The Latest in TV with Lisa de Moraes

Jan 25, 2013

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

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What's going on with this? I thought the law dictating that TV ads had to be at the same volume as the show was passed, no? It certainly isn't being enforced. Can't wait until it is!

In my foggy state on Friday afternoon -- jet lag -- I'm thinking this people were going to have to complain and then they'd pounce.. my advice: don't hold your breath.

Pookster, I missed you so, so much last week! Welcome back!

Thank you! Glad to be back, though I could do without this arctic weather. When I saw this question was from "Van Ness"  I thought for a minute it was reference to the head of the design department at RKO Pictures during its glory days -- Van Nest Polglase -- I'm a big fan.

Do you buy into all the hype and praise for Girls? Granted, I am not its intended audience, but I don't find it genre-breaking or hilariously well-acted, or that novel. Maybe it's just my own personal So-Sue-Me show, but I really think it is overrated. (And she's a little annoying with this "who me?" schtick).

I'm good with the whole thing until Dunham starts in on the "this is for all the trod upon girls"/Star is Born schtick like she did at the Globes. She's the daughter of a very plugged in family in Manhattan, which hardly disqualifies her to play that underdog card.

Am I the only one finding amusement at this whole thing? This guy's supposed to be talented and smart, but because his parents sheltered him so much, he couldn't grap the concept of an actual Girlfriend instead of his second cousin?

I'm still not so sure he's as dumb and "naive" as he is trying to come across... Not understanding why he lied about meeting her, which happened before he "discovered" she was fictitious. Something fishy there. But, you gotta admit, it was a fun interview. And how about that Katie Couric -- homerun of an interview. I'm waiting for numbers to see if Katie with Manti beat Oprah and Lance in the ratings. My money's on "yes." Meanwhile,  I'm obsessed with finding out whose glasses Katie was wearing -- loved them. They looked kind of Oliver People's-ish but I don't know for sure... Anyone with inside dope, please jump in.

Since you know everything about tv, I will completely trust your judgement on this. A friend has signed up another friend for 'what not to wear'. Other friend does not watch tv, has no idea what this show is about. Would being on the show change her life or crush her soul?

It depends on what is the friend's humiliation threshold when weighed against being given a $5,000 wardrobe budget, or whatever the dollar amount is these days. Stacy London and Clinton Kelly are both lovely, fun people in real life -- but I've never worked with them then they were on-camera and I don't think I'd much enjoy having them patronizingly approve of my clothing choices while giving me hugs. ick. And I would never ever let the hair guy cut my hair!... That said, I love the show, even after all these years.

I admit it was becoming "The James Van Der Beek Show", but it was still funny. How many epeisodes are there yet to air?

I think there are eight....

I was going to write the worst show ever, but wow, there are too many close runners-up. 1600 Penn is so bad, that even sick and with no remote, I still couldn't watch it. I even tried to watch the 2nd episode, which, if possible, was worse than the first. I mean really, really bad. That son is ridiculous. The parents are idiots. There is no way the fake USA can be that stupid to elect him. Bill Whoever reminds me of a worse version of his character in Ruthless People. Please tell me that this show is already cancelled. Nothing, but nothing is worse than this show.

Ah -- you haven't seen "Guys with Kids" have you....

I enjoyed the pilot episode, but don't know if this show is a keeper. Do you like the Following? Thanks, Eric

I love "The Following" for so many reasons -- but particularly because it's becoming the poster child for the whole TV Violence issue in the wake of the mass killings of elementary school children and Fox is squirming, because they have to air it at 9 -- 8 p.m. Central time -- since they don't programs 10 p.m. Bet they're sorry now they didn't snag 10 from stations when they set up the network....

And because the question is locked and I can't touch it -- I love our publishing system -- to the person who asked if Parenthood is coming back: Yes because while it doesn't have a ton of viewers, the ones it has a really're welcome.

