Category Archives: NBC

The Celebrity Apprentice Rises From Its Grave

Just when you though self-aggrandizing D-list celebrities would have to go elsewhere, NBC decides to resurrect The Celebrity Apprentice…with the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. *Cue collective eye roll.*

Apparently, NBC understood perfectly well that the show was nothing more than self-promotion for Donald Trump and figured the show still has a chance, so they went with the one person in the world who could engage in ham to ham combat with the Trumpster.

Marry Me ‘s Not Ready For Long-term Commitment

Anyone who has ever had a “why am I still talking” or wishes that their friend who talks to much would get their telepathic message to stop talking can relate to Marry Me‘s main characters, Annie (Casey Wilson) and Jake (Dan Marino). Despite Annie being the high-strung one and Jake being the opposite, they both say too much, which gets Annie into a lot of trouble. Annie got Jake fired from his job and insulted his mother. Jake’s problem is he talks way past the point of where the topic he’s talking about became embarrassing.

Going on the pilot, the show may be a little one dimensional. Jake and Annie love each other. Annie messes up Jake’s initial proposal because she was made he didn’t propose on their trip to Mexico, so she starts going off on their life together. In the other room, their friends and family are hiding. Annie manages to insult everyone, except her two fathers. Naturally, no one is in the mood to celebrate. Annie and Jake agree to redo their proposal.

Proposal attempt #2 doesn’t go much better. Annie surprises Jake at his office. Initially, Jake’s just embarrassed. Things take a turn for the worse when his boss finds out that Jake was on vacation. Jake told his boss that he took off because he was in the hospital trying to decide whether or not to pull the plug on his mother. As a result, Jake is shown the door. This is the point where I started to wonder how many more failed proposals will we have to sit through. Fortunately, it was zero.

Annie and Jake finally decide they should get married when they both skip their engagement party. Neither one is in the mood for celebrating, so they go their separate ways. Turns out they each decided to go to their favorite Mexican restaurant alone. That is how they decide fate is bringing together. Weird? Yes, but it worked for this couple.

When the plot took a break from Annie and Jake, it focused on Annie’s two fathers: Kevin One (Tim Meadows)  and Kevin Two (Dan Bucatinsky). They fight over who is Annie’s biological father. Everyone knows it’s Kevin Two because he and Annie are both white. Kevin One likes to argue that it’s possible Annie is a light skinned black woman, which would make her his biological daughter. No one believes it, but it really doesn’t matter because the both Kevins love Annie.

Marry Me has the potential to be clever. The writing is witty. The cast has chemistry. The show simply needs to be careful about slipping into a rut. No one wants to watch 13 episodes of “look the main characters can’t get a proposal right.” The second episode will decided the direction for the rest of the series. I’m going to give the show the benefit of the doubt: the pilot suffered because it was purely background that served only to set up the future.

Jay Leno May Return to TV

Jay Leno is currently in talks to host a 10pm show on TBS. I know. I know. Don’t even joke about that.

According to Variety and every other media outlet, including NBC, Leno may return to primetime. Yes, it’s on cable. Fortunately for Conan O’Brien, Leno’s potential new show will air on CNBC and will be about cars. Basically, CNBC has decided to ignore what could be considered its mission statement: to provide financial news. I guess they figure as long as they air Squawk Box no one’s going to mind Jay Leno’s car show after trading hours. (To be fair, CNBC has filled out their schedule with reruns of Late Night with Conan O’Brien in the past because a network wouldn’t last long if it only operated from 4am to 7pm.)

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Joan Rivers on The Tonight Show

Yesterday, Joan Rivers died at the age of 81. Before she was E!’s go to fashion critic, she had a long history with talk shows (a lot of it is not good). We’re not going to go into the details of the falling out between Rivers and Johnny Carson. Instead, we’re choosing to remember them in happier times. In the following clip from The Tonight Show, Joan sits down with Johnny to discuss her book Enter Talking.

Emmy Highlights

Before we get into the clips, a full list of Emmy winners can be found at the Washington Post. There aren’t too many surprises. It gets a little boring reading the list. (Confession: I didn’t watch the awards last night.) Congratulations to Breaking Bad for going out on top. Modern Family won best comedy series and ties Frasiers‘ record for most consecutive wins at five. The only surprise is that the networks and cable shut Netflix out of the race.

