The Latest in TV with Lisa de Moraes

Oct 26, 2012

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

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For a Wash Post puzzle earlier this week. I've never watched the Today show and haven't turned on a TV before sunset since Sept. 12, 2001. But because of this chat, I knew the answer to this " Curry, Journalist." I also knew she wasn't, really, in the opinion of most people! Truly a full service chat!

I've always said this chat was educational. You're welcome!

How is it that Olivia Pope is able to get around DC impossibly fast?

When you're the president's mistress do you get use of the presidential motorcade?

Lisa, Seems as though Revenge is all over the place this year.. My question is this, how tough is it for a new show, who's writers aren't sure if it's going to be a hit,to write scripts.. The when it is a hit, and is picked up for another season, to keep up with the storylines, and adding new ones, like this year...

Well, if you're good at what you do, it's not hard. "Cheers," to cite just one example, was on NBC 11 years and was considered a very well done show for the duration.  If you're not that talented, I imagine it's pretty difficult.

Have you seen the Munsters remake, Mockingbird Lane? Is it any good or will it send us old Munster fans out howling at the moon?

There's probably a reason NBC decided not to move forward with this as a series, and is instead running it as a "one off" for Halloween...

Do you still watch television when Glee is on hiatus? Is there anything else as good as Glee for me to watch during this downtime?

You lost me at "as good as 'Glee'." I'm one of its former fans who think it's gone off the rails... that said, have you caught Ryan Murphy's other series -- "The New Normal" on NBC and "AHS: Asylum" on FX -- oh, excuse me, "AHD:A" is a MINISERIES, not a series...

So it seems to be a cross of Dark Angel (government created super soldiers) and The Hulk (anger turns to beast rages) with a little bit of The Sentinal (he can hear heartbeats and stuff). Did they take anything from the original show except the names of the two main characters? Also boring. I gave it two episodes. I'm out.

I love that he's prettier than she is...don't know why that tickles me so, but it does. I'm obviously easily amused...

How has this show done in early ratings? I've watched the first two episodes and have found it fresh and funny and a definite upgrade from most sitcoms out there. It's maybe not The Office seasons one and two but it's certainly better than any of the four most recent seasons.

It's okay, ratings-wise -- not a barn burner, as my mother would say...

What are the rules about when local stations (abc, cbs, nbc) are allowed to not show national programming? Like for example, this evening WJLA is running a movie (to show more political ads as commercials, ugh) in the 8-10pm slot instead of ABC's national programming. They are running the 20/20 special at like 330 in the morning that should be on at 9pm tonight. Its awfully annoying. Thanks!

The Allbritton-owned ABC station is notorious for preemptions like this. Station group owners' deals with the networks allow them to pre-empt national programming a certain number of times, above and beyond the preemption due to weather emergency, etc. kinda situation... The reason affiliate-station owners like to do this is because they get all the ad inventory, in stead of just a slice of it with the rest going to the network.

Pookie, why doesn't NBC, aka the NoBody Cares (about your bad programming anymore) Broadcast Company give more love, and marketing $$, to Parenthood, which is well-written, great ensemble cast and good stories, more love???

Here's the deal: I'm pretty fed up with people complaining about NBC over the way it treats ther fave shows. Community fans, for instance, ought to be sending NBC a regular stream of love letters for keeping the show on the air -- on any night, being brought back at any time. They're lucky it's being returned this season. Now that I've gotten that off my chest, in re "Parenthood": this week, for instance, it won its timeslot in 18-49 year old viewers, but that's kinda damning with faint praise since it was on against ABC's dead-but-still-twitching "Private Practice" and CBS's old-skewing "Vegas." "Parenthood" has survived because while it's audience is small, it is one of NBC's youngest skewing shows....Overall, "Parenthood" only clocked 4.9 million viewers last week which, even in this age of reduced expectations, is still a pretty crummy showing for a series that's been around this long on what's supposed to be a broadcast network, not a niche cable network. And in conclusion, please send your letter of thanks for keeping this show on the air to Robert Greenblatt at NBC in Burbank...

Hey Pookie: I sense FOX has got its knickers all in a twist since they didn't will the Yankees into this year's World Series and have no New York team to boost its World Series prime-time ratings. And, to hear FOX's announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver chatter ~ both are midwesterners at heart ~ I sense they didn't have a good time spending all week in San Francisco as the Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals in a monsoon finish Monday night and have gone up 2-0 over the Detroit Tigers in the World Series as the scene shifts to Detroit this weekend. Do you sense FOX is just a tad disappointed in a San Francisco-Detroit World Series? After all, for them, it seems it's all about the ratings of presenting sports as entertainment ~ and seeing how many FOX prime-time personalities they can show on camera at the ball games ~ instead of presenting sports for sports sake.

