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Flash: AOL Voters Think Like TV Critics

January 10, 2005 12:00 AM

It is unusual when TV critics and the mass of viewers agree on which shows are best, as occurred in the latest TelevisionWeek semiannual Critics Poll (TVWeek, Jan. 3). The poll named ratings hits "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" critics' No. 1 and 2 faves, respectively, and dubbed "Center of the Universe" the worst show. Now those results have been validated in a poll of AOL users. The difference is that "Desperate Housewives" was No. 1 and "Lost" came in second. Other shows from our best show list that AOL users thought were tops were "Gilmore Girls," "American Dreams," "The O.C." and "The West Wing." Shows the critics ignored but AOL users liked included "CSI," "Alias" and "Boston Legal." Shows getting thumbs down on both lists were "The Swan," "Fear Factor" and "Growing Up Gotti." Since AOL voters had more time, they actually picked as the very worst a show that will be eligible for our next critics poll in July: "Who's Your Daddy?" which aired only last week.

-ALEX BEN BLOCK



Welcome to Wisteria Lane

Networks always try to outdo themselves when it comes to hosting parties for the semiannual TCA Press Tour. ABC, which presents last this year, will take advantage of its biggest hit and the critics' presence at the Universal City Hilton. Across from the hotel is the Universal Studios back lot, the home of the infamous "Wisteria Lane" set, familiar to millions of "Desperate Housewives" fans. ABC will host a party on the street and is opening four fully dressed homes to partygoers. Network planners are hoping the unseasonably heavy rain that has dominated the L.A. area weather this winter won't interfere. Maybe deceased housewife Mary Alice Young can pull some strings in the afterworld to guarantee a starry night. It is the No. 1 show on TV, after all ...

-CHRISTOPHER LISOTTA



NCTA Finalists

The search for a candidate to succeed Robert Sachs as president and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association appeared to be nearing the final stages last week, with two previously-unmentioned-but-very-plugged-in Republican insiders rumored to be among those making a final dash for the $1 million-plus-a-year post: David Hobbs, head of the White House's legislative office, and Kyle McSlarrow, a deputy secretary at the Department of Energy. Mr. Hobbs previously was a top staffer to former House majority leader Dick Armey, R-Texas. Mr. McSlarrow previously worked for former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss. Neither of the rumored contenders returned telephone calls. NCTA had no comment.

-DOUG HALONEN