Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 31, 2008 - Smallville Returns, Piers vs. Vinnie, and More

Not much to update with the writers strike. However, rumors have been flying all week that this strike is very close to being over as both sides have continued to talk although they still haven't had "official" negotiations. I imagine that the upcoming Oscars is putting pressure on things as well. Variety has an article tonight saying that the CEO's are getting frustrated with trying to get this thing settled and are about to set a possible target date to start the official negotiations or they may walk away. If you didn't know, the SAG is about to have their contracts expire this summer and they took an unhappy shot at the DGA deal earlier this week. The DGA then fired back at the SAG saying that the deal was good. More side deals are being made with the WGA from companies to get their writers back. From what I've been reading this week overall, I am feeling cautiously optimistic that the strike may be resolved soon. I see this as either ending very soon or going very long. I just don't know if I see a middle ground in the length of the strike. I just hope it is resolved soon cause everyone is way past being impatient.

The networks are showing the effects of the strike. To compare the networks 18-49 viewership as to a year ago, CBS is down 26%, ABC is down 23%, FOX is down 15%, NBC is down 7%, while The CW is down 50%. Fox is in the best position right now with its ratings magnet, American Idol, back on the air.

Movie box office numbers for last weekend. 1. Meet The Spartans - $18.7 million. 2. Rambo - $18.2 million. 3. 27 Dresses - $13.6 million. 4. Cloverfield - $12.7 million. 5. Untraceable - $11.2 million. 6. Juno - $10.3 million. 7. The Bucket List - $10.2 million. 8. There Will Be Blood - $4.9 million. 9. National Treasure - $4.7 million. 10. Mad Money - $4.6 million.

This week's American Idol episodes took the auditions to Omaha and Miami. Again, I did my tally on good and bad auditions which I've explained in previous Wrap Up's. Here we go. In the Omaha episode, I had nine good auditions compared to five bad ones. The five bad also included two montages. In the Miami episode, I had nine good and eight bad with one neutral. There was one bad montage in that list of eight. Definitely pleased to see the good outweighing the bad. Omaha sent nineteen people on to Hollywood while Miami sent seventeen. Favorite moment of the week was the stuff with Ryan being brought in to take Paula's place in the judging. That was funny stuff especially with Ryan's line of "how do I pretend to be overpaid for doing nothing?". The other highlight of that segment was Samantha Sidley. I really liked her. Different sound to her and just came off incredibly nice. Definitely one of my favorites so far. Standouts for me this week besides Samantha were: Angelica Puente (her story was that she has had a rough relationship with her father), David Cook (the rocker who talked of the influence of Chris Daughtry), Leo Marlowe (the guy who said he was from the "smallest town in the history of life"), Brittany Wescott & Corliss Smith (the friends who auditioned together and were hitting on all the men, LOL), and Syesha Mercado (big voice who sang Aretha and I kept trying to see if I saw a comparison between her and Christina Christian). I am really looking forward the Hollywood episodes to see these people competing again. Next week's auditions take us to Atlanta.

Carrie Underwood's latest music video for All American Girl is now online. This is one of my favorite songs on the album. When I heard it, I was thinking that it would be a good song to make a fun video out of and it definitely turned into that. Definitely the most fun Carrie video so far and it looked like she had a great time shooting it. Here it the link to check it out.
http://www.cmt.com/videos/carrie-underwood/205307/allamerican-girl.jhtml

It was so bizarre to finally watch a new Smallville tonight. Bizarre, but what about Bizarro? We got round two of Clark vs. Bizarro. Bizarro ended up being destroyed by what Brainiac told him could happen and that was letting human emotions get in the way as it had with Clark. It ended up being the end of Bizarro who went out in exploding fashion courtesy of blue kryptonite. One thing learned in this episode again was that Chloe knows Clark better than Lana. Chloe knew Clark wasn't himself and went to Lana with the info but Lana wasn't buying it. Lana was completely fooled while, once again, Chloe was on top of the mystery. Welcome back to my TV screen James Marsters. Great to see him return tonight. Brainiac ended up using both Clark and Bizarro to find the man that created him to find out how to fix himself. The info was refused to him so he took matters into his own hands. Well, I can't say that I expected that ending with Lionel and Grant/Jullian. So, Lex got someone to take out Grant cause he was getting too close to Lionel. WOW. I didn't see that coming!! Who was the hitman??!! Or hitwoman?? What an awesome song to close the episode cause the song had such an eerie sound to it that it fit the closing of that show perfectly. For those of you wondering, the song that closed the episode was "Pioneer To The Falls" by Interpol. I loved the episode tonight and I was just thrilled to finally have a new episode to watch.

Get ready for more Survivor. CBS has given the go ahead for two more seasons. That will get the show to a 17th and 18th season.

Vinnie vs. Piers. This was two hours of good TV tonight on The Celebrity Apprentice. I figured that this was going to be two episodes tonight but instead we got an expanded episode. The task involved finding a way to help promote the croc shoes recycling program. Things heated up immediately when the teams were put in rooms right next to each other. The men thought that the women were standing outside and spying on them to which the women later denied. This was when Piers's plan went into effect. Piers was the project manager and decided to stage an argument with Vinnie to have him go spy on the women. They made a big scene of it and of course the women heard it. Vinnie was sent outside into the hallway and before you knew it, he was brought in by the women joining their team. Later, Vinnie got the notes that he and the women had come up with and then threw it down the hall to Stephen. Stephen decided that he didn't want anything to do with it saying that it had gone too far. He had Lennox pick it up and they knew their slogan and presentation idea. Vinnie went with Marilu to work on the building of their presentation. He then decided that he wanted to help the women out and turn on Piers. He told Marilu about how he was supposed to be the "rat" but that he was now on their side. Trace started having second thoughts as well later saying that he didn't like this whole idea all along and wish he had spoken up about it originally. Things get bad when Piers and Stephen later go down the hall to the women while the women are doing the photo shoot. They start saying the women's slogan and talk about what Carol would be doing for the presentation. The women knew there was someone leaking information and it all pointed to Vinnie. Piers didn't hide it either and basically just tossed Vinnie under the bus. So, the women figure it out. Omarosa calls Marilu and Vinnie and call him out on everything. Marilu says that she didn't know that he had revealed that much information as he had said "little" information. The women kick him off the team. He goes back to the men furious over being put in this position. He and Piers go at it for a while and it ends up that Vinnie is without a team. The women end up winning the task and I have to say that I really liked both presentations. The board room revolves around what all had happened between Vinnie and Piers. Both explained their positions on it and Piers said that he did set Vinnie up to look bad and hopefully lead to his being fired. Vinnie actually resigned at one point from the show but later took it back. He had Stephen and Trace on his side. Lennox said that he'd rather have Piers around cause Piers knows how to win. Piers was sweating pretty badly toward the end as he was close to being fired. However, Vinnie decided to just go ahead and stick with his original plan and resign. He said that he didn't need this in his life with getting all stressed and arguing with Piers possibly effecting his health. We then got the spoof on The Sopranos ending with "Don't Stop Believin" playing as Vinnie made his exit. Then, he goes to get in the taxi and the show goes to black just like the ending of The Sopranos. So, my overall thoughts on the episode. I really liked it and it was good TV. I'm glad that they expanded it to two hours cause there was way too much going on to cover in one hour. Vinnie did get a bad deal being put in that position. I can definitely see his position on why he had to resign and get out of there. I still have to say that Piers is good TV whether you like him or not and he is strong in these tasks. He and Stephen have some odd kind of working relationship where they don't get along a lot of the time but they do strong work. Interesting to see that Ivanka was all about seeing the men trying to sabotage the women and going to that level of trying to win. She was disappointed that the women were falling for it. I was happy to see the women win and Carol definitely gets major credit for winning the task. She needed a strong performance to keep her in this competition and she did it. It looks like next week's episode will see more fallout from this situation with Stephen meeting with Trump.

The Celebrity Apprentice has already been renewed for another season. The new season will premiere in January 2009. The show has done good ratings for NBC but I am curious to see how it does against the returning Lost tonight.

