Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Back from the dead

Betcha thought you'd never see McZ again. You probably thought we'd been downsized... or, worst, got a job at PAX (or E!, same difference).

Naw. McZ (yes, still referring to ourselves in the third person) just got busy with our day job helping Pat O'Brien think up sure-fire pick-up lines. (By the way, have we told you lately? You look so...f$*#ing hot. Just nod your head 'yes' if you agree).

Anyway, the piles of crap...er, pilots... have started making their way into the screening rooms of the networks. And, predictably, the gossip about them has already begun. We've even gotten our hands on a few of them. We'll star posting our snap judgments soon.

Meanwhile, consider how much has changed since last McZ last held court:

--NBC is now the fourth place network. It ain't even close. McZ's cousin Jeff told Broadcasting & Cable this week that he thinks the network can be back in first place within 2 years--proof, sadly, that nobody at NBC realizes just how serious the problems are.

--ABC is, like, a real network. People watch their shows and stuff. They could even win next season. Ergo, Steve McPherson is a genius. Or the luckiest SOB ever to run a network.

--Gail Berman has left Fox and now runs a movie studio. It's the first time a Fox entertainment president has left the job of their own accord since...ever.

--The WB has gone ga-ga for aging actresses like Fran Drescher and Melanie Griffith. It's just wrong, we say. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

--Some dude who used to be an assistant somewhere morphed into the Defamer... and now everybody in H'wood checks out his site as often as Drudge. Could there be a more desperate, obvious ploy to get Defamer to link back to McZ's site?

Real buzz soon....

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Another One Bites the Dust

The scariest looking man in showbiz-- that would be Jon Dolgen of Paramount-- quit today. OBDS...E! isn't into judging people based on physical appearance, but....if you've ever seen a picture of Dolgen, you know what we mean when we say: Dude be scary looking!

Ah, you say, but I'll bet he's really one of the sweetest guys out there. Kinda like Brad Garrett's character on "Everybody Loves Raymond"...or Shrek.

Nope.

Consider what one Paramount employee told McZ today (yes, we've decided to start referring to ourself in the third person...and with a frat-like nickname. Deal with it).

Said the Paramount wage slave: "Dolgen quit? Seriously? The whole company's gonna be happy. He's a mean, mean man."

It's that extra "mean" that separates Dolgen from the rest of his mogul pals.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Eat my dust, JZ

Our friend Leslie Moonves just got a big-ass promotion. He's now running Viacom, along with MTV bigshot/ex-hippie Tom Freston.

This news comes just a few weeks after another bud, NBC's Jeff Zucker, got a big promotion.

For a few weeks there, it looked like Jeff and Leslie were gonna finally be equals. We were happy.

Jeff and Leslie are always trying one-up each other, those wacky kids. Leslie seemed to be looking over his shoulder at Jeff, while Jeff wanted to be in the same league as Leslie.

No longer obsessed with who had the bigger...title... we thought maybe they'd stop worrying about each other...and start focusing on bigger issues. Like why "Good Morning, Miami" ever made it to a second season. Or the existence of "Hack."

But now, it's official: Leslie Moonves has more power than...You-Know-Who. And more power than Jeff Zucker.

Let the sniping resume. (And, oh: If my name were Ron Meyer, I'd watch my back. Getting a film studio would make JZ more powerful than LM.)




Monday, May 17, 2004

Good GOB, Gail!

"Arrested Development" is coming back next season.

Do we need to say anything else?

(OK, maybe OBDS...E! should mention that "Tru Calling" has been renewed. That's great news for Eliza D., but we could care less.)

"Arrested Development" is coming back!

We officially forgive Fox for the whole LaToya and Jennifer things. We're still pissed about "Andy Richter" biting it, though.

It's Hip to Be Widowed

So "8 Simple Rules" is moving to Fridays. It'll be followed by the Mel Gibson comedy "Savages."

Since John Ritter passed, "Rules" has become a show about a widow and her 3 kids. And "Savages" is a show about a widower and his 5 sons.

OK, that's just freaky. 2 shows about widows, back-to-back.

Thank Goodness It's Funny!

'Course, if "Rules" doesn't work out next season, maybe the widow from "Rules" can do a crossover episode and date the widower on "Savages." And you know what's next.....

Till the one day when the lady met this fellow
And they knew it was much more than a hunch,
That this group would somehow form a family.
That's the way we all became the "8 Simple Rules Savages Bunch."

