Saturday, November 4, 2006


Five years ago this month, Walter Cronkite was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for his contributions to Toobworld. For his appearances on 'Murphy Brown', on 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', for anchoring 'See It Now', and for that searing, indelible image of him removing his glasses as he informed the nation of the death of President Kennedy, "the most trusted man in America" deserved that honor as he turned 85 years old.

Walter Cronkite turns 90 today, and I just wanted to take this opportunity to say how much I have admired him over the years.

Happy Birthday, Sir.


Friday, November 3, 2006


I had something of a panic attempt when I saw the following 'Heroes' spoiler.....

Meanwhile, Milo's TV bro, Adrian Pasdar, confirmed what I hinted at a few weeks back: Nathan's soon-to-be-seen wife, played by Rena Sofer, is in a wheelchair as a result of an accident. "There's a sense of guilt that has permeated Nathan's existence since this accident, which we get into in Episode 7. It's also an accident that shows something that we... can't really talk about too much. We get information from this accident on a few fronts, not just the one that explains why she's in a wheelchair."

Rena Sofer is a show killer! Just about everything she's been in has been toe-tagged soon after she joined the cast! And now she's going to be on 'Heroes'????

Ivy talked me off the ledge with this:

Well, she managed a stint on Ed mid-run, and that show went on for several years after she left....

That's true..... But still...

'Blind Justice'
'The Chronicle'
'Oh, Grow Up'
'Freshman Dorm'
'Just Shoot Me' - joined the show the same year it gets cancelled
'Friends', 'Seinfeld', 'Caroline In The City', 'CSI: Miami', 'Melrose Place' - #

Well, okay, never mind those......

But still!



For a couple of weeks now, we've seen the comic book "9th Wonders" on 'Heroes', especially the issue which featured Hiro Nakamura and which gave him the clues to track down others with super powers.

This past Monday night, we got to see some other Toobworld comic books on that show, as Micah showed off his collection to his dad, DL.

Among the titles:

"Tales From Space"
"Cosmic Man"
"DJ Doom"

(Interestingly, there's an actual guy named DJ Doom in the Trueniverse. Check out Google - it sounds like he's a record producer or something.)

These comic books could be published by ACE Comics, which is based in Chicago. Among their other titles are:

"The Silencer"
"Kay Carter, Army Nurse"
"Mad Dog"
"Tales From Beneath The Tomb"

(All from 'Bob!')

Another comic book from Toobworld would be "Captain Astro", a favorite of Michael's in 'Queer As Folk' (USA). As a matter of fact, if Hiro ever stops in Pittsburgh, he can check out Michael's comic book store!



My bestest of friends Ivy just emailed me:

And now that EW has given it a cover, it's official: Heroes is a hit!

(But we knew that all along.)

Entertainment Weekly's next issue which hits the stands this week and which should be in my mailbox tonight, has Hiro, Claire and Nathan from 'Heroes' on the cover.

The caption reads: "Save The Cheerleader! Save The TV Season!"

I think that's a great sign of success.

Now let's hope they never end up on the cover of Sports Illustrated!



It's been announced that Rob Lowe will be joining the cast of 'Brothers & Sisters' on ABC for at least six shows. Jon Robin Baitz wrote the part of a McCain-styled Republican senator (more moderate than jerk, I guess) with Lowe in mind, and he hopes the actor will stay on after the six episode arc is completed.

This senator will appear as a guest on Kitty Walker's TV show and will eventually become one of her "suitors".

As most politicians always seem to have some kind of political scandal in their backgrounds, it's always possible that this senator has an identical half-brother residing in Washington, DC, by the name of Jack Turner.

But neither one of them would be related to Sam Seaborn, even though his father was a known philanderer.

This is, of course, because Sam Seaborn resides in an alternate TV dimension in which Jed Bartlet was the president of the United States instead of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. (And before Bartlet, Owen Lassiter was the POTUS.)