I still miss watching American Dreams and it was nice to see that Michael Ausiello over at TV Guide talked to Brittany Snow on a topic that many of us have questioning about for years. I'm talking about a DVD release of seasons two and three which would include the alternate ending of the show that we've STILL never seen. Thanks for nothing NBC!! Here is a link to check out what Brittany had to say about the DVD's and the alternate ending.
http://www.tvguide.com/special/SAG%2D2008/videos.aspx?maven_playerId=sag08&maven_referralPlaylistId=025e6b31a2b3b2c7698e33397227bd330f733fe0&maven_referralObject=7723883f-734b-4229-9f6a-0332febd61c3

Fox Home Entertainment is set to re-release the Roswell DVD sets on April 29th. The sets will have new art work for the covers. All three seasons will be re-released that day. I don't know if I'm very crazy about how they have Katherine Heigl standing out from everyone else on the covers. I like Katherine but it just kind of feels like the others are being downgraded or something. One real problem I had was with the season two cover. Where in the world is Shiri Appleby? That show was focused on Max and Liz so seeing her left off of the season two cover is just odd. Roswell was a favorite show of mine that aired from 1999-2002 and was on for three seasons. Fans fought hard with the campaigns to keep it going and I actually participated in it as well sending stuff to the WB and then to UPN. Upon hearing the news of the DVD release, I had to check to see if my favorite Roswell website was still around and sure enough it is. The Crashdown is still online. Head over to www.crashdown.com to get more info on Roswell.

The Nightmare On Elm Street movie series is set to return. Michael Bay is set to produce the remake.

The revival of American Gladiators has ended up reviving another Gladiator project. Gladiators 2000 which aired in the early 90's and was a kids version of American Gladiators will be brought back. It appears that it will air in syndication. The show was hosted by a younger Ryan Seacrest. I watched the original American Gladiators but I do not remember this kids version of the show at all.

TNT has acquired the rights to begin airing the Fox hit show Bones in repeats.

TV on DVD releases for Tuesday, February 5th.
Beauty and the Beast (Season Three), The DL Chronicles (Season One), McLeod's Daughters (Season Five), Perfect Strangers (Seasons One & Two), Rides (Season Four, Volume Two), Route 66 (Season One, Volume Two), Soul Food (Season Three), Third Watch (Season One), Wire In The Blood (Season Four).

You Tube Video Of The Week:
AE Winter Tales. Yeah, I know it's late for a Christmas themed video but I couldn't pass this up. This short has a definite Heroes tie to it. This was produced by Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff. The narration is by none other than Kristen Bell.

As a bonus, here is a link to see the making of clip. Really impressive with how it is all put together.

Wishing all of you a great weekend!! Take care and God bless!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

January 24, 2008 - Writers/AMPTP Talking, Amazing Race, Oscars, and more

Wow, what sad news this week about Heath Ledger!! He was a very talented actor and someone that I looked at as an actor that was going to do some great things in the future. He had already had a good career and strong movie performances including an Oscar nomination. So sad to see such a promising career cut short. My prayers go out to his family and friends!!

Strike update. Well, the good news is that the writers and the AMPTP were set to meet on Wednesday to decide whether to continue the negotiations. The WGA and AMPTP put out this joint statement about their first meeting, "On Wednesday, January 23rd, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will begin informal discussions to determine if there is a basis for both parties to return to formal negotiations. Both the AMPTP and the WGA have agreed to make no public comments about the informal discussions until those discussions have concluded." The WGA also said to its members in a letter that they have "decided to withdraw our proposals on reality and animation" hoping that it would help the negotiations as this was said to be a big factor on why the AMPTP left the negotiating table in the first place. The sides are still meeting so hopefully that is good news. The WGA has also reached separate deals with Lionsgate and Marvel Entertainment. The networks continue to make cuts. The shows that were in development are now starting to get cut. CBS was said to have cut 20 out of their plans. Fox and The CW have begun making cuts as well. Fox was said to have cut about 24 while The CW cut around 12. ABC is also making cuts to its developmental plans. This is obviously beginning to play into what I was concerned about and that was the fall season. Fall is already starting to reel from the strike with all of this news. However, NBC is not cutting their development plans. The WGA has also decided not to picket The Grammy Awards. The Academy Awards still plan on going ahead as planned.

Week two of American Idol is done and I say, even stronger this week, that I am feeling good about this season. The show has done some really good stories on several of the singers so far and we're getting a story to put with the singer. Once again, I did a tally of good and bad singers to see the ratio of who got the most time on the show. If a person's name is shown on TV, I count that as a person. If a montage is shown without names being shown, I just count the whole montage as one. Tuesday's show from the San Diego auditions went this way with what I've got. I had eleven bad auditions compared to seven good auditions. There was one montage in there and it was of good auditions. Wednesday's show from Charleston was a lot more complicated to rate. I say that cause there were some that didn't make it through to Hollywood that I didn't think were bad. So, I had a neutral category going with this episode. I had five good auditions with one montage. I had seven bad auditions with two montages. Then, I had four neutrals. San Diego had 31 singers that went on to Hollywood while Charleston sent 23. Lots of good stories this week and good singers although I thought the star power may have been stronger with some of last week's singers. Just thought I'd give some random thoughts on various people from this week's shows. Carly Smithson is the one that is getting a lot of buzz about her. She made it through to Hollywood a couple of years ago but was DQ'd when she couldn't get her visa to come through for her as she was from out of the country . She is back this season and got good reviews from the judges so keep an eye on her to do well. Oliver Highman was the new father as his wife went into labor while the auditions were underway. We ended up with an Idol baby and he was able to bring his wife and baby back to the audition. Super nice guy but he didn't make it through. I was disappointed as I thought he was definitely good enough to get to Hollywood. He took it great though and wanted to introduce them to his wife and new baby. After it all, Paula was having second thoughts on him not getting through. No doubt. I thought he was good. Samantha Musa was a lot of fun as her and her sister were the Simon fanatics and the sister got to sit and judge with the others. London Weidberg had a good story and it was nice to see her get through to Hollywood. She was the one who had to put her music on hold due to her dad having cancer. I liked David Archuleta and was very impressed with his voice considering that he came back from vocal chord paralysis. I liked Amy Flynn as well. She was the abstinence speaker and also high school dance team member. Fun personality and talented singer. I did cringe when she said that she was going to sing "Reflections" but I cringe when anybody says they're going to sing that song or just about any Christina Aguilera song cause they are such hard songs to sing. Amy did well with it but I look forward to hearing what she can do with some other songs. The brother/sister combination of Jeffery and Michelle Lampkin were fun. As far as bad auditions go, I did have to laugh at the one girl that was talking about how she did tend to laugh at the bad auditions on TV. Then, she took a beating from the judges and said in the confessional "I'll be one of the rejects. So not cool". It's such a reaction that anyone would be thinking if they did bad. Overall, I really enjoyed this week's Idol episodes and am liking what I'm seeing so far with the singers getting through to Hollywood. Next week takes the auditions to Omaha, Nebraska.

Movie box office numbers for last weekend. 1. Cloverfield - $41 million. 2. 27 Dresses - $22.4 million. 3. The Bucket List - $15.2 million. 4. Juno - $10.3 million. 5. National Treasure - $8.1 million. 6. Mad Money - $7.7 million. 7. Alvin & The Chipmunks - $7 million. 8. First Sunday - $5.5 million. 9. I Am Legend - $5.1 million. 10. Atonement - $4.8 million.

The finish line has been reached for another season of The Amazing Race. The team that crossed the finish line first was TK & Rachel. I was very happy with them winning as they have been my favorite team for much of the season. They did the final leg of the race just like they have all of their others and that was just remaining calm and working on the task at hand. Ronald & Christina led for much of the last leg until all the teams met up at the final roadblock which was letting the teams have to figure out a puzzle that involved their travels during the entire race. It was clear that whoever left there first was probably going to win it. It was Rachel, Christina, and Nicolas all battling it out with their partners all just standing waiting and hoping for their partner to run out of there in the lead. Rachel got out of there first. TK & Rachel headed for the finish line finishing first and winning the million dollars. Second place went to Ronald & Christina and third place went to Donald & Nicolas. TK & Rachel were very close to being eliminated in the last couple of episodes so it really shows how tough that they were to overcome the odds. Congrats to TK & Rachel for winning this season of The Amazing Race.

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Hey Big Brother fans. Jessica from Big Brother 8 is now on the radio. You can listen to her on 96.3FM out of Wichita, Kansas. If you aren't in the area, don't worry as the station streams online at this link: http://www.channel963.com/pages/stream.html
Jessica is on the air with Sammy from 3:30pm to 7:00pm central time Monday through Friday. I tuned in to listen to her today and she is doing really good on there. Sounds like she is having a lot of fun!!

Don't forget that Smallville returns with new episodes one week from tonight on The CW.

