Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


You don’t need an upfront. You need therapy
May 20, 2009 7:48 AM   Subscribe

“Let’s get real here. Let’s get Dr. Phil-real here. These new fall shows? We’re going to cancel about 90 percent of them. Maybe more.” At ABC's annual Upfront meeting with advertisers and press, late night host Jimmy Kimmel had a breakdown/"Jerry Maguire" moment/opportunity to use blackmail photos, and rips into the whole practice. Via (the predictibly gleeful) Gawker.
posted by waraw (103 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Jimmy Kimmel's funny, and he didn't even need Matt Damon or Ben Affleck to make it happen! Who knew?
posted by kittyprecious at 7:55 AM on May 20, 2009


These shows are pre-taped. I get the feeling the higher-ups let this through to get some publicity.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:57 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jay Leno is still alive? Jesus. I can't stand that asshole.
posted by heyho at 7:57 AM on May 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


>"Next year on ‘Grey's Anatomy,' your product could kill Dr. Izzie. It just depends on how much you want to pay."

Jimmy Kimmel is my new hero. The old one was this guy.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:58 AM on May 20, 2009 [15 favorites]


Typically it's an endless parade of people like Charlie Sheen stepping up to a podium to tell the fine folks at Procter and Gamble and General Motors how if they thought last year's season of Two and Half Men was funny, well, they haven't seen anything yet, because this upcoming season is going to be a fucking riot...

I died a little inside just reading that, I can't imagine the corpse that must be inside Charlie Sheen himself.
posted by DU at 7:58 AM on May 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have either worked on or watched the upfronts for the past few years and Kimmel always does a sassy lil' stand up like this. I'm not sure if the top brass love it because it's cheeky or because the advertisers always laugh so they allow it.

That said, he's a really nice guy. I was a PA at the upfronts 4 years ago and someone asked me to lead him to the greenroom and I had no idea where it was. So we both followed signs beneath the bowels of Radio City Music Hall in a Family Circus kind of way. The arrows led to the stage which was about 15 feet from our starting point. I was really worried he was going to yell at me but he thought it was funny.
posted by spec80 at 8:00 AM on May 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


Should have previewed:

These shows are pre-taped. I get the feeling the higher-ups let this through to get some publicity.

Yeah. No. You don't know what you are talking about.
posted by spec80 at 8:01 AM on May 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I like Jimmy Kimmel. I like him a lot. I don't think he's the most talented man on television and really I don't think that he thinks that he's even close to the most talented man on television. Kimmel has had something of a charmed life these last ten years or so but he's notoriously hard working and tries his best to surround himself with talented people and with his limited power help them as much as possible. Also unintentional censorship is a rich comic vein that will take years to exhaust.
posted by I Foody at 8:02 AM on May 20, 2009


DU: "I can't imagine the corpse that must be inside Charlie Sheen himself."

Nothing in his narrow, high-powered experience can allow him to understand how I can watch his act and say that it looks, to me, like a very hard dollar—maybe the hardest. - Hunter S. Thompson
posted by Joe Beese at 8:03 AM on May 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I miss the man show..... (me/cries a little inside.)
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:05 AM on May 20, 2009


My Name is Earl is Cancelled, but they have the $$ for Leno five nights a week? Christ, what exactly, did Jay have to offer up to Satan for all of his success?
posted by ColdChef at 8:08 AM on May 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


Also, this is awesome: Before departing the stage, he said: “The important thing to remember is: who cares, it’s not your money.”
posted by ColdChef at 8:10 AM on May 20, 2009


Christ, what exactly, did Jay have to offer up to Satan for all of his success?

His chin is actually the Spear of Destiny.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:13 AM on May 20, 2009 [24 favorites]


I died a little inside just reading that, I can't imagine the corpse that must be inside Charlie Sheen himself.

A corpse that is laughing all the way to the bank. "Two and a Half Men," while wretched crap that makes me want to vomit every time it comes on, is also the biggest sitcom hit that CBS has had since "Murphy Brown."
posted by blucevalo at 8:17 AM on May 20, 2009


This is something I'd have to watch network TV to understand, isn't it?
posted by RussHy at 8:19 AM on May 20, 2009


Christ, what exactly, did Jay have to offer up to Satan for all of his success?