Yes, Fox would always rather the two teams in the World Series hail from one of the nation's top 4 tv markets, unless there're some incredible backstory -- like it's the first time this team has made it to the series in 30 years or some such thing. And yes, I too noticed that the national anthem singers for the first four games are ALL Fox show stars: "American Idol's" Phil Phillips, "Glee's" Matthew Morrison, "New Girl's" Zooey Deschanel, and "X Factor's" Demi Lovato. Only if there's a fifth game do we get to hear the great Aretha Franklin sing the national anthem... But when a network pays this kind of stupid money for a sporting event, that's what's gonna happen, pookie.

Assuming I don't lose power, what show should I marathon this weekend - Homeland or the first season of Revenge? If it matters, I have a visceral dislike of Clare Danes, but could deal with it if the show is really great.

Funny, Clare Danes in this show has the same effect on me, though I liked her a lot in "My So Called Life" I've been falling out of love with her ever since... But, let me hasten to say, she provides many good drinking games in "Homeland." I'd go with "Homeland" for that reason alone -- because isn't brandy, for instance, considered medicinal in a hurricane? BTW, I love your name for the promised storm, which TeamTV's Emily Yahr is calling the Conspiracane -- because she thinks it's not really going to happen and is very annoyed with herself for having been scared by press reports into stocking up on Cheerios, apples, and chocolate truffles...So, other than liquor for your "Homeland" viewing, what else are you going to stock up on to get ready for FrankenStorm?

Last year it was clever and suspensful. Now it's just a series of shock gore scenes like a teen age ick flick.

You mean like the season debut of "The Walking Dead" -- the most watched series season debut in the history of the world? Sorry, but imitation is the sincerest form of television....

Pookie -- If I might add a contribution to AHS local editions -- American Horror Story: CVS Pharmacy.

Was that you I saw in the CVS this morning as I was stocking up on toothpaste to prepare for FrankenStorm?

Odds of a second season?


Did you see the ladies of the View doing the Gangman Style dance? It was mortifying. Barbara Walters has never seemed so old and out of touch, and Meredith Viera looked like she was doing some crazy Irish clog dance. Just an embarrassment all around.

 Mortifying/ craptastic. Potaytoe/pohtatoh... I loved it.. Here it is.

Dearest Pookie, can you or one of your loyal readers tell me who Rob Lowe was dressed as for Halloween on last night's episode of Parks & Rec? It looked like he was Drew Petersen again, but that can't be right, can it?

I have not yet watched it... Anyone out there?... Oh yeah, and SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT...

has completely gone off the rails in its last year, in a mostly good way. In some ways, it is horrible (any Jenna storyline) but then it throws in something crazy and I can't help but laugh out loud. Last night's political storyline was classic: Jack's PAC is called "Americans for a more American America." And he called Romney his "hair mentor."

 TV will be a more bleak place when it's gone. I'm trying not to think about it... sadly, it just never caught on with the larger public. Kind of like the rest of NBC's Thursday comedies...

What will be the next 3 series to die? Trash Day is less than 4 weeks away from today--any thoughts?

Mob Doctor, followed by Mob Doctor and Mob Doctor

It is quite amusing. Like - the debates are on in prime time in the east, so we get infomercials and cash cab in prime time. Oh, and jeopardy and wheel. It's funny to me, I just moved here. Same for prime time when they saw football in the east. Amusing

It's strange isn't it?.. I feel the same when when I live in Los Angeles. There's just something not right about watching a trophy show at 5 p.m. and the Super Bowl after's unnatural.

How is The Neighbors doing in the ratings? My favorite new show of the season!

Not as well as I'd like. I too am a fan. It's extremely silly.

Hi Pookie! Please oh please tell me you saw Today yesterday. I was watching Access Hollywood Live when they showed a clip of Hoda and Kathy Lee listening to a song by Luther Vandross during their show. At the moment Hoda says "This is one of my favorite things", a huge painting being carried by outside passes by the window behind them with a picture of, well, a man's nether region as big as Hoda's head! Quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever seen...literally!

See, this is why one must never miss a broadcast of Hoda nad Kathie Lee.. I'm very sorry I missed that and will go searching for it online as soon as this chat has wrapped. Thanks for the FYI.

Are there any rules when it comes to Sports Broadcasting? In some markets a local affiliate has some TV rights which causes premption of network TV

Yes, that too....

