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Archive for the 'CBS' Category

CBS wants to make sure its shows are all over the web

September
8

Stumbled across this news on Mashable — CBS Interactive has become the first “major customer” for iWidgets. What’s that mean? Well, CBS will enable folks to watch full episodes of its shows “directly within popular social networks.”blackjackfairgrounds.jpg

They will also be able to socially engage viewers with features such as sharing, polls, ratings, and contests.

Fans of Jericho, among others, will find this bittersweet — or, perhaps just bitter — news.

Jericho had decent, but not “great,” Nielsen numbers for traditional viewing. They went up considerably when you took DVR (time-shift) viewing into consideration. Take into account the folks who watched the episodes online, on CBS’ own website and the numbers were unknown. But based on the online chatter, it was not insignificant.

If folks could watch CBS content without even having to go to the CBS site (or using BitTorrent or other — generally illegal — download sites), imagine how many people would watch shows online.

Mashable has an important point, though:

The big question will be whether or not iWidgets will be able to handle the incredible bandwidth requirements this endeavor will demand, especially when it comes to High Definition content down the road.

Too little, too late, some fans (Moonlight?) might say. But maybe, just maybe, this means future Jerichos won’t suffer the same fate.

Speaking of Jericho, the Blackjack Fairgrounds Jericho Blog Carnival is alive and well, and this month’s installment is hosted over at Kricka’s blog, Short Story Life. The theme this month is “Jericho Minstrels: Fan Fiction, Videos, Poems and Songs.”

Thanks to Kricka for an excellent hosting job, to Gwen for keeping the carnival alive and to all those who contributed their considerable creative talents. For past and future hosts and to submit entries, go here.

Photo courtesy of CBS.

Posted by Amy Vernon on Monday, September 8th, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
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Remote Access readers crown NBC ‘Must See TV’ over ABC, HBO

August
23

OK, so it wasn’t a popular poll, votes-wise —44 tallies total—but I’m not going to hold that against those who voted, so here we go.

nbc.jpgNBC might not be the ratings champ it used to be, but it finished first among Remote Access poll voters, with nearly 1 in 3 choosing it over all other networks for this fall’s slate of original programming.

And I can’t say I’d disagree with that. Among series that continue to pump out new episodes, my three favorites—“30 Rock,” “The Office” and “Chuck”—are all Peacock productions. And, well, it doesn’t hurt that one of my childhood friends was just cast on “Saturday Night Live.” So to celebrate, I figured I’d post this sweet 1956 NBC logo. Hotness.

Finishing in a tie for second were ABC and HBO.

ABC has its share of series that I hear are great but have not seen (“Lost,” “Ugly Betty,” “Pushing Daisies”) and one that I have seen but think is a bit overrated (“Grey’s Anatomy”).

Not surprisingly losing ground among RA voters and critics alike is HBO. Yes, it’s got its share of stimulating programs in comedy (“Flight of the Concords,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Entourage”) and miniseries genres (“John Adams,” “Generation Kill”), but serial dramas, once the pay-net’s stronghold, have been neither so popular nor so acclaimed since “The Wire,” “Deadwood” and “The Sopranos” faded to black.

Check out the rest of the poll results—including which three networks tied for last—and a look at the current poll after the break. Read more of this entry »

Posted by Chris Serico on Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
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According to Remote Access poll, only 22 of you know what channels you’re watching

August
14

It’s generally not a good idea to mock an audience unless you’re a talented stand-up comedian (which I am not), but I have to give the vast majority of Remote Access readers a gentle ribbing for not voting in this blog’s latest poll.

poll-networks.jpgSeriously, other than the 22 of you to vote so far, do you not know and/or care what TV channels you are watching these days? It was pretty easy to figure out even before cable companies starting posting the names of the network and show on the screen when you channel flip with your remote.

So forgive me if I’m disappointed by the turnout so far for what I figured would be a simple yet volatile poll question: For the 2008-09 TV season, which network has the best original programming?

While I could try to generate reasons for the current breakdown (NBC has the slimmest lead over ABC while Fox and myNetworkTV have yet to score a single vote), it’s wayyyy too small a sample size for me to conduct any legitimate analysis.

So get to it, Accessories! Tally up all your favorite shows, figure out what channels they run on and vote in the poll in the right margin. We’ll leave the poll open through next week.

