Fox's announcement of its mid-season slate — namely, the fact that American Idol will not be moving its results show to Thursdays — has rivals scrambling to counterprogram. ABC, for example, may now air Season 2 of Dancing with the Stars on Thursdays, reports Variety, while NBC could be extra-tempted to... oh, never mind, just read the Breaking News item now at the top of this column!
Question: My husband says that Karen of Will & Grace appeared in a Seinfeld episode as one of George's girlfriends. I don't think so. Can you verify this? Thanks.
Answer: Get ready to change that line of thinking then, Lili. Hubby's right on this one.
Megan Mullally, who picked up an Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy in 2000 for her work as Karen Walker, snotty socialite and assistant to Grace (Debra Messing) on the hit comedy, did indeed lend her talent to the Seinfeld crew in a Season 4 episode. As hubby says, she played Betsy, one of George Costanza's (Jason Alexander) brief love interests (if the word "love" ever applied to him) in the episode "The Implant."
If you recall, the main story was that Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) dumped a girlfriend (Teri Hatcher
Bobby Cannavale, who scored an Emmy for his role as Will's boyfriend on Will & Grace, has inked a deal to headline his own New York-based sitcom for NBC. Not unlike most of the sitcoms on the air today, the project is still searching for a concept.
Veronica MarsI know Clarence Weidman isn't technically bad, but I still wouldn't want to run into him in a dark alley. But actually I wouldn't want to run into Keith Mars in a dark alley either, if I had done anything to his daughter. He's so the dad of the year in Neptune... not that the sadly still-not-sheriff has much competition. Parental units are rapidly disappearing or becoming a thing of the past in this town. Veronica's mom skipped town, Logan's mom allegedly killed herself and his dad's in the slammer, Duncan's parents are hiding out away from the whole Lilly scandal, and now Dick and the Beav's dad has taken off to parts unknown. And while the Beav was thrown for a loop by his step mom's philandering with Logan, Dick had a totally different outlook. "Dude, my step mom? Better you
Another bitch is about to get welcomed to The O.C. As reported exclusively in today's Ask Ausiello, The Comeback's Willa Holland has been tapped to play Marissa's MIA younger sis, Kaitlin. She'll surface in early '06 and, according to Fox, "wreak havoc, turn heads and introduce a darker, edgier element" to the show. Also in today's AA: Major Gilmore Girls spoilage, breaking casting news on House and Will & Grace and another clue about the big Las Vegas death.
The West Wing
When I first heard about this debate, I was a little skeptical. Between the parade of guest stars and the announcement of a live stunt, I thought this thing had a whiff of Will & Grace desperation stink. And while it didn't reach the level of President Bartlet's debate drubbing of Rob Ritchie a few seasons back, it was still pretty darn exciting to watch Bobby Simone and Hawkeye Pierce get it on without a net.
First off, did we need Ellen DeGeneres playing host? I dig Ellen as much as the next guy (or girl), but she doesn't exactly ooze executive-branch gravitas. I was also kinda surprised they started with a backstage segment. I guess director Alex Graves really wanted to try his hand at a live West Wing walk-and-talk.
Wasn't Alan Alda's long opening pause great? For a minute, I thought he had lost it like Admiral James Stockdale in the 1992 VP debate. Vinick's gambit to dump the debate rules turned o
Question: Since the heyday of Friends, Seinfeld, Will & Grace, Frasier (or even going back further to The Cosby Show, Mad About You, Cheers and many others), the sitcom format has become nearly obsolete and the networks have clearly reached a point of desperation. In the last few years, only The Simpsons, Scrubs, Arrested Development and Family Guy have succeeded in making people laugh while watching network TV. HBO has a distinct advantage due to its lack of censorship. This year, however, the networks seem to be improving with the additions of Kitchen Confidential and the close-to-being-very-funny How I Met Your Mother. Once Mother finds its true voice (Ted and Robin are simply not funny) and NBC brings Scrubs back from its inexplicable hiatus, we might finally be able to enjoy a few amusing comedies. Notwithstanding the dissertation above, my question is about Freddie. In my not-so-humble opinion, Freddie Prinze Jr. is not funny. His family on the show is not funny. The concept of ...
I'm beginning to wonder if NBC is going to torture us all season with live episodes of shows that are pretty much on life support, creating prime-time stunts in hopes of compelling us to watch (although it rarely works out that way).
First came the underwhelming live season opener of Will & Grace, with its tittering and mugging. Now we have The West Wing showing that it can stage a fake debate that looks and sounds pretty much like the real thing, only with a bit more animation as old-school Senator Vinick (Alan Alda) demanded the "stupid rules" be dropped in favor of "a debate Lincoln would have been proud of."
(Which brought to mind, after sitting through the long and tedious hour that followed, the old joke: "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the show?")
There was no assassination, or really even any
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
The Eye Network resoundingly won Thursday, the first night of the November sweeps ratings period, as Survivor: Guatemala's 18.5 million torch carriers beat out NBC's Joey and Will & Grace (netting about 8 mil each) and Fox's The O.C. (6.6 mil). At 9 pm, CSI's 28.5 million loyalists had an easy victory over runner-up The Apprentice (albeit with a season-best 11 mil), while at 10 o'clock Without a Trace's 20.3 million viewers bested ER (14.3 mil), though the two were almost neck-in-neck in key demos. And ABC, you ask? Its airing of Pirates of the Caribbean didn't capture much booty, averaging just 8.4 million for the night.
Question: I've got a theory about why so many people are down on sitcoms nowadays. It seems like ever since Seinfeld ended, half-hour comedy series have become increasingly mean-spirited. Will & Grace isn't about situational comedy; it's about making fun of other people. It's not about laughing with the characters; it's about laughing at them. Mean-spirited comedy certainly has its place, and there were times I found shows like Will & Grace, Malcolm in the Middle etc. funny. But now they just wear on my nerves. What do you think? And do the new comedy shows you've been praising fit (or not fit) into this theory?
Answer: What's so great and encouraging about the early success of My Name Is Earl (most notably) and Everybody Hates Chris is that they manage to be both edgy in tone and somehow sweet-natured, and they're not drowning in self-conscious irony. Earl pokes fun at its lowbrow characters (see my recent Review), but is inherently good at heart. Chris benefits from Chris Rock's