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May 16, 2007 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | May 16, 2007 |

Obviously, all the TV trade talk this week is primarily focused around the upfronts and all the news that comes out of that (here’s my discussion of NBC’s upfront, and here’s a write-up about ABC — check back later today for CBS, and tomorrow for Fox and the CW). But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing else to talk about. For example, did you know that this Friday ABC debuts its latest show? It’s got drama. It’s got intrigue. It’s got excitement. It’s got balls. It’s “National Bingo Night.” Bingo mother-Fers! Because nothing is more fun and exciting than watching folks play the bingo. The ABC press release says that each episode will include three “high action bingo games,” and you (yes, you!) can play along “for a chance to win,” by printing out your own Bingo cards from ABC’s website. Seriously, I would rather watch the blood slowly seep from my sliced wrists, mixing with the lukewarm bathwater, than watch this drek.

But ABC isn’t the only one debuting crap. Next month (Monday, June 18, 8 p.m.), the Peacock starts airing its latest reality show, “Age of Love.” Now this is a reality dating show with a “unique twist.” That twist? The 31-year-old bachelor will be looking at women between 21 and 48-years-old! As the press release explains it, there will be six “kittens” and seven “cougars.” …Yes, NBC’s press release actually called them cougars. Oh, and the show fucks with the guy by only introducing him to the cougars first, with him unaware of the show’s conceit. Sounds … whatever — NBC is bringing back “Friday Night Lights.” It’s got a mulligan from me for right now, and can do whatever the hell else it wants.

Now speaking of the upfronts, all us “Veronica Mars” fans thought we’d know the story of her continued existence, for better or for worse, this Thursday. Now … maybe not. Variety is reporting that the show has been canceled (despite earlier rumors about how much the network liked this season’s finale and the proposed FBI reboot). However, TV Guide’s egotistical douchebag network sycophant writer says that (a) yes, there are strong rumors that “Veronica” won’t be on the CW’s announced schedule this Thursday, but that (b) the network is delaying its final decision until sometime after the upfronts (by contract, the network has until June 15 to go one way or the other with the show). I’m not sure why this is, unless the network wants to see how much fan outrage there is over the presumed cancellation, to determine whether the show should come back. I dunno what the hell is going on here, and quite frankly, I just want this over with. Good news, or bad news (rip the band-aid off already!), let’s just get this over with already.

With the networks getting all the press this week, folks sometimes ignore the cable TV. But not here. Over at HBO, the folks are doing something a little fun before the June 11 return of “Big Love.” On May 28, the network will premiere a series of vignettes on its Comcast On Demand station (and they’ll hit other carrier’s HBO On Demand a week later, and then eventually show up on Called “Big Love: In the Beginning,” these will be three shorts showing how the family wound up in its current polygamous situation. As long as there is some actual content, and these aren’t just fluff, I quite dig this idea. Meanwhile, over at Showtime, “Brotherhood” is gearing up for its second season. Now I gave up watching rather early in the freshman run, but I heard it turned out quite well. And I may have to give it another shot now, when Showtime inevitably re-airs it before the second season premieres this fall, because Janel Moloney (Donna on “The West Wing”) has joined the cast. I like me some Janel Moloney. Lastly (on the cable front, anyways), last Thursday, Edward James Olmos made some comments about the next/fourth season of “Battlestar Galactica” being the final installment. However, exec producer David Eick came out later in the week to say that this isn’t necessarily true and that when he and exec producer Ron Moore make a decision, they’ll be sure to let folks know. This is the second time this month that a star has come out saying one thing about a show’s demise, only to be contradicted and brushed off days later (see, “Veronica Mars” and Enrico Colantoni’s comments). So is next season the last? I guess we just don’t know yet (but I’d bet my lunch money that it will be the end, and I’m surprisingly OK with it, should that be the case).

