Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Entertainment Wrap Up - May 15, 2008 - TV Networks Unveil Their Schedules, Upfronts Discussion, Smallville & Survivor Finales, and More

Some of this stuff has appeared on the website so consider some of this edition of the Wrap Up a digest of sorts for those of you who have seen the Survivor stuff and also some of the network upfront coverage.

Here is the news on the network upfront presentations this week. I've tried to include everything with every show but I'm human so I probably may have left something out. If I did, I apologize. It looks like all of my shows survived the week which is a relief to hear. The last several years have been ugly for me as it seems that I lose a favorite every single year. It became a joke for several years that I was the kiss of cancellation when it came to shows. Every time I would officially declare a show my favorite, word would come out that it was in trouble of being renewed. I kid you not that I had declared American Dreams my favorite show and not even two days later came news that it was in serious trouble of being canceled. Since then, I've been very careful in naming a particular favorite show in worry of what might happen. LOL. I did lose Veronica Mars last year though and that hurt to lose such a great show. I loved the pairing of Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls so it was disappointing to lose both of those in the same season cause I loved both of those shows. This year? No worries. I'm in good shape with my viewing. How did all of you do? Hope your favorites survived. If they didn't, I know how you feel!!!

NBC:
NBC has previously already rolled out their schedule a while back but here it is again.

Returning shows: Heroes, Chuck, The Biggest Loser, Law & Order: SVU, Deal Or No Deal, Lipstick Jungle, My Name Is Earl, 30 Rock, The Office, ER, Life, Dateline Saturday, The Celebrity Apprentice, Friday Night Lights (the previous discussed deal with DirecTV), Law & Order, Medium, American Gladiators, Nashville Star, Monk.

New shows: Knight Rider (the remake of the hit 80's series which we have seen some of with the recent movie), America's Toughest Jobs (reality show about people taking on various tough jobs), Chopping Block (cooking reality show), Crusoe (drama about a man on an island who is determined to get back to his regular life), Kath & Kim (comedy starring Molly Shannon about a divorced woman moving back home with her mom), Kings (drama about a soldier who saves the king's son), The Listener (drama about a paramedic who reads minds to solves crimes), Merlin (drama about following Merlin and Arthur in Camelot as they were young which stars Anthony Stewart Head of Buffy fame), My Own Worst Enemy (drama which from what I understand is similar to the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde type story starring Christian Slater), The Office Spinoff (not much information on this other than the obvious that it is a spinoff of The Office), The Philanthropist (drama about a billionaire who helps those in need after the death of his child), Shark Taggers (reality show on marine biologists tracking sharks).

Canceled shows: Journeyman (still so sad over that show not coming back), 1 vs. 100, Amne$ia, The Singing Bee, Scrubs (going to ABC), Clash of the Choirs, Bionic Woman, Las Vegas, My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, Phenomenon, and quarterlife.

Overall thoughts: Nothing surprising here. NBC sure does have a lot of new shows. I just wonder how the shows will perform initially and in the long term. Case and point? Bionic Woman. It started really big and faded fast. Not sure if there is anything on their new show list that really intrigues me to watch. I'd have to see some clips before I decided on whether to check out any of them. I highly advise them to put the pilots of these new shows up On Demand like last year. I found myself watching shows that I normally wouldn't have went to the trouble of watching but because it was so easy to access, I watched the first episodes and got hooked on several shows including Chuck and Journeyman before they even aired on actual TV. Expect Heroes and Chuck to get a huge relaunch in the fall and I'm glad that they're sticking with that lineup on Monday nights. Heroes is launching with a three hour season premiere which I can't wait to see. Chuck is a fun show that I enjoy watching. It isn't can't miss but I do enjoy it. I am curious to see how both of those shows perform upon their return after a LONG hiatus due to the strike. I liked the Knight Rider movie and how it tied to the original series so we'll see how it does.