You know, the PBS travel show guy. My parents seem to think so though they don't really say why. Then again, they're in their 80's and think that just about anybody between the ages of 45 and 65 are Communists. Anyway, back to Mr. Steves. What have you heard? Is it Komrade Rick or nyet?

I'm intrigued! This makes the show about 45 percent more interesting....Why do your parents think he's a communist? Has he preached that he wants to see the blood of the wealthy running in the streets in various places he's visited? Or is he just stumping for child labor laws in third-world countries he's traveled to?  Is that their attitude about PBS in general? Please send details -- I'm dying to know... And anyone else out there who cares to weigh in on this, please do!

The Divine Ms. de M, I'm a Philly girl Kevin Bacon fan going all the way back to Diner, but I just don''t know if I can continue to tolerate the gore of The Following? Tell me, should I stick with it or is it going to get cancelled anyway?

It did okay but not eye-popping like Fox expected, in its opening. Fox had spent the GNP of a third world country promoting this thing before its launch...Anyway, they're deeply committed to this show.

The show was silly fun last year...profane and sarcastic....But, the budding lovestory is such a cliche that I am reminded of Cheers, Who's the Boss, Moonlighting, etc....Use your influence to get the writers to focus on the shallow stuff and forget the deeper stuff.

Your mouth to Showtime's ears... I do not want to see this love storyline. It is a bore...

Better than Jimmy Kimmel?

Totally! He was really great, and what a guest lineup last night. Why can't we see a lineup like that every night on late night TV? America deserves better late night TV....

Can that funny blonde Girlfriend be on another show now? I'm thinking "Happy Endings"

I assume you're talking about Judy Punch, who was brilliant on the show. But then, I liked the entire cast. This show should not have been canceled, it should have been better tended to by the network.

Can you explain? I don't get it. I get that she's attractive and has a foul mouth, which I guess opens some doors. But after that, don't you need to be funny? I mean, if you are a comedian? She is painfully unfunny.

You mean she's like Sarah Silverman? Both her shows leave me cold -- the one in which she stars and "2 Broke Girls" on which she's a consultant

I loved Hillary Clinton's eyeglasses. Can you ask The Fix people if they enhance her chances for 2016?

Hers were very good during her grilling, but they can't compare to Katie's....meanwhile, according to news reports, Clinton's glasses aren't a fashion accessory -- she needs them because of her recent concussion.

Am I the only one turned off by Nicki Minaj on Idol this season? I find her so distracting I've stopped watching the audition episodes. I may try again at the live show, but while Keith Urban seems good, I can't stomach Idol with Nicki anymore.

Mariah Carey going all I'm the Queen on everyone is what stops me in my tracks... could she be any more insecure?

Do you know yet how he did against Letterman and Leno?

Pounded both in 18-49 year olds. still waiting on better stats...Here's a link to my coverage.

So on DA, can you please tell Jullian Fellows that we don't give a rat's patootie about the Anna and Bates story anymore. He can get shanked in there for all I care. We need more drama on the new footman that Thomas wants to play footsie with!

Poor Anna and Bates! I'm still interested, but I'm sentimental.

Of COURSE they cancelled this -- it's the funniest thing on tv. The episode where Chloe gets a "job" at People was the funniest I've ever seen, excepting the Vicar of Dibley's finale/Christmas show. But that had bonus Richard Armitage (head dwarf for those who've seen the Hobbit, smokin' hot Mr. Thornton for those who like their gravel crunchy).

Yes, many deserving cpmedies have been cancelled recently...

Breaking news: ABC is going to rerun Matt Damon taking over Jimmy Kimmel's show last night in primetime, next Tuesday at 10...your thoughts?

If one of the following celebrities was able to get a hold of a time-machine, which one would do the most damage to the world of television as we know it?: Bill Murray, Bill Nye (the Science Guy), Pauly Shore, Tracy Ullman, David Letterman, and Anderson Cooper.

