Snowy Wednesday links:
RIP Elizabeth Taylor. If you were born later than like 1970, you have to be a film buff to have seen her in anything because she fell off the acting map in the early 70s. FX isn’t exactly playing Cat on a Hot Tin roof twice a day like it shows Iron Man. The three things I remember being blown away by her in — Cat, Giant and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe? (She won an Oscar for Woolfe.) After that, you only heard about her for her numerous marriages and her AIDS activism. She’s also the answer to one of my favorite Simpsons trivia questions because she was the voice of Maggie’s first — and still only — word. That was common knowledge when it happened, but people have forgotten. It will be common knowledge again for about a week, then everyone will forget. If anyone has any better Liz Taylor memories than that, feel free to throw ‘em in the comments.
The torture that is Perfect Couples looks like it’s coming to an end. NBC has decided it’s benching the show in April and subbing in the long-gestating Paul Reiser Show, which sounds a little bit like Seinfeld for the over 50 crowd. This seems like burn-off to me. Perfect Couples is struggling to keep viewers interested in NBC during the super-competitive Thursday night slate, so a change had to be made. But Reiser’s show has been sitting around at NBC since at least last spring, and it took the network this long to figure out where it belongs — as a springtime sub for a struggling series. If it doesn’t give decent numbers, it probably gets the hook by May sweeps for Office or Community reruns.
Southland fans don’t have to worry anymore. TNT renewed the cop show for a fourth season, likely to start next January. It seems pretty low-level on the risk factor, only getting 10 episodes for next season. Still have yet to catch up on this season, and I probably won’t be able to. Just seemed to me like the storylines weren’t progressing that much, and without that, all you had was a procedural cop show. That doesn’t interest me on any level. I may be totally off on that since I didn’t even see this season.
Should we be worried about Mad Men? The studio behind the show seems like it’s finally getting around to signing show creator Matthew Weiner for a fifth (and maybe sixth?) seasons, but the deal probably isn’t going to get done until its too late to bring the show back for its traditional summer roll out. So far, AMC hasn’t had an original show on any night other than Sunday, and the prefered spot for its biggest shows — Mad Men, Breaking Bad and now Walking Dead — seems to be Sundays at 10. It’s got Breaking Bad hanging around for the summer. Last year Walking Dead premiered on Halloween and it’s likely it will be back in that spot this year. That leaves Mad Men looking for some real estate, and the next available spot might not be until next January. And if it’s been gone that long, will AMC just saw “Screw it” and wait until July 2012 to roll it out to keep its summer date? At some point the network will have to think about airing its shows on a different night, but it probably won’t risk Mad Men to do it.
Weird. The Rise of the Apes prequel or reboot or what whatever they’re calling it has been jumping all over the 2011 schedule, going from June to two different holiday season spots, but now it’s back to summer with an Aug. 5 release date where it will go against The Smurfs, some sci-fi thing called The Darkest Hour and an actual original comedy, The Change Up. It’s not a terrible move since August is looking pretty dead right now. The only thing I can see on the sked that looks even remotely interesting is 30 Minutes or Less, and I’m only including that because of the cast — Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride and Nick Swadson. The Change Up is Ryan Reynolds returning to straight comedy for the first time since Van Wilder, maybe he can recapture some of the old Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place funny. I have no interest in a Conan the Barbarian remake, especially after a teaser trailer that wouldn’t have been acceptable in the 80s.
So why not move the Apes thing to August? The other way of looking at it is that Fox thinks this movie is expendable. It didn’t think it could compete in June against Cars 2 or Transformers the next week, so they shifted it to Thanksgiving. But then they didn’t think it could compete with Twilight or Happy Feet 2, so they got rid of it there. Bottom line — when a release date shuffles this much, 90 percent of the time it means the studio lacks confidence in the movie.
Wait, another Narnia? Weren’t we done with these movies? How many people have to avoid it before they stop making them?
We’ve reached the point where I just laugh when I hear bad news about Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Sucks that I’m now laughing at people’s injuries, but how can you not? It also sucks that when I got what I wanted and they dumped Julie Taymor is when it reached the point of no return. Shut this thing down and have done with it. Please.
I wasn’t listening in time this morning to see what Stern said about his lawsuit against Sirius, but it certainly seems like hypocrisy. He’s spent the last couple weeks killing CBS chief Les Moonves for suing him, then saying it was only business, not personal. When Moonves asked him to come back to regular radio, Stern said he laughed and said he couldn’t go back to a company that sued him because he takes lawsuits against him personally. So … why is it OK for him to sue Sirius and keep working there? I can’t stop listening to Stern, he’s like the most addictive form of crack to me. But man, he’s making it hard these days. I do find myself scrolling through the dials much more lately though. Maybe five more years wasn’t the best thing, especially if it’s only going to be three days a week.
Anyone want to be a duck? Seems like a pretty good gig. I’m a Gilbert Gottfried fan, but talk about a lapse in judgement. I very rarely edit myself in this blog, but even I have times where I read through something and say, “Ummmmm, that’s probably a little too far.” Not that anyone cares. But there’s a line, and if you have any sense of self-preservation, you probably shouldn’t cross it. The sad part is this would have blown over in a day if Aflac didn’t jump the gun and fire Gottfried. They’re not wrong for doing it, but maybe it was just an excuse because they didn’t want Gottfried around. What’s even more of a crime is that YouTube and the whole Internet doesn’t seem to have clips from Gottfried’s hysterical appearances on Night Court or Wings. C’mon people, get on that!
My next blog is going to be devoted to the ridiculous press releases I get on a daily basis. I’m not exaggerating when I say I get invites to red carpet stuff in LA for crappy horror movies that will never see the light of day in any theater. I also get interview requests for country music singers appearing as close as … Nashville. It’s incredible. But every now and then I get one or two I think PopRox readers might be interested in — and yesterday another one came, even if Poconos readers will have to travel for it. The Grateful Dead Movie will premiere at three Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area theaters on April 20, but won’t be at any Poconos or Lehigh Valley theaters. I have nothing to say on this, I just know there are a lot of jam band people around here. I am not one of them.