Friday, May 11, 2007

FIrst Word from the TV Net upfront presentations

Editor's Note: First out of the shoot, NBC. With a few disappointments (For ME, at any rate).

NBC Orders Five Dramas for Next Season
NBC took the first steps toward rebuilding its prime-time schedule yesterday by ordering five new hours of drama programs, which will be part of the fall schedule the network plans to announce to advertisers on Monday.

NBC may not complete its schedule until late this weekend, but executives in charge of the series that have won places on the schedule were notified yesterday.

The network has not yet made decisions on two long-running hits — “Law & Order” and its spinoff, “Criminal Intent” — but it has decided on some other series that had been considered in danger of cancellation. “Friday Night Lights,” which was among the best-reviewed shows of this season, though not a ratings success, will be renewed. So will the drama “Vegas,” which is adding Tom Selleck to its cast. Editor's Note: I like Selleck; for a Republican, he's kinda hot. But what is it with this show? Why was it EVER on, much less is it STILL on?

But NBC will cancel the dramas “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “The Black Donnellys” and “Crossing Jordan.” Editor's Note: In order - SOBWOEWAIL, good riddance, and sniffle. (That last one is not a great show, but I've come to really enjoy the people and their interplay). It also is likely to pass up another year of the comedy “Scrubs,” which has become prohibitively expensive.

NBC will fill many of the holes with the new dramas. The network has yet to order any new comedies, though it probably will add one of three potential entries by Monday.

The drama that is certain to get the most instant recognition is “Bionic Woman,” a 21st-century remake of the 1970s series. This one stars Michelle Ryan as an accident victim remade with bionic parts who is embroiled in a secret government project, which also includes a previous bionic prototype, played by Katee Sackhoff. The series was once thought to be in trouble, but the pilot is now getting some of the strongest favorable reviews inside NBC. Editor's Note: So is Sackhoff not coming back to Battlestar, or is she going to be in both shows? (And if she has DIED in Battlestar, don't tell me. I will catch up this summer, I PROMISE).

NBC will have another science-fiction-based series in “Journeyman,” which stars Kevin McKidd (of “Rome”) as a happily married journalist in San Francisco who begins to travel back in time for reasons he cannot understand. Editor's Note: Wouldn't we be more worried if he DID understand?

A third series with sci-fi elements is “Chuck,” in which a young computer whiz, played by Zachary Levi, becomes a reluctant government agent after information from a supercomputer is downloaded into his brain. Editor's Note: Which presumes there is actually information in any government computers?

A new police drama called “Life” will star Damian Lewis, who had a lead role in HBO’s “Band of Brothers,” as a former police detective who returns to his old job after winning a huge cash settlement for a wrongful conviction for murder that sent him to prison for 12 years. Adam Arkin, once of “Chicago Hope,” and Robin Weigert of “Deadwood” are also in the cast.

The final new drama is “Lipstick Jungle,” based on the book by Candace Bushnell, whose previous book turned into the HBO hit “Sex and the City.” This show will cover similar territory, covering the lives of a group of successful professional women in New York. It stars Brooke Shields, Lindsay Price and Kim Raver, who most recently starred as Jack Bauer’s girlfriend in “24.” Editor's Note:'s like "LIFETIMEFORWOMEN" except with more explicit sex and the women wear more makeup. Yawn.... (now show a lumpy dweeblady with a really cute DOG, and THEN we've got a SHOW!)

Among the shows already renewed for next season are the comedies “The Office,” “Earl” and “30 Rock,” and the dramas “E.R.,” “Heroes,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Medium” and the game show “Deal or No Deal.”

The final decision on the other “Law & Order” series may not be made until next week, an NBC executive said.

OddBobbing on a Friday

Editor's Note: What would Friday be without OddBob?

Ok....maybe it's best not to ponder that TOO much. And hey, it beats thinking for ourSELVES, right?!

With the completion of the third season of Battlestar Galactica on the Sci-Fi network, there are all kinds of speculation about who is or is not a Cylon.