A Buffy reunion was announced today that will take place at The Paley Center For Media during PaleyFest08 in March. No news on who will be appearing but that is the plan for it. For more info, head over to: http://www.paleycenter.org/

Some Buffy/Angel comic news for you. The first issue of the season eight Buffy comic was the 15th highest selling comic of 2007. IDW, who is doing the season six comic for Angel, has said that the first issue of the Angel series is the highest charted comic release ever for them. The first printing of the comic was said to be sold out before it was even released in stores. If you didn't know, issue three of Angel is now in stores and issue ten of Buffy is also in stores.

The nominations are in for the 80th Annual Academy Awards set to take place on Sunday, February 24th. Here are the nominations for some of the categories.
Best Picture: Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood.
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"; Julie Christie, "Away from Her"; Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"; Laura Linney, "The Savages"; Ellen Page, "Juno".
Best Actor: George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"; Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"; Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd"; Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"; Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises".
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"; Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"; Saorise Ronan, "Atonement"; Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"; Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton.
Best Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"; Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Charlie Wilson's War"; Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"; Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton".
Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood"; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Jason Reitman, "Juno"; Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly".
Best Original Screenplay: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, "Ratatouille"; Diablo Cody, "Juno"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Tamara Jenkins, "The Savages"; Nancy Oliver, "Lars and the Real Girl".
Best Sound Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum, No Country for Old Men, Ratatouille, There Will Be Blood, Transformers.
Best Sound Mixing: The Bourne Ultimatum, No Country for Old Men, Ratatouille, 3:10 to Yuma, Transformers.
Best Visual Effects: The Golden Compass, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End,
Transformers.
Best Animated Feature: Perseopolis, Ratatouille, Surf's Up.
Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"; Roger Deakins, "No Country for Old Men"; Robert Elswit, "There Will Be Blood"; Janusz Kaminski, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Seamus McGarvey, "Atonement".

Tonight's Celebrity Apprentice. The task was selling tickets to Broadway shows in New York. The teams were allowed to negotiate to deal on which shows that each team got to sell for. Vinnie led the men as project manager while Marilu was the project manager for the women. The episode was mostly once again about who had the most contacts to write big money checks. Of the two ticket booths, I thought the women had the better presentation and Marilu did a good job in leading it. Piers was put in a outfit that resembled King Arthur and was fine with doing it. I did have to think that things were coming back and getting Piers with the people ignoring him on the streets. I seem to remember Piers a few weeks ago being rude to people in New York who wanted to give money for charity for the hot dog challenge. He wouldn't even bother with them if they couldn't spend humongous amounts so it was funny that it came back at him in this episode. It matched the nickname of Boomerang that Stephen gave him. Whether you like or don't like Piers though, he is delivering big for the men's team. So much so that I was shocked when the men won once again remaining undefeated. They defeated the women $33,300 to $31,700. I was completely surprised as it really appeared that the women were going to win. Nely had some people coming to write some checks but they weren't able to arrive in time which would have likely given the women the win. Marilu brought Jennie and Carol back with her to the boardroom and it was Jennie who was fired. Jennie admitted how hard it was to compete with the women cause of all the strong clashing personalities. Jennie just seemed too nice of a person for this kind of a competition. Trump also agreed looking at it is as doing her a favor of getting her away from all the nastiness that this show can take at times. Next week will apparently be seeing a big clash between Piers and Vinnie.

We almost had the first million dollar winner on Deal Or No Deal. Britney Lewzader of Gilbertsville, KY was within one case of having it. The million dollar challenge is underway and that meant that nine $1,000,000 cases were on the board. I am pretty sure it was nine at the point of this episode but I'm not positive. Her story was that her and her husband wanted to start a family but weren't able to afford it. She asked about whether they could if she found a way for them to afford it and he told her yes. So, Britney gets on Deal Or No Deal and she was a lot of fun. I was on the edge of my seat wanting her to win the million dollars cause she was so close to winning. She was extremely likable and became someone that you could tell everyone in the studio was pulling for to win. The story of her game seemed to remain 50/50 odds on the million dollars and it remained that way till the end. She played a smart game all the way to the end and kept the odds strong in her favor until she got to 50% with only two cases in play. She would either walk away with $400 or $1,000,000 and she chose to take the deal of $471,000. Good deal as her case contained the $400. Watching that show just makes you think what would you do with those decisions of whether to take the money or keep playing? She made the right decision at the end as you couldn't risk leaving with $400.

Not only is Jericho getting set to return with season two on CBS but Jericho will be having its reruns airing on the Sci-Fi Channel. The first two seasons have been picked up by Sci-Fi and the first rerun airings of Jericho on the channel will be a four episode marathon on February 11th. Don't forget about the season two premiere on CBS on Tuesday, February 12th.

I did not even realize that Julie Benz was in the new Rambo movie until I saw her doing promotional stuff for it this week. I think the hair color change threw me off. That is a big movie role for her and I think she is a very good actress. Big fan of her work on Angel. I actually got to meet her a few years ago and she was extremely nice. I always like to see the Whedon-verse actors doing well.

Starz premiered two original shows this week. First, Head Case is about a celebrity therapist with a unique way of treating her patients. There will be several celebrities making appearances on the show. Also premiering was Hollywood Residential. That show is about the host of a celebrity home makeover show. The host is also a struggling actor and ends up ruining celebrity homes and humiliating himself in the process. Expect to see a lot of celebrity names making appearances on this show as well including American Idol's Paula Abdul. Head Case airs on Wednesdays at 9pm central time while Hollywood Residential airs Wednesdays at 9:30pm central time on Starz. You can currently watch the first episodes of both shows over online at these links:
http://www.starz.com/starzheadcase
http://www.starz.com/starzhollywoodres

TV on DVD releases for Tuesday, January 29th.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Volume Five), Curb Your Enthusiasm (Season Six), Damages (Season One), Emergency! (Season Four), JAG (Season Five).

You Tube Video Of The Week:
Missing a driver.


Hope everyone has a great weekend!! Take care and God bless!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

January 17, 2008 - DGA & AMPTP Have A Deal!!, Writers Next?????

In a week that is proving that hard ball is getting played in the writers strike, there was some news today that could very well put things into gear in getting this settled. Variety reported some big news earlier today when they reported that after six days of negotiations, the Directors Guild has come to a tentative new agreement with the AMPTP. The DGA has these highlights listed on their website of gains that they got from the new deal: Increases both wages and residual bases for each year of the contract; Establishes DGA jurisdiction over programs produced for distribution on the Internet; Establishes new residuals formula for paid Internet downloads (electronic sell-through) that essentially doubles the rate currently paid by employers; Establishes residual rates for ad-supported streaming and use of clips on the Internet. Gil Cates who is the chair of the DGA's Negotiations Committee had these comments on the new deal, “Two words describe this agreement -- groundbreaking and substantial. The gains in this contract for directors and their teams are extraordinary -- and there are no rollbacks of any kind.” This is what DGA president, Michael Apted, had to say on the deal, “This was a very difficult negotiation that required real give and take on both sides. Nonetheless, we managed to produce an agreement that enshrines the two fundamental principles we regard as absolutely crucial to any employment and compensation agreement in this digital age: First, jurisdiction is essential. Without secure jurisdiction over new-media production -- both derivative and original -- compensation formulas are meaningless. Second, the Internet is not free. We must receive fair compensation for the use and reuse of our work on the Internet, whether it was originally created for other media platforms or expressly for online distribution.” I say great news cause this will put pressure on the WGA/AMPTP talks and maybe it will finally get them to talking. The feeling among many in the industry has been that the DGA talks could very well have a big effect on how the WGA deal turns out. At this point, I am just steaming mad that this strike is continuing so anything that can come about and hopefully end this strike, I am all for. As far as the writers strike goes, things continue to be busy but not for the better. Monday saw several studios cut some writers' contracts. The Golden Globes were effected by the strike and barely even happened. Now, the talk turns to whether the WGA will picket the Oscars. No decision appears to have been made as of yet on what to do but I tend to think that the Oscars are going to be big time effected as well if the strike isn't settled. I read an article today on how the WGA is considering pushing several singers that are Screen Actors Guild members to not attend the Grammy Awards in support of the writers. Ok, I have to admit that this got on my nerves and just felt like really stretching to effect another awards ceremony. That just kind of gave me a "give me a break" type feeling after hearing that news considering it is a music award ceremony. The WGA may need to become concerned with doing this much stuff and turning the public against them. We're getting to the point now where all of us as fans of whatever kind of entertainment are getting beyond extremely cranky. This strike is now starting to effect "pilot" season. It is becoming highly likely that this fall may not see a very big amount of new scripted shows. Well, obviously if the strike isn't settled by then, that is a no brainer. I'm talking about even if it is settled soon, can the networks get stuff together in time for the upfronts in May where they will premiere their upcoming fall schedule? That seems to be where we're at and this is the time when the pilot season is developing. There has also been talk about when the networks will finally just say that is it for this TV season. It appears likely that it could be soon if a deal isn't reached to end the strike. There are rumors that it won't be much longer before the TV season is just declared done and the focus turns to the summer and fall seasons. DVD box sets of the current TV season are obviously likely to be shorter but there is also talk of how the extras on the box sets will be slim as well due to people not participating in stuff produced for the DVD's such as commentaries and other stuff. Yeah, it continues to get uglier and uglier and I just hope that a deal can be worked out that the writers will be happy with and the entertainment world can get back to business. The DGA deal announced today is a definite confidence lifter and let's just hope this builds some momentum.