Posted by Chris Serico on Thursday, August 14th, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
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Summer series, week 8

July
20

The eighth week of the summer season kicks off today, and it’s slim pickin’s.tvs.jpg

Here’s our advance looks at the first and second and third and fourth and fifth and sixth and seventh weeks.

At first, I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten to post my weekly look at the new summer season shows. Then I looked at what the new offerings were this week and I realized why: Not much, and nothing good. Again, thanks to USAToday.com for the dates/times/etc., though any comments not in quotes are mine:

Sunday


High School Musical: Summer Session, 8 p.m. ABC, thereafter at 8 p.m. Sundays and Mondays. “Reality-competition version of the Disney hit movie; finalists participate in a summer music program to sharpen performance skills.” Sigh. At least there’s a laudable goal at the end of it, it could be far worse. But do we really need American Idol for children?

Monday


Wanna Bet, 9 p.m., ABC. “Celebrities wager whether average citizens can perform stunts in front of a studio audience. British comedians Ant and Dec host.” Wait, what? Oh, just never mind.

Tuesday


How to Look Good Naked, 10 p.m., Lifetime. “Carson Kressley returns for a second season of makeovers.” Because you miss Queer Eye so much.

Saturday


EliteXC Fights, 9 p.m. CBS. This isn’t a series, really. It’s mixed martial arts matches and airs only twice this summer. USA Today said there was this one and one “late in July,” but if this isn’t late in July, I’m not sure what is.

That’s all I’ve got. Fortunately, next week brings us the return of Eureka, so it’s not all bad.

Posted by Amy Vernon on Sunday, July 20th, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
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Summer series, week 7

July
12

The seventh week of the summer season kicks off tomorrow, and some of the traditional heavy summer hitters are bowing in.tvs.jpg

Here’s our advance looks at the first and second and third and fourth and fifth and sixth weeks.

The summer season continues rolling out new shows this week, starting tomorrow, and we bring you a look at what’s new and when it’s on, for the week of June 30, again, thanks to USAToday.com, though any comments not in quotes are mine:

Sunday


Big Brother, 8 p.m., CBS (plus, 9 p.m. Tuesdays and 8 p.m. Wednesdays, because, really, how can one get enough of Big Brother?). Three nights a week? This is what CBS is airing? 10th edition (more than one a year in some years, so not its 10th year).
Generation Kill, 9 p.m., HBO. The movie channel’s seven-part series based on a book about Marines in Iraq. From the creators of The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Street, so it’s probably gonna be really good. And have lots of F-bombs.

Monday


The Closer, 9 p.m., TNT. Kyra Sedgwick, lady cop. OK, it’s more than that, and I’ve heard it’s quite good, but I had my fill of non-David Simon cop shows long ago.
Saving Grace, 10 p.m., TNT. Holly Hunter, lady cop. But she has a guardian angel. And lots of personal demons. See above.

Tuesday


The Cleaner, 10 p.m., A&E. Benjamin Bratt, recovering addict. It’s like a procedural, except each week he helps another addict overcome his/her addiction. At least, I think that’s what it’s about. The commercials during Andromeda Strain were so … unintelligible that I didn’t really pay that much attention to any descriptions of it. I think I’ll watch Intervention instead.

Wednesday


Family Foreman, 10 p.m., TV Land. George Foreman’s reality show. For the young’uns in our viewing audience, he was a world champion boxer before he made those neat-o grills. Oh, and all his children (including the girls) are named George.

Thursday


The Gong Show, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central. Dave Attell hosts the comeback of the game show that all but defined the ‘70s. Honestly, I can’t imagine any modern version being any tackier or horrible than the original. Can’t we just leave well enough alone?

Friday


Monk, 9 p.m., USA. I have never watched even 5 minutes of this show, but it looks pretty good. Maybe this is the summer.
Psych, 10 p.m., See, this guy (James Roday) is a really good detective, but pretends he solves crimes by being a psychic. Only his friend and erstwhile partner (Dule Hill) knows. See above.

Posted by Amy Vernon on Saturday, July 12th, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
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Summer series, week 6

July
5

The sixth week of the summer season kicks off tomorrow, and we have a bit more going on this week than the last couple of weeks, now that Independence Day has passed.tvs.jpg

Here’s our advance looks at the first and second and third and fourth and fifth weeks.