'Brothers & Sisters'
'The West Wing'
'The Lyons' Den'


I watched 'Guiding Light' on Wednesday, the episode in which Harley Cooper became a superhero who called herself "The Guiding Light". She had power over electrical discharges but could be vanquished by water.

You probably heard about this, hopefully here at Inner Toob.

On Thursday, I picked up a Marvel comic book which contained the 8 page story that tied into that same adventure. Although the comic book hit the shelves on Tuesday (as they always seem to do), its story served as a sequel to the soap opera.

Now, I called the comic book a tie-in because it can't be classified as a crossover. The soap opera is in the TV Universe and the story "A New Light" is obviously in the Comic Book Universe. And although the events of the 'Guiding Light' episode did precede those in the comic book, the comic book story doesn't follow the soap opera in the TV Universe (despite the "To Be Continued" caption displayed at the finale).

All of the TV characters who live in Springfield now have exact counterparts in the Comic Book Universe; there's no problem with them showing up in those pages, and we can take on faith the events of the soap opera preceded this tale. They could even go on to appear in other comic books with no difficulties. (And this was a possibility, as Big Al Spaulding, Springfield's ruthless businessman, might plan a vendetta against Stark Industries. Apparently Spaulding and Tony Stark have a past history.....)

But there would be difficulties if some of those comic book characters tried to show up in the Springfield of the TV Universe. And that's because the circumstances of their previous appearances in Toobworld would negate their current comic book configuration as the Avengers.

Most of the Marvel heroes as well as villains who showed up in "A New Light" comic don't have doppelgangers in Earth Prime-Time, although most have counterparts in the Tooniverse and a few - like Wolverine, Dr. Octopus, - and coming soon, Iron Man, Sandman, and Venom - can also be found in the Cineverse. But for the others......

First, let me list the heroes and villains who showed up in Springfield:

Captain America
Iron Man

Doctor Octopus
Hydro (?)

Let's start with Iron Man......

Tony Stark's "bodyguard" has yet to make a metal encased flesh and blood appearance in Toobworld. But there is a Stark Industries - or at least there was, in an alternate future timeline stemming from events that happened in 'Eureka', Oregon.

But that Stark Industries was founded by Nathan, not Tony, Stark.

(Whenever he does finally show up in Toobworld, Iron Man better make sure a certain Gallifreyan Time Lord doesn't mistake him for a Cyberman!)

There might not be much of a problem with Wolverine's appearance on 'Guiding Light', except for already existing film rights all tied up, of course. He's quite a main character in the Cineverse and the Tooniverse, but in Toobworld he's only got a fleeting appearance in a blipvert for the Visa Check Card which had its premiere during a Super Bowl game.

So I don't see a problem with Logan coming back to Toobworld for a follow-up on 'Guiding Light', outside of those film rights being sewed up... and the fact that Toobworld has far too many guys named Logan lately.

No, my "Spidey Sense" tells me that the biggest problem would be with the Webslinger himself.

Unlike the situation for characters in the Tooniverse (outside of 'The Flintstones'), characters in the main Toobworld age, beginning in whatever era they first appeared.

For instance, Superman saved the day in Metropolis back in the 1950s. But by the early 1960s, he was dead. (The Supermen we see on other TV shows are to be found in alternate dimensions.) Batman served and protected Gotham City during the 1960s, and he's up in his eighties by now.

Wonder Woman - 1975-1979. And the Hulk? Late seventies to the mid-eighties. Captain America first burst onto the scene in 1979 (and technically I see no reason why he couldn't show up in 'Guiding Light' for a sequel). The thunder god Thor is immortal, so even though we first saw him in 1988's "The Return Of The Incredible Hulk", we know he lived during the days of Hercules legendary journeys.

Spiderman appeared in the main Toobworld in 1977, and he would now be about 56 years old. There's no way he'd even be considered for inclusion in the Avengers. Maybe in AARP......