The Golden Globes took place to a packed crowd and viewing audience of.....well....did anyone watch it? The ratings were bad for the press conference style show which was changed due to the strike. The show only did a 4.0 rating with the announcement portion of the coverage on NBC finishing in 4th place among the networks. It did defeat a rerun of One Tree Hill on The CW.

The seventh season of American Idol is underway after four hours of episodes this week. I have to say that I'm feeling better about this season than I was last season. Last season, I just kept watching episodes and was having very few singers jump out at me that I liked. So far, I have seen several that I like voice wise and several that have good personalities as well. One criticism of last season from me and many other fans was that they spent so much time on the bad auditions that it ended up hurting the season overall. I'm talking about how we didn't really know much of anything about the finalists when the voting started cause so little of their personalities had been talked about. That has always been a strong point of the show but it was missing last season. The audition episodes are usually a mixed bag for me as I'm someone that doesn't like watching the bad auditions especially the ones that just get their dreams trashed on national TV. I'm just not into that stuff. I like seeing the good singers from the beginning and watching them grow. It is nice to see that the judges appear to be nicer than they were last season. I just thought that they were very unnecessarily mean at times during the auditions last season and lots of people were complaining about it. It does seem toned down quite a bit so far this season. I did take some notes while watching the shows this week as I wanted to get a ratio of good and bad auditions that make it to TV. So, I made a tally of how many good and bad auditions were shown to compare them. I should point out how I made the decisions on what to count. If a person's name was shown on TV while they were singing, I counted that. If it was a montage of bad singers such as the montage of bad singers singing Kelly Clarkson's song, I counted that as one and would also count a montage of good singers as one cause there were no names mentioned of who these people were. If there were singers that weren't either good or bad, I just threw it out and counted it neutral. However, it's pretty obvious that most of these are either good or bad with very little middle ground. This is what I came up with. With the Philly audition episode on Tuesday night, I had ten good auditions compared with seventeen bad auditions with only one bad audition montage. With Wednesday's Dallas audition episode, I had ten good auditions compared with sixteen bad auditions including two montages. There have been a lot of good stories so far on the people auditioning including people that did and didn't make it. The story of Temptress Browne was a nice one. She was the 16 year old football linebacker who also had a mom that was very sick. She didn't make it but the judges loved her. It was a nice moment having them walk her out to her family. When they left her and came back in the room, all three judges had a sad look on their face really touched by her. On the other side, we had Angela Martin who is the 26 year old mom of a daughter who has Retts Syndrome and Angela made it through to Hollywood. After hearing Angela's story, you really wanted her to be good and make it through. Names that stood out to me this week were Kristy Lee Cook (cage fighter from Oregon), Brooke White (married and nanny of twin girls), Alaina Whitaker (country girl from Oklahoma), and Kady Malloy (who Simon said was the best audition yet this early season). I know I said I don't like the bad auditions but I don't mind the ones that are light hearted and not just mean spirited. I found the last audition on Wednesday's episode to be entertaining with the guy that wrote his own song about being brothers and sang it to Simon. After one week of episodes, I'm left optimistic about this new season. Just to keep in mind, season three was also not a favorite among many and it followed with arguably the best talent group of the show's run in season four which featured Carrie Underwood. Next week moves on to San Diego for more auditions.

With American Idol premiering, the next thing to cover is how were the ratings? The show did very well on its Tuesday night premiere getting 33.24 million viewers which defeated all the networks combined. The premiere was down 11% from last season's premiere. The numbers on Wednesday night's episode were 30.3 million viewers.

All right, Smallville fans. We are not far off from another new episode. Smallville will return with new episodes on Thursday, January 31st. This will be the tenth episode of the season. The rest of the schedule looks like this so far with new episodes airing on February 7th, February 14th, March 20th, March 27th, and the last episode completed has yet to have an air date announced and would be the season finale if the strike doesn't end very soon.

Movie box office numbers for last weekend.
1. The Bucket List - $19.5 million. 2. First Sunday - $19 million. 3. Juno - $14 million. 4. National Treasure - $11.5 million. 5. Alvin & The Chipmunks - $9.1 million. 6. I Am Legend - $8.1 million. 7. One Missed Call - $6.1 million. 8. P.S. I Love You - $5 million. 9. Pirates: Veggie Tales - $4.4 million. Atonement - $4.3 million.

This past week's Amazing Race was all about seeing where TK & Rachel were in the race. They had a ton of attention on them from teams hoping that they hadn't caught back up. Problem was that they caught up!! They got the advantage of doing the stunt deal in second place when it was first come first serve. When they finished it, they hit their speed bump task and it gave them a few minutes. They still caught back up after that and ended up finishing in second place. What a run they had in this leg of the race!! In the rest of the leg of the race, Ronald and Christina got an early advantage and were able to hold that advantage finishing first by a good margin. The rest of the race was the battle between the other three teams which was fun to watch. Donald and Nicolas finish in third place and fourth went to Nathan and Jennifer which means that they finished last. Wow, Jennifer was melting down in that battle especially with TK & Rachel catching up to the rest of the pack. To make matters worse for Jennifer, they got eliminated from the race on her birthday. Ouch. That brings us to the finale. The finish line of this season's Amazing Race is this Sunday night as Ronald & Christina, TK & Rachel, and Donald & Nicolas will battle it out for one million dollars.

What a bizarre episode of Celebrity Apprentice tonight!! The task was for the teams to promote the new Kodak printers. The women had lost the first two tasks and Trump asked Gene Simmons if he'd like to move over to the women's side and lead them. Gene accepted and on went the bizarre episode. Gene has been good TV in these first three episodes of the new season. I knew this was going to be entertaining tonight. First, the men ran into a problem when coffee spilled all over their laptop which cost them a ton of the promotional stuff that they had done. Gene and the women basically went on Gene's leadership to which he told the women that this was a "benevolent dictatorship". He had his vision of how to win the task and the women followed suit. They went to the meeting with the executives but Gene only sent two of them sending Nely and Carol. The executives felt that Nely talked too much instead of listening to what they had to say and also weren't happy with only two people showing up for the meeting. The men got help from Alec Baldwin who made an appearance for his brother. The executives ended up giving the men the win moving them to 3-0. The board room was crazy as Gene continued to say that he had won the task and knew what would sell better than the Kodak people. He would not take it as a loss. When he was asked on who he wanted to bring back into the board room with him, he chose to only bring one instead of two. He chose Omarosa. Omarosa??!! Trump was basically BEGGING him to bring back Nely as Trump was for sure to fire her and pretty much said that to the group. He told Gene to pick someone else to bring back and he chose Jennie Finch. Jennie Finch???!!!! Jennie had actually been picked out as the one to fire by Nely a few minutes earlier but Jennie has actually not even been given a chance to step up yet. She definitely didn't have a target on her in this episode and neither did Omarosa. The reaction of the men watching on the TV was pretty funny as their reaction was the same as mine, Gene is finished now and what is he doing? LOL. Gene ends up being fired with Trump telling him that he was given no choice as he couldn't fire the other two as there was no reason to. Wow, this was wild but Gene was once again good TV. I'm bummed that he is gone cause he has been a fun strong personality on the show. Now, I have to talk promos. They promoted next week's episode and THEN promoted the episode for two weeks. Thanks for the spoilers there on who was still on the show in two weeks!!!! What was that all about??!! Speaking of annoying promos, I have to admit being annoyed when I watched the end of The Apprentice last week. At the end of the episode, NBC runs a promo saying to tune in over the weekend for a rerun of the episode with a bonus scene leading up to the blowup between Gene Simmons and Ivanka Trump. It was supposed to be the deleted scene that stirred up the problem between the two of them. I'm not watching an episode over for one scene and if it was so important, it should have been in the original airing. That just got on my nerves.

