Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Hi all who may actually be reading The Televisionista. I just wanted to let you know that I've consolidated The Televisionista and my other blog, Mad Street Cred. All future posts can be found at:


Thank you - and don't forget to go check it out!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why de-gay Grey's?

ABC executives fired Brooke Smith, the actress who played Erica Hahn on Grey's Anatomy, in a shocking twist this week. They told her that her last episode will be the one playing this Thursday.

I liked the Callie/Erica storyline. But apparently ABC execs didn't. According to an article on After Ellen, E! Online's Kristen said: "I'm told by those who work on the ABC series that the gay-themed storylines and gay characters are being downplayed and even erased from upcoming scripts." The ABC execs "had issues" with the "explicit direction" the storyline was taking.

The storyline naturally changing is one thing - sometimes shows like to mix it up and have characters come and go. We get that. But that's not what's going on here, at all. This elimination is clearly part of an ABC strategy to get out the gay. It's really disappointing (and angering) to me when networks eliminate from prime time storylines that challenge the status quo.

Read more at After Ellen: "Grey's Anatomy Fires Brooke Smith, De-Gays Melissa George's Character," at Entertainment Weekly: "Grey's Anatomy Discharges Dr. Hahn" or at Dorothy Surrender: "November isn't for lesbians."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

30 Rock is back!

I'm so excited that 30 Rock is finally back on, starting tonight!

There's some concern in the blogosphere that this show may follow in Arrested Development's footsteps - lots of Emmys, very few viewers - and get axed by NBC.

I can't bear to have this happen - 30 Rock is one of the best shows on TV. I'm hoping that Tina Fey's recent performances on SNL as Sarah Palin will help ramp up viewers. Tell all your friends to tune in.

Nielsen: How would you measure up? - UPDATE

It's been pointed out to me that I forgot to include The Daily Show and The Colbert Report in my last post. I actually watch those two every night, so I forgot to put them on my list because I never DVR them. Another show I forgot is South Park, which would fall into the Live Viewing category.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nielsen: How would you measure up?

Just to expand a bit on my latest post, today I read this article on Media Post's TV Watch: "First week: Viewers don't sink their teeth in." In the article, Wayne Friedman talks about the decreased ratings for premieres this year compared to last year. He includes some insight about DVRs. As I've said before, Nielsen finally got smart and started factoring in DVR viewings to the ratings.

Nielsen uses three measures - live viewing, DVR playback within three days (L3), and DVR playback within seven days (L7). So that got me thinking - what would Nielsen discover about me, were I one of the chosen few to be included in their ratings? And what about you? What are your live shows, your L3 shows, and your L7 shows? And are you like me, with shows you're all backed up on? Those wouldn't make it in at all.

So here are mine, generally...

Live viewing:
- The Office
- 30 Rock
- How I Met Your Mother
- Heroes
- Bones
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

- Grey's Anatomy

- House
- Pushing Daisies
- One Tree Hill

And unless I forgot something, I guess everything else falls off due to viewing after more than a week. At least so far. (But I need to get back into some of my old shows and also a couple new shows... that might change some things.) So what about you?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Strike fallout?

I've been saying from the start that the writers' strike would impact TV ratings this year. So far, my predictions are coming true.

According to Advertising Age today, in its article "Save the Serial Dramas, Save TV Ratings?", TV viewers turned to reality tv during the strike last year, and are reluctant to jump back in to serial dramas.

Shows like NBC's Chuck and Life have decreased viewership, while sitcoms and shows like CSI: Miami (blech) don't, and the theory is that it's due to the serials being difficult to come in to if you've missed a week, if you failed to see the premiere last season, or if you blatantly don't remember what happened before the strike because it was so long ago.

However, there are shows bucking the trend, including CW's Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill, both serials with increased viewership. But I have theories for that as well.

First of all, the CW's marketing of Gossip Girl was GENIUS. The OMFG ad was brilliant in itself to capture the teeny bopper crowd. But the campaign that used negative quotes from the Parents' Television Council and others is really the ace in the hole here. It even made my sister, a Gossip Girl hater, want to watch the show. The ads are shown here as well.

For One Tree Hill, I think the CW did a great job turning its storylines around from last season and making the show interesting again. It also helps that its lead-in program is Gossip Girl. What more could you want?

