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!!

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