Archive for December, 2011
Yes, it’s that time of the year again where I pick my top shows of the last 12 months. Many shows – New Girl, The Borgias, Homeland, Nurse Jackie – almost made the list. But in the end there could be only 10… here they are!
REVENGE: There were shows this year with better writing, better directing and better acting. But NOTHING on our screens in 2011 was as ridiculously entertaining as Revenge, the season’s most surprising new hit.
Who would have thought that the primetime soap opera would make a comeback in 2011 and that its story of rich people receiving their comeuppance would seem quite so timely. Revenge has been perfectly played since episode one – hooking us into Emily Thorne’s grand plans to avenge herself on the Grayson family – led by the wonderfully icy matriarch Victoria (Madeline Stowe).
But Revenge has also done a wonderful job of surrounding Emily with a series of equally gripping storylines. There’s grasping social climber Tyler who’s gradually becoming more and more unhinged, bisexual billionaire Nolan who helps fund Emily’s schemes, reformed party boy Daniel who may be the key to Emily’s undoing and the Poison Ivy-like Amanda who’s out to cause a whole heap More >
Time for another end of year Network Scorecard – and it’s the turn of NBC. Oh boy where do we start with this one!
THE VOICE: In a year in which pretty much EVERY new NBC series flopped, we should at least cheer the one new show that did do well for the Peacock network.
Many – myself included – thought The Voice would be a big old flop for NBC, but the combination of a neat twist (those swiveling chairs) and big name judges proved that American Idol doesn’t have the monopoly when it comes to music competition series. The Voice launched with almost 12 million viewers and peaked a few weeks later at over 14 million – beating the far more hyped X Factor and scoring a massive hit single for judges Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera. Season 2 returns in February, launching in the key post-Superbowl slot – essentially guaranteeing record audiences.
And the X Factor winner is… Melanie Amaro. Wow, what a shocker! I mean seriously, did anyone out there really have any doubt that the hands down strongest singer in this year’s competition was going to scoop that $5 million record deal? You think Simon Cowell was going to let The Stereo Hogzz or Leroy walk away with that prize?
Looking back, it’s been pretty obvious from day one that Simon had his sights set on crowning Melanie his first X Factor USA champ. I lost count of how many times Amaro ended a show in the prized ‘pimp’ slot. And then there was that patently ridiculous last minute switcheroo, in which Cowell pretended to eliminate Melanie at the Judges’ Homes stage of the contest, only to bring her back at the last minute as an extra contestant. Are we seriously meant to believe that Simon let Melanie go for the likes of Simone Battle? Come on!
It truly is the time for show finales on our screens at the moment, as the year winds down and some of our favorite shows come to a close.
Last night it was the turn of American Horror Story, the gothic supernatural series that’s been scoring sizzling ratings for FX, and has already been commissioned for a second season. But what did you think of the show’s season finale?
I’ve been a fan of American Horror Story all season long, though I’ll be honest, it isn’t my favorite show on TV. I don’t think the series is as good as The Walking Dead, as ridiculously entertaining as Revenge or as smart as Mad Men or Game Of Thrones.
What Horror Story has done well is create – and sustain – a wonderful atmosphere of dread across the series. This is one seriously twisted show and probably the scariest TV series ever. From the famous ‘rubber man’ to the dismembered babies in the basement to the vengeful Hayden, Horror Story is a truly nasty show. And those opening titles – oh boy!
But I’m also starting to feel that American Horror Story is starting to get kind of crowded now. There are simply so many More >
Did you watch the finale of Homeland this week on Showtime? And if so – did you feel the same way I did?
Yep, after sitting through the 90-minute season finale (the 30 minutes of which were excruciatingly slow – and to be honest, pretty boring) Homeland wrapped up its first season with one of the most unsatisfying endings in recent memory.
Sergeant Brody (Damian Lewis) was revealed to be a terrorist and was all set to assassinate the slimy Vice President when he changed his mind at the last minute, following a tearful phone call from his daughter Dana. Unfortunately since Brody didn’t carry out his attack, no-one actually knows he’s a terrorist and Carrie (Claire Danes) has been left looking like a psycho stalker, submitting herself for electro-shock therapy in an effort to sort out her confused state of mind. Brody meanwhile is a hero, with top level security access. Happy times, eh! Even Jack Bauer at least got to save the day before enduring his own share of indignities and tortures.
Here’s the thing – there was lots that WAS right with the Homeland season finale. After that painfully slow start the suspense really started to kick in, as rogue More >
Time for another Fire Your Agent here at Remote Patrolled – where I take a talented star who’s frankly not getting the attention or roles they deserve…
Last time around I talked about Megan Mullally, and today’s choice has much in common with the former Will And Grace star.
