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June 20, 2007 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | June 20, 2007 |

“Veronica” may be dead, but she still hasn’t worked her way out of my roundups. While the TV show is most assuredly kaput, the show’s creator (Rob Thomas who, as I told you last week, is now in charge of ABC’s midseason “Miss/Guided”) has said that he might try to turn the caustic/sweetheart P.I.’s adventures into a comic book tale (ala “Buffy”) or a big screen adventure. He’s in talks with DC Comics over the comic angle, and while the comic would probably be fun enough, providing a more than adequate outlet for the writer’s excellent dialogue, I’m not sure it would click without the energy of the actual cast. Plus, the teen P.I. thing (or even the mid-20’s FBI agent thing) doesn’t seem to “fit” comics as well as something like “Buffy.” A movie, of course, would solve my concerns about the cast and so, to the extent I need to root for one over the other, that’s where my rooting energies shall go (and it has nothing — no sir, nothing — to do with wanting to see more of Kristen Bell on the big screen). And in one other little piece of “Veronica” gossip for those who care about behind-the-scenes stuff, Thomas also said that he didn’t think the call to cancel/renew the show was solely in Dawn Ostroff’s hands over at the CW because the CW’s Papa Bear (CBS’ head man in charge, Les Moonves) was apparently down on the show and simply didn’t want it to continue. So it sounds like the cards were really stacked against “Veronica” from the get go.

Speaking of stacked (hey-yo!), y’all remember Coral from “The Real World” and the “Real World/Road Rule Challenges,” right? Angry black chick with a big rack who likes to “beat bitches.” Well she’s been sorely missed from the last few “Challenges,” having declined to appear on the last two. However, glory be, she says she’s “contemplating going on the next one.” But she’s also waffling because — at the ripe age of 28 — she feels she’s starting to get too old to hang out with all those 19-year-old. Plus, she says that it’s all “very stressful” and that “I just don’t feel like going to Mexico to cuss a bunch of people out.” Well frankly, Coral my dear, I don’t give a damn. It’s not your choice to make anymore. You chose to create this ridiculously entertaining reality TV character you’ve turned into, and you now have a duty to continue to entertain us. Doubly so now that you may be a lesbian (she tells Outlook magazine that her sexuality is “cloudy” and that she’s “definitely venturing toward my lesbian qualities”).

Now while I think keeping “Veronica” alive is a good thing, and “resurrecting” Coral back onto the “Challenges” is an equally good thing, it turns out that some things are better left dead. (Slight spoiler alert for next year’s final run of “Scrubs.”) As “Scrubs” fans may recall, the show made quite a big deal last season of killing off nurse Laverne Roberts, the soulful, singing nurse who was often the voice of sarcastic reason in the hospital. Well it seems that the show’s creator, Bill Lawrence, felt bad about taking work opportunities away from Aloma Wright, the actress behind Laverne, and he promised her a way back onto the show if a seventh season arose. And as the show came back from the dead, so too shall Laverne. Only, it’ll be in the form of … sigh … a twin sister. Named. Shirley. The only interesting thing about this is that Shirley is slated to be a polar opposite of Lavern, as she’ll be a religious skeptic who’s also an alcoholic. I’m sure it’ll be fun to see Wright take on that role, but this is all just too stuntish for me, even if it’s not actually intended to be a stunt but just a way to keep Wright gainfully employed (and coupled with the increased over-the-top wackiness and slow decline in quality of last season, I’m really hoping this show doesn’t peter out before reaching the finish line).

Hey, do any of you still watch “Boston Legal?” Bueller? Bueller? (Here! Here! — DR) Well, to those five of you who do watch and care, it sounds like you’re in for a bit of a different show next year, as four cast members have been released. Say goodbye to Julie Bowen (the only of the four I even knew was on the show), Rene Auberjonois, and two people I ain’t never even heard of (Mark Valley and Constance Zimmer). But in return, you get to say hello to Tara Summer (another one I ain’t never heard of) and John Larroquette (who won’t be playing the same role he had on “The Practice” and, sadly, also won’t be reprising the role of Dan Fielding). So, uhm, yeah.

Meanwhile, ABC has already run into a touch of trouble with one of its new fall shows, “Sam I Am.” That’s the (alleged) comedy with Christina Applegate as an amnesiac who tries to lead a better life. Well, the show’s got a new name now, and shall heretofore be known as “Samantha Be Good.” Seems that the Dr. Seuss estate wasn’t so keen on the title and refused to give the Alphabet any rights. Truthfully, I’m not sure that the estate could’ve done anything to actually prevent ABC from using the title, because you can’t copyright a title, but ABC decided to play it safe. Of course, the true beauty of this new title is that critics won’t have to work to come up with ever-so-clever titles for their fall reviews panning the show (I’m going out on a wild limb by presupposing that this show will, in fact, blow, but it is an ABC comedy after all).

And lastly, rumors are flying that the NBC big cheeses are making a hard press to get Jon Stewart to make the network jump and take over the post-“The Tonight Show” slot when his Comedy Central contract runs out at the end of next year. I know a lot of people would love to see Stewart jump to late night network TV and actually succeed at it this time, but I have to be truthful here and say that I hope he eventually enters into a new contract with Comedy Central and stays put. Sure, he’d get more cash and exposure over at NBC, but I don’t think the show would be able to get away with some of what “The Daily Show” gets away with. He and his crew seem to have relatively autonomous creative control, and that’s the kind of freedom that really only comes with a basic cable show. And I want whatever he does to be the best it can be for my own personal entertainment, and I really think that’s more likely to be “The Daily Show” than some shoe-horned network late night talk show.

If you didn’t watch “Robot Chicken: Star Wars” over the weekend, shame on you. It was highly entertaining. I suggest you watch this clip right now (probably my favorite of the show’s many clips), and then head on over to the Adult Swim website, where you can watch the whole show, along with some pop-up type extras (look for the little TV on the lower right corner of the video):

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. He’d like to thank all the cats who wished him well with his back surgery — excluding a hilarious-in-retrospect medication side-effect (mother f’ing persistent hiccups), he’s recovered quite nicely. Sadly, the doctors did not use their technology to make him better, stronger, faster.

"I Beat Pajibas Up!"

The Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
June 20, 2007

Industry | June 20, 2007 |

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

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