The summer season continues rolling out new shows this week, starting tomorrow, and we bring you a look at what’s new and when it’s on, for the week of July 6, again, thanks to USAToday.com, though any comments not in quotes are mine:

Sunday


I Love Money: The Challenge Show, 9 p.m., VH1. I can’t even think of a single thing to say beyond just repeating the description: “Love rejects from Flavor of Love, I Love New York and Rock of Love With Bret Michaels compete in physical and mental challenges.” OK, I can think of something. Mental challenges? They’re kidding, right?

Tuesday


The First 48, 9 p.m. A&E. “Behind-the-scenes looks at real-life criminal investigations.” Because there aren’t enough cop shows, now we need more cop reality shows. Sigh.

Thursday


Greatest American Dog, 8 p.m., CBS. Dogs and their owners go through a series of challenges; winner takes $250,000. As stupid as I think this is, how much worse is it than any of the human reality shows. At least dogs are cute and cuddly and don’t make you weep for humanity if they’re stupid.
Burn Notice, 10 p.m., USA. Yay! Finally! Season 2 has arrived and Tricia Helfer plays burned spy Michael Westen’s new handler.

Friday


Stargate Atlantis, 10 p.m., Sci Fi. Season 5. New cast members, a new race of aliens. I’ve always wanted to get into this, but haven’t. But Georgette’s following it, never fear.
Flashpoint, 10 p.m., CBS. Another cop show. This one stars Enrico Colantoni, late of Veronica Mars. Does the world need ANOTHER cop show?

Posted by Amy Vernon on Saturday, July 5th, 2008 at 10:01 am |
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“Swingtown” Keeps on Swingin’

June
26

We must first give “Swingtown” credit for playing Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” and the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” on last week’s soundtrack. That as opposed to a cover band cranking out “Me and You and A Dog Named Boo.” And wouldn’t it be interesting to find out if all the tunes are chronologically correct —i.e., did all of them come out after July 1976? There have been quite a few instances in TV programs and feature films when the soundtrack included songs that hadn’t been released before the time period in which the production was set. (Anybody out there intrepid and curious enough to find out? Perhaps songfacts.com would be of help. Let us know if anything turns up!) swingtown.jpg

Moving on, in last week’s ep, called “Double Exposure,” Miller mom, Susan, feeling guilty about having dipped into the “swinging-sex” pool with their new neighbors Tom and Trina Decker (right), insisted that her family pray before breakfast and then go to church—two events the Millers aren’t in the habit of doing. I’m sure she’ll find those two gestures insufficient in her attempts to ameliorate those feelings of remorse.

Sue then got all into repairing her damaged relationship with her best bud and former nabe, Janet Thompson, and asked her to help her plan a housewarming party. The get-together, however, turned into a bummer for Janet when the Deckers showed up and bossy Trina stole the show with her fondue game, resulting in sniping between Janet and Trina. I didn’t start feeling sorry for Janet until she saw that someone had drawn a charicature of her on the de-wallpapered living room wall (another of Susan’s gestures to rid herself of that pesky guilt) and written “Kill Joy” under it.

That evening, at the Deckers’ pool party, fellow swingers Brad and Sylvia, whom we first met at the Playboy Club, showed up. Jeez Louise, Mark Valley’s Brad looks horrible as a person in the 1970s. The parted hair, the sideburns, the clothes…. Valley—a West Point grad, by the way—looked SO much cuter in—yes, I bring it up again—his brilliant Fox series, “Keen Eddie.”

The ep got icky at the end, when—and I’m sure most viewers saw this one coming—the brewing sexual undertones between Miller daughter Laurie and her summer school teacher, Mr. Stevens, resulted in a kiss. Thank goodness, however, that at least Laurie was the one who initiated it. I guess that means she can indeed, as Mr. Stevens suggested, start calling him by his first name (Doug) out of class. I hope this storyline goes no further.

I must say that it was rather quaint seeing the neighborhood boys learning about sex via “Playboy.” Say what? you ask. Because back then, “Playboy” was the main source of adolescents’ explorations of that kind. But today’s society is saturated with sex. Just turn on cable TV or rent an R-rated movie. Or think back to the Clinton White House.

Tonight, in “Cabin Fever,” when Janet and Roger back out of the annual trip to the Millers’ two-bedroom cabin, Susan invites the Deckers instead. Oh, brother, is THAT a recipe for some sort of disaster or what?! Things start to get REALLY hairy when Janet and Roger suddenly decide to join them at the cabin afterall.

