Monthly Archives: May 2012

Previewing CBS’s Fall Season- Part 1

As much as I love new television, it’s such a gamble. Frankly, I’m not sure what CBS is trying to prove. They are one of the most storied network in the history of television, and as it boasts, it is “America’s Most Watched Network.” Now, it seems to be as strong as ever. Two And A Half Men is its most sustainable show and since it could survive the Charlie Sheen controversy, I don’t think it’s going to end on any terms other than its own. The American public is incredibly hard to please when it comes to entertainment but over the past decade CBS has had several hits. In an age where both copious amounts of television and the ability to publicly complain is readily available, this is impressive. Given their history, CBS may be equipped to find another hit.


The show is not going to work at all. Partners is a sitcom from the creators of Will & Grace. It revolves around two men, one straight, one gay, who work together as architects. They’ve known each other for years and act like a married couple. Things supposedly get complicated when their “bromance” is tested after Joe, the straight guy, gets engaged to Ali.What happens when your friend tries too hard to be supportive of you? Will your relationship ever be the same? How will your “bro” affect your relationship with your fiancee? Apparently these things are supposed to be funny.

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8 out of 10 Cats Prefer 8 out of 10 Cats

This week I’m going to introduce my fellow American’s to a new British panel or comedy show everyday.

Jimmy Carr hosts 8 out of 10 Cats, which features some of his offensive shock-based humor that you either like or find appalling. The show’s name comes from the Whiskas cat food slogan “8 out of 10 Cats prefer Whiskas” and its premise revolves around opinion polls.

8 out of 10 Cats has two teams of six. Each team features a permanent panelist and two celebrity guests, who have to guess various statistics. Sean Lock, who you may recognize as the host of TV Heaven, Telly Hell, is the only permanent panelist who has been with the show from the beginning.

The following episode is the last one from series (season) 11. It is a “Best of” clip show, so ignore the random people and clothing changes. Just enjoy the show.

Jay Leno Lives Off His Stand Up Money

Once again, Jay Leno declares that he lives solely off the money he makes from stand up comedy. This time he made the claim in The Seattle Times, even though the story can be found online at the Boston Herald’s website. At least, Leno didn’t repeat that he has never touched his Tonight Show money.

Despite being a David Letterman and Conan O’Brien fan, I don’t completely hate Jay Leno because I don’t know him personally. However, when Leno makes comments about how he lives off of the money he earns from doing stand up comedy, I want to scream.

We get it Jay. You’re rich. I’m sure comedy clubs are paying you more than the struggling comics barely making a living. You’re the host of the freakin’ Tonight Show.   It sounds impressive when someone says “Jay Leno performed here last week” because millions of Americans watch you every night. You probably make several thousand of dollars per stand up gig because of it. No one thinks you’re struggling to get by on your stand up money. Besides, you have an obscene number of cars, so shut up.

Another thing Leno needs to stop saying is “I’ve always looked at TV as a temporary job.” It is for some people. As Team Coco can attest, he’s not one of them. He managed to lose The Tonight Show, bomb in primetime, and then get The Tonight Show back. He makes 32 million dollars a year from television and apparently doesn’t spend any of it or spends it all on cars. I don’t know which one. Either way, if he loses The Tonight Show tomorrow, it’s not like he’s going to be standing on the welfare line because his stand up alone makes him wealthier than most people.

90s Talk Show Hosts Attack

Okay, not really, but it’s starting to look that way.

Yesterday, we reported that Arsenio Hall wants to return to television with a talk show. Today, Reuter’s reports that Ricki Lake will officially rejoin the daytime talk show circuit on September 10. A start date that she will share with Katie Couric, Survivor host Jeff Probst, and comedian and current Family Feud host Steve Harvey. Those four new talk shows will have to compete with, Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, Wendy Williams, Dr. Phil, “The View”, and “The Talk” as well as the “trashy” talk shows like Maury and Jerry Springer.

There are already enough daytime talk shows. We don’t really need more of them. I guess it’s better than forty-two more court shows, but it seems like the networks aren’t even bothering coming up with something other than talk shows and court shows. Whatever happened to game shows? I’m not asking for the glory days of the 70s with classics like Match Game. I just want more variety than The Price is Right, Let’s Make a Deal, and Family Feud.

What do you predict for this new batch of talk shows?

America’s Got Talent Visits St. Louis

Issac Brian Brown

Issac Brian Brown

I had some faith that Tuesday’s episode of AGT would be better than Monday night’s, simply because the odds are they would start to find better talent. I was mostly right. They had never visited St. Louis prior to this season, which sort of surprised me. Regardless, St. Louis’ first audition show two weeks ago was also a good showing. It makes some sense that this show would be good too.

America’s Got Talent begins every episode with a feature story. It’s normally a tossup as to whether it would be a terrible act that happens to be entertaining or an act of genuine talent. When “Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” started playing at the beginning of the guy’s feature, I knew that this wasn’t going to be a good act. When the contestant said he was a puppeteer, I was positive it wasn’t going to be good. Aside from the fact that this type of act is immensely unlikely to be worthy of 1 million dollars, the viewer quickly discovered he wasn’t even a good puppeteer. Nick Cannon promptly turned to the camera with a sock puppet in his hand and said, “I’m a better puppeteer than this dude.” Despite the complete lack of potential this act had, I was still entertained. The contestant had very high energy and the judges’ spirits seemed very high. This was going to be a captivating hour.

