Tuesday, August 12, 2008

With Zulu as Kono!

After the jump, quick thoughts on some recent developments in that thar land of TV...

• For reasons passing understanding, CBS has decided to remake "Hawaii Five-O." Yes, the show has one of the coolest theme songs of all time(*), and the phrase "Five-O" has passed into the popular vernacular as slang for cops, but once you get past that, it's just another cop show set in Hawaii, and NBC failed with one of those (starring Fienberg's favorite actor) a few years back. At least "Knight Rider" is recent enough that people on the outer fringes of the 18-34 demo remember it fondly. I don't get this.

(*) Sad (or funny) but true: When one of the local stations had the show in afternoon syndication, me and my best friend Mike used to tune in just for the opening titles so we could create our own alternate voiceover narration, timed to the music, that involved Dann-O, Kono and Chin Ho in a race to see who could get McGarrett his morning cup of coffee. When people ask me how it is that I became a TV critic and I tell them "A misspent youth," it's things like that I'm thinking of.

• Tori Spelling is refusing to appear on the new "90210" because she's being low-balled compared to what Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth are getting. On the one hand, it seems silly for anyone to think Doherty or Garth are going to be any more of a draw than Tori(*). On the other hand, I have to say it's schadenfreuderrific to see how Tori gets treated by a "90210" where her dad isn't in charge.

(*) I like the previous works of "90210" showrunners Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah, and I like some of their out-of-the-box casting choices (Tristan Wilds, Jessica Walter), but I'm beginning to feel like the remake/sequel/whatever is going to wind up being neither fish nor fowl: not enough old-school characters and stories for the geezers like me who cared about the original show, plus a 15-year-old title that could very well discourage the "Gossip Girl" demo from wanting to watch.

• NBC is claiming that their decision to run tape-delayed Olympic events on the West coast with a "LIVE" chyron is no different from Fox or ABC tape-delaying live episodes of "American Idol" or "Dancing with the Stars" for California, et al. Given the time differences and the fact that most of the live primetime events are taking place after 10 Eastern (which is 7 Pacific), and that they could stick even more live events into primetime, I think NBC Sports is being both foolish and arrogant(*) in not doing a live feed for the left coast. But if they refuse to do it for some reason, the least they can do is ditch the "LIVE" chyron, you know? Don't say you respect your audience's intelligence and then insult it at the same time.

(*) I know, I know. What else is new?


pixelwax said...

Re-air Five-O? Sure, why not. I'd love to see somebody re-edit an old show for today. You know, if that's even possible.

Remake? Does Soderbergh do TV?

Bobman said...

Damn you Sepinwall, now I have the Five-O theme in my head.

Bah bah bum bah BAHHHH buhhhh... bum bum buh BAH bahhhhhh

Anonymous said...

@pixel, he does: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364822/

pixelwax said...

@art: Oh, didn't see that show. Barely even remember it. What I meant though was that I'd be interested with Soderbergh at the helm. If he Trafficked up Five-O, giving McGarrett a drug lord nemesis (arcs interspersed amongst the regular shows), and kept the production design on the bright and airy side, I'd be interested. If it's just another regular cop and detective show focused on the dark side of the streets, I'll take the original.

Anonymous said...


As a West Coast veiwer, i am outraged by NBC's choice to delay all teh primetime stuff for those of us out here. I was watching Monday Night Baseball on ESPN at 7:20, and they cut to a SportsCenter "Right Now" studio break where they announced Phelps had one his third medal. Mind you, this did not come on for 3 MORE HOURS HERE!!!!

In this age, it's incomprehensible what NBC is doing. I certainly do not blame ESPN for reporting that breaking news, and NBC should be ashamed of themselves. We are chopped liver out here i guess.

Unknown said...

I watch neither AI nor DwtS: do they plaster "LIVE" on their shows?

And it's not just primetime. I was watching something in the early morning over the weekend that said LIVE, but the results were already posted. This may have been on NBC-proper, not one of their cable outlets. I believe some of that stuff is live, so putting "tape delayed" twice an hour is not enough; it's confusing.

Although not a surprise, it is disappointing that our Olympic coverage is so pathetic and insulting.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that this could be filed under "great minds think alike;" more like "gosh, we're demented" or "man, we had too much free time on our hands, probably because all we had for video games were Pong and Frogger," but my friends and I used to turn off the sound for Star Trek and make up stuff for them to do, like the passionate love between Kirk and Spock or McCoy's endless quest for a decent steak sandwich.

Anonymous said...

I can't speak to the tape delay stuff, but I want to take back some of my criticism of NBC's coverage that I made on your last post about the Olympics. I haven't been watching either network exclusively, but the CBC's work has been pretty lame thus far. NBC's looking decent by comparison.

On the other hand, I have to say it's schadenfreuderrific to see how Tori gets treated by a "90210" where her dad isn't in charge.

So true. It's almost like someone realized she can't act.

Nicole said...

Book'em Dano. That and the theme song are all I really know of Hawaii Five-O, but I would probably watch it if it had a bit of wit. And I'm still within the desired demographic.

I had to laugh so hard at the Tori Spelling thing... I hated her on the original with her ugly face and crappy boob job and how she was shoved into the storyline because her dad owned the show. No one cared about her then, much less now. I'm more inclined to watch the remake now that she's not on it. It'll probably be a pale imitation of Gossip Girl, which is the new OC right now.

