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Howard Stern or Piers Morgan: Who’s Got Talent?

In June 2006, a competition show premiered on NBC, ostensibly to compete with the hugely popular American Idol. It was hosted by Regis Philbin with judges David Hasslehoff, Brandy, and a controversial British tabloid journalist named Piers Morgan. The show was called America’s Got Talent,  and it is profoundly surprising that 7 years later, after so many changes, it’s still doing well. None of the original cast is on the show anymore, with the most noticeable change coming this season. Piers Morgan is no longer at the judges table. I have seen at least a few episodes of every season since the show started. Morgan, who started out as a blatant Simon Cowell imitator, was the one constant. As the years went on, he development his own (albeit still antagonistic) style. With him gone, I didn’t know what to expect this season. I will say unequivocally that Howard Stern, with his experience in the entertainment industry and reaching out to audiences, was a very good choice as a replacement. I do believe he will do well this season. However, as a somewhat loyal viewer from the beginning, I am going to miss his predecessor.

The show has been at its best since Nick Cannon took over as host in Season 4 because he had a far more captivating presence and higher energy level than the previous two hosts, Regis Philbin and Jerry Springer.  It concerns me that his enjoyable quarreling rapport with Morgan can now longer be part of the show. Morgan had a reputation of being harsh with the buzzer, while Cannon was known to defend the acts. It made for especially good TV when Cannon would walk out onto the stage during the audition process to stick up for the entertaining untalented acts. Cannon would enthusiastically shout “Hit the track!” and continue an atrocious singing or dancing act, ensuring that even the disgraced contestant would have a good time. Last season, Cannon was relentlessly pulling for karaoke artist  Udi Abgagnale, so the judges just left the studio, so they didn’t have to listen as Cannon, Abagnale, and the crowd kept singing “Hot Hot Hot.” Morgan just asked  the camera incredulously, “Do you see what’s going on with Nick Cannon?” Who’s decided Udi is the hit of the show.” That was good television. The best interactions in  competition shows the last few years between a host and a judge have been between Cannon and Morgan. Whether it was Cannon’s defense of acts or Morgan’s ridicule of Cannon’s fashion choices, their relationship on the show worked. I have yet to see the same type of interaction between Cannon and Stern.

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Introducing Our Newest Blogger: Jeremy Einbinder

I’m Jeremy and I am majoring in Radio/Television/Film at Rowan University. I have an interest in sitcoms and stand up. My favorite show lately is Community. 

I hope to work in TV production or writing of some kind once I graduate. This is my first time working on a blog, but since it is about television, I feel like I’m in my element. I will always have a strong opinion and a unique perspective, one that usually differs from that of the general public. Sometimes things thought of as good, even exceptional, tend to bore me. Other times, TV thought of as horrible tends to hold my attention. It could be that I genuinely like it or because it’s a car crash I can’t turn away from.

Regardless, I’m excited to find my voice and to put my name out there. I will continue to be an outspoken contributor. Whether you like it or you hate it, I’m going to be doing the job.

Previewing NBC’s Fall 2012 Season- Part 1

Upon hearing that  Community got renewed for a fourth season, I was excited, but also a little disappointed in the size of the order. Thirteen episodes means less of a chance of further continuation (six seasons and a movie!), but given the fact that NBC needed room to budget its new shows it wasn’t a surprise. It also got me very curious about the upcoming Fall season.

Most shows produced for network television never see the light of day.  A lot of them get cancelled after a few episodes. Some get really bad time slots,  others get terrible lead-ins. A lot of times, it’s just a bad show. The point is very few shows get respectable runs, especially in recent years. On NBC, the only truly stellar run in the last 5 years has been The Office, which is clearly on the decline. Not since the ending of  Friends could any show on the network truly be considered a “classic”, so there’s a certain degree of skepticism in my mind when there are six shows debuting in the fall and many more set to debut afterwards.

Go On

Lately, Matthew Perry has made a career of less than promising movies and sitcoms that go no more than 15 episodes. It’s just not the same as when he was Chandler. Hopefully that will change because Go On is looking promising.

As Ryan King, Perry portrays a slick, sarcastic sportscaster who, after the death of his wife, is ready to get back to work. However, his boss will not let him back on the air until he goes to group therapy. King’s goal is really just to get back on the air as soon as he can, but it seems that his less-than-caring approach seems to work for him and the group. Perry’s character resorts back to what worked best for Chandler: a tragic backstory and the use of humor as a defense mechanism.

The highlight of the trailer was a sequence of Ryan holding a contest for “Who has the best sob story?”, known as “March Sadness”.  With its snarky attitude, a caring story, and what seems like a solid supporting cast for Perry, this show looks like it could last a while. NBC is advertising this series as Matthew Perry’s return. Here’s hoping it’s a bit more triumphant than the last attempt, which was Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip in 2007.

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