Saturday, May 23, 2009

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. LXXXI

Quote of the Week: For the last time, I am not Linda Knievel. I will never be Linda Knievel. (Lily – How I Met Your Mother)

Song of the Week: Captain Jack – Billy Joel (as sung by Will Ferrell; Saturday Night Live)

Big News of the Week: Upfronts: For thoughts on Upfronts and what I will be watching come fall, check out Scooter’s Fall Television Schedule.

Coalition Links of the Week:
Season finales? What season finales? Buzz turned her attention to the months ahead and asked which summer TV show has you most excited. (BuzzSugar)

Vance had quite the reaction when Kris Allen won American Idol. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace reported on all of the goings-on at the 2009 network upfronts and offered up extremely advance reviews on the full pilots of such new series as ABC's V, Happy Town, and Modern Family, and NBC's Community. (Televisionary)

Scrubs may be back next season, but Jennifer said her goodbyes now. (Tube Talk)

After reading a few Melrose Place spoilers, Matt cannot wait for the reincarnation of this classic series. (TV Fanatic)

Greek: All the searching for the secret society stuff was pretty funny, especially when they heard Rusty and Dale talking, but I’m and not sure about the sceret bonding between Cappie and Evan. And doesn’t the Dean hate them and tried to get the Greek system thrown off campus? If so why invite to Greek presidents to join you society? You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Greek on iTunes.

How I Met Your Mother: So the mother will turn out to be one of Ted’s students? Eww. I really hope the writers come up with something creative that makes that not true because once we meet her, I will be creeped out for the rest of the series, even more than the thought of Future Ted telling his kids about all his sexscapades. You can stream current episodes over at Innertube. You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

Charm School with Ricki Lake: Wow, it is disturbing how the Real/Chance girls are so oblivious to how they are the epitome of the Mean Girls. Hopefully they get that when they rewatch the episode. You can also download I Love Money on iTunes.

Rescue Me: Proably the funniest episode of the season. All the stuff with Katie Katherine had me on the floor and the preceding road trip and dinner as well as Garrity’s, um, problems. Then there were the out of left field scenes with Tommy’s sister and uncle at the VA hospital. Although the ending was a little weird. Is Katie running away? You can stream current episodes over at Hulu.

Rescue Me on iTunes

Free Download of the Week: Delicious Vinyl Sampler (Amazon MP3): Delicious Vinyl was only second to Def Jam in terms of great hip-hop records from the eighties, and on this sampler you Young MC’s Bust a Move, a Tone Loc remix, songs from The Pharcyde and member Fatlip and more.

Deal of the Week: "Night at the Museum 2" Movie Tickets Offer (Big, The Simpsons Movie, Night at the Museum)

Video of the Week: Tuesday sees the season finale of My Boys featuring former Cubs player Mike Fontenot. Check out a clip below:

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Goode Family, Wednesday at 9:00 on ABC: Ironically just as Mike Judge’s redneck comedy King of the Hill ended its run just as George Bush left office, his show about tree hugging hippies debuts just as the age of Obama starts out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Press Release: Tuner Entertainment Networks Upfronts

All the news this week went to the major networks, but Tuner Entertainment Networks (TNT, TBS, TruTV) also held their upfronts earlier this week. Thier big news was that TBS was interested in picking up My Name Is Earl, a show they already syndicate. With their summer schedule set for a while (I will be talking more about those shows closer to their premieres), most of the shows in their pipeline won’t hit the air until 2010 at the earliest aside from the already announced Men of a Certain Age staring Ray Romano and Scott Bacula set to debut in December 2009 and Neighbors From Hell, an animated series coming in 2010. Here are the other programming and development plans in the works for the networks:


Scripted dramas

 UNTITLED ALIEN INVASION PROJECT – Six months after a worldwide alien invasion, a group of everyday heroes must rise up to fight for their survival – all while maintaining their humanity in the process. This project has been ordered to pilot and comes to TNT from DreamWorks Television and filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who will serve as executive producer along with DreamWorks Television heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank and screenwriter Robert Rodat. Rodat, who earned an Oscar® nomination for his screenplay for Saving Private Ryan, is writing the script for the pilot from an idea he co-conceived with Spielberg.

