It is already October 15th! How did that happen? I guess you could say that the Earth rotated around the sun a specific number of times and that days winnowed into nights which bled into days and so on and so on in the circle game. I think that's it. So, how have we been spending these ever-marching autumn hours? Watching TV, of course! Lots and lots of TV. Some has been good (Mad Men, The Daily Show), some has been bad (90210), and some has just been puzzling (Two and a Half Men?). So as we approach the ever-important November Sweeps Week—when networks set their ad rates based on inflated, extraordinary episodes that don't actually reflect typical week-in, week-out quality—let's take a second to give a quarter term report card. How has television been faring, you know, quality-wise (because we already know that ratings are in the toilet)? We'll analyze after the jump.
Hospitalizations: Queer as Folk lead Gale Harold, who was added to Desperate Housewives this season as Teri Hatcher's new love interest, is in critical condition following a motorcycle accident yesterday. The actor fractured his shoulder and has swelling on the brain, but Housewives creator Mark Cherry said he is hopeful for a full recovery. [HuffPo]
Click to viewBoomp3.com Before proceeding down the red carpet at a charity event, Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria Parker checked in with her closest associates for a bit of last minute advice. While the advice was inaudible to the normal human ear, a body language expert felt that the close associate weren’t dispensing any form of advice, but a quick boost of confidence. The expert said, “The left one said something about being really awesome while the right spoke about how they’re really workin’ it tonight.” [Photo Credit: Splash Pics] *A Call To The Bullpen is a work of fiction. Although the pictures we use are most certainly real, Defamer does not purport that any of the incidents or quotations you see in this piece actually happened. Lighten up, people ... it's a joke.
♦ Not surprisingly, ratings for SNL this past weekend exceeded expectations. Some 10 million people tuned in for Tina Fey's Sarah Palin skit. [WSJ, THR]
♦ Michelle Obama will appear on Jon Stewart on Wednesday. [HuffPo]
♦ Beverly Hills Chihuahua took the top spot at the weekend box office with $29 million. [Mojo]
♦ Joe Hagan takes a long look at the Times-owning Sulzbergers in this week's issue of New York. [NYM]
♦ AdAge has released its list of the 10 best magazines. [AdAge]
♦ Campbell Brown is working out nicely for CNN: Ratings are substantially higher than they were for Paula Zahn and she's beating Keith Olbermann most nights, too. [NYT]
♦ Ratings for Desperate Housewives continue to decline. [TVDecoder]
♦ HBO's Entourage has been renewed for a sixth season. [THR]
Click to viewBoomp3.com Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan appeared to be very desperate to hear some feedback on her brand new boots. Sheridan said, “I picked up them when after things went south with Michael. Again. Now, I’m not so sure if they're right way to announce to the world that I'm back on the market.” The results of Sheridan’s informal survey showed that a majority of those asked were not fans of the boots, but with the caveat that they looked like they'd be really comfortable. [Photo Credit: Flynet] *A Call To The Bullpen is a work of fiction. Although the pictures we use are most certainly real, Defamer does not purport that any of the incidents or quotations you see in this piece actually happened. Lighten up, people ... it's a joke.
After filming a scene for the upcoming season of Desperate Housewives, Eva Longoria Parker took out a stack of bills and began to count out loud at a very high volume. One crewmember asked if Longoria Parker was going to practice her stealth tipping skills, but the popular actress said that her husband is the undercover tipper in their relationship. Another crewmember thought that Longoria Parker might be headed to the Spearmint Rhino to make it rain. Longoria shook her head and said, "Wrong. All wrong. It's my snack money for when I see Pineapple Express at the Americana tonight, dudes. Skittles and James Franco, crazy delicious!"
The salad may provide me with enough energy to last rest of today's filming. But, my Blackberry is my Blackberry and I can talk to my husband. The salad is healthy and may be delicious; I think it's a chicken salad of some kind. But, I can talk to all of my friends and see what they're up to. I could find out if Ryan Seacrest really sleeps with his Blackberry under his pillow. I mean, I could do both, but my one handed typing skills are not as strong as I'd like them to be. Tony is good at it, though. Maybe he can teach me. I should message him about that. I think I'm going to do both because they take away my Blackberry as soon as I get within 5 feet of the set.
When Bertolt Brecht said, "Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it," well, he was just being an egomaniacal auteur. But it's quite possible that he was right — if you're willing to classify network television as art, that is. Consider the case of two recent seemingly unthinkable societal shifts — Barack Obama's presidential nomination and the recent decision to legalize gay marriage in California starting today. Both were the plots of popular television shows before they actually happened. Could the paranoid social conservatives be right? Does what people see on TV actually change their opinions? Do Kiefer Sutherland's powers of persuasion extend beyond Defamer? Consider the evidence after the jump.
The flash forward is an intriguing way give impetus to a show which has lost viewers in its fourth outing, and provide something of a trailer for its return in the autumn. But the writers will have a hard time maintaining suspense when Desperate Housewives comes back on the air.