(Photo courtesy of CBS.)

Posted by Jenny Higgons on Thursday, June 26th, 2008 at 11:10 am |
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“Swingtown” Swings Low

June
18

Talk about one-track minds…. Do Tom and Trina Decker (below) think about anything else but sex? Those two are always obsessing about three facets of that subject: their most recent encounter, their current encounter or their upcoming encounter. But more than just one-dimensional horndogs, the Decker duo are becoming extremely dull. Especially Susan, who, like a shark always on the lookout for prey, is also keeping her eyes peeled for their next carnal conquest. And during that time, they’re usual hoisting—or talking about hoisting—a cocktail or two.swingtown.jpg

I’ll check out just about any new TV series, but the main thing that will make me reach for the channel changer is a lack of (pardon the expression) stimulation. Do other viewers feel the same way? We’ll find out if the next Nielsen ratings show any decrease in viewership—8.6 million—from the June 5 premiere.

At least Tom and Trina’s new neighbors, Susan and Bruce Miller, have a bit more emotional depth: Susan misses her best bud and former neighbor Janet, and Bruce feels awkward during his chance encounter with Trina. See, Janet and Bruce don’t always think about sex, unlike the shallow Dreckers—I mean, Deckers.

As far as I’m concerned, only two parts of last week’s ep were entertaining: Janet and Roger’s disastrous dinner with tactless duds Paul and Martha, who moved into the Millers’ house; and seeing, brief as it was, an appearance by Mark Valley, as Brad Davis at the Playboy Club. (Why, oh, why did the idiots at Fox cancel Valley’s clever and unique series “Keen Eddie”?)

Sorry, but I must add one more thing to my “Swingtown” bitchfest: the many songs on the soundtrack that aren’t performed by their original artists. For example, “You Should Be Dancing” was sung by Bee Gees soundalikes, not Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. Same with Pablo Cruise’s “Love Will Find A Way” and King Harvest’s “Dancing In the Moonlight.” Folks not very familiar with songs from that era might not notice, but for those who grew up with those tunes, the lack of authenticity is immediately noticable. And, yes, I know that acquiring the rights to the songs by the original artists rather than cover bands might not be legally or financially feasible, but still….

(Photo courtesy of CBS.)

Posted by Jenny Higgons on Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
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Swing By “Swingtown,” If You Dare

June
10

If you dare? JUST KIDDING!

CBS is hyping this show as if viewers will be shocked—SHOCKED—by its content. But here’s the real skinny: The original Dr. Scholl’s sandals, Tab with the removable flip-top tabs, trimline phones, eight-track tapes….

OK, we “get” it. tom-and-trina.jpgIt’s the 1970s—the summer of ‘76 in a middle-class Chicago suburb, to be exact. The first episode of this limited-run drama from CBS seems to revolve around the looks and sounds of that decade just as much as the main characters: sexually open marrieds Tom and Trina Decker (Grant Show and Lana Parrilla, below) and their new, across-the-street neighbors, the more reserved (though frisky with each other) Bruce and Susan Miller (Jack Davenport and Molly Parker).

The tone of the show is set in the first scene, when the camera angle makes it appear as if commercial pilot Tom is receiving oral sex. A few seconds later, we see that one of the stewardesses (as they were called back then) was simply trying to remove a stain from his shirt. (The was caused by a another stew; she must have felt VERY guilty the stain, as she later ended up in bed with Tom AND his wife.) Sorry, but this is not my idea of thoughtful enterainment. It’s just a pathetic attempt to reel in viewers during the show’s opening scene.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Jenny Higgons on Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 at 11:04 am |
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It’s summertime and the viewing is … not *all* reality television

June
1

It’s weird that it makes me feel old to say that I remember when there was nothing on television except re-runs over the summer, that when Beverly Hills 90210 had a mini summer season however many years ago that was, it seemed shocking, yet brilliant (in terms of television programming, that is).

Now, some of my favorite shows have been summer season fare: The 4400 (now canceled), Kyle XY (we have to wait until January this time, though, for new episodes), Burn Notice (starting July 10, yay!) and Eureka (coming later in the summer, yay redux!) and always a show or two on HBO.

In an extreme case, Rescue Me doesn’t come back until March 22! (Though “10 weekly five-minute ‘minisodes’ ” will air at 10 p.m. Tuesdays starting June 24), USAToday reports.