American Gladiators has been picked up for a full season as the show continues to do well for NBC.

CBS continues to fill programming space as they are airing a couple of concerts in the next month. Garth Brooks' concert "Live In LA" will air on January 25th. The other concert will be of Celine Dion's and that special will air on February 15th.

Heroes star, Hayden Panettiere, might be wearing another cheerleading outfit as she is said to be in talks to star in a movie called I Love You, Beth Cooper. It is a comedy and she will be playing a high school cheerleader. The story revolves around the "nerdy" class valedictorian being in love with her character. He mentions her in his valedictorian speech and gets to hang out with the girl of his dreams for a night. The movie is based off a book and I have heard a lot of people saying how good the book is.

If you're a fan of the Star Wars spoof that Robot Chicken did, then you'll be happy to hear that it is coming to DVD. May 20th appears to be the release date for it.

The hit TBS show, My Boys, is set to have its first season coming to DVD on March 11th. I really love this show and recommend checking it out if you get the chance. The first season is very good.

Apple announced this week about their new movie rental service. The iTunes movie rentals will go for $3.99 on new movies and then older movies will go for $2.99. You get the movie for one month and then the movie file disappears off of your computer.

Ok, I don't follow Miley Cyrus or Hannah Montana at all but this whole body double story is beginning to get on my nerves. So, she uses a body double for like two minutes of her entire concert. Why does this have so many people in an uproar? What is the big deal??!! LOL. I just finally had to comment on it cause I'm tired of reading the story on every entertainment site. Wait a minute. Now, it's on my blog site as well. Well, crap. Never mind. LOL.

After announcing last week that The Mole would be returning, ABC is bringing back The Bachelorette. It is being speculated that the show will return this summer.

TV on DVD releases for Tuesday, January 22nd.
Barney Miller (Season Two), ER (Season Eight), The Girls Next Door (Season Three), Hawaii Five-O (Season Three), Hustle (Season Four), The Jeff Corwin Experience (Season One), Make Room For Daddy (Season Six), The Odd Couple (Season Three), Swamp Thing (Season One), Torchwood (Season One).

TV Line Of The Week:
"You know what's amazing about this country is that you're genuinely happy when someone you know does well." Simon Cowell to Paula and Randy on Tuesday's American Idol after a loud reaction of applause broke out outside the room when someone got through to Hollywood. Simon went on to say that he just wouldn't care enough to
react that well. LOL.

You Tube Video Of The Week:
The Idol audition that closed Wednesday's show. What a likable guy.


Have a great weekend!! Take care and God bless!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January 10, 2008 - American Gladiators, Idol Premieres Next Week, Amazing Race, and More

The latest victim of the writers strike is now officially The Golden Globes. There was hope among some that the Globes would be able to somehow happen but the big show will instead be a press conference type format announcing winners. NBC is going to do Golden Globes programming on Sunday night but with a different format obviously but they are covering the press conference. Plans were announced several weeks ago that the WGA planned to picket the Globes event. Dick Clark Productions who are in charge of the event said that they were trying to negotiate a separate deal with the WGA to let the Globes go on as planned. The WGA said no to the deal while Dick Clark Productions put out a statement saying that they tried to make the same deal that the WGA made with Worldwide Pants but the WGA said no. Things definitely went completely bad for the Globes when the Screen Actors Guild said that their members would not be crossing the picket line to attend. The Globes were left doing the big usual ceremony but having few or no guests attending so the decision was made to just scrap the normal show and go a different route. Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel agreed to appear on each other's shows tonight. The WGA has worked out an agreement with CBS News. The news crew there has been working without a contract for about two years now. A vote was made in November for a strike but they never did a walkout.

Movie box office numbers for last weekend. 1. National Treasure - $20 million. 2. Juno - $15.8 million. 3. I Am Legend - $15.7 million. 4. Alvin & The Chipmunks - $15.5 million. 5. One Missed Call - $12.5 million. 6. Charlie Wilson's War - $8.1 million. 7. P.S. I Love You - $7.8 million. 8. The Water Horse - $6.2 million. 9. Sweeney Todd - $5.5 million. 10. Atonement - $5.0 million.

American Gladiators did a 6.7 rating on its premiere night on Sunday followed by a 6.2 rating on its second night in its normal Monday night time slot. 6.2 was good especially against the LSU/Ohio State football game. I have watched the first two episodes of American Gladiators and like it. I watched the old series back in the day. It's nice to see that they have mostly left it alone as far as the original concept while updating some things. The first night of episodes was very rough with one woman being injured first thing while another got cut open during the Eliminator. That Eliminator is tough!!! They definitely stepped the challenge up for that thing and the competitors are barely able to cross the finish line cause they're so exhausted. I like Hulk Hogan and Leila Ali as the hosts as they mostly just interview the competitors. They have a separate guy that does the play by play commentary. At first, I wasn't very crazy about the commentator cause I just didn't like the style but I'm starting to warm up to it. Overall, if you liked the original show, I think you'll probably like the new version.

The Amazing Race still has four teams left after one flight decision put one team way behind. Luckily for TK and Rachel, it was a non elimination round and they still are in the race. However, they are three hours behind the other teams and now also face an upcoming speed bump. The odds are against them but all it takes is for the teams to all get stuck in one place such as a place not being open yet or another flight issue. Even as they likely were facing elimination, they still just enjoyed their tasks and had fun with it. Glad to see them still in it as I like that team. Finishing first was Ronald & Christina with Nathan & Jennifer right behind them in second place. Nathan & Jennifer have yet to win a leg of a race and were leading most of the way this time but stumbles on the way to the pit stop put them back in second place. Nicolas and Donald continue to impress me and I'm pulling for them to keep doing well. They are a good team and are already going to have a good finish in this race. Previews for the next episode show some tension growing as the race nears its end. I was thinking watching this episode about how there hasn't been much tension between teams through the race but it looks like that may very well change in Sunday's episode.

Only one month until Big Brother 9!! News came out this week that Big Brother After Dark will be returning this season. This began with last season's Big Brother. Big Brother After Dark is three live hours of TV from the Big Brother house that runs overnight on Showtime's SHO2 channel. It's basically like watching the live feeds for three hours. The show runs seven nights a week and will begin on February 12th.

The format war of high definition DVD's between Blu-ray and HD-DVD appears to be nearing a conclusion. HD-DVD continues to take major hits with several studios going exclusively with Blu-ray. News came out last week that Warner Brothers was going to Blu-ray and now comes news that Paramount is doing the same. Is HD-DVD done? After thinking that the format war would be going on for a long time, it really is looking like it may be over.

The new season of American Idol begins this coming Tuesday and Wednesday with two episodes that will be two hours in length. Who will be the next Idol winner? The journey is set to begin.

The People's Choice Awards were held recently and were also effected by the strike. The show's format was different from its usual format. I thought I'd include some of the winners from the awards show: TV Drama: House, TV Comedy: Two and a Half Men, Reality Show: Dancing With The Stars, Animated TV Show: The Simpsons, Female Movie Star: Reese Witherspoon, Male Movie Star: Johnny Depp, Leading Lady: Drew Barrymore, Leading Man: Joaquin Phoenix, Female TV star: Katherine Heigl, Male TV star: Patrick Dempsey, Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Movie Drama: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Movie Comedy: Knocked Up, Action Movie: The Bourne Ultimatum, Family Movie: Shrek The Third, Game Show: Deal Or No Deal, Talk Show Host: Ellen DeGeneres,

Chuck is set to return with new episodes on NBC. However, they'll be on a different night. The last two episodes of Chuck, that have been finished before the strike, will air on Thursday, January 24th before and after the Celebrity Apprentice episode that night.

Courteney Cox's show, Dirt, is set to return to FX for season two on Sunday, March 2nd. The show is said to have seven episodes done before the writers strike effected it.

CBS is filling some more TV time due to the strike as Dexter will begin airing on the network with previously aired episodes in an edited format from their original airing. It appears that season one will air in its entirety beginning on Sunday, February 17th.

ABC is bringing back their reality show, The Mole, for a run in the summer.

