LAST TV CHAT: The Latest in TV with Lisa de Moraes

May 31, 2013

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

- Find everything Lisa de Moraes:
Lisa's Blog
- Lisa's Column
- Lisa's Chats

You will be sorely missed, your wit, humor and talent are rare in this world. Thank you for the discussions. Final question, how will Fallon do with the tonight show? He has no talent with interviews. Best of luck

He's not a good interviewer, in fact he's terrible at it. But he will succeed where O'Brien failed because Lorne Michaels is taking over "Tonight Show" when Fallon joins and he will not be afraid to change the iconic format in order to suit Fallon's strengths...NBC's mistakea, and O'Brien's downfall, was in not overhauling "Tonight" show to showcase his talents, which are considerable... He tried to become Johnny Carson, and he was no good at it... It's to NBC's credit this time that they get  now and ihave set Fallon up to succeed, not fail. That said, the show has been No. 1 for as long as it has due to its success in flyover country. Letterman is strong in large urban markets... It remains to be seen whether Fallon is a fly-over kinda guy...

Pookie - my head has finally stopped spinning over last week's Mad Men. Don & Betty hooked it up ... didn't think we'd ever see them together again. Peggy stabs her boyfriend and then he dumps her in an ambulance. I had to watch it again just to make sure I didn't miss anything the first go round, it was just that good.

That was some humdinger of an episode...

Pookie, please tell us before you go if you think Jay Leno will reappear on the late night schedule after he leaves the Tonight Show. Would he want to risk becoming a neglected stray after having been Top Dog?

I'm hoping Fox picks him up, convincing its stations to give the network the late night timeslot  -- because that would be so much fun to cover.

I was living in Alexandria when you first joined the Post. I had loved the TV Column and was worried about what would happen to it with a new writer. Yet you were so informed, funny, and snarky that it was the first thing I turned to in the Style section. And I continued reading even as I moved to Europe for five years (although your news was way ahead of when we got the shows), and then back to other cities in the U.S. When you started the chat, it became a "must attend" on Fridays. So sorry to see you go, but wishing you all the best.

I am honored to have inspired that kind of loyalty... thank you very much.

It can't be! So sorry you're leaving, but hoping you enjoy bigger and better things. We'll miss you here on the East Cost.

As I will miss the east coast... but i'll just be a few time zones away....

"I believe in you. You believe in me. You transcend the universe. God is smiling on you. Life is a waterfall and you are the ultimate rainbow." Probably the greatest comment ever by a judge in a singing type competition show....

No competition -- that was Simon savaging Nicole Scherzinger's crituque of one of the "X Factor-ettes" on the first season of that Fox singing show... Are you looking forward to the "Charlies Angels" judging panel he's lined up for this fall. Personally, I think he's stepped over that fine line between 'deft show creator catering to young demographic', and 'creepy old man'

My boys! Needed to be said. OK, since we're all feeling nostalgic - can we do a top 10? Top 10 best shows? Top 10 most craptastic shows? I need to refreshen up my Netflix queue. My fridays will not be the same...

Sounds like fun, but I'm in no shape to make lists today. You'll have to get the ball rolling...

You're going to be a judge on Idol, right?

I wish. But they're going with alums for next season, which is -- I can't believe I'm saying this -- kinda smart. It removes all the diva drama and polarizing judges that have caused loyal viewers to step away, and reminds us weekly that Idol is the only show of its kind that has produced actual stars....

Should I?

Tyler Perry. Drama. I think that says it all...

Now that you're leaving, can I steal your online bio for MY blog? -- Ellen Gray, your friend (and fan) at the Philadelphia Daily News

Hi Ellen! Sorry, but no, my bio is moving with me to Los Angeles:

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."

Our pookie is leaving; we'll miss her so / For Balzac, new "shoes" and crunchy gravel shows / But if you need snark, say three times in the mirror / "Bandersnatch Cummerbund" -- she shall appear /

you betcha!

Lisa, just wanted to say thanks for keeping me so informed and entertained for all these years. Whenever I see something on TV that makes me want to throw dinner rolls at the screen, I will think of you and your dogs. Before you go, I just have one question: what is it about "Random Harvest" that compels me to watch it every single time it is on TCM, no matter how late at night it is and how desperately I need sleep? And I don't even like the teenager he almost marries! Oh, Smithy.

Funny your mentioning it: I watched "RH" last night...and I too did not much like the Kitty character which, BTW, was not in the book...

I heard there was going to be cake. Thank you for all your excellent work, Lisa.

No cake... I've vowed to run from the Post building if I see cake....I'm not much for farewell speechifying.

Did you catch the LATE, LATE SHOW last week? They were discussing theology and atheism and sexuality. Pretty wild counter-programming but I enjoyed it. Was it "Ode to Dick Cavett" night or something?

I think you're talking about Stephen Fry? If so, my biggest regret in the non-pick-up of "Super Clyde" is that Fry was in the cast. And the late night talk show circuit level of conversation would have gone up about 20 percent had he been doing the rounds to promote the start of the show. ..

Thought I heard or read that Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies) was doing a sitcom for CBS this coming season. True or didn't get picked up?

I don't think Super Clyde got picked up, unless the name changed and the premise too... but midseason orders are still coming in in dribs and drabs...

Hey Pookie: It's been a delight sharing Fridays with you talking about TV. It's been a learning experience and I hope we're able to continue it in different setting soon. Reflecting back on it all, I'm interested to know what show were you fondest of writing about?

"Alien Autopsy"...seriously. I was morbidly fascinated by its success and it was a real window into how the industry worked...and of course there was the deep-thought thinking I got to do, trying to figure out whether millions watched because of  "alien" or  "autopsy"...

