Archive for July, 2012
For me there are two times of the year when TV goes seriously flat…
There’s the last couple of weeks of December when all regular TV goes away for the holidays festivities. Annoying but understandable, and heck it’s only a couple of weeks.
And then there’s August – that dead zone month just before all the new Fall series premiere. August is the dumping ground for bad show ideas and this year we’re being treated to some of the worst of the worst.
Here’s five of the most misconceived offerings coming to the small screen over the next few weeks… you’ve been warned!
Uh oh Bristol Palin haters – looks like we’re still not free of the world’s most irritating single mom!
Yep, as you’re probably heard the official cast of Dancing With The Stars: All Stars has just been announced – and the offspring of Sarah and Todd will be putting on her dancing shoes (though probably no monkey outfit) one more time come the Fall.
By now the ‘star’ cast has already been dissected by the entertainment press. My quick take – I think it’s a HUGE mistake not to include Kate Gosselin among the cast members. Apparently the show’s producers (including my old Big Brother boss Conrad) felt that Kate’s story wasn’t big enough i.e. she’s not so famous now! Hmm, not sure I agree with that one. Kate’s fame has definitely waned but I think a Kate vs Bristol face off would have been huge for ratings!
My other quick thought – why on earth is Gilles Marini taking to the dancefloor again? DWTS basically launched his career in the US, but after several seasons on Brothers And Sisters surely he should be established enough as an actor now to not need Dancing anymore…?
Anyway – back to the main point of this More >
Wow – who saw that one coming?
As you may have read in the trades there’s behind the scenes drama on the set of Modern Family as the cast of the hit ABC sitcom have essentially gone out on strike.
Five of the adult cast members – Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitch), Ty Burrell (Phil), Eric Stonestreet (Cameron), Julie Bowen (Claire) and Sofia Vergara (Gloria) failed to turn up for a scheduled table read of the show’s latest script – presumably the season 4 opener. And rumor has it that Ed O’Neill (Jay) may soon follow suit. Plus the 5 are now suing 20th Century Fox, the show’s producers, seeking to be released from their exising contracts.
Here’s the backstory. As is usual with sitcom cast members, the 6 stars signed up for 5-year contracts when they first started working on Modern Family back in 2009. Ed O’Neill – initially the show’s biggest star – reportedly received a fee of $100,000 an episode – while the rest of the cast made ‘just’ $65,000. Now all six apparently want a payout of around $200,000 per show – in line with what the cast of The Big Bang Theory make.
Okay so here’s my take!More >
As I’ve mentioned several times over the last few weeks, this summer’s TV has been somewhat of a damp squib. With no Mad Men, veteran series like True Blood showing their age and two big disappointments, The Newsroom and Political Animals, I’m more eager than ever for the Fall TV season to kick off.
So here’s my Top 10 Series to look forward to this Fall… some new, some old – but all hopefully hugely entertaining!
Two high profile shows. One dealing with TV news, the other with politics. Both from acclaimed creators – Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) and Greg Berlanti (Brothers And Sisters). Both given high profile summer launches. And both, in my opinion, huge disappointments!
Seriously – what’s happening this summer? After losing Mad Men to the Spring season I was counting on The Newsroom and Political Animals for some summer smarts. But for me both shows are hopelessly amateur.
The Newsroom pilot was a shuffling mess of grand speeches, ridiculous moralizing and frankly embarrassing newsgathering sequences. I’ve never worked in an actual newsroom, but with 17 years of TV experience under my belt, all I can say is that The Newsroom was a ridiculous parody of how TV people speak, work and act. I really, really wanted to like the new Aaron Sorkin show but every scene just dragged on endlessly, screaming self-indulgence and self-importance. Someone really needed to rein Sorkin in… but of course they won’t – because he’s a certified ‘genius’ now.
So it’s official. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are officially out at American Idol, leaving Randy Jackson once again as the last judge standing. But what does this mean for the veteran reality competition show?