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Who’s Getting Sent to Room 101?

This week I’m going to introduce my fellow American’s to a new British panel or comedy show everyday.

Room 101, another show that originated on radio, lets celebrities send people and things to “a fate worse than death.” Since that is the premise of the show, celebrities pick things they don’t like or things they think would make for a funny exchange and good television.

Not every object mentions goes into Room 101 because the host has to be persuaded that the object deserves to go into Room 101, which is named for the room in George Orwell’s 1984. Some things that celebrities have chosen to send to Room 101 are American Football, The Beatles, and even the show itself.

There have been three hosts of Room 101: Nick Hancock, Paul Merton, and Frank Skinner. The following clip is from the last show ever with Paul Merton and has Ian Hislop trying to send Piers Morgan into Room 101. However, it doesn’t quite work the way as planned.

Will Arsenio Hall Get a New Talk Show?

Fresh from his Apprentice win, Arsenio Hall is looking to strike while the iron is hot. The comedian and former late night talk show host may return with a new syndicated talk show. According to Deadline and Broadcasting & Cable , Hall is in talks CBS Television Distribution and Tribune Broadcasting for a syndicated talk show, but no deal has been finalized yet.

Arsenio Hall has not been relevant in a long time, so a new talk show might not be a success. His first talks show, which was also syndicated, ran from 1989 to 1994 and was a hit with an “urban” audience. However, nowadays, it tends to be unfairly grouped with Chevy Chase’s abysmal Fox talk show that used be a punchline. (The failure of The Jay Leno Show has replaced it as the biggest talk show flop.)

Unlike Chase, Hall has managed to be remembered for something other than sucking at his job. The clip of Bill Clinton playing the saxophone is always played in presidential election years as an example of a presidential candidate looking cool. Also, anyone 30 to 40 years old probably remembers the dog pound, its fist pumping, and “Woof, woof, woofing.”

While I don’t think Hall will be a success, I could be wrong. Nobody thought Conan O’Brien would last more than 13 weeks and he’s been around for almost 19 years.

America’s Got Talent: Not that Inspiring

This early in the season, there’s a lot of novelty in America’s Got Talent. I try to look at these acts with a critical eye and not simply take pleasure in America’s failure. During the show’s tenure, there has been a lack of success in finding a sustainable “star.” There could be many reasons for this, but AGT  is a talent show with absolutely no parameters. Perhaps, it’s got to come to terms with the fact that America hasn’t been that good. There’s still plenty of audition shows left, but the country has a lot to prove.

Monday’s episode was enjoyable, but not overly impressive. Some acts were good, but I sincerely doubt I saw one with a serious shot at winning the competition. Conversely, some acts were bad, but I don’t think the public will be talking about them or that their performances will spread around YouTube for the sake of hilarity. It was just an hour that did an adequate job of holding my attention.

This episode opened with a singing and dancing troupe called Inspired, which is also a non-profit organization with a focus on the inner-cities. They told the judges they have been referred to as “the urban Glee.”

As cynical as this sounds, it is at this point where the show gets less entertaining. I’m all for sentimentality, but one would expect that at least one act with a troubling or “inspiring” background would not make it to the next round because they just aren’t talented enough. I do not remember a single instance of that happening in any competition show, especially AGT. I suppose, on shows like AGT, everyone needs a good story, but I didn’t appreciate knowing that Inspired would go through before I saw them perform. They inevitably were voted through to Las Vegas. I would tolerate this better if they were a spectacular act, but their rendition of “Lean On Me” wasn’t anything exciting.

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TV Heaven, Telly Hell

This week I’m going to introduce my fellow American’s to a new British panel or comedy show everyday.

Channel 4’s TV Heaven, Telly Hell has a celebrity tell host Sean Lock about what shows, people, etc. belong in “TV Heaven” or “Telly Hell.” As you can probably infer, tings that the celebrity likes go to “TV Heaven” and those that they don’t go to “Telly Hell”. It’s one of those shows that would be fun to play a version of with your friends. Of course, you don’t agree with the celebrity’s choices all the time, but that is the fun in watching.

This episode features comedian Jimmy Carr, who sends Jeremy Clarkson and Flavor of Love to “TV Heaven” and Derek Acorah and Babestation to “Telly Hell.” Why Carr admitted to watching Flavor of Love, I’ll never know, but the results are very funny. Derek Acorah is a English Medium. Babestation is a TV channel whose title is self-explanatory.

Have fun watching Jimmy Carr on TV Heaven, Telly Hell.

The last three parts of the episode are after the jump. The show is a half hour.

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Weekly TV Update: May 28

Each week we bring you stories from around the Internet that you might have missed.

Don’t know what TV shows to look forward to? Here is a list of upcoming shows.

Robin Thicke apparently thinks he’s not famous enough to win ABC’s Duets. Then again, he is competing against Kelly Clarkson and John Legend.

History has a new miniseries about the Hatfields and the McCoys. It will star Kevin Costner.

Mediaite’s Sarah Devlin has an article about Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s Woman Problem.

Will the musical Rags be riches for Nickelodeon? The New York Daily News reviews the latest Nickelodeon Original Movie.


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