- Lots of people are picking apart HBOs The Newsroom. Are there some problems? Sure, but as Matt Roush has said (and I paraphrase), TV is the better for having Aaron Sorkin a part of it. I know there’s some nitpicking over Emily Mortimer but the open this week where she uses the power outage as a moment to rally her team and do the show outside only to be outdone when the power went back on immediately after her impassioned speech, made me laugh out loud. Well specifically her “son of a bitch” did. For me, The Newsroom, though flawed, is far more easy to digest/enjoyable than HBOs recently overpraised dramas like Luck and Boardwalk Empire.
- I am glad to see some love thrown Amy Sherman Palladino’s way recently for Bunheads. I think like Aaron Sorkin, TV is the better for her being part of it. (Plus whatever you think of either of them and their respective shows, they sure can write witty, intelligent banter). I havent seen as much love thrown Sutton Foster’s way lately so let me attempt to do that. She’s obviously a mega talent, triple threat, and Broadway superstar, but I don’t think she’s getting the credit for being a great comedienne. My favorite parts of Bunheads involve her. Wrapping your head around ASP’s fast and witty dialogue is hard enough, but man can she deliver it. There were many weeks when something she said made me laugh out loud. (Off the top of my head, the scene with the possum rang true, but in a lesser funny person’s hands I don’t think it would have made me smile as much.)
- Speaking of Bunheads, much has been made over its numbers, but it definitely was consistent. The finale this week held all the 18-49 numbers of its lead in plus grew in total viewers. I only wish ABC Family had not run it opposite the Olympics and saved the final 3 eps to air with the first three eps of Switched At Birth starting September 3rd. It would have had a more compatible lead with a very beloved show (and an opportunity to land some new viewers) and its final three weeks would air up until the broadcast premieres on September 24th. Oh well.
- FXs Wilfred, Louie, W. Kamau Bell and MTVs Awkward sure make for a great block of Thursday night summer TV. (Awkward marks the first time in years I have watched MTV regularly). I find Russell Brand funny and intelligent in general, but his FX show didn’t work for me. Felt like a Rabbi’s meandering sermon. W. Kamau Bell felt like a show instantly and didn’t disappoint in week 2.
- Most new reality shows on broadcast networks failed this summer. I think in general, something fresh that’s not currently on TV, is the best way to success. If I am not mistaken, the last new show to do really well in the summer was Wipeout. There wasn’t anything like it on the broadcast airwaves prior. My suggestion to the network’s alternative departments is to try something new next summer, not clones of existing shows. I know that’s easier said than done and there’s no guarantee at success but I suspect there’s more of a chance. Maybe those off-center pitches all year that seem far-fetched, are worth a shot for a few weeks in the summer. Can’t do much worse than this summer’s new offerings and who knows, might be the next breakout hit. Speaking of…
- As long as we’re recycling, why not recycle and update shows that have been off the air for a while, and are fairly unknown to much of today’s younger (18-34) generation. but with new twists. Frankly, a new version of Love Connection with someone witty and a ball buster like Kathy Griffin as host, could be lots of fun. Same sex couples should be a part of the show now too. Something like this could possibly work really well before or after The Bachelorette. Just an idea…
- I know outside of a few finanacially viable, co-production dramas, new scripted is an expensive proposition for the networks. But what about possibly attempting to launch a few easy to promote, multi camera comedies for limited runs each summer. For nets not CBS it might be an easier (and less expensive) way to dip their toes back in that water.