Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The audacity of hope for pies?

Just a reminder that Barack Obama's half-hour campaign infomercial is playing out tonight at 8 on CBS, NBC and Fox (plus several cable channels), which will postpone or pre-empt regular programming (including World Series Game 5.5) to show it. Whatever you think of Obama vs. McCain(*), this is only good news if you're a fan of "Pushing Daisies," since ABC is the only major network to not be showing the Obama ad. I don't know that having zero scripted competition is going to move the needle much for a whimsical show about a pie-maker who brings the dead back to life, but this may oddly turn out to be the show's last, best chance at convincing ABC it's worth keeping.

Also, for "The Wire" fans among you, several notable "Wire" actors recently filmed a commercial for the Obama campaign in North Carolina. (They also made several campaign appearances in the state.) No Omar, but it's nice to see that Lester Freamon and Marlo can find common ground on something.

(*) Given some of the stupidity that's gone on in recent "SNL" posts, I was really reluctant to bring up this topic at all. So let me be clear: this is not a political blog. We are not going to talk about the merits of the two candidates, the two parties, or anything else. If you want to comment about the fate of "Pushing Daisies," or how nice/strange it is to see so many "Wire" actors together in a different context, fine. But anything that's remotely over the line, regardless of political affiliation, gets deleted. Got me?

46 comments:

Adam said...

As a scheduling note, the Obamathon is not delaying the resumption of Game Five on Fox; it's just replacing the pre-game show.

Bobman said...

Out of curiosity, did ABC give a reason why they're not showing the ad? Did the Obama camp just think they had everything covered and ran out of money to run it on ABC? Did ABC really want to give Pushing Daisies on last push before canceling?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Bobman, the WaPost story I linked to goes into greater detail, but the short version is that ABC dragged its feet while debating whether not showing the Obamathon might help "Pushing Daisies," and by the time they decided to go Obama, the campaign had decided it could spend the money better elsewhere. (No doubt they realized that a whimsical show about a pie maker who brings dead people back to life wasn't going to be huge competition for the infomercial.)

Bobman said...

Ah, thanks, I guess I should have read the article before asking.

Withnail said...

A friend of mine and me sometimes debate the political affiliations of the wire characters. Freemon would have been a Obama supporter. Carcetti would have supported Clinton. Clay Davis would be a super delegate who sold his support to the highest bidder. Omar most def supports Ron Paul. McNulty didn't vote.

zodin2008 said...

Thankfully, my Wednesday night will happily consists of my DVR recordings of "Eli Stone" and "The Shield" and then I can watch "Sons of Anarchy" at 10. It worked out well having a friend visit us on Tuesdays when there's nothing to watch, anyway.

On a side note, let me add praise to your staunch declaration about a "politics free zone". I think it's so important, especially given the schism that currently exists in the electorate.

I am one of those rare people that wishes both sides could speak in a more polite tone as a middle of the road independent. :-)

And your bloggers may support different candidates, but we can all agree about loving good TV shows!

Matt said...

Also, I suspect Obama decided that the added "Daisies" audience wouldn't really add a whole lot of his target group. I've not seen detailed demos on "Daisies," but I'd be willing to bet that the show skews young, highly educated, and female, three demographics which are not top concerns for Obama.

(Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if "Daisies" ratings are actually down a bit because of folks who are fans of both Obama and "Daisies" opting to watch Obama live.)

lungfish said...

It depresses me that way more people probably know Jamie Hector as Knox from Heroes, instead of Marlo.

Kristin said...

I'm hoping this helps "Daisies" numbers. I don't really see that many people tuning in beyond Obama supporters, actually (which is a lot of people, don't get me wrong). I just don't think MORE commercial type stuff is what most Americans want to see.

There are already enough political commercials on during the day.

Will be interesting to see the numbers tomorrow. This also might provide a bump for the O'Reilly Factor as counter-programming for conservatives.

dez said...

And your bloggers may support different candidates, but we can all agree about loving good TV shows!

We just disagree on which ones are the good shows :-)

I hope "Daisies" gets a boost tonight. I'll be watching it live while Obama goes on the DVR for potential later viewing. The World Series, though, is deadtome.

Mrglass said...

No white guy in that ad? What is Dominic West doing?

OK, he's English, but still...

That First Andrew said...

I don't get that ad. I understand the "It's down to the Wire" pun, but are any of those people recognizable enough to drum up any support? What percentage of people will make the connection (it's all connected, afterall)? And is North Carolina some sort of The Wire Mecca? I just don't understand the logic behind spending money on an ad that might only get noticed by 1 person out of 500.

Anonymous said...

On another The Wire-related note, David Simon will be on tonight's The Colbert Report.

Blogette said...

As much as I love my piemaker, I'm tuning in to Obama. That's probably not what ABC wants, but oh well.

dez said...

^Don't you have a VCR or a DVR? If the ratings and polls are accurate, Ned needs your support more than Barack does! ;-)

Bobman said...

unless she's a nielsen family it doesn't technically matter. :)

LA said...