That one's easy: Anderson Cooper. Anyone dumb/vain  enough to not wash his jeans until they're declared a biohazard should not be trusted with a time machine. The thought terrifies me.

Just googled "Katie Couric's Glasses" and an InStyle reference came up about a company called EyeBobs.

Were they the same glasses? Why do I think she has a huge wardrobe of glasses?

Please, don't tell me they are going to cancel it. After seeing Josh Gad on Broadway I was estatic to see him get a TV show. His character is hilarious although his mannerisms are bit too close to his Elder Cunningham persona (minus the mormonism).

Yeah, someone -- like maybe the director -- needs to tell him that, in tv, you're not playing to people in the nosebleed seats and that he needs to cut it by half... that would really help the show.

I didn't see the show but a less secure person would probably not be happy with the "your show is better when you aren't on it" angle. Can't imagine if it had been Leno and Damon.

Damon never would have done this for Leno... and, you're in luck because ABC is going to rerun the episode on Tuesday, in primetime. Bye bye Body of Proof....

It amazes me that people who write you don't know how to google a question like "Rick Steves communist." If you do that, and weed through a few results, you eventually reach a Huffington Post blog post by Steves titled "Socialism can be fast and comfortable," in which he derides Americans for not knowing how good Europeans have it in socialist countries. So yeah, now I have something to find irritating about Rick Steves other than his nasal, whining voice.

pookie, our chatters are too busy trying to look like they're doing work at their office desks -- answering emails, creating spread sheets, nodding at the boss --  to google these things.  We look to chatters like you to do the google searching. So thank you very much.

Seeing Lenny Venito on "The Neighbors," (which it's OK to like now, though you, Pookie, were ahead of the curve as always) has made me remember the late much lamented (by me anyway) "Knights of Prosperity." Please tell me that the full run and unaired episodes are available on Netflix or Hulu or at least DVD.

I assume you're asking about "Knights of Prosperity's" availability. I see season one is on Netflix's site. Meanwhile, I'm a Simon Templeton gal, myself.

TV's original Charlie Brown arrested for stalking. What is going on here?

Child stars -- geesh. Can a stint on Dancing with the Stars or Celebrity Apprentice be far behind?

You're 100% right, Pookie. It took me a few episodes to appreciate B & K's "feel" (which is probably why it got canceled), but it felt like it was starting to hit its stride. And while "Don't Trust the B" has a much snarkier tone, I felt the same way about it. On a semi-related note, any chance ABC might pair "The Neighbors" (another favorite) with "Happy Endings"?

I'm through figuring out ABC's thinking on its schedule. They're having a very tough season and are making some head-scratching moves..

Lisa, I love "The Neighbors" and I'm pretty invested in it but I can't believe it has wide appeal...what's the future of this show?

Given the number of other comedies ABC has pulled the plug on, I'm now thinking its chances of surviving to another season are pretty good...

Can he teach other celebrities to have a sense of humor about themselves? I loved him in his crazy stint on Entourage and on Kimmel. I think LeBlanc and Van der Beek must be paying attention, but how about some others - -- I'm looking at you Sean Penn.

Not going to happen -- he lacks the gene...

Where does the show go from here? Looked like a series finale to me but please tell me it is coming back.

I'm sorry to report this show was canceled a whilea ago and this week's episode was the series finale...

Ha ha ha! I've had a "conference call" on my calendar every Friday at 1 pm for like 3 years now. Someone in my office finally asked me who I talk to every week at this time.

I love you. thank you for making us your Friday conference call for three years...

Did you see the report that Gwyneth Paltrow is angling for a part ... please NOOOO

oh god... well, she can do the accent. Can she play the upstairs housekeeper who sticks out her foot and sends Shirley MacLaine's character plunging down the grand staircase?

Rick Steves also campaigned for the legalization of marijuana in Washington. Some of his older audience appears not to appreciate his advocacy too much.

