Sara Blakely, American Inventor
Sitting alongside overbearing alpha males George Foreman, Pat Croce and Peter Jones, fellow judge Sara Blakely has more than held her own on ABC's American Inventor (Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET). Having reshaped the ironically male-dominated hosiery industry with her popular Spanx and Assets lines of slimming undergarments for women, that should come as no surprise. We spoke with the charming go-getter about critiquing Inventor's aspiring Edisons.
TVGuide.com: Why'd you agree to be a judge?Sara Blakely: Well, I am an American inventor, and I'm liv
A quick ratings recap, now available on a superbly intermittent, not-at-all daily basis: ABC's Next Big Thing (8.3 million total viewers) sounds a bit like Robert De Niro and looks like a winner, up 550K versus last week's premiere. Hidden Palms (1.55 mil) isn't swaying fans, shedding 270 thou from its debut. Maybe last night's freaky tag will get peeps curious? Lead-out One Tree Hill (2.11 mil) was down a bit from last week's measly numbers. So You Think You Can Dance surged a full mil and dominated at 9 pm, with 10.21 mil viewers. American Inventor returned to an audience of 7.8 mil a definite improvement (i.e., up 1.2 mil) over the previous season's finale, but barely half of S1's own premiere draw. Traveler saw 880,000 viewers hit the road, dipping to 5.44 mil.
George Foreman, American Inventor
ABC's American Inventor kicks off its second season tonight (at 9 pm/ET) with three new judges having been brought onboard to deliberate with executive producer/judge Peter Jones. One of those judges is the Olympic gold medalist, former heavyweight champion and bona fide grill master George Foreman. TVGuide.com spoke with Big George while he was in Las Vegas promoting his new book, God in My Corner.
TVGuide.com: Why did you decide to sign on as a judge for American Inventor?George Foreman: It's strange, because I was a good boxer and I made some money. I had done good with Madison Avenue, doing commercials for McDonald's and Oscar Mayer. Then somebody approached me with a little machine nobody was interested in
Simon Cowell by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com
Jordin's got pipes that cannot be beat. Blake rocks a contemporary beat. For that reason alone, Simon Cowell has no prediction to make about the forthcoming American Idol finale. "I can't call it, because I think theyve both got different strengths," he told TVGuide.com during a conference call to tout the new (and totally improved) season of that other AI, ABC's American Inventor (premiering June 6). "One is a better entertainer, and one is a better singer. It will come down to what they do on [Tuesday]."Later in the call, Cowell dissed the dismissal of critical darling Melinda Doolittle, but stopped short of saying it cripples Idol's credibility. "I didnt agree with the vote, but more people should have dialed for Melinda," he said plainly. "When you allow the public to choose, youve got to live and die by the vote. It's as simple as that."Reflecting on Idol's season gone by one marked by a famously coiffed crooner Simon confessed, "I like crazy. Th...
Pugilist turned lean, mean griddle giant George Foreman will join Season 1 holdover Peter Jones and fellow newbies Pat Croce (a former NBA exec and talk-show host) and Sara Blakely (undergarments entrepreneur/creator of Spanx) on the judging panel for the new cycle of ABC's American Inventor. Other tweaks to the compeition, according to Variety: The judges will kick off the competition by visiting six cities and culling a finalist from each; the half-dozen wannabe Thomas Edisons will then build prototypes, with the best entrepenuer netting $1 million and a chance to mass-produce his or her gizmo. They also got a new host you won't recognize.
Question: An open letter to Simon Cowell: All right, after watching your show, it may be debatable whether America's Got Talent, but I feel it's safe to say (to use one of your favorite superlatives) that you, Mr. Cowell, have absolutely no talent whatsoever at producing an intelligent, entertaining show. You have so far taken two excellent concepts (American Inventor and America's Got Talent) and managed to trivialize them, in addition to boring the pants off us with mundane music, endless repetition, uninteresting judges and irritating hosts. (Am I the only one in America who finds Regis Philbin as welcome as a cheese grater on raw knuckles?) The finale of America's Got Talent was not only excruciating, but embarrassing as well (e.g., Regis "singing" and Bianca Ryan in shock once she was named the winner). Simon, either stop underestimating the intelligence of the American audience or overestimating our tolerance for crap, or you will be voted off the island!
Answer: But what do you
Question: What are your thoughts on the scheduling of the finales for reality shows? I am sick and tired of watching Survivor every year, only to have to miss the finale because they don't schedule it on the regular day it airs. I'm not giving up Desperate Housewives for the Survivor finale. Nor am I willing to give up The Simpsons, which is still a habit of mine even though it has diminished in quality over the years. Even more frustrating is airing The Amazing Race finale opposite Lost. As if it's even an option to miss Lost for a reality show. I don't understand why they need to do these bloated two- to three-hour finales for reality shows. Why can't they just air regular one-hour episodes in the shows' regular time slots? I'm seriously considering giving up on Survivor next season. It might be more worthwhile to catch up on my reading than to devote time watching these people, only to be cheated out of the finale by asinine scheduling. The Amazing Race will already be off my radar ...
Peter Jones, American Inventor
Tonight at 9 pm/ET ABC presents the debut-season results show for American Inventor, in which one of four finalists will be deemed to have developed the best gadget. Who is likely to have earned America's vote? Who should win? And what changes are in store for the just-renewed competition's second round? TVGuide.com went to judge/cocreator/executive producer Peter Jones for answers.
TVGuide.com: As someone who gets an idea or two along the lines of "Someone should invent a...," I have to say this show has been interesting. I like it.
Peter Jones: Do you? It's quite interesting because some people say, "I really love the show," while
ABC's official fall schedule just crossed the wires and those crazy kids over at the Alphabet net are moving Grey's Anatomy to Thursdays at 9 pm. The complete press release is below.ABC UNVEILS 2006-07 PRIMETIME SCHEDULESix New Comedies, Six New Dramas and Three New Alternative SeriesWill Join a Slate of Returning ShowsNew Series Include Betty the Ugly, Big Day, Brothers & Sisters, Day Break, Help Me Help You, In Case of Emergency, Greg Behrendts Wake-Up Call, Just for Laughs, Lets Rob
, Men in Trees, The Nine, Notes from the Underbelly, Set for the Rest of Your Life, Six Degrees and Traveler Returning Series Include Greys Anatomy, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Dancing with the Stars, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ...
American InventorHere's an invention: some little twisted paper firework that snaps when you throw it, used to emphasize speech, especially after dissing somebody. Imagine it: Doug Hall releases one of his classic barbs, and the other three judges go "Oh, snap! Snap! Snap!" while throwing my invention at the floor in celebration. Pretty sweet, huh? If you don't like it, you probably didn't like Doug telling that guy "this isn't called American Sob Story." Too bad for you, it was funny. Well, it could happen, as much as this show is produced. Let's take a look. We already accepted that they're showing us some of the worst of the worst, some of the most dramatic, and some obvious crowd favorites. American Idol taught them well. But come on, I'd really rather see another walking stick than that comedic montage hinting at the two least