If they tossed all the suits, and made YOU head of programming, what would you do to keep the NBC elevator from plunging to subterranean levels?

Develop and order broadcast TV programs --  the kind of shows that would appeal to large swaths of the public. A lot of NBC's primetime lineup is terrific, but nich-y.

is it the judges or the singers that matter? Judges get the blame when things go bad, but isn't it bland singers that tank a season? (this is assuming the judges aren't really the ones picking the singers, producers are)

The judges are important, but that does not mean the judges have to be celebrities, or profesisonal celeb singers... The problem with casting a Nicki Minaj, for example, is that no matter how good she is at judging and no matter how many "albums" she's sold, millions of people saw her faux exorcism, which included a faux choir boy appearing with his head between the legs of a faux priest, during her infamous Grammy appearance a few years ago -- it was the year of the Dead Whitney Grammys. This is what people in the entertainment industry call "polarizing"....Now, casting Jennifer Hudson as a judge will hopefully bring back some of the show's formerly loyal viewers who gave up because they had no patience for Minaj, or Mariah "Miss Insecurity" Carey, etc....

What am I supposed to do with that extra hour and a half every Friday - work???

I'm afraid so....

It died as it lived.


Are you as disappointed as I am about the Netflix Arrested Development program? I think the original series was much better. Of course, I was younger then and so were they.

My guess is the original show also had a much larger budget, and had the stars locked in for more than one "biographical" episode apiece. It was never going to be the same beast, though I think those fans who have been disappointed in the Netflix exhumation, had hoped for more. I think it's like going back to visit your beloved childhood home -- bound to be disappointed if the neighborhood now looks shabby or is filled with strip malls... Sometimes it's best not to go back and  I think when much loved shows are over, they should stay "over."

Robert Young or Robert Taylor? Loretta Young or June Allyson? Jimmy Stewart or Jimmy Cagney? Favorite old movie you have to watch every time? Favorite movie network?

Robert Montgomery. Carole Lombard. Jimmy Stewart. Random Harvest, Lady Eve, Nothing Sacred.

Pookie, without your writing I never would have had the mental image of Coroner Munchkin battling Baby Elmo. I think that says it all. Can't thank you enough!

Yes, and how lucky have I been to have worked for 15 years at a place that would publish my silliness....I will miss it very much.

Not being a particular fan of Mariah's, I was surprised by her obvious insecurity, inability to speak comprehensibly, and constant need to pet and preen herself. She seemed so terribly uncomfortable that I'm glad she's off the show.

Me too. I hope they do line up Kelly Clarkson. I watched her in the Robin Williams comedy pilot for CBS "The Crazy Ones," and Clarkson was surprisingly great doing comedy... In fact, turns out, she's a much better comedic actress than Sarah Michelle Gellar -- who is just awful in the pilot (she plays Robin Williams' daughter) but too big a star, I'm sure, to re-cast.. sigh.

A real TV question. Is "Longmire" really as good as the critics believe? I watched the first two episodes and the slow pacing, painful clichés and even more painful acting of Lou Diamond Phillips drove me away. Am I missing something?

No. you are not.

I never thought Jerry Lewis was funny, not even back in the '50s when he was teamed with Dean Martin, and I still don't think he's funny. His flaming Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, et al., just makes him even more pathetic than he was before. That is all.

I don't think he's pathetic. It's his opinion. I disagree with him, but don't think he should be savaged for expressing his opinion. Here is HuffingtonPost's coverage of what he said recently, along with Tina Fey's non-clever response:

"In 1998, Lewis famously said that watching women do comedy "sets me back a bit" and that he has trouble with the notion of would-be mothers as comedians.

Asked Thursday if he had changed his mind at all because of performers like Melissa McCarthy and Sarah Silverman, the 87-year-old Lewis said of women performing broad comedy: "I can't see women doing that. It bothers me."

"I cannot sit and watch a lady diminish her qualities to the lowest common denominator," he said. "I just can't do that."

Lewis was in Cannes for the premiere of "Max Rose," a drama directed by Daniel Noah in which Lewis stars as an aging jazz musician.

In her 2011 memoir, "Bossypants," Tina Fey alluded to Lewis' attitudes about female comedians: "Whenever someone says to me, `Jerry Lewis says women aren't funny,' or `Christopher Hitchens says women aren't funny,' ... Do you have anything to say to that?'

"Yes," writes Fey. "We don't f------ care if you like it.""


Is that Bombshell is really good! I was listening to the soundtrack after the ended and thought someone should write a book for it and get it produced. What I missed this year (and yes, I watched) was Bombshell. The rehearsals, production numbers, the cutting back and forth between rehearsal and performance. "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" "Twentieth Century Fox Mambo" "National Pastime" and the Darryl Zanuck number Christian Borle did. It's a great show. Best of luck, Lisa, and safe travels!

I agree -- there was an interesting musical in there. But, sadly, the Marilyn Monroe curse carries on....

How did THAT happen? I'm a diehard BUFFY fan and I think she's really talented - BUT - I would never accuse her of having a light touch and the pairing with Williams seems pretty random.

My guess is it was a make-good for moving her drama "Ringer" from CBS to CW a couple years back -- CBS clearly owed her for that bait and switch... But she's brittle and awful in this -- and they have her dressed like one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey in the show, with her hair in a bun on the side of her head that looks like a large tumor, which I could not get past... it was a mess. James Wolk, on the other hand, is hilarious with Williams. If the producers are smart, they'll have Gellar do about 1 minute per episode, and focus on the Williams/Wolk relationship instead.

How about we start off with some old ones -- "My Mother the Car" and "My Favorite Martian." I still wonder how those ever got on the air. BTW -- We'll miss you. Now we have to work on Friday afternoons.

They were hits... but yes, you've got them on the right list....

