Archive for January, 2012
Bad news for fans of good looking but awkward British TV hosts. Steve Jones is officially out as the host of the The X Factor.
And if you have a penchant for word garbling, slightly deranged female judges there’s more bad news – Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul have also been shown the door too!
Wow, what a day, as Simon Cowell and the Fox network cleaned house on last year’s semi-successful X Factor debut.
Let’s be honest – we all knew Jones was on the way out. The Welsh host was so utterly hopeless in his role – stiff, awkward, unfriendly and generally just way out of his depth – it was obvious from the first few episodes that his days were numbered.
You know how sometimes you watch something on TV and your jaw just drops? And not in a good way. Well this week I had one of those moments.
The cause? Tabatha Takes Over, the long running Bravo series featuring former hair stylist and Shear Genius contestant Tabatha Coffey as she attempts to turn around a range of struggling businesses.
Earlier this week I caught one of the show’s recent episodes, featuring Tabatha trying to save a rundown gay bar in Long Beach, California. And all I can say is – what the fuckety fuck was that I just watched?
Now let me get a couple of things straight from the start. I actually rather like Tabatha herself. I wasn’t a Shear Genius fan but I think Tabatha is funny, sharp and a good TV character with a strong presence on screen. I’ve also watched a couple of previous episodes of Tabatha Takes Over, back in the days when Tabatha just concentrated on hair salons, and enjoyed them.
Man, has there ever been a network more in need of a hit than NBC?
After a truly terrible 2011 – capped off by flops including Free Agents, The Playboy Club and Prime Suspect – the Peacock network has started 2012 in similarly sorry shape.
The Firm is already a ratings disaster – last week scoring just 3.42 million viewers and a pitiful 0.9 18-49 share – while new comedy Are You There, Chelsea, saw its numbers slide to just 4.21 million in week 2.
NBC desperately needs a hit and it seems like EVERYONE is pinning their hopes on the upcoming Smash – launching Monday 6th February – to be the network’s saving grace.
In case you haven’t heard the hype surrounding Smash, and let’s be honest those adverts have been everywhere, the show centers on the behind the scenes dramas of an upcoming Marilyn Monroe musical. American Idol runner up Katherine McPhee is the budding young star, Angelica Huston is the producer, Will And Grace’s Debra Messing is the lyricist and the whole shebang is produced by the guys behind Hairspray. It is indeed the gayest show ever!
But can one show really turn a whole network around?More >
A little late on the Ratings Roundup this week – have been insanely busy on the TV front recently. But here it is – better late than never!
ALCATRAZ: It was definitely a week of mixed fortunes for Fox, with American Idol returning to new lows and lots of people – including yours truly – questioning the future of TV’s top rated series.
But there was also some good news on hand as well in the form of Monday night’s Alcatraz. Produced by J.J.Abrams, the mysterious prison saga brought in 10.05 million viewers and a healthy 3.3 18-49 share. That was better than the premiere ratings of the massively hyped Terra Nova in the same time slot, even though Terra received millions of dollars more in promotion (in fact if Alcatraz continues to fare this well it could well spell the end for the low rated Spielberg dinosaur drama)
Of course as we all know you should never read too much into a show’s premiere ratings. Fox’s New Girl debuted with boffo numbers and now is a minor hit at best – so we’ll see how Alcatraz fares in week 2. Still it’s a good start for Fox. Now if only J.J. could bring More >
By now you’ve probably heard the news… for the first time ever American Idol is starting to look vulnerable.
Yep, Wednesday’s opening night ratings for the first show of the 2011 season plunged a painful 17% in total viewers (to 21.93 million) and an even more disturbing 24% in the 18-49 demo (from a 9.8 to a 7.4). And the trend continued last night – with Idol even BEATEN by CBS’s Big Bang Theory and not even reaching 18 million. Ouch!
Now first up let’s just say these are still great ratings. American Idol is now in its 11th year – and for a show that old to be scoring over 20 million viewers for its opening night is pretty darn incredible. Most shows would be thrilled to come even close to those numbers.
However, those ratings do represent a significant chink in the veteran talent show’s armor. For years American Idol grew season after season, becoming such a ratings monster that it virtually crushed its competition. Sure this week’s premiere did hurt competing shows (most notably the NBC ‘comedy’ line-up of Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea – but that’s no big feat!) – but ABC’s line up remained generally unscathed. Heck More >
Today’s installment of 101 Ways To Make TV Better definitely hits home with me as it’s a subject I feel VERY passionately about.
Yep, I’m talking about the virus like spread of docu-series on our TV screens, a modern day pestilence that has become the easy cop out for network executives wary of untested formats and ideas.
Docu-series encompass everything from celebrity reality (the darn Kardashians) to adventure series (Deadliest Catch) to local businesses (Cupcake Sisters) – but all ask us to invest in the lives of a group of strangers, soap opera style. In fact you could even argue that the modern day decline of the soap opera genre is a result of the spread of the docu-series. After all who needs One Life To Live with the Real Housewives airing virtually around the clock?
ONCE UPON A TIME: Some shows crumble after a holiday hiatus – and some come back stronger than ever…
Case in point, ABC’s Once Upon A Time, which after some serious slippage towards the end of the year bounced back strong last week.
You may recall that Time launched big in October 2011 with 12.93 millions viewers but then lost viewers every single week. By mid-December the show was below the 9 million mark and ABC had to be wondering if the show was going to crater a la Pan Am.
But last week Once Upon A Time showed a serious rebound – scoring 10.35 million viewers and a strong 3.7 18-49 share. For ABC – which this week had to put the dreadful Work It out of its misery – this is definitely a happy ending. For now at least!
ROB: What do the critics know?
I had to ask myself this question Friday morning after the ratings came in for the critically slammed Rob (which I have to admit didn’t look too hot to me either!)
Despite widespread derision Rob pulled in 13.47 million viewers and a 4.1 18-49 rating – one of the strongest numbers of the week. Many commentators jumped on the ratings, proclaiming Rob More >
By now you doubtless know that the 2012 Golden Globes are airing this weekend – especially if you watch NBC / the Today Show.
Yep, the Peacock network has been on a PR blitz to let viewers know that the Globes are back with Ricky Gervais presiding over the proceedings. And after last year’s controversial event – who can blame them. The Golden Globes rose significantly in the ratings and you just couldn’t buy the kind of controversy and reaction that Gervais generated. Now with Ricky back for the third year in a row NBC are hoping the veteran awards show will score big in the ratings – a helpful boost for the hit starved network and also a chance to promo some of their new winter offerings (get ready for a lot of ads for Smash and The Voice).
But before we all get caught up in the hype, can I just ask a very simple question – was Ricky really THAT funny last year?
When Does It Start: Thursday 12th Jan at 8.30pm EST on CBS
In A Nutshell: ‘Comedian’ Rob Schneider scores his own sitcom. But can he be funny without Adam Sandler by his side?
What’s It About: Rob Schneider is Rob, a lifelong bachelor who just married into a tight knit Mexican-American family. His wife is Maggie, a beautiful and smart book translator who’s also way out of his league. Together the two elope to Vegas. But how will they break the news to Maggie’s overprotective, judgmental parents? And will Rob ever be a true part of the family? Get ready for stereotypes aplenty and endless culture clash jokes…