So with no column in the paper today or tomorrow, and no "Lost" tomorrow night, I figured I'd browse TV Tattle and provide some belated thoughts on items in the news or on my desk. Bullet points to follow after the jump:
- Most optimistically-titled DVD set to arrive in the mail in months: "Bionic Woman: Volume One," as if there's even the slimmest chance of there being a "Volume Two." On the plus side, I just got my review copy of "Friday Night Lights: The Second Season," which is out on April 22.
- We should know the fate of "FNL" itself well before the DVDs come out, as NBC is holding its upfront more than a month early than usual, a week from today. Given how the strike messed up development season, my guess is they're mainly going to be pushing pre-existing series (get ready for a "Knight Rider" pick-up!), and that they'll take the Fox route of presenting five different schedules for different parts of the year, all of which will be torn up within a few months (if not by the time the other networks do their upfronts in mid-May).
- Carolyn Strauss is out as HBO entertainment president as the channel tries to define itself post-"Sopranos" and "Sex and the City." I like Carolyn and like some of the channel's recent output (you know I've been obsessed with "In Treatment," and she was always one of David Simon's biggest champions), but I also understand the desire for change after so long. I do wonder whether HBO brass are kidding themselves about replicating the success of the turn of the millennium. "Sopranos" and "Sex" were both lightning in a bottle shows -- highbrow enough to draw in the "Oh, I don't watch television" crowd, but with subject matter lowbrow enough to draw a mass audience as well -- and that's going to be hard to pull off again.
- The first post-Strauss change came quick, as HBO dumped Linda Bloodworth Thomason's "12 Miles of Bad Road." Thomason and husband Harry quickly mobilized to send copies of the show around to TV critics in hopes of drumming up support for another network to pick it up. (I got my DVDs last week but haven't had a chance to watch yet; admittedly, I've never been a huge Thomason fan, even with "Designing Women.") This isn't the first time someone's tried this tactic; when TNT realized it made better financial sense to turn "Breaking News" into a tax write-off than to promote and air it, its producer started slipping copies to critics, and eventually Bravo picked it up and aired the completed season (though no new episodes were made.)
- Rob Thomas is living a charmed life; in addition to the previously-discussed "Cupid" and "90210" remakes, he has a third pilot in the works, a remake of the New Zealand dramedy "Outrageous Fortune," for ABC. Watch: somehow, none of the three will get picked up.
- Continuing last week's Paley Festival discussion, Futon Critic recaps of the panels for "Friday Night Lights," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Gossip Girl," "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Damages."
- As if Hulu wasn't a bad enough procrastination tool, Trey and Matt have now put every "South Park" episode ever made (including last week's extremely disturbing Britney episode) online at SouthParkStudios.com. Better bad day pick-me-up: Gob Bluth doing the chicken dance, or a Mr. Hanky song?
- Fox canceled "Jezebel James" after three episodes, moved "Canterbury's Law" to Fridays after two episodes and renewed "Prison Break." I know Fox had been talking about a women's prison-based spin-off for "Prison Break," but as the original show is now going to need a storyline for season four, why not combine the two and have Michael get in drag for a while? My wife is convinced that if you slapped a wig on Wentworth Miller, he'd be a dead ringer for Jennifer Aniston. (Or vice versa, if you shaved her head.)
Feel free to opine on any other TV-related happenings not discussed her. Anything's fair game, except for Kristy Lee Cook or the works of Lee Greenwood.