure how to pitch it. Well, to any network other than NBC, that is.

I like Sexy Zombies better...what do you think?

Sounded like the kind of publicist plant that I expect to read in Parade Magazine.

me too... but everyone's welcome here. even publicists....

Question about Revolution on NBC: should we even bother watching this? The promos looked great throughout the Olympics, but NBC brings to mind debuting really good scifi shows and then yanking them as soon as the ratings don't give them an immediate Lost. Awake, The Event, probably others. I feel like Charlie Brown and NBC is Lucy holding a football.

If you're looking for a show that' s a big sloppy kiss on the mouth to the NRA, this is the show you've been waiting for...

Guessing some folks who are into liberal politics will be checking out her show on CurrentTV now after that speech she gave.

You sound like you mean it to sting, or am I over-thinking your comment.....

I forget the name -- watche'd first couple seasons, but it became increasingly evident it was about developmentally/emotionally stunted manboys who blame women for all the world's ills, esp in their own lives --- and who resent them but wiillingly use them for sex -- then abuse them in every way they can think of -- you know kind of like both the taliban over there & the theofascist right wingers here. Originally I thought it started out w/ kind of complex interesting characters but it grew self-indulgent & as I noted increasingly hostile & violent/degrading to the female characters. geez I hope that show is gone -- but what is up w all the other similar if not quite so hostile ones?

You're in luck -- it's gone...and while I would not go so far as to describe shows like, oh, say, "Sons of Anarchy" as being "like both the taliban over there & theofascist right wingers here" I take your point that there are a number of cable dramas in particular that are hostile to women..I've always assumed the writers have mommy issues...

Sexy werewolfs too hairy.

definitely. though less pasty....

I'm not particularly young, but will watch "Downton" online as it airs in the UK like I did last season. There are just too many spoilers out there otherwise.

I'm with you on this.... why wait?

Wow, the acting on that show is bad. Especially the ex-wife actress who looks as if she's wearing a death mask.

Wathing the epsiodes was like watching an early run-through on a broadcast comedy. That's due in part to the ridiculously short period of time in which they have to put episodes together... and the writing...

Seriously, NBC? I would go with AMC - they already like zombies and sex, so they just need to combine the two. It would definitely be better than Hell on Wheels!

I think the person was saying they would not pitch to, am I really having this conversation?Heck -- let's pitch it to TLC! They love freaky programming....

Pookie, because your not the critic, and would choose shows we actutally like, what should I put on my Tivo Season Pass?

Of the new broadcast shows I liked the pilot on Elementary -- new Sherlock drama on CBS -- Mindy Project at Fox because I was expecting to hate it, The Neighbors on ABC because, like I said, it's stupid silly and about aliens from outer space and I was also expecting to hate it, Animal Practice on NBC because the lead is great and so is Crystal the Monkey, aka The Season's Breakout Star, and Revolution because it it abounds with drinking game possibilities

When does the new season start? I am hankerin' for that show.

Not date yet for next season of "Justified" -- network only saying "early 2013"

Let's suppose that I want to support the new series, "Honey Boo Boo Goes to Day Care at Big Brother House. " (There is NOT such a thing, is there?) Watching on TV seems pointless as I am not metered. SO, should I watch it through a cable / satellite on-demand service, through the network's website, through a aggregator such as Hulu? Or is there some other medium that records every nanosecond of my viewing habits?

If you're not a Nielsen home and want to be counted, you've got the right idea -- watch via some system that has a better monitoring system. And I like your idea for a Honey Boo Boo Goes to Day Care at Big Brother House, though I'd throw in a zombie...

I'm really enjoying the team of Nora O'Donnell and Charlie Rose. Their remarks and questions are intelligent and knowledgable and both can ask the hard questions during interviews while remaining respectful, pleasant and professional. Along with commentary from Bob Schiffer, this is morning television's best lineup. Will she stay on after the political conventions are over or will weakest link Gayle King return to co-anchor with Charlie? Since this program as is now excels at substance over fluff compared to GMA and the Today Show it lacks the mass appeal to ever be at the top of the ratings. I wish CBS would not even try by messing with this formunal and instead recognize the program's value as a true alterative. Any chance of that?

Nora O'Donnell is the new Third Person on CBS's morning infotainment show, even when Gayle is there... so you're in luck.

Hi Pookie, is this Sunday's Army Wives episode the series finale? The previews seem rather vague.

Lifetime has yet to announce the fate of "Army Wives" through they have signed stars Catherine Bell to a "holding deal" which is what a network does when it's mulling its options....

Pooks: Judging from the ads on basic cable, I believe the typical viewer is a Mesothelioma victim with a reverse mortgage, chair lift, and IRS trouble.

and likes to hold hands in his and her bathtubs while watching the sun set....

I think HBB should get a recurring role on Two and a Half Men as Berta's granddaughter. The girl's a better actor than Ashton Kutcher, and it might make the show more watchable.

that is a brilliant idea.. seriously.

Isn't that show on cable already, except that they call it "Dallas"? Larry's eyebrows are furrier than any werewolves!

this is why I so love our Friday chats... you made my day.

Double check, but doesn't she spell her name Norah O'Donnell, not Nora?

You are absolutely correct and we stand rushed and corrected. thanks!

Google has an awesome homage to Star Trek today....

It is wonderful. Marking the 46th anniversary, btw....Be sure to click on the beam-me-up red sliding doors...

like 24 or lost but in a submarine? I like him very much (since Homicide). Ads look interesting but seems like t could be gimmicky

Submarine pretty quickly surfaces at some tropical paradise island.  That's why the show is called "Last Resort" -- get it?