I get what you're saying about Parenthood. It's not doing well and we should be thankful it hasn't been canned yet. But, why don't more people like the show? I think it's very well written and very unique television. Why more people don't like it is what I just don't understand.

One of life's unexplained why don't more people get how great "30 Rock" is, and why doesn't everyone love brussels sprouts -- my favorite vegetable....I try not to dwell on these things -- they depress me...

Thoughts? I am liking it quite a bit, but nervous its going to play it safe to avoid making people made like Lost did.

You think "Lost" played it safe to avoid making people mad? What would you have liked for them to have done on the show that they did not do. I would have liked to have seen more money spent on The Smoke Monster. And, it would have been nice had the producers answered some of the questions, like they promised they would. But playing it safe was not one of my complaints... your thoughts?

Remember the days when some comedies would make consistently strong Halloween episodes (Roseanne, the Simpsons, Drew Carey)? Does anyone do that anymore? Should I just rent "Arsenic and Old Lace" (which is, you know, never a bad idea)?

While I endorse repeat viewing of "Arsenic and Old Lace" -- in much the same way I watch "The Man Who Came to Dinner" and "Remember the Night" every Xmas -- there are a boatload of TV series doing Halloween episodes. "Modern Family" is famous for them -- in some circles. Ditto "Big Bang Theory." Also planning Halloween episodes: Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23, Up All Night, Suburgatory, etc....

So any thoughts on what commercials will be on starting November 7th? I look forward to the dirth of political commercials.

I loved it when Ann Romney told The Ladies of The View she no longer watches TV for the time being, because she can't stand the political ads -- they keep her from being in a "good place," or a "happy place," or something like that...

Instead, I'm wearing provocative striped clothing and going as a loose-leaf woman. Off-topic, but I wanted to share. Thank you.

Brilliant costume! And, funny your mentioning it because I just got face masks of the entire celebrity lineup of NBC's singing competition "The Voice" and am trying to decide whether I will go as Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, or Adam Levine this Halloween. I've already ruled out wearing the Carson Daly mask, because it's too creepy. I'm having trouble deciding which mask works best with Winkie's Dancing Bear w/ Bedazzled Ears costume, and Vanderbilt's Devil Horns....

I'm stocking up on Febreze, because I want the bunker to smell nice.

Drat! I forgot the room freshener!.....

I tried it and it really isn't that good. Why did CBS make a full order?

Because it's winning its timeslot.... I can't explain it. Dennis Quaid looks so grumpy, and constipated, and old, and ridiculously cowboy-hatted in every's a crime.

So this is the pilot that didn't make it? Don't they usually show these during the summer? What if it suddenly get 10 million viewers?

Then, hopefully, someone will remind them of how excited NBC suits got when the revival of "American Gladiators" popped a number and they ordered a boatload more episodes and the series tanked....

On the advice of his therapist, he went as his biggest fear, which is aging/getting old. He was just the old version of himself.

It just looked like Drew Peterson...hmmmm....

He was dressed as his greatest fear- getting old.

wow -- typecasting.

I had almost given up on the show until I saw the alien kid dress up as the Earth Mom with the Dad as a hand puppet! How are the ratings looking, Pookie?

Good but not great... ABC has not yet ordered it for the full season. Start your email campaign now....

Meredith is back on the View? Since when?

No, I think that chatter was mistaking someone else for Meredith. Can we guess who?

Machete.To.The.Head. That is all.

Ick. Tonight's nightmare...Thank. you.

Fred Allen, right? Funny that someone was already on to this more than 60 years ago.

yes and yes...

Yikes! I had no idea The View ladies did it. Must watch and laugh! The song really needs to go away, but I will say even though I don't like DWTS I did enjoy their version but only because of Gilles in his teeny tiny towel.

The "DWTS " was much better, and less frightening than "The View." I'm now living in terror wondering how The Talk is going to try to top it...

Why don't you find 3 friends, then you can spend all night standing in a row with you backs to people, only to dramatically "swoosh" around to face them at random intervals, until the conversaton is over, then an accomplice can turn up the room lights, and any of the 4 of you still left with their back(s) turned, can slowly rotate until you're all facing inthe same direction? Think I put too much thought into this....?

Waaaaay too much thought!... Now I think I will wear Aguilera's face on my face, and put the other faces on Wnkie and Vanderbilt's rumps, so they'll be facing the other way...

The Today Show usually has interesting costumes, but it's not episodic of course.

Ah yes, and "GMA" is trying very hard to top "Today" this year for Halloween episode... it's going to be quite the free for all on these two shows

Who would you mistake for Meredith out of Whoopi, Sherri, Joy, and GOP Barbie?

