Archive for May, 2012
Summer has arrived and it’s time for the broadcast networks to unveil their latest summer offerings… and boy are we in trouble!
NBC is relying on their old workhorse America’s Got Talent to see them through the summer yet again. Thankfully new judge Howard Stern has given the series fresh energy – I’ll be posting more on Howard a little later down the line. But elsewhere it’s slim pickings – Love In The Wild is back for a second season (now with Jenny McCarthy) while G4 holdover American Ninja Warrior is the definition of a slot filler. Talk about throwing in the towel!
Over on Fox, they’re going dating crazy – one of the key subject areas the network has been unable to succeed in. I have to admit I think The Voice rip off The Choice, featuring celebrities in spinning chairs activated by the women (or men) they fancy – is a fun idea and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it succeed. But I just don’t get why Fox has picked George Lopez to host the US version of Brit hit Take Me Out. Am I the only person who thinks it’s kind of creepy to have a 51-year-old guy More >
Regular Remote Patrolled readers will know my general disdain for the docu-soap genre, the biggest TV blight to hit our screens in the last decade.
For me US docu-soaps are almost all contrived, horribly fake, ridiculously plotted, poorly written and espouse some pretty piss poor values – you’re nothing if you’re not rich, everyone has a right to be famous, shouting and screaming automatically equal good TV – I could go on and on…
Thankfully over the last year of two it feels as though the docu-soap genre has begun to lose steam. Sure we still have the odd Duck Dynasty which comes out of nowhere and becomes a smash (don’t get me started!) but from the meetings I have with networks it feels as though there’s a general sense of weariness, as though the genre is exhausted with everyone chasing the same types of talent.
Unfortunately though there’s one subset of the docu-soap genre that still seems to be thriving… let’s call it the world of the washed up music act… (more…)
As regular Remote Patrolled readers will know I’ve been super busy over the last few months working on an upcoming special for Chiller called Can You Survive A Horror Movie?
Well we’re now in the final stages of post-production and I’m excited to be able to unveil some exciting details about the show…
For starters, our premiere date! We’ll be airing on Friday 13th July at 9pm – perfect date right?
Well it gets better…! I can now reveal that we filmed many of our scenes at the real life location where they shot the original Friday 13th movie. Yep, we headed to Northern New Jersey to film at the actual summer camp where the 1980 classic took place. We’re talking hallowed horror movie ground. It was there that we put our three hosts – Anthony Marks, Annie Unnold and Morgan West – through a whole series of stunts designed to test their horror movie survival skills…
Finally I’m thrilled to be able to unveil our first promo for the show, featuring much of the footage we’ve been working on over the last few months. We had a lot of fun putting these scenes together…
You know what our TV screens really need about now… another music competition show!
Yep, hot on the heels of the season finales of The Voice and American Idol, and with The X Factor set to re-launch in the Fall, ABC have decided the time is ripe for ANOTHER music competition show! Seriously?
By now you’ve probably heard all about Duets – it’s certainly been advertised enough over the last few weeks! The concept is simple. There’s four music ‘superstars’ – Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles – who each embark on a journey across America to find two budding singers to be their singing partners. Then each week the 8 contestants – partnered with their respective mentors – will perform for America. Each week one singer is sent packing and the winner wins a contract with Hollywood Records. And um, that’s it actually!
So what are your thoughts on the latest season of Mad Men everyone?
After 18 months off air the pressure was on for this series of the 60’s set ad agency series to really blow viewers away. So has it?
Well not really for me. That’s not to say I’m not enjoying the season so far – it’s still very good of course – but I also don’t think it’s the show’s best. And I’m afraid I’m going to have to lay the blame at the feet of Mad Men’s pivotal new character, Megan.
Now let me say up front that overall I do like the character of Megan – and I think actress Jessica Pare has done a terrific job with what could have been a one-dimensional character. Megan has had some terrific moments / scenes along the way – the famous serenading scene at Don’s birthday party, the all out argument in the diner, Megan saving the day with Heinz to name just three examples. Overall she’s an asset to the show.
However Megan has become so big a part of Mad Men now that she’s effectively squeezed out all the other female characters of the show. Betty is rarely seen, Joan More >
Time for another Richard Recommends here on the site and this time around it’s back to HBO for their latest Sunday night comedy.