But there is another Spiderman who appeared in the main Toobworld and he might be the one needed for the 'Guiding Light' sequel. Like Thor and Wolverine and Captain America, he showed up in that Visa Check Card commercial. You could tell by his voice that he was fairly young, so he couldn't have been the original TV Spiderman.

There are two ways we can run with this. First, he could be the son of the original Spiderman. But that would mean his origin story would have to be different, as he would have inherited his powers from his father genetically, thus classifying him as a mutant.

Or he could be a visitor from either an alternate dimension where there should be plenty of Spidermen around; or from another universe entirely - specifically the Cineverse. After all, his voice was almost similar to that of the movie Spiderman..... That Visa ad probably occurred at the same time it was broadcast, so that was a January. Maybe Peter Parker had a cold.

And that commercial established that at least one dimensional vortex had been breached, since Underdog arrived at the last moment from the Tooniverse.

I didn't even get around to mentioning that many of these superheroes (and at least one super-villain, Dr Doom) were referred to as comic book characters for the most part in the soap opera. And an issue of "X-Men: Endsong" was given a prominent close-up.

If only both the show and the comic book could have been produced together as an animated special. That way they could co-exist together in the Tooniverse.

Of course, being situated in Springfield, that would mean they would have only four fingers, bugged-out eyes, and yellow skin.

But Jeff Albertson, AKA Comic Book Guy, would have been in Seventh Heaven, and I don't mean the TV show: "Best. Crossover. Ever!"

As some other TV superheroes might say, "Cowabunga!"


The 8 page story is appearing in several Marvel titles over the next two weeks. I chose "Civil War: Choosing Sides", mostly because it had Howard the Duck on the cover.....

But here again is that list of the comics in which you can find that story





Thursday, November 2, 2006


As our year-long salute to 'Law & Order' winds down, we come to the month when usually the TV Crossover Hall of Fame salutes politicians and newsmakers who qualify for induction.

So we have the perfect candidate in the current District Attorney for New York City, Arthur Branch (as played by former Senator, Fred Dalton Thompson). So far, he's made about 118 appearances in Toobworld, mostly in the flagship of the line, 'Law & Order'. But he's also made the journey to the other shows in the franchise, including the "Pilot" of 'Conviction' which was the first 'L&O' show not to carry the 'Law & Order' prefix in its title.

There have been two episodes of 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent', and eleven episodes of 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit', and six more for 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury'. By my reckoning, that was a pretty good series and I was sorry to see NBC let it go.

I'm just sorry DA Adam Schiff retired before he had the chance to appear in all of these spin-offs, but there weren't that many opportunities back then. (It's amazing to talk about 'Law & Order' as if it's been around since the horse & buggy days!)

So there's just one more month to go in this salute and by a rather glaring omission so far in the list, it should be pretty o'bvious who's left. And you'll probably be able to guess why I saved that candidate for last.

It's a groanable offense, officer.

Since we've long since passed the half-way mark for the year, we're running the complete list of the 2006 inductees so far......

January - Lennie Brisco
February - Anita Van Buren
March - Donald Cragen
April - Mike Logan
May - Jamie Ross
June - Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
B'day Honors - Faith Yokas
July - Rey Curtis
August - Ed Green
September - Dick Wolf
October - Dr. Emil Szoda
November - Arthur Branch



Nicole Trager is the Seattle psychologist who took in 'Kyle XY' in order to help him regain his memories. The show has been picked up for another season, so we might be learning more about her and the rest of the Trager family - as in other family members like grandparents and the like who could meet Kyle.

Do you think Nicole might have a sister?

Because I've been seeing a blipvert for Detrol LA featuring a woman in an elevator who suffers from a problem with her bladder control and she looks a lot like Marguerite MacIntyre to be her sister. (But not enough that I might think it was actually her. And the doesn't have this ad listed under her "Other Works".)

It'll probably be best if we never learn one way or the other whether or not Nicole has any siblings. That way we don't have to exclude the possibility that these two women are related.

