Friday, November 28, 2008

NBC's Rosie O’Donnell variety show disappoints

Nup_133193_0455 Rosie O'Donnell gave NBC a real turkey.

The network's attempt to revive the primetime variety show failed to draw an audience Wednesday night, tying for the evening's lowest-rated program.

A mere 5 million viewers tuned in for the 8 p.m. premiere of "Rosie Live," with the program earning a 1.2 preliminary adults 18-49 rating. The telecast matched ABC's recently canceled "Pushing Daisies" as the night's lowest-rated program on a major broadcast network.

NBC had high hopes for the special and planned to expand the program into a series should viewers re-embrace the decades-old variety format. Other networks, too, were watching closely since several are developing variety shows of their own.

"There's a notion that the climate is right for the genre to make a comeback," emailed one executive at a rival network. "I guess we now know what not to do, thanks to Rosie."

Segments included Kathy Griffin impersonating Nancy Grace, Alec Baldwin hitting Conan O'Brian with a pie, O'Donnell singing "City Lights" with Liza Minnelli and Jane Krakowski doing a product-placement-themed striptease for White Castle burgers and Crest Whitestrips.

Critics were not kind. The NY Times described it as "hokey comedy with an enemies list." TV Guide called it a "ghastly ego trip." And the LA Times asked, "Rosie, what on earth were you thinking?"

Networks have been looking for variety show programming as a cheap option to fill their schedules. But the idea has been sought by executives due the format's rock-bottom cost, cross-promotion possibilities and advertiser-friendly format. In other words, the neo-variety show is a retread designed to solve financial woes rather than an act of programming inspiration -- a bean-counting origin story that makes it tough to imagine an exciting final product.

NBC's variation, in particular, seemed unlikely to attract a broad audience given O'Donnell's divisive personality. Stocked with appearances by Alannis Morrisette, Ne Yo, Rachael Ray, Harry Connick Jr., Clay Aiken and Gloria Estefan, along with Minnelli, Baldwin, Griffin and Krakowski, the lineup's appeal also skewed heavily female for a primetime show airing on the eve of a family holiday.

One special that did perform well last night was Barbara Walters' interview with Barack and Michelle Obama (11.6 million, 3.0 rating). The interview nearly matched "CSI: NY" in the 10 p.m. hour and gave ABC its highest non-awards show rating in the time period in more than a year.

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MC Breed Dead at 37


MC Breed is joining his pal Tupac in the great rap hall in the sky.

The Michigan hip-hopster best known for the 1993 hit "Gotta Get Mine," featuring Shakur, died of kidney failure Saturday at the age of 37.

Breed (full name Eric Breed) had been ill for some time and died in his sleep at a friend's house in Ypsilanti, a suburb of Detroit.

"We are saddened by our great loss. More than just an artist, we mourn the loss of a beloved father, son, brother and friend," his family and management said. "We are thankful and blessed to have been in his presence and want him to be remembered for his creative, caring, talented and hard-working spirit."

Breed's 1991 debut, M.C. Breed & DFC, spawned the single "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin'." His 1993 release, The New Breed, featured "Gotta Get Mine" with Tupac. After Shakur's death in 1996, Breed released 10 more albums but never really broke through the mainstream again.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Movie??

By Rodney

When Twilight was feeling its rise to popularity there were two comparisons that were thrown about. The literary popularity in young readers like Harry Potter fans, and the criticism that the romance was ripped from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And now Hollywood is rumoured to be alive with the buzz that Joss Whedon, creator of the aforementioned Buffy the Vampire Slayer is eyeing the success of Twilight with anxious hands gripping a feature film script he had prepared for the continuation of the show.

Moviehole Reports:

The monster success of girly vampire pic Twilight at the US Box office last weekend could kick open the door for a big-screen return of Joss Whedon’s much-loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Rumours are circulating in Hollywood that Whedon has a feature-film script based on his hit TV series ready to roll as soon as a studio is prepared to commit.

I could see this as prime picking for a return of the delectable Sarah Michelle Gellar and her Scooby Gang to return to the big screen. I have no doubt that Joss has a multitude of ideas stashed away for the Buffyverse in that treasure trove of a mind of his.

Maybe if Buffy gets a movie treatment in this high time of teen vampire romance, other spinoff possibilities could return to television as well. Faith the rebel slayer was rumoured to be getting her own show back in the day and even Spike was considered, but the one spinoff show I was looking more forward to seeing was Ripper. The story of Giles, the last remaining Watcher gathering and reforming what is left of the council (destroyed in the closing end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on TV). Anthony Stewart Head is currently staring as King Pendragon in the BBC’s Merlin.

David Boreanaz is enjoying great success on Bones (also a favourite of mine) but I am sure he too could leave some room for a feature film to return as Angel.

Joss has a cult following, which I am a member of so I am tainted in my opinion. But it might be high time for him to reign the TV waves again. Joss once swore to never do TV, but mid-season he has Dollhouse premiering with former Buffy Alum Eliza Dushku (which is getting mixed reviews and speculation on the Whedon TV Cancellation curse) and his outstanding success online with Doctor Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog are keeping him just shy of the spotlight.

But the rabid Whedonites have let him down in the past with Firefly. But while the market is hot for angsty vampire love, and Hollywood itching to make a movie out of every popular but ened TV show (Friends, Sex and the City, Arrested Development) we just might find all the planets are aligned for our best chance at seeing it happen.

Original here