Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bachelor 9: Lorenzo

After taking last fall off, ABC is bringing back the ninth edition of The Bachelor to its fall 2006 schedule airing 1t 9pm eastern on Mondays. ABC has also decided to reveal the identity of the next Bachelor and he is Lorenzo Borghese, a member of an Italian royal family. The Borghese family is also famous for its cosmetics business where Lorenzo oversees a line of pet care cosmetic products. No word yet if Lorenzo's career will be gone into detail on the show. The season will be filmed in Rome in keeping with the Italian theme. I'm not so sure that this is the proper set up for an actual successful match but we'll have fun watching the crazy women think they are going to become royalty overnight.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Six Degrees Pilot Review

I'm going to give a little sample and review of a couple of the more interesting fall pilots as we wait for the summer TV to really begin. I'll write up what the first episode is about and my review at the end. This process should give us all a good idea if we will be interested in watching the show come fall.

The main characters are Carlos (a public defender), Mae *pictured* (a troubled and mysterious woman), Whitney (a powerful executive), Damian (a gambler and chauffeur), Laura (a mom with a failed marriage), and Steven (a recovering addict and a photographer).

Carlos is assigned to help Mae out of trouble when she is charged with indecent exposure. Carlos makes a deal with a judge to get Mae out of trouble because he feels something for her. Later on Carlos tells his friends with benefits girl Sandy that he has met someone and wants to break it off.

We meet Whitney as she finds out that she has made partner at her PR firm. Whitney's boyfriend Roy helps her celebrate as she asks him to marry her. Roy likes the idea but wants to be the one to surprise her with a ring.

Steven appears as he has snuck to his son's school to see him. It seems that his ex will not let Steven see his son, Max. Steven gets upset and goes to a bar where Damian is as well, they do not know each other.

Damian is at the bar watching a race that he has bet on. He loses and then goes to pick up a client in his Town Car. The client is none other than Roy on his way to see Whitney.

Later on Mae is on a pay phone talking to an Eric who is upset that she got in trouble with the law because she is supposed to be on the run. Mae tells Eric she has a plan.

Laura is at lunch with a friend Bonnie about how she is going back to work. Laura is hiding the reason of her broken marriage as the reason she needs to back to work.

Damian is waiting for a client who actually turns out to be his brother Michael. Its seems that Michael wants to help Damian out of his gambling debt. Damian does not take the offer but keeps it in mind.

Whitney has found one of Steven's photos by coincidence and has asked to have a meeting with him. Whitney offers Steven a job for a perfume client but Steven becomes upset and walks out. Whitney goes after him but instead sees one of her co-workers looking at a profile of Roy on a dating website. Whitney confronts Roy who says it was done as a joke and he is not looking for someone to date.

After Mae changes her appearance with a drastic haircut and color, she goes in for a live-in nanny interview at Laura's house. Laura is impressed with Mae and offers her a job since her references checked out . Later on Mae talks to Eric on the phone and commends his fine job pretending to be a reference. They talk about how the job is great because Mae will get paid cash and does not have to sign a lease to live anywhere, no trail. Later on Mae goes on a walk with Laura's daughter Eliza and gets scared because she thinks someone is following her. Mae considers quitting the job, it may be too dangerous.

Steven goes back to a gallery where his work used to be shown and regrets that his addiction had ruined his old life. Steven asks the owner to show his old photos but the owner suggests that Steven make new work to make people forget about what happened. Steven says that he does not have the inspiration anymore and doubts this idea would work.

Later on Whitney coincidently talks at a nail salon with a stranger who happens to be Laura. They talk about the dating website Whitney found Roy's profile on and Laura agrees to help Whitney.

After trying to call Mae and finding the number disconnected, Carlos sees Mae go into a nightclub and tries to get in but the bouncer won't let him. Carlos spots Damian and his Town Car and asks for a ride down the street back to the nightclub in order to look like a VIP. Damian offers Carlos some advice and clothing to look more the part of a VIP.

The next day Carlos' boss finds out about the deal with the judge and is not happy but admires his passion for wanting to help Mae out. He suspends Carlos but does not fire him.

Laura finally decides to confront her failed marriage and sends her husband's things away in a moving van. Once the van is out of sight, Laura breaks down on the street.

Steven runs home and turns his bathroom into a darkroom. It seems that he has captured something on film that inspired him. As the image develops we see that it is Laura during her break down.

That night Laura and Whitney have set Roy up by getting him to come to a fake date to meet Laura. Once Roy arrives, Whitney gets upset and knows that Roy was lying and is a cheater. Roy says that he knew it was a set up and he came to surprise Whitney with an engagement ring and pops the question.

Damian is off to pick up Michael and wants to accept his offer for help. Michael appears out of a building with another man and what appears to be a body bag. Michael asks Damian to pop the trunk. The next day Michael thanks Damian for helping him out the previous night and pays him a large sum of cash. Damian is dealing with the fact that he shot someone. Michael asks Damian to keep working with him and asks Damian to keep an eye out for a girl he is looking for, the photo reveals that it is Mae.

My take on the pilot: I liked reading this pilot more than I expected. I liked the characters right away and it was interesting how they were all slightly connected. There were several other coincidental ways that the character's crossed paths that I did not write about. I am interested to see where this story is going but I don't know if it is going to evolve into a big mystery or if all six are going to finally meet and become one big group of friends. I'll have to wait and see the show to really grasp the tone and direction but so far so good. And with a slot after Grey's Anatomy, Six Degrees has a good chance to become a hit.