His brand of non-offensive humor is the stuff that you can share at the water cooler throughout the next week. It requires no soul-selling, just a network who wants mediocre comfort-shows.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:19 AM on May 20, 2009


Leno gets a bad rap. Yes, his humor is conventional and broad. On the other hand, he is a likable guy, quick on his feet and good with guests. I don't watch him, but I understand why people do.
posted by brain_drain at 8:22 AM on May 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Who cares? Its TV.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:25 AM on May 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Leno gets a bad rap. Yes, his humor is conventional and broad. On the other hand, he is a likable guy, quick on his feet and good with guests. I don't watch him, but I understand why people do.

I blame it on antidepressants in our drinking water.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 8:26 AM on May 20, 2009


On the other hand, he is a likable guy, quick on his feet and good with guests. I don't watch him, but I understand why people do.

YES! The same exact reasoning that got GWB elected twice. This is what the vast majority of 'the public' wants. You have to bust your god damn ass all day at a boring piece of shit job with a boring piece of shit boss over your shoulder, last thing you want is to come home after dealing with your boring piece of shit kids and have to think about stuff for an hour before you pop an ambien and pass out. Enter Leno.
posted by spicynuts at 8:26 AM on May 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


My Name is Earl, if everything after the second season was as bad as the second season itself was, should have been cancelled.

A corpse that is laughing all the way to the bank.

I think I'd rather be alive than a corpse at a bank. Unless it's a cookie bank.
posted by DU at 8:31 AM on May 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Poor RussHy, forced at gunpoint by armed goons to come into a thread and announce how he doesn't watch network television.
posted by Skot at 8:31 AM on May 20, 2009 [28 favorites]


Leno is great live, but on TV not so much. Given that, putting him on every weeknight is Just Not Right. But that's NBC for you.
posted by tommasz at 8:31 AM on May 20, 2009


YES! The same exact reasoning that got GWB elected twice. This is what the vast majority of 'the public' wants.

Bush would be a terrible talk show host. His White House Correspondents dinner routines were terrible.
posted by brundlefly at 8:32 AM on May 20, 2009


YES! The same exact reasoning that got GWB elected twice.

I would gladly elect Bush to read funny names out of the newspaper. I'd watch too.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:32 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


They cancelled Earl? WTH?
posted by oddman at 8:33 AM on May 20, 2009


This is something I'd have to watch network TV to understand, isn't it?

Network TV? Has Comedy Central finally made it okay to watch TV? Come on, people, being cool used to take some work.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:35 AM on May 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


spicynuts: "YES! The same exact reasoning that got GWB elected twice. This is what the vast majority of 'the public' wants."

I think you take Jay Leno a little too seriously. He's just a goofy looking dude making jokes on late night television. If his finger is on any button, it's the laugh track.
posted by Plutor at 8:37 AM on May 20, 2009


YES! The same exact reasoning that got GWB elected twice. This is what the vast majority of 'the public' wants. You have to bust your god damn ass all day at a boring piece of shit job with a boring piece of shit boss over your shoulder, last thing you want is to come home after dealing with your boring piece of shit kids and have to think about stuff for an hour before you pop an ambien and pass out. Enter Leno.

But this is television, not the presidency . . . if he entertains some people, then let him do his thing
posted by Think_Long at 8:38 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


GWB isn't likable, quick on his feet OR good with guests, so I don't get this comparison.
posted by DU at 8:42 AM on May 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


My Name is Earl is Cancelled, but they have the $$ for Leno five nights a week? Christ, what exactly, did Jay have to offer up to Satan for all of his success?

Apples and Oranges. Leno is much cheaper than running dramas at 10 PM, even if the ratings are mediocre. That of course has nothing to do with 8 PM sitcoms.
posted by smackfu at 8:43 AM on May 20, 2009


Earl had so much potential. Talented cast, funny characters, some great one-liners. It just wasn’t funny enough. Every time I watched it I just stopped caring about the story ten minutes in. Then they had to end every episode with some sort of feel-good message like it was a redneck Doogie Howser. It really should have worked better than it did. I blame Scientology.