Ah, so, to recap: fan of socialization and marijuana... now the show is 68 percent more interesting... Chatter who original posed the question: please thank your parents for me.

OK. I'm a 53-year old man, and I lived that life in New York (and in those neighborhoods) 30 years ago. I like the show, and I understand that these characters can be unlikable. But I do wish they'd stop whining. By the way, Lena Dunham's Twitter feed is much funnier than the show.

The whining does get old fast. But I'm impressed that a 53 year old guy would sample the show -- good for you! and her twitter feed is funnier than the show. I highly recommend it

Apparently he's terminally ill (pancreatic cancer) and doesn't have much incentive to control his anger. The prosecutor is arguing that jail time is the only way to protect the community. It sounds like a psychiatric commitment to hospice might be the more humane choice, but the bar for that is now very high. So no, don't expect to see him on DWTS or Celebrity Apprentice.

Ugh, that's tragic, whether the cancer has gone to his brain, as some have suggested, or he's just understandably raging with anger at his fate.

So, when a show like Apt. 23 and Ben and Kate gets the hook with episodes already in the can, what happens with them? I wouldn't mind watching the unaired episodes on Hulu or something if they would be available. If they're already filmed, what's the problem with making them available to people to watch?

It depends on whether the network also owns the show. Some CBS shows, for instance, are created by Warner Bros. which would have a say in a Hulu play etc....

What do you think of the new American Idol judging panel?

The women are self absorbed and Keith needs to bulk up if he's going to sit between them all season.

Socialization and socialism are two different things, just sayin'.

oh, did I write "socialization"? That's very funny! That's what I get for chatting on this little sleep and this little coffee...

Thank goodness this is an anonymous forum, because otherwise I'd never bring this up, but Sean Penn had a sense of humor about himself at one time, anyway, because he was on an early episode of Two and a Half Men as himself, in this kind of men's club with Charlie, Elvis Costello and a couple of other guys. It was a pretty funny episode (see why I'm happy about the anonymity?), and they all played goofy versions of themselves.

What happened to the guy?! Was it his marriage to Madonna?

Perhaps they could cast Gwyneth as a key character in a special "Sliding Doors"-type episode of Downton Abbey in which she does/doesn't discover that her fiance is having an affair with Lady Edith.

Or, she could put them all on a juice detox diet...

Will sit through almost any half hour show if there is female nudity. I recall this from my own experience.

Of course! How silly of me not to remember that...

As I recall, both of these fairy-tales-in-modern-times shows were predicted to be early cancellations last year, but they both made it back for this year. Will either one hang on for another season? ABC seems to be sticking a lot of Disney characters into OUAT, so would that help by making it a sort of "Love Boat" for the parent company?

It IS the  'Love Boat' of Disney theme part nailed it!

Was this a surprise? I heard an interview with Dakota Johnson the other day and she seemed to indicate the show was doing well!

Stars always say that for public consumption, unless they're James Van Der Beek

Rick Steves is a proud American patriot. He tells us how other countries he visits spend money on social services and infrastructure. And he supported the legalization of marijuana, for practical reasons. Communist? Is that what we call moderates now? Also, I love "Arrow". It's silly fun.

I just got whiplash from that change of direction... I want it clearly understood that I'm now 83 percent more interested in this show and its host after this debate over his politics...

Will the tv movie be on Lifetime or ESPN?

Neither -- my money's on HBO...

1. Real name is "Steven Richards." 2. Arrested in a bar in Spokane (Washington) after throwing beer bottle at large-screen television showing Fox News.

Change that to 95 percent more interesting...

YES, she would be terrific on Downton Abbey! Muuuch better than Shirley who sadly did not really come off well (the writing didn't help). But when is anyone ever going to LEAVE the house? Bring Lady Edith over to America! We'd appreciate her--red hair, English accent and a title to boot!

'writing' is your euphamism for phoning it in?