And it probably won't ever come up anyway. After all, who wants to be reminded that they have a sister who's walking around wearing nothing but a sandwich board proclaiming "I HAVE A BLADDER CONTROL PROBLEM"?



DS Saffron Saleh is an officer in the Manchester police force. She may even have known DI Sam Tyler before he was struck down by a car after his girlfriend was kidnapped.

Taking a Wold Newton approach, it's my contention that her cousin, Anvar Parvez, who is known as "Annie", lives in London and works as a medical examiner, a forensic pathologist for the London police department.

They could be first generation Britons, whose parents were immigrants from the sub-continent. And both girls saw their chosen fields as a way to repay their adopted homeland for allowing their parents to find a better life for themselves and their children.

The roles are not played by the same actress, as is usually the case in my theories of "relateeveety". Nisha Nayar plays Saleh and Amber Agar is Annie. But there is enough similarity in their appearance to suggest a close, yet not exact, relation between the two.

But because of the actress who plays her, Saffron Saleh could have been reincarnated far into the future as a programming executive on board the Gamestation space satellite. She joined the front lines in a vain battle against the Daleks when they invaded which cost the programmer her life. (However, she may have been brought back to life through the intervention of Rose Tyler as the "Bad Wolf".)

DS Saffron Saleh - "Cracker: A New Terror"
Dr. Anvar "Annie" Parvez - 'Murder City'
Gamestation programmer -
'Doctor Who' ("Bad Wolf" & "Parting Of The Ways")
DI Sam Tyler - 'Life On Mars'


Wednesday, November 1, 2006


I can't believe I forgot to mention this.......

As many of you might know (I hope), Toobworld stands apart from other versions of a TV Universe in that we consider celebrities appearing as themselves in a fictional setting to be just as much a character as the others in those shows. So when Sammy Davis, Jr. appears in an episode of 'All In The Family' as well as in 'Charlie's Angels' and 'I Dream Of Jeannie', and doing fictional things he never would have done in real life, then he's serving in the role of a crossover character.

We call these people the League of Themselves.

So recently, Joan Rivers showed up in Boston to "cover" a trial in which a young law clerk was accused of killing the judge he served (who was also his lover). Her appearance was short and sweet but it served its purpose - it linked 'Boston Legal' to the Miami-based 'nip/tuck'.

Ms. Rivers showed up in two episodes of that show, one which bore her name as the episode title. (All episodes are named after a particular client of the plastic surgeons.) And in that instance, it was quite an affecting scene where she realizes that if she really did have all of her past surgeries undone, she'd look like a monster to her little grandson.

So Joan Rivers is the link between those two dramatic series. But she's got a few more sitcoms in which she played herself:

'I'm With Her'
'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

And as I said, she acted out a fictional version of her life in doing so. That's why I don't even bother delving into the talk shows, award shows, comedy specials, home shopping shows and what have you.

One that's a near miss is an episode of 'Here's Lucy' in which she served on a jury with Lucy. Her character was named Joan, but I don't think she was playing herself. It was like the situation with Lucille Carter. And Lucille Carmichael. And Lucy Ricardo. And Bob Hartley. Mary Richards. Tim Taylor. Jerry - well, you get the picture.....

Anyway, congrats to Ms. Rivers for being the one person who could bring those two dramas - which air opposite each other! - together.

And she was able to do it before Melissa pulled the plug......



Oceanic Flight 815 crashed in late September, 2004. At this point in the TV series' timeline, we're into November of 2004. There's no telling, however, if Time in the outside world progressed faster than it does/did on the island. Or at least so the producers have hinted......

Still, just because Hurley crashed on that island back in 2004, that doesn't mean that "The Numbers" haven't still exerted their influence on others back in the outside world.

We've already seen them manifest themselves as the "lucky numbers" on a Chinese fortune cookie fortune in an episode of 'Veronica Mars'.

And in the last hour I saw a commercial for Pine-Sol in which a guy won the lottery. Of the numbers read off on the TV, all we get to hear is the final number - 42.