 CLASS ACTION (working title) – Steven Bochco, the mastermind behind many dramas, including TNT’s Raising the Bar, joins with Stephen Godchaux (Spin City) for this project, which follows a down-on-his-luck attorney as he fights for the disenfranchised.

 ZAPATA, TEXAS (working title) – The husband-and-wife team of Kyra Sedgwick (TNT’s The Closer) and Kevin Bacon co-conceived and will executive-produce this project, which is the story of a small Texas border town and its newly elected sheriff, “favorite son” Zeke. ZAPATA, TEXAS will follow Zeke as he navigates the equally treacherous waters of small-town politics and the volatile world of the U.S./Mexico border. Bacon is attached to direct the pilot.

 UNTITLED MATT WILLIAMS FAMILY DRAMA – Matt Williams, creator of Roseanne and co-creator of Home Improvement, takes a personal, passionate and ultimately heroic look at a loving, middle-American family that is keeping it together at a time when everything is trying to pull them apart.

 UNTITLED DANIEL PYNE NOIR DRAMA – Daniel Pyne’s many credits as a writer include The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Any Given Sunday and Pacific Heights. This project from Warner Horizon Television is set in 1954 Los Angeles, where a private detective tries to do the right thing as the ever-changing world makes it more difficult.

 PASTOR JAZZ – This drama focuses on a minister, his music and his passion for people’s hearts and souls, from the neediest to the wealthiest. Charles S. Dutton (The Express, Roc) is Pastor Jazz in this project, which is from Warner Horizon Television, Dutton, Mitchell Burgess (The Sopranos, Northern Exposure) and Robin Green (The Sopranos, Northern Exposure).

 MACALISTER – Henry Shepard is a washed-up-novelist-turned-professor who tries to inspire the boys of The Macalister School. F.J. Pratt (Less Than Perfect) and Dan Cohen (Less Than Perfect) look into the minds and mischief of students at an all-boys school in upstate New York, showing how one man can have an impact on children of wealth and privilege.

 PROOF – Dr. Geoffrey Pierce is an eccentric neuroscientist who uses his unique outlook to help the federal government solve complex cases. With an intimate knowledge of human behavior and a masterful understanding of the mind, this quirky, crime-solving doctor pulls lessons from an odd and imaginative view of the world. This project comes from ABC Studios, Kenneth Biller (Legend of the Seeker, Star Trek: Voyager) and Mike Sussman (Star Trek: Voyager)

unscripted dramas:

 THE MAYO CLINIC – When someone is ill and has been told nothing more can be done, there is one place to go – the renowned Mayo Clinic, where hope springs eternal. This project will chronicle the lives of Mayo doctors and their patients. Bill Guttentag (Nanking) and David Kanter (Rendition) are executive producers.

 TRIP OF A LIFETIME – Everyone has a dream or a wish unfulfilled. TRIP OF A LIFETIME will bring together extended, disconnected and deserving families. It could revolve around a lost family member, an unknown child, a missing brother or simply a returned keepsake. The project will be executive-produced by acclaimed author and travel expert Peter Greenberg and Rich Heller (Dallas: War of the Ewings)


 THE GAME OF LIFE – This half-hour sitcom follows four Pittsburgh friends as they reunite in their early 30s, only to discover life didn’t turn out quite as planned. THE GAME OF LIFE comes to TBS from Sony Pictures Television, executive-produced by Kevin James (The King of Queens, Paul Blart: Mall Cop), Rock Reuben (The King of Queens) and Jeff Sussman (The King of Queens, Paul Blart: Mall Cop).

 BIG TOW – This animated project from Sony Pictures Television, Tantamount and executive producer Clay Graham (The Drew Carey Show) will follow the life of J.D. Biggs, a small-town Tennessee single dad and local hero who runs a towing company.

 WEE HOURS – From Second City TV and executive producer Lowell Mate, this slice-of-life sketch comedy employs the talents of the legendary Second City comedy troupe to tell stories of Chicagoans during the wee hours of midnight to 6 a.m.


 NFL FULL CONTACT (working title) – truTV and NFL Films will provide unprecedented, exclusive access to what really goes on behind the scenes in professional football, from draft day to the Super Bowl.