Hi Lisa -- after the tedium of PR All stars (which I gave up on mid-season) I was really excited to have the original cast back for last night's season 11 premiere...only to find that Michael Kors had been replaced. What happened? Did he get into a big fight with Heidi or Nina?

For public consumption the story is "massive scheduling conflicts"... sounds juicy...

Pookie -- did you see any footage of House of Cards during TCA? I'm curious if it is any good.

You know how when you watch something you think is perfect you can't watch a remake? That's me with this one. The original miniseries was so brillant, and Ian Richardson so perfect as Francis Urquhart I just don't think it should be re-done...

And if we can only discover that he's the real father of Kate Middleton's baby, we've hit the motherlode 100%!!



After Matthew realizes the estate is mismanaged I want to see him pull out all his funds, leave Mary and open a hotel in Brighton that does great.

I'd rather see him come to the United States and open a speakeasy in Chicago...

Yeah, his line of crap for K-Mart won't make itself.


Andy Cohen on Bravo pointed out the this guy had the chance to get psychiatric help for 5 cents. Why didn't he take advantage of it?

Andy Cohen should pipe down.  That's a very nasty form of cancer -- who knows what's going on in the guy's head...

I still question whether anyone at OWN actually watches TV. If they did, they would understand that channel surfers like me go thru the shedule and see that OWN is going to play 12 straight hours of Police Women of Broward County or whatever and never go back to that channel for the rest of the day. If you have a variety of different programs, I might revisit it. I think the programming strategy is to fill the air time with rubbish until they can air something with Oprah in it. That does not a network make.

Yes, there's a lot of "filler" on that schedule.. I thought you were going to nick them for waiting so many days after announcing the Lance Armstrong interview before actually airing it, by which time we all knew Lance was going to confess to the doping and we'd all moved on to the Manti Te'o story... really stupid scheduling

Did some more research -- apparently Eyebobs are the choice of celebs everywhere. Katie has worn the brand since her days on CBS. She even collaborated with the company to "design" a limited-edition style.

Wow, we are doing sooo much research today! Like I always say: TV is educational...

We Google so you won't have to!

you betcha!

Last show next week. I know it kind of lost its way for a while and the writers were/are apparently writing comedy just for their own amusement, but darn I will miss it. It still makes me laugh out loud. What is Tina Fey going to do next? Any word?

She's signed a new deal with Kabletown/NBC/Univesal to create a new TV series in which she may or may not act. My guess is "may"....

the pilot was shot in atlanta and it was a BIG deal all over the place. so sad I never got to see him (I kinda moved before it was done) - bigger than any other thing shot there (like, um, dolly parton/queen latifah, altho she was a big deal/and i can't remember all the other stuff)...

I'm sorry you never got to seem him... my guess is it was a bigger deal than those other things you mentioned because the budget on the pilot was gimongous

Curious timing that Barbara Walters fell and got injured, eliminating her from the competition for the big Manti Te'o interview. By any chance was Katie Couric lurking around the British Embassy, perhaps greasing the steps?

That's very funny but, sadly, not the case...

What was your take on this show? I thought the material and everything about this show was terrible, except for the two female leads, who were fantastic and managed to make it tolerable. But even they couldn't save terrible writing.

And James Van Der Beek was wonderful... I liked it better than you did, apparently...

Is this show going to survive? I wanted to like it, and since it is written by Nick Pileggi, who wrote "Casino" and "Goodfellas," I thought it would at least be interesting. Instead, it's a tired CBS procedural: "Murder She Wrote" with the delightful Angela Lansbury replaced with constipated sourpuss Dennis Quaid battling a munchkin mafioso.

Every drama at CBS gets put through the Procedural Crime Drama Sausage grinder. Even "Elementary" has been turned into "CSI."



If the comments I've seen online are any indication, I'm the only person who actually sort of likes Nicki Minaj on Idol. I think her schtick probably will get old, granted--but she is so much less vanilla / predictable than the other three. And this is coming from someone who went in completely wanting to hate her. My question is, am I crazy, or is everyone else crazy?