Leslie McZ smells a hit!


Seven Going on 70

As if waiting 'til late October for the next new episode of "The O.C." weren't bad enough, OBDS...E! now hears that ALIAS won't be coming back for season four until....January!

What the SD-6?

ABC is gonna put on sterile sudser "Desperate Housewives" in place of Sydney and Friends this fall, thus delaying the season premiere of "Alias" until January, spies say.

A young friend of Leslie McZucker's greeted the news with horror, all but telling ABC to stick it up their mouse ears.

But hold on a sec. The plan sorta makes sense.

Unlike normal shows, which air 6 or 7 original episodes in a row and then air a couple of repeats, Alias rarely seems to air more than 3 or 4 episodes consecutively. Case in point: It's been like, a month, since the last original episode of Alias aired. The season finale airs this Sunday. So much for momentum.

Now, if ABC does things right, Alias will come on right after the New Year....and air one brand spankin' new episode after another until May. (We'll get a week off for the Oscars.)

If fans can wait 28 years between Sopranos seasons, or 9 months between Nip/Tuck rounds.... we can wait a half-year for Sydney.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Screw Stewie: Seth MacFaralane's New Show is Better

We've seen the five-minute presentation tape for "Family Guy" dude Seth MacFarlane's "AMERICAN DAD."

How good is it? We didn't stop laughing once during the five minutes. Stomach cramps in. It's like when Chris Rock is on a roll and you think you're gonna puke-- but without all the four-letter words.

Of course, it's just five minutes. Who knows if the whole pilot, let alone an entire series, can live up to this first impression. But we're betting it can. Seth and his dudes are sick $#!&s. And they've only gotten better since "Family Guy" left the air.

No way in hell Fox doesn't order this one, but because of lead times in animation, it won't be on til March at the earliest.

Name That Show!

Not surprisingly, ABC apparently doesn't want to call new drama "Doing It" by that name. The new title? "Life As We Know It."

Um, no.

ABC understandably wants to take the focus off sex. And while the show's pilot is pretty horny, the series does go much deeper than the carnal desires of adolescent boys.

But "Life as We Know It" is just a lame title for a potentially great show.

'Course, we at OBDS...E! don't know what we'd call the show, either. Anybody out there got any clever ideas? Winner gets their name in the headline of a blog post. Plus, we promise to ask Dick Wolf or Jerry Bruckheimer to name a corpse after you in one of their 82 shows.

Looks like ABC has made its choices for new drama and comedy pickups. Not sure what's fall and what's midseason, but here's what's getting a shot:

DRAMAS
"Lost"
"Doing It"
"Desperate Houswives"
"Eyes"
"Grey's Anatomy"
"Blind Justice"

COMEDY
"Savages"
Rodney Carrington

Very cool that ABC picked up "Doing It" and "Lost." We review "Doing It" below. And J.J. Abrams did "Losts," so ain't no way that shizzle won't be coolizle. (Sorry, Snoop.)

On an off the bubble

Good news for "8 Simple Rules" and "Less than Perfect": ABC's picked them up for next season. No word yet on "Life with Bonnie." And there's talk CBS might be axing one of its Monday comedies. Hmmmm....

Fox still hasn't decided whether to bring back "Tru Calling" or "Arrested Development." OBDS...E is agnostic on "Tru" -- but if Fox doesn't order more "Arrested," well...we'll be taking you off our Chrismukkah list, Gail Berman. (And we had already picked out a very lovely tea cozy for you, too.)

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Does Robert Smith know about this?

Guess the title for NBC's new medical mystery show is a mystery no more. They're gonna call it "The Cure."

Apparently, test audiences didn't like the other possible titles: Depeche Mode Docs and New Order Hospital.

Ha!

Meanwhile, no word yet on whether Fox is gonna keep calling its medical mystery drama "House." But don't bet on it. How bout "The Rx Files"?

Anyone out there have any suggestions?

Clearing Some "Office" Space at NBC

Looks like NBC might be ready to give a thumbs up to its really funny remake of "The Office." It won't be for 13 episodes. It won't be on in the fall. But NBC might give this puppy a shot, even though a lot of the Six Sigma brigade is nervous about the show.

Can't say we blame 'em. "The Office" ain't a sitcom as we all know it. There's no internal score. No laugh track. And have you seen the ratings for "Arrested Development"?

But didn't anyone learn anything from "Seinfeld," the show that test audiences HATED? Or "Cheers," which took, like, 2 years for people to find (and this was before the age of 2 zillion cable channels.)

