April 11, 2007 | Comments ()

By Seth Freilich | Trade News | April 11, 2007 |


A quick complaint before we get into this week’s round-up. On last Thursday’s “The Office,” Karen and Jim exchanged the following dialogue right before Roy came in on the attack:

Karen: You would rather sit on your couch and watch a Phillies game than go out to a movie with your awesome girlfriend?
Jim: Absolutely correct.

I gotta call the writers out here for not doing their research. Nobody would rather sit at home and watch the miserable Phillies when they could be doing anything else. I mean, the chumps are already a woeful 1-6, for crying out loud.

Speaking of woeful, MTV has decided to do a reunion with the “Real World” Vegas crew. They originally wanted the Austin crew, but were apparently unable to get everyone to commit. After some wrangling, however, they were able to sign up all the Vegas whores, with Trishelle being the only one to hold things up (purportedly this was because of her busy film and TV schedule, but I suspect the truth is that she was asking for a lot of money to break her post-“The Surreal Life” oath that she would never do another reality show). For three weeks, MTV will be putting them in the same pad they originally stayed at in the Palms Casino, starting next week. No word on when it will air, but I’d guess a summer showing, perhaps after the just-started “Inferno 3” ends its run in a couple of months. “The Real World Las Vegas 2” will undoubtedly suck, and doesn’t have a shot of being remotely as entertaining as the original, but I’ll probably watch this cheap stunt anyway. I’m easy like that.

A public service announcement to my “Battlestar Galactica” DVD folk: if you have a TiVo or other DVR-type gizmo, you might want to record SciFi’s season three marathon next month (May 16-18) so you have the most recent episodes waiting for you once you catch up on the DVDs of Season 1 and 2. That way, you won’t have to wait until the new DVDs come out, which probably won’t be until sometime this fall.

Poor Andy Richter seems to be as successful as my beleaguered Phillies. NBC has yanked this Thursday’s airing of “Andy Barker, P.I.,” replacing it with “Scrubs.” The episode will still air, but it’ll be on the Saturday night dumping ground. The only good news here is that NBC is also going to air the previously “online only” episode, but that’s also going to be this Saturday night, so nobody will end up watching it. I guess three weeks of crummy ratings were enough for NBC, even though this Thursday would’ve been the last airing anyway. I can’t say I’m all that surprised, although I am disappointed and, perhaps, a little perplexed — I wonder why the NBC execs were so quick to get behind “30 Rock” but not “Andy Barker” when, to my mind, the early episodes of both shows had the same level of potential?

But who cares? The more important NBC news is that they have ordered six new scripts for “Friday Night Lights.” Now this isn’t a second-season pickup, but in light of the positive comments NBC exec Kevin Reilly has repeatedly made about the show, you figure a second season should be forthcoming unless these new scripts are trash. And given the fantastic freshman season, there’s no reason to think that these scripts will be anything but fantastic. So let’s keep our fingers crossed that the TV execs at least get something right and renew our little football buddy (and don’t forget to watch tonight’s season finale). Oh, and while I couldn’t care less about this show, NBC has done the same six-episode script order for “Medium,” which suggests that this show is also moving off of the bubble and into a spot on the impending fall schedule.

And now we return to Pilot Watch 2007 (and almost none of this news is helping my hangover in the least).

Last week, I suddenly found myself a little more excited for CBS’ “I’m in Hell.” This is a show I’ve mentioned before, with Jason Biggs playing a Wall Street hotshot who dies and gets sent back to take part in a Hell on Earth program. Anyway, the reason for my excitement was that David Cross has signed on to play “an emissary from hell” (i.e., the demon/devil who interacts with Biggs’ character). And Cross can do almost no wrong in my book. They also signed Erika Christensen as a nanny and love interest (who also happens to be in the same back-from-Hell situation as Biggs’ guy), which seemed like a decent addition. However, yesterday afternoon, I read a purportedly leaked script of the pilot. And it blows. Long and hard. Even trying to picture Biggs and Cross doing their best with the material, I was in pain. The script was dated December ‘06, and I can only hope they’ve made a lot of changes between then and now because, otherwise, it’ll be the CBS execs watching this pilot who will be saying “I’m in Hell.” (… See what I did there? I gave you an example of the type of obvious and stupid joke that this script was full of. Clever bastard, me.)

Staying with CBS, I’ve also told you before about their comedy “Atlanta,” which is a show about a guy and gal who meet-cute at a funeral, and then keep bumping into each other around town. It’s being written and produced by Paul Reiser, which is probably not a good sign, as this sounds tailor-made for more of the fluff that “Mad About You” retched all over the carpet. Well, the show’s got a director and lead actor now, and things are not looking up. Harold Ramis has signed on to direct the pilot and, while it pains me to say this of my boy Dr. Egon Spengler, he’s really been crappy for about 14 years now (the last truly good thing he directed having been Groundhog Day). But the real kiss of death here is the male lead, set to be played by none other than Freddie Prinze Jr. Game, set, match.

And speaking of bad casting decisions, the CW is working on a comedy pilot called “Eight Days a Week.” Last time I mentioned this show, they had only signed Anna Chlumsky on, and I was curious to see how the show developed, because it seemed to have a premise with some actual potential (focusing on four assistants to NYC bigwig execs). I also said I had a major lack of faith in the CW, so I wasn’t holding my breath. Well that lack of faith has been amply rewarded as the newest cast member to the show is none other than Mario Lopez. I mean … why?

You know, we’re looking at Mario Lopez and Freddie Prinze Jr. both getting lead roles. Are the network execs trying to make a real-life version of “I’m in Hell?”

Screw the networks, let’s see what’s on cable.

TNT has greenlit a pilot from Steven Bochco, an untitled show about two former law school classmates who are now on the opposite side of the same case and must … zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Bravo, meanwhile, has ordered up a pilot for “Take My Ex,” a one-hour reality show where one half of a divorced couple tries to hook up their ex-spouse with someone new. Bravo’s press release says that the drama will run high: “After all, if a man knows that his ex-wife doesn’t like sex before dinner, is allergic to alpaca and is freaked out by back hair, he’s already got a leg up in knowing what’s best for her. Or does he?” I’m not sure if my head is pounding because of my hangover or because of this insipid idea, but I’m guessing it’s a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

But we’ll finish up with something on the positive side of things — Comedy Central has just filmed a new Lewis Black pilot. “The Root of all Evil” takes place in a courtroom, where pop culture is put on trial. Black plays the judge, and other comedians come in to play the lawyers (for example, in the case of Paris Hilton vs. Dick Cheney, Patton Oswalt argued that Cheney is the root of all evil, while Greg Giraldo argued that the title actually belonged to Paris). One of the TV Squad crew was at the pilot taping and wrote up an in-depth discussion of what sounds like a promising show, should Comedy Central give it an episode order.

And I’ll leave you with this, for no other reason than the fact that it made me giggle:


theTVwhore.jpg


Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television columnist. He’s going back to bed to nurse his hangover now, thank you very much.

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I Drank Way Too Much Last Night and Now I Have the World's Biggest Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Seth Freilich

Trade News | April 11, 2007 | Comments ()



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