Archives for Reality

Channel Surfing – December 23, 2009

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– The Ricky Gervais Show, a new animated sitcom based on the funny guy’s popular podcasts, will debut on HBO on Feb. 19, two nights after Gervais hosts the Golden Globe Awards on NBC.

– Not so happy with the way the Emmy folks always seem to ignore your favorite shows? There may be an alt-Emmy ceremony in the works, co-sponsored by the Paley Center for Media

– Look who’s hugged it out: Joan Rivers and E!. After a not-so-harmonious split with E! in 2004, the legendary comedienne will return to E! for a series of Fashion Police specials, beginning with the Fashion Police Golden Globes special on January 16.

– Good news: The third season of The Sarah Silverman Program will premiere on Comedy Central on Feb. 4. Season two of Important Things with Demetri Martin debuts that same night.

– I love that Survivor host Jeff Probst always says exactly what’s on his mind, even if it might ruffle some feathers. Regarding Sunday’s season finale, in which Russell, surprisingly, did not win the $1 million prize, Probst blogs at EW.com that Russell (speaking of someone who ruffles feathers) “was the victim of a jury of bitter people.” Couldn’t agree more.

– What lucky show is getting the Feb. 7 post-Super Bowl timeslot on CBS this year? The network’s new reality series Undercover Boss, which features corporate execs going undercover to perform the jobs of their employees. Check out a preview below.

Taylor Swift and Beyonce are among the performers booked for the Grammy Awards on CBS on Jan. 31. Insert your own Kanye West joke here.

– How do you know if your reality show is super lame? When Paris Hilton turns down an offer to be on it.

– More new photos from the new season of 24. Just got the first four episodes for review from Fox. Merry Christmas to me, indeed.

– Which Real Housewives cast member – and from which city – has a bench warrant out for her arrest? Hint: Surprisingly enough, it’s not one of the New Jersey women.

Twilight, the reality TV show? Please networks, just say no.

– R.I.P. Sesame Street and 227 star Alaina Reed-Amini, who died last week after a long battle with breast cancer.

– Are Scrubs and Better Off Ted victims of the fact that, for the first season in many years, there’s a plethora of good comedies on network TV, particular the new sitcoms on ABC, home of Scrubs and Better Off Ted? Whatever the reason, the revamped Scrubs and underappreciated Ted aren’t faring well on ABC, and the network seems to be giving up on them by burning off a lot of episodes in the next couple of weeks.

– And even The New York Times is in on the hot mess of a guilty pleasure that is Jersey Shore, via a “Jersey Shore Handbook.”

Things Could Get Extra Messy on ‘Celebrity Rehab 3’

Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew, season three, has been scheduled for a Jan. 7 premiere on VH1, and the cast includes former couple Tom Sizemore and Heidi Fleiss, which should prove to be weird and creepy since their tumultuous relationship included his 2003 conviction for assault and battery against her. That can’t be a good idea, or even one that would be permitted in non-celebreality rehab, right?

VH1 has released a “supertrailer” for the new season (watch below), which finds one of the celebs having a seizure and definitely crosses over into that really uncomfortable genre of reality TV that makes you think millions of TV viewers just shouldn’t be privy to this particular moment in anyone’s life.

VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip

PS – If you caught the recently-concluded Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew on VH1, you might want to check out a column written by Sex Rehab participant Duncan Roy, who has some very interesting, and not flattering, things to say about Dr. Drew Pinsky.

What’s your take on Dr. Drew and the various Celeb Rehab series? Is it possible that they provide any sort of public service to anyone, or are they just exploitative?

‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’: Week 2

When former Playmate Jeana wonders – aloud – how she’s gonna scrounge up $2,000 to get her kid’s car fixed, you know that this ain’t your typical O.C. moment. Over the years, we’ve watched the buxom brunette drop more than that on doggie treats, but now that her mega-realtor income is down by two thirds, things are a little different around the 9,000-square-foot Keough house.

Yep, hard times have befallen most of the Coto clan, as we found out in last week’s season opener of The Real Housewives of Orange County.

As recently as last year, money flowed as abundantly as insults for this Botoxed bunch, but what a difference a few months have made:

In a Freudian field day, Gretchen‘s trying to unload some stuff from the past by having a garage sale with new beau Slade (yes, that Slade), while Tamra and her doormat, er husband, Simon are bickering over bills and, of course, Lynne and her spoiled spawn have been booted from their pied a terre.

Only vicious Vicki seems impervious to the economic woes sweeping the silicone sisters and, even more amazingly, she and Don seem to be filling each other’s love tanks again. EW.

Times may be tough on the Gold Coast, but nothing’s tougher than the time Tamra’s giving Gretchen about having a “horrible, horrible reputation.” “I want to be around wholesome people who take care of their families and have jobs for a living instead of preying on old men,” proclaims Tamra. The unemployed Tamra. The unemployed Tamra whose husband had chastised her earlier for making inappropriate remarks at her kids’ party.

