Each year, I ask my colleagues, friends (yes, I actually have some!), and in-the-know Philadelphians for nominations for my Biggest Losers list, showcasing the region’s chumps in one handy place. Below, the inductees for the 2013 list, in no particular order.
NBC executives must be kicking themselves for not airing the live three-hour Sound of Music special during the all-important November ratings book. The ratings are the best Thursday night numbers that NBC has been able to garner since the days of Friends, Seinfeld and ER.
18.5 million homes were tuned to NBC primetime last night. The latest rendition of the 50-year-old Rogers and Hammerstein musical did especially well with young viewers. The live event got a 4.6 rating with those between 18-49, an elusive demographic for the networks. That is the best rating in that age range for NBC since the finale of Frasier in 2004.
Before YouTube, TV news bloopers were passed down through newsroom generations via word of mouth. I was working at NBC 10 for less than a month when I was told the story of a TV reporter, covering the manhunt for murderer Ira Einhorn, who said, “He will be tried in absentia.” The anchor asked, “Where exactly is absentia?” She must have thought it was a little country in Eastern Europe that had splintered off the Soviet Union.
That almost topped the story of the young anchor in Pittsburgh who filled in one night for the main anchor team in Pittsburgh and said, “Good Evening. Bill is on vacation and Jack’s off.” The studio crew lost it. Luckily the anchor didn’t realize what she said.
But now, thanks to You Tube, I can show you Philadelphia’s Top Ten TV news bloopers from the past decade.
I won’t burden myself with pleasantries. Frankly, for reasons we both should be keenly aware of, you and I are past that point. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t do this type of thing, but I really take issue with you, and I feel you’ve left me no other choice.
Two years ago, when I moved out of my apartment, I did what you asked me: I returned my equipment to 1700 N. 49th Street, and despite the routine nature of my business that day, I did not complain about having to wait upward of a half hour to be serviced. Could there have been an express equipment return line to expedite things? Sure, I thought. But the slow pace would assure that everything was accounted for… Or so I believed.
What was that? Somehow, the 65th Annual Emmy Awards, which had the incomparable host Neil Patrick Harris and a night filled with genuine surprises—Tony Hale for Veep—was boring, sad and really, really weird. Some additions were welcome: the inclusion of the Best Choreography category and the giant dance number. Some were heartbreaking: the tributes to TV legends that passed away last year. But then there were the random musical performances, the inconsistent pacing and poor Bob Newhart being used as a random, comedic prop.
Here are some of the other highlights and lowlights from the night. Read more »
Monday night proved to be an exciting one in the land of television, especially here in Philadelphia. The Eagles dominated the Redskins in the 7 p.m. installment of Monday Night Football. Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was being broadcast all around the country, at midnight here in Philadelphia. And Arsenio Hall’s new show debuted.
With almost 30 new scripted shows debuting this fall, it might be overwhelming to know where to even begin. So let me do the work for you. Here are the 10 new shows you should make room for on your DVR. Plus two you may want to skip. (Check your listings for updated schedules.)
What to Watch
The best pilot of the season doesn’t feature a major star, special effects or characters with special powers. Instead, with a tremendous ensemble and a heartfelt script that feels refreshingly new, this story of seven co-workers and a lotto win could be the hit of the fall. With luck, that is. Premieres Tuesday, 9/24 at 10:00 p.m.
When I was a little kid, all the Saturday cartoon characters got together to tell me not to do drugs. They did it in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, a weird one-off special that included Bugs Bunny warning the viewers to avoid smoking crack.
It seemed like an odd message for a 7-year-old — no one was offering me crack or any other drugs in third grade, even in 1990 — but damn if I don’t remember this special very well. I remember it because it was all my favorite cartoons teaming up, but since then I’ve also had an odd fascination with TV public service announcements.
There’s evidence certain PSAs are effective, but (despite their noble intentions) many of them come off as just plain silly. As such, I went to YouTube and found some of the best PSAs set and made in Philadelphia. Enjoy! Read more »
I write this with more than a little trepidation, but there may be hope for The Newsroom.
Aaron Sorkin’s scorched HBO drama about a cable news network launched its second season last night, and it sucked less than did Season 1. Though most of the characters continue to be insufferable, pontificating bores, the plotlines show some promise.
The season opens with ANC star anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) attempting to explain to the network’s $1,500-an-hour litigator, played by guest star Marcia Gay Harden, how he and his team screwed the pooch with their report about American troops using poison gas in Afghanistan. Read more »