Any idea where Miss McFee will be taking her talents next? Would a better choice for her role have made the difference in SMASH lasting?

I read in the trades this week she's been cast in some movie, as a damsel who gets framed for a murder or something. How she's going to pull that off, with her dead-eyes school of acting, is beyond me...

Thank you for watching so we didn't have to. You've done more to prevent mental illness in this country than anyone I know.

You mean I should be given an honorary doctorate?  ... Works for me.

I'll miss you, Lisa, even though we disagree on some things (singing shows, L&O, dog size, and sports). You've answered questions that no one else could. I hope you can shed light on this one: The US has Shark Tank, Canada has Dragon's Den, and I've seen Robert and Kevin judge both. While Robert's behavior doesn't vary, Kevin O'Leary acts way nicer on the Canadian show, but snarky & agressive on ours. I'm wondering if he's not permitted to be nasty up there, or perhaps the more outspoken of his fellow US judges influence his bad behavior? It's like he's not the same person, yet the shows have the same premise.

I have not seen the Canadian version but take you at your word. It's also my guess that he's being directed to be nice in Canada and to be snarky and agressive in the U.S....

She's quitting a music show to focus on music? OUTSTANDING.

I know....who knew she was a comic....

Hoping it's a great finale and not a Seinfeld flop! No pressure....

"Seinfeld" will always be The. Worst. Finale. Ever. I don't stand a chance of topping that one...

I think I have been watching too much of the ID channel. I am now afraid to date, get married, go to work, or pretty much go out of the house because I kow that something bad will happen to me. Why can't I stop watching it?

That's the beauty of the channel.. Reminds me of the old "Dateline" promos, when that NBC newsmag franchise was first on the air and running about three times a week. Every promo went something like this:

Watch Dateline tonight -- or your children may die.

Watch Dateline tonight -- or your grandmother may die.

Watch Dateline tonight -- or your dog may die.

Watch Dateline tonight -- or you may die.

It was brilliant -- and very effective

Thank you Lisa. Friday's just won't be as much fun. Thanks for all the laughs and the insider information. Thanks for watching shows so I didn't have to. Do you have a twitter account - do you tweet? Please do. So long for now - sob - please!!!

@LisadeTV.... hope you'll follow me there....

I have been "in conference" during your chats for what seems forever. Chris Matthews has the same reaction to listening to the President speak as I do whenever I see one of my lame questions actually in print and you answer! What will I do now for for my false glimmer of self-importance of seeing myself in print?

I hope I will have a platform in the future for continuing to chat with gentlemen and scholars such as yourselves....

My husband and I nearly fell off the sofa laughing during the season finale of The Middle when Sue goes for her driver's license yet again. Eden Sher is fabulous! What are her chances for an Emmy nod this fall? And Pookie, thanks for the memories. Hoping you find a wonderful medium to continue your wonderfully insightful, sarcastic columns on the TV world.

If ABC/Disney and Warner Bros (which produces the show) do not get behind Eden Sher in a very big way this "For Your Emmy Consideration" season, I hope they are each visited by a plague of locusts.. She deserves an Emmy -- has for years..

Goodbye Pookie- we'll miss you!!! When is Rizzoli and Isles coming back???

June 25.

Dearest Pookie, In case I don't get a chance to catch your final chat -- last Friday my Internet connection was down for half the day, and reconnected just barely in time for your chat! -- I wanted to post early to let you to know how much I've enjoyed, and will miss, your reporting and the online chats over the past several years. Through you I've learned so much about the business of the TV biz, including how to look skeptically at network and advertiser hogwash. I coined "Bandersnatch Cummerbund" out of a fit of half-exhaustion -- and half-pique, when the 21st-century Sherlock actor (whose name I couldn't quite recall because he wasn't all that famous yet) mouthed off so ungraciously about "Downton Abbey." My greatest concern occurred when you got into trouble with the Poynter Institute for repeating "Bandersnatch Cummerbund," which I hope didn't permanently harm your reputation. In addition, I want to thank you for every time you've referred to one of my questions or comments as being from "a serious student of television," because you've inflated my ego -- and let's face it, we all need a little of that from time to time. Again, effusive thanks. Hugs to Vanderbilt and Winkie. P.S. Would you please post links to where we can find your subsequent work, as well as a forwarding email address should we wish to contact you.

As I recall, the various web sites and publications that nicked me for "getting BC's name wrong" were informed, by various people  in comments areas, that it was a nickname and that's what I do in the column (Baby Elmo, etc). Most of them corrected themselves or expunged their original postin.g. It was a lot of fun, actually.  Same happened to me once when someone at a web site noticed I'd called Ryan Seacrest "Seabiscuit" on second and all subsequent references and wrote about it as being evidence of the lousy copy desk at the Post, because they hadn't caught the error. Of course, people in their comments section explained patiently that it was my nickname for Seacrest and I'd been doing it for years in my Idol recaps, and that tsk-tsk post was expunged too. These things happen from time to time, and I've gotten a kick out of it. To repeat myself: how lucky am I to have worked for a place that lets me give people I cover silly nicknames...

Why has NBC never been able to sustain a news magazine show to rival "60 Minutes" or even "20/20"?

"Dateline" was HUGE for a while, but it turned into a skeeve-fest and that's why NBC tried to launch "Rock Center." But it proved too hard in this news environment -- and with NBC having so few viewers coming to its primetime, except for "The Voice" and football.

We'll miss you.

I'm sure I'll tweet about it when the time comes....thanks for asking.

I made my husband watch the Liberace movie with me. It was so disappointing. Oddly boring and difficult to follow. In the middle of watching it, I googled the Matt Damon character's name and found out what a sketchy character he is. He's currently in jail!

I too found it to be not all that.....

