The Latest in TV with Lisa de Moraes

May 10, 2013

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

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Lisa's writing up some breaking news, she'll be starting the chat in about 10 minutes.

Or at least Cancelled. Can we make sure the un-talented Whitney Cummings doesn't show up as a wacky crack whore on "2 Broke Girls"?

No. I cannot promise that....

I can understand the rest, but Randy Jackson? Who else in this world can tell contestants that they were "Keeping it real, Dawg"?

I, on the other hand, am so over Randy... Ditto Mariah and Minaj.

What happened here? They premiered it after AI a couple of years ago, then they put it in the Friday Death Slot and *surprise!* it doesn't do as well and they cancel it. It was a decent show? Did someone new come in who hated it?

Shows typically get sent to Friday only AFTER they've failed.. Friday is the Night Of Low Expectations, where networks send a show to try to find an audience without costing them too much in lost ad revenue due to low ratings....

Pookie, this one made me snort! Thank you for that. "Viewers' undies less bunched than media's over Howard Kurtz's inaccurate Jason Collins coverage."

You are welcome... I wasn't particularly surprised that the American public did not have the same interest in the Kurtz story as did the media...

Lisa, re: today's column, new NBC shows - "the bus driver decides to take a cruise down a rural road." Where are there rural roads in DC proper? Ugh.

Apparently it was a long field trip. Maybe they were driving to Miami?

Hi Pookie! Based on the last few chats, it seems that most viewers are not enjoying Jeremy Priven's performance in "Mr. Selfridge." It occurs to me that he is portraying the British stereotype of an American robber barron -- loud and crass -- and doing it perfectly. Hence he seems out of sync with the more understated British performances that we are used to (our own stereotype, perhaps). Do you think this is possible?

I agree that he was cast to play the brash American. I just wish he didn't seem like he was in a different show altogether... maybe they should have cast Hugh Laurie and told him to use his American accent?

Will we be taking shots every time Kristen Wiig reprises one of her old characters this Saturday Night?

OOh -- drinking game! I really need one this week. thanks!

Pookie, traveling (AGAIN) tomorrow so here's my question. Disclaimer: I love me some Christopher Meloni. Paid extra for his full frontal when he was on "Oz" many moons ago. And granted, he had some great one liners on "L&O: SVU" over the years, but a whole comedy series next year? Really? Screams flop just from your write up.

....particularly since it's from the guy who brought us the CBS comedy flop "S*** My Dad Says."

Have ABC & NBC announced when the remaining episodes of "Do No Harm", which was just idiotic & "Zero Hour", which was totally incomprehensible will be burned off this summer. Absolutely terrific hate watching material, now that "Smash" will soon go the way of the Broadway musical "Kelly" which opened & closed the same night! Which "Smash" should have done!

"Do No Harm's" burnoff begins June 29 and "Zero Hour" starts on June 15...don't miss 'em...

There is a show on TLC called "Four Houses," in which the owners of the houses visit each others' houses and grade them on style, originality, livability, and overall experience, with the winner getting $10,000. I don't like how nasty the owners can be sometimes, but I still enjoy seeing the homes. The new season just started, two shows have been aired, and it just disappeared. TV Guide Magazine still lists it on Saturdays at 9 pm, but it can't be found on the on-air guide and has been replaced by reruns of "Dateline." Lisa, you don't ever answer my questions, but please see if you can find out what's up with this show. It's the only thing I watch on TLC except for the bridal shows.

Rep isn't saying why it was pullled; will only tell us it will start to run Mondays at 10 on June 24.

I'm secretly kinda' excited for this. It could make a great opportunity for gambling and/or drinking. How soon in before some Middle Eastern diplomat starts screaming in his crazy accented voice about his kid? When will someone suggest that they offer up the scholarship kid as bait? (Or, when will the scholarship kid be the gritty one who saves everyone's bacon?). There's just so much opportunity for cringe-worthy awfulness!!!

I know -- can't wait!

a loud, crass American. He is playing a loud, crass Pinocchio. The performance is wooden. I had to stop watching.

I think you have pinpointed the problem...

Are you still in DC, or are you in LA already for the Upfronts?

