Archive for May, 2011
It’s that time of the year again. Time for another onslaught of dance troupes, shock magicians, child singers and the just plain indescribable. Yep America’s Got Talent is back for another summer season.
Last year AGT brought Howie Mandel on board as a replacement for the increasingly tiresome David Hasselhoff and also discovered the show’s second genuine star – child opera singer Jackie Evancho. Plus the season finale ended on record highs.
But while AGT did a lot right last season it was pretty infuriating at times too. So as Sharon, Piers and Howie settle down for another year of judging duties here’s my advice to them – and the show’s producers.
Here we go:
Winners and Losers From The Last 7 Days
AMERICAN IDOL: Well here’s a surprise…
On Tuesday and Wednesday the 10th season of American Idol came to a close, the first sans Simon Cowell. Tuesday’s performance episode featuring Scotty and Lauren facing off pulled in 20.57 million viewers and a 6.4 18-49 share. Impressive – but still down 7% on last year’s equivalent episode – and a whole percentage point down on last week’s Wednesday episode. Did moving the performance show from a Wednesday to a Tuesday really hurt the ratings that much? (The decision was made to fit within the broadcast TV season which ended on Wednesday) In fact, Idol was even beaten by Dancing With The Stars!
But Idol roared back to life on Wednesday night with the usual star-studded 2-hour results shows (always one of my favorite episodes). Scotty’s coronation scored a whopping 29.29 million viewers and a scorching 9.2 18-49 rating. Most impressive of all is that fact that that figure is up 21% in total viewership from last year – the first time an Idol finale has risen on the previous year in 5 seasons! For a show in it’s 10th year that’s pretty astounding…More >
When Does It Start: Monday 30th May at 10pm EST on Bravo
In A Nutshell: Bravo enters the music competition world courtesy of singer Jewel and songwriter – and former American Idol Judge – Kara DioGuardi.
What’s It About: Platinum Hit is the music competition show that’s all about songwriting. 12 competitors will face off against one another and must each week write and perform a different song in a different genre e.g. country, love songs, rock. At stake is a $100,000 cash prize and a publishing and recording deal.
Hosting (and judging) the show is 90’s star Jewel, while ex-Idol judge Kara DioGuardi heads up the judges table, alongside an RCA exec and a rotating celebrity. Sound familiar? It’s the standard reality competition template perfected by the network back in their Project Runway days. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
So here we are again – the end of another season of American Idol!
This time last year I was bemoaning Idol’s Season 9 – nicknamed the Season of Suck – and suggesting how the show could be improved next time around.
Well here we are and unfortunately Idol didn’t get better this year. In fact it got WORSE! A lot worse. And with competition from The Voice and Fox’s own X Factor in the Fall I think the Idol production team have dug themselves a big old hole this season…
So here’s my take of what went wrong…
It’s a monumental week in the TV world this week as Oprah finally signs off from her self-titled talk show on Wednesday after one of the longest farewells ever!
It seems everyone is talking about Oprah at the moment with numerous retrospectives looking back at everything the mighty O has given to the world, from couch jumping to book clubs, car giveaway and Favorite Things.
I love all the hoopla and spectacle that surround the Oprah show but I’ll miss the series for one simple reason. Oprah made TV better. And the end of her show is going to leave a gaping void in the daytime schedule.
I’ve been a fan of Oprah on and off from the start of her reign in the mid-80’s but unfortunately it was a hard show for me to find at times. I lived in England up until 2005 and the UK networks were too stupid to snap up the series and broadcast it at a regular hour each day (preferring instead Australian soap operas and cheap game-shows). Oprah bounced around the schedules and networks for years and I had to be a regular detective to track it down – but I still managed to get my fair More >
I must admit I only watched last night’s Billboard Awards via DVR – and with hefty use of the fast forward button!
But even with minimal attention I could tell that Britney still isn’t back to 100% (did you see how lifeless she was alongside a bubbly Rihanna) and Ken Jeong’s hosting was painful (memo to Hollywood, stop trying to make the likes of Jeong and Aziz Ansari happen)
But there was one performance that stopped me in my tracks and absolutely stole the show! Beyonce...
