Tag Archives: tv

Steve Garvey Celebrity Requiem: Cheap Seats Is Dead

The word has come from AST: [Cheap Seats](http://www.cheapseats.tv/) will be [no more after this season](http://www.aspecialthing.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=75864#75864).

Allow me this moment; the show has provided me so many late night laughs, it’s hard to fathom that I’ll have to face next season without it.
In the end, Cheap Seats will have lasted [77 episodes](http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0397769/episodes) – more than I think anyone could’ve expected from a show on at a ridiculously late hour on a channel that doesn’t have wide distribution. You’ve done good, Sklars.

There are five new episodes left. If you’d like to watch the finale, it will air on ESPN Classic at 11:30 PM on – as if a date could be more fitting given my interests – November 20th.

Possible TAR10 Spotting

Today, while in Manhattan, we *may* have seen a team in the current taping of TAR. I am not 100% sure, but comparing it to known information about the currently taping season, it seems to fit.

If you want to see the details – keeping in mind they could be spoilerific – check out [my post to TWOP](http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=2666383&view=findpost&p=5539283).

TARcon 9 (And More!)

TARcon - The Bar

Further Tension

Katie with Mojo

Katie and BJ

Phil Drinks Down!

Getting The Check

I’ve spent eight out of the last twenty-four hours of my life bringing my Amazing Race obsession to a head – first with TARcon 9, the Television Without Pity viewing party, and then with the CBS Early Show (where the checks were handed out).

I’d write more, but I’m really exhausted – so I’ll just point you to the photoset and let you peruse at your leisure. Big thanks to everyone who put TARcon together – it was completely worth the money.

[Photoset: TARcon 9 / The Early Show](http://www.flickr.com/photos/remydwd/sets/72057594138532240/)

Konami Launches DDR Television Show On CBS

[Full press release](http://www.konami.com/gs/newsarticle.php?id=835), boldface is mine:

> Burbank, California – May 9, 2006 – CBS and DIC Entertainment (DIC), in association with Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., today announced the production of a new dance competition series, Dance Revolution, to debut on September 16, 2006 on “**CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party**” branded programming block.

> Dance Revolution (previously titled Dance, Dance, Dance!), a live-action television series inspired by Konami’s hit video game franchise Dance Dance RevolutionĀ® (DDR), will join the new schedule of programming on “CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party,” a three-hour, E/I-compliant branded programming block exclusive to broadcast television. The series will encourage physical activity. Dance Revolution (E/I, TVY 7) complements the programming block’s overall theme of promoting healthy, balanced active lifestyles. **The line-up of previously announced programming to debut on “CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party” includes CAKE, Horseland, Kooky Kitchen, Littlest Pet Shop, Sabrina: The Animated Series, Trollz and Madeline.**

> **In Dance Revolution, ‘tweens’ and teens bring their freshest moves to this sensational new dance competition where teams of dancers display their innovative routines. Hosted by the charismatic Dance Revolution house band, kid-friendly judges determine the winners as the dancers perform their routines to the cool sounds of the band. Dance Revolution will also offer onscreen visuals that constantly encourage viewer participation by demonstrating specific dance moves and steps.**

> “We are thrilled to partner with Konami to create a program that will entertain kids of all ages, and get them motivated, active and off the couch,” comments Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO of DIC Entertainment. “We are focused on using CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party as a vehicle to address the national concern of obesity and inactivity among children by providing motivating and innovative entertainment.” He adds, “We are excited to add this unique series to our schedule **and to the international markets.”**

> “This collaboration gives Konami an excellent opportunity to bring elements of the DDR franchise to television,” states Kazumi Kitaue, Chairman & CEO of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. “We hope to create equal success with the franchise on TV that we have had with the video game and look forward to working with DIC on bringing fun, interactive entertainment to young audiences.”

> DDR is an interactive game that continues to sweep living rooms and arcades across the nation. It is the only game in which players move their body to upbeat tunes while allowing them to exhibit their own innovative flare and original dance moves. DDR combines quick reflex action with pulsating dance music for intense “get-up-and-play” fun. Players are challenged to match their dance steps with the flashing arrows on the screen while keeping up with the high-energy beat of the music.