One question: great scenario chewing Star Trek villain or greatest scenario chewing Star Trek villain of all time?

One of the top 5 scenario chewing Star Trek villians ever, for sure...

Pookie, Were you nauseated at the thought of Katie Couric admitting that she once had a crush on Matt Lauer. I bet you were. You see, that is why you can't leave me.

I've been so busy I did not hear this. Did she really? ick, ick, ick!

Bummer to lose you, but I hope that whatever you do next is wonderful and fulfilling in its own way. Thanks for giving us much to enjoy over the years. Any new websites where we can read you? EMMY QUESTION: Does Tatiana Maslany, who plays six different characters on BBC America's "Orphan Black," have a chance in heck to get an Emmy nomination, or is BBC America enough of a deterrent from that happening? She really does deserve a nomination.

It's one heck of a role and she deserves some kind of trophy -- maybe the Nobel Peace Prize. or  a Peabody.... I think we should focus our positive thought thinking on a Golden Globe...doled out by Hollywood Foreign Press Association... she stands a better chance at that derby...

It might have to do with class considerations in Canada. Abusing those beneath you may be seen as bad form; here it's seen as training for the rough and tumble of entrepreneurship.

And Canadians are just nicer...

Did anyone scold you for not putting quotation marks around the word "documentary" in your recent tweet about the Animal Planet mermaid show?

it's in quotes in the in the column and let's not lose sight of the fact its about -- mermaids!

Well, she killed a whole TV show (or was certainly an accomplice). Maybe she can draw on personal experience.


Hi Pookie! I have enjoyed reading your columns! I was raised in Japan (but now reside in DC area) and I was surprised all these wacky Japanese TV programs didn't ruin you! :) I still go back there but they have become unwatchable IMO (except TV commercials). Arigato and good luck!

arigato gozaimasu (which is all I remember from the intensive Japanese lessons I took while living there -- except for the sentence in which I can, in flawless Japanese, tell someone they have committed a big rudeness -- which would be totally inappropriate here.)

Pookie, don't you think it's time for NBC to "refresh" this tired franchise with something new? OR at least get a new exec producer since, Lorne will be dealing with Fallon? Why does SNL continue to get a pass when it sucks so bad?

When "SNL" is pulling in better numbers than anything on broadcast TV in primetime that night? Nope!

Hmmm. Let's see, she can't do dramatic soap opera (Ringer) and now you're telling us she can't do comedy. Seriously, what's left? How long can she let Buffy serve as the cruise control for her acting career?

"The Crazy Ones" could be her career killer....

How about somebody get McPhee a show on ID as the host of a series about show-killers? Or would the old school casting vote go to Ted McGinley? Wait a minute, am I the only one who just noticed that both showkillers have last names that begin with "Mc"? I may have just hit upon my thesis for my Ph.D in Television Studies.

you're graduate with honors....

Do you think you'll run into Seth MacFarlane (I am a huge fan, too).

I'm counting the days... big fan...

Pookie, love the idea that they are adding a new lead to play Charlie's long lost love child who moves in with Walden and Allen. Keeping in mind that this chick is supposed to be Charlie's kid, I'm picturing someone sarcastic and slightly edgy for the part. Have you heard any actresses they are going for or do you have anyone in mind that would be a good fit?

I have not, but she needs to be younger than  a teen -- which is what I was hearing -- because that would just be creepy if she moves in with Ashton Kutcher... SHe needs to be about 6 and precocious

Pookie: Farewell, it has been a pleasure. From the sublime to the ridiculous: I am all in favor of Jon Cryer drawing an honest wage and I love Conchata Farrell, but how long can the descicated cicada husk that is Two and a Half Men limp on before someone puts it out of its misery? Also, what is the over/under on the number of creepy sexualized misunderstandings between the Cryer character and his long-lost niece in next season's primiere?

ick! And this descicated cicada husk will survive as long as it's helping CBS win Thursday nights -- the most important night of TV, advertising wise... CBS enjoyed something like a 30 percent boost in ratings in the timeslot with the show this past season. It's around for a while, which is why they're dumping Angus "Don't Watch This Filth" Jones and bringing in fresh blood...

.. every time it comes on Cable?. Can you explain THAT one? Goodbye dearest Pookie.

No. I actually cannot explain that one...

Just like with many things, people only remember the good skits on SNL from years past, not the entire shows. Nothing is wrong with it, and new blood with new ideas is never a bad thing. That is what the show is designed to do!

yup... but election years are still the best.

Lisa, have you done any looking back over how the business (and when I say the business, I mean the industry) has changed in your time at the Post? It seems to me that there's more good stuff as well as more bad stuff on TV. The networks act as though they, and/or advertisers, have the attention span of a mayfly on Jolt, and have abandoned both patience and judgment. Which puts me in mind of William Goldman's Law: Nobody knows anything. So maybe nothing's changed. Except for how much we'll miss you.

Thank you! And this is a terrific time for TV, as you say -- loads of good stuff, and also loads of bad, says the woman who binged on Pawn Stars over the holiday weekend... There, I said it.

I wouldn't be surprised if reality show stars were given that direction. Gordon Ramsey is MUCH nicer in the British version of Kitchen Nightmares than he is in the US. MUCH, MUCH nicer.

I wonder if that will continue to be the case once Fox's reality TV evil genius -- evil in the very best possible sense of the word -- Mike Darnell is stepping down.. Can't wait to see who they get to replace him...

I'll watch! It would have to be better than this season's nonsense, what with Minaj being direct to the point of cruelty, Mimi being incomprehensible (but not nearly as entertaining as the incomprehensible Paula used to be) and Keith being bland.