Regardless, I don't blame TV viewers for not wanting to get back into some of their old shows. I myself am having a difficult time getting involved in as many hour-long dramas as I used to watch, and for me it's absolutely about the writers' strike. As I've said before, I've gotten used to doing other things while I watch TV, or not tuning in at all, since all that was on in the second half of last season was reality tv. I'm trying hard to get back into the groove.

What say you Televisionistas -- are you having trouble like I am and like the Nielsen ratings show? Or are Nielsen ratings, this Wall St. Journal article, and my opinion just bogus? (Well, we know Nielsen ratings are.) Sound off!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I Heart Michael Cera

Read this cute post on BestWeekEver.com - it's a recipe for "Michael Cera's Infinite Arrested Development." Love it. And him.

Letterman Lambasting

As Anthony said, DON'T piss Letterman off. Especially if you're running for president:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Grey's and The Office premiere tonight!

That's really all I wanted to say. I can't wait for the premieres of Grey's Anatomy and The Office tonight. My sister and I are having an Office premiere party. I can't wait!! My thoughts on the eps to come once they air...

PS, congrats to 30 Rock for winning so many Emmys. The October 30 premiere can't come fast enough.

Also, How I Met Your Mother and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are back on!! This week's episodes of both shows were fantastic. If you haven't started watching It's Always Sunny yet, get with the program and tune in. And How I Met Your Mother's Barney-Robin romance is totally legen... wait for it...

24 torture tactics?

Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled at the idea of 24 returning, even for just a 2-hour special. But it's such a tease. After the series being postponed because of the writer's strike last season and not airing at all, and now this 2-hour tease ("24: Redemption," set to air Sunday November 23), I really just want to see the actual series as it's meant to be seen.

Programming-wise, it's a good idea to get everyone remembering this show again. But is it really the show, if it's a self-contained 2-hour special? They claim that this sets the stage for what happens in Season 7. But part of what's so great about the show is the hour-to-hour urgency as you race through 24 episodes of craziness. The serial nature of the show is why we love it. Why tease me with 2 hours 2 months before the show actually starts?

Jack Bauer, you are breaking my heart. "There's no time!!!!"

Click to watch the trailer for 24: Redemption.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Another Daily Show clip showcasing the amazing "gotcha" abilities of Jon Stewart. If you haven't seen this crazy political doubletalk regarding Sarah Palin, it's absolutely worth your while. Especially the O'Reilly segment. Ha:

Another reason to love Tina Fey

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dr. (Not-At-All) Horrible

If you live in a cave and haven't been introduced to the wonders of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, please please watch it immediately, either here in my blog or at hulu.com.

Dr. Horrible is a 44-minute music-filled romp starring Neil Patrick Harris (go NPH!) as the title character. It's not a tv show, it's purely online in a series of three 15-minute webisodes (but it's hard to resist watching all three at once). It's hilarious, heart-warming, and actually features some great songs, written just for the show. The soundtrack has finally been released on iTunes, and I heard rumors that they may make some more episodes of the show. (Please PLEASE make some more episodes!)

Check it out for yourself:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's Always Always Sunny

I finally started watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and I just want to say thank you FX for bringing me something so wonderful to watch. Seriously I'm not kidding, this show is fantastic. Brett tried to get me to watch this, as did a few others, and I never got around to it. I'm sorry I didn't, because I've been missing out big time for 3 hilarious seasons.

I'm so happy Hulu is around so I could watch all three seasons this weekend. I also went online and ordered seasons 1 and 2 on dvd so I can force other people to watch this show. (For the record, I think season 3 might be the best one. Just not out yet on DVD.)

Why is it so fantastic? It's my type of humor, first of all. It makes me laugh out loud. Also, the characters are so likeable -- you feel like you know these guys. And the situations they're in are also just outright funny. Some call it Seinfeld on crack (literally, in two episodes.) For me, it's like How I Met Your Mother on cable. Drunker, dirtier and less PC, with many more cigarettes and weapons.

So what's it all about? Five people who own an Irish pub. There's Dennis and Sweet Dee (brother and sister), Frank (their non-biological dad), Mac (sarcastic; likes to wear ironic t-shirts and cut off his sleeves) and Charlie (illiterate, lovable, and full of hare-brained schemes). The show's not really about anything beyond that.

One of the show's taglines is: "Something awkward this way comes." Need I say more?