The Top 10 Signs Your Best Friend is a Cylon
10> You were willing to accept the fact that she was one of a set of triplets. But dodecaheptuplets is a bit hard to swallow.
Editor's note: And even HARDER to SAY!
9> You suggest getting juiced. You grab a few beers, he sticks his toe into an electrical outlet.
8> You notice that his deodorant smells just like WD-40.
7> He's so nice and so agreeable. I mean, all this "by your command" stuff.
6> Programming in C gets him horny, and not in a normal nerdboy kinda way; we're talkin' full on "evil alien robot overlord horny enough to strupp the entire universe up the black hole without lube" if you know what I mean.
5> After an unexpected half-hour long monologue about God and love, he cleans and defragments your hard drive with a sternly worded threat.
4> The girlfriend is well-lubricated in more ways than one.
3> Her dateless Friday night: vanilla candles, a personal massager, and a DVD of "2001".
2> She has pretty much everything in the house chromed because it "reminds her of dad".
and the Number 1 Sign Your Best Friend is a Cylon...
1> He has a disturbing tendency to open fire on every Dodge Viper he sees.
Editor's Note: Well now THAT's just good taste.
The Top 8 Signs That a "Chick Flick" Is in Trouble
8> Explosive chase scenes outnumber heroic cancer victims.
7> Focus is so soft you can't even tell what's going on.
6> The heroine's idea of getting even is serving dinner five minutes late.
5> The ingenue is played by Martina Navratilova.
4> Lifetime wants no part of the movie rights.
3> Well, the director had a... *ahem*... different concept of "chick flick."
2> Just not enough plot in "Thelma & Louise 2: Ride to the Bottom."
and the Number 1 Sign That a "Chick Flick" Is in Trouble...
1> Males 18-35 caught in test screening bear traps fail to gnaw off their limbs to escape.
Editor's Note: Or dweebs. Or ME!
Happy dweebweekend, dweebpals!

Yo Ho HOoooooooooo!!!!!!

Editor's Note: Good news passed along from dweebpal Joel. (Although he has do I.... about this upcoming third installment given Orlandobaby's quotes about the weird plot).

Depp says he is open to fourth "Pirates" movie

If all goes right, "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor Johnny Depp might soon be singing "Yo ho ho, give me a fourth bottle of rum."

The star of the upcoming film, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," told Entertainment Weekly magazine in an issue hitting newsstands on Friday that he is open to making a fourth film in the blockbuster series, which has earned more than $1.7 billion at worldwide box offices.

"As long as you're doing it for the right reasons, why not?" Depp told the magazine. "If we came up with a story where we could explore something absurd or funny or totally insane."

In the movies, Depp plays a buccaneer known as Captain Jack Sparrow, distinguished as much for his swishy hips and love of adventure as his pirating skills. The 43-year-old actor's portrayal of wildly funny Sparrow has been credited with much of the franchise's popularity. Editor's Note: Well, and the other people aren't bad to look at EITHER.

The first film in the series, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," was a surprise hit with audiences and critics in summer 2003, and last year "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" turned in blockbuster results despite mixed reviews for too many plot twists.

"At World's End" debuts on May 25 and anticipation is running high. But the stars, including Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, are remaining mostly mum when asked to explain the plot of the third film.

"Someone asked me, 'So tell us about your character's arc in the third movie,"' Bloom told Entertainment Weekly. "I said, 'Dude, the writers can't even explain the third movie."'

If, like the second movie, "At World's End" takes its lumps for a twisted plot, Depp is not worried.

"With this one, they're probably going to do the same thing and maybe even go below the belt," he said of the critics. Editor's Note: I enjoyed the last one, so as long as it's as entertaining as that one, I'm fine. Maybe I should lower my expectations and avoid disappointment.

Depp praised the acting of Richards, who plays Depp's father in the movie and whom Depp has credited with inspiring his portrayal of Jack Sparrow.

"What I didn't expect was he was going to be such a great actor," Depp said. "It was like a gunslinger who arrived in the town, charmed all the women and impressed all the men and then split." Editor's Note: So Richards is a great actor? I suppose he was just ACTING stoned all that time??? Ahem....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Broken Records

Editor's Note: So tell me again why dweebs get no respect???

Amazon Potter 7 Orders Top 1M said it has booked more than 1 million advance orders for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the upcoming seventh and final book in J.K. Rowling's franchise, which is scheduled for release in late July, Reuters reported.