I too am looking forward to next season with alums in the judge panel, if they can pull it off..

submitted this last week, but too late. just wanted to take this opportunity to do a few things: confess that I am maybe the only person that liked Karen as Marilyn over Ivy. Ivy was the obv choice and didn't have any of the naivety that Marilyn had. I actually find both of them horrible actresses overall, but talk about a moot point. Nashville is so campy and awesome, but I felt like they tried to resolve everything in this one season in case they weren't renewed. and finally, I read your bio every week and not once has it failed to make me giggle just as loudly as I did the first time I read it. you will be sorely missed. I may sell my television this weekend.

McPhee is skinny and brittle and has dead eyes when she acts. How can she play Marilyn?

First, if they go with a kid, her name better be Charlie. Nice homage. Second, they need to get the cute little kid from one of the cancelled shows from this season - either the one from Ben & Kate or the one from The Really Long Show Name That Has The Woman From Scrubs.

The "Ben & Kate" Kid would be perfect!

What's the problem? She kind of the anti-Lohan: child star, professional reputation, no scandals, hard worker.

She can't do all.

Do they fake the disagreements between the show "stars"?

I hope so....

have been watching BW epis of Bewitched on ME TV, and find I'm enjoying seeing the guest stars, people who went on to later fame of some sort. It has become a sport of sorts.

Who's the most surprising guest you've seen? Someone Helen Mirren-esque?

I am sad to see you go! But wow, Alec Baldwin is just destroyed. Check out his tweets about you this morning?

Yes, I saw his tweets...

Does this mean you won't be on Tony Kornheiser anymore also?

I hope not. I love love love talking TV with Tony. Start your letter writing campaign now...

Best one was Tom Hanks as Michael J. Fox's Crazy Uncle on "Family Ties"

that was brilliant...

My favorite recent discovery is that the guy who plays The Most Interesting Man in the World in those Corona commercials was a Red Shirt on the original Star Trek-- and survived!

See, I've actually learned something today -- as usual, these chats are highly educational... thank you for that.

Not quite Dame Helen, but Richard Dreyfuss made an appearance. Lots of TV folks: Billy Mumy, Bill Daly, June Lockhart, Will Geer.

good list...

I respectfully disagree with your assessment that SMG can't do comedy. Buffy was an amalgam of many genres (horror, coming of age drama, romance, etc.), and comedy was certainly part of it. Many episodes were hilarious, and she certainly held her own with the others. Her romance with Spike, her portrayal of Faith practicing Buffy's mannerisms, "You play poker for kittens???" Much of her work involved having to deadpan around the lunacy, but she was pretty darned funny in her own right, IMO.

Wait until you see her in "The Crazy Ones." ... it's painful.

Hey Pookie: You've reached 600 currently online for what WaPo has advertised here as your LAST TV CHAT. Those are darn impressive numbers for someone who covered TV numbers and ratings for a living!

You like me! You really....oh, never mind... (but thanks for the numbers FYI...just goes to show you how much people like watching TV, and talking about it, and reading about it.)

Saw an episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" on ME TV recently, in which an exasperatingly lazy and incompetent new hire prompts Mary to work herself to a frazzle to cover for the newbie. In the final scene of the episode, Mary lashes out (in absentia) at the character, with a really long riff on the term "Feeb," with every imaginable variation on the word, and then some. I was really surprised at such political incorrectness (since Mary Richards was the anti-Archie Bunker), as I doubt it would be considered permissible today on network TV. What do you think?

I think it would fit right in to Chuck Lorre's wheelhouse...

Until now, I wanted Alec Baldwin to be my next husband. Oh, well.... He's kinda low hanging fruit though..... You are marvelous

I'm a big Baldwin fan and it's an honor to be called America's worst writer by such a famous celebrity.

I more than believe your assessment of the new show, but I don't understand why a followup to BUFFY is so tough. She was great in that and in CRUEL INTENTIONS. Is it a personality thing or a "that's show biz"?

Robert Oscbourne explained it brilliantly on an intro to "Random Harvest"  -- which Greer Garson did after "Mrs. Minniver" -- he talked about how tought it was, right after a great performance, to follow it with another great performance and how few actors have been able to accomplish that.. and that if you dont follow a great run with another great run, it can be a career killer...

Any chance that "Call the Midwife" will pick up some Emmy nominations? Although set in decidedly un-rural late '50s East London, it still qualifies as "crunchy gravel" in terms of being a period drama.

I think it will get lost in the shuffle.. and think PBS  )and NBC) will throw loads of money at Downton Emmy ads... so don't hold your breath

Tom Hanks was already well-known from Bosom Buddies, which predated Family Ties. It wasn't on the air that long, but he made a name as a comedic actor that he parlayed into film. Peter Scolari didn't do so well. Personally, when I watch Me.TV, I'm reminded of how much I learned from Emergency! Much as I'd like to say TV should be Art, I was benefited by the educational/propaganda from the Los Angeles Dept. of Public Safety. We could use something similar today.

thanks for the TOm Hanks chronology.

But on "Glee" it would be a Very Special Episode about tolerance for the intellectually challenged.

that too...

Many episodes of "Twilight Zone."

Including William Shatner...

Batman's "Special Guest Villains" are also fun for watching cool people on TV, like Miss Tallulah Bankhead. They also had a recurring bit where someone famous would pop his head out of a window while Batman and Robin were climing up the building. One that come to mind offhand was Sammy Davis, Jr. He just . . . showed up for no apparent reason.

wonderful campy show..

Did you ever catch Holland Taylor as Gov. Ann Richards in her one-act Show? Now that woman is an actress!

No, I did not and now I'm sorry...

Along with Katherine McPhee, is there anyone in Hollywood who should be given the Piano-Dropping Treatment?

No one for whom it would be so appropriate...