I hope Crabman gets his own show.
posted by bondcliff at 8:44 AM on May 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm sure the Saudis think GWB was a fantastic host.
posted by waraw at 8:44 AM on May 20, 2009


I'm actually glad he called them out on the cancellation rate. I know television is just a business, and it cares not one bit about the viewers beyond the eyeballs for advertisers, but it is unbelievably frustrating to have show after show appear, start to draw an audience, only to be killed after six episodes, you know, just when we were starting to get into it.

Most people don't seem to care, and thus the cycle continues to perpetuates itself, but personally, I have gotten in the habit of trying to avoid all new shows until they have at least a season behind them, (I've largely failed at this, but I've tried goddammit.)

It's idiotic that the networks themselves have, because of their actions, turned me against their own new programming.

I'm looking directly at you here Fox.
posted by quin at 8:45 AM on May 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


I hope Crabman gets his own show.

I would watch the hell out of that. Or the first season of Earl, for that matter. "OH SNAP!"
posted by DU at 8:46 AM on May 20, 2009



I think you take Jay Leno a little too seriously. He's just a goofy looking dude making jokes on late night television. If his finger is on any button, it's the laugh track.


I think y'all take me a little too seriously.
posted by spicynuts at 8:46 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


GWB isn't likable, quick on his feet OR good with guests, so I don't get this comparison.

Not to you. Or me. But remember the whole 'he's a guy I can see myself having a beer with' thing? Anyway, it was a toss off comment in response to someone expecting that Leno's audience wants to be challenged in some way. Leno is precisely who his demo wants.
posted by spicynuts at 8:48 AM on May 20, 2009


After rattling off a few statistics about the affluence of his viewers, he then admitted that he’d made all the numbers up. (He said so in a more obscene way.)

While this was almost certainly "I pulled those numbers out of my ass," I like to think he found some even better obscene construction for making things up. Perhaps "Those numbers are the result of a Jackson Pollackesque ejaculation on an empty spreadsheet. Matt Damon helped."
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:48 AM on May 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


The same exact reasoning that got GWB elected twice.

Did I miss an election? I can only remember the once.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:48 AM on May 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I hope Crabman gets his own show.

As long as Jaime Pressly co-stars, I'm there. She has such a fantastic presence, I could watch her re-grout the tiles in her bathroom and consider myself entertained.

posted by quin at 8:52 AM on May 20, 2009


Christ, what exactly, did Jay have to offer up to Satan for all of his success?

His chin is actually the Spear of Destiny.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:13 AM on May 20 [5 favorites -] Favorite added! [!]


I can't stop cackling at this delicious comment. It surprised laughter out of me in that way where you just can't stop. Thanks Flo.
posted by empyrean at 8:59 AM on May 20, 2009


Mastercheddaar: "10I miss the man show..... (me/cries a little inside.)"

I don't miss the Man Show per se, but the idea of it.

When I first tuned into The Man Show (and yes, I am a woman and I watched it), I envisioned a Benny Hill-type of show (Kimmel has said he's an old fan of Benny Hill). I figured the Man Show would feature the same level of good-natured humor, maybe some frat jokes, a little ogling, etc. but with that whole, "You gotta love 'em" attitude behind it all.

But that show became really uncomfortable to watch when its tone turned bitter and hostile. I blame this on Kimmel's relationship with his ex-wife, which was falling apart; their subsequent divorce was pretty ugly.

Now, today, with his life back on track, I'm liking Kimmel a lot more, and I think a new Man Show would be great, and truer to that ideal.
posted by misha at 8:59 AM on May 20, 2009


She could re-grout my tiles anytime she wants, nudge nudge wink wink
posted by spicynuts at 9:00 AM on May 20, 2009


someone please teach me how to get rid of that number when I quote someone, I always mess it up.
posted by misha at 9:00 AM on May 20, 2009


Maybe Kimmel was on a roll this year, but Nikki Finke considers the coverage overblown, given the similar jokes from talk show hosts at previous upfronts. Conan O'Brien, Drew Carey, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and company have all enjoyed the license of the Court Fool at this event.

