Some links to keep your Friday going as many of us try to duck out of work at 4 to watch the Phils:
Theater owners have every right to be super-p!ssed at studios releasing movies this quickly, especially big name movies like GI Joe. I saw the release date for GI Joe other in my Blockbuster queue this week as Nov. 3 and thought, “Wow, that was quick. Glad I didn’t pay money to see that.” That’s the exact reaction theater owners dread because it will keep people like me with very limited disposable time and income from going to see the Next Big Thing because we’re becoming accustomed to movies showing up on DVD quicker than ever. There needs to be some kind of strict shelf-life date for movies to be released on DVD. I know Paramount wants to get GI Joe out in time to make sure it’s available for Christmas presents, and that’s perfectly understandable. But it shouldn’t do it at the expense and future expense of the theater owners that play their movies, especially when the theater experience becomes more inconvenient every day as movies release OnDemand and on cell phones instead of in theaters.
Big news for Seth MacFarlane this week. First off, he’s getting his own variety show, a practice that’s gone oh-so-well for people like Rosie O’Donnell, Martin Short and others. Variety shows are deader than MySpace, but that just shows you how popular McFarlane is. Fox believes his fans are so loyal and dedicated, they’ll watch anything with his name attached. Call it the Howard Stern Syndrome. But in McFarlane news that stands a better chance of being meaningful, The Cleveland Show has received a full-season pick-up – for its second year. That’s right, based on the ratings strength of its first three episodes, the show that already had been renewed for the first half of its second season received a full order for 2010-11. Fox wanted to be in the McFarlane business so badly and keep him happy, they’re just picking up whatever he does. Must be nice to be him these days.
Thomas Lennon quickly getting picked up by NBC makes the Comedy Central drop of Reno: 911! a little more suspicious. Why would the network drop one of its funniest shows when its creators are at the height of their popularity? Unless it was a money issue, they wouldn’t. The only way it would be legit for a reason other than money would be if the sides just couldn’t work together anymore, but there was no indication that was the case. Or if Lennon was a jerk, but if he was, then NBC wouldn’t be locking him up just a couple months after Comedy Central dropped him. So when Lennon dropped the news on his Twitter page, it must have drove Comedy Central batty. It’s easy to imagine the last conversation being something like:
Lennon: I want to stay, I love Reno: 911, but NBC is on my jock. Can you at least try and meet me halfway?
Comedy Central: OK, OK, how much?
Lennon: (writing the amount down on a piece of paper) Just get near this, guys.
Comedy Central: (Looking at the paper) Ha ha, very funny. Now show us what they really want to pay you.
And that was that.
Not sure what to make of Scrubs coming back this year. It was gone. Buried. They had a finale that wrapped everything up, and it wasn’t exactly fantastic last season anyway. And now it’s coming back, JD is only going to be around for six episodes and we know The Janitor won’t be back since his new show, The Middle, just got a full-season pick-up. Moving it out of the hospital is a screaming line drive of Jump the Shark. That’s a whole mess of minuses. But it’s the same thing that we’ve said about Scrubs for years now. It might not be the funniest show on TV anymore, but it’s still smarter, cooler and yes, funnier, than most sitcoms out there right now.
If you’re going to make lists like this, at least give us something we’ve never seen before. Here’s another best shows canceled too early with the usual suspects, Arrested Development, My So Called Life, Freaks and Geeks, blah, blah, blah. Once again, neither of my favorites make the list — Phenom, the ABC sitcom about a tennis prodigy, and Out All Night, the NBC sitcom about a night club owned by Patti LaBelle. Each of them lasted one year, but gave us two of my favorite Fonzie-Urkel that would have broken out if the shows lasted long enough. Phenom had Brian Doolan (Todd Louiso) and Out All Night had Vidal (Duane Martin). On the bright side, at least both of them went on to bigger and better things. And yes, I am the only person on the planet who laments the loss of both of the those shows at the same time.
Unless the character can be a crude stick figure, I don’t think I can enter the Simpsons’ create a new character contest. Although if someone wants to draw it for me, I’ll go halfsies on any prize. It’s a new friend for Lisa,
Holy hell someone is going to go on a three-state killing spree soon if the Jon and Kate nonsense doesn’t stop. It might be me.