> The workout component and interactive nature of the game have been highlighted as key elements to DDR’s success. Additionally, the DDR series has benefited from major game/dance tournaments that have been held around the world. The game has successfully crossed over international borders to win a global fan base.

> As part of “CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party’s” balanced active lifestyle theme, the block will feature unique animated and live-action interstitials threaded throughout the morning block to promote healthy eating and balanced, active lifestyles for kids. The messages, which will promote nutritious eating habits, will be created in consultation with Baylor College of Medicine’s Children’s Nutrition Research Center (CNRC), an internationally renowned institute devoted to pediatric nutrition studies.

> DIC will seek initial guidance on all programming to air on “CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party” from children’s experts from the DIC Educational Advisory Board–a group comprised of leading media experts, educators and pediatricians created to provide information, guidance, advice and general expertise to DIC in the development of multimedia programs and projects for children.

Sport On Telly

Over the last few years, there’s been a fair amount of derision of some US television channels for what they choose to define as a “sport program”. Depending on how entertained you are by the programming, your personal limit may be spelling bees, scrabble tournaments, texas hold’em, fishing, or possibly even golf.

That said, England has (at least) three sporting delicacies I’ve taken in during portions of my evenings at the hotel room:
First, **snooker**. Now, pool is no stranger to American television, but it’s generally 8-ball, sometimes 9, and often just trick shots. Snooker, on the other hand, doesn’t get televised much because…well, it’s slightly more dull than 8-ball, and certainly more complicated. Still, interesting to watch, if for no other reason than puzzling out the rules. (Alternately, you could [just read them](http://www.billiardworld.com/snooker.html).)

Next, **cricket**. Oh, the much derided cricket. While the game is possibly torture to those with ADD – test matches last five days, after all – it is actually entertaining. Finally seeing it played and being able to reconcile [the rules](http://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/hosking/cricket/explanation.htm) against what’s happening are a great help. My god, it even actually looks fun.

By now you may be thinking, “He’s just going for the traditional British sports. Rugby will undoubtedly be the third.” And you, my friend, would be wrong. The third sport I’ve been prone to watch is somewhat tied into snooker, in that you’re likely to see it in a pub, but it’s about as far from Rugby as you can get.

If I said I spent a good half an hour last night watching [Premier League Darts](http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/PremierLeague/0,,10180,00.html), would you believe me?

If I told you that I was shocked that there were about 300 rowdy spectators – all cheering and cat-calling at the right times – would you believe me?

If I claimed that the throwers had entrance music and body guards, making the whole thing seem eerily close to professional wrestling, would you believe me?

Okay, here’s a stretch: would you believe that it was actually entertaining? Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.

(To those concerned that we’re spending our lives in the hotel room, trust me, we are not. Check the Flickr pool.)

TARred And Feathered

I have had one general rule for television for as long as I can remember: I don’t “do” reality television. After watching the threshhold of watchable television get violated by the likes of VH1 (*Surreal Life* and all spinoffs thereof), NBC (*Biggest Loser*, *Fear Factor*), Fox (pretty much everything they’ve done), and MTV (*Osbournes*, *Newlyweds*, *Super Sweet 16*, anything involving *Real World* or *Road Rules*), I could only take so much.
And besides: what about these shows are truly ‘reality’, in any sense of the word? Flava Flav having to narrow down 25 catfighting women to one he wants to date isn’t reality. A guy pretending to be a millionaire isn’t reality. Reality TV such as this thrives on heavily edited conflict and personality clashes. It just isn’t my thing.

But like all rules, there eventually comes a conflict. And so when I’m randomly surfing past GSN and I happen on a reality show that doesn’t annoy me, and in fact compels me to keep watching, I’m immediately stuck in a dilemma:

Can a reality show that is largely just a competition, with only a small amount of personality clashes, win me over? Which will win, the side of me that hates reality TV, or the side of me that loves game shows and competition?

The show won. I swallowed my pride and began watching [The Amazing Race](http://www.cbs.com/primetime/amazing_race9/).

And today, one thing became painfully clear: when I get into a show, I go all-out.

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no hiding – I’m [going to TARCon9](http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/index.php?showtopic=3139163). (And so is Katie.)

Anyone else want to go?