As for the Olympics, I believe the lameness of the CBC coverage is because Brian Williams is not on, and they are depressed that Canada still has no medal. I am depressed about it and I'm not covering sports 24/7. I did like certain things like Kyle Shewfelt covering the men team final and actually commenting on the gymnastics as opposed to Bart Connor and NBC going on about how the US team has not made any mistakes and everyone else imploded (which you know karmically was going to lead to the implosion on the pommel horse for the US). Wait until the gold medal is given before you announce that all the other teams suck Bart. That is what annoys me about the NBC coverage.

Steve Armitage also rocked the 4x100 men's relay coverage, but then that what actually exciting so I suppose no one could mess it up.

pixelwax said...

filmcricket, being in Seattle, it's great to have CBC and avoid the tape delay issues of NBC, but you're right, they are not up to their usual standard this year. They've become more Canadian-centric, a common criticism of NBC for their overexposure of all things American.

Olympics on ABC was the best, IMO, back when they fed off the Wide World of Sports talent.

K J Gillenwater said...

The Olympics are not as bad as I was thinking....however, I'm a little annoyed that I didn't find out that CNBC and USA and Oxygen (!) were showing some of the sports events...until my TiVO found them for me. Would've been nice for a heads up, NBC...even a slight mention of the other programming available every now and then would've been nice.

However, I *still* don't understand why they start the evening stuff at 8 o'clock and have it run until almost ONE A.M. on Monday!? Why not start coverage at 6 pm or 7 pm. All the 'good stuff' comes near the end of the night...well past most working people's bedtimes.

Or is it the "live" nature of the stuff they are showing??

Anyway, very much enjoying the swimming events and the men's gymnastics surprise. Looking forward to more. It's saving my summer right now. Summer TV was worse than usual this year.

Mo Ryan said...

Speaking of misspent youth, my sister and I would watch the syndicated Brady Bunch reruns endlessly, and we had a game where we'd guess which episode it was. Whoever guessed first won.

One day she looked at the opening establishing shot of the house and said, "It's the one where Tiger knocks over the house of cards." I was and still am in awe.

Well, the Hawaii 5-0 remake will be on CBS, and we all know they pretty much rule at that stuff. Viva Laughlin anyone?

Mo Ryan said...

Duh, on my previous post, when my sister guessed, she was right.

She is also still the family's reigning Love Boat and Charlie's Angels expert.

Tony Dayoub said...

Guess I'd rather they remake crap like Five-O than mess with classics like "The Rockford Files" or "Hill Street Blues".

Five-O has a lot of room for improvement.

Anonymous said...

Damn you Stanley Bolander! This is your fault!

Anonymous said...

If we're going to be saddled with another crime procedural at least it's not set in NY or LA.

Unknown said...

Why not start coverage at 6 pm or 7 pm

The answer might be that in many markets, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy still make more money for the station.

Plus, Beijing is 12 hours ahead of EDT, and there's nothing to cover live at 6am. Of course, that excuse doesn't apply for Pacific and Mountain time zones. They cover the Oscars live starting at 5pm.

But they tape the Emmys. So maybe it's a lack of self-respect.

Nicole said...

I must apologize to Bart Conner, because the annoying douche for NBC gymnastics is Tim Daggit.

Anonymous said...

The son of the guy who played Danno was on my baseball team in high school. Danno always brought the best snacks and wore the coolest hats. He also looked about 90 years old.

Peter said...

As an East Coast based sports fan I am loving the West Coast bitching about Olympic coverage. As sports start later and later in deference to the West Coast it is nice to see a network not bend over for them for once. They are shocked and don't know what to do.

When the World Series starts at 11:30PM ET I will think back to these Olympics and smile.

Anonymous said...

"I must apologize to Bart Conner, because the annoying douche for NBC gymnastics is Tim Daggit."

Nicole, truer words have never been spoken.



"That's a colossal failure of epic proportions!"

God I loathe him and his hyperbole.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Peter...so bitter.

Daggit has been a colossal idiot of epic proportion - I could not believe his calls. (Although I did love the synchronized swimming commentator's reference to the splash of two divers as "a tidal wave.")

Whoever was showing soccer yesterday morning (MSNBC, I think) went ahead and mentioned that Brazil would go on to the quarterfinals - during the first half of the Brazil game. Brilliant work.

Anonymous said...

Every four years I have to take two weeks away from reading the news on the net because everybody gives away the results of the Olympic events, not just NBC. Oh for the good old days when you just didn't have to turn on the TV news.

But I think the coverage has been great. It seems there's has been more international coverage this year than ever before in sports where the US is not competing. And also in the "other" sports such as badminton and fencing.

Do we really need synchronized diving?

And somebody should cut those female Chinese gymnasts in half and count the rings, there is no way they are all 16.

Nicole said...

Are you implying that the Chinese government would falsify passports so the girls gymnastics team has an added advantage? Shocking!

The Olympic committee has been useless on this issue and I am counting the days when there is further evidence to support the real ages of those gymnasts... after the games finish. Some girls barely looked 14.

Anonymous said...

With all the attention that bad sports announcing gets (and, really, the sync diving woman was unbearable for me), I'd just like to express how great I think Marlowe and Sunderland always are doing TV volleyball, especially for those of us who suffered through the Bob Beattie years. And very helpful since I stopped playing before the Big Rules Changes. Hell, I think they could do volleyball on radio. How many sports have former athletes of their stature doing play-by-play instead of color? But I'm curious if they're kind of inscrutable for casual viewers.

Anonymous said...

Re Olympics: China tape-delayed (tape-enhanced?) the fireworks and Milli Vanilli'ed the little girl singing, and you expect NBC to do better?