Updated 5.27.06

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Upfront Review

Since I missed the boat on all the upfront news while I was away, I'll spare you all with the endless recap of all the schedules and pickups. I'm sure you all have seen the list and grids 10 times by now anyway. But, I will highlight some things I found interesting and newsworthy.

First of all, one of the biggest surprises came with the pick of 7th Heaven, which will be back on the CW in its 8pm eastern slot on Mondays. After the super lame finale I am a little glad that the show will be back in hopes of a decent ending but I'm upset that we were tricked into thinking this was the real series finale we saw. Too bad for the Everwood fans who got the shaft with this move but we'll have fun watching the writers get out of the hole they wrote themselves in with the multiple twin pregnancies and the ambiguous Sandy-Simon storyline. I should also not that I heard that there may only be 13 episodes of 7th Heaven's eleventh season. That makes no sense to me at all since I have no idea why they would bring this show back from the dead for half a season. But, its something to keep our eyes and ears open for nonetheless.

Another pickup that was a surprise is that What About Brian will be back in the fall. I like that the show is sticking around in its 10pm eastern slot on the ABC Monday schedule and I'm glad that the network decided to give the show another chance. What About Brian seemed to get stronger as the season went on so I have high hopes for the next season. No word yet about what will become of the 3 unaired episodes.

It was interesting to see ABC move Grey's Anatomy to the ultimate competition spot at 9pm eastern on Thursdays. I will be fun to see if this mega hit show will be able to knock CSI down a peg. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy CSI but it could stand to lose a little hype and actually have to work a bit harder to captivate the audience.

The OC will also remain in 9pm eastern Thursday slot for FOX but its going to be impossible to get better ratings against both Grey's and CSI. I'm just hoping that the fourth season's storylines will be better than the ones we had to endure this season. It will be also fun to wait and see how long it will take before the inevitable Marissa flashback/dream/alternate universe scenes happen once Mishca Barton realizes her movie career isn't going to take off. I heard that Volchok will be back for the aftermath, I wonder where they are going witht that one. Its also important to note that rumor has it that season four of the OC will not premiere until after the World Series concludes, which means mark your calendars for November.

Going back to the CW, I like the pairings for the most part. Especially Gilmore Girls with Veronica Mars on Tuesday. America's Next Top Model with One Tree Hill should work out nice too. I was a bit disappointed to see the pilot "Split Decision" did not make the cut but maybe it will be resurrected at some point.

Over at NBC, the one of only interesting things going on is Sunday Night Football begins fall this season. I still don't understand which game will be the "big game of the week". Is it the Sunday one on primetime national television or the one on the traditional Monday night slot on ESPN? My gut tells me the Sunday night one will end up getting the biggest billing and hype, thus becoming the big game of the week but its still a toss up.

Also on NBC, I like the concept of the Heroes pilot. I'm not big into Sci-Fi or anything that is too high concept but I know that Heroes sounds like a good character study so I'm going to give it a chance. Anyway, I'm going to review the pilot script and post about it sometime soon. Its not exactly a spoiler per se but since it has not aired yet some of you might find it interesting to read about anyhow.

Another thing to note about NBC is that they are only going to have one cycle of the Apprentice next season as it will not premiere until the spring and will be one of the shows to replace Sunday Night Football. I wonder how the Donald feels that his "hit show" is getting reduced to once a year. I'd love to hear his ridiculous spin on this issue.

Another show that is moving to Sundays is The Amazing Race. I like that the show is still in a 8pm eastern slot but being against football is not going to be pretty. I like its chances better once football is over and makes a nice combo with Desperate Housewives on ABC at 9pm. The Amazing Race is one of my absolute favorite reality shows and I hope it will be on for a very long time. Here is to hoping it can find a good home on Sunday.

Just a last general comment is that I am surprised that the networks are trying to block program their shows more. Meaning that some are being rolled out late or held off until midseason in order to keep the audience's attention and repeat less. I also noticed less new shows will premiere this fall and more favorites with less than stellar ratings given a chance. If all this means less cancelled shows, I am all for it. So far it is shaping up to be a great fall!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Big Brother All-Stars Voting Update

Its almost time to get out to the polls and vote for your favorite former Big Brother contestant to compete on this season of Big Brother All-Stars. CBS has announced that on Wednesday, June 21st at 8pm eastern there will be a Big Brother preview show where Julie Chen will reveal the 20 candidates to vote for and will kick off the online vote that night. Rumor has it that the top 3 guys and girls with the most votes will be automatically on the show while the producers get to select the other 6 to round out the cast. Here is to hoping that there will be some great people to choose from!

Updating this one day later, I found a list of potential Big Brother All-Stars contestants who will comprise the top 20 for the audience to vote for. This list is not sent in stone as all of these contestants might not have commited to the season yet or CBS may change their minds but here is what the top 20 looks like now. The 5 with * by their name have appeared on another list, alternates perhaps? We'll find out on June 21st.

BB1: George Boswell
BB2: Will Kirby, Mike “Boogie” Malin, Bill “Bunky” Miller, Monica Bailey, Shannon Dragoo*, Sheryl Braxton*
BB3: Lisa Donahue, Danielle Reyes, Marcellas Reynolds
BB4: Jun Song, Erika Landin
BB5: Diane Henry, Jase Wirey, Holly King, Scott Long, Will Wikle*, Lori Valenti
BB6: Ivette Corredero, James Rhine, Ashlea Evans*, Janelle Pierzina, Howie Gordon, Kaysar Ridha, Michael Donnellan*