Becki Newton also scored success playing a bitchy sidekick on a gay friendly comedy series – but in Becki’s case it was the ABC hit Ugly Betty. For four seasons Becki brought Mode receptionist Amanda Tanen to life, the wonderfully viper tongued mean girl who constantly plotted and schemed with her partner in crime Mark (Michael Urie). In a show of BIG characters, Becki more than held her home, scoring laughs with her terrific comedy timing, line delivery and facial expressions.
When Ugly Betty wrapped after 4 seasons in 2010, Becki was top of every casting director’s wish list and pretty much had the pick of every plum comedy role in town. And what did she end up doing… Love Bites!
It’s time for the final Ratings Roundup of the year. So who shone – and who stunk – over the last 7 days… let’s find out!
FEAR FACTOR: Okay everyone – let’s put this into perspective shall we!
From all the internet hoopla surrounding the return of Fear Factor this week (yes, that would be you Perez Hilton), you’d have thought that NBC had struck the ratings jackpot with their resurrected reality franchise. Short answer – they didn’t. But Fear Factor did well nonetheless.
On Monday night the Joe Rogan hosted gross out series returned from its 5 year break to pull in 8.52 million viewers and a 3.5 18-49 rating. That’s NBC’s best score in the 9pm timeslot for over a year.
But now some perspective. Fear Factor went up against a repeat of House on Fox and Hart Of Dixie on The CW as well as a painfully low rated ABC game show (see below). Plus while that demo is good, the overall ratings aren’t astounding and are likely to fall in the weeks to come. A premier of 8 million isn’t that impressive when slippage is likely. Still even if Fear Factor settles at the 6-7 million mark – that will still pretty More >
The end is almost here…
After countless weeks, an avalanche of hype and the biggest promo campaign in recent memory, The X Factor will finally unveil its $5 million winner next week. But will it be Melanie, Josh or Chris?
While far from the smash hit Fox expected, The X Factor has been a solid Fall performer for the network and has given us some great drama along the way. Remember Astro’s bottom 2 brat attack? Simon flipping out at Paula and Nicole after Drew was sent packing? And most famously, Rachel Crow’s elimination breakdown which had many of us questioning if the X Factor age limit was too low.
But while The X Factor has done plenty right this season it’s also made some crucial missteps. So now Simon Cowell, Fox Exec Mike Darnell and the rest of the team have 9 months to right the ship ahead of Season 2.
Oprah to the rescue?
By now you’re doubtless aware of the behind the scenes – and on air – problems surrounding the Oprah Winfrey Network – or OWN as its most widely known.
Launched in January, OWN has so far failed to set the ratings world alight, with numerous stories comparing the network’s performance to its predecessor, Discovery Health. The headline – OWN is a costly failure and possibly on the verge of cancelation down the line. In fact The Hollywood Reporter recently ran a well-researched story along just those lines.
One of the major complaints about OWN has been that there’s simply not enough Oprah on the network. In part this was due to the fact that the Oprah Winfrey Show was still on the air for the first five months of the network’s launch, a key strategic mistake in my opinion. OWN should have launched THIS January, giving Winfrey time away from her show, time to devote to the network and, most crucially of all, time for audiences to miss her.
But now Oprah is returning to our screens – in a new series called Oprah’s Next Chapter that launches January 1st. The series, as you may have heard, follows Oprah as she travels the More >
Jersey Shore truly is the STD of the TV world!
Hot on the heels of Geordie Shore and Desperate Scousewives check out Tallafornia, the Irish version of the guidos and guidettes smash!
Yes, it seems that big muscles, fake tan, excessive drinking and hot tub makeouts aren’t just particular to the New Jersey coastline, as the Tallafornia trailer makes clear.
I have to say the dark haired guy is very hot but the blonde guy with the mohawk screams gay to me! And let’s not even get into the cross eyed blonde girl. OMG!
The Tallafornia crowd hail from West Dublin, an area I’ve visited a few times over the years – but I can’t say I’ve ever come across guys that look as good as this.
Tallafornia premiered last weekend in Ireland and proved a big hit, delivering over 1/2 million viewers (in a country whose population is just over 6 million) – so expect the hook ups and bust ups to keep on coming. Funnily enough, over here Jersey Shore has likely peaked and I think is heading for some seriously declining ratings when season 5 debuts in the New Year…
In the meantime check out Tallafornia… in all its tanned and pumped up glory! (more…)More >