 CONSPIRACY THEORY WITH JESSE VENTURA – He’s undertaken some of the most dangerous missions in the world as a Navy SEAL. He’s body-slammed giants in the wrestling ring as a WWE superstar. He’s even conquered politics as the governor of Minnesota. Now, Jesse Ventura is about to face his greatest challenge yet: uncovering the most compelling, modern-day conspiracy theories. CONSPIRACY THEORY is produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions (Hell’s Kitchen, I Survived a Japanese Game Show, Kitchen Nightmares).

 U.S. SPECIAL OPS: DECLASSIFIED (working title) – From producer Tom DeSanto (X-Men, Transformers) and 44 Blue Productions comes a thrilling new series that unlocks the case files of America’s elite terrorist hunters. Through a mix of cutting-edge computer animation, action-packed recreations and hair-raising interviews with actual agents, this series will recount the shocking, formerly top-secret details of the people who keep us safe while we sleep.

 FULL THROTTLE – This four-part series, produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions, will provide an inside look at the world’s largest biker bar. Mike Ballard, beautiful bartenders and a full cast of characters race against the clock to serve huge crowds at Ballard’s Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, S.D., during the town’s famed, nine-day motorcycle rally. More than 300,000 people visit the Full Throttle Saloon during the annual event, where Ballard and his team feel the pressure to make a year’s salary in a short time window, all while providing patrons an experience they will not forget. The series marks the first time cameras have been allowed to capture every minute.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scooter's Fall 2009 Television Schedule

There seemed to be less drama surrounding the Upfronts this year because it seemed like everything was leaked to be canceled or renewed sometime last week or before. But those last minute decisions have proved to be entertaining. CBS called NBC dumping Medium “inexplicable” which made NBC point out that Medium had smaller ratings than two shows (Without a Trace and The Unit) they canceled which CBS retorted that Medium had better ratings than five it renewed (Chuck, Law and Order, Southland, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreations). Hilarious.

But line of the week goes to My Name Is Earl creator Greg Garcia who responded when asked about not making it on the NBC lineup; “It’s hard to be too upset about being thrown off the Titanic.” Classic. But it may be a soft landing for Earl as it may be picked up by Fox. Note to Fox: I have not watched anything on your channel since the series finale of Arrested Development; if you pick up My Name Is Earl, I will take you off the parental block on my television.

Garcia isn’t the only one to be burning bridges as Jimmy Kimmel brought his gas can to the Upfronts. The big difference is Kimmel is still standing on his bridge. To the ABC advertisers, Kimmel said, “You don’t need an upfront, you need therapy.” Did someone forget to tell Kimmel these are the people that pay his salary? He then went on to say of the new shows, “We’re going to cancel about 90% of them,” he said. “Everyone is full of (expletive deleted).” I am assuming Kimmel saw the V reboot preview clips that are laughably bad or Flash Forward which looks as good as V but without the unintentional comedy. And the current ABC line-up didn’t go unscaved when Kimmel offered, “Next year on Grey’s Anatomy, your product could kill Dr. Izzie. It just depends on how much you want to pay.”

In other network news, apparently The CW still exists (albeit down to nine hours of programming a week). Who knew? But anyways. Here is what I will be (tentatively) be watching this fall.

8:00 – How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
8:30 – Accidentally on Purpose (CBS)
9:00 – Trauma (NBC)
9:30 – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
10:00 Castle (ABC)

Oh, CBS, why do you smite me? The TBBT/HIMYM was a nice combination, I know you totally ruining that by putting a crappy new show and the unwatchable Two and a Half Men in-between. I sure TBBT will get an extra 3-4 million viewers at 9:30 than 8:00, but shouldn’t CBS care more that they are inconveniencing me? I guess I will give Accidentally on Purpose a chance to bridge HIMYM and Trauma but I have a feeling that I will end up just flipping to whatever crappy show on VH1 during that half hour instead. At least when Chuck returns after the Olympics, I can watch that at 8:00, HIMYM on tape delay at 9:00 then TBBT at 9:30. And much like last season, I will most likely be watching Castle via the internet. The first season was moderately enjoyable and the cliff hanger should make things interesting.

The day continues to the least interesting day on the TV schedule. I blame karaokers, has been’s and never were’s. And seriously, Jay Leno chews up five hours a week and NBC still devotes two hour blocks to The Biggest Loser and Donald Trump? Wouldn’t they get better rating if they were one hour and just a longer season?

