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February 6, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | February 6, 2008 |

While not nearly as perfect as last season, “Friday Night Lights” is still paying off to those of us bothering to watch (this week’s episode, depressing as hell, was particularly strong). But get it while you can, as NBC’s head honcho Ben Silverman has all but acknowledge that it’s as dead as a zombie without access to precious braaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiins — Silverman says he loves the show, but that nobody is watching it. And you know what that means. But don’t worry, because there’s a new comedy on NBC’s horizon to take all your woes away. “The Man of Your Dreams” stars Michael Trucco (Anders on “Battlestar Galactica”) as a “cad” who helps chicks find the man … of their dreams. The network has greenlit the pilot to go into production as soon as the WGA strike is put to bed, and it’s added Constance Zimmer (Dana Gordon on “Entourage”) to play Trucco’s wedding-planner sister, and Justina Machado (Federico’s wife on “Six Feet Under”) to play her business partner. Oh, and there’s another chick who plays the always fresh Star Wars geek. See? Who needs quality TV like “Friday Night Lights” when there’s even better quality like this waiting in the wings?

Speaking of the strike, you may have heard by now that there’s hope on the horizon. Late last week, word leaked out that the parties had agreed to some contract terms, and while the WGA was quick to tell folks not to put the cart before the horse, things certainly seem to be leaning in that direction, particularly given the fact that many think next month is when the movie studios would start feeling the crunch on their 2009 slate. The most recent sign that we may be nearing the end is that the WGA West has set a general membership meeting for this Saturday night to discuss the tentative deal which it now acknowledges, and it looks like they could actually be voting on a draft contract that night. So baited breath, people, as we’re hopefully in the home stretch.

The question you may be asking yourself is, “what would this mean for my favorite little TV show?” The answer … who knows? The networks could certainly decide to scrap the rest of this season, and simply start production early on next season, particularly given the lack of depth in terms of pilots and potential new shows (not to mention the possible uncertainty of the actors come June 30, if SAG doesn’t give a quick thumbs-up to any WGA deal). But I suspect we’ll see new episodes this season, because the networks will want to get back on the horse, get viewers back, and make some May sweeps ad money. And networks execs are saying that it should take about three to four weeks from the start of production for new sticom episodes to hit the air, and four to six weeks for the dramas, which means we could have new shows by late March or early April. Huzzah!

Speaking of “huzzah,” “Dr. Who” fans on this side of the pond will be happy to know that SciFi has announced that Season Four will start airing in April 2008, along with a spin-off called “The Sarah Jane Adventures.” I still haven’t caught up with the good Doctor yet (am a full three bloody seasons behind at this point) so this doesn’t mean much for me, but any decent new TV is welcome these days.

Finally, I’ve got four videos for you this fine day, most of which you may have already seen, but whatever — watch ‘em again. First up, a brilliant trio courtesy of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien. If you haven’t been following, the three have been involved in a hilarious spat, using it to suck up time on all of their shows. It all stems from Colbert’s original claim that the Colbert Bump is what has kept Huckabee in the race, followed by Conan’s claim that it was his love of Huckabee-supporter Chuck Norris which has kept Huckabee on the national circuit. It all came to a head on Monday night, beginning on “The Daily Show,” after Jon Stewart delivered a long, god-forsaken rant about the motherfucking god-forsaken New York Giants winning the Super Bowl:

From there, things flowed over to “The Colbert Report,” the house that started the whole tiff:

As “The Colbert Show” noted at the end, things then moved over to “Late Night,” where it all culminated in a knock-down, drag-out battle of the ages:

Quite possibly the best thing to come out of the strike, that right there. And if Huckabee weren’t such a religious nutbag, I’d even consider tossing my vote to him just for his willingness to play along (but seriously, Huck — amending the Constitution to comport with the Bible? You’re heinous).

Unrelated to this is a video that was all over the tubes last weekend, Sarah Silverman’s present to boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel for his show’s fifth anniversary. It’s the latest salvo in that show’s running gag, and I might just have a new man crush now:

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. As he’s typing this on Tuesday night, McCain and Obama are both giving speeches at the same time, and it’s like watching paint dry on one half of the screen while fireworks go off on the other. Lordy.

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Industry | February 6, 2008 |

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

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