VH-1 has listed their top 100 greatest songs list for the 90's. Wow, I have some serious objections to some of these with where they ranked and who was left off. It appears that there was also a rule of one song per artist. How you feel about this list probably depends on what kind of music that you like. Everyone won't be happy with the list obviously cause there is no such thing as making a list that everyone will be satisfied with. I'm happy with it I guess for the most part but some things that are missing that I've seen others comment on and that I agree with is where is November Rain and where is any Boyz II Men song who had countless hits in the 90's? With that one song per artist rule in effect, are you kidding me that "Peaches" got picked over "Lump" from The Presidents Of The United States Of America? I never hear Peaches anymore. I won't go into my thoughts as everyone always dissects these things so go ahead and complain about your favorite songs not being on the list. LOL. I did enjoy looking over the list and thinking about all these great songs. On to the list by VH-1:
1. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
2. U2 - One
3. Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way
4. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
5. Madonna - Vogue
6. Sir Mix-A-Lot - Baby Got Back
7. Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time
8. TLC - Waterfalls
9. R.E.M. - Losing My Religion
10. Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U
11. Pearl Jam - Jeremy
12. Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know
13. Dr. Dre (featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg) - Nuthin' but a "G" Thang
14. Mariah Carey - Vision of Love
15. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge
16. MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This
17. Destiny's Child - Say My Name
18. Metallica - Enter Sandman
19. Beastie Boys - Sabotage
20. Hanson - MMMBop
21. Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On
22. Beck - Loser
23. Salt-N-Pepa with En Vogue - Whatta Man
24. House of Pain - Jump Around
25. Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
26. Eminem - My Name Is
27. Counting Crows - Mr. Jones
28. Ricky Martin - Livin' la Vida Loca
29. Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby
30. *NSYNC - Tearin' Up My Heart
31. Radiohead - Creep
32. BLACKstreet - No Diggity
33. Spice Girls - Wannabe
34. Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life
35. Oasis - Wonderwall
36. C+C Music Factory - Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)
37. Green Day - Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
38. Christina Aguilera - Genie In A Bottle
39. Goo Goo Dolls - Iris
40 . Color Me Badd - I Wanna Sex You Up
41. Spin Doctors - Two Princes
42. Collective Soul - Shine
43. En Vogue - My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)
44. The Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
45. Hootie & the Blowfish - Only Wanna Be With You
46. Shania Twain - You're Still the One
47. Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch - Good Vibrations
48. Matchbox Twenty - 3 AM
49. Jewel - Who Will Save Your Soul
50. Alice in Chains - Man in the Box
51. Tupac (featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) - California Love
52. Sugar Ray - Fly
53. Naughty by Nature - O.P.P.
54. Joan Osborne - One of Us
55. Fiona Apple - Criminal
56. L.L. Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
57. Jay-Z featuring Amil and Ja Rule - Can I Get A...
58. Sophie B. Hawkins - Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover
59. Weezer - Buddy Holly
60. Bell Biv DeVoe - Poison
61. Sheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do
62. Live - I Alone
63. The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Mase & Puff Daddy - Mo Money Mo Problems
64. The Presidents of the United States of America - Peaches
65. Digital Underground - The Humpty Dance
66. Edwin McCain - I'll Be
67. Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart
68. Will Smith - Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
69. Korn - Freak on a Leash
70. Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity
71. Arrested Development - Tennessee
72. Barenaked Ladies - One Week
73. Marcy Playground - Sex and Candy
74. Cher - Believe
75. Kris Kross - Jump
76. Blues Traveler - Run-Around
77. Ice Cube - It Was a Good Day
78. Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way
79. Meredith Brooks - B****
80. Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy
81. Paula Cole - I Don't Want to Wait
82. Geto Boys - Mind Playing Tricks on Me
83. The Breeders - Cannonball
84. Snow - Informer
85. Cypress Hill - Insane In The Brain
86 The Cranberries - Linger
87. Billy Ray Cyrus - Achy Breaky Heart
88. Duncan Sheik - Barely Breathing
89. Liz Phair - Never Said
90. New Radicals - You Get What You Give
91. Sarah McLachlan - Building a Mystery
92. Public Enemy - 911 Is A Joke
93. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories - Stay
94. Fastball - The Way
95. Montell Jordan - This is How We Do It
96. Nelson - (Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection
97. Prince & The New Power Generation - Gett Off
98. EMF - Unbelievable
99. Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott - The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
100. Gerardo - Rico Suave
http://www.vh1.com/shows/dyn/the_greatest/127759/episode_featured_copy.jhtml

TV on DVD releases for Tuesday, January 15th. Charlie Brown (Be My Valentine Charlie Brown), Criss Angel: Mindfreak (Season Three), The New Adventures Of Old Christine (Season One), The Rockford Files (Season Five), The Royle Family (Season Two), Sabrina The Teenage Witch (Season Three).

You Tube Video Of The Week:
I got good feedback from the Conan clip last week and I thought these next ones were funnier. So, here you go. Conan continues to entertain himself during the writers strike. Two very funny clips.


That is it for another week. Wishing you a great weekend!! Take care and God bless!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

January 3, 2008 - Late Night Returns, WB/UPN Book Thoughts

Happy new year everyone!! 2008 is here and I hope all of you are having a great one so far!!

On to the latest in the writers strike. I mentioned that Letterman and his company were trying to work a separate deal with the WGA going around the negotiations and they got it done. Very late last week, it was announced that Letterman would get his writers back along with the writers for Craig Ferguson as they obviously fall under the same umbrella. The WGA released this statement on the agreement with World Wide Pants: "This is a comprehensive agreement that addresses the issues important to writers, particularly new media. Worldwide Pants has accepted the very same proposals that the Guild was prepared to present to the [AMPTP] when they walked out of negotiations on Dec. 7. Today's agreement dramatically illustrates that the Writers Guild wants to put people back to work, and that when a company comes to the table prepared to negotiate seriously a fair and reasonable deal can be reached quickly." Letterman had these comments: "We're happy to be going back to work, and particularly pleased to be doing it with our writers. This is not a solution to the strike, which unfortunately continues to disrupt the lives of thousands. But I hope it will be seen as a step in the right direction." It should be pointed out that the other shows don't have the advantage that Letterman does as any separate negotiations would have to be from the network. The WGA did comment on that as well saying: "It's time for NBC Universal to step up to the plate and negotiate a company-wide deal that will put Jay Leno, who has supported our cause from the beginning, back on the air with his writers." When I heard these negotiations were taking place, I wondered how it would effect things if Letterman did work a separate deal to get the writers back. We'll have to wait and see if anyone else tries the same tactics. The Golden Globes has continued to try and stop a picket line from happening outside of the awards show. Well, the WGA does appear to be planning on picketing outside of the Golden Globe Awards. Bad news to finish this up as there are still no talks planned to negotiate a new deal. I am curious to see what happens when the directors guild starts their negotiations on their new contract and how it might effect the WGA talks.

Late night returned to the air with new shows last night. I recorded several of them to see how they would do. I am a frequent watcher of Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien so I knew what I was used to with those shows. I rarely watch Letterman so I don't really know what to compare it to. One thing was really clear was that the hosts all took the sides of the writers and really spoke out in support of them. Two of the late night hosts had grown beards in support of the writers which were Letterman and Conan. I didn't see it but I heard that Jimmy Kimmel wasn't happy with the WGA for picketing outside of The Tonight Show saying that Leno shouldn't have that happen to him considering he was paying his writers out of his pocket. So, I'll get into my thoughts as I watched Leno, Conan, and Letterman. I really liked The Tonight Show. I thought Jay's monologue was strong and I laughed out loud several times during it. The Q&A segment was all right and it was nice to see Leno just run with it. Leno had Mike Huckabee as his main guest. Overall, Tonight Show gets a big thumbs up from me. Conan was a fun show. He spoke out in support of his writers and had Bob Saget as his main guest. Conan was clearly working on filling time but made it fun. He did a segment talking about what he was doing since the strike has been going on. Look for that later in the Wrap Up in case you missed it. He then decided to do something on the air that they usually do behind the scenes and that is seeing how long he can get his wedding ring to spin on a table. The record was 41 seconds. He did his first attempt at 36 seconds if I remember right. He tried it again later in the show doing worse at 28 seconds. I don't know why but I found this oddly entertaining. LOL. Conan did a good job with the show but you could really see his frustration in this strike still carrying on. Letterman opened with a video of Hilary Clinton talking about Letterman returning to the air saying "all good things must come to an end". Letterman made sure to point out that this was the only show on the air with "jokes written by union writers". Robin Williams, who was his main guest, came out and looked at Letterman with his beard making references to how we will now begin the Civil War reenactment and to give it up for "General Lee". Williams also made more references to the beard including "happy new year grandpa". Williams is normally an easy guest as you can usually just let him go and he'll be entertaining. Letterman did a top 10 list on the demands of the writers that were read by writers from various shows. He took questions from the audience as well about what was going on with the strike. Entertaining show as well. So, late night had a good return overall.

