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HERC'S STRONG BOX!!

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.”

RICHTER RESURFACE

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!

I am – Hercules!

Readers Talkback
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  • June 21, 2000, 3:41 a.m. CST

    I'm first, AT LAST, HAHAHAHAHAH

    by BigHarry Russian

    My first time on talkback and I'm first! All the cbs comedies suck! Thank god they got a good show (SURVIVOR). Also who knows the guy who was accused of child-abuse before the show? Also is it just me or is everyone sick of REGIS!?

  • June 21, 2000, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Is anyone else suprised it took this long for the US to adopt "t

    by the luggage

  • June 21, 2000, 8:04 a.m. CST

    How about a reality show about clueless network executives?

    by Tar Heel

    Follow the exciting adventures of ten network executives as they each launch inane shows (mostly from borrowed concepts) and juggle their programming schedules to outdo other networks. Each week, one of them will be voted out by the Nielsen overnigths. The winner gets to run UPN for a year -- or is that what the losers get?

  • June 21, 2000, 10:44 a.m. CST

    interview with Stacy

    by ziranova

    Stacy, who was voted off the island on last week's Survivor episode did a phone interview this morning on a local radio station. She said that after getting kicked off, she spent a few weeks traveling around Bornea and Thailand to avoid coming home and being hounded by the press (which happened to BB, she said). She talked about the bug-eating contest and said that they were too large to swallow whole, so she had to chew them slightly, which would cause them to "pop" in her mouth and their guts would ooze out. She said it was like an egg yolk. Gross! She also said that she's been receiving some hate mail. One writer told her she was doomed to a life of misery and divorce, while another email from a Navy Seal said that she had started a war with Rudy, so they were going to start a war with her.

  • June 21, 2000, 10:48 a.m. CST

    more comments from Stacy

    by ziranova

    She also said it takes over two hours to hike to the tribal counsel so that the castaways have plenty of time to think about their fate. The d.j. asked her if people had brought razors to the island and she said no, but she gets that question a lot. She said that Sean, the doctor, had brought razors as his luxury item so that he could shave his chest hair every other day, and that she was the only woman with the forethought to get waxed before going to the island.

  • June 21, 2000, 12:01 p.m. CST

    This puts Daria opposite The Awful Truth. Curses!

    by Z-Man

  • June 21, 2000, 1:18 p.m. CST

    seven11

    by The Garbage Man

    I'd like to introduce you to my friend, the period. He looks like this ---> . Not only is he a handsome bastard, but he makes things easier to read, too! BigHarry Russian: I believe it was Richard (the fat gay corporate trainer) who was accused of child-abuse. And, yes, I'm sick of Regis as well.

  • June 21, 2000, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Don't you just love them networks?

    by All Thumbs

    Ahhh...a whole 'nother round of reality shows thanks to the success of "Survivor." Yeah...thanks. </sarcasm> Why, oh why, do the networks copy each other so much? For a time we had a ton of "Friends" rip-offs, then a bunch of hour-long dramas and dramadies and then we had miilion-dollar gameshows up the wazzo. Why? Ninety-percent of the copies don't work and they end up making us sick of the original! (That and overexposure.) I know the networks need to make money. I know that sometimes in that mess of clones you find a show that is equal to or even better than the original it was copying, if the original was any good in the first place. I just wish these networks would stop focusing all their power into these copycats and at least TRY to give us something else. Look at what happens...Fox has Malcolm in the Middle, even though they say the sitcom is dead and I can't think of any other examples because I have to go watch a reality-based gameshow about five twenty-something friends who, for one hour, share with us their laughter and their tears as they do stupid things in order to win a million bucks.

  • June 21, 2000, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Dog Days

    by Crouton

    "The only stand-out was a stand-out for strange not good."-----What the hell does that mean?!? Is Andy the dog? Please, a LITTLE more info...

  • June 22, 2000, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Oh, so THAT'S why I don't watch tv anymore...

    by Iwrite

    this stuff is all complete crap. people need less tvs and more library cards. I don't have a problem with certain shows, as long as they're original, but when you have endless rip-offs of the same damn thing, you TURN OFF YOUR IDIOT BOX. thank you.