Thursday, August 16, 2007

Funny Conchords ready for take-off

Today's column is my ode to "Flight of the Conchords," including stuff from my interview with Bret, Jemaine and producer James Bobin:
People who work in television don't have much time to actually watch television, but they like to keep informed. So whenever I'm out in LA on business, actors, writers and directors will inevitably ask me, "So, what's good this year?," then smile and nod thoughtfully when I namecheck my newest favorites.

When I was in LA last month, though, there was a wrinkle to this phenomenon. I'd finish rattling off the names of a few shows, and then they would say, in a hushed, almost reverent tone, "You know what show I really like? 'Flight of the Conchords.'"

So many Hollywood types professed their love for the HBO series -- a comedy about two New Zealanders in a bottom-of-the-barrel folk band on the fringes of the New York music scene -- that I was barely even fazed when ESPN's Scott Van Pelt began dropping "Conchords" lyrics into "SportsCenter" highlights. (Over a clip of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen being ejected from a game, Van Pelt quoted, "Be more constructive with your feedback, please," from the Conchords' rap song "Rhymenoceros vs. Hiphopopotamus.")

But if the show biz elite are already pledging their allegiance to the exceedingly polite and silly band, the rest of the country hasn't been so quick. The ratings have been small (the show is averaging only a million viewers per each Sunday airing, down from the 3 million or so watching "Entourage" a half-hour earlier), which is one of only two reasons HBO could have for not automatically renewing the funniest show of the summer and one of the funniest new TV comedies, period, of the last few years.
To read the full thing, click here.

11 comments:

Alyssa said...

So when do you think we'll hear about a possible renewal? If Conchords doesn't return for season 2 I'm thinking of bagging out on HBO after The Wire's last season airs.

Abbie said...

I will be disappointed if this is its only season. But it's been a good run if it is, I guess.

Rickey Henderson said...

It is such a brilliant and sublimely funny show--HBO would be completely insane not to renew it.

Jim said...

FOTC needs to come back. HBO is hurting for comedies -- Entourage is horrible this year, Curb is entering its last season, and Extras is finishing up with a special. I think 12 Miles of Bad Road is an hour-long comedy, and there's a Little Britain adaptation in the works, but I need Bret and Jemaine in my life.

I feel like a lot of young people are watching Conchords online, and I'm not even sure HBO minds because it might entice them to subscribe later. It feels like the buzz is building. One friend told me it's the best stoner show since Aqua Teen Hunger Force, so HBO has that demographic covered, for what it's worth.

Jon Delfin said...

I wish some credit would be given to some unsung folks who are massively responsible for the success of FotC: the casting office. This show is filmed in NYC, using perfectly chosen offbeat actors. Kudos.

Maura said...

I've only seen bits and pieces of FoTC, on-line, in fact. I'm tempted to get HBO again. I'm often unimpressed with what's been passing for funny over the last decade. (Damn kids today!). Curb Your Enthusiasm is so painful I can't always get through an episode, although I readily admit it's hilarious. The English version of Coupling bored me (Women want to buy shoes, get their nails done and talk about their feelings, and men want to drink beer and play video games. That's really groundbreaking.) And I've always detested South Park. But Conchords really is brilliant. Even if you're not stoned.

dez said...

Alan, you must use whatever clout you have with HBO to get this show renewed. Become their blurbwhore or something--it's for a good cause! :-D

Great interview, too.

Andrew said...

Entourage is 3x as popular as Flight of the Conchords? Really?

Anonymous said...

Entourage is still on the air?

Sean said...

Alan (or anyone), is there a resource to find ratings? I always wonder what kind of ratings shows are getting but there doesn't seem to be a site that I can go to easily find it out.

Michelle said...

Apparently FOTC has been renewed for a second season! And I think the ratings are at about 1 million per week.