Hell, back in 2007, Kimmel told this audience, "But you all know, really, don't you? That we're all making it all up. None of us have any idea why something works. Some shows are good and get bad ratings; some shows are bad and get good ratings. And some shows are 'NCIS.' We don't know, suddenly Howie Mandel starts opening briefcases and everyone goes nuts. All we can do is keep sticking it out there and keep putting doctors in showers with each other."
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:04 AM on May 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


misha, you just really hit both what I liked about that show and what I didn't like about it.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:06 AM on May 20, 2009


Slate on the FOX upfront:

Your correspondent milled around the party just long enough to ascertain that the recession hadn't impacted Fox's sushi bar or its stock of Bombay Sapphire. The only buzz kills were atmospheric. A weekend of rain had left water seeping up such that the dance floor, with its Slip 'n Slide aspect, could not be boogied upon. The whole tent smelled like the day-old odor of egg salad.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:07 AM on May 20, 2009


How the hell have you people let this thread get so long without anyone saying "I don't watch T.V."?

What is WRONG with you????

Matt, fire them all, or cancel them mid-season, or something...
posted by HuronBob at 9:08 AM on May 20, 2009


Dear People Who Makes Them TV Shows:

Please adapt 100 Bullets for the small screen, because it would be awesome and stuff.

Love,

Me
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:12 AM on May 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Sorry I was eating something. But yeah, I don't watch TV.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:12 AM on May 20, 2009


if he entertains some people, then let him do his thing

With Jay Leno, that is a big "if."
posted by grouse at 9:12 AM on May 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know, it is so fashionable to take a shot at Jay Leno. Look, the fact is the man is out there every bloody night with fresh material and he's charming.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:12 AM on May 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


FOX and NBC are looking at picking up My Name Is Earl.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:13 AM on May 20, 2009


You know, it is so fashionable to take a shot at Jay Leno. Look, the fact is the man is out there every bloody night with fresh material and he's charming.

Topical humor is easy, lazy and it's never funny. It's predictable. And it's not just Leno- it's all of these late night idiots mailing it in every night.
posted by Zambrano at 9:17 AM on May 20, 2009


Topical humor is easy, lazy and it's never funny. It's predictable. And it's not just Leno- it's all of these late night idiots mailing it in every night.
posted by Zambrano at 9:17 AM on May 20


You know who else is predictable?
posted by grouse at 9:20 AM on May 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


ROU_Xenophobe: "fresh material"

We must define that phrase differently.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:20 AM on May 20, 2009


Ah, okay, FOX and ABC, not NBC. That confused me for a moment.
posted by Naberius at 9:21 AM on May 20, 2009


You know, I haven't seen Earl in a few years, but I'm not sure they should pick it up. As great as the first season was, it really did seem to be a concept that had one good season in it and then was pretty much done. You'll note that they quickly had to start resorting to weird gimmick episodes, particularly flashbacks so they could show Earl and the gang being stupid criminals.

And then putting a whole season in prison. WTF was that supposed to be about?

(Hey, getting a concept on the air that's got a whole season in it is pretty good. You have to have such an immediate "hit it out of the park!" response to get anything on the air now that most shows burn through all the interesting stuff inherent in the premise right there in the pilot, and then they coast for half a season and die.)
posted by Naberius at 9:24 AM on May 20, 2009


You know who else is predictable?

Nostradamus?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:25 AM on May 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


HuronBob: How the hell have you people let this thread get so long without anyone saying "I don't watch T.V."?

Heh.
posted by koeselitz at 9:25 AM on May 20, 2009


Jimmy Kimmel teamed with Adam Carolla, made an original, funny act. Jimmy Kimmel solo, just another talk show guy.
posted by digsrus at 9:27 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


spicynuts : She could re-grout my tiles anytime she wants, nudge nudge wink wink

I tried really hard to use something wouldn't be easily sexualized when coming up with this example, prior to this I was thinking "wash her car", "change her oil", "clean her kitchen", or "paint her living-room" and I curse my imagination, because it took no effort for me to take any of those and turn them into something kinky which would defeat the point of my willingness to watch her just because she is awesome.