This was a key performance for Beyonce – a glossy tribute on a big awards show and a chance to show the public that her latest single, Run The World (Girls) isn’t the big fat flop that it’s been so far. I’ll admit I’ve hated the song up to now – and could only get 1 minute into the embarrassing music video.
But then Queen B took to the stage and just knocked it out of the park with one of the most innovative, freshest and beautifully produced performances in years. Can you imagine how much rehearsal this took for Beyonce to hit every single visual cue. And it even made me like the song at last!
Watch a true superstar More >
It’s Richard Recommends time again – my chance to wax lyrical on a current show that gets my seal of approval.
This time around I’m talking about Game Of Thrones, HBO’s epic fantasy drama that’s been racking up some great ratings recently as well as plenty of critical acclaim
If you’ve not been following the show so far it’s hard for me to bring you up to speed – this is one pretty plot dense show (more on that in a moment). But in a nutshell the lead protagonist is Ned Stark (Sean Bean) who’s been enlisted to be the ‘hand’ of the king, Robert (played with menace by the once jovial Mark Addy) following the death of the previous hand.
Turns out the king’s wife Cersei (Lena Headey) was behind the murder and is in fact scheming against the king. Cersei’s sleeping with her brother Jaime and also has a second brother, Tyrion, a dwarf (Peter Dinklage, having maximum fun with the role) who seems to be the only honorable member of the family. Cersei and Jaime have also tried to murder Ned’s son, Bran, after he spied them making love, and now Ned’s wife Catelyn has taken Tyrion prisoner.More >
As you probably heard, last night’s Saturday Night Live was the season finale, so the veteran comedy series pulled out the big guns to say goodbye in style.
Hosting the show was Justin Timberlake, while Lady Gaga (plugging that Born That Way album like crazy) was the night’s musical guest.
Together the two teamed up with Andy Samberg for the show’s latest digital short, a sequel to the famous ‘Dick In A Box‘ and ‘Motherlover‘ musical numbers.
This one’s called Threeway and features Samberg and Timberlake sharing a Lady Gaga sandwich, but of course ‘it’s not gay when it’s in a threeway’
Personally Motherlover remains my favorite of the three, mainly because of Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson who really threw themselves into the skit (they also make a cameo here). This one’s okay but Gaga adds little to the mix – and to be honest the lyrics just aren’t that clever – or funny.
But what do you think? And what did you think of the SNL finale in general?
THE GOOD WIFE: Could the critically acclaimed CBS series finally be on the verge of blooming into a hit?
Despite numerous magazine covers and positive reviews The Good Wife is still not a bona fide smash, constantly on the bubble and facing an uncertain future. But what a difference one storyline can make. The Kalinda love triangle seems to have captured viewer’s imaginations and this week’s season finale was up a strong 25% versus last week and last year’s finale – to 12.58 million viewers.
Unfortunately that still translates to just a 2.4 18-49 share, the key problem all CBS shows are now facing (see the Mentalist below for more on the network’s woes). But at least The Good Wife is off the critical list – for now – and secure for a third season…
As you’ve doubtless noticed we’ve been posting plenty of clips from all the new Fall shows up here on Remote Patrolled including trailers for Charlie’s Angels, Smash, The River and Pan Am.
The new season is shaping up to be a great one from a creative standpoint with ABC, Fox and NBC taking some interesting risks and developing some decidedly unconventional programming for a change.
But you may have noticed a glaring absence from our Fall previews. Yep, that’s right, we’ve not included clips of any of the new CBS shows. The reason – frankly they bore me to tears. Seems to me the head guys at CBS didn’t get the memo that the Fall season wasn’t business as usual.
So what are CBS offering us? There’s Person Of Interest, a crime thriller. Unforgettable, a detective show that’s essentially a female version of The Mentalist. And for mid-season The 2-2, which is, hey you guessed it – a police drama.
On the comedy front we have Ashton Kutcher joining Two And A Half Men – a casting decision I still question, a possible Rob Schneider comedy and another laugher with Kevin Dillon. Oh and let’s not forget the 23rd installment of Survivor, the 19th season of More >