The online retailer also lowered its price on the book to $17.99 from $18.89. It said it would honor the lower price for customers who had already ordered the book, the last volume in the series about a boy wizard and his struggle against the forces of evil.

More than 620,000 copies have been ordered in advance in the United States, with more than 250,000 in the United Kingdom, said. Advance orders for this book have surpassed those in 2005 for Rowling's sixth release, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

In April, Barnes & Noble said that advance orders for the book had topped 500,000 copies, breaking the bookseller chain's record for the most advance requests in its history. The book, which is published in the United States by Scholastic Corp and in Britain by Bloomsbury, officially goes on sale on July 21.

Spidey 3 Smashes Records
Spider-Man 3 smashed box-office records in its opening weekend, taking in about $148 million in its first three days of release, the Associated Press reported.

That put it ahead of the previous record debut of $135.6 million set last summer by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

With $59.3 million on opening day May 4, Spider-Man 3 broke the single-day box-office record, also held by Dead Man's Chest ($55.8 million).

Since it began rolling out overseas on May 1, Spider-Man 3 has taken in $227 million in foreign markets, bringing the film's worldwide total to $375 million.

In just days, the movie has grossed $117 million more than its whopping $258 million production budget, the AP reported.

In just two days, it also nearly matched the $114.8 million opening weekend of 2002's Spider-Man, which had held the debut record until Dead Man's Chest opened. Editor's Note: Of course, Pirates 3 opens in a couple of weeks, so more records might fall?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Smidge of TV Dweebing

The end is coming for Lost
Popular show will run until the 2009-2010 season

The days for Lost are numbered — and everybody's happy about it.

Lost will continue for three more shortened seasons, then go out with an inevitable "shocking" finale at the end of the 2009-2010 season, ABC said Monday.

The announcement means producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof have gotten what they wanted, receiving an end date they requested as well as signing a rich new deal.

The agreement is also good for ABC, which gets three more seasons of the still-popular series. The network receives 48 more episodes that ABC will roll out in 16-episode seasons, with all seasons airing uninterrupted (like Fox's 24).

"In considering the powerful storytelling of Lost, we felt this was the only way to give it a proper creative conclusion," said Stephen McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment. "Due to the unique nature of the series, we knew it would require an end date to keep the integrity and strength of the show consistent throughout, and to give the audience the payoff they deserve." Editor's Note: So there WILL be a payoff???

Getting ABC to commit to an end date was first advanced by producers in January. In addition to getting that, Cuse and Lindelof signed contracts that will keep them with the show throughout its run. Details were not announced, but the deal is inevitably a rich one considering Lost is the No. 1 9 p.m. show on TV among the 18-49 audience.

Although its total audience has dropped since its premiere 2004-2005 season, Lost still averages 15.1 million viewers per episode, enough to make it a Top 20 show. It is also the most recorded show on TV, gaining 2.1 million viewers per week via time-shifted viewing.

Going to 16-episode seasons is unusual. Standard series length is 22-24 episodes. 24, for example, has a 24-episode season. In essence, ABC gets to string out two 24-episode seasons of Lost over three seasons. Editor's Note: Which sucks. They'll have to talk really fast to get all the good stuff in, I guess?

Lindelof and Cuse apparently wanted to go two more seasons but agreed to the compromise.

The deal appears to be good for all concerned, including viewers.

"I think for story-based shows like Lost, as opposed to franchise-based shows like ER or CSI, the audience wants to know when the story is going to be over," Cuse told Variety. "When J.K. Rowling announced that there would be seven Harry Potter books, it gave the readers a clear sense of exactly what their investment would be. We want our audience to do the same." Editor's Note: Actually, I think an enddate on "ER" might have been a good thing, too. But that's just me?

NBC Sees Renewal For 'Medium'
NBC has renewed psychic drama "Medium" for a fourth season, the network announced Monday.

"'Medium' is a quality show with an outstanding star that has always delivered a very loyal audience," said Kevin Reilly, president, NBC Entertainment. "We are pleased to know that we can look forward to more of its unique storytelling next year under executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron's superb creative vision."