8:00 – Parenthood (NBC)
8:30 – Gary Unmarried (CBS)
9:00 – Modern Family (ABC)

Modern Family sounds like just a replacement for According to Jim except gayer. But it does star Al Bundy (who I assume isn’t part of the gay couple), Carol Vessey, and the token hot chick from Let’s Rob Mick Jagger (who I wouldn’t mind if were part of the gay couple), so hopefully it will be at least watchable.

8:00 – Survivor (CBS)

Remember Thursdays were the biggest logjam of the week? Not so much for me anymore. I may turn into Weekend Update during the Survivor commercials, but how entertaining can that be in a non-election year?

Friday, Saturday, Sunday
I got nothing. At least until NBC comes to its senses and gives an ax to Southland and puts Friday Night Lights in its place.

Chuck (NBC; Mondays at 8:00)
Lost (ABC)
I may also give Day One (NBC, Mondays at 9:00) and Mercy (Wednesdays at 8:00) a chance but will be on a short leash or reserved for Hulu.

Summer 2010
Friday Night Lights (NBC)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Want My Music Television vol. LII

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Don’t Wanna Cry

Can’t say I was too fond of the last album from Pete Yorn after his solid first two albums. Here is hoping that Back and Forth (due June 23) gets Yorn back on track. If your are interested in downloading Don’t Wanna Cry for free, head over to

Use Somebody – Kings of Leon

If I were to make a list of the best songs of the first half of the year, Kings of Leon would be in the discussion. And I would highly recommend hunting down the mash up of Use Somebody with Same Old Song by the Four Tops.

Hey You – 311

311 predated the horrible rap/metal fad of the late nineties and have seemed to outlast it and still is putting out decent music. Plus this video is great, seriously, sign-wielding ninjas! Learning that the sign twirling was CGI would be like learning that Manny Ramirez was trying to get pregnant.

New in Town – Little Boots

I have no idea who Little Boots is (are?), but the song is definitely catchy and the video is cool especially the homage to Beat It.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

You Think that’s Bad You Should Hear the Rest of My Album

Relapse - Eminem

Thanks to the ineptitude of the music industry, Eminem may be the last superstar it ever creates. After the teaser of My Name Is, Slim Shady exploded into the stratosphere of stardom with The Marshall Mathers LP with a mix of catchy disposable rap for the TRL set and more credible flows for the hip hop head. And during a time when ever rap album had over fifty percent of the songs having the word “featuring” attached to it, Eminem managed to fill full album with nary a partner except for a rare verse from his buddies 50 Cent and some beats provided by mentor Dr. Dre.

But it has been five years since Eminem has released a new album and in the rap genre, the years away can be counted like dog years. The Shady persona made it usually first appearance with the first single We Made You where Em does his usual run down of celebrities but raging on Sarah Palin, Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan all seemed a couple months too late and even featured one of the weakest Dre beat to date. He even goes even more outdates bringing up with failed relationship with Mariah Carey on Bagpipes from Bagdad. But that does feature the best line when Em chants chucking corn much like the famous refrain about Chaka Khan.

The rest of the songs on Relapse can be put into different themes: murder and drugs. And for over seventy-five minutes and fifteen songs he goes over those topics over and over again. The former goes into gruesome detail playing out a special on Court TV to the point it is reminiscent of the horrorcore genre that failed to gain any acceptance, critical or commercial, during the mid-nineties. And most of the songs are just shocking for the sake of shock value and have no depth like say Stan.

Even more nonsensical is Eminem’s flow as most of the songs features the same nasal cadence that is featured on the first two singles We Made You and 3 A.M. Also Relapse seems Em tread the same subjects again and again with Lindsay Lohan, Hanna Montana, Kim Kardashian, Heath Ledger, and Christopher Reeves getting multiple references throughout the album. The last even Em knows he has gone to for even mentioning so later in the album blaming Reeves for having a last name that is too easy to rhyme. But on the bright side Relapse is Auto-Tune free.

The one thing that saves the album from being unlistenable is Dr. Dre’s beats which are as crisp as ever (sans the one for We Made You). Most of the songs have the trademark Dre bass attack while Bagpipes from Bagdad gets a Middle Eastern flavor. The best though is saved for last with the menacing strings of Underground. Hopefully this is a precursor for Detox whenever that actually comes out which is a running joke on the album with Eminem originally says 2010 but later postpones it to 2020.