But thanks to the writer’s strike, many shows (Entourage, Big Love) have been pushed back to the fall or even winter. But thanks to USATODAY.com, I have this handy-dandy guide to the summer season for you. It’s not comprehensive, but it hits the highlights of both scripted and so-called reality programming: Read more of this entry »

Posted by Amy Vernon on Sunday, June 1st, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
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“Swingtown”: Welcome (back?) to the 1970s!

May
30

Let me introduce you to CBS’s new one-hour primetime drama, “Swingtown.” The Eye network says that the show “traces two generations of friends and neighbors as they forge intimate connections and explore new freedoms during the culturally transformative decade of the 1970s.”

It debuts Thursday, June 5 at 10 p.m.swingtown-6.jpg

The gory details: In July of 1976, marrieds Susan and Bruce Miller (Molly Parker and Jack Davenport) move to an upscale suburb of Chicago after leaving their life elsewhere, which was filled with wholesome block parties and barbecues. They’re forced to confront temptation from their horny (they’re into threesomes) and lascivious neighbors Tom and Trina Decker (Grant Show, Lana Parrilla) while trying not to ditch their buds from their previous ‘hood, Janet and Robert Thompson (Miriam Shor, Josh Hopkins). The Millers are also introduced to the world of recreational drugging via Quaaludes. Meanwhile, the Miller and Thompson kids start to discover and assert their own morality and sexual identities as they come of age in a world on the precipice of change.

Rather than a social examination of or a tongue-in-cheek nod to the decade, this series seems like it’s counting on heavy-duty sex themes—even GROUP sex!—to draw in and keep viewers. Any series that relies on sex to grab viewers couldn’t be all that interesting in other areas, such as character development and thoughtful plots. But, as “they” say, “Sex sells.” And were the ‘70s truly “a world that was on the precipice of change”? To me, it—especially the second half of the decade—was a time of recovery and calm after the turbulent 1960s. (And, I must add, I’m not just rehashing what I’ve read about that time. Those were my teen years.) But let’s give the pilot a look-see and then determine what this thing is all about.

(Photo courtesy of CBS.)

Posted by Jenny Higgons on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
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Déjà view

May
14

Well, this just bites it, doesn’t it? CBS has decided to put a stake through the hearts of scores of “Moonlight” fans by axing the romantic vampire detective series from its fall offerings. This after the show was beginning to garner that all-important four-letter quality — buzz — turning up regularly in magazines like  TV Guide and People.

I have no doubt that Alex O’Loughlin, Sophia Myles and company will live to act another day. But still, what a disappointment. And for what? For shows about phony psychics and uncompromising investigative scientists and klutzy family guys and equally clumsy guys in love and destination weddings from hell and, oh, why even bother. We’ve seen it all before.

Honestly, I would gladly sacrifice “How I Met Your Mother” and “Rules of Engagement” (mid-season replacement) for “Moonlight.” Both suffer from “Friends”-itis. You know, the whole is supposed to be greater than the sum of its parts. Only on “Mother” and “Rules,” the whole is as uninspired as the parts.

That said, I’m happy to see Rufus Sewell (the uncompromising investigative scientist) and Simon Baker (the phony psychic) in the Eye Network’s lineup on “The Eleventh Hour” and “The Mentalist” respectively.

Sewell is a character actor trapped in the body of a Byronic leading man, which is probably why he blows hot and cold and never became a big star. Still, if you ever saw the miniseries “Middlemarch,” you know just how compelling he can be.

Baker has been a favorite ever since he galvanized CBS’ underappreciated “The Guardian.” There he was near-perfect as an incredibly self-centered lawyer and convicted cokehead — the product of  a disastrous marriage — who was forced to develop some compassion while doing community service as a children’s advocate. The show was often heart-breaking TV, but it never got the traction it deserved.

Now Baker’s starring as a sham psychic-turned-detective, a role he’ll ace since he’s great at playing amoral men. But really it sounds suspiciously like “Psych” meets “Monk,” while “The Eleventh Hour” sounds like “House” meets “Bones” meets any of the “CSI”s.

Paging Yogi Berra.

