Why Entourage Doesn’t Work in Syndication

It’s rare to tease a blog entry, because usually, I don’t know what I’m writing about until I come into work in the morning and check the news.

danny chun at the dunder mifflin offices. the fake ones, this picture wasn't taken in scranton.

danny chun at the dunder mifflin offices. the fake ones, this picture wasn't taken in scranton.

But Friday is different, because yesterday I talked to co-executive produce of The Office, Stroudsburg High graduate Danny Chun. And boy, did he give me some major insight into the show and the succession plan for how the show is going to make the transition from Michael Scott to whomever will be taking over Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch. He also gave me a couple names the show’s producers have talked about, and who he’d like to see take the job.

Seeing as he’s one of the people who will be making that decision, you should probably listen. That’s coming Friday, with a shorter version of the interview appearing Sunday in the new, weekly PopRox column in the Pocono Record.

The links:

This might be either the most surprising or the funniest thing you read today, depending on your point of view. I started counting how many shows on Spike have higher ratings than Friday night Entourage reruns, got to about 20, realized there were about 100 more shows on the list and said eff it. The funniest on the list are the 2 a.m. repeats of Star Trek: Voyager, the repeats of the unwatchable Blue Mountain State and 38 different episodes of a 50-year-old TV show, Hawaii 5-0. That’s not a funny number or anything, that’s an actual count of 38 different Hawaii 5-0s. I’ve occasionally checked in on the Entourage reruns, and have been pretty frustrated and disappointed by them. It just doesn’t work in syndication because:

oh, right. no naked girls either.

oh, right. no naked girls either.

1. It’s a story show, not unlike 24 or Lost, which bombed in syndication. The story has always been more important than the jokes on Entourage, because the jokes aren’t that good. So if you already know the story, you don’t really care that much about the show. Seinfeld and Simpsons work in reruns because there’s no major story lines. Even if there is, you don’t care that you already know it. You’re watching the show again and again for the classic lines.

2. Even if you do want to re-watch the story, it’s so watered down by censorship it’s barely recognizable. The best Entourage episode is the Vegas one, with Seth Green picking a fight with E. Too bad half the episode is cut because it’s nothing but F-bombs and language so sexually explicit a porn director would probably ask for a rewrite. The Sopranos bombed out in syndication for the same reason.

The people taking this Entourage news the hardest are the local stations (WSWB in Scranton, WPHL in Philly) that just picked up Entourage for late-night reruns. By about November, if you see WSWB going back to its double shot of Friends, you can bet the show just isn’t working.

My bad, this might be the funniest thing you read today. The vampires may be losing ground the “GET ME THE EFF OUT OF HERE!!!” crowd with a bunch of movies coming out about people trapped in places they shouldn’t be trapped. An elevator, a coffin, between some rocks, people are about to be stuck all over the place and complain about it. The best movie is the last one, with M. Night already trying to buy the movie rights. Jerry Bruckheimer is probably right behind him.

they got through four seasons of this? be happy with that.

they got through four seasons of this? be happy with that.

It’s been a while since there’s been some cancellation news, so here’s the latest — TBS has dumped My Boys. I know exactly one person who said they were a fan of the show — my father, who can’t exactly be called a TV guru since he wears a Law & Order T-shirt — so it’s not like it had a lot of buzz. For some reason, TBS threw it on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. for its summer run, not exactly the time of the week you’d immediately think of for side-splitting hysterics. Not saying it was doomed to fail or anything, but that certainly doesn’t set it up for Closer-like ratings.

It’s rare, but every now and then we get to see behind the Hollywood curtain. Instead of relentless press tours touting the remarkable film-making ability of people like Paul Anderson (the crappy one), sometimes actors know enough to tell it like it is and say how much their movie sucks. You tend to have more respect for those people rather than listening to Bradley Cooper say how much he enjoyed making All About Steve and how everyone should go see it. On this list, the one that changes my opinion of an actor is Shia LaBeouf rightfully apologizing for Crystal Skull. I don’t blame him in the slightest, I blame him the all-of-a-sudden hacks George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. But it’s nice for him to recognize how much it sucks rocks and to apologize for it. Everyone involved in that movie from Lucas down to the grip owe some kind of apology to Indiana Jones fans.

When you look back in 2015 and try to figure out why Mad Men got yanked off the air even when it was still churning out great TV, you can point to this week when the rumors got hotter about Jon Hamm playing Superman and Christina Hendricks openly pining for an action franchise. Apparently wearing a double push-up bustier at the Emmys wasn’t subtle enough, now she needs to tell everyone her intentions of getting off TV and into the movies. The show already is in danger of losing January Jones to the world of comic movies when she hops on board the X-Men train next year. If Don Draper is the next Superman — a perfect choice, whether he’s too old or not — that’s the death blow to the show. If we can get two or even three more seasons out of it, and it keeps up the quality of this and past seasons, that would be enough to say it belongs among the best TV shows of all time.

All I can do is urge people not to be moved in the slightest by the fact that John Mayer has deleted his Twitter account. Pay this no never mind and be happy with the knowledge that Ashton Kutcher is keeping his account up and running. Although since Mayer says Twitter is dead, who knows, maybe Kutcher got wind of this already and immediately took down his account. I used to be a big John Mayer fan, the once-aired John Mayer Has a TV Show on VH1 a couple years ago was probably one of the most surprisingly funny half hours of TV I’ve ever seen. But the guy has gotten … weird. The self-serving, silly Rolling Stone article in January is probably what tipped the scales in favor of “Why did I like this guy?” and it’s been all downhill since. But the show was still funny.

Because it’s been like two weeks without a new awards show starting, it’s high time to start another — the Paley Awards for excellence in TV. It’s being considered an actual contender to take over as the pre-eminent TV awards show from the Emmys, but that just doesn’t make any sense. Every awards show has its niche and has its own way to get people out to the show. Do you really think anyone would go to the SAG Awards if it wasn’t their union? So what makes the Paley Awards special? What will get people there? The fact that it’s being done in May when shows are on hiatus? Vacation time isn’t for awards shows, it’s for vacation. I’d be much more inclined to go to something like that if it was on a Saturday. But if I had my choice between going to an awards show and laying on a beach in the Caribbean, I’m picking Jamaica 1,000 times before I pick awards show. The thought seems to be this is a better fit for TV executives. Well good for them! That should be fun, trying to get ratings with Greg Daniels, David Chase, JJ Abrams and Greg Garcia walking the red carpet. And those are the famous ones!

hey! maybe eliza dishku could be the wife this time!

hey! maybe eliza dushku could be the wife this time!

Can you blame James Cameron for wanting to get in to the TV game after seeing what the networks have to offer this year? Not that he needs the push or anything, a True Lies TV show with Cameron attached probably would get 15 million viewers on network TV if you played it at 10 in the morning. But he had to be looking at the lineup and saying, “This is it?” The absence of high-concept stalwarts like 24 and Lost is palpable this year. If The Event bombs, there is a gaping hole in the TV schedule big enough to drive a double-decker bus through where True Lies will fit perfectly.

It’s rare to find video game reviews around here, but Halo: Reach is a little too huge not to mention.

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