I am in Washington. I leave Sunday morning for New York, which is where the networks unveil their new season plans to advertisers.

Have you seen this article, in which poor Bandersnatch whinges about the class burden he must carry? "Benedict Cumberbatch: being posh can ostracise you": Link: P.S. I love what another actress said re Helena Bonham Carter's similar complaints (NSFW).

He could fix that in a heartbeat by going out on a date with Lindsay Lohan.....

Hey, Pookie: My wife and I have a theory that Fox will come begging for Simon Cowell to come back to "American Idol" to rescue its once-thriving franchise. However, if that's the case, does Fox cancel "The X Factor"? I don't why I should care since we don't watch either show. Still ... it made for good dinner-time conversation last evening.

In my dream world, "X" gets canceled, yes, but I don't know I'd bring back Simon to "Idol."  "Idol's" numbers will only get fixed when it has a judges panel that does not polarize the audience. Minaj has done a good job this season -- I confess, I was pleasantly surprised -- but she's a polarizing pop personality (see my writeup of her performance at the Whitney Houston Has Died Grammy Awards Show broadcast on CBS). That works to sell music, but not necessarily to grab big audiences for a TV show...

there was an interesting show on ABC about fairy tale land and the real world colliding. I've finally lost patience with it - have the last 2 episodes on my DVR and can't muster enough interest to watch it. Any word if they will wrap this up with the current season?

unlikely... it's expected to return

Did you hear Arrested Development is promoting the return of the show by having the Banana Stand show up in various cities leading to the launch of the new season?

Yes, that's sweet.....

Is the audience allowed to Boo & Hiss at the Upfront? Or do they just tweet "Bob Greenblat apparently suffered brain trauma this weekend" and "Les Moonves is paying too much attention to Julie Chen's opions again"?

There is no boo-ing and hissing, but there is not always anything but tepid applause either, which is kind of the same thing. Only on special occasions do the advertisers give wildly enthusiastic applause -- last time I remember that was when ABC showed them the pilot for "Modern Family." The place erupted...

What is the story on TLCs What Not to Wear? I know it is going off the air, but are there any final shows on the schedule for this summer, or has it flown the coop? I loved Stacy and Clinton, and I think their work at places like Myrtle Beach is far from being done!

"What Not To Wear" kicks off its final run of original episodes in July -- no exact date set yet.

Am I the only person in America, gee, maybe the world, who gets these two guys mixed up? Your story about Favreau directing the "About a Boy" sitcom caused so many questions, becuase I thought he was already busy playing an obnoxious American in some crunchy gravel BBC thing....

I think you are the only person....I confuse loads of on-air talent -- Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney, for starters -- but I can honestly say I have never confused Jeremy Piven and Jon Favreau...

Is Grimm an example of a rare Friday success story? I'm glad it's doing well, but I kind of liked it being on Fridays.

Nope. CSI started on Friday too.....

Pookie, there are rumors about that Kiefer Sutherland" is talking to Fox about doing a new "Season" of 24. Any truth to this?

There is truth to its being considered. It would be a "limited" series. In the old days, they called them  "miniseries" ... the broadcast networks are learning lessons from cable networks -- they've had great success with "limited series" lately... If Fox kills "Touch" and brings back "24" that would be one of their smarter moves for next season...

Don't really have a question just wanted to announce how much I'm going to miss you!

And I you -- thank you for the sentiment

Do any of next year's shows look espicially promising? I've read a bunch of descriptions, but so far there's nothing I'm excited about.

I will be letting you know, based on the sizzle reels I see at the upfront presentations next week....then again, I'm the gal who loved Crystal in "Animal Practice" and, like Bob Greenblatt, thought that one would succeed... silly me.

Are always played woodenly. It probably says something about how the British see us--in addition to loud, our affect seems forced. And "posh" Benedict Cumberbatch told Letterman that he once dressed casually for a James Bond casting call, for which he was not called back. Apparently he hasn't gotten over the rejection. He actually does look like he'd make a good Bond in about 10 years ...

I don't know about that.... I think Elizabeth McGovern has fit nicely in to "Downton". And Bob Balaban was sensational, playing the American film producer inthe Brit-flick  "Gosford Park." 