I’m happy to report that, while “American Idol” is still a ratings monster, there are some chinks in the armor. Last week’s performance night was the lowest rated performance show in two years, and continued a ratings slide this season has seen. To be sure, at least part of last week’s problem was the terrible (even by “American Idol” standards) Bee Gees/Barry Gibb theme. Just fucking terrible. But Variety says, and I agree, that it probably also has a little to do with a general dissatisfaction with the finalists. I mean, they’re just boring as hell this year, way more so than usual, right? I’m sure the ratings will be up as the end of the season lands on us, and this sucker surely isn’t going away anytime soon. But I still take joy in knowing that we may be past its half-life point.

Lastly, ABC just gave its upfront presentation yesterday, but there are already two new things to share. First, the Alphabet’s entertainment chief has admitted that the “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off, “Private Practice,” isn’t perfect yet and that there’s “some work to do.” He blames the complaints about the two-hour episode of “Grey’s” on the unique hybrid introduction, and says things will be much better come this fall. Sounds like he’s trying to put out the just-starting-to-glow fires, you ask me. And speaking of putting out fires, can I be the first to piss on George Lopez and put him out? Please. See, Lopez is raging after the cancellation of his show. ABC’s position is that the show would’ve been a money pit for the network, had it been renewed, but Lopez says that’s crap. He feels entitled (entitled!) to another season so the show can wrap up loose storylines. Plus, because his show outperforms “Notes from the Underbelly” (which was renewed) he plays — you guesed it — the race card: “TV just became really, really white again.” (No, George, it just became ever-so-funnier again. Because even if everything new is total crap, crap is funnier than you.) And in reference to (mother fucking) “Cavemen,” Lopez said, “so a Chicano can’t be on TV, but a caveman can? And a Chicano with an audience already?” And here’s the kicker … the clincher … Lopez called his show “an important show.” … … Fuck you buddy. Long and hard. You egotistical, bitter, unfunny twit.

… I gotta go take a long walk, so let’s get to this week’s upcoming finales.

Wednesday (5/16)
“America’s Next Top Model” (CW, 8 p.m.)
“Bones” (Fox, 8 p.m.)
“Criminal Minds” (CBS, 9 p.m.)
“Crossing Jordan” (series finale, NBC, 9 p.m.)
“CSI:NY” (CBS, 10 p.m.)
“Medium” (NBC, 10 p.m.)
Thursday (5/17)
“The Office” (NBC, 8 p.m.)
“Ugly Betty” (ABC, 8 p.m.)
“Smallville” (CW, 8 p.m.)
“Supernatural” (CW, 9 p.m.)
“Scrubs” (NBC, 9 p.m.)
“CSI” (CBS, 9 p.m.)
“Grey’s Anatomy” (9 p.m.)
“ER” (NBC, 10 p.m.)
Friday (5/18)
“Numb3rs” (CBS, 10 p.m.)
Sunday (5/20)
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (ABC, 7 p.m.)
“King of the Hill” (Fox, 7 p.m.)
“The Simpsons” (400th Episode alert, Fox, 8 p.m.)
“Family Guy” (Fox, 9 p.m.)
“Desperate Housewives” (ABC, 9 p.m.)
“American Dad” (Fox, 9:30 p.m.)
“Brothers & Sisters” (ABC, 10 p.m.)
Monday (5/21)
“24” (Fox, 8 p.m.)
“Heroes” (NBC, 9 p.m.)
Tuesday (5/22)
NCIS (CBS, 8 p.m.)
Dancing with the Stars (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Veronica Mars (…series finale?, CW, 8 p.m.)
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC, 9 p.m.)
Law & Order: SVU (NBC, 10 p.m.)
Boston Legal (ABC, 10 p.m.)

And I’ll leave you with two clips from new NBC shows. The first is from “Life,” the show about the detective who spent over a decade in the clink, and the second is from “Chuck,” Josh Schwart’s spykid show. And I’ll, uhm, keep my comments to myself so you can form your own opinions:

Seth “the Orangutan” Freilich is Pajiba’s television columnist. He’s serious. He would bid on eBay for the opportunity to piss on George Lopez.

George Lopez is Cordially Invited to Suck My Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
May 16, 2007

Industry | May 16, 2007 |

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

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