I voted yesterday and I'd really like to see Emerson Cod's story play out, so I'll be tuning in to Daisies.

Tracey said...

I'll be watching Daisies on DVR because I'll be focused on the World Series! GO PHILS!!! (or is that too political?)

I do have to wonder whether it is a wise move or a foolish one to put this infomercial in place of the pre-game show in a World Series between two presumed battleground states: The Rays from Florida and the Phillies from Pennsylvania! Then again, here in Phillies, we aren't watching the Fox pre-game show anyway -- the commentators are awful.

I'm pulling for Daisies, though, and I hope this counterprogramming helps them. And I'm looking forward to watching the episode on DVR after I watch my boys crush those Rays! (or is that too political?)

Nicole said...

I'm surprised NBC was willing to sacrifice its precious Knight Rider this week for the infomercial.

But really, there is no way this infomercial will be any good unless Ron Popeil makes an appearance.

BH said...

Alan, doesn't Pushing Daisies already have a full season contract? Would ABC still shut the show down if it continues to do poorly in the ratings?

dez said...

unless she's a nielsen family it doesn't technically matter. :)

It's the thought that counts? :-)

Go, Daisies! Go, Daisies! It's your birthday!

Pamela Jaye said...

well, apparently my DVR is grabbing Obama, even if I don't care. Obviuosly, i suspect the brother.

I'm somewhat interested in The Game, living in TampaBay, but only enough to peek in at the score strip from time to time. And the pies are still awaiting the brother, as I
don't want t watch them more than once - then again, we thought the game was last night and tuned in Live, only to find House, and ran away as quickly as we could convince the roommate, who was holding the remote. So I can watch House (and Big Bang) tonight.

btw, last I heard, SAG had submitted to the NLRB for mediation rather than strike authorization just yet, so...

Nicole - Knight Rider - funny.
behind on Mad Men comments and who knows what else (just finished last week)

I can't even remember what's on on Wednesdays this year!

Pamela Jaye said...

re: neilsen families - haven't the networks or whoever started counting DVR/Tivo?

marcus said...

I heard Obama going to explain how he can save the economy by purchasing thousands of tiny classified ads in newspapers across the country.

I am surprised ABC was the only major network to not show the ad....I can't imagine how much this is costing the campaign- I wonder if it will set some kind of precedent or if it's a one time event. Probably depends on what happens November 4th.

Anonymous said...

Obama likes pie.

Jennifer J. said...

I've already early voted, BUT I still would have watched Pushing Daisies live anyway. I adore the show; I so want ABC to give it a chance to find a better-sized audience. Ooh, I must remember to have the hubby pick up pie on the way home. We always get a small-sized fruit pie and share it during the show. :)p

Kevin Michaels said...

No Omar? Wonder if he's campaigning for McCain/Palin???

Anonymous said...

Jennifer J, I have never watched Pushing Daisies but I might record it tonight just because that sharing-a-pie-with-your-husband thing is so cute.

Anonymous said...

I am voting for Obama and feel no need to watch his infomercial, so I'll be watching Daisies as usual.

Anonymous said...

I hate seeing actors force their political opinion on us. It always ruins that actor when they lose the mystery that surrounds them. Because 50% are not going to agree and they will hold it against that actor. It might be a reason why 30 Rock does crappy in the ratings. For all his great work people despise Baldwin and refuse to watch him.

AngieNCSC said...

In re: whether NC is a "The Wire" mecca, it is in our house. I wish I'd seen this commercial anywhere besides this link! Is this the only version?
Maybe the theory is that enough of those actors of color will be recognized (from whatever vehicle, not necessarily "The Wire") by the large population of voters of color in what could be a swing state that it could maybe make a difference. A stretch?

Man, I miss those guys.

Dark Tyler said...

anon@7:03,

nobody's forcing anything on you. It's like saying "oh man, these damn bloggers who are forcing their opinions on shows on us and not letting us decide what we like".

Furthermore, how could an actor (or a baker, or an engineer, for that matter) be 'ruined' by voicing his opinions on any subject? They, too, are people you know.

Jennifer said...

I have the horrible feeling that PD will do even worse than usual with a stacked deck, somehow. Since it's being preempted for "Dancing With The Stars" next week, that will score higher than anything, even if it was a DWTS rerun, and PD will be over. Sigh.

Yes, I am one of those cynical fans who is too used to her favorite shows getting canceled by now, whyever do you ask?

Disclaimer: already voted anyway, would no way in hell watch a half hour of political infomercial under any circumstances, don't get why everyone else will watch that tonight instead of a cute guy with pie and Pie Hos and knitting and guns. I clearly do NOT have any clue what my fellow Americans like.

Blogette said...

I lack a DVR because I am a poor college student. And a VCR because I haven't done VHS in a looooong time.

That being said, I've changed my mind to Pushing Daisies. I know you all are super excited by my decisions.

cinnette said...

I didn't know where to put this to hope you would see it Alan...but please tell me this isn't true:

http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/telefile/2008/10/mad-men-may-lose-boss-man.php

Pamela Jaye said...