Will you be doing any extra chats next week for the Upfronts? Or will your time be taken up by the fabulous parties and galas they have for TV reporters?

We're going to figure that out today... stay tuned...

Does it seem like there are more cliff hangers this season? Seems like every show I check out will end with a stinkin' cliff hanger. Are the showrunners trying to ensure that the show gets picked up so they can finish the storyline?

Theyr'e trying to make sure their finale gets a big number...

Since she is only on that other show temporarily.

not a bad idea....ditto usher...

Are we talking about the same dude?

that's what happens when you type on two hours sleep...

Didn't that last for a full month, Pookie? I thought CBS was going to give it a full-season order.

They tried to go there again this year with their Grammy walk-up show. It was fairly creepy...

Actually, there are plenty of rural roads in Prince George's County, especially southern Prince George's County, that are not that far from the District. I Iive a twenty minute drive from the Capitol and a ten minute drive from cows. I could bring up the class and racial undertones implicit in what people consider the "D.C. area" but this doesn't seem the place.

thanks for reality check...

One? Two? I need to know what Friday to bring an appropriate beverage to the office so I can toast your final words of wit and wisdom. Will miss you LOTS.

I am working through the final Friday of this month -- 31st...

What other shows have gotten the wild response at the upfronts? Any that didn't and should have?

I don't remember any other wild applause like that show got....except maybe when the Idol judges came out on stage during Fox presentation when that show was red hot -- like second season or something....

No comments on Mr. Cummerbund's appearance on Letterman last night? (I thought he was very likeable... and I liked the outfit!)

I have not yet watched it... your thoughts?

Is the next season the last?

It will depend on how well the new crop of comedies goes, won't it?

Are they going to keep the Opening and the Quincy Jones theme song? It was so good, Quenton Tarentino used it for "Kill Bill"

if they're smart, they will....

You are not alone, my friend! I have confused these two since I knew they existed. Several years ago, I remember the very confused look on my friend's face as I went on and on about how Jon Favreau & John Cusack used to be best friends and were in all those movies together, until Favs got more famous. Yeah, that was Piven (unless I have it backwards yet again).

This is so interesting! I never would have guessed those two guys could be confused...

If Xtina and CeeLow actually do come back to The Voice, I'm so outta there. Shakira and Usher blow them out of the water -- and, surprise surprise, don't make everything they say all about themselves.

Theyr'e both very good and I hope they become permanent spring judges, for example...

This was great. Has it been renewed yet, Pookie?


What is your dream crunchy gravel drama? (and I agree about Piven in Mr Selfridge. I am far more interested in every other character and storyline)

If you're talking about ones that already exist, I'd have to go with the "Emma" flick, with Jeremy Northam, Alan  Cummings, Ewan McGregory, Toni Collette, etc.... terrific cast, great script adaptation, etc.

I have mixed feeling about Randy leaving. He could be annoying but he was the last of the original judges and gave the show some identity. Minaj was the wrong choice because I don't think a singing competition would appeal much to her fan base. Singing and rap don't go together. Keith Urban was fine but Mariah Carey did not work as a judge (see Britney Spears).

And, while I'm ranting about wrecking "Idol" -- they need to get over having four judges. By the time you get to judge No. 4, they've run out of things to say. Judge 4 always sounds dumb and repetitive, and bores viewers. Three judges ought to be a law on all singing competition shows.

Re applause: what is the ratio in the audience of TWRCT, a group of hard-bitten, hard-to-impress media types, to advertisers, a group of hard-bitten, hard-to-impress people with money to spend?

TRWCT are not hard to impress when it comes to the writer/producers they adore. The dynamic is more  like  a bunch of high school girls around the hunky handsome high school  football team quarterback...

Does this mean "Community" and "The New Normal" are not long for this world?

unless something broke while I've been chatting, they're still waiting for word....

As bad as the writing has gotten on that show the writers can use "magic" as a way to explain things. Revolution on the other hand, there are no excuses for the what that show has become.

preaching to the choir....I agree with one of today's chatters that "Revolution" should dive down the camp rabbit hole and have done with it... that would be fun.... I'm out of time -- have to get back to finding out what shows are in and what are out... Will let you know when we're going to chat about new lineups next week...bye!

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

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

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