I figured grouting tile crossed the line into the truly mundane, but obviously spicynuts just has a better imagination than me.

posted by quin at 9:29 AM on May 20, 2009


Topical humor is easy, lazy and it's never funny.

Never funny. How can people even write things like this.
posted by smackfu at 9:35 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


ROU_Xenophobe: You know, it is so fashionable to take a shot at Jay Leno. Look, the fact is the man is out there every bloody night with fresh material and he's charming.

'Fresh material'? 'Charming'?

It's well-known that he pre-tests his jokes in front of smaller crowds before his shows. This betrays his comic method, which is less about making good comedy—that is to say, making people laugh—than it is about choosing jokes that will appeal to the highest market-share.

And as far as his 'charm' goes, it's clearly calculated to lead him precisely where he wants to go. It consists chiefly in the fact that his jokes are never cutting because he makes it obvious by implication that he will only choose targets that will not upset the larger market-share. He is capable of smiling constantly and speaking at length in front of an audience of millions without ever saying anything of substance; and I'm not saying he should give lectures on politics, I'm saying that Johnny Carson on one of his best nights and in one of his funniest jokes communicated more substance and subtlety than the bulk of all of Jay Leno's nights taken together.

The point is that Jay Leno isn't a comedian or an entertainer. He's what is referred to as a 'television personality;' he serves mostly as a foil to his guests, and is valued because he is a neutral and unoffensive foil.
posted by koeselitz at 9:37 AM on May 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sounds like Jimmy Kimmel might have been channeling this guy. Doesn't look like it worked, though.
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:41 AM on May 20, 2009


Topical humor is easy, lazy and it's never funny. It's predictable. And it's not just Leno- it's all of these late night idiots mailing it in every night.
posted by Zambrano at 9:17 AM on May 20


Topical humor is not easy or lazy it is seldom funny because it is particularly not easy or lazy. It is really hard. You have a days worth of universal experience to draw from you need to make novel connections they need to be interesting. That's a battle right there, the daily show has an obscenely good bating average with this stuff. Part of the reason is that they have a pretty free format. They can take time to explain why something is absurd or doesn't add up. But a comedy monologue your using stand up conventions to create a new act of five minutes to ten minutes every night. Only about topical jokes. Jay Leno as a stand up was actually funny. Not the most funny but he was a good comic. Jay Leno doing his best every night sucks. Conan and Letterman also don't have funny monologues for the most part. They are funny in different more interesting ways during the rest of the show. My point is monologues aren't funny because they are too easy, but because they are too hard.
posted by I Foody at 9:42 AM on May 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think it's just really hard to be funny every night when you have mono.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:47 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Please adapt 100 Bullets for the small screen, because it would be awesome and stuff.

OMG - Yes, please, please, please.
posted by bashos_frog at 9:52 AM on May 20, 2009



I figured grouting tile crossed the line into the truly mundane, but obviously spicynuts just has a better imagination than me.


I've grouted tile. It involves bending over a lot. Enough said. Also "better" isn't the same thing as "dirtier"
posted by spicynuts at 9:55 AM on May 20, 2009


Yeah, this isn't news. It's funny, but a lot of these are funny.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:57 AM on May 20, 2009


ROU_Xenophobe: You know, it is so fashionable to take a shot at Jay Leno. Look, the fact is the man is out there every bloody night with fresh material and he's charming.

'Fresh material'? 'Charming'?


It's a simpson's ref. Another good one relevant here is:

Marge: *tells joke* I'm a regular Billy Crystal!
Bart: *unsmiling* You got that right.


posted by DU at 9:57 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


d'oh, a family guy ref--whatev, I still love the dig at Billy Crystal
posted by DU at 9:58 AM on May 20, 2009


I was hoping to get the whole skit, but alas. Bill Hicks's opinion on Leno
posted by khaibit at 10:00 AM on May 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


This has publicity stunt bullshit written all over it. Did Kimmel think he was talking to people who didn't already know everything he was saying? This was staged for the press.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:01 AM on May 20, 2009


Jay Leno was a very funny stand-up comedian, and then he got the Tonight Show gig, and his edges was... I would say "softened" but actually his edge was ground off with an industrial lathe and than fitted with kiddie bowling-alley bumpers.