ABC:
ABC has announced their fall schedule and the big news is that Scrubs is moving over to ABC from NBC. This has been talked about for a while now. However, it won't return until midseason. The only shows getting new timeslots are Boston Legal which will move to Mondays at 9pm (all times are central time), Eli Stone moves to Tuesdays at 9pm, and a Friday block of Wife Swap, Supernanny, and 20/20.

Returning shows: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing With The Stars, Samantha Who?, Eli Stone, Boston Legal, America's Funniest Home Videos, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, Wife Swap, Supernanny, 20/20, According To Jim, The Bachelor, and Lost.

New Shows: Life On Mars (drama about a detective who gets in a car crash and finds himself in 1973 but is still a detective in a different time), Opportunity Knocks (game show where a random family around the country will get to play a game show right there in their neighborhood), The Goode Family, (Mike Judge animated comedy), Scrubs (new show for ABC anyway), and the untitled show from Ashton Kutcher and Tyra Banks which is supposed to be a beauty pageant type show.

Canceled shows: October Road, Men In Trees, Miss Guided, Big Shots, Cashmere Mafia, Dance War, Here Come The Newlyweds, Just For Laughs, Women's Murder Club, Notes From The Underbelly, Carpoolers, and Cavemen.

Overall thoughts: Hmm, I actually don't watch ABC in prime time at all. Just nothing that really grabs me but I'm sure there are shows that I would like if I watched them. Just have other commitments, I guess. LOL. Scrubs is obviously a huge pickup for them. Good mix of drama and comedy on the network. Dancing With The Stars is obviously a ratings blockbuster. I've seen Samantha Who? and thought it was a solid show. According To Jim is the show that has nine lives is what everyone says. How many times has that show been brought back now when it was said to be done? Cavemen was doomed from the start. Carpoolers was a show that I thought was ok but not enough to make me want to watch it. I watched a couple of episodes of it with one being funny while the other was just kind of eh. I know a lot of people are disappointed over the cancellation of October Road. ABC will be in solid shape with their major hit shows that have been huge for them for many years with Lost, Desperate Housewives, and others. Any new shows that I'd check out? Well, there aren't many to pick from so I don't know. I know a lot of people are hyping Life On Mars.

The CW:

Returning shows: Smallville, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, America's Next Top Model, Supernatural, Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, and Reaper.

New shows: Beverly Hills 90210 (Yeah, if you follow the entertainment world and you haven't heard about this, you're living under a rock. LOL. This is the new spinoff of the original series), Stylista (reality show with people competing for a job with Elle Magazine), and Surviving The Filthy Rich (Reba alum, JoAnna Garcia, stars in this show about a Yale graduate who ends up having to be a live-in tutor for a rich woman's granddaughters).

Canceled shows: CW Now, Online Nation, Pussycat Dolls, Beauty and The Geek, Life Is Wild, Crowned, Girlfriends, Farmer Wants A Wife, and WWE Friday Night Smackdown (which is going to My Network TV).

Overall thoughts: Oh, The CW. Yeah, it's the one year anniversary since they left me VERY bitter over the cancellation of Veronica Mars. I've yet to watch any new shows on that network in my stubborn boycott. LOL. They have me for Smallville and that is it. I will however give one show a new chance due to the fact that I was such a huge fan of the original. I'm obviously talking about 90210 and that is the huge buzz from The CW. The show will air on Tuesday nights pairing it up with Surviving The Filthy Rich. With wrestling being vacated on Fridays, they are moving the comedies there with Everybody Hates Chris and The Game along with an encore episode of Top Model. It will be interesting to see the ratings on Friday night and see what the comedies do against what Smackdown was doing. Reaper, which has a good cult following of fans, was picked up at the last minute and will return at midseason. One Tree Hill has a dedicated fan base and is a show that I've loved for many years. Gossip Girl has been a hit for The CW and they are trying to build the ratings up for the show by cutting out the online viewing. The CW did pass on the pilot that featured Justin Hartley which is leading many to speculate that he might make a Smallville return next season. We'll have to wait and see.