Maybe it’s all the financial stress that’s bringing out the worst in Tamra, but when she confides to Vicki that her family’s “going to move,” I could’ve sworn I saw her face move as she barely managed to hold it together. “We owe more on our house than what it’s worth,” she sniffled.

Workhorse Vicki, her alleged BFF, feigns sympathy, but can’t wait to tell the camera that Tamara “just needs to get a job,” on the heels of her season premiere gossip about Jeana asking her for a loan. Is it any wonder we love – to hate – Vicki?

Back to Jeana, maybe Tamra can take a page from her book: Jeana says she is “willing to do whatever it takes,” to scare up some cash, which in this case means liquidating a few of her cars and watches. Sadly, she’s also leaving the show to focus on her real estate business; next week’s episode is her finale one, after five years of RH servitude.

Meanwhile, with all the moaning about finances, I almost forgot I was watching Orange County denizens in action, until Lynne and her dropout daughter spent the afternoon at the plastic surgeon’s office contemplating procedures so they can be, as the doctor tells them, in “Mother/Daughter recovery.”

“Last year for my birthday I got a BMW, and this year I’m going to get a nose job,” giggles Raquel who, frankly, could benefit a helluva lot more from some real housewives parenting.

But, hey, what do I know? I’m from New York.

What do you think of the O.C. Housewives so far this season?

The Donald Announces ‘Celebrity Apprentice 3’ Cast

And it’s the best D-list round up ever. Celebrity Apprentice season three will be filming for the next month in New York City, reports The New York Post, and the cast includes:

– Rock of Love star and Poison rocker Bret Michaels

America’s Got Talent judge and The Osbournes matriarch Sharon Osbourne

– Former New York Yankee and New York Met Darryl Strawberry

– Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

– Comedian Sinbad

– Pop star Cyndi Lauper (who, the Post reports, was filming the show when she found out about the death of her friend, pro wrestling legend Lou Albano)

– Australian chef Curtis Stone

– Pro wrestlers Bill Goldberg and Maria Kanellis

– Gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders

– Comedienne/writer/inspiration for Seinfeld‘s Elaine/former Jerry Seinfeld girlfriend Carol Leifer

– And actress Holly Robinson Peete

On the heels of Celebrity Apprentice 2 – won by comedienne Joan Rivers – the third celeb installment of Donald Trump‘s reality series is scheduled to premiere on NBC in March 2010, after the Winter Olympics.

Paula Abdul Pulls the Plug on Her ‘American Idol’ Gig

Paula Abdul Twittered Tuesday night that she won’t be returning to American Idol next season, and though that seemed like it might be a last-ditch negotiation tactic on her part, Fox has issued a statement confirming she’s gone:

“Paula Abdul has been an important part of the American Idol family over the last eight seasons and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show. While Paula will not be continuing with us, she’s a tremendous talent and we wish her the best.”

Wow. I’m truly surprised that Fox and the AI producers would let the situation spin this out of control with Abdul. That she was demanding, according to rumors, to be paid as much as Simon Cowell or Ryan Seacrest – both of whom I would argue are more integral to the show than Abdul, judge Randy Jackson and most definitely newbie judge Kara DioGuardi – was unreasonable, but that the two sides couldn’t come to a compromise is ridiculous on both sides.

Abdul’s absence will be felt on Idol. DioGuardi is not a suitable replacement, as evidenced by the fact that, in most polls, the numbers of people who wanted her not to return for another season were pretty equal to the number of people who did want to see her back. If the judging table consists of only Simon, Randy and Kara for season nine, I think we viewers will really miss Paula’s loopiness, her chemistry with Simon, and, though it could be annoying when she went on and on about a certain contestant at times, her positivity.

That’s not to say Abdul isn’t replaceable. Cowell isn’t. Abdul may be, but it won’t be easy. DioGuardi didn’t click with viewers the way Abdul did. There are more rumors that an Abdul replacement will be added to the mix … last month, there were even stories that Jennifer Lopez had been approached to take over Abdul’s chair. That could have been interesting, but since J. Lo shot those murmurings down right away, it isn’t likely to happen. So, as it stands right now, we’re looking at a table of just three judges, with one who people love to hate and hate to love, one who just hasn’t bonded with viewers at all and one who seems to have three speeds: “Yo dawg, that was hot,” “Yo dawg, that was pitchy” and namechecking all the musicians he’s worked with in his career.

As for Abdul, her music career is, at best, an afterthought at this point, and while she still has her HSN jewelry line, her weekly appearances on Idol served as a (free) platform for pimping the trinkets, which she often wore on the show and even passed along to contestants.

In short, Idol needs Abdul (maybe not to the tune of the $20 million a year she reportedly demanded, but still) and Abdul needs Idol. The show’s a cash cow … hard to believe execs weren’t willing to make sure a deal happened. With ratings on the show slipping with each season, something, clearly, needs to change to keep viewers’ interest, but letting Abdul bounce isn’t that change.

Here’s hoping that in the few days left before the show officially begins auditioning for the 2010 season, savvier heads will prevail.

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