Tuesday January 14, 2014

Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander and Larry David were all at Tom's Restaurant in New York yesterday.  Tom's is the UWS diner that was shown on Seinfeld and became the famous outside of Monk's.  Looks like Alexander will be appearing on an episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.  Fantastic.

There appear to be a number of changes in store for this upcoming 13th season of American Idol, which premieres tomorrow night.  I gave up on this show about a season and a half ago, and I'm not likely to return, but I do applaud the producers for trying to right the ship.  Amongst the changes:

"A new round has been added that will represent a two-day workshop between the contenders and Jackson. Other new rounds announced on Monday include, 'Hollywood or Home' week in which contestants who believe their audition was good enough to get them to Hollywood will be considered one more time. Some will have to perform again, others will just be sent home.

"'Rush Week,' a three-night event in which the Top 15 men and women perform live for the first time for America’s vote, which will reduce the contestants down to the Top 13 finalists.

"'The Chamber,' which captures the moments before contenders walk into their auditions. The show has also expanded the pre-cleared song list, and revamped theme weeks to be more reflective of how a song speaks to the performer."

More Andy Samberg (who's catching a lot of unwarranted negative press for winning a Golden Globe) is always a good thing as far as I'm concerned.  Per Deadline, "Fox this morning announced it had sealed a multi-year deal with The Lonely Island, forming a new alternative comedy development venture. Akiva Schaffer, Samberg and Jorma Taccona will develop an 'alternative pipeline of next-generation comedy series' for the network. Through the new company, The Lonely Island will oversee the development of comedy projects that will be incubated through digital platforms, such as Hulu and Roku, with the ultimate goal of becoming full series on Fox, FX, FXX or other networks."

I no longer watch, but HBO's The Newsroom will hang it up after season 3.

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Seth McFarlane finally broke his silence about why he killed off Brian from Family Guy.  

“'It surprised all of us,' the writer-producer-actor told a huddle of reporters after his Television Critics Association press tour panel Monday for his upcoming Fox astronomy documentary Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. 'We were all very surprised, in a good way, that people still cared enough about that character to be that angry. We thought it would create a little bit of a stir, but the rage wasn’t something we counted on.'

"MacFarlane also said he thinks the stunt helped the show’s ratings and revealed his reason behind the move: 'It did what it was designed to do — it reminded people this is still a show where anything that can happen despite the fact it’s been on for awhile.'

"That said, fans can rest assured that Brian isn’t going to perish again. 'Would I do it again? No. We already did it.'”

Here's an interview with Girls' Jemim Kirke on her character Jessa, Jessa's stint in rehab and whether or not she's a sociopath.  Who knew she read all of the comments about the show when perusing stories about it?  Seems somewhat maniacal.

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I missed this late last week, but Deadline reports that "Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Q-Tip is partnering withWolf Of Wall Street co-stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, to develop a scripted TV series loosely based on the rapper’s experience during the Native Tongue era. There is no writer yet for the drama project, which will be produced through DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way and is expected to be taken out to networks next week. Q-Tip, who has been friends with DiCaprio for a long time, is a founding member of the acclaimed hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, which he started in 1985 with his high school friends Phife Dawg, Ali ShaheedMuhammad and Jarobi White. The drama project will draw from Q-Tip’s experiences with the group and with The Native Tongues collective that A Tribe Called Quest was a member of, which brought together late 1980s and early 1990s hip-hop artists known for their positive-minded, Afrocentric lyrics. The show will reflect on the stories of their friendship and how their music played a part in culture then and influenced the music of today."

Per Real ScreenReelzchannel is getting ready to launch a new reality series called Polka Kings this fall, introducing audiences to the quirky world of polka music.  WHY??

"Polka Kings follows the misadventures of the Chardon Polka Band, a five-member troupe from Cleveland, Ohio, and their pursuit of mainstream status. But to achieve their dream of headlining Germany’s Oktoberfest, the group - popular for polka covers of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga songs - must overcome disapproving family members, precarious finances and inter-band relationships."

Discovery Networks and Scripps Networks will NOT join forces.  That's good news, FYI.

I checked out the premiere of Don't Trust Andrew Mayne on A&E last night.  Interesting show.  Mayne is borderline likable so far.  He's definitely a character, but something about this show doesn't work for me.  Perhaps it's the fact that he plays these small pranks/tricks on people and then runs away so we don't really get to see the resolution.  Or maybe it's just his personality.  Either way, I'm not recommending it, but if you did watch, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I also caught the premiere of Duck Quacks Don't Echo on NatGeo last night (yes, there are 28 hours in my day).  Not a fan.  Here's how the network describes the show:

"Duck Quacks Don’t Echo is a one-hour program where our three hosts- Tom Papa, Michael Ian Black and Seth Herzog- present weird, unusual and incredible facts – and then get to test the validity of their ‘facts’ though in-studio or pre-produced experiments.  Simply put, Duck Quacks Don’t Echo presents over-the-top hypothesis and then goes about proving them.  It is all presented in a funny, breezy way.  Like three good friends meeting up once a week to test each other’s knowledge of obscure and wonderful data, Duck Quacks Don’t Echo is a celebration of science."

It's not very funny and it's a really odd format with the three of them sitting on what looks like a panel with Papa mediating and then somehow Black and Herzog are competing against one another only to turn to the audience to declare a winner.  Huh?  Black needs to reconvene with Tom Cavanagh for additional episodes of Mike and Tom Eat Snacks.  I will give Black credit.  He was terrific on Howard Stern this morning.

How is How I Met Your Mother so bad?  Last night's stupid slap episode was the worst I've seen in some time, so much so that I'm going on record to say that Two Broke Girls is funnier.  Here's a recap of last night's HIMYM.  How or why there is a "What I Liked" section of this review is baffling.

Speaking of unwatchable, this season of The Bachelor is proving to be just that.  Juan Pablo is soft, annoying and not very interesting.  More on this crap in the weeks ahead.

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Per EW, "Bravo is holding up the magnifying glass to OKCupid, Tinder, and the rest of the usual suspects in the wild modern world of digital romance.

"This March the network will launch Online Dating Rituals of the American Male, a new docu-series which will explore the world of cyber courtships from the male perspective. The program aims to pull back the curtain on the culture of online dating by following Internet romances from the earliest stages of browsing and communicating to the anxiety-inducing dates with potential matches (who may or may not actually look like their profile photos). Each week, the show follows two men from across the spectrum as they explore the various stages and scenarios involved with finding true romance (or just a fling) online.

"The docu-series will premiere on Bravo on Sunday, March 9 at 10 PM before it moves to its regular time slot on Thursdays at 10 PM with the premiere of the second episode on March 13."