Below are three moments: one that’s a mixed bag, one that should be talked about, and one that is being called a highlight.

“Weird Al” Sings Theme Songs

I love “Weird Al” and adding lyrics to theme songs that don’t have them could’ve been brilliant. Instead, we witnessed a hastily thrown together sketch that is awkward to watch. Prepare to role your eyes when “Weird Al” mentions that Game of Thrones has lots of boobs and that George R.R. Martin needs to start writing more, so he doesn’t die before the series is finished.

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Remembering Don Pardo

You may not know what Don Pardo looks like, but you certainly know his voice, if not his name as well. Pardo is best known as the voice of Saturday Night Live. However, he had already had a long career with NBC, a network he started working for in 1944. We’re choosing to remember Don Pardo with his two appearances on camera during the NBC version of The Price is Right, which he was the announcer for.

NBC’s Food Fighters Takes on Food Network

When it comes to food competition shows, there are no original ideas. A show like Food Fighters has to be judge based on it’s execution, which is good if you can stomach Adam Richman.

Food Fighters takes the big kitchen feel of Iron Chef America and combines it with Throwdown/Beat Bobby Flay‘s underdog versus master chef formula. It’s derivative, but works well because it’s different enough. Unlike past shows, Food Fighters has the home chef compete against 5 different chefs with 5 different dishes. Each chef is worth a different dollar amount, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 with the possibility to double all winnings at the end. After the chef is announced, the contestant gets to choose which one of the remaining dishes will be made this round. At the beginning, it leads to interesting combinations like a seafood chef attempting a mango tart. Toward the end, you get a Latin chef making fish and quinoa, which would have been boring if Lorena Garcia wasn’t a firecracker.

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McGurk: A Dog’s Life Is a Dog

McGurk: A Dog’s Life is so bad, it’s easy to forget that it’s producer, Norman Lear, is responsible for All in the Family and The Jeffersons. The show manages to have no redeeming qualities. The pilot episode is 22 minutes dedicated to McGurk thinking he’s dying. Keep in mind that A Dog’s Life has all of the actors in bad dog costumes and is supposed to be a sitcom, which it manages to be because it sure as hell isn’t a drama.

This masterpiece starts with McGurk talking to the camera explaining his morning routine. Every joke ends with the punchline “I’m a dog.” He can’t tell time. Why? He’s a dog. Any show starring anthropomorphic animals standing on two feet and speaking English gives up the right to make jokes about their species. For all intents and purposes, they’re just people with dog ears and tails, which makes it disconcerting when McGurk refers wants to please his owner.

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Conan’s Graphic Designer Wants His Mallomars

People in the New York area have a thing for Mallomars. Nabisco makes the chocolatey, marshmallowy goodness available only from September to March, so we have the entire summer to long for the cookies that go away because someone said “marketing gimmick.” In 2004, when Late Night with Conan O’Brien was sill on the air, Pierre Bernard addressed this issue as part of Pierre Bernard’s Recliner of Rage.

P.S. Stockpiling Mallomars doesn’t work because they are made to be eaten by the boxful.

Our Articles on The Tonight Show

I’ve covered The Tonight Show a lot on Wait! What’s a Dial?. As the longest running late night talk show, it holds a special place in my heart. Regardless of what you think of Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien, those who came before them: Steve Allen, Jack Paar, and Johnny Carson were masters of the medium. Because Jimmy Fallon recently took over NBC’s signature late night talk show, here is a round up of the articles I have written about the hosts of The Tonight Show (with a video to make up for the lack of Jack Paar coverage).

Steve Allen

If you’re over 30, you probably think of The Tonight Show as Johnny Carson’s show. However, Steve Allen was the first host of the show. He hosted it from 1954 to 1957.

As the first host of a national late night talk show, Steve Allen directly influenced David Letterman. Letterman has influenced Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon, so some of Allen’s attitude and antics can still be seen on current late night talk shows. For the rest of the article, see “TV Shows You Should Know: The Tonight Show Starring Steve Allen.

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