Tuesday, September 13, 2005


By necessity, Toobworld has to ignore reruns for the most part. Once broadcast, a show is automatically added to the TV Universe (sometimes to one of its alternate dimensions) so there's no need to cause any temporal burps by having it happen all over again.

Besides, too often those repeats have been trimmed so that more commercial time could be added in. Therefore they're basically worthless, and it could be argued they're a threat to the integrity of Toobworld.

But every so often, there's a reason to pay heed to those reruns. For instance:

'Ally' - This retread of 'Ally McBeal' was a half-hour distillation of previous episodes, a cheap way for FOX and DEK to cash in on the show's success at the time. However, the episodes also sometimes carried some new material, excised scenes, for example.

I'm still up in the air over this show. Should I just absorb that new material into what was already established? After all, the back-story of TV history is constantly being rewritten - look at the recent shows 'Rome' and 'Empire'.

Or should I just lob 'Ally' over into an alternate dimension, say... the Evil Mirror Universe, where it can establish Ms. McBeal's presence in more than one plane of existence?

One thing I know for sure. I'm not going to let this keep me awake at nights. I've already got the second 'Captain Kangaroo' causing my insomnia and that's been off the air for awhile!

'The Sopranos' & 'Seinfeld' - With both of these shows, recurring characters who had been introduced earlier were later recast. So their creators went back and re-shot those scenes which featured the characters so that the new actors would be the only ones seen playing the roles in syndication and in the DVDs.

For 'Seinfeld', that would be Frank Costanza who was originally played by the late John Randolph and then later by Jerry Stiller. Oddly, they never replaced Phil Bruns as Jerry's dad in the pilot, 'The Seinfeld Chronicles'. Of course, it's too late to do now as Barney Martin passed away last year.

Perhaps Bruns was appearing as George Schumway and working for that Dad replacement company featured in a "commercial" on an early episode of 'Saturday Night Live'. Or maybe 'The Seinfeld Chronicles' should just be relegated to an alternate dimension along with Ally.

For 'The Sopranos', it was an FBI agent who went undercover to become buddies with Adriana La Cerva. After filming a few scenes for the season ender with Fairuza Balk in the role, David Chase re-thought where he wanted to take that character and decided to recast the role. So out went Fairuza without even the benefit of having her contribution acknowledged as a DVD extra.

If you have these episodes of 'Seinfeld' and 'The Sopranos' on tape - don't lose them! You've got rarities that might be worth something someday.

One idea I had for both these "recastaways" was that they were both examples of the active involvement of a Higher Power in the cosmos of Toobworld. Of course, going back in Time to recreate the original souls into new corporeal beings would be an admission of fallibility. I don't think the Church would be too happy with me if I pushed it.....

The reason I'm yammering on about all of this bleep is because another rerun actually became a news item this past week.

Last Thursday, CBS repeated an episode of 'The Price Is Right' from December. But nobody at the network thought to review the tape, so while all the cable news networks were covering the devestating horrors from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bob Barker was offering up as the big Showcase prize - a trip to New Orleans!


And the winner was ecstatic that her bid for that trip won.

Maybe she had no choice.

Maybe this wasn't a repeat within the framework of the TV Universe. It could have been an episode of the show from the Evil Mirror Universe, where the audience gets its entertainment jollies from knowing the "winner" will have to spend her dream vacation in a hell-hole like the deluged Big Easy.

But yeah.... as far as the Real World goes, this was a major bleep-up. And somewhere there's another network executive who will probably be nibbled to death by ducks.


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