CBS:

Returning shows: The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Survivor, Two and a Half Men, CSI, CSI: Miami, NCIS, Without A Trace, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Criminal Minds, CSI: NY, Ghost Whisperer, The Amazing Race, 60 Minutes, Cold Case, The Unit, 48 Hours Mystery, Rules of Engagement.

New shows: Eleventh Hour (Jerry Bruckheimer produced drama about a government science advisor who travels with his female blonde bodyguard checking out crimes involving science), The Ex List (show about a woman in her thirties looking to find a man but is told by a psychic that she has already dated her future husband. She has one year to go back in her dating history to find who the guy is. I have to take note of the fact that Rachel Boston of American Dreams is cast in this show), The Mentalist (drama about a detective who uses his power of observation to solve cases but tends to clash with his unit over his style of solving the cases), Project Gary (comedy starring Jay Mohr about a guy that gets divorced after fifteen years of being married and lives with his new girlfriend while also having his kids, ex-wife, and her boyfriend in his life), Worst Week (comedy about a guy who tends to have bad things happen when he is around his fiance's parents who are very conservative), Harper's Island (show about a group of family and friends who end up on an island for a wedding but the island has a history of being the site of a person's murderous rampage. History starts to repeat itself while they are there).

Canceled shows: Moonlight, Cane, Jericho, Kid Nation, Power of 10, Shark, Secret Talent of the Stars, Viva Laughlin, Welcome to the Captain.

Overall thoughts: I watch several shows on CBS and they all survived. Big Bang Theory has been my favorite new show of this current season. I look forward to watching and laughing at it every week. How I Met Your Mother has been on the bubble for months now and I'm thrilled that it is coming back. CBS decided to bring back The New Adventures of Old Christine and it was a major bubble show. It was likely going to keep going anyway as the talk has been for a while now that ABC had major interest in bringing it over if CBS had canceled it. As far as new shows, The Ex List gets my attention. I kind of like the concept of it as that could be a fun storyline to follow. I'm bummed to see Kid Nation canceled. That was a show that had a lot of controversy to it when it premiered. I watched it just to check it out and see what all the talk was about and found myself hooked on to the show. The success of any season of a show like that is going to depend on a cast of people and that season of Kid Nation had a good blend of kids. I didn't expect to like the show but it became a show that I loved to watch every week and those kids earned every bit of respect that I could give them for what they were able to accomplish out there. Jericho is obviously firing people up with that cancellation. Don't count Jericho out though as there is still talk about saving the show and moving it to a cable network. We'll see. Gotta love such passionate fans.

Fox:

Returning shows: 24, Terminator: The Sara Connor Chronicles, Prison Break, House, Bones, Til Death, The Moment Of Truth, Kitchen Nightmares, American Idol, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, Don't Forget The Lyrics, Cops, America's Most Wanted, MADtv, Talk Show With Spike Feresten, The Simpsons, King Of The Hill, Family Guy, American Dad, He**'s Kitchen.

New shows: Dollhouse (the new Joss Whedon show about a group of dolls who carry out jobs and are given personalities and a past. Echo, played by Eliza Dushku, begins to have memories as things start to go wrong with the dollhouse. This gets people to trying to figure out what is going on in the dollhouse), Do Not Disturb (comedy that focuses on the life at a New York hotel), Sit Down, Shut Up (animated comedy about a group of high school teachers that is produced by Mitch Hurwitz of Arrested Development. Strong cast of stars doing voices including Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Henry Winkler, and more), Fringe (J.J. Abrams drama about a grouping of people including a FBI agent, scientist, and the very smart son trying to solve crimes involving science. The show sees the TV return of Joshua Jackson), The Cleveland Show (animated comedy which is a spinoff of Family Guy), Secret Millionaire (show about a group of people doing well with money and they are put into a neighborhood on the other end of the money scale but lay undercover. At the end, they'll give money to someone).

