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January 30, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | January 30, 2008 |

You know, I should be happy about the fact that HBO has ordered up a pilot for “Last of the Ninth,” David Milch’s take on a cop show (set in NYC in the early ’70s), but strangely, I don’t much care. Milch says that the focus will be on an older detective teaching the ropes to a young detective who’s just come back from Vietnam. Now, I should be excited by this because of my deep love for Milch’s “Deadwood.” Alas, the foot on “Deadwood’s” neck, “John From Cincinnati,” killed much of the goodwill Milch has earned from me. Plus, with “The Wire,” I feel like the smart, unique cop show has been done as perfectly as it ever will be. If HBO green lights the show, will I tune in? Surely, particularly as Milch has shown being able to do a thing or two with cops back on “Hill Street Blues” and “NYPD Blue.” But between now and that likely eventuality, my anticipation is significantly tempered.

In other pay cable news, Tracey Ullman is coming back in March, as Showtime has set the premiere date for her new series, “Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union.” As one might expect, it’s a sketch comedy show, and the five episode run will begin airing on March 30 at 10 p.m. I don’t think I’ve seen Ullman perform in about a decade, so it should be interesting to see if she can still bring the funny.

On the network TV side … Jesus Homer Christ. Two weeks ago, I told you about one of CBS’ new impending reality shows, “Secret Talents of the Stars,” a celebrity talent show. Well, NBC is dipping its toe into celebreality crap with “Celebrity Circus” (which is only a working title, until NBC can come up with an even more degrading one). “Circus” is yet another Americanization of a foreign show and it’s exactly what it sounds like it is — as NBC’s press release puts it, it’s a “spectacular live competition” where celebrities will “participate alongside avant garde professional circus troupes in a visually interesting format.” Meanwhile, ABC is considering a revival of the 1980s crapfest “Circus of the Stars,” so we could have two craptastic circus/celebrity shows later this year. Try to hold in your anticipation and keep yourselves in an orderly fashion. And while we’re bitching about crappy reality TV, let’s not forget to flash two middle fingers at VH1, one for the unnamed show with P. Diddy looking for a personal assistant, and the other for “Celebracadabra,” which will be pitting seven “celebrity magicians” against each other. …Holy fuck.

Speaking of holy fuck, regular readers know that Dustin has now been banned from ever again mentioning Crash again, thanks to the quality of Cloverfield’s opening weekend reviews. But I never made such a promise, so let me rant for the both of us. Motherfucking Starz, a network none of you have ever heard of, has decided that its first original drama series is going to be based on motherfucking Crash. But worry not, fans, for Paul Haggis is on board, as are other co-writers and producers of the film, including Don Cheadle (oh Cheadle, why do you torment us so?). The plodding storylines. The clunky dialogue. The beating-you-over-the-head messages. Get excited people, get excited!

Meanwhile, here’s some good news to come out of the strike. Because there is a serious lack of scripted material, there are rumors circulating that NBC-Universal has started reconsidering moving forward with “Caprica,” the “Battlestar Galactica” prequel which was kiboshed a while back. Which is certainly OK with me. And speaking of the strike, you may have heard that the writers and producers have sat back down at the table for some informal talks and last week the writer’s finally made a step they should’ve made months ago, pulling reality and animation from the table. Although it may seem odd, the WGA’s jurisdiction does not extend to reality or animation shows (which is why those shows continue forward, as their writers are not on strike, since they’re not guild members). Now, I absolutely think that they should all be folded within the union, but now is not the time to push on that particular issue, when you’ve got the much more important long-term issue of internet and new media to deal with. The WGA’s insistence to push this matter up until now has been one of the few things I’ve really taken issue with from the writer’s side of things. So I was quite happy to see them drop the matter. Now whether the producers will consider making a concession of their own remains to be seen. But baby steps, one way or another, are still baby steps.

Dunno if you’ve been watching “Celebrity Apprentice” over on NBC, but it actually hasn’t been half bad. In fact, NBC is happy enough with it that it’s ordered a second season to run next January. And CBS has locked up Jeff Probst and “Survivor” for two more seasons, meaning by next spring, the show will have run through a whopping 18 seasons. And speaking of “Survivor,” I’ll leave you with this kinda bizarre half film, half shitty music video, and all I’ll say is “pageant coach”:

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. Holy hell is he sick as a motherfucker right now. Please send homemade chicken soup to Pajiba, care of The TV Whore, post haste.


The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
Jan. 30, 2008

Industry | January 30, 2008 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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