Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sunday miscellaneous

Who does Nate Silver like for the next Pope?

The good and bad about Los Angeles: Yesterday it was 82 degrees. But you couldn’t drive north. A major freeway is under construction, most northbound lanes are closed for the weekend and surface street traffic on the Westside was completely snarled. A citizen’s group has snapped into action. To protest traffic delays they’re holding a rally, which will cause...more traffic delays.

NBC’s disastrous mid-season continues. For the first time ever, in February sweeps they finished fifth behind Telemundo. And yet WHITNEY is still on the schedule.

I did a blog post on how terrestrial radio plays too many commercials. Tim Conway Jr. on KFI, Los Angeles ripped me on the air for a half an hour, claiming that terrestrial radio is healthier and more popular than ever. This rant was broken up by a six-minute block of commercials. I noticed that Tim didn’t open the phone lines to hear what listeners thought.

Happy to see that Andre and Maria Jacquemetton have signed an overall deal to write and produce new shows for WB. Although they didn’t get much recognition, they’re terrific writers who contributed a lot to MAD MEN over the last six seasons.

Jennifer Lawrence’s sweaty clothes from SILVER LINING PLAYBOOK sold for about $1500 at a recent auction. Imagine what Monica’s dress would bring in.

Networks are currently casting their pilots for the upcoming season. Almost without exception they’re hiring actors coming off recent shows. So in other words, this pilot season is going to look exactly like last pilot season except the actors will be wearing different costumes.

Warner Brothers is the NBC of movie studios this year. GANGSTER SQUAD, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, and now JACK THE GIANT SLAYER have all bombed spectacularly. Time to release HANGOVER III even if it’s not finished.

But at least in the summer Warner Brothers has the new Superman movie. NBC has AMERICA’S GOT TALENT.

So now we learn Taco Bell uses horse meat? It doesn't help.

THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC has begun! And if you find that exciting, tickets are now on sale for next year’s NFL Pro Bowl.

If you watch THE AMERICANS, who do you root for?

And finally, I’d love to see the inventor of this go on THE SHARK TANK:



20 comments:

Johnny Walker said...

Another freeway? I wish they'd improve the public transportation instead :(

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Radio blows and there's almost no hope for it, unless it changes its ways and starts to operate in the style Warren Buffett attributes to good newspapers - something he has spent about 400 million on in the last couple of years.

Here's his recent quote about the value of local newspapers:

"Newspapers continue to reign supreme, however, in the delivery of local news. If you want to know what’s going on in your town – whether the news is about the mayor or taxes or high school football – there is no substitute for a local newspaper that is doing its job. A reader’s eyes may glaze over after they take in a couple of paragraphs about Canadian tariffs or political developments in Pakistan; a story about the reader himself or his neighbors will be read to the end. Wherever there is a pervasive sense of community, a paper that serves the special informational needs of that community will remain indispensable to a significant portion of its residents."

For radio's resurrection, nothing will help as much as a staff full of local, talented air personalities (as you've mentioned before Ken) bringing with them the qualities Buffett talks about.

...that will happen when Dennis Rodman becames Secretary of State.

Most large radio groups (and I walked out on one as a salesman two years ago) are saddled with crippling debt service obligations and their management is forced to meet short-term goals by squeezing revenue and morale from beleaguered employees...most of whom quit within a few months. Example: we had ten people cycle through five sales positions...in the seven months I enjoyed that little piece of heaven.

My epiphany occurred when I walked into a client's office...and he extolled the virtues of Pandora. I had to agree...


chris said...

why the hate for Whitney?
it's a mediocre (at best) show that most of America isn't paying attention to at all.
why are you?

Mike Barer said...

Too many commercials, but here in Seattle there are some decent stations. I think that KIRO has some bright spots like Rachel Belle's news reports. Ron And Don are a guilty pleasure. Kind of an entertainment Tonight version of radio.

VincentS said...

Congratulations on the Jacquemetton's deal. In my opinion, great writers such as yourself don't get nearly enough recognition or pay as they deserve.

JJ said...

Not a new freeway (although new ones would be appreciated since LA has one of the lowest ratios of freeway miles to population of any major city). They're just fixing/widening a current one.

Mike Barer said...

If you want good radio, rumour has it that the Big Radio Guy is doing Walla Walla Sweets games on KTEL.

Mike said...

Unless you're talking about Friends, I think Monica's dress did sell at auction.

Charles Warn said...

