Hey, all. "Moriarty" here. You know, I am so f'ing pleased with myself right now. HERCULES THE STRONG continues to be a great, strong new voice here at Coax, and I remember the subtle persuasion it took to get him to contribute to the site. Sure, there's words like "kidnapping," "electroshock," and "near-fatal head trauma" in the police report, but those things are always so one-sided. Me, I like to think that it was my skill as a negotiator that brought him to the site. That, or the free booze. Either way, here's HERC. Enjoy.
OUTWIT OUTLAST OUTDRAW
Look inside the current “Entertainment Weekly” and it will tell you CBS’s five-days-a-week reality show “Big Brother” will debut July 6.
Tune in July 6 and you’ll be a day late.
In a no-brainer programming move, the eye web has elected to premiere “Big Brother” instead on Wednesday, July 5, only minutes after the cast of the very similar “Survivor” boots another poor soul off Pulau Tiga.
If I could buy stock in “Big Brother,” I’d buy nothing but “Big Brother” stock. With “Survivor” as the lead-in for its premiere, it can’t miss.
“Survivor,” which bowed huge almost three weeks ago, has gotten huger with each succeeding airing. Some 23.2 million viewers turned in last Wednesday to give the network its biggest non-special audience in that timeslot since at least 1987. “Survivor’s” 18-34 audience was bigger that that of all the other net programs in that timeslot combined.
Tonight’s fourth episode of “Survivor” is expected to attract a bigger viewership than the previously three, as it competes neither with a pro basketball game nor an edition of “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.”
Some half-wit analysts have publicly inquired how CBS can possibly exploit the droves of young adults who have suddenly taken to tuning into the Tiffany Network to watch “Survivor.” One answer: by promoting “Big Brother.” Another answer: by promoting David Letterman. For the week ending June 9, “The Late Show” garnered a 34-percent increase over the same period one year earlier.
“Survivor II,” to air next January, will take place in the Australian Outback (and not off an island off Australia, as suggested by one Coax reader in recent weeks).
A final note: don’t be afraid to revisit cbs.com’s “Surivivor” Web site; it’s added each castaway’s voting history. (Did you know journeyman Greg was the only Pagonger besides B.B. who voted against Ramona?)
CBS VS. THE “MOLE” MEN
ABC, undaunted by the mediocre ratings garnered by its own very very very gay (and fascinating) Friday night reality series “Making the Band,” is developing “The Mole,” which (like many of the new crop of reality shows) deals with a handful of contestants working together to win valuable prizes.
The twist: one of them is a stooge hired by the show to sabotage the team’s efforts. With the completion of every episode, competitors are encouraged to speculate as to whom the mole might be. Whoever proves most clueless is immediately ejected from the series. As with “Survivor” and “Big Brother,” he or she who lasts to the end receives the most handsome reward.
ABC is also still busy with another reality project. Its second collaboration with Bunim-Murray – the kids behind “The Real World,” “Road Rules” and “Making the Band” – has found a tentative title for its series examining the personal and professional lives of a handful of journalists hired to start a entertainment Web magazine. They’re calling it (for the moment) “Go New York.”
NBC’s weirdest sitcom pilot this season, “Dog Years,” is now a series called “Dog Days,” and will star former Conan O’Brian sidekick Andy Richter.
The “ER” net has ordered six episodes of the talking-dog comedy for mid-season. Here’s what Coax spy THE FIEND had to say about it when she evaluated a herd of NBC pilots many weeks ago: “The only real stand-out was a stand-out for strange instead of good. You know those commercials that Budweiser ran during the Superbowl? The talking dog bit? Imagine a whole show built around that and you've got ‘Dog Years.’ The technique looked pretty ‘Babe’-level, but the attitude was more “Alf.’”
Richter’s human co-stars include Anna Farris and Tracy Vilar (“Grace of My Heart,” “Double Jeopardy”).
GODS & ENDS
A new season of MTV’s “Daria” kicks off June 28, so we can now expect that animated skein will occupy the Wednesday “10 Spot” through the balance of MTV’s summer. That means “Road Rules” on Monday, “Real World” on Tuesday, and “Daria” on Wednesday, all at 10 p.m.
The flailing “Donny & Marie,” which was dropped by New York’s WNYW recently, is officially history. Columbia TriStar TV pulled the plug following two years of the talky, toothsome sibs.
“Ladies Man,” the CBS sitcom starring Alfred “Throw Me The Whip!” Molina, didn’t make the fall sched, but will likely return as a midseason replacement. CBS, perhaps wary of the prospects of its new family sitcom “Yes, Dear,” has ordered 13 new “Ladies.”
The new DVD of “Kentucky Fried Movie,” a movie which still makes me laugh even harder than “Me, Myself and Irene,” features commentaries by two Zuckers, an Abrahams and a Landis. I must own this, and I will.
I warn you not to defy me!