Posted by Georgette Gouveia on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
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CBS to launch Wednesday comedy block and two new dramas for fall

May
14

Given that CBS had already dumped last season’s duds like “Viva Laughlin” and “Cane,” the ax didn’t fall on too many series for next fall.

moonlight1.jpg

The one cancellation that’s causing the most screams is “Moonlight,” the vampire series that had a rabid, cult following. James Woods’ “Shark,” got dumped, too, but not many folks seem to be weeping over that loss.

Mostly, CBS held onto its current series, including freshman “The Big Bang Theory” and mainstays like “Without a Trace” and “Cold Case.”

Of course, there was never any doubt over the return of the CSI franchise, or a hit like “Two and a Half Men.”

mother.jpg But CBS did renew “How I Met Your Mother” (guess that Britney Spears stunt worked) and “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” which were both in limbo.

Those I can justify. What I can’t is the renewal—even as a midseason replacement—of “Rules of Engagement.” (I had no idea David Spade was currently employed. I also don’t know a single soul who watches that show.)

Anyway, “Christine” will kick off a new night of comedy for CBS on Wednesdays, leading into the new Jay Mohr sitcom “Project Gary,” about a recently divorced painting contractor.

The other yuk-fests will air on Mondays, including another newbie “Worst Week,” about an entertainment magazine editor who can’t please his girlfriend’s conservative parents.

As for new dramas, the following four made the cut:

hour.jpg

• “ELEVENTH HOUR,” a thriller from producer Jerry Bruckheimer about a government advisor (Rufus Sewell) who investigates scientific oddities. (How “X-Files.”)

mentalist.jpg

• “THE MENTALIST,” starring Simon Baker as a celebrity psychic who uses his abilities to solve crimes. Robin Tunney plays his skeptical police partner. (Uh, “X-Files” meets John Edward?)

exlist.jpg

• “THE EX LIST,” a sexy comedic drama about a 30-something woman who searches her past relationships to find her future husband. (I haven’t seen a second of this, but I’m always wary of any show description that uses the word “sexy.” Except for “Sex and the City,” it’s generally not been a good sign.)

• “HARPER’S ISLAND,” which will air mid-season, is a mystery that unfolds as friends and family attend week-long festivities at a destination wedding on a secluded island off the coast of Seattle, which a murderous rampage occurred seven years ago. (Sounds quite Agatha Christie-esque, I’m intrigued…)

Click through for the CBS schedule in its entirety, with days and timeslots…

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Heather Salerno on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
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“Moonlight”: Interview with one of the vampire’s EPs

May
13

Gerard Bocaccio was one of the original executive producers of the Friday-night freshman series, which is produced by the high-powered production companies Joel Silver Television and Warner Bros. Television. Rabid fans of the show and its male star, Alex O’Loughlin will be bummed to learn that “Moonlight” seems to have been passed over for a second season. The Eye has apparently said, so to speak, “Fangs for the memory.” Meanwhile, Bocaccio told Remote Access a bit about the cult fave. P.S.: The show’s female star, Sophia Myles, pronounces her name “so-FYE-uh.” moonlight.jpg

The show: ”’Moonlight’ just didn’t spike in its night’s ratings. The show would have benefitted from a second season. But we did learn that the vampire genre is robust and fervent. People love vampire stories stories.”

Alex O’Loughlin: “If the show doesn’t make the CBS schedule, I think that Alex will instantly hook up with another series. We saw him on first day of casting. It was apparent that he had ‘this thing’—what Aaron Spelling called ‘stardust.’ Alex is handsome, bright, charming and an actor who’s willing to have his emotions present, which is what makes a TV actor a TV star. He commits to his job 110 pecent, whether it be doing a stunt or his 100th press interview.”

(Photo courtesy of CBS.)

Posted by Jenny Higgons on Tuesday, May 13th, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
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What TV’s head honchos have to say

April
17

The Hollywood Reporter has had sit-downs with network entertainment presidents this week, and I was able to glean a few interesting tidbits from them.

• The CW (Dawn Ostroff): Reaper and Aliens in America have not been canceled. They have not been picked up, either, but they haven’t been canceled. The network seeks to cater toward young women, so Gossip Girl and the new 90210 spinoff are perfect for that demographic. Seems as if the network’s willing to give shows a chance to catch on (of course, it’s easier to do that when you’re the bottom-ranked network —  nowhere to go but up).

• Fox (Kevin Reilly): Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has already started staffing for a fall season. The network’s looking for the next That ‘70s Show or Malcolm in the Middle to “bring young comedy loyalists back to the network.”