She was hilarious on Buffy. But in that case she was bringing the funny in the middle of a drama-like situation. Which reminds me of how funny Aaron Sorkin's scripts are, except of course for the places in "Studio 60" which are supposed to be about a hilarious sketch comedy show. Maybe the two of them need to work together.

I'm not rising to that bait. I'm the one journalist who actually likes "Newsroom."

Not the OP, but I saw an epi guest-starring Spring Byington, many years after "December Bride."

no! Really? that's kind of sad..

You said "McPhee is skinny and brittle and has dead eyes when she acts." Well, point of similarity in that Marilyn Monroe is dead. Also Monroe had that overbleached blonde hair that frequently has that brittle texture. And anyway I don't think McPhee acts.

Funny story: one of my husband's relatives (by marriage) was Marilyn Monroe's doctor -- or one of them, anyway...

How about Crystal the monkey as Alan's long lost niece?

golly I would SO watch that...

most surprising guest -Richard Dreyfuss as a teen warlock with a crush on Samantha. Runner up the actress who played Marcia on Brady B who did a good job of being Endora disguised as a kid trick n treating in a gypsy costume.

Richard Dreyfus seems to be the one everyone remembers

She nailed the comic bits in Buffy. Rewatch Hush and her silent sugggestion on how to kill the bad guys -- out of context not suitable for a family newspaper.

okay, okay. Apprently she used to be able to do comedy in a'll see what I mean when this show debuts...

You are gonna be missed, Any possibility of appearing on TK`s future radio podcasts ? I know he enjoys having you as guest.

hope so.

If it's Charlie's kid, is love the right adjective?

point taken...

Caught a bit of that new office "reality" show "Does Someone Have to Go?" last night. It's astoundingly awful. It just made me resolved never to do business with the participating companies. What a train wreck. Also, who came up with that as the name of a show?!

yes, it is dreadful and mean spirited and seems out of step with the times...

Pookie, I have to be traveling today, so I'll miss the chat. I've enjoyed them every week, much more than I've ever enjoyed any of the television shows they discussed. So - thanks for the memories. And you look fabulous, I must say.

I'm out of time and I want to acknowledge all the many people who have sent in such lovely non-questions on today's chat. So I'm going to post some of them now, without responses, lest I get all treacly and maudlin.. Thank you all  for years of lively chatting.I have enjoyed every week of it. best, Lisa

But I'm sad this is the final Friday chat. Best wishes to you, your family, Winkie and Vandy -- and thank you for "crunchy gravel drama" and "Bandersnatch Cummerbund".

Pookie, we'll miss you so! Thank you for so generously sharing your talents and your Fridays with us! Will you retain custody of the @lisadetv twitter handle?

We really will. *sniffle*

Lisa, thank you for how fun you have made Fridays. I have very much enjoyed these chats, and Fridays are just not going to be the same anymore. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and hope that I get to read more of your work, wherever you end up. The only thing that makes this ok is that your move means your personal life will be better. I will try to remind myself of that next week, when my afternoon feels empty without this chat. Good luck, and thanks for a lot of laughs Pookie.

Please tell me I'm dreaming and you're not, in fact, going away! Stay in touch ok??

Lisa, we'll miss you. I want to wish you happiness and good luck in the future. Your column has been fun to read. Why in heaven's name are they keeping that obnoxious Cox Cable guy in the commercials? He's clueless and basically kind of arrogant and nasty. I'm glad he gets his comeuppance by falling in the hole in the latest one, but I just can't stand him--or his "recorder hoarder" parents. If I were his wife & kids, I'd move out.

Divine Ms. deM: Longtime reader, occasional poster just saying thanks for all the chats, the snark and great TV insider info. You (and the chat) will be missed.

Not a question - just a thank you. Good luck in your future wherever it may take you.

I'll really miss you. Your sparkling insight and wit livened my Fridays. Good luck in all your endeavors!

My favorite women in and of television. All are unique, all are fun to spend years with - and now, all have be canceled. Gone but not forgotten, and forever missed. Thank you, Ms. de Moraes.

I just wanted to say thank you for years of Friday afternoon fun. I'll miss your blunt and snarky take on the TV industry in your columns, and your fast-paced and open interactions with your chat audience. Please let us know where to find you going forward!

Your snarky wit will be truly missed. You are one of my favorite writers ever! This is a huge fail on the part of the WaPo. Please let us know your future plans. Will you still do your chats with Mr. Tony? Best of luck!! The WaPo and the chats won't be the same without you.

I've appreciated your criticism over the years, both the straight criticism and the occasional (frequent?) biting one-liners. You and Desson Thompson have been two of my favorite Post critics (mostly because Dirda and Kennecott are too high brow for me to understand - I can appreciate that they're good). Good luck with whatever comes next.

I'm sure you'll get a lot of these today. And I know you'll only be able to respond to a representative few. But as someone in media (outside DC) I want to thank you for your reporting on our business. Giving readers and consumers an insight into what the biz really is about. And making them (and folks like me) get a chuckle and approving "Amen" nods on your truthful observations of media. I'll be looking to see where in the blogsphere you turn up so I can continue to follow your work. And while no one can fill your shoes, I hope the Post finds someone to replace you who can report on the media business with accuracy, healthy skepticism and a sense of what's truly important. God Speed

It's a good thing I had some warning, because I think I am just starting to come to terms with your departure. Will the Post acknowledge it in any way, and/or let us know what/who will come next? I would hate to think that there is going to be a huge void left where the snark used to be. Thanks for making me snort with derisive laughter all these years. If you can tell us where you're going next, please do!

Very sorry that you're leaving! But before you go, I wanted to make sure I mentioned that I was in England last month and visited the Coleridge Cottage. Turns out that he dropped out of college and joined the Royal Dragoons under the name Comberbache. Wonder if Benedict's relatives took the name from that?