Ratings were strong for the first night back for late night. Leno averaged 7.2 million viewers which saw a 43% rise from the average of viewers before the strike. Letterman had 5.5 million viewers which was up 45%. Conan had 2.8 million viewers which was up 37%. Craig Ferguson had 2.2 million viewers which was up 28%.

Movie box office numbers for last weekend.
1. National Treasure - $35.6 million. 2. Alvin and The Chipmunks - $30 million. 3. I Am Legend - $27.5 million. 4. Charlie Wilson's War - $11.8 million. 5. Juno - $10.3 million. 6. Aliens vs. Predator - $10.1 million. 7. The Water Horse - $9.2 million. 8. P.S. I Love You - $9.1 million. 9. Sweeney Todd - $7.8 million. 10. Enchanted - $6.5 million.

I finished reading the book entitled Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise and Fall Of The WB and UPN. This was a really interesting book that followed the inner workings of both networks from beginning to end. I was a huge WB fan and looking back on it, I'm just about positive that most of my TV viewing over the last ten years belonged to the WB. What I always liked about the WB was that they were so great in promoting themselves as a network instead of just a network with shows. They would do the amazing network promos with all of their stars in it. I guess my introduction to the WB was Dawson's Creek. I saw the promos airing for the series premiere of the show and thought that I definitely ought to watch the first episode. After the first episode, I was hooked on that show (and completely in love with Katie Holmes, LOL!!) and the story of the show was a lot of fun.. That was the first of many WB shows that I would get hooked on over the years. Several more would follow later that year. I definitely spent a lot of time watching shows on that network and seeing it go was just really bizarre. With UPN, I honestly just never got into too many shows on that network. I could probably count the number on one hand with the shows that I watched on UPN with Veronica Mars leading the pack. When I heard about this book, I figured it would be a lot of fun to read and to learn about the inner workings of both networks and also could get an idea of just what in the world happened as to why these networks are no longer around especially the very successful WB? The book is written by Suzanne Daniels, who was formerly the president of entertainment at the WB, and Cynthia Littleton, who is the deputy editor of news development over at Variety. The WB and UPN launched at basically the same time and were bitter rivals through their existence. Both had very different results for the most part. The WB had a better journey than UPN for sure. Two all time favorite shows of mine are Buffy and Dawson's Creek which are covered big time and given all kinds of credit for launching the WB to that next level. The book talks about how both shows were gotten together and how several within the network fought to get the shows. The WB found the target audience to go after when seeing successes of those sorts of shows. It was fun to read how some of the shows got going including Buffy, Dawson's Creek, Felicity, Charmed, Smallville, Gilmore Girls, 7th Heaven, and more. I thought I'd share some stuff about the WB shows instead of more of the UPN stuff cause, well, I'm biased. LOL. Funny story about Amy Sherman-Palladino, who is the creator of Gilmore Girls. The book talks about how she came into the network pitching ideas for half hour comedies. She mentioned that she had thrown the idea around of doing a different spin on a mother/daughter relationship. Daniels talked about how they loved that idea and pushed Palladino to do it. Palladino left the meeting knowing that she now had to work on this story of what would become Gilmore Girls. The idea came together pretty quickly but the network didn't expect it to be a big hit especially in its timeslot on Thursday nights in the first season. It surprisingly held its own against Friends and Survivor. It was moved in its second season opposite of Buffy on UPN and defeated Buffy in the ratings. You know it had to be discussed and the hair cutting before season two of Felicity star, Keri Russell, is touched upon in the book. Did the hair cut end up cutting the ratings? Well, that topic will be debated for a long time to come but Daniels does point out that she thought the hair cut made the character of Felicity look too much older and that the appeal of Felicity was a young fresh faced girl starting her life out. For me, I loved Felicity in the first season. I watched some of the second season but started to get away from the show. I am not sure why I did but it just happened. The first season was great stuff though. The book talks of how Smallville might not have happened if they hadn't had such trouble getting the rights to produce a Batman series instead. The pitch for the pilot of Smallville went over big with the network. Fox made a bid for it but the WB matched it and was not about to let it get away. The power struggle of Buffy going to UPN was really put over as the start of the downfall for the WB. It appears that no one wanted Buffy to leave the WB including people on both sides whether it was the network or the show. It was something that had to happen as the studio was wanting more money for the show. They do mention about what was talked about at the time with that if the WB decided to cancel Angel during the two year contract with Buffy and UPN that UPN would be obligated to bring Angel over to UPN as well. UPN was plagued with battles between partners and too many people trying to make decisions. UPN also had the problem of seemingly trying to figure out what audience to target. It's amazing at how many shows that UPN turned down that they could have had. One of them was Survivor. I had heard rumblings about that over the years but had forgotten that as I was reading the book. To be fair though, the reason that Survivor wasn't brought on to UPN had more to do with battles within the network partners than it did as a programming decision. UPN wanted Survivor but they couldn't get the money or commitment to Mark Burnett that he was wanting and it caused a lot of frustration within UPN especially when it became a huge hit on CBS. WWE is given a ton of credit for helping UPN and giving them an identity on the target audience that they wanted to go for. UPN built a lot of their programming around the young male audience following wrestling. The addition of Smackdown to UPN was known to be a strong move especially with how strong wrestling was in 1999. The move of wrestling to UPN was highly underrated by Jamie Kellner of The WB of what WWE could do for UPN. I found that ironic considering that Kellner was the one that canceled World Championship Wrestling on TBS which killed the sale of WCW to the Fusient Group who decided not to buy the company with there being no TV. It was odd that toward the end, UPN started to climb and become a force while the WB was free falling and having troubles that UPN suffered through most of its time. Too many people trying to make too many decisions and it became the downfall of the WB. The book goes into the failures of the WB with several shows that they thought would be hits including Birds Of Prey, Jack and Bobby, Related, and many more. Birds Of Prey got some discussion with how that show was a failure really before it began. The audience was big for the premiere but the ratings dipped following that. Among opinion at the time, there was definite excitement about the show but many viewers didn't like what they saw and never came back. In fact, I have a couple of friends that checked out the premiere and hated it vowing to never watch it again. I didn't seem to hate it as much as everyone else did but I also hadn't followed it in the comics either. The WB was looking so much to change their image that they did away with their frog mascot which was the personality of the network. Yeah, looking back on it, the decisions of the WB near the end really made no sense and that was probably why there were fewer shows that I was watching on the network at the end as I had been years earlier. It was really ironic that the WB ended up being the one to close its doors after they were winning the battle for so long. One thing that I really enjoyed at the ending of the book was the coverage of the final gathering of the WB crew, that built the network, getting together on the final night of the WB to see the network off. If you don't remember, the WB signed off with showing some of their best shows including Buffy, Angel, Dawson's Creek, and Felicity. They didn't want to pick any shows that were moving on to the CW or ones that had just ended. It was really a special night to watch as a viewer reflecting back on good times of watching the network and reading about their gathering to see what it was like from their point of view was special as well. There were some things left out of the book that I would have liked to have seen covered. As I said, they spent a lot of time on the Buffy move over to UPN but nowhere was there a mention of Roswell also moving from WB to UPN at the same time after the WB canceled it. In fact, Roswell is not mentioned at all in the whole book which was disappointing as I would have liked to know what the WB reaction was to the fan campaigns that saved the show after its first season. Then, the fan campaigns that saved the show as UPN picked up. Another show isn't discussed much and that is Angel although they spend a lot of time on Buffy. I was hoping to learn more about what the thinking was in canceling Angel but it isn't touched upon. From what I gather in the book and what I gathered then, the WB was really getting desperate in developing new hits that they started cleaning house on old shows. That was basically the excuse given at the time that infuriated Angel fans including myself especially coming off such a strong season. Buffy was clearly coming to an end in season seven but Angel clearly had more stories to tell. The book also didn't cover what I thought was big moves by the WB at the time and that was the addition of bringing over ABC's Sabrina The Teenage Witch and then getting a up and coming star, especially with the teen viewers, in Amanda Bynes on a sitcom with What I Like About You. So, why did the WB close up shop? How did UPN end up making a comeback and end up basically being the control in the merge to form the CW? What went wrong? Well, there are a lot of factors that go into answering those broad questions. This book does a good job of telling the story and answering those questions. It is also a fun book to read to think back on all of these great shows and learn how the shows got started. If you were a fan of the WB or UPN or are actually just a fan of the industry in general that likes to hear about the inner workings in television, I highly recommend the book. With this book, I went back and found the sign off videos of the WB from their final night on the air. Give it a look as it will bring back a lot of great TV memories if you were a WB fan. It really is incredible how many stars got their start on this network. These are the various tributes through the night and then the big sign off at the end.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5uiNkPK9pM

The numbers are out for the album sales in America for 2007 and the sales were once again down from the previous year as it fell 9.5%. Albums sold as CD's and other similar formats were down 15% from 2006. Digital sales were up. Digital tracks were up 45% from 2006 with 844.2 million sold as compared to 588.2 million.