And if the show's funny-- which it is-- why the drama about picking it up? Jeff Zucker didn't think twice about bringing back "Good Morning, This Show Sucks Miami." It was like 20 million bucks FLUSHED DOWN THE DRAIN.

And what about "American Dreams"? It ain't exactly setting the world on fire. It does fine, but NBC keeps it on cuz advertisers like it and it's got a loyal audience.

"The Office," like most new shows, could very well fail. But it's a chance worth taking-- and if it fails, it fails with dignity.

Enough ranting. If NBC really is ordering "The Office," OBDS...E says Bravo/Trio to you, Jeff Zucker.

TV Guide Fall Preview Issue, Eat Your Heart Out!

Any second now, the network buzz machines are gonna start cranking into overdrive hyping all their new pieces of crap. EW and TV Guide will commence salivating over potential cover victims (Remember EW fall preview cover chick Alicia Silverstone last year? Who says there's no such thing as bad PR?) And our favorite D.C. snarkmeisters, USA Today's Robert Bianco and WashPost's Lisa DeMoraes, are positively giddy right about now: In a couple days, they'll have a whole new batch of shitty shows to dismiss based upon nothing more than 4-minute clips.

Here at OBDS...E, we're determined to be the very first out of the gate with B.S. buzz, unthoughful opinions and snap judgements. Who cares if some of the shows below never make it on the air? Or if the entire pilot is trashed over the summer (yes, we're talking about you, Jessica Sampson)?

With apologies to the aforementioned DeMoreas, We Watch So You Don't Have To. Here's what sucks and what doesn't:

SUCKS...HARD

Jessica (ABC): If your name isn't Jessica Simpson and you were an actor on this pilot, call your agent. Now. 'Cause this show ain't getting ordered as-is. Either it's completely killed...or, more likely, they'll blame everyone by JS for this crime against humanity, and recast all of your asses. (Seriously, Rumsfeld would definitely be forced out if the military started showing this to the Iraqi detainees). Jessica's not god-awful here; she's actually got some charm. But they've made her so dumb, not even Nick would want to hang out with her. Total suckage.

Foster Hall (NBC): We were psyched when we heard Mac Culkin was gonna be in a TV show. Not sure why, but maybe we thought he'd be a different face. And hey, look who's exec producing: It's Conan O'Brien! Love the Conan! But clearly O'Brien decided to say "screw you" to Jeff Zucker for renewing Jay Leno until the Apocalypse without giving him an adequate heads up. Cause this thing is just...bad. Weird. It's about a brother and sister who were orphans as kids, and still have a lot of hostility toward everyone, including each other. People scream a lot in this one. Everyone hates each other or is a total freak. It's a friggin' mess. NBC has wisely already told the producers "no thanks."

JUST SUCKS

North Shore (Fox): Fox has already said it's putting this on next month. And they've already recast a major role. We haven't seen this Hawaii soap thingy. But ya know it's gonna suck. Hopefully, it'll suck in that good soapy way.

SORTA SUCKS

Jennifer Love Hewitt comedy (ABC): OK, it's not that bad. We just had high hopes cuz it's from two guys who used to work on "Freaks and Geeks." And we had a little crush on Love back in the PO5 days.
But sistah looks like she's doing the crank in this show-- her hair's like Christina Aguilerra black, and she just looks bad. It's about an ESPN producer who suddenly is called up to be an on-air report cuz she's all spunky. She's got this boss, Lou Grant... I mean, Ed O'Neill with a beard... who likes spunk. She's also a single mom with a really cute 5-year-old who talks like he's on "Dawson's Creek." And the ESPN logo is ALL OVER THE FRIGGIN' PLACE, no doubt cuz producers know Bob Iger and Michael Eisner will get visibly aroused by the idea of a show that does nothing but promote ESPN...and forget that it ain't all that funny. But it's not horrible, either.

PRETTY GOOD

Untitled Heline & Heisler comedy: OK, first off-- couldn't anyone think of a name by now? Even just a temporary name everyone knows will be changed like 8 times over the summer. This show's about 2 really neurotic people who fall instantly in deep like/love-- so why not sumthin like "Crazy in Love" or "Love's Crazy" or ...

wait a sec: We're watching Jimmy Kimmel right now. Rick Springfield is on. Jimmy, dude, it's the friggin' May sweeps!!! You couldn't find a better musical act than Rick Springfield?

OK, back to the "Love's Crazy": OBDS...E really dug this show. No idea who the two lead actors are, which is great...cause TV's best when it makes stars. Writing's sharp, too, and funny. (Much better than "3 Sisters," which we think H&H did before.) We'll watch it if NBC puts it on after "Scrubs" Tuesday from 9-10.

UPDATE: So it looks like they're gonna call this "Crazy For You." OBDS...E was pretty darn close. Either we're geniuses...or know our network cliches all too well.

DAMN GOOD

"House" (Fox): See previous post.

"Desperate Housewives" (ABC): This one's been hyped for months. Hollywood Reporter did a spotlight on it a month ago, and Daily Variety did a big story when it was just a script. According to Hollywood rules, anything so hyped has to suck (see "Jessica"....or "Chicken Soup.")

Guess what: "DH" doesn't. It's really, really good. Part of why it's good is that it's shot like a movie. Very "American Beauty." The writing's also hi-friggin-larious (big ups Chuck Pratt and Marc Cherry.) Cast is perfect, especially Marcia "Scarface" Cross from "MP" as a Martha Stewart type who tries to off her hubby. Only potential problem: It may be too smart for the "Knot's"/"Melrose" crowd. It really feels like an FX show. Critics will love the way it's shot and how the story's told, but this might work better on ABC if it were more straighforward, meat-and-potatoes soap opera. Still think it's an amazing pilot.

"Doing It" (ABC): OK, remember those "Freaks and Geeks" dudes who did Love's comedy? They also wrote this drama for ABC... and it's like a thousand times better. Before we saw it, we said ABC would never put it on (see below.) Still don't know if the Mouse brigade will take a risk on a show in which high school kids talk about the nasty non-stop, or where an underage boy nearly kisses his teacher. But ABC should go for it, cause this show is the shizzle. Cast is WB-friendly, writing sharp, and it's amazingly shot. The three leads talk stop the action and talk to the camera-- sorta feels like a reality show confessional, but more personal. Kelly Osbourne's even OK. Of course, this is also the network that broke our heart with "My So-Called Life"...so dunno if we trust them.

More later....


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Fun with Bogus Schedules: NBC Edition

OK, so the networks still haven't picked up most of their new show for fall. But it's never too early to start coming up with authentic-looking but ultimately bogus new fall schedules. Hell, some networks have entire staffs devoted to spreading disinformation. ("American Idol" is moving to Sunday! "Survivor" is going to Wednesday! Everybody will love "Raymond" on Thursdays!)

Anyway, let's start the games with an easy one: NBC.

Jeff Zucker has been telling folks for months his schedule is all but locked in place. Which probably means he has a surprise or two in store.

Here's one early guess (new shows in CAPS):

SUNDAY: Dateline/American Dreams/L&O:CI/Crossing Jordan or REVELATIONS

MONDAY: Fear Factor/Las Vegas/Reality wheel or HAWAII DRAMA

TUESDAY: Reality wheel/Scrubs/HELINE-HEISLER COMEDY or THE OFFICE/L&O: SVU

WEDNESDAY: FATHER OF THE PRIDE/DOTS/West Wing/L&O: Original Recipe

THURSDAY: JOEY/Will&Grace/The Apprentice/ER

FRIDAY: DATELINE/DATELINE or MEDICAL MYSTERY or HUB/3rd Watch

SATURDAY: Whatever crap we have available this week.

Doing It...somewhere else

By all accounts, ABC's drama pilot "Doing It" is a bold, fresh, honest look at contemporay teenage American boys and their libidos -- a sort of "My So-Called Sex Life."

The pilot screened well. It's a good show.

So how much you want to bet it never gets on the air-- at least at ABC?

Perhaps the previous management at ABC forgot who owns 'em: The WALT DISNEY COMPANY, people! This hour has controversy written all over it, and while ABC could use the controversy to drive ratings, an election year battle over teen sex on TV is the last thing Michael Eisner needs. And with Michael Powell salivating at the chance to slap a fine on a network, you can forget about bold, fresh, honest looks at anything for the next year.

"Doing It" may not be dead. ABC could order it for midseason (read: post-election.) Or maybe the WB or Fox will snap it up.

But "Doing It" ain't getting on ABC's fall schedule.

UPDATE: ABC insiders now say this pilot isn't nearly as risque as some had been saying. The brass likes it, so who knows...maybe it will get on after all.