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December 23, 2007 | Comments ()


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All I Got for Christmas Was My Two Front Pajibas

The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
Dec. 26, 2007

Trade News | December 23, 2007 | Comments ()


Ho ho ho. Hope all Christian-types had a good Christmas and all that (I followed the customary tradition of my tribe on this high holiday and went to the movies and ate some Chinese food, naturally). Anyway, a day later, here’s a fine Christmas gift for ya. Last week, when I told you about late night folks coming back in early January, I said that we surely wouldn’t be seeing Colbert or Stewart coming back, much to our collective chagrin.

Well joke’s on me, sorta, as it was announced, shortly after that round-up’s publication, that “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” would both be back on the air, starting January 7. They’re sticking with the strike, so they’re coming back, like Jay and Conan, sans writers. (Meanwhile, word has it that the talks between the WGA and Letterman’s production company have fallen apart, so when he and Craig Ferguson return next week, it’ll also be without writers, which will make Dustin happy, since he likes him some Dave killing-time segments.) What this means in terms of the type of show we’ll get, who knows. Stewart and Colbert issued this brief joint statement which, while amusing, doesn’t offer much insight into the returning format: “We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence.”

It’ll be interesting to see what they do. Unlike the network late night shows, “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” are much more heavily written, with interviews only being one third of the show. If they go mostly interview, I’m actually OK with that as far as Stewart goes. But while Colbert has gotten better with the interviews, they still often wind up being fairly awkward and uninformative between his shtick and interviewees frequently trying to (usually unsuccessfully) play along. But I’m still happy to welcome Stewart and Colbert back into my world, and I just hope they’re coming back in a form that’ll be palatable. I guess we’ll find out in a just over a week.

You know what else has a return coming just ‘round the corner?

…”American Idol.” Try though I might, I can’t quit that bitch. And Fox has now let loose some of the show’s scheduling details, letting me and my ilk know when we’ll be chasing the dragon. It all begins with a two-night premiere on January 15 and 16, with two hours each night focusing on the crappy auditions (personally, I can’t wait to see how my Philly fares — it ain’t gonna be pretty). We’ll get more single-hour episodes on following Tuesday and Wednesdays for the next few weeks, and then February 12 and 13 will give us the Hollywood Rounds and the announcement of the Top 24. So yeah, it’s gonna take a month just to get to the Top 24. Then we have several three-episode-a-week runs to narrow things down to the Top 12, which we’ll finally get in early March. All of which means, strap in boys and girls — s’gonna be a looooong ride.

And speaking of long rides, “The Celebrity Apprentice” hasn’t even started yet, and I’m already sick as fuck of the Donald, yet again. Earlier last week, NBC announced that the show would not be premiering on January 3, as planned, but instead would debut on January 10 at the same time (9 p.m.). This move appeared due to the fact that a January 3 airing would pit the show against the Orange Bowl and the last pre-strike episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Plus, this is the night of the Iowa caucuses, so political wonks may actually be watching news-like content (and there will likely be network cut-ins). Shortly after NBC’s announcement, ABC decided to tuck its own tail, bouncing that “Grey’s” episode by a week and moving its follow-up, the premiere of the-likely-to-buh-low “Cashmere Mafia,” to January 6. Then, on Thursday, NBC took a mulligan, moving the premiere of “The Celebrity Apprentice” back to January 3, and thus tipping its hand that the Peacock was really afraid of the McHerp. And Variety has been reporting that ABC may stick it to NBC by moving “Grey’s” back to the 3rd as well. And I say, “whatever, man.” No matter when NBC premieres the Donald and his D-list celebs, the show is still going to suck. And yet, as with fucking “American Idol,” I’m still going to be watching.

…It’s things like this that fill me with such deep self-loathing.

On the cable side of things, USA has taken a double-chop with its axe, giving the big sendoff to both “Dead Zone” and “The 4400.” Both shows are done, effective immediately, which means that the last episodes that aired back in September will be the last episodes to ever air. Now I honestly do not know a single person who watches either of these shows, but I’m guessing some of you do. So, to you, sorry for your loss.

And to our many friends up north, our kiwi readers, etc., a jolly happy Boxing Day to you, one and all.


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Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. He’ll be busy eating leftover Chinese food for the next three days if you need him.




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