Canceled shows: Anchorwoman, Canterbury's Law, K-Ville, Nashville, New Amsterdam, The Return of Jezebel James, Next Great American Band

Overall thoughts: Obviously for me as a Joss Whedon fan, my attention is on Dollhouse. I'm disappointed to see it being held off till midseason but am very much looking forward to seeing a new show from him. Interesting that it will be paired up with 24 on Monday nights. As far as new shows, it does seem like Fox has good potential in their lineup. However, I have a rule with Fox and that is to never watch their new shows until they are long established. I've been burned way too many times by Fox canceling shows way early on. However, I will check out Dollhouse of course. Staying with the Whedonverse, David Boreanaz's show, Bones, will move to Fridays in January. Before January though, it will be on Wednesday nights. 24 will return with a two hour movie on November 23rd which will set up the happenings before season seven. Fox also announced that Prison Break, Fringe, and Bones will have their season premieres at the end of August. It does appear that Back To You has also been canceled by Fox especially after Kelsey Grammar said so. There is talk of the producers trying to shop it to another network. I'm surprised that the show didn't last with the star power of Grammar and Patricia Heaton.

On to the other stuff of the week.

WHEW!! That was all that I could think besides letting out a cheer when I read the news that was posted on TV Guide last night. Ausiello is reporting that Allison Mack has signed a new deal for next season on Smallville and will be in for the whole season. Wow, I was getting nervous and wondering just what next season was going to be like without so many of the originals on board. Having Chloe back will be a great thing for season eight. Hopefully, they'll make her more of a major player in the storylines next season with the others gone.
http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-Editors-Blog/Ausiello-Report/Ausiello-Scoop-Allison/800039677

Smallville had its season finale tonight. The episode had a little bit of everything in it with controlling devices, proposals, arrests, blackmail, Brainiac, and a showdown in the biggest of places for Clark and Lex. Some of the happenings in the episode had Kara out with a vengeance which we would learn wasn't her at all as it was Brainiac. Chloe volunteered to try and take out Kara but she learned the hard way that it was Brainiac. Cue to Chloe being sent to her second residence which is Smallville Medical. Clark went and destroyed Brainiac which cleared up everything and brought Kara back while healing Chloe and Lana. Lana was gone by the time that Clark got to the room and she left a video message for him. She said goodbye saying that he had bigger things to do with saving the world along with saying a tearful goodbye. We got a proposal from Jimmy to Chloe after her recovery. We didn't get an answer though as Chloe was arrested and Jimmy's bargaining with Lex was a definite big cause of that happening. At about fifteen till, I'm looking at the clock thinking that this stuff with Clark and Lex is going to have to happen quickly. Lex found the fortress and was confronted by Clark. Nice exchange between them as Lex had finally figured out who the traveler was. Lex unleashed it and took down the fortress. So, we're left with cliffhangers as usual. I'm wondering what becomes of Lex with Rosenbaum being out for next season. What happens with Clark? Who will bail out Chloe? Can someone call the Justice League? How about Green Arrow to use some of his money for her bail? LOL. Seriously, I'm just thrilled that we have Chloe involved next season. That wraps up season seven. With the writers strike, we still got twenty episodes out of this season. I really enjoyed this season and liked it quite a bit more than season six. Not much stuff this season that I didn't like. Season eight is definitely going to be an adjustment with cast and crew gone and I'm excited to see what will happen.