A Plague Of The Plague

I can count on one hand the number of shows I follow on a weekly basis: Cheap Seats, Wonder Showzen, Amazing Race, and House M.D. This makes my life considerably easier as there’s only one per night and I’m not forced to endure the same commercials 50 times in one evening.
If you haven’t seen House this week yet and you don’t like being spoiled, you may want to skip the remainder of this post.

Anyhow – I love House, despite its very formulaic structure most weeks (Patient Collapses, Initial Battery Of Tests, Flailing Diagnosis, More Tests, Patient Goes Code, Crazy Idea That Might Work #1, Cameron Empathizes With Patient, Cutty Goes Ape, Revelatory Moment, Semi-Convoluted Explanation, Cure). Tonight, the patient hadn’t slept in 10 days, and it turned out to be – cue the minor chord, boys – the plague! Black death! It was certainly an entertaining episode, in any case.

But then I got slightly unnerved not an hour later as I read that [there’s been a case of the plague reported in LA](http://www.nbc4.tv/health/8801513/detail.html). Now, don’t panic, says a scientician:

>”Bubonic plague is not usually transmissible from person to person,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, head of public health. “Fortunately, human plague infection is rare in urban environments, and this single case should not be a cause for alarm in the area where this occurred.”

But hey, Fox, way to go on the timing. I can only imagine what watching this in LA would be like – where undoubtedly the Fox affiliate screams horrifying news during commercials just like NYC’s Fox 5.

Showtime Picks Up AD, Sort Of

[Via Defamer](http://www.defamer.com/hollywood/arrested-development/still-more-on-the-fate-of-arrested-development-bateman-speaks-162346.php) comes a pointer to [this TWoP post](http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/index.php?s=eb1b6830bdb101f4f6ed6fb6151a57f0&showtopic=3115654&st=5040&p=4783218&#entry4783218) from Glark, which I will quote liberally:

I was coming out of my gym here in Toronto today and downstairs outside the Whole Foods market there’s a guy with his French pug talking dog talk with someone. Super cute dog so I go in for a little owner-authorized pet.

The owner? One Jason Bateman.

I introduced myself and we get talking about the site and the show.

Here are the things I remember (and he gave full blessing to post the info as he loves the site and you guys but he’s too shy and too cute to post on the boards):

– Mitch loves you guys and it was nice to see people getting the show and enjoying the show especially at times when network directives were “make the show 30% dumber”

– Showtime has picked up the show for 2 years at 12 episodes a year (maybe it was 13) with a third year option

– The ball is in Mitch’s court and Jason said Mitch will be making that decision within the next 24-48 hours though I don’t know if that means we’ll know about it at that time or not

I know we’ve been up and down this cancelation road a number of times over the last two years, and I can only hope that this will give us a frozen banana of closure.

(Ten cents gets you nuts.)

Apple Nails The Sweet Spot

Ever since Apple launched the video portion of the iTunes Music Store, there had been conversations like this echoing around the land:

“Hey, wouldn’t it be awesome if The Daily Show or Colbert Report were on iTunes?”

“Well, yeah, but there’s no way I’m paying $1.99 for each episode. I mean, the episodes are funny for that day, and that’s it.”

Well, today, both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report appeared on iTunes – and the pricing is as follows:

One episode is $1.99.

A “multi-pass” of 16 episodes – and the way TDS and TCR run, that’s a month of episodes – is $9.99.

This is as close to perfect pricing as we’re going to see (outside of shouts of “everything for free!” and running around in circles on the floor). If there’s a single episode you missed that you really want to see, it’s the standard $1.99. But if you want to pledge your allegiance to the respective flag, you get a big price break, bringing it down to 62 cents an episode.

A month is a reasonably discrete chunk of time to allow you to enjoy the show yet not feel like you’re buying too much in advance. $9.99 remains cheaper than a movie ticket (at least in NYC), and you’re getting about six and a half hours of video enjoyment, commercial free, delivered nightly. (At this point it’s unknown how quick the turnaround will be between broadcast and download, but we can hope they’d be available for the morning commute.)

At this point I can’t see any quarrel with how they’re doing this, and I hope in the future there are mutli-pass options for more shows. Cheers to the iTunes Store team.