Blogger Pamela Jaye said...

updat, my DVR is recording Obama and I almost didn't get told that some other programs had conflicted out. Since I don't always check, it was nice of the brother to inform me so I could spend half an hours getting everything to actually record, and get both of the ABC shows off of Tuner 1. it wasn't easy. they tend to pick their turners on a combination of recording rules half of which i'm not aware of.
After half an hour I got everything but the Daily Show (which was okay since apparently he wants today's ep, and that won't air till 11 - we don't need the 8pm)

Obama likes pie.

reminds me of that Scrubs ep where JD can't hear the conversation, so he pretends the people are all talking about pie.

I have never watched Pushing Daisies but I might record it tonight just because that sharing-a-pie-with-your-husband thing is so cute.

that's it! tease people with pie to make them watch!

on the other hand, I don't want to be ABC if this show is cancelled!

I hate seeing actors force their political opinion on us.

I can proudly say that my actor does not disclose his politic leanings as he feels actors have too much influence.

For all his great work people despise Baldwin and refuse to watch him.

oddly, I believe a lot of people disliked Martin Sheen (for his politics, even) and yet watched The West Wing (I don't have figures on that, though, so I could be wrong)

oh, and, I figured out who.. what's his name was.

Kristin said...

"Furthermore, how could an actor (or a baker, or an engineer, for that matter) be 'ruined' by voicing his opinions on any subject? They, too, are people you know."

Because I watch tv shows and movies, not to see the 'real' Tom Cruise or Scarlett Johanssen. I watch these movies/tv shows to see pretty people portray characters. It takes away from the fantasy/escapist element for me, if actors spout off loudly and annoyingly on political topics. All I can think of when I see some of these people now are their opinions on things that have nothing to do with the character I wanted to watch.

A baker or an engineer doesn't have a job that is about escapism or entertaining. I connect with these people on a 'normal' level as regular guy to regular guy. That's the difference to me.

Anonymous said...

I know there's a reason I always liked Omar

Taleena said...

Actors and their opinions -

I can't watch a Tom Cruise flick these days without random "the dude is crazy" flitting through my head. Conversely in our purple tinging red house we love 30 Rock and set the politics aside because the political views of the actors are not impinging on the funny. (Thanks Snapple!)

The problem with actors spouting off politically is not that they have opinions or talk it's that they talk Down. Lecture me about my minivan when you give up your jet. Lecture me about taxes when you live on my budget.

Now I need to go get my pie out of the oven. MMMM pie.... /Homer

Bobman said...

My only problem with actors spouting their opinions is that people are dumb enough to care what they think. Don't get me wrong, they're entitled to their opinions just like everyone, and they have an audience to preach to, so I really can't blame them, but I can blame people who listen to them. It's like, uhh, you realize most of these people in Hollywood ... I'll be kind and say they are of average (at best) intelligence, and they make an absurd amount of money to act out fantasies and pretend? I'm sure they're wonderful people, but their opinions on world politics are about as valid as some barista at Starbucks, right? Maybe even less so since they live in a fantasy world where money is no object and are completely out of touch with the normal man?

Hope that wasn't too political, just something that amuses me.

Mike said...

McNulty didn't vote.

He can't vote here; he's Australian.

Though I'm not sure what to make of the fact that all of the actors in the commercial are black.

dez said...

Jennifer J., I borrowed your pie idea. What a great treat to watch PD tonight while eating a mini banana cream pie with chocolate chips on top! :-)

Pamela Jaye said...

The problem with actors spouting off politically is not that they have opinions or talk it's that they talk Down. Lecture me about my minivan when you give up your jet. Lecture me about taxes when you live on my budget.

Bingo. I hate being talked down to. And also, as you note, they barely live in the real world.

also, apologies for the lack of any sign of quotation in my last post - I originally posted it to the wrong thread (cause I opened an extra window, so I could read thru the posts and reply instead of making 12 different posts, which seems harder on those reading them than it does on me - though perhaps not here) and then I copied and pasted it from that thread to this - except I pasted the text on the page, not the text with the html tags...
oops.

renton said...

Both candidates are on record as being big 'Wire' fans, which gives me reason to be optimistic about our future, no matter who wins.

McCain, according to his interview in Radar, also likes Dexter a whole lot.

M.Chavez said...

Of course, I never thought of it that way: The WIRE cast are rich, pampered Hollywood elite. How could they POSSIBLY relate to us regular folks. Ah, NOW I get it.

dez said...

Celebs are entitled to their opinions just like everyone else. And you can listen to or ignore them as you wish.

I rarely think of a celeb's personal life while I'm watching them perform. I have no problem believing Barney is the straightest hound-dog ever because Neil Patrick Harris is a good actor and his private life doesn't matter to me when I'm watching him in HIMYM. Similarly, I don't look at Adam Baldwin and think, "He's that cigar-chompin', hardcore right-winger," I think, "Casey totally cracks me up!" :-)

IOW, if you let a celeb's personal life/opinions impinge on your enjoyment of his/her work, it's on you, not that celeb.