Survivor Fans vs. Favorites had its finale on Sunday night and I really enjoyed the show. This has been one of the best seasons of Survivor. There were so many moments that left you speechless over what you had seen especially when it came to immunity and some of them didn't even involve the actual idol. Going into Sunday's show, we had the final four. The women had prevailed with Amanda, Cirie, Natalie, and Parvati making it to the final four. The first immunity challenge of the night was held and Amanda made a come from behind effort to win. That brings us to the first tribal council of the night. Natalie gets voted out which means the last "fan" is out of the game leaving three "favorites". The talk then turns to how the final three thinks that the game is over. For the last few seasons, the show has ended with a final three instead of a final two as it used to be. The editing of the show made me think that they were doing final two cause they were making such a big deal out of it. Sure enough, they get the news that there will be another immunity challenge. The challenge was very similar to the one that Amanda won in her other season. You must balance a ball and not let it fall. My first thought going into the challenge was that if Cirie wanted to be in the final two, she had to win. If Amanda won, she was taking Parvati to the final two. If Parvati won, she was taking Amanda. Cirie had her own fate literally in her hands. Parvati ends up out of the challenge leaving Amanda against Cirie. Cirie drifts off for one second and the ball falls leaving Amanda as the winner and the ultimate decision of who to take to the final two. Tribal council has Amanda deciding to take Parvati with her to the final two. Cirie is voted out. That gets us to my favorite part of the season every year, the jury questioning. I cannot tell you how many years that I have made sure to have all my food and everything ready so I do not have to leave the TV during this segment. There is just something about the great TV of watching these jury members get up there and vent their hurt feelings. LOL. The questioning wasn't as bad as I expected and I thought the jury would be harder on Parvati than on Amanda. I'm not sure that was the case though. Amanda had some people upset at her as well. How about Ozzy blasting Parvati and then telling of his love for Amanda? Pretty fitting that they let him go last too. Wow, Natalie was harsh on Parvati. My goodness. Eliza is always one of my favorites to have up there on the jury cause she is a straight shooter and will tell you what she thinks. Erik voiced his hurt feelings over what happened to him but voiced it at Amanda. She stood up back to him though. The votes did not go at ALL like I thought they would. I thought for sure that Amanda had it wrapped up BUT things did not go that way. Parvati ends up winning on a 5-3 vote and it seemed like the overall reaction was surprise. Even Parvati looked surprised. The last vote was the deciding one and I would really have liked to have seen a tie just to see what the rule is on how to decide a winner. That has never happened. The last vote was for Parvati though. As far as I can tell, the votes for Amanda were Ozzy, James, and Erik while Cirie, Alexis, Natalie, Eliza, and Jason voted for Parvati. I never would have guessed that Parvati would have won. She played a very cutthroat type game but made some big moves in the game that was rewarded by the jury. Poor Amanda. She gets to the final on two seasons in a row and wins the big challenges but can't get the votes to win. I actually thought that her jury questioning cost her the game last season but I thought she did better tonight. The jury just voted how they felt and went with Parvati so congrats to her. The reunion show was a lot of fun as always. I love watching it and finding out what people have to say about the happenings of the season. It was great to hear Jeff Probst mention how many fans were saying how great this season was cause it was a great season. Ozzy and Amanda are still together. Erik was a good sport over talking about his giving up immunity. James' line about giving up your life raft when hanging off the boat was a great analogy!! LOL. I'm always glad when Probst gets around to asking everyone questions cause I feel bad for the ones that got voted out early and don't get asked anything. James won the $100,000 from the fan voting which had him, Ozzy, and Amanda as the top three vote getters. Parvati sure didn't get much attention as far as questioning especially for the winner. As far as the injured players this season, everyone is doing well which is great to hear. Next season's Survivor will be heading back to Africa as they will go to Gabon.

Jennie Garth is indeed onboard for the new 90210 series. She will reprise her role as Kelly Taylor but she won't be a series regular as of yet. I read a report of her appearance at the CW upfronts and she stated that she had yet to meet any of the new 90210 cast but looked forward to it.