Nope it’s not the heavily hyped Girls, which I sampled and personally found quite grim and grubby. Instead I’ve found myself thoroughly enjoying Veep, the new Julia Louis Dreyfus show that tonally feels like a combination of The Office and The West Wing and has got off to a cracking start! BUT I have one reservation – more on that in a moment… First the good stuff! Just a few episodes into its run and Veep is already whip-smart, laugh out loud funny and chock full of quotable one liners. I love the way each of the shows has built across the course of each episode, with misunderstanding piled upon misunderstanding and a mix of both high and lowbrow jokes. Who would have thought filibuster reform and clean energy bills could possibly be so funny?
In A Nutshell: Clint Eastwood’s wife scores her own reality show. Yep, take that in!
What’s It About: Meet Dina Eastwood. She’s married to a Hollywood legend but also has a ‘busy’ life of her own. There’s Clint’s daughter Francesca and their own 15-year-old kid Morgan – both headstrong and opinionated. Plus Dina is busy with her own pet project – mentoring a South African boy-band called Overtone who she’s now relocated to the States. Dina’s brother is the band’s ‘manager’ so expect plenty of sibling rivalry there! And of course there’s Dina’s life as part of Hollywood royalty. Am I the only person feeling bad for Clint Eastwood right about now?
It’s that time of the year again when the broadcast networks make a whole heap of renewal and cancellation announcements – and TV people like me nod or shake our heads vociferously at the news!
Soon we’ll hear about all the new shows on the way – but in the meantime here’s my take on five key lessons learned from this week’s announcements.
NETWORKS DON’T RUSH! ABC renewed a whole heap of freshmen series, including my favorite not-so-guilty pleasure Revenge. To which I say – ‘what the heck took you so long ABC?’
Seriously why on earth did the alphabet network leave it until May to announce Revenge’s renewal when it was obvious to everyone with a pulse that the Madeline Stowe soap opera would get another year? Revenge is ABC’s best performing Wednesday at 10pm show in years and is also thrashing the pants of fellow 10pm shows like Scandal, GCB and Private Practice. Why not announce at the start of the year? For an arced show like Revenge an early renewal could have attracted new fans wary at the thought of committing to a possibly cancelled show. It’s what NBC did with Smash – so why didn’t ABC follow suit?
The same could More >
So it looks like we’re one step closer to finalizing the line-up for this year’s X Factor USA. Numerous news outlets are now reporting as fact that Britney Spears will be joining Simon Cowell, L.A.Reid and a still to be announced fourth judge come the Fall on this year’s X Factor judging panel. But will Britney’s appearance be enough to win over viewers?
Short answer – yes! Look having Britney on the X Factor can hardly hurt the show any worse than the combination of Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger already have! I’ve made my feelings on X Factor season 1 well known here on the site, but in short I thought the first US series of the long running Brit hit was a rare fumble from Simon Cowell. The outspoken Brit had 18 months to secure a top team for his pivotal music competition series – and yet the best he could manage was an early 90’s pop star who hadn’t scored a hit in almost 2 decades and a former girl band singer whose solo career had failed repeatedly around the world.
The fact that The X Factor actually achieved even halfway decent ratings was a testament to the power of Cowell More >
It’s almost the end of the run for Smash, the heavily hyped drama series set behind the scenes of a Broadway musical – and you can almost hear the sighs of relief over at NBC!
A few weeks ago Smash was renewed for a second season, a move some thought premature. And they might be right. Since its launch in January, Smash has gradually lost viewers week after week, and is now in the danger zone of around 6 million viewers an episode (and a 1.8 18-49 share). For NBC that’s just about okay. Any other network and the show would be toast!
However it’s not just the Smash ratings that are likely a cause of concern for NBC – creatively they’ve probably been a little worried too. I’m a big Smash fan, but even I have to concede the show is all over the shop at times and needs a good shake up for Season 2. That’s probably why the series’ original show runner Theresa Rebeck is out, replaced by Gossip Girl exec producer Joshua Safran. Doubtless Joshua has a pretty clear idea of what needs to change for the show’s second season… but here’s my list!More >