The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Even if he was holding a Pick 5 ticket or the Daily Four rather than the full sequence of "4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42" as Hurley had done when he won his jackpot, there would still be power in that sequence if he had, let's say, "4, 15, 23, 42".

I wouldn't be surprised if we saw various combinations of "The Numbers" pop up again and again in TV shows and commercials, now that 'Lost' has become such a cultural phenom.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006


There's a new version of the legend of Robin Hood currently airing in England. The original TV production with Richard Greene as the fabled archer is the official version for Earth Prime-Time. The version which starred David Dixon as Prince John is my choice for the 'West Wing' dimension. (It had that Machiavellian, backroom politics feel to it.)

The more mystical adaptation which Showtime aired in the 1980s, with both Michael Praed and Jason Connery as different Robins, is the standard bearer for Earth Prime-Time/Delay.

And in the late 1990s, there was still another attempt on his life, so to speak, with 'The New Adventures Of Robin Hood'. In two years, both Robin and Maid Marian were recast, but even the addition of Christopher Lee as a sorceror couldn't save a show where the dialogue contained such lines as "Let's go kick their butts!"

I wouldn't wish that series on even the worst alternate dimension imaginable! Like the Earth Prime-Time/QVC......

'When Things Were Rotten' shares dimensional space with 'That's My Bush!' and 'The Secret Files Of Desmond Pfeiffer'.... not sure yet what to call that dimension, but "Earth Prime-Time/Dolt" works for now.

(There's also the George Segal TV movie which I'm fairly certain could have been a pilot for a new series. That could have worked in that dimension as well.)

But had that Mel Brooks production not existed, I might have been willing to dump this new version of Robin Hood over in that dimension.

Why? Check out what Rob Buckley had to say about the show today.....

"'Robin Hood', depending on whom you talk to, either got really good (a regular got killed) or really bad (Robin fires pies over Nottingham Castle's walls) during the fourth episode. "

Yea verily, m'Lord. Nyucketh, nyucketh, nyucketh!



In the run-up to Halloween, there really was only one new Halloween offering this season which caught my interest as a caretaker for Toobworld: ABC Family added another remake to Earth Prime-Time/Delay last Sunday, "The Initiation Of Sarah". It was about two sisters who were going to the same university, but who wound up pledging to different sororities... both of which practiced their own special forms of magic.

If it sounds familiar, then maybe you enjoyed a steady diet of ABC's movies of the week back in the 1970s. "The Initiation of Sarah" was broadcast in 1978 with Kay Lenz in the lead role.

(And whatever happened to Kay Lenz? You know, there's been a trend of bringing back stars of TV's past to play the parents of Today's TV stars. So howzabout Kay Lenz to play Robin Schablonski's Mom on 'How I Met Your Mother'?)

Anyway, as "The Initiation Of Sarah" is a remake, it must be relegated to the aforementioned Earth Prime-Time Delay; not exactly unexpected.

But here's the interesting twist: in both versions there is a character who shares the same telegenetic makeup as a character in the other version, but they are not the same character. (The Real World reason is that Morgan Fairchild played both roles.)

In the 1978 version, it is sorority member Jennifer Lawrence. In the new version, she is Trina Goodwin, the mother of the two main characters. Like Jennifer, Trina was also a member of that sorority; one who never gave up her wicked ways completely..

The temptation is there to say they were the same character. Perhaps an argument could be made that Jennifer Lawrence changed her name and History repeated itself. I'm not sure if she died or lived in the original televersion, but the path not taken could have caused the catalyst to create an alternate dimension.

But as I want to always keep the TV Universe simplified, I think it's best just to jettison the new version straightaway. It'll be in good company there in the delayed Toobworld with other Halloween-themed fare such as 'The New Addams Family' and the later version of 'Kolchak, the Night Stalker'.



OWOOOOOHA! It's real scary, keeds!