Look up some of his early stuff. Now you know what he had to sell to the devil to get his success.
posted by tzikeh at 10:03 AM on May 20, 2009


I saw Jay Leno do his stand-up routine at a club in 1984* and he was freaking hilarious. This was back in the days where he would come on Letterman and leave everyone in stitches. How come he isn't allowed to age with grace? Sure, he has marginalized his comedy, and I don't find it terribly entertaining any more, but he got the TONIGHT SHOW gig - who watches that? Old farts, that's who. He sold out sure, but look at that car collection (and isn't he also an old fart now?)

*Jay rode up to the venue on his sole Harley Davidson in full leathers. 30 mins later he was onstage in a suit cracking us up for 2 solid hours.
posted by HyperBlue at 10:07 AM on May 20, 2009


I'd go ahead and get the converter box and antenna for Joy and the Crabman.
posted by Restless Day at 10:09 AM on May 20, 2009


they had to end every episode with some sort of feel-good message

Totally. My Name Is Earl was one of those shows--Scrubs was another one--where every single episode felt like a series finale.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:10 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jay Leno was a very funny stand-up comedian, and then he got the Tonight Show gig, and his edges was... I would say "softened" but actually his edge was ground off with an industrial lathe and than fitted with kiddie bowling-alley bumpers.

All comics seem to mellow out once they get older/sober up/have kids. Either that, or they die young.

The only exception I can think of off the top of my head is George Carlin, but even he wasn't as edgy as he was Back In The Day. (And even so, that could've been a result of changing attitudes towards popular culture.)
posted by Spatch at 10:11 AM on May 20, 2009


The same exact reasoning that got GWB elected twice.
Did I miss an election? I can only remember the once.
It's easy to forget the other one, because only nine people actually turned out to vote.
posted by Flunkie at 10:16 AM on May 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Here is Kimmel's routine yesterday.

(Anne Sweeney is President of Disney/ABC Television.
Mike Shaw is President of Sales & Marketing.
Steve McPherson is President of ABC Entertainment.)

(out of tape piece)
Sally Field. What a thrill it was for her to act with me.

Look at this. All of ABC's late night comedy talent is assembled here on one stage stage for you tonight.

I want to throw at you some information that you might not have. Do you know that viewers of my show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, have the highest househould income, see more movies, buy more music, and spent 14% more on beer and 11% more on automobiles than any show on television? Do you know why you didn't know that? Because it's bullshit. I made it up. In fact, everything you've heard today, everything you're going to hear this week, is bullshit.

Everyone put down your blackberries. Let's get real for a minute. Let's get Dr. Phil real, if we can. First of all, there's no Ad Lab. Anne [Sweeney] said that as a joke. You really think we have a laboratory for ads? Of course we don't. It's ridiculous.

And these shows we're so excited about? These new fall shows? We're going to cancel about 90% of them. Possibly more. I couldn't help but notice that right after the new shows, we announce the midseason replacements. So confident - why are we working on their replacements already? I'll tell you why because we know most of them won't make it 'til Christmas. This show "Shark Tank" has the word tank right in the title. It’s not a good omen.

The truth is - we've been lying to you. Every year, we lie to you and every year you come back for more. This is - it's an abusive relationship. You don't need an upfront. You need therapy.

Remember that time we got you to buy on that bingo show? You really should have seen the looks on your faces. We pretended people were going to watch bingo on TV. You knew nobody was going to watch bingo on television. We lied to you. And you passed those lies along to your clients. Everyone in this room is completely full of shit. Except for one person. Mike Shaw.

Let me tell you a little something about Mike Shaw. Mike Shaw believes in advertising. Mike Shaw actually uses your products. You know why Mike Shaw has the densest GRP in television? Levitra. That's why. You can trust Mike. But not anyone else.

