Monday, August 25, 2008

All singing, all dancing, all judging

Couple of announcements this morning related to the top two reality competition shows on TV:

• Fox is adding a fourth judge to "American Idol": songwriter Kara DioGuardi (pictured above). They tried to add a fourth judge for season two with DJ Angie Martinez, but she quit during auditions because she didn't like having to criticize the singers; we'll see if DioGuardi has gone into the gig with a better understanding of what she'll have to do. (Fox is doing a conference call with her this afternoon.) This still doesn't address the Randy Jackson problem, as we'll still have to suffer through his useless comments, but maybe DioGuardi will manage to be more coherent and precise in her criticism and praise.

• New "Dancing with the Stars" cast officially announced: Lance Bass (former boy-bander), Toni Braxton (R&B star), Brooke Burke (model/reality show hostess), Rocco DiSpirito (celebrity chef), Maurice Greene (Olympic sprinter), Kim Kardashian (Paris Hilton wannabe), Cloris Leachman (classic sitcom actress), Cody Linley ("Hannah Montana" co-star), Susan Lucci (classic soap actress), Misty May-Treanor (Olympic beach volleyballer), Ted McGinley (showkiller), Jeffrey Ross (comedian) and Warren Sapp (future NFL Hall of Famer). I'm particularly struck by the intestinal fortitude it took to cast McGinley; is this the beginning of the end for the show?

22 comments:

Nicole said...

I don't think adding an extra judge will do much of anything except make it more difficult for Ryan Seacrest to get the show in on time. There is already too much showboating and useless commentary on the part of the judges, and adding someone no one recognizes won't help matters much. Perhaps a rotating judge who is actually famous would be better, similar to what So You Think You Can Dance does. Canadian Idol has had four judges from day one and it usually means that at least two judges repeat what the other says, with nothing really helpful to add.

I see that they have now run out of Stars on DWTS. I don't recognize half the names on the list and when your biggest name is Ted McGinley, you have problems. Perhaps Tom Bergeron wants to move on and Ted is the way to give him that early retirement.

Anonymous said...

Read last night that In Treatment's Mia Wachow---- I can't spell---- has been cast in the title role for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

PatGLex said...

Actually, right now the biggest name is Misty May-Treanor.....

dez said...

Cloris Leachman, Jeffrey Ross, and La Lucci? I may actually have to watch this season.

Nicole said...

I didn't really watch the NBC coverage of the Olympics so I know she's a beach volleyball player, but am unsure which one she was.
Lance Bass and Cloris Leachman are recognizable names too,, but the rest are mostly a blank, as I have avoided most of the non talent based reality shows. ( that may be an oxymoron)

Nicole said...

I just realized that Susan Lucci was on. So the wattage has increased a bit, or at least the ABC daytime crowd will follow this one.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I just added parenthetical explanations of who everybody is.

T-Boz said...

Misty May-Treanor is the one who offered to let the president slap her on the ass, right? Maybe she'll offer the same to Len and he'll actually take her up on it.

Nancy said...

LOVE the list of participants in DWTS! I'm reading it saying "ok, ok, Wow!, ok ok, Wow!". It's an interesting mix and I can't wait to see how everyone does. I must watch too much TV because I knew everyone except for Jeffrey Ross and Cody Linley....

Devin McCullen said...

I've said this before, but shouldn't the 8 seasons of Married With Children have gotten rid of McGinley's showkiller rep?

Anonymous said...

Adding a fourth judge is a terrible idea. Even though ratings were down this year, I think it's still a case of trying to fix what aint broken. People aren't tuning out because something is wrong with show, just because it's been six years and the novelty has worn off. The only way this is a good idea is if they're planning to boot one of the other judges after this year (and I still think the "Paula problem" is just as big as the Randy one."

Bobman said...

Ha! I had never heard of the Ted McGinley curse. That's funny. I've been watching old Sports Night episodes and just saw him there for the first time in ages.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I've said this before, but shouldn't the 8 seasons of Married With Children have gotten rid of McGinley's showkiller rep?

I believe he was on Happy Days for almost as long.

The rap against McGinley isn't that the show gets canceled as soon as he shows up, but that the show goes to pot as soon as he shows up.

Your mileage may vary on exactly when Happy Days, Married With Children, Love Boat, et al really went off the rails, but that's the theory.

That First Andrew said...

Did anyone see CLoris Leachman on the Comedy Central Roast of Bob Sagat over the weekend? She was incredibly funny, but she needed help walking too and from the podium.

I don't know how she is going to handle those dance moves, despite her claims to Mel Brooks that she could handle Young Frankenstein - the Musical

Eric said...

I wonder if Jeffery Ross' stint on DWTS will come up during future roasts. (And once again, I ask, has any comedian ever gotten more mileage and goodwill out of one joke? If you know what I'm talking about, then you know what I'm talking about, and if you don't, you can Google Jeffery Ross and Bea Arthur, but I think you kind of had to be there.)

I like the idea of another judge on AI, and for it to be a relatively unknown, behind the scenes person. The problem with celebrity judges is they usually don't want to say anything that will make them look bad, so you just end up with an extra, coherent Paula.

I'd like to see John Barrowman as a judge, although he excels in the kind of music that Simon hates. His criticisms on "Any Dream Will Do" were specific, actionable, and usually right.

Nicole said...

John Barrowman has been a great judge on all the ALW shows but I don't think AI actually wants a judge that is talented and who tells the contestants how to improve. The ALW shows had contestants with years of training in music and even the weakest one would blow away the average AI contestant. AI is about image and what can sell and not who can perform a role for 8 shows a week. Had John Barrowman been on AI this year, he would have actually commented on how Archie had horrible singing technique, and not on how cute he was. (I don't think Archie would have been Barrowman's type)

Fox would never do this, but the best way to increase AI's ratings would be to take a whole year off and build anticipation.

Mark B said...

shouldn't the 8 seasons of Married With Children have gotten rid of McGinley's showkiller rep?

The rap against McGinley isn't that the show gets canceled as soon as he shows up, but that the show goes to pot as soon as he shows up.

Right. He is the "patron saint" of shark-jumping, but that is not the same as showkilling. (That is Paula Marshall's job).

But in recent years, it's just become more of a recurring joke that his coincidental presence, ipso facto, damages a show.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you think about Dancing With the Stars, that's probably the best list of "celebrities" they've had. You've got a wide variety of people covering every possible demographic---athletes, singers, and D-list reality stars, and people who will generally look great in the outfits. Looks like more big ratings coming, like it or not.

As far as the new judge, who knows if she'll say anything useful? If it's another barely coherent person to argue with Simon or to tell everyone they are great, well, we've got one of those already. Maybe two, depending on the day. The press release sounds like they're positioning her as another person to battle Simon, and I'm dreading that.

Ginny said...

Well, Ted McGinley didn't drag down 'Hope & Faith'--Kelly Ripa did that all by herself. And Cloris may be a bit past her prime, but she does have an Oscar and some Emmys. I don't like DWTS, but this crop seems just as full of "names" as any other.

jazzfan360 said...

They did a good job with the cast this time around. Misty May in particular is a really tremendous get. And Cloris Leachman's a living legend (and coming off that amazing routine she did at the Saget roast).

New judge is probably being brought in so they can phase Paula out.

LA said...

Maybe it's just me, but I think the addition of Kara DioGuardi is the beginning of the end of Paula. And I'm with Alan - Randy needs to go.

Blogette said...

I may start to watch AI again just to see Kara - I'm a fan of her as a songwriter and as a singer. She can be the normal judge.