The Laugh Factory has a marathon battle going on. Dane Cook told jokes on stage Tuesday night and continued until 7am on Wednesday night for a total of seven hours. He broke the record that was set at six hours and twelve minutes by Dave Chappelle last month.

The cast has been announced for the new season of Survivor. Survivor Micronesia will be Fans vs. Favorites. Entertainment Weekly has the following announced for the cast.
The Superfans:
Joel Anderson, 32, firefighter from Avondale, Ariz.
Natalie Bolton, 32, personal trainer/bartender from West Hollywood, Calif.
Michael Bortone, 34, writer/actor from Los Angeles
Tracy Hughes-Wolf, 43, commercial builder from Fredericksburg, Va.
Alexis Jones, 24, motivational speaker from Beverly Hills, Calif.
Erik Reichenbach, 22, ice cream scooper from Ypsilanti, Mich.
Mary Sartain, 29, real estate entrepreneur from Emeryville, Calif.
Jason Siska, 22, student teacher from Fox River Grove, Ill.
Kathleen Sleckman, 45, golf course vendor from Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Chet Welch, 48, beauty pageant coach from Ford City, Pa.
The Favorites:
Yau-Man Chan from Survivor Fiji
James Cement from Survivor China
Ami Cusack from Survivor Vanuatu
Jonny Fairplay from Survivor Pearl Islands
Cirie Fields from Survivor Panama
Amanda Kimmel from Survivor China
Ozzy Lusth from Survivor Cook Islands
Eliza Orlins from Survivor Vanuatu
Jonathan Penner from Survivor Cook Islands
Parvati Shallow from Survivor Cook Islands
This should be fun to watch. I seem satisfied with who they picked. Yau-Man was a favorite from Survivor Fiji and was right there at the end. I'm glad to see Eliza coming back as she was a favorite of mine from Survivor Vanuatu. She stirred things up and had a fun personality on there. We've got three from Survivor Cook Islands with Ozzy (almost didn't recognize him in the new photo with his hair different), Jonathan, and Parvati. Ozzy was really strong on that season and I have no doubt it will be more of the same here. Amanda and James will get a second chance after just coming off of Survivor China. Can you imagine if James found a hidden immunity idol again? Can you imagine his thoughts of "I'm using it this time!!"? When Jeff Probst was asked about Jonny Fairplay's involvement, he replied: ''You can't do the season and not invite your most notorious person. And Fairplay delivered, I will say that. This guy is no threat to win this game — zero.'' I like who they have picked out as the superfans. They are excited to be picked and it will be interesting to see what they do game wise knowing these players that are returning. Will they pick off the ones that they know could stir things up and cause trouble or will they team up with them? It does appear that Exile Island will not be returning which is fine with me. The concept was fun at first but it just never really paid off to be something big. I'm really excited for this new season. To see more about the cast and the article from Entertainment Weekly, check out these two links:
http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20168991,00.html
http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20168950,00.html

Moving on to this week's Amazing Race. The episode saw a very fun battle between Kynt & Vyxsin and Nathan & Jennifer as they battled to the finish to see who would be eliminated. Nathan and Jennifer ended up finishing 4th and avoided elimination. Kynt & Vyxsin put up an amazing fight to try and stay in the race including them having to do the speed bump task as well. First place went to TK & Rachel who I really like. It is interesting to watch them on this race as they stay cool headed toward each other even when they are very frustrated. I really like to see that and I think it has helped them a ton.

I ended up watching the Buffy The Vampire Slayer musical episode again last week. I really never get tired of that episode. It has been a while since I've seen it though so it was fun to watch it again.

One Tree Hill returns with its new season on Tuesday night on The CW. The show will flash forward into the future by four years from where it left off with its season finale last year.

I never watch hockey but I was fascinated watching the Buffalo and Pittsburgh game on New Year's Day. The game took place outside in a football field which was the home of the Buffalo Bills. 70,000 fans packed in the stadium to watch this unique NHL game. What made it even more unique was the snow. It snowed throughout the game and gave the game itself a challenge with the snow on top of the ice. The 3rd period saw the winds arrive along with the snow. It was an amazing scene to watch of this amazing crowd, an outdoor hockey game, and all the weather. The overall broadcast was a lot of fun seeing all the broadcasters having fun in this amazing setting as well. The game went to overtime and to a shootout where Pittsburgh won 2-1. This game is going to be something that everyone involved will talk about for a long time to come.

The celebrity edition of The Apprentice premiered tonight. Yep, this season is all made up of celebrities with them competing for their charities. On the show are: Gene Simmons (From KISS), Carol Alt (model and actress), Jennie Finch (softball gold medalist pitcher), Lennox Lewis (boxer), Marilu Henner (actress), Nadia Comeneci (gymnast), Nely Galan (producer), Piers Morgan (probably best known here in the US as judge on America's Got Talent), Stephen Baldwin (actor), Tiffany Fallon (playmate), Tito Ortiz (UFC superstar), Trace Adkins (country singer), Vinnie Pastore (actor from The Sopranos), and Omarosa (season one of The Apprentice). Some mixed thoughts after watching the premiere. One big plus is that the show is back in New York City. NYC is a big part of that show and when they moved last season to LA, the show lost some of its personality. Another plus is that the tents are gone. Thank goodness. I thought that was one lame twist last season. One concern that I have after watching tonight's premiere is wondering if winning tasks this season is going to be based off of who has what connections to get big checks donated. Tonight's tasks saw the teams split into men vs. women and they each had to try and make the most money off of selling hot dogs on the streets of New York City. Baldwin was project manager for the men while Omarosa was the project manager for the women. A decision made early on basically decided who would win the task. The women mentioned using their celebrity to try and sell hot dogs which Omarosa shot down wanting to instead focus on the business part of selling hot dogs. The men on the other hand went straight for celebrity with Simmons making all sorts of phone calls to his contacts seeing if they'd buy an expensive hot dog for charity. The men did great especially when the big checks showed up. What was up with Piers though rejecting people for trying to buy hot dogs for 4 or 5 dollars? I know that they were after the big money but just tossing away the smaller amounts that would go to charity was just insulting. Marilu finally went on her own and made phone calls to some of her contacts getting some big money donations brought in. She saved it from being much embarrassing than it would have been. Jennie also helped out as well getting a contact to arrive for some big money. The men won easily and it was not even close. It was revealed that the project manager for each task will have the winning money for the task go to their charity and also the winning team gets to watch the losing team in the board room on their TV from their room. So, the women go in the board room. A definite change in Omarosa's excuse for what the game plan was. She said that in season one that they were criticized for selling their looks for trying to win tasks which was true. Then, she got on to Tiffany for not using her celebrity in the same way. Carol took some heat for picking out the location. One thing that I will say about Omarosa is that she knows how to handle that board room and it showed tonight. She brought Tiffany and Carol back into the board room with her. Basically, Trump fired Tiffany for not calling Hugh and getting a big check signed for charity to help win the task. Again, is this season going to turn into who can get their resources to cut the biggest checks?

TV on DVD releases for Tuesday, January 8th.
All New Super Friends Hour (Season One - Volume One), Gunsmoke (Season Two - Volume One), Happy Tree Friends (Season One), Lovejoy (Season Two), The Riches (Season One), Rob & Big (Seasons One & Two), Two And A Half Men (Season Two), The Waltons (Season Six), What's New Scooby Doo? (Season Three).

TV Line Of The Week:
From The Amazing Race as Nathan and Jennifer had trouble sewing in their task.
Nathan: "That is terrible. I don't understand how you can't do this Jen, you're a girl."
Jennifer: "I didn't understand how you couldn't row a boat. You're a guy."

You Tube Video Of The Week:
What has Conan been up to since the strike?


Have a great weekend!! Take care and God bless!!

Taylor Swift - Delicate

There is the catchphrase in life of "dance like nobody is looking". When you're Taylor Swift, that is a little hard. Being a s...