Halloween has really come into its own as a holiday in Toobworld over the last twenty years. And I think the thanks for that go more to 'Roseanne' than to 'It's A Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'. All of the other shows took their cue from the Conners' Halloween spectaculars when they realized there was comedy gold in them thar costume ideas for a big party scene. (See "Slutty Pumpkin" from the first season of 'How I Met Your Mother' - Oops! Too late! It aired last night!)

My personal favorite Halloween episode from a TV series?

"Take Me To Your Louden" from 'Newhart':

"Michael seeks to create an Orson Welles-style panic when he programs The War of the Worlds on Halloween night. Dick desperately tries to control the panicked guests at the inn's costume party."

As for my sitcom life, I have to work at the hotel tonight. I figure I'll wear the same costume I do every year. My TV Land cap, my NBC logo baseball jacket, my Late Night with David Letterman sweatshirt, and my CBS backpack.

I go out as a rerun......


Monday, October 30, 2006


TVSquad reported this news about a show I've been anticipating for the mid-season:

"The news is not so good for the ABC midseason replacement 'Traveler', about a friend who frames two best friends for a bombing (the preview looks great). ABC has chopped that order from 13 episodes to 8 episodes, so they can wrap up the storyline.

Hmmm...maybe this is the first proof that the networks are beginning to understand viewer frustration at getting into serialized dramas and then leaving viewers hanging by cancelling the shows after only a few episodes."

I'm pretty sure I voiced my support of this idea, S.O.P. over in Britain, here in "Inner Toob". If so, I'll soon find out if that was just an empty declaration on my part. I do want to see 'Traveler'; I'm really jazzed on the idea; and if it does turn out to be really exciting, I'd want to see it continue.

On the other side of the coin, I think the theory works that if forced to tell the story in a condensed time-frame, they could have a more powerful story on their hands. I've always said 'The Sopranos' would have been the greatest thing ever if Tony actually killed Livia in that first season and thus endeth the series. Instead it's piddling itself into oblivion.

We shall see.



Bob Sassone of has published his latest list of "The Five"; the topic of which is always centered around TV, of course.

This time out, the category is "Five New Characters That Bother Me".

At the end he writes, "I'm sure you can come up with other examples."

Which of course I saw as a meme challenge.

So here's the list I offered up:

"Okay, my five most annoying new characters of the TV season:

1) Harriet Hayes, "Studio 60": I've decided that it isn't the fault of the actress; she's doing the best she can with the material. But when character after character praise you to the heavens for how talented you are as a comic actress and a singer, you better deliver the goods. So the blame here rests with Sorkin.

2) Ianto, "Torchwood": This guy has the Willie Armitage type of role that Peter Lupus played on "Mission: Impossible" - the goto guy for the transportation and supplies for each missioin. But the actor who plays him is so colorless, I wonder if this is symptomatic of all the Welsh. In recent years, it's the type of role that would have been played by hip computer expert guys like Auger in "Earth: Final Conflict" or the guy they have now on shows like "Vanished" or the CSI's. The role needs somebody who's of a different race/nationality perhaps, or at least someone who's interesting.

3) Isaac, "Heroes" - Too mopey, needs a bath, and would it kill him to turn on a light in his studio?

4) Kitty, "Brothers & Sisters" - It's all due to the actress. I was tired of Calista Flockhart before "Ally McBeal" finally ground to a halt. And even trying to look beyond that, the character is an automatic turn-off as well. There have been characters in the past I've disagreed with politically or morally on other shows whom I've found interesting. Not Kitty.

5) The bartender/other woman on "Jericho". Not really the type of role I can see being around for the long haul, and the actress doesn't bring anything to the part to overcome that. How long before the radioactive mutants from Wichita take her out?

Limiting it to just five spares a couple of folks up in Elmo, Alaska....."

Now let's hear from you! I'd love to have you post them here in the comments, or send along the link to your own blog if you post them there......



Tonight BBC-America presents "Cracker: A New Terror", marking the first appearance of Fitz, as played by Robbie Coltrane, in ten years.