" the saddest of these is, this is Lisa's last chat." I really don't have a question or comment that fits this occasion, so I will just throw in a Wodehouse quote, re Galahad Threepwood: "He rose, on steppingstones of dead whiskys and soda, to a higher self."

Congrats on the special shout-out on your last day! :->

I don't have a question, just a sad farewell to the person that Fridays special! I realized how much I had gotten from your funny observations and comments, when I was reading a story on someone having bought new "shoes" and realized that it was really shoes that the person was buying. Not "shoes"!! I will miss you and hope to find your columns somewhere else. It's a sad day...

Hey, thanks. You did a really great job, and I'm going to miss you. Good luck.

We will love you always, Pookie! Have a good life with your family in LA. And take this summer to travel somewhere you haven't been before.

After all, tomorrow is another day

Hi, Lisa. I know hundreds if not thousands of your fans are already flooding your inbox with tributes, so let me ask a more practical question. Is there some place we can keep up with your incisive commentary after (sob) you leave the Post? Of course, there's no substitute for these chats, but even a crumb of your wit would be wonderful. And thanks for your wonderful work!

Reading your witty chats has been a hugely informative and entertaining part of my Fridays for years. I will miss you!

I thought we were just bidding fond farewell to you, Pookie, but the headline says "Last TV Chat." Did they Wa Po decide that no one watches regular TV anymore so they can ignore us dwindling nation of viewers?

and it's wreaking havoc with my reception, but I don't care. Fridays have been a blast, Lisa - thanks!

that I've always enjoyed these chats and will miss your blog and chats. No need to see this published, just wanted Ms. de Moraes to know one more reader in Richmond, VA wishes her well.

Just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed your column and chats. Can you tell us where to find you after this week? All best wishes to you.

Really going to miss you! Is there any chance you might wind up writing for the same website that now hosts TV Tattle and Alan Sepinwall? Best wishes to you -- you've been one of the best things about the Post in the past years!

Can't bear that this is the last chat. Have stocked up on lots of wine & munchies. Cheers & good luck in your new endeavors'. Miss you already.

I think you should only post notes that say how we are all weeping over your imminent departure. I don't want to be rude, but what possible kind of life can you have without us? It is an absolute fact that ours without you will be joyless. How can we watch TV ever again? What happens when we make up fabulous celebrity names and have no one to tell? What happens when we come up with clever new TV sitcom ideas? What happens when they bring back Rules of Engagement! To whom shall we complain? I will tell you my brother visited last weekend it is a true fact that family is NOT all it's cracked up to be. When yours drives you crazy, we will still be here waiting....

All the so hope that you will join (or rejoin) an organization which appreciates your unusual and creative talent to inform. Only chat I've ever read or, for that matter, contributed a comment. Thank you!

I;ve never posted; just read the transcripts. You will be missed!

Hate to lose you at the Post - but, since I'm in Manhattan Beach, I'm sure we'll run into each other all the time. And I hope you still call Mr. Tony. You are the best!

Pookie, you are my favorite part of reading the Washington Post. I'm going to miss your chats and your wit. Best to you and yours in LA!

Pookie, you are my favorite part of reading the Washington Post. I'm going to miss your chats and your wit. Best to you and yours in LA!

Pookie, I just wanted to thank you for all the chats and snark, and wish you the best whereever you go. Hope you can leave a link for us to follow you to!

Please come back online from Cali.

I'm gonna miss you Pookie! Will WaPo still have a TV column? Also why did I think you already lived in LA?

Oh Pookie. That headline made me sad. "LAST TV CHAT: The Latest in TV with Lisa de Moraes." I'm hoping we don't get all maudlin on you today. :-(

I'm really going to miss you. I don't watch as much TV as I used to because the only "reality TV" I watch is SYTYCD, but I have really enjoyed these chats as a fun way to keep up with modern culture. You have helped me maintain a veneer of cultural relevance, and for that I thank you! Good luck!

I will miss our Fridays together. You've made me laugh on many occasions. Good luck Lisa.

No question -- I just wanted to thank you for your chats and columns. I will miss you, especially when you're chatting.

We will all miss you desperately. Just like Newhart, your finale is one of the best ... and hurts.

Are you sure the Post knows what it's doing?

We'll miss you.

Pookie are you planning on letting us know where you'll end up - or do we speculate? Hollywood Reporter, LA Times, NBC VP in charge of SitCom Development

...not to be thinking about series finales. So in the spirit of relatively long ago TV, Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen. We'll miss you, Pookie! (I'm assuming that most Serious Students of Television will recognize that episode title. Or I'm just showing my age.)

For the movie "Lisa de Moraes; The WAPO Years", who will play the title role?

Why must you leave us? Why? Why!!? Okay then. Thanks for all the years of fun and best of luck in La-La land!

Pookie, how can we follow your amazing wit and snark after today? Do you have another blog set up? How will I go on without you?

Pookie! Pookie! Come back!

I will miss these chats so much. Any plans to have your own blog? Or write a book? I think you could write a great, grisly murder mystery set in the TV world!

Hope you find that you actually like your husband when you get to live with him. Good luck and thanks.

Be prepared to deal with people spoiling shows on facebook & twitter. But also be sure to enjoy God's gifts to mankind In-N-Out and Fish Tacos

Having long tired of the banality of the Seven Dirty Words, I found that yelling "Oh, Cumberbatch" really gets people's attention. They don't know what it means but they think it must be really bad. This may be your legacy, Pookie.

Lisa, p-l-e-a-s-e tell us how we can follow whatever you cover from now on. You are one of the few bright spots about the Post nowadays, and we're sorry to leave you. (I hope it was nothing I've done.)

Pookie, I will miss your humor and your chats. Can we continue to follow your work? Are you allowed to tell us what's next for you?