Honestly I don't think any of them looks like Meredith...

WIth another Walking Dead image -- Walk-in Cooler. Turned. Port-a-John. + 10 Months. A grislier image than any zombie elimination to date.

Oh, thanks...You're chatting with someone who, as as child, had nightmares for years after my father took me to the Baltimore Museum of Art, to give my mother a day off, and they had a mummy exhibit...

Shows I like are Parks & Rec, The Mindy Project, Bones, Modern Family, Breaking Bad and Mad Men. I love HBO shows, but don't get HBO. What else should I be checking out?

This is quite an ecclectic list of likes... Well, you should be watching all other HBO shows, though you don't get HBO but still watch HBO shows....Maybe you should check out NBC's other comedies -- except Whitney....And "Boss" on Starz. Throw in "Episodes" on Showtime, and "Homeland." And maybe "It's Always Sunny..." and Russell Brand's late night show.

To help represent the people why didn't Leno ask Obama "Will you show the papers?" that would be a fair sided show. I'm guessing he's on Obama's side. Not trying to inform the people. That would have made ratings to hear Obama talk his way out of that on TV.

You're mistaking:

a) "Tonight" for a news show

b) Leno for a Democrat. It's most often speculated he's a Republican.

Why all the hate for Guys with Kids? Granted, it's not the best show on TV, but it's watchable and not absolutely terrible. Much worse has lingered on TV for far longer. The cast seem to have a decent chemistry together and while Vanessa was the least-liked Huxtable, she offers a little star recognition along with Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Maybe a guest appearance by Jordana Spiro would win you over?

because it's so disappointing... an interesting idea and it's on NBC where you expect a level of sophistication and instead it reads like a bad sitcom from the 80's... too bad.

Was that really one of Mitt Romney's many sons last night on "30 Rock" joking about his father trying to buy the election?

we think it was a look-alike...

I dont think it is remotely as good as last season. Needs more ghosts! But Evan Peter's butt did redeem it somewhat.

I think they're going for gore, not ghosts this season...

I got her mixed up with Joy. I don't watch that awful show, how would I know?? I only saw a clip of them dancing like fools.

Thanks for clearing that up! And in fairness, nobody can dance gangman style without looking like fools. It's part of the dance's charm... like those irish dance groups...

To the person who wrote about preempting on ABC. In Frederick on Comcast we get two ABC channels, 7 and 2. On channel 2 they are showing the regular line up and on 7 they are showing the movie. Both channels are showing 20/20 at 10:00.

thanks! the Hoda video if you can find it. I've been searching, desperately, to no avail.

Looking now. Will post if we find it...

I can earnestly report to you that because we have not gotten the right information in the past month, we have bought the wrong toothpaste and our teeth are rotting even as we speak, we have not gone to the right Fast Food joint, and thus lost our chance to play Monopoly for a Million Dollars, our men (and women) have been suffering from Erectile Dysfunction, and we did not find out from an animated lizard where to get our Auto Insurance!

I know what you're going through. I'm paralyzed at the grocery store now -- no idea what I'm supposed to buy to make me smarter/prettier/richer

I'm going to start a campaign to persuade TV stations to show REMEMBER THE NIGHT at Christmas instead of yet another dreary rerun of ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE. The scene between Barbara Stanwyck and her mother is sad, but not half as depressing as IAWL.

Turner Classic are welcome.

Can you tell me what U.S. president has ever been asked to show papers on a late-night comedy show before? LOL.

I think you have this weekend's SNL cold open...

I think there's no question that CeeLo goes best with a blinged-out puppy.

Thanks! I'll take photos....

When is Trump's next iteration of "The Apprentice" starting? Do you think his publicity stunt with the $5 million offer to Obama will hammer the final nail into Trump's celebrity coffin?

Absolutely not. As evidenced by your question. We're talking about him. Mission Accomplished! He's a very smart self-promoter and I mean that in the best possible sense of "self-promoter."

Nice to see the Smoke Monster has a new gig on 666. Talk about a niche career...

Well, they had the smoke machine over at ABC, so why not use it again. Kind of like how they re-used the 'Lost' sets for that Shonda Rhimes medical show "Off the Map" guess is the Smoke Monster will be getting paid off by ABC shows for the next several years...

I thought all would be well when the political ads ended (I'm in a swing state). But last week I saw the first Christmas commercial (calling you out, Target). Boo.

good grief -- before Halloween?

I'm out of time. Thanks for joining me! Hope to chat with you again when FrankenStorm has passed.....

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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