Seriously, start watching this show. FX, please don't cancel it any time soon. I'm just getting started. And hey, networks, pick this "dumpster baby" up.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

I'm so glad this show is back on.

This number is amazing. It's about a girl and a guy who just found out that he has to go to war. Sheer genius.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Strike out

I'll keep this brief. If an actors' strike messes up my fall tv season, I'm going to be really really angry. Beyond angry. I might start a strike of my own. Against TV and all its overpaid blowhards. Sorry, was that too harsh?

Read about TV's imminent destruction: "TV Watch: Another TV Strike Could Mean Another Marketing Problem For TV Executives"

Friday, May 23, 2008

I rocked the vote...

All I really have to say about American Idol is:
a) I seriously thought David Cook threw the competition Tuesday night, and even though he won (yay!), I'm still not convinced that he didn't
b) I'm relieved that he won, and I'll totally buy his CD if I remember who he is by the time it comes out (which I won't...)
c) (... unless we get married and have babies)
d) David Cook obviously won because of my 10 votes (yeah, I actually voted -- I started getting nervous Tuesday when he sucked out and Simon slammed him)
e) Everything else I have to say can be summed up in this article from EW: "David Cook Goes the Distance"
f) That article also made me want to get back to my snarky tv recap style... so Televisionista readers, you can thank EW for reminding me why I blog about TV in the first place

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Grey's: no longer gray

I gave up on Grey's Anatomy back in December, but I figured I'd be back, so I saved all the episodes my DVR recorded between then and now. On Sunday, I sat down and watched them all -- and I'm so glad I did. Grey's. Is. Back.

I don't know why I was frustrated with it before. Maybe it was all the blood during sweeps in the fall. I didn't sign up to watch gross ER-like scenes. (Seth Green, I love ya, but the exploding artery storyline was dis-gusting.) But I honestly think the Grey's writers had gone a bit astray.

Why? Logically, it makes sense to blame Private Practice, Shonda Rimes' Grey's spinoff, for distracting Shonda from her moneymaker. Note that the eps are getting good again now that Private Practice is off the air. You could also blame the Isaiah Washington scandal for distracting the whole Grey's staff and screwing with the chemistry on the show. Or maybe Shonda lost sight of what Grey's viewers really want to see (Strong Cristina, Izzy the Fighter, Lovelorn/Psychotic Meredith, Humanized Bailey, Sensitive but Also Asshole-ish Derek, Unmarried George, and a lot less of the minor/new characters).

Regardless, we're finally back. There's less blood, a little humor, a lot more heart, and I heard that Derek and Meredith are getting together for real at the end of the season. Maybe this is one show that was helped and not hurt by the writers' strike. Seriously.

Monday, May 5, 2008

What are YOU watching?

I'll admit it - the writer's strike was a major TV strike-out for me. I don't know about you, blog readers, but I haven't been watching many of my favorite shows lately, thanks to the strike-induced hiatus.

You may ask how a TV addict could possibly dis her favorite medium like this. I wasn't sure when my shows were coming back, for one thing. I was sick of waiting, sick of checking listings, sick of the hype. More than that, I'd gotten out of the habit of tuning in every week. I started filling my time with actual social interaction (what?!), tv on dvd, documentaries, HBO on-demand movies, and the dreaded cable television (thanks, South Park, for getting me through). And then there's that thing called Hulu.

Now that the shows are back on TV, I find either I don't care very much about a lot of them (Boston Legal, Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives) or I missed the start of the season thanks to staggered start-dates and it's too late to start now (Beauty and the Geek, Top Model, Hell's Kitchen).

Are you having the same problem, blog readers? I don't think I'm alone, based on today's TV Watch from Media Post. Read it here: "Where are the Viewers?"

In this dismal strike season, which network shows have you stuck with? Here are my fabulous few:
- American Idol
- 30 Rock
- How I Met Your Mother
- The Office
- Til Death
- Back to You

Incidentally, I can't help but notice that the shows that have stayed on my roster require little to no attention span, either because they're mindless (Idol) or they're 22 mins long. Interestingly, the ones that have fell off include Grey's, Lost, Desperate Housewives, House, Bones... all hour-long dramas. Shows I've picked up on the way include South Park, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader (I know, I know), Saturday Night Live, etc. I don't know what's going on with me.

Regardless, is this an epidemic? Is this season just ruined for network dramas? I'm sure I'll come back to them next season. Is it just me?