Disclosure please -- "Elementary" is scheduled up against "Scandal". Please don't make us choose.

No competition -- Elementary.

So glad to see another person who shares my enjoyment of this morning news program. I count 3 of us so far who have written in about it. I'd like it to be popular enough that CBS doesn't try to change it to an entertainment program like Today.

It will be interesting to see how it evolves... the change in  anchors and format has not moved the needle so far...

Is that empty chair going to be a new "thing" in pop culture?

I hope so. I think it's already been given a name...

No, no, Pookie! That's the evening network news.

I stand corrected...

Those services don't always share a lot of that data because that data is proprietary and the owners of that data (cable/satellite companies) don't necessarily want to share information about which programs/networks are driving more of their business with the nets who could try to charge them more. They'll share some data with the content providers, but usually not competitive data.

Hulu, for instance, is owned by Fox, NBCUniversal and Disney-ABC, so they're probably going to share the information with themselves which, in turn, will help shows survive...

Or this one: Carmel Valley: Woman reported missing water from her swimming pool.


This paper is awesome. The police log is particularly entertaining. A sample entry: Carmel-by-the-Sea: A citizen reported two cats “hanging around” a Casanova Street house. The person’s concern is whether the cats have had their rabies vaccination and if they were altered. The owner of the two cats was contacted, and the cats are vaccinated and altered. Information was discussed with both parties.

thank you for sharing... let's all become regular readers and discuss on Fridays...

Will be Ben & Jerry's latest flavor, debuting next week.

We're all apprently, quite taken with the Carmel Pine Cone

did that last poster go a really long way just to bash a show s/he didn't like and didn't plan to watch, even if it was coming back (the name was "Rescue Me", btw.) Not that I disagree with the cogent observations by both you and the poster regarding the inability of shows of that ilk to write to female characters or viewpoints, but c'mon, it was kinda' like somebody writing in to say "you know that Kardashian show, please tell me it's been cancelled because I really hate it and don't watch it." I thought we were about inclusion, Pook.

I think the poster was pretty worked up about the way women are portrayed on some TV shows and it's an important subject. let's overlook the "hate it and don't watch it" bits....

I know Halloween is on the horizon, but this sounds hard (painful) to eat..

maybe there caramels in the shape of pine cones?

If "Ringer" has been cancelled, is she going to be on another series this season?

Isn't she pregnant with twins or something? I don't really keep up on stardom -- Celebritology question

I've heard the name but I still don't know who she is or why she comes up in the news.

Pop star/former Disney (Camp Rock, etc) star, sold loads of downloads, dated a Jonas Brother -- didn't they all? Entered rehab. blah, blah, blah.  Simon Cowell hopes she'll drive more viewers -- and young ones -- to his show which he boasted would clock 20 million viewers and instead clocked 12 million-ish...

Maybe Simon's spoiled by his TV experience in the UK, where the gov't controls BBC1, 2, 3 & 4?

It's all too silly.... In UK his X Factor killed the Brit version of American Idol which my guess is he expected to happen here too and now he's worried about his franchise and being peevish because he produces that network's No. 1 ranked summer series "America's Got Talent" and apparently thinks NBC should just curl up in his Fox shows's timeslots....He's swimming with the sharks now in the U.S. and needs to get used to the waters.

Say it ain't so Pookie! I was hoping we'd see them together on the new episodes of "Arrested Development"

Yes, when I heard the news I flung myself on my sofa and began chewing the cushions... Okay, not really. Frankly I couldn't care less. Hollywood stars marry like other people make sign contracts with gyms -- with the best of intentions, but no real expectation of longterm commitment....

UGH! And was totally unwatchable if ask me -- reduced/diminished all the middle-age/senior citizen talking heads to doll sized & defeated the purpose of watching TV. Gawdawful but I'm definitely NOT the demo they were targeting. It wad worse than the NFL & all the cable news channels that SNL/Daily Show have so effectively satirized by crowding out the actual images that all those damn banners/crawls/chirons obliterate. WTF ever happened to actual TV? Any idea if it helped/hurt their already abysmal ratings? Did you see it? What did you think pookie?

My guess is Current's numbers are up a tick during conventions, though I haven't seen stats...

I agree with your take on why the DNC is covered by so many networks, but it strains credibility when Brian Williams asks SavannahGuthrie, immediately after Obama's speech, her take on it...prompting me to change to CBS forthwith.

Oh yeah -- and they use the conventions to try to promote co-anchors of struggling programs on their lineup, like "Today" show....that's the other reason they show up...

Oops, my mistake, I was confusing "Scandal" with "Revenge". Never mind.


So it actually is another lost but this time they get there via submarine instead of airplane crash. Groan...... Is this another show devised to use all those expensive Lost sets? Not to mention reboot the profit machine --maybe this time it will have sex-craved zombies!

Yes, yes, and I hope so.

Yes, Pookie, please get it straight: the network nightly news viewers are the big-spending bathtub-hand-holders who suffer from gout and eat Activia to stay regular, not the low-rent Mesothelioma, reverse-mortgage tax cheats!

My bad!

Please tell me that's your own observation and not "borrowed" -- I need to know who to credit when I reuse it.

all mine.... I'm out of time. Have a lovely weekend and let's chat next Friday. Meanwhile, don't forget to read the Carmel Pine Cone's police report....

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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