Jesse Metcalfe was dumped from ABC lady soap Desperate Housewives (where he played a sexy boy toy gardener), starred in a PSA about Choices called John Tucker Must Die, went to rehab, and has now, according to new photos, reemerged, grizzled and with one large pectoral muscle. Not exactly sure what he's trying to tell us with this latest look other than that he's now "tough" (note the presence of chest hair!) and evidently smokes. (Oh and he's in a new action movie costarring Chace Crawford! Badass!) The photo at right is part of a group that was uploaded, sadly, to his MySpace page. Thanks, but no thanks Jesse. Click through for larger image, and for an awful trailer for his sooo cooooool movie Loaded. [Picture on right via ohlala mag]
A story in Sunday's LAT did the unthinkable by finally pointing out the big Botoxed elephant in the room: no matter how painfully obvious it is to viewers, many stars who get nipped and tucked insist on denying it. But as the Times argues, just how many episodes of this season's Dancing With The Stars or Desperate Housewives can we sit through before drawing our own conclusions? Have you seen Priscilla Presley lately? And if celebrities are going so far as to undergo actual "head transplants," when will they finally start fessing up? We took a look at a few of the stars in question, such as Teri Hatcher and Carrie Fisher, to innocently throw some visual evidence into the mix.
Teri Hatcher has admitted that her performance on last night's Idol Gives Back was "nerve-wracking," and we couldn't agree more. Watching the bat-faced Housewife dry hump the mic stand and hearing her attempt to carry a damaged woman tune about men and how they love to cheat was a very painful experience. Though her DH co-star James Denton is eager to remind us that Hatcher once performed in Cabaret, we're eager to remind him that the likes of Ashley Parker Angel and Joey Fatone have too. As Teri proved last night, Broadway experience does not a talented singer make.
Every TV nut (well, isn't that all of us here?) has, at one point or another, spent a little time fantasizing about certain fictional characters on their favorite shows. These fantasies tend to be either soft-focus daydreams (say, dreaming up elaborate schemes in which they "bump" into you at a party) or something a bit more hard-core (picturing them while giving your significant other the old in-out). On that note, the clever list-makers over at EW decided to compile a Top 30 reader's choice collection of the small-screen boys and girls who most frequently make cameos in those illicit fantasies. But, with no offense to the site's readers, we have some serious vetoes to charge. After the jump, our picks for who falls under Strongly Agree (the predictable Jim Halpert) and those we brand as a Vehemently Disagree (four words: Bree. Van. De. Camp), as well as the most erroneous, mind-boggling oversight missing from the group:
The Sultan of Sleaze David Hans Schmidt may be dead, but his less-than-gentlemanly legacy lives on: Like a sulphur bubble belched to the surface of the swampiest reaches of the internets, nude photos of Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross, taken by her husband and discovered in the trash by garbage men outside the couple's home, have materialized online.
Thanks to Defamer commenter el smrtmnky for pointing out that the Michael Jackson Halloween mask we linked to this morning bears an uncanny resemblance to Teri Hatcher. It's a fortunate bit of happenstance for the manufacturer, who can now double their profits by re-releasing the item as part of their Stars of Desperate Housewives Do Their Own Makeup collection, which could also include the slightly pricier Nicollette Sheridan/Gollum model.
Guessing incorrectly that Filipino Desperate Housewives fans would find a tossed-off reference about the inadequacy of medical education in the Philippines* uproarious good fun, ABC was forced to apologize for its insensitivity in airing the joke after outraged viewers lit up the network's switchboards and an online petition (internet activism really does work, even if it failed to free Paris Hilton from her unjust imprisonment) drew the e-signatures of 30,000 individuals better informed about the quality of the nation's health care system. The offending dialogue and commentary from the man who started the petition follow:
· In the latest development in the increasingly hard-to-follow story of Valkyrie's Tom Cruise and Bryan Singer's attempts to obtain shooting permits for German government sites in Berlin, the production has been denied permission to film in the historic Benderblock building, where the revered Nazi-hunter to be portrayed by the actor was executed. But not because Cruise is a Scientologist! Government officials understandably just want to preserve the dignity of their memorial, realizing that everything Hollywood touches is instantly desecrated. [Variety]
· Actors who may or may not be joining the cast of Desperate Housewives: Dana Delany, Nathan Fillion, and Lyndsy Fonseca. Fun fact: Delaney was the first choice for the role eventually given to Marcia Cross. [THR]
· Transformers gets a "six-day weekend" to squeeze as much money as possible out of the Fourth of July holiday. [Variety]
· Sad news: We may be falling slowly out of love with the most promising show of the summer, NBC's Kittens Vs. Cougars: The Battle To Bone Onetime Tennis Star Marc Philippoussis, which felt a little desperate and saggy after last night's low-rated, back-to-back installments. (And what happened to companion show Boner Vs. Science?) [THR]
· Spike Lee angry. [Variety]
A Defamer operative who shall remain nameless so that he won't suffer the public humiliation of admitting that he was perusing the official ABC website for Desperate Housewives (which, much to our bafflement, continues to exist on the schedule despite its removal from our DVR season pass list three episodes into the second season—doesn't hitting the delete button send an immediate cancellation notice to Steve McPherson?) pointed us to this curiously blank "About" page, which seems to indicate that someone expects multiple Emmys are coming in mid-September. We suppose it's possible that the space is intended to recognize the show's former winners, but we prefer to think that its producers are boldly servicing notice to the hyberverbal bitches of Grey's Anatomy, who've been hogging the network spotlight for far too long.