Sunday, April 30, 2006

Short Takes - April 30, 2006

Another week of distractions and stuff that needed to get done and kept me away from Blogging.

Oh no, not HER: Meredith Viera will be replaced on The View by Rosie O'Donnell. So now we have a woman named Katie (and is it just me or would she be taken more seriously if she went by the name Katherine?) as the anchor of the CBS Evening News; a woman named Meredith doing puff pieces on Today, and a woman named Rosie doing whatever it is that they do on The View. Now on the whole I don't object that much to O'Donnell - I even think that she can act - but I'm just not sure of how well she's going to play with the other children. I can certainly see her and naive conservative Elisabeth Hasselbach having more than a few confrontations.

Prequels are a coming: While there's some discussion as to what the new Star Trek movie, to be helmed by J.J. Abrams, will be about what we've been told is that it will be a prequel featuring Kirk and Spock at Starfleet Academy. As the article indicates this may not be the case, although Abrams indicates that he's interested in possibly doing something contemporary to the Originals Series. Now it appears that Sci-Fi will be producing a prequel to Battlestar Galactica to be called Caprica. The new series will apparently be more of a family drama focussing on two families, the Adamas and the Graystones and will be set fifty years before the destruction of the Colonies at the time of the development of the first Cylons. Just to be clear this probably means that Bill Adama will probably just be getting ready to graduate...out of diapers. Some people aren't sure that the sequel is a good idea on the grounds that it's too soon or will dilute the franchise. However a combination of the two shows has some potential in keeping a Galactica related show on the air for an increased part of the season as well as giving viewers a sense of what Colonial society was like. It should also be noted of course that Doctor Who will be launching a spin-off this Fall to be called Torchwood (CBC has already signed on as a co-producer).

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time: Michelle Rodriguez, who has most recently been seen on the series Lost has done her time for a drunk driving charge in Hawaii. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the charge last Tuesday and was sentenced to spend five days in jail and pay a $500 fine, or do 240 hours of community service, Surprisingly to some, Rodriguez opted to pay the fine and do the time, apparently on the grounds that "autograph hounds would hassle her if she did work hours." She went to jail on Tuesday and emerged on Friday, having been given credit for time already served immediately following her arrest. Personally I think there was a bit more to her decision. 240 hours of community service would have meant hanging around Hawaii for twenty to thirty days depending on how many hours she worked a day. Presumably this could have been disruptive to her work schedule. Doing the jail time, which she reportedly spent reading and watching TV, meant that she was free in a week.

Like a Swiss Watch: The Law & Order franchise just keeps chugging along. All three Law & Order shows have received early renewals from NBC, along with Crossing Jordan, Las Vegas and Medium. The Las Vegas renewal calms the fears of some fans that by assigning the show to the Friday night "death slot" in the second hour the network was hanging it out to die. No word as to what the network will do with Crossing Jordan and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which will both lose their timeslots to Sunday Night Football but I at least wouldn't be at all surprised if they stay on Sunday night and run straight through with new episodes after the football season ends. Of course with the renewal of the main Law & Order series came the announcement that the incumbent ADA under Jack McCoy, Alexandra Borgia (played by Anne Parisse) will be leaving the show. Since Jill Hennessy left the series there have been four ADAs, played by Carrie Lowell, Angie Harmon, Elizabeth Rohm and now Parisse. Her tenure in the role is the shortest yet, just a season and a half.

I you can't do fiction, play games: After this season's rather weak dramatic efforts and the sliding ratings for The Apprentice NBC seemed to hit gold with Deal Or No Deal, so what could be more natural than another game show. The network has given the greenlight to a show called 1 Versus 100 to be produced by Endemol Productions. The premise is simple - one player competes against a "mob" of 100 other people in a trivia competition. The more people the one player beats the more money to be won. A player can stop at any time and take the money but if the player outlasts all 100 of the "mob" they can win a multi-million dollar prize. Of course if the player gets an answer wrong the prize is nothing. The show, which has elements that are reminiscent of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is popular in a number of European countries and at least has the virtue of being more of a challenge than Deal Or No Deal which is also produced by Endemol.

A House is a Holmes: I've mentioned the various ways in which Dr. Gregory House is like Sherlock Holmes in the past, but one escaped me until the past couple of episodes - music. Holmes was an accomplished violinist who owned a Stradivarius and reportedly played professionally following his "death" at Reichenbach Falls. House is an accomplished piano player. Of course it helps that his residence - apartment B at 221 Baker Street (?) - is on the ground floor. So much easier to put a piano in there than in Holmes's second floor walk-up rooms. (Or maybe it's just because Hugh Laurie is a very good piano player.)

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