In England, the title was "Cracker: Nine-Eleven". I guess it was assumed we can't handle the subject matter displayed in the movie's name.

I'm fairly certain the movie takes place in 2006, but I'm not sure yet as to exactly when this year it's supposed to have occurred. I wonder about this because it was first shown in Israel back in June, Germany in August, and I think just a few weeks ago in Great Britain.

As it's been ten years since we last saw the forensic psychiatrist in action, this TV movie serves as an excellent example of Toobworld's basic premise:

Even though a show may be cancelled, or a character leaves a series (alive, of course), that doesn't mean that they cease to exist in the TV Universe. Their lives continue even though we don't get to watch.

The best example of this, of course, is 'Star Trek', which lay fallow for about ten years (save for the animated series, but that's set in the Tooniverse) before those characters were pressed back into service with "Star Trek: The Motion Picture".

Yes, it is part of the Cineverse, but it's one of those rare occasions when Toobworld absorbs cosmic material from another universe created from Mankind's imagination.

Since the last time we saw Fitz, he and his wife have retired to Australia, and have only returned to England to attend their daughter's wedding. And as would happen to Jessica Fletcher in these situations, Fitz gets dragged into a murder investigation that pulls in elements from the 9/11 attacks and the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland.

I'm not that familiar with Australian TV series, so I don't have any theoretical crossovers to make based on Fitz's new homeland. I don't even know yet in which city he lives Down Under, which is an important factor in choosing such crossovers. Could he have been involved with the 'Water Rats' crew, for instance? Can't say without knowing where he lived.

But there's one hypothetical link I'd like to propose: In flying from Australia back to England for the wedding, perhaps Fitz and his wife booked their passage with Oceanic Airlines as seen in 'Lost'! Maybe the Sydney-L.A. route is still grounded because of the bad publicity from the September, 2004 crash of Flight 815, but that doesn't mean they had to indefinitely suspend all their air traffic routes.



Tonight, ABC's biggest new hit, 'Ugly Betty', gets its first crossover!

With Monday Night Football?

Actually it will happen on the pre-game show on ESPN, 'Monday Night Countdown' at 7 pm, EST. Mode magazine editor in chief Daniel Meade and his rival for the job, Amanda, will try to instill some fashion sense into Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots. As part of the "plot", they're doing this in an attempt to lure more male readers to the fashion magazine, so at least it makes sense, story-wise.

Unfortunately for them, Betty Suarez gets hold of the Photoshopped results and adds her own touches - which probably mean oversized glasses and a poncho, and maybe even braces!

Toobworld takes in all manner of shows, but I never would have guessed 'Monday Night Countdown' to find itself in that tally.

And apparently, this isn't the first crossover 'MNC' has done with a show from its parent network, ABC. I heard that Ted Danson's psychiatrist from 'Help Me, Help You' (which I've yet to see due to scheduling conflicts) showed up last week to do a bit of head-shrinking with Terrell Owens. And Owens is already represented in Toobworld appearances with 'Sesame Street' and that controversial opening sketch for 'MNF' last year with Nicolette Sheridan of 'Desperate Housewives'.


Sunday, October 29, 2006


In Sunday's New York Times, there's an article about the current state of serialized dramas on TV, which were supposed to be the big rage this season. And at one point, the author (Bill Carter) has this to say about 'The Nine':

[W]ill we ever know what “The Nine,” ABC’s drama about characters held hostage in a bank robbery, was supposed to add up to? It has the built-in advantage of following directly after “Lost,” but in its first four outings, it has frittered away an enormous number of viewers. That’s even more than “Invasion,” the serialized drama that last year tried to march into viewers’ homes on the heels of “Lost.”

It's not the fault of 'The Nine', just as it wasn't the fault of 'Invasion', that they are losing so much of the audience from 'Lost'. (Although truth to tell, 'Invasion' began so maddeningly slowly that I found it boring and walked away. I know plenty of people - from what I've seen in online "testimony" - did the same thing. When my Kryptonian Iddiot friend Brian-El urged me to keep with it, that it was getting better, it was already too late. My mind rebelled against the idea.)

