- Laurence Fishburne looks like the finalist to play the new "CSI" lead, the character who has the same genetic profile as a serial killer, even though he hasn't killed -- yet. Since John Malkovich (who would've been perfect) didn't want to do it, Fishburne seems like a terrific choice. (And I don't just say that because I spent last night listening to the hilarious commentary track for the awesome "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang," where Shane Black revealed that Fishburne is the voice of the talking bear in the fake Genaro's beer commercial.) There's always been an aloof and slightly damaged quality to Fishburne's best performances, which seems a natural fit for the way this character has been described. Plus, at a time when ethnic diversity is again a big problem for most networks, if Fishburne signs, that'd give CBS two different shows ("The Unit" is the other) with an African-American leading man in a role that was written independently of color. It's not huge progress, but it's something.
- Maybe that $25 million AMC spent on the "Mad Men" season two campaign didn't buy as much as we had thought. Ratings for episode two were down more than 600,000 viewers from the premiere, which is a big chunk of the audience when you're starting with around 2 million. Now, this doesn't factor in On Demand or multiple airings, but depending on whether the trend continues, we could wind up with season two drawing almost exactly the same audience as season one.
- The folks at the Parents Television Council put out another study attacking the state of primetime TV, with the theme this year that television tries to make marital sex seem dull. My patience with the PTC and their goals and methodolgy is limited, so I'll point you to James Poniewozik's even-handed take on the study over at Time.com.
- "American Idol" showrunner Nigel Lythgoe is taking a step back from the program to focus more on other projects (including international versions of "So You Think You Can Dance"). I'd like to think that this would mean significant changes to "Idol" -- replacing Randy (and maybe Paula) with someone more coherent and useful, being sure to show the auditions of all the semi-finalists, getting more current mentors and themes, ditching the mosh pit and other anti-spontaneous elements of the live shows, I'm not optimistic. Nigel was the public face of the "Idol" production team, but fellow showrunner Ken Warwick is still in place, as are all the other producers, and we don't know how much of all the stubborn, antiquated thinking of the series came solely from Nigel and how much was group consensus. (Maybe they're all big Lulu fans, you know?)
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Been out of the blogging loop for a bit, thanks to a lack of summer TV I wanted to watch and an Olympics preview story I just got out from under writing. So, after the jump, let's get caught up on various TV news stories out there in the series of tubes...
Posted by Alan Sepinwall at 11:25 AM