• CBS (Nina Tassler): Shark is still on the bubble. Cane is a longshot to return. Moonlight has a decent shot, as it wins its time period. The New Adventures of Old Christine and How I Met Your Mother aren’t a lock to return, but they’re looking good. Comedy is good. She mostly sidestepped any mention of Jericho.

Posted by Amy Vernon on Thursday, April 17th, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
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Might CBS still save Jericho?

April
7

According to the New York Times, CBS Paramount has “held talks” with cable provider Comcast regarding Jericho.snakeflag.gif

This is along the lines of the deal that NBC announced last week that it had struck with DirecTV to keep Friday Night Lights on the air for at least one more season. The satellite television provider will subsidize the production costs and in exchange will get the right to air it first.

Here’s how FNL got saved:

From NBC’s perspective, “Friday Night Lights” did not draw enough of a crowd to be continued. On average, about 6.1 million people tuned in to it this season, but fans were loyal enough to send thousands of mini-footballs to NBC to lobby for the show.

NBC knew it needed a partner, and an opportunity arose in January when Eric Shanks, the executive vice president for entertainment at DirecTV, struck up a conversation with his friend Ben Silverman, the co-chairman of NBC Entertainment. DirecTV licensed the rights to the “first window” of the show, meaning that DirecTV subscribers will see the new episodes four months before the broadcast audience.


Of course, I’d hate it if I had to wait four months to see new episodes, but I’m thinking DirecTV would wager it’ll get some new subscribers this way.

The difference with Comcast is that it’s a cable provider, and you still can’t choose your cable company in most areas. Where I live, it’s Cablevision. When I was in Arizona, it was Cox. I’ve actually never lived anywhere served by Comcast (except maybe in my poor college days when I didn’t subscribe because I couldn’t afford it, but I don’t even know what cable companies served Chicagoland or Louisville).

But that’d still be better than nothing, eh?

Posted by Amy Vernon on Monday, April 7th, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
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Jericho fans want to make history, for the second time

March
31

The fans of Jericho have proven themselves to be among the most web-savvy in the television watching public.

They taken the next web-savvy step in their efforts to get someone else to pick up CBS’ twice-canceled post-apocalyptic drama, setting up an alternate “official” Jericho site in anticipation of the one on CBS “going dark.”

Here’s the full text of the official press release, so any of you not familiar with the entire Jericho resurrection story can get up to speed:

March 23, 2008 – “How does it feel to be part of history? Don’t Tread on Me!” It’s the new battle cry of the next Jericho fan revolution. On March 22nd, CBS once again canceled Jericho, and within minutes, the fan efforts to solve the problem had kicked back into action. CBS’ serial drama Jericho, originally debuting on September 20, 2006, had been canceled once before, but the network resurrected it after the fans paid homage to Jericho character Jake Green (portrayed by actor Skeet Ulrich) uttering “Nuts!” to a request for surrender during the heat of battle. This line inspired a fan protest involving 40,000 pounds of nuts being shipped to CBS, forcing the network to reconsider its decision and to agree to a seven-episode Season 2.

According to CBS, Nielsen ratings had not been high enough this time around to encourage the network to buy into a third season for Jericho, leading to the show’s second cancellation before the March 25th airing of the seventh and final episode with had been shot with two alternate endings: a cliffhanger if picked up for another season, and an open-ended, show-ending conclusion to the seven episode arc storyline. CBS aired the latter version, and fans, deeming it also to be a cliffhanger itself, were inspired to begin the fight again to preserve Jericho for another round of storytelling.

Rumors had already begun circulating that Jericho’s Executive Producer Carol Barbee had been already ‘shopping’ the show to cable networks – where Jericho’s ratings, considered sub-par by CBS, would be stellar elsewhere. According to Barbee and other sources close to Barbee, the SciFi and CW networks continue to be possibilities for picking up Jericho. Fans have now sprung into action, currently sending e-mails and letters and making phone calls to both networks.

Jericho fans – well-versed in their abilities to make a difference through efforts involving over $20,000 in donations to the Greensburg, Kansas, building fund, DVD shipments to troops overseas, and an affiliation with Project Homefront – are now refocusing their endeavors toward an organized multiphase effort to win a new home for their favorite show. They also have set up an alternate online rally point in anticipation of CBS’ Jericho Web site eventually going dark.