Here's the truth. ABC was hoping I wouldn't be here this year. They wanted Jay Leno. I know that. They wanted to put Jay Leno at 11:30 and move me to 12:30 and it actually looked like it was going to happen until the last second when NBC said No we will not allow Jay Leno to go to ABC even if we have to destroy our own network to keep him. That of course led to their new show "I'm your Boston affiliate, get me out of here."

But, in fairness, you have to hand it to NBC - they're trying things. And they're giving Jay's viewers exactly what they want - an early bird special. All of a sudden, NBC is so focused on being early, they're like my grandparents. I think - I'm not sure - were they two weeks early for the new fall season or 50 weeks late for the last one? NBC had such a head start they've already had a chance to cancel half their fall schedule today.

Over at FOX, they announced that 24 will be back. As you know that show was within a headbutt of being canceled. Next year, I hear Jack Bauer is going to have a sidekick that follows him everywhere he goes who will be played by Kiefer Sutherland's probation officer.

FOX is also taking a big chance this fall on a series about the dark side of drugs. It's called Major League Baseball.

It hasn't been an easy year but despite the writer's strike and the economic downturn, we've made a number of breakthroughs at ABC. On Lost, we introduced the first African American smoke monster. Once again, ABC got more GLAAD awards than anyone. Ours is the gay friendliest network on television. So thank you, Regis. And I'm hoping that Steve [McPherson] will listen to me for once and put the blind guy from American Idol on Dancing with the Stars. That needs to happen. We did one leg. Why not?
And we're learning. Yes, we made a mistake with that caveman show last year, but wait until you see our new Geico lizard drama. It's great.

Not only do we have surprises in store at ABC, we have more marketing opportunities than ever before. In one of the greatest ad integrations in television history, next season on Grey's Anatomy, your product could actually kill Dr. Izzy. She could be crushed by a case of Coke Zero or smothered in a Slanket. Just depends on how much you want to pay.

We're also - and I don't want to ruin it for anyone who is rushing home to watch the finale of Dancing with the Stars tonight but if the Bachelorette, Melissa, wins tonight - tomorrow night they're going to do a special show to tell her she didn't.

ABC, this network, is at the top of the money heap. Our GRP is so dense, it's ridiculous. It's - I don't even know what GRP means. But, we have the most affluent viewers of any network. Our research shows that nearly 10% of our viewers watch ABC from homes they still own. And that's impressive.

Things are looking bright for us. I'm not just kissing ass when I say I think all our shows are going to work this year. I really do. I don't really. I'm going to go now but what I would like you to take away is this: Maybe some of these shows will work, maybe they won't. The important thing to remember is: who cares, it's not your money. Just give it to us. Give it to Mike Shaw. He really wants it.

Thank you all. I'll probably see you next year, but no promises. Good times!
posted by spec80 at 10:17 AM on May 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


I have gotten in the habit of trying to avoid all new shows until they have at least a season behind them

I do something like this. I will watch the premiere of a new show that comes out and, if it looks interesting, then I will Tivo the next several episodes to see if it is a quick casualty. If not, then its easy to catch up skipping commercials. A 30 minute sitcom is only about 18 minutes outside commercials and credits.

I think this effort on my part will become even less important as Hulu and such become increasingly popular and thorough.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:22 AM on May 20, 2009


TV killed Leno. His stand was okay funny. But TV — attempting to appeal to millions and millions of people all at one — plus the silly nightly talk-show format grinds down any edge over time.

Think about it. How many times has somebody on Metafilter made a slightly off-color edgy aside and drawn a shit storm? The bigger and less targeted your audience the softer and more generlized your material has to be.

Letterman started off as kind of cult audience thing and he kept his edge a little longer. But the Tonight Show? That was an established and huge audience. And that's why the picked Leno over Letterman.

What Kimmel is talking about is the essential death of broadcast TV. At this point they shove whatever shit they can down the pipe and cross their fingers.
posted by tkchrist at 10:26 AM on May 20, 2009


A while ago there was a thread about Jimmy Fallon, and I was really confused because I was thinking of Jimmy Kimmel when I read the thread. This time it's actually about Jimmy Kimmel but I was thinking of Jimmy Fallon. I give up.
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:31 AM on May 20, 2009


Please adapt 100 Bullets for the small screen, because it would be awesome and stuff.