"Medium" has experienced a ratings downturn since moving to its 10 p.m. Wednesday night time period this season, where airs up against ABC's "Lost." The show has averaged a 3.0 rating among adults 18 to 49, according to Nielsen. But renewal makes sense for fourth-place NBC, which could give the show a less competitive time slot in the fall.

"Medium" is produced by CBS Paramount Network Television, Picturemaker Productions, Inc. in association with and Grammnet Productions. Glenn Gordon Caron is creator and executive producer. Editor's Note: I love this show. Good news!

Nets Use May to Debut New Fare
Each year, summers start earlier. This season, summer starts in spring. On May 18, ABC premieres its game show National Bingo Night. On May 22 and 24, auditions kick off On the Lot, Fox’s filmmaking contest show from Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg. Burnett’s other contest show, Pirate Master, debuts May 31 on CBS. Editor's Note: Is it just me, or does that last one sound naughty? (Note to self: need to get out more....)

It may be no surprise that the networks are using May’s high HUT levels to promote—if not launch—their summer series. The only surprise may be that it’s taken them this long to do so.

The practice began in earnest last season, when Fox premiered So You Think You Can Dance the night after American Idol’s finale. The network is following a similar game plan this year.

“Rather than give viewers a chance to rest up, the best thing to do is keep the momentum going,” said Preston Beckman, executive vp of strategic program planning for Fox. “The closer you are to the end of May, the higher the circulation. If you wait a few weeks, you get into some really low numbers. So you might as well take maximum advantage of May.” Editor's Note: Yeah...get that crappy reality trash in early, before people remember where they left the remote.

Jeff Bader, executive vp of ABC Entertainment, said his network also hopes to use its high-rated shows to promote Bingo. And while ABC officially launches its midseason holdover Traveler on May 30, it previews the drama May 10, following Grey’s Anatomy. “It’s all about sampling,” Bader said. “Putting Traveler after Grey’s gives it an audience of more than 20 million people. When will there be that big of an audience again?”

Like ABC, The CW launches its midseason stand-by Hidden Palms on May 30. And Fox returns its underperforming action romance Standoff on June 8. Critics often deride such series scheduling as burn-offs. Networks argue they must try to recoup their initial investments in these projects. And in an increasingly fragmented marketplace, advertisers are siding with broadcasters.

It still is something new for many viewers,” said Lisa Quan, vp, director of audience analysis at Magna Global USA. “Maybe they didn’t know a show was supposed to be on earlier in the season, or maybe they didn’t watch it if it was on. So when they see something that looks new and original, they might stop and say, ‘Hey, this is something I’d like to watch.’” Editor's Note: And it beats reading a book or talking to your family, right?

As important as summer’s start is, so is summer’s end. The fall season officially begins Sept. 24, rather than Sept. 17. Editor's Note: And they wonder why they are losing audience? Why even BOTHER producing new content?! Stop prolonging the death spasms; just run test patterns and concede the whole thing to cable and other media now. In response, NBC has pushed back its return of America’s Got Talent to June 5 (from May 29), enabling a mid-summer run of The Biggest Loser to air through September. “If you can keep up circulation right until fall premieres, that’s the best,” said Vince Manze, president, NBC program planning, scheduling and strategy.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Vote Early/Vote Often

Editor's Note:

Actually, this is your editor's.....your QOTD's....PLEA.
Yoda and Vader are running neck-and-neck for top vote-getters in the Star Wars Stamp ballotting.
And I really really don't want to look at Yoda's face on ALL my stamps. (one or two, ok, but an entire SHEET of them?)
And do you truly want an entire sheet of stamps to be evil? (Everyone but OddBob may answer that).
Go to the Post Office website:
And vote for the one that is currently in the FOURTH position:
This is every bit as 'iconic' as Vader, but so much NICER. And wouldn't you rather look at young Luke on an entire sheet of stamps? (And you can almost hear that lovely John Williams Force Theme/Twin Suns theme playing in the backround, eh?)
You can vote once per day.
If not for yourself, do it for your QOTD!
ttfn and mtfbwy ker
P.S. I HAD been dividing my votes between twin suns and the Anakin/Obi duel, but since THAT one is even further back in the voting, lets concentrate our efforts on Lukie.