Monday, May 07, 2007

Short Takes – May 7, 2007

I'm kind of bummed out because the team that I wanted to win The Amazing Race did not win The Amazing Race. I confess it – I was cheering for Dustin & Kandice the Beauty Queens mostly because they had a killer competitive spirit. Not that they were my favourite team to start the Race – that would be a toss-up between Rob & Amber and Terri & Ian, with Uchenna & Joyce and Danny & Oswald also on the list – but I liked Dustin & Kandice a heck of a lot more than I like Mirna (Charla's okay – quite daring really) and Eric & Danielle's breasts (she was showing the girls off a lot this season). So naturally Eric & Danielle (and her breasts) won. Oh well, hopefully there's always next year. The show has already started recruiting contestants for The Amazing Race 12 and although the show has not been officially renewed – we'll have to wait for next week's upfront announcements for that – it has been a solid if not spectacular ratings performer on Sunday nights and doing particularly well after a sports overrun.

Coinkidink: Speaking of Rob & Amber, I was doing a little research for something I'll hopefully finish writing in the next couple of days and I found a really strange connect the dots sort of thing linking them. It seems that Rob Mariano attended Xavierian Brothers High School in Westbrook Massachusetts. If I did my math right, one of his classmates was Matt Hasselbeck who is now the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. Hasselbeck's brother Tim (who also attended Xavierian Brothers is married to Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who is now one of the hosts of The View on ABC. Before they were married, Elizabeth Hasselbeck – then Elizabeth Filarski – was one of the contestants on Survivor: Outback where one of her competitors was Amber Brkich, who is now married to Rob Mariano.

Gilmore Girls going: The CW and Warner Brothers TV announced that this will be the last season for The Gilmore Girls. According to the press announcement "This series helped define a network and created a fantastic, storybook world featuring some of television's most memorable, lovable characters. We thank Amy Sherman-Palladino, Dan Palladino, Dave Rosenthal, the amazing cast led by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel as well as the producers, writers and crew for giving us this delightful gem for the past seven years. We would also like to thank the critics and 'Gilmore' fans for their passionate support and promise to give this series the send off it deserves." A variety of reasons have been cited for ending the series including the reluctance of Alexis Bledel to continue in the role of Rory Gilmore once her contract ends and the sense (at least among fans of the show) that last year's decision by Amy Sherman-Paladino to leave the series resulted in a reduction in the quality of the series. Although I rarely watched a complete episode of The Gilmore Girls, as someone who was a huge fan of The West Wing I feel the pain of Gilmore Girls fans, even though The West Wing had far more time to prepare a final sequence of episodes than Gilmore Girls did. On the other hand the final episode of the series was reportedly written to work as either a season or a series finale.

Lost Ending: Not right away mind you but we now have a definitive ending date for Lost: 2009 – or maybe not. Series producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindlehof had been pressuring ABC to decide on a definitive ending date for the series and apparently ABC gave a date of two years. At least that was what was originally reported by E! Online's Planet Gossip. However a few hours after that report, E! Online's Watch With Kristin, while confirming that a date has been set and will be announced stated that the story was more complex than originally reported and "ABC will be making an announcement declaring an end date for Lost very soon. However, the exact number of remaining episodes and seasons is still muddy—and might not be exactly two seasons." Kristin also reports that next season will run continuously from January to May 2008 – avoiding the disaster that occurred this season when six episodes aired at the start of the year after which there was a gap that was supposed to be filled by the Taye Diggs series Day Break until that show was rather unceremoniously pulled from the line-up after six episodes – and will be moved back to its original time in the second hour of primetime. I'm reasonably cheered by most of the aspects of this announcement, even though I've basically given up watching Lost this year in part because of the time and in part because the six episodes followed by an extended break made me feel as if the fans were being taken for granted. The decision to run the series in a continuous run is one that I think more shows, particularly shows which are continuity heavy and as a result "don't repeat well" should look at as an alternative to pulling the show part way through the season and then returning it to the line-up.

Bellisario walks: Not far, but Donald P. Bellisario has apparently decided to step down as showrunner of NCIS after series star Mark Harmon threatened to leave the series because of Bellisario's "chaotic management style." Bellisario was reportedly in the habit of faxing in script pages to the set at the last minute which frustrated and angered Harmon according to TV Guide's Michael Ausiello. Bellisario will stay with CBS; as part of his deal with the network he will be developing two new series for the network. It is an excellent resolution for most of the people involved but particularly for the network. Not only does CBS retain one of its top drawing series, but they get two more shows from the creator of Magnum P.I., Airwolf, Quantum Leap, and JAG.

Why hold those pesky primaries and elections: TVNewser had item from FoxNews among its quotes and criticism about the first Republican presidential debate, hosted by Chris Matthews. The quote is from an article by former Clinton staffer Dick Morris and Eileen McGann: ""MSNBC and Politico deliberately marginalized Giuliani and steered far too many of the important questions to anybody not named Rudy. In doing so, they paid homage to their Democratic Party masters by diminishing the candidate most likely to win in November." While other commentaries also criticized Matthews's handling of the questioning, Fox was the only one to actually name the next president of the United States.

Who does the PTC hate this week?: No one.

I know, it's pretty surprising but the only new addition to the PTC's home page is a note praising Sears as one of the organization's ten best advertisers: "Sears Holdings consistently avoids advertising on programming that contains graphic violence, excessive sexual content and foul language, and we want to congratulate your organization." The cite sponsorship of specific shows including Reba, 7th Heaven and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (which at times seems like and extended Sear commercial – my opinion, not the PTC's) and states that "Sears clearly understands what it means to be a good corporate citizen and the importance of adhering to a set of media guidelines for their advertising messages."

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