- CBS made it official: Bowdlerized versions of "Dexter" will air on the Eye beginning Sunday, Feb. 17. As I wrote back when Les Moonves first suggested the idea, I don't think it's going to be that hard to get the show down to broadcast standards. You'll have to change some of Deb and Masuka's dialogue, but nobody else curses much, nudity wasn't really an issue until Lila came along (for now, CBS only plans to repeat season one), and most of the gore is implied rather than shown. (Dexter turns on the drill, then we cut away and hear a scream.) The "CSI" shows are bloodier. I still think plot is going to be a problem, given the different run times when you have to factor in commercials, but season one had a lot of fat with the Laguerta office politics material.
- The CW revamped its schedule, with repeats of "Gossip Girl" and "Reaper" moving to Mondays and Thursdays, respectively, to get out of the way of "Idol," plus another Pussycat Dolls reality show. How is it that a network that was supposed to take the best of the WB and UPN has turned out to be less interesting -- and less watched -- than either?
- "American Gladiators" opened pretty big -- by strike and/or NBC standards, anyway, with 12 million viewers and the biggest 18-49 audience for a new series premiere on any network this season. From 10-11, it nearly doubled the combined 18-49 ratings for "Cold Case" and the "Cashmere Mafia" premiere. Now, I hated "Cashmere Mafia" and even felt some mild childhood nostalgia while watching part of "Gladiators" -- even though they really need to pare down all the scripted "interviews" between each event, and even though I doubt I'd ever watch it again -- but it's kind of a drag to see such a calculated, lowest common denominator bit of strike replacement programming do so well. The more the networks are able to stay afloat without scripted stuff, the longer the strike is going to drag on.
- James Poniewozik thinks that Conan has had the most interesting late night show since they all returned, and I'm inclined to agree. He's doing everything in his power to do a show that doesn't resemble the one he would be making with the writers, entertainingly wasting time with stuff like spinning his wedding ring or climbing into a studio catwalk. Even the taped pieces aren't the sort of thing he would need writers for, like this bit where he harangues the NBC pages giving tours through his studio. I'm backlogged on Ferguson, and will have to focus a lot on Stewart and Colbert for their first few nights back, but if there's one good thing the strike has accomplished, it's got me watching a lot of late night TV again for the first time since my daughter was born and sleep became a precious commodity not to be squandered at the altar of the Top 10 list.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Brief thoughts on various TV items in the news:
Posted by Alan Sepinwall at 3:41 PM