Over the last couple of days there’s been plenty of speculation, opinion and frankly, quite a lot of nonsense talk too! So as a former Idol fan (like many I sat Season 11 out) here’s my take…
Okay for starters – let’s get real! American Idol isn’t going anywhere. Not this season, not next or likely for the forseeable future. Sure Season 11 of the music competition series did experience the show’s largest dip to date – but Idol still averaged 20 million viewers over the course of its season. Name me one other series that hits those kind of ratings… exactly!
Sure there’s a lot more competition now from the likes of NBC’s The Voice and network sibling The X Factor – but neither show is averaging more than 12 million viewers a week – and most importantly, neither has created a star yet (of course X Factor UK is responsible for Leona Lewis, One Direction and rising star Cher Lloyd). Idol on the other hand has More >
Okay – it’s time to let our baby loose!
After months of build up our scary movie special is finally here – and we’re thrilled to share it with the world!
Can You Survive A Horror Movie premieres on Friday 13th on Chiller at 9pm EST – and we couldn’t be prouder!
If you’re a huge horror movie fan (like me!) this one’s for you. And even if you don’t know your Michael Myers from your Jason Voorhees I just know you’re gonna love our special. We’re one of the picks of the week in Entertainment Weekly and The Huffington Post and Chiller are super stoked for the show and have been running trailers on Syfy, Vh1, FX, USA and many other networks for the last week now!
Okay one more plug… here’s the final trailer for the show – featuring a certain British TV producer in action. We filmed these interview midway through our shoot and let’s just say I need quite a while in make up by this point…
Now that we’re all wrapped on our latest show, Can You Survive A Horror Movie, the team at my production company, Savannah Media, are now fully engaged on one of the most challenging parts of the TV business – finding talent!
Here’s how it works. Imagine a haystack. Then a needle. And then you’ve got a sense of the talent hunting process!
Of course on the surface finding good talent for a TV show seems so easy. If you’re casting for a big, well-established show like Survivor or Big Brother casting is one of the most fun jobs in the industry. I love casting for my reality shows, especially when there’s a prize of actual value at stake. The auditioning process – though exhausting – is one of my favorite parts of the TV making process.
But that’s not the kind of casting I’m talking about. Instead we’re on the hunt for the kind of docu-series talent you’d find on A&E, or Tru TV or Oxygen. And that’s a whole different type of casting!
Who knows – maybe it’s because we’ve been so spoiled in the Fall and Spring TV seasons – but is anyone else experiencing a bit of a summer TV slump at the moment?
Normally I have an over-loaded DVR goading me to keep up – but at the moment my DVR is looking pretty darn empty aside from a multitude of HGTV shows my partner insists on recording (he’s hot for property shows!)
It’s not that there’s NOTHING to watch at all… more slim pickings.
I am following America’s Got Talent as usual, but while Howard Stern is proving to be a pretty terrific judge – did you hear his sharp and incisive comments last week – the talent itself seems a tad uninspired this year. That said AGT normally picks up as it nears the Finals so who knows (my money’s on comedian Tom Cotter whose material so far has been terrific)
Meanwhile True Blood is its usual self – entertaining but a total mess! There are just way too many plots and characters this year and nothing really adds up. Still at least we’re getting extra Pam this season! Then there’s Episodes which came back last week as strong as ever but More >
When Does It Start: Sunday July 15th at 10pm EST on USA
In A Nutshell: Sigourney Weaver gets political as a former First Lady turned Secretary Of State…
What’s It About: It’s Brothers and Sisters meets The West Wing!
Elaine Barrish is a former First Lady, divorced from her husband – and former president – Bud. Now back in the political game, Elaine is toiling hard as Secretary of State for the current president, Paul Garcetti (Adrian Pasdar), the man who beat her in the primaries.
And Elaine has plenty on her plate – besides a hectic workload she’s fighting off political enemies, battling with a nosy reporter bent on bringing her down, and dealing with family crises including an overbearing mother (Ellen Barkin) and a troubled younger son with addiction issues. Get ready for some Emmy worthy acting in the weeks ahead!