So speaking of the World Baseball Classic, who ya got? 3peat for Japan? USA? other?

Joseph Scarbrough said...

82 degrees is too warm for me.

72 degrees is too warm for me too: whenever I see these commercials for like Comcast (or xfinity) security packages, and I see people setting their thermostats up to 72, I'm thinking why would anyone want to crank up their thermostats that high?

I don't function well in heat, sorry, it has to be nice n chilly for me.

Colin Holmes said...

I wonder if part of NBC's problem is that they are running 5 nights of SNL derivatives. Do you think Lorne Michaels gets extra for his role as the Manager of the Peacock's Triple A affiliate?

Breadbaker said...

I absolutely adore the World Baseball Classic. I saw a couple of games in 2006 in Arizona. Mexico played one in Scottsdale, and not surprisingly there were a lot of Mexicans there. Fans in Taiwan, hosting for the first time this year, have been rabid. You watch the Cubans for the next star to defect, as did Aroldis Chapman and Yoenis Cespedis, serious talents. Learning why there are so many Japanese surnames on the Brazilian team (the game was introduced there by Japanese immigrants to Brazil) is eye-opening.

mdv1959 said...

For me the problem in not only do they play too many commercials, about 10% of the ones they do play are so bad and obnoxious that I can't change the channel fast enough. One of the joys of listening to KCRW is that you don't have to put with bad commercials (not counting pledge drives) Among the other stations I do listen to it seems to me that "The Sound" 100.3 does a good job of not taking too many crap commercials.

I grew up in So Cal with the radio always (KMET, KLOS, KROQ) and I never listen to a terrestrial station anymore unless I'm in a car. The internet offers tons of choices and with less commercials.

Pat Reeder said...

"Whitney" isn't the greatest sitcom on TV, but it has improved a lot since it debuted. The supporting cast is good, and every show is no longer about Whitney doing something obnoxious to sabotage her relationship. A recent episode with John Cleese as a couples therapist had some hilarious lines (mostly his readings of them, but still). Ironically, the biggest hit Whitney Cummings has helped create is "Two Broke Girls," and "Whitney" is now far superior to that. My wife liked TBG at first, so I watched a few episodes. We've both now tuned it out. There are only so many crude biological function jokes we can stand in half an hour, and the supporting characters exist for no other reason than to lob easy set-ups for gross punchlines. It makes "Whitney" look like Oscar Wilde in comparison.

Ron said...

Tom Leykis rips terrestrial radio all the time. Even though he may not be your cup of tea the guy is trying something new and knows the biz better than most.

Tom Jameson said...

Ken: The freeway in question, is that the 405? Two years ago my wife and I were down in LA for a wedding. We did a little sight seeing first. I had a Jamba Juice and two cups of coffee before getting on the 405. Tasty, but hard on the bladder. Miles of construction and nothing but a sea of rear bumpers. So, I told her we would make time to Santa Clarita if I got in the car pool lane. Bad choice, the car pool lane slows to a crawl and I'm five lanes from the bushes. I made it, though, without soiling the rental but I feel permanently distended down there. One day the jack hammers will stop...

Don K. said...

Tim Conway, Jr. ripped you? I absolutely love his father, maybe more than his mother does, but Junior can't name one job he obtained that wasn't abetted by his name. Not one.

KFI rarely, if ever, takes calls. It allows "hosts" like John and Ken to lie, rant and smear without any kind of blowback, as well as Conway, Jr. Cowardice on the AM Dial. That station owes its very being to Handel, and yet HE screws up at least 2-3 times a year.

chuckcd said...

I root for the FBI, no one ever roots for the FBI.

jbryant said...

Love The Americans. The only thing I was rooting for was a second season pickup, which it got.

Cedric said...

Totally random Friday question:

I've recently become hooked on A&E's new hit "Duck Dynasty", which, if you haven't seen it, is much more entertaining than you might think. I recently read an article that described it as basically a sitcom wrapped in a reality show, and I have to agree. There are colorful characters, sitcom-y situations, and lots of clever zingers, all wrapped in a wholesome family-friendly package. The only difference is the characters appear to be real people more or less playing themselves: real relatives in a real family.

I know that "reality" TV is often an illusion, with lots of writers and producers orchestrating things behind the scenes. This is the first time, at least that I've noticed, that the two formulas of "reality TV" and "sitcom" have been blended so successfully. Would you agree, and if so, do you think such a trend would be a good thing or a bad thing for comedy writers?