Movie box office numbers for last weekend. 1. Iron Man - $50.5 million. 2. Speed Racer - $20.2 million. 3. What Happens In Vegas - $20 million. 4. Made Of Honor - $7.6 million. 5. Baby Mama - $5.8 million. 6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall - $3.8 million. 7. Harold and Kumar - $3.2 million. 8. Forbidden Kingdom - $1.9 million. 9. Nim's Island - $1.3 million. 10. Redbelt - $1.1 million.

I've got a much needed TV on DVD release to pick up next week. Season three of Charles In Charge. Still one of my favorite shows ever.

Carrie Underwood was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry this past Saturday night. I haven't watched a Grand Ole Opry induction before so it was all new to me. A really classy induction and there was no doubt that Carrie appreciated every bit of it. Garth Brooks inducted her into the Opry and did a nice job of the honors. She also performed some songs on the show as well. That place appeared to be packed and I tend to think that tickets were hard to come by for it. The amount of camera flashes going off during the show was incredible to watch.

The final two has been set on American Idol. The Davids and Syesha battled it out this week to see who would make it to the final. Syesha Mercado was voted out this week which means that David Archuleta and David Cook will go at it for the crown of this season's American Idol. Next week is the big finale.

I loved this week's episode of The Big Bang Theory. One of my favorites of the season. The story was that Leonard had never had a birthday party thrown for him so Penny came up with the idea to surprise him with one. Plans go all over the place however when a Halo game keeps Leonard from leaving so the party can be set up. Extremes had to be taken including a severe allergic reaction to keep him away from the party which ended up being too long. Sheldon not leaving the electronics store was pretty funny too as he kept using his advice to help customers and was more effective than the store employees.

Britney Spears made her return to How I Met Your Mother this past Monday night. I thought her first guest appearance was funnier but this was still a good episode. Her character and Barney did their best to get Ted's attention. Barney had to get out of an engagement though due to it. LOL.

Season three of The Hills concluded this past Monday night. Very fun run of new episodes this spring. Wow, I'm amazed that Heidi gave up that very good job opportunity to come back home with Spencer who went to Vegas to find her. Lauren, Lo, and Audrina are in their new place but the three are very separated with Audrina living in her own spot in the back of the place. Lauren and Audrina are starting to grow apart and Audrina felt that Lo was the reason for it. We already have confirmation on a season four and a trailer has already been released on what to expect. It looks like Lauren will have a new guy in her life and problems will continue to build between Audrina and Lo. Here is a look at season four.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP6fz8cXJYo

I thought I'd give some random NBA Playoff notes. Boston has not been as dominant so far as I expected them to be in the east. All I can say is that they have to win those home games cause they can't afford to have to win on the road. I still expect them to come out of the east but a matchup with Detroit could be tough. How about the fact that it seems no one can win on the road in the second round??!! Well, not everyone but the home teams are winning mostly. New Orleans has given San Antonio all they can handle so far but unless something falls apart in this current game that is on as I type this, they'll be going to game seven. LeBron's mom getting up and having words with the Boston players was funny the other night. The TNT crew at halftime had me laughing pretty hard as they were having fun with it. Detroit pretty well breezed through Orlando even without Billups. The Lakers and Jazz has been a very competitive series as they match up well.

TV on DVD releases for Tuesday, May 20th. The Bill Engvall Show (Season One), Charles In Charge (Season Three), Cheerleader U (Season One), Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. (Season Four), JAG (Season Six), The Jeff Corwin Experience (Season Two), The Muppet Show (Season Three).

TV Lines Of The Week:
From Smallville:
"I must admit Clark, this is a big step up from the barn". Lex to Clark in the fortress.

From Survivor:
"The girls were in the boat. They were cruising along. He was on the side of the boat with a life vest on. He had it. All he had to do was float along. He took the life vest off and handed it to the ones in the boat. I was like, wow, seriously??!!"
James commenting during the reunion show on Erik giving up immunity to Natalie which led to Erik being voted out.

You Tube Video Of The Week: Simon's Cat - Let Me In


That is all that I have for you this week. Have a great weekend!! Take care and God bless!!

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