The problem lies in 'Lost' itself. Don't get me wrong; I think it's a fantastic show. I'm obsessed by it, and I know it will always be in my top 5 faves of all time (right up there with 'The Prisoner', 'The Mary Tyler Mooer Show', 'Columbo', and 'The Dick Van Dyke Show').

But as soon as 'Lost' is over on Wednesday nights, I'm not in the mood to watch any more TV. It doesn't matter what show it is, or on what network. I just want to get to my computer and find like-minded fans to discuss what we just saw and perhaps find out somethings that I might have missed. (Like the appearance of Julie Ow in this year's season opener as a nurse in Jack's flashback - she was the nurse in Locke's flashback from "Deus Ex Machina".)

This was especially bad during the first season when the 'Lost' mania/fever was particularly intense. At that time, the show aired at eight o'clock EST, and I would automatically switch over to NBC to watch 'The West Wing', one of the shows in my top ten all-time faves. But as I got more caught up in the mysteries of the island and the "Lostaways", the less inclined I was in following the doings of my favorite occupants of the Oval Office. I would have to tape 'The West Wing' and watch it the next morning after my 'Lost' high had subsided.

Moving 'Lost' to the nine o'clock hour by the second season proved just as detrimental to not only 'Invasion' but also to any 10 pm show on the other networks, like 'Law & Order' on NBC and CBS' 'CSI: NY'. (Luckily by that point, NBC had also blinked and moved 'The West Wing' to Sunday nights. Otherwise, with my antiquated viewing system, I'd have to abandon it entirely for 'Lost'.)

This is going to happen to any show which ABC puts in the timeslot immediately following 'Lost', as well as to the competition on the other networks.

So here's my modest proposal: ABC should stop using 'Lost' in the 9 o'clock anchor position on Wednesday nights and instead move it to the 10 o'clock hour. Put on compatible shows to precede it (Much as I dislike it, 'Dancing With The Stars' is still a good way to begin the night at 8 pm.) and then the network suits don't have to worry about losing the follow-up audience, as the affiliates take over with their 11 pm newscasts. Sure, they're not going to be thrilled to see the drop in the ratings, but a news broadcast is certainly cheaper to produce than an hour-long drama.

And not that ABC should care about this, but this arrangement would work for its rivals as well. Their competition for the 10 o'clock hour would be starting off with almost equal footing and could compete for the hearts and minds and eyes of the viewership. (They'll never win over the dedicated 'Lost' fan base, but there are... um, the Others who are not so sure about joining 'Lost' so deeply into its complicated puzzle of a storyline.)

So that's my modest proposal. Had 'The Nine' preceded 'Lost' at 9 pm, it might be doing better now carrying the audience share from 'Dancing With The Stars' and delivering that to 'Lost' which would still bring in even more from the hardcore fans.

And by the way, throwing in a few in-joke references to 'Lost' in "The Nine" (Nick the cop used to work with Ana Lucia Cortez on the LAPD, perhaps. Hurley had his multi-millions in accounts with Fidelity Republic Bank, etc.) would help bring the 'Lost' fans to that earlier hour.



Sadly, I think Michael J. Fox's life will one day be the subject of a TV movie, more for his battle with Parkinson's than for his achievements as an actor. I just hope it doesn't get that tawdry "Behind The Scenes" treatment, most recently seen with the cast of 'Diff'rent Strokes'.

And at some point in the second hour of that TV movie, a pivotal scene will be his involvement in the 2006 election, campaigning for candidates who support stem cell research. And with that will come the portrayal of Rush Limbaugh, who spoke out against Fox. (He apparently went so far as to claim that Fox was "acting" out the symptoms of Parkinson's and not really experiencing them.)

I don't know who they would cast as Limbaugh, but that actor is going to have a tough time of it. After all, any dramatization of that bloated gasbag will be a pale copy to the original.