If Keen Eddie makes a comeback, will you return to write about it? Geez, I loved that show.

It's a bittersweet day in my house Lisa (sniff, sniff). Have you decided whether or not you'll blog/chat on your own? I'd love to follow you wherever you go. Be safe and enjoy the left coast and your hubby.

We'll miss you. Any chance we'll be able to chat with you from the left coast?

did you make Jack mad on your last day as a tiny gift to us?! I saw his tweet this morning ... he's mad at you, Pookie.

Any well known TV people that would impress all of us chatters contacted you to wish you well?

But we'll always have Paris.

Love the Post chats and love your chats the best. Any idea when your new career path goes public?

Take care and good luck. Will greatly miss your chats.

I will go. Where can we next tune in for the Lisa and Winkie Show? Seriously, if we want to continue reading your stuff, where should we look?

Lisa, I have greatly enjoyed reading your columns and chats over the last who knows how many years. I will dearly miss the frequent references to an actor named Benedict Cumberbatch (way before he become a known quantity too). From one lover of British gravel drama to another, cheers and CRUNCH.

When will you be a guest on Letterman? We will miss you so.

The chat kind of feels like the last episode of MASH today. All the goodbyes and wondering what comes next. At least you had the chance to say goodbye the right way. What was you favorite TV show final episode?

But I read your stuff and the chat, so it's as if I do. Who will keep me linked in to pop culture now? So long and thanks for all the fish.

Will miss you, Lisa....this chat got me through many a slow Friday at work, and made my coworkers wonder why I was laughing so hard. Best wishes.

This can't be The End -- please say we can chat with you somewhere else! Thanks for so many good times on Fridays, you will be greatly missed. Oh, Smithy!

First, you look lovely today, as usual, Pookie. I don't want to say goodbye, so I won't. Suffice it to say that you've taken one of my greatest pleasures in life - television - and enhanced my enjoyment exponentially. Sharing these Friday conversations with you has been a bright point that I will carry with me always. I guess the highest honor I can share is that, in third party conversations about TV, when I reference things we've discussed in the chats, I refer to the source of my information as "I was just discussing this with a friend the other day." Thank you for that.

Can't you just host a chat on Fridays from your own website? I think they have internet in CA? (p.s. I'll miss you).

Are you going to write a tell-all book about all the things you've seen in the biz? Some real dirt? I would love to read that!! I will miss you.

No question, just wanted to wish you well and let you know that you'll be missed. Have enjoyed your chats as a lurker and you have been my biggest source of the inside scoop for all things television. Good luck and godspeed.

Best wishes for the future, I have greatly enjoyed your columns.

Is it too late to say don't go?

Perhaps Tom Shales will wake up in an hour from now and realize he's had a dream in which he's a female TV columnist with two small dogs as his faithful friends.

Does anyone know of a support group I can contact once Pookie leaves - not sure how I'm going to cope

Ugh, Twitter. I just can't. Can we follow you on Facebook or a blog or something?

I could never describe what I was until I saw you use the phrase "student of television." Thank you, Lisa!

Where to? Let's stay in touch, okay? Who else will call us Pookie?

Where to? Let's stay in touch, okay? Who else will call us Pookie?

Lisa, Thank you for the snark and the wit and for making us TV lovers feel a part of something greater than ourselves. I'll miss you, Pookie. Happy happy trails!

you're not going to make the big announcement at the end of the chat we just have to wait for the tweet

My tire went out and I had to go to Firestone with No WiFi and I almost missed saying Goodbye to you. I've loved the chats, loved the snark, loved the deriding of TV Programmers who apparently used demented monkeys to choose programs like "Partners", "Work It", and "Beauty and the Beast" for their networks. My only regret is with the changing of the Paradigm (please consult spelling Bee Kid on that one) with downloaded progrmas and items, you won't be there with us. May the TV Gods bless you in LA with your family and may we find wherever venue you show up next. Just shine the Pookie Signal on the night sky. <3

Can we nominate you for one of those MacArthur "genius" awards? If Bill Irwin and Anna Deveare Smith could win them, so should you, Pookie!

"Thank you for being a friend / We've traveled down the road and back again / Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant"

Hi, Lisa, it's your trusty self-appointed intern here. I want to thank you for the years of joy you have brought upon me. So much so that I wound up taking a TV job and am now living my dreams. I have you to thank for that!!! Love you, mean it!

Pookie, when is "My Boys" going to come back?

The is is much better than Seinfeld or The Sopranos or Lost. You are venturing into Mary Tyler Moore Show territory! But you have a ways to go before the best one ever: "Newhart" (unless you're actually in bed with Bob Newhart)

Lisa: longtime reader - first time e-mailer. Thanks for the memories!

You don't wanna go do you Pooks? How long can we keep you here? Chain yourself to that desk!

....and its 49 minutes since the end of the chat. Think of it as one last hug, Pookie!

I just need a little sympathy. I work with 600 people. I am the only contractor. Everyone got a Blizzard but me because they don't want me to think i am an actual employee. Seriously. Thank you for making me feel like I always belong:)

You are the best, but also the people who write into you with questions are wonderful and smart too, because you make us be. I will forever remember the obituary one reader wrote for Flower (?) Meerkat. Thank you for making me smarter and increasing my vocabulary.

I hope it's not too late. Stay here and you and your family can move into my house. My son loves dogs. I haven't asked my wife's permission yet, but you both watch a lot of TV, so she shouldn't mind.

Who else can I find who has the same weird sense of humor that I do? Can I just go with you? <sniff>

You'll be replacing the guy at FOX that stepped down today!

You stay in touch now, you here? If Keen Eddie or My Boys ever makes it back on the air you must be the one to report on it!

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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