Actually, 100 Bullets is on the CW fall schedule. Here's the synopsis:

"Phil Graves, all-state quarterback for the Vasco High Minutemen helps his true love, Megan Dietrich, plot revenge against the shadowy organization that had her father killed while preparing for the big game against rival school Dare County High, home of the fightin' Croatoans."

Should be awesome! And stuff!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:39 AM on May 20, 2009


My Name is Earl is Cancelled
What?!?!

FOX and NBC are looking at picking up My Name Is Earl.
Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please.

C'mon! I love Earl.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:45 AM on May 20, 2009


I have gotten in the habit of trying to avoid all new shows until they have at least a season behind them

What is this called, where you do something that benefits you, but if everyone did it, everyone would lose?
posted by smackfu at 10:53 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Capitalism.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:54 AM on May 20, 2009 [17 favorites]


Earl's OK, but it's been treading water for a while. I give them props for the meta-coma season, but it could use a big injection of funny. Would be nice to see it jump ship, though.

Oh, and the answer to Parks and Rec seems to be, no, Amy Poehler cannot carry a show.
posted by klangklangston at 11:02 AM on May 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is what the vast majority of 'the public' wants. You have to bust your god damn ass all day at a boring piece of shit job with a boring piece of shit boss over your shoulder, last thing you want is to come home after dealing with your boring piece of shit kids and have to think about stuff for an hour before you pop an ambien and pass out. Enter Leno.
posted by spicynuts


See also: the death of journalism
posted by regicide is good for you at 11:15 AM on May 20, 2009


What is this called, where you do something that benefits you, but if everyone did it, everyone would lose?

It's called being a Kant.
posted by tepidmonkey at 11:31 AM on May 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


No, tepidmonkey, that's the opposite.
posted by oddman at 1:12 PM on May 20, 2009


Perhaps this has already been answered in this thread, but is there some reason Charlie can't fire his housekeeper on Two and a Half Men? And does she live there? The place is, like, 600 square feet! It can't require that much cleaning! Does he pay her to just be an incredible pill?

And how have they managed to keep the show going this long without ever teaching the kid to act, or tell a joke?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:21 PM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: "Earl's OK, but it's been treading water for a while."

"It's hard to be too upset about being thrown off the Titanic." - Greg Garcia, creator of the NBC show "My Name Is Earl," blasting the network's lackluster ratings after learning his show had been canceled

posted by Joe Beese at 1:47 PM on May 20, 2009


This isn't as big a deal as you think it is.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 6:45 PM on May 20, 2009


Oops. Bookhouse beat me to it. Shoulda read the thread first. Sorry.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 6:46 PM on May 20, 2009


Free riding, I think.
posted by Decimask at 7:09 PM on May 20, 2009


Oh, and the answer to Parks and Rec seems to be, no, Amy Poehler cannot carry a show.

I think the answer is "6 episodes is not a season". It's so weird they copied that part of The Office. Maybe they think they can get away with the same "the first season sucked but then it was awesome" bit.
posted by smackfu at 7:16 PM on May 20, 2009


Please adapt 100 Bullets for the small screen, because it would be awesome and stuff.

They would just kill it and would have us fanboys back here ranting about how crappy that was.
posted by manny_calavera at 10:38 PM on May 20, 2009


And how have they managed to keep the show going this long without ever teaching the kid to act, or tell a joke?

IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE THE KID LIKES FOOD
posted by Spatch at 5:42 AM on May 21, 2009


They made the character stupid. So that the actor's inability to act or tell jokes is an asset.
posted by oddman at 12:25 PM on May 21, 2009


> What is this called, where you do something that benefits you, but if everyone did it, everyone would lose?

Tragedy of the commons?
posted by cj_ at 1:05 PM on May 21, 2009


Video of the performance.
posted by waraw at 4:26 PM on May 21, 2009


« Older 400 years ago today, Thomas Thorpe entered into th...   |   Root magazine analyzes "Blipst... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments