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September 14, 2006: Furniture Hooker

After the premiere last week, one of the first comments I got was that we should be expecting more than just sex jokes from our shows. I think we are clearly getting the picture that 'Til Death will not be that show. I really hope this isn't the way the future goes. I'm not married yet, but the scenarios in this show somehow actually seem plausible to me. The newlywed Steph likes to buy furniture sight unseen, and, in return for Jeff's turning a blind eye to his girly house, he gets sex. Who's going to argue with sex, right? But then there's Joy, who learns of this technique and tries it on Eddie, who must research everything before buying, and he actually turns the sex down. Who's going to argue with manly patio furniture, right? OK, so maybe this isn't so plausible after all. Joy's actually offering Eddie "daytime sex" was funny. How many ways can Eddie put down his wife here? "You realize it's light out; I'll be able to see you," he says. Or after really giving it some thought, g... read more

Now that Arrested Development ...

Question: Now that Arrested Development is gone, does Fox have any promising new comedies set for its fall lineup? I read that they have a Brad Garrett show, but that doesn't really feel like the kind of cutting-edge comedy they have attempted for so many years now. Have they finally given up after canceling most of their best comedies too soon, or have the cutting-edge comedies gotten tired of being jerked around by Fox? Answer: It's true that this season Fox is going more mainstream in its comedy choices. Fox Entertainment chief Peter Liguori says the network did develop a few single-camera (read: cutting-edge) pilots that didn't work out. I think it's a mistake, though, to assume that just because a comedy is done the old-fashioned way (with multiple cameras on a soundstage before a studio audience) it's automatically not as worthy or as funny as a more stylized, filmed piece (à la Arrested Development, Scrubs or My Name Is Earl). Some terrific work can still be done in this format. ... read more

I'm curious. From what you ...

Question: I'm curious. From what you have seen so far of the shows being introduced in the upcoming fall season, which ones are worth watching?


Answer: From the stuff I've seen so far, Fox's 24-esque kidnapping thriller Vanished and NBC's Tina Fey SNL-esque comedy are two early standouts. I also got a kick out of Fox's The Wedding Album, but that was mostly because of the chemistry between recently fired lead Bruno Campos and costar Tara Summers. On the flip side, all of Fox's comedies — with the exception of Brad Garrett's 'Til Death, which has potential  — are major stinkers. I also wasn't crazy about CW's Runaway, and I'm not saying that because it took Everwood's place on the fall schedule. Oh, who am I kidding — sure I am.

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What happened to your ...

Question: What happened to your minute-by-minute diary of the upfronts?


Answer: You're thinking of the Press Tour Diaries. That's in July. But had I blogged Fox's upfront on Thursday, it probably would've looked something like this:

4:00 pm: Could this East Side venue be more out of the way?
4:15 pm: Or crowded?
4:20 pm: Or hot?
4:35 pm: Someone kill me.
4:40 pm: Brad Garrett calls Paula Abdul crazy and Ryan Seacrest gay.
4:50 pm: Make it stop.
5:05 pm: I want to die. Now.
5:15 pm: Am I in hell?
5:17 pm: Sports executives make terrible comedians.
5:25 pm: Maybe the roof will collapse and we can all go home.
5:26 pm: Wow, Spike Feresten is not funny.
5:45 pm: Look! The ad executive behind me is putting a plastic bag over his head!
5:50 pm: Oooh, a read more

Falling Up
The nets reveal their strategies for next season

Brad Garrett, 'Til Death

After attending the networks' upfront presentations all week, the Biz has this analysis of the coming season. (Click here for next fall's grid and new-show descriptions.) CWYou've got to wonder what went wrong in CW's new-series development process if the network had to bring back 7th Heaven — even though the show lost a reported $16 million for WB this past season. But the decision to have CW's inaugural schedule made up of established shows from WB and UPN may end up being a blessing. Many of the shows have small but rabid followings, and promoting new shows on a new network will be tough. The fans of shows like One Tree Hill and Veronica Mars will track  them down on their own. Viewers in the 18-to-34-year-old demographic that CW targets don't watch networks, they watch shows. (According to recent survey, only one in four 1 read more

Scooplets: 24, L Word, O.C., Scrubs and More!

Here are several updates on stuff I reported in this week's Ask Ausiello as well as some new scoops mixed in. Enjoy! I can now confirm that Marlee Matlin has signed on to appear in 11 episodes of Showtime's The L Word. The deal just closed and, even though this drama is so far off my radar it's virtually undetectable, I wanted to bring you the official word ASAP. The Oscar winner will play a deaf artist who takes a shine to Jennifer Beals' Bette. She'll first show up in the fourth-season premiere in January. Speaking of shows I probably should be watching, Disney's teen phenom Hannah Montana has reeled in a pretty big fish. I'm told Dolly Parton will make a guest appearance this summer. I'm not sure who she's playing, but very reliable sources say her character will have huge knockers. Regarding the fate of The King of Queens, another source told me yesterday that "the show is definitely dead." Still no confirmation from CBS. My Eric Balfour mole (yes, I now have a mole assigned sp... read more

Insider Buzz on Fall's New Shows

Onetime West Winger Matthew Perry stars on Aaron Sorkin's Strip.

Television's new fall lineups won't be unveiled until May, but Hollywood is already making predictions about which pilots will become full-fledged shows. Here are some projects that are generating heat. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip NBC has penciled in this drama from West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin about the backstage doings of a famous sketch-comedy show à la Saturday Night Live. Sorkin's mighty pen, and a cast that read more

Sons & Daughters: Trauma and Surprises

Allison Quinn, Sons & Daughters

Well, this blog has taken my celebrity to new heights. I simply didn't anticipate the extraordinary interest millions of readers would take in the random thoughts of me, a modest journeyman-actor-turned-huge-ABC-television-star. It hasn't given me a big head or made me treat people any differently than I did before. Just ask my assistants, Felicia and Maggie, my personal shopper Yvette, or Charles, the English butler who helps me put on my trousers one leg at a time in the morning — I really haven't changed at all. I still try to lead a selfless and simple life. I even hired a Tibetan to read quotes from the Dalai Lama aloud to me as I'm choosing which Hugo Boss suit to wear that day. Me, a simple, hardworking fellow from beautiful Montesano, Washington. Me, who leads a spiritual life and thinks only of his fellow man, even when I'm sailing in the Bahamas, playing blackjack for a thousand dollars a hand in Las Vegas, or waking up with Eva Longoria.  read more

Doris Roberts Loves Post-Raymond Life

Doris Roberts, Our House

After nine years — and four Emmy wins! — as Everybody Loves Raymond's exasperating Marie, Doris Roberts decided to mix things up a bit. She returned to the big screen in the semi-raunchy Grandma's Boy, then switched from tickling funny bones to warming hearts with the Hallmark Channel movie Our House (premiering Saturday at 9 pm/ET). Roberts spoke with TVGuide.com about her real-life-tinged turn as a wealthy widow who opens her manse to the homeless, as well as her upcoming reunion with her TV son, Ray Romano. TVGuide.com: So after years of making everybody laugh on Eve read more

Sons & Daughters: Money and Ambition

Dee Wallace and Max Gail, Sons & Daughters

Tonight's episodes of Sons & Daughters (beginning at 9 pm/ET on ABC) are titled "Family Finance" and "Karaoke." What is it about money that brings out the worst in human behavior? My good friend William Shakespeare used to always tell me, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." Of course, later, when he came crawling to me straight from the pub for a loan, I would throw that quote right back in his face using a phony-sounding British accent. He could write a heck of a play, but he was terrible with money. Anyway, I digress. The first episode, "Family Finance," is one of my favorites. It was written by one of our shining stars in the writers' room, Justin Adler, and directed by David Steinber read more

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