For more information about Jericho’s latest fan revolution, or to learn how you can offer your assistance and your voice to making history again by finding Jericho a new home, please log onto www.jerichonet2.com/board to check out the New Save Jericho Campaign details for addresses, contact numbers, and ongoing efforts to give Jericho new life.


Atta boys and girls! UPDATE:  Can’t believe I forgot ‘em, but forgive me all… There are, of course, two other long-running Jericho forums, Jericho Rally Point and Radio Free Jericho, both of which have been great friends to Remote Access. They’re a big part of the fan movement too, and have been from the beginning. Sorry, guys!

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Amy Vernon on Monday, March 31st, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
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Kim Bauer becomes a literacy teacher

March
27

Really. Stop giggling.

Elisha Cuthbert, it was announced today, will play the female lead in the new CBS pilot, Ny-Lon.6p_7pkim.jpg

No, it’s not about pantyhose, but I could understand if that’s what you thought. It’s an adaptation of (yet another!) British television series, about a woman from New York (the “Ny” in the name) and a man from London (“Lon”) who “embark on a cross-continental romance,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Edie (Cuthbert) is a literacy teacher/record store clerk (really) and someone else will play Michael, a London stockbroker. Michael hasn’t been cast yet.

But Caterina Scorsone has been cast as Edie’s roommate, “a slutty, bohemian rocker.” And Johnny Whitworth will play “Edie’s rocker ex-boyfriend.”

Photo courtesy of Fox.

Posted by Amy Vernon on Thursday, March 27th, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
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On Jericho

March
24

Note: I’ve had a lot of trouble writing this post, and I don’t really know why. So if it seems a bit herky-jerky at points, please bear with me.

I’ve never been part of a campaign to resurrect a show or keep it on the air.

Until Jericho.

I was excited for its premiere and thought the pilot was excellent. Then things were slow for a few episodes, but by the mid-season break, it was on a roll.

The break happened not long before the December holidays, so it seemed to make sense that it was just off for a couple of weeks. But CBS never said anything about it. Jericho was gone. But was it gone for good? Or was it coming back, and if so, when?

Then, nothing. And nothing. And nothing. All the other shows had returned from winter break. All the midseason replacements (such as 24 and American Idol) had long since started.

One day, apropos of nothing, I happened to notice that Jericho was starting up soon.

To give the network credit where credit’s due, CBS did at least air a recap episode to catch folks up if they hadn’t been watching the first half of the season. And the first new episode gave those of us who’d been following the story some answers to some of the questions out there — what did Jake do for those five years he’d been gone from Jericho? Who — and what, exactly — was Rob Hawkins?

But Jericho was on against American Idol.

In the land of Nielsen ratings, that’s pretty much suicide. (Or homicide, in the case of the network putting up a show against AI.)

Its ratings were still decent, but not enough for CBS, apparently. After the season finale aired, CBS finally announced that Jericho wasn’t going to come back.

No one expected it, because the ratings weren’t bad and given its competition, one might even call them pretty decent. And given that CBS never really told people it was coming back, they were pretty darn decent.

But, see, that’s where the problem starts. The Nielsen ratings. Read more of this entry »

Posted by Amy Vernon on Monday, March 24th, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
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CBS says “no” to more ‘Jericho’

March
21

UPDATED:

“The March 25th episode of Jericho will be the series finale,” CBS said in a statement. “Without question, there are passionate viewers watching this program; we simply wish there were more. We thank an engaged and spirited fan base for keeping the show alive this long, and an outstanding team of producers, cast and crew that went through creative hoops to deliver a compelling, high quality second season. We have no regrets bringing the show back for a second try. We listened to our viewers, gave the series an opportunity to grow, and the producers put a great story on the screen. We’re proud of everyone’s efforts.”

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that CBS has decided not to pick up a third season of Jericho.

nukebomb.jpg

Carol Barbee has said, in the past, that perhaps Jericho could find a home on a cable network (the Sci Fi Channel’s been airing re-runs), but this is what THR said:

The ending that will air Tuesday night doesn’t entirely slam the door on the series, but is different than the cliffhanger version, sources said. It also doesn’t preclude the possibility of “Jericho” finding a second life on cable, though the economics of the production will likely prevent a continuation of the show.

I’ll discuss this later. Sad now.

Posted by Amy Vernon on Friday, March 21st, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
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