Song to Download – Underground

Relapse gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Eminem on iTunes

Monday, May 18, 2009

Who Is This Jackass?

Benjamin Coach WadeFor better or worse, Survivor: Tocantins belonged to Benjamin “Coach” Wade. Not since Johnny Fairplay has a contestant this annoying had last this long, two tribal councils away from landing in the finals. So every episode this season we got a heavy dose of words of wisdoms and honor that proved to be hypocritical like how he wanted to compete against the strongest but was quick to vote out Brandon right after the merge or how he played the game truthfully but lied straight face about trying to realign with Sierra after his Warrior Alliance failed.

James J.T. ThomasCoach selling out Brandon (who in turned tried to blindside Coach at the same tribal council) set up the most improbably power triad in Survivor history in Stephen Fishbach, James “J.T.” Thomas, and Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George (SWV member and wife of Eddie) who went into the merge outnumbered by six to three (after Joe Dowdle had to drop up due to medical reasons) and preceded to orchestrate five straight Timbira eliminations to land themselves into the final four. Keep in mind I am not one of those instant historian that likes to throw hyperboles around, but that was the biggest upset in Survivor history. They became so confident they didn’t even bother to play their hidden immunity idol.

Tamara Taj Johnson-GeorgeThen came the biggest shock in a jury full of blindsides in that J.T. and Stephen turned on Taj to keep around Erinn Lobdell (who is one of the rare chick who looked better after a shower then a month without one for some reason) which was one of many questionable moves the duo made this season. But in the end, they were the last two standing, so what do I know? Well I did know that J.T. would win as I predicted as such during my First Impressions of Survivor: Tocantins. So there’s that.

Next up is Survivor: Samoa, which from a visual standpoint should be good because the South Pacific tend to be the most beautiful destinations. And if I could make one suggestion: it is time for Jeff Probst to stop asking if the immunity winner wants to give it away because, to the best of my knowledge, it has only happened once and that was in the bizarre All-Star season. Even the most secure immunity holders have passed it on so stop wasting time in asking and do away with it.

Survivor: Tocantins gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Survivor on iTunes

Sunday, May 17, 2009

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. LXXX

The Big Bang Theory: A solid end to thje season and hopefully the season premiere gives us some more time up in the arctic with the boys because there is certainly a lot a laughs being in tight quarters with Sheldon for a long period of time. But I am not sure I am on board for another Penny / Leonard coupling. You can stream clips over at Innertube. You can also download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.

Greek: So Evan actually has a heart. They have been writing him as the biggest tool in the world for the last season or so it is nice to see him more complex like in the first season. And the Cappa Tau reverse scavenger hunt was pretty funny. You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Greek on iTunes.

How I Met Your Mother: So two weeks ago Future Ted makes a big deal about changing him normal routine that led to meeting the mother, only to bump into Stella whom we know is not the mother. Then this week that chance encounter only leads to learning that Stella is going to California. Hurumph. For the season finale we better learn how bumping into Stella led to meeting the mother or I will be thoroughly disappointed. You can stream current episodes over at Innertube. You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

Rescue Me:It is really hard not to laugh at all of Shawn’s cancer stuff yet I always seemed to let some out every time. Although does he really plan to skim some money here and there to get his treatment? Mike is dumb, but he isn’t that dumb. You can stream current episodes over at Hulu.

Rescue Me on iTunes

Survivor: Finally after about six weeks after his tipping point, Coach has been slayed. Of course he goes out with a poem and more hypocrisy with his death before honor. I wouldn’t be against devoting half of the reunion show for Probst calling out Coach on all the lies and stuff he has been caught on. You can stream current episodes over at Innertube.

Survivor on iTunes

My Name Is Earl: I said it the last time he was on, but I wouldn’t be against Norm McDonald joining the cast. Or at least show up more than once a season (if there is somehow another season). You can stream current episodes over at You can also download My Name Is Earl on iTunes.

You can also see my First Impression of Charm School with Ricki Lake (interestingly enough, the week the show debuted, Dean LaLa gets kicked out of a Nuggets game, she’s married to Carmelo Anthony) and my Last Impressions of Lost.