No, you're not crazy, because I'm not crazy and that has been exactly my reaction. Even at Winter TV Press Tour 2013, she's the one who came off as the adult and Mariah Carey played the petulant diva...

No, in Torquay, and he turns into Basil Fawlty!


For saying what I've been thinking. Sarah Silverman is not funny.

I think I saw her in the cattle-crowd line at the airport the other day, when I was flying from Los Angeles. Things have been tough for Sarah since splitting with Jimmy

Laughing here uncontrollably. The guy across the hall from me thinks I'm having a seizure or something.

Quick, say this into your telephone so the guy down the hall doesn't think you're goofing off:  "The Florida Media Market is better than ever, and the conference “The Bridge to the World” will take place at the Shelborne Hotel in Miami Beach Florida, from January 30th to February 3". I grabbed that from one of my emails. Hope it helps!

That's the only episode I've ever seen of the show - on a flight. It was actually pretty funny. Hooray for anonymity is right.

Yay anonymity.....was it a good episode?

Didn't Babs retire from doing the latest confessional interview last year? Wasn't Katie basically hired to take over the job, but with her own show instead of as a 20/20 bit? The Walters-style interview has been ABC property for a long time.

Katie did a great job, didn't she? I hope we can all agree on that at least, though we seem to have differing ideas about commies hosting travel series....

Sarah was pretty funny as Adrian Monk's obsessed #1 fan.

She was terrific... maybe because she had a writer, and a director...

for making Friday afternoons so much fun. If I can't be "live" on the chat its the first thing I read when I get home.

Thanks! you made my day ...

Who is shocked that 20-somethings in Brooklyn are self-centered? Probably the same people that are shocked that single 30-something women in Manhattan talk about sex over brunch. Breaking news - men like to look at women!

And here I thought Brooklyn was the Selfless Millennial capital of the world... I'm learning so much on this chat. Thanks!

Why would they let 2 Broke Girls run free and Cancel the B in Apt 23? Who are these idiots who think "good tv" is watching actors looking visibly uncomfortable for 24 minutes? And on that note, I'm furious at Whitney Cummings for ruining my tagline. Let it be known that I have been Loving You and Meaning It since 2002!

This one's easy: those idiots are the 12 million-ish people who watch "2 Broke Girls" weekly... I'm sorry Whitney has ruined your tagline. Can we help you come up with a new one?

Pookie, when is Mad Men coming back? I'm Jonzing for some Joan!

April 7... Hawaii here we come!

Any decision yet on bringing it back next year? Do they have a "Here's Mom!" episode in the can, just in case they decide at the last minute not to renew it?

Head of CBS Entertainment said at press tour they were very near a deal and expected to have one soon... no drama here.

So what are the chances for Arrow to survive? I imagine they are committed to finishing this season at least. It's a fun show, with some decent acting and some "OMG, you call that acting?" moments. And it's fun how they recap EVERYTHING with each conversation "This is my former boyfriend, who secretly slept with my sister, who was killed when the family yacht sunk under suspicious circumstances, possbily due to his Mother being involved with super evil crime syndicate." Thats how they talk in "Arrow". And Steves is a normal American. Only far right wackos think things like Social Security are un-American.

I love that we are having a conversation about "Arrow" and PBS simultaneously. Anyway, yes, that's how they talk on "Arrow" but -- have you seen the workout scenes? I rest my case...

Lucy Punch from Ben and Kate was great on the early Doc Martin PBS show. You can catch it in reruns on various PBS stations.

She's wonderful and they should put her on Downton Abbey. SHE can play the housekeeper who sticks out her foot and sends Shirley MacLaine's character hurdling down the grand staircase! I'm sorry I'm out of time. This has been fun. Have a great weekend and I'll see you next week!

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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