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December 2008 Archives

Make Whatever You Want of This Promo Item

December 19, 2008 11:53 AM

The Daily Blink got one of those posable figures for drawing along with the screener for Joss Whedon’s new Fox series “Dollhouse.”


The series is about an “underground group of individuals who have had their personalities wiped clean so they can be imprinted with any number of new personas,” the box says.

The Daily Blink supposes the figure is in reference to that clean-slate idea, but the Daily Blink thinks paper dolls that you could dress up as anything you want them to be (“Who do you want me to be?” is printed all over the box) would have made more sense. Good luck finding clothes to dress up your drawing figure.

Joss Whedon

More important, however, the Daily Blink wants to know where can one get a “Dr. Horrible” hat like the one Mr. Whedon wears in the electronic press kit interview. And is star Eliza Dushku a jackpot? Because her top seems to imply so.

—Vlada Gelman

Finding a Slot for ‘Lost and Found’

December 18, 2008 2:11 PM

NBC's recent move to ditch 10 p.m. dramas for Jay Leno has predictably sent some producers reaching for the Xanax. After all, it just got about 25 percent harder to land a new hour on the Peacock network.

That said, NBC officials insist that they're not giving up on sophisticated dramas, even if it means airing them at 9 p.m. In fact, shortly after the press conference announcing Mr. Leno's new show, NBC Entertainment Co-chairman Ben Silverman went out of his way to highlight two projects he's particularly optimistic about—a cop show from "ER" creator John Wells and a new cold case crime drama from "Law & Order" guru Dick Wolf.

Indeed, Mr. Wolf's latest project—dubbed "Lost and Found"—seems to be picking up some steam as it prepares to begin shooting. A recent table read is said to have gone "very well," according to one production insider.

The mood may have been helped by the ratings for the Dec. 3 episode of "Law & Order," which were the best for the show in more than a year. That episode featured a guest starring appearance by Katee Sackhoff, the "Battlestar Galactica" regular who also happens to be the lead in Mr. Wolf's new show.

—Josef Adalian

Moo-erry Christmas From ‘Fringe’

December 16, 2008 3:26 PM

Gene the Cow from “Fringe” is working overtime this month to provide milk for Santa Claus, but she still found some time to wish you all a Happy Fringemas.

She also sent along a holiday greeting from Walter Bishop, which doubles as a “This season so far…” recap in the vein of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

“Fringe” doesn’t return until Jan. 20, but until then, “Merry Fringemas to all, and to all a ‘Fringe’ night.”

—Vlada Gelman

Are You Ready to Get ‘Lost’?

December 16, 2008 1:01 PM

It’s time to return to the island.

Jack’s savior complex is now full-blown, and he and Ben are getting ready to round up the Oceanic Six and return to the survivors they left behind on the mysterious island in “Lost.”

ABC’s promo video offers tantalizing clues to the fifth season, which begins Jan. 21, including Locke’s visit to Jack and Ben’s farewell to Locke. It also raises the question of how and whether the odd couple—good guy Jack and bad guy Ben—will be able to persuade the others (as opposed to The Others) to return.

See for yourself.

—Lisa D. Horowitz

‘Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along’ Comes to DVD Dec. 19

December 15, 2008 12:03 PM

It seems Joss Whedon fans have been very good this year, because this holiday season they’re getting “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” on DVD.

Dr. Horrible

After making its debut online in July, Whedon’s evil superhero musical debuts on DVD Dec. 19 exclusively through Amazon (the same day the Paley Center for Media in New York hosts a “Dr. Horrible” sing-along).

The Daily Blink was able to secure an advanced copy, popped that sucker in and immediately thought her DVD player was broken.

See, the DVD’s standard FBI warning suddenly starts to flicker and goes fuzzy, then is replaced by an ELE (that’s Evil League of Evil, for the uninitiated) Warning.

“This disc is designated for evil purposes only. … DON’T BE A HERO!” the DVD warns.

You know who’s not a hero? The ten lucky evil fans whose Evil League of Evil application videos made it onto the DVD. If ever there was evidence of Joss Whedon’s huge global fan base, it’s in the ELE video submissions, which come from all over the world and feature a minute-long list of Dishonorable Mentions.

Among the extras: a “Making of Dr. Horrible” featurette, with writers/Whedon brothers Joss, Jed and Zack and Maurissa Tancharoen, as well as actors Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day, talking about the movie, the music and the project’s reception. You’ll learn that frequent Whedon collaborator Ben Edlund had been pitching Bad Horse on “Angel” for years and that Zack Whedon wrote the infamous “The hammer is my penis” line. You’ll find out that the video received 1,000 hits per second the first day it was released, crashing the site’s server. You’ll see footage of the writers laying down demo tracks and Mr. Harris and Ms. Day singing “My Eyes” for the first time, which brought tears to Joss’ eyes.

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Schwahn’s Place

December 14, 2008 8:31 PM

Melrose Place

If Heather Locklear and “One Tree Hill” creator Mark Schwahn are spotted by TMZ having lunch at the Ivy, there may be a good reason: Mr. Schwahn is in negotiations to create, write and executive produce the pilot for The CW’s upcoming “Melrose Place” spinoff, two people familiar with the situation said. A final deal isn’t in place, but discussions shouldn’t be too heated, since Mr. Schwahn recently signed an overall deal with “Melrose” producer CBS Paramount Network Television. One possible hitch: That agreement doesn’t kick in until June, and Mr. Schwahn also has a concurrent deal with Warner Bros. Television to continue as showrunner on “Hill” next season. That’s why, for now at least, Mr. Schwahn is scheduled only to create a template for the new “Melrose,” with another producer possibly running things day-to-day if the pilot goes to series. As long as Mr. Schwahn finds a way to woo Ms. Locklear back to D&D Advertising, Blink is on board.

—Josef Adalian

Come Again? Captioning All That ‘Jizz’

December 14, 2008 8:30 PM

“Saturday Night Live” on Dec. 6 presented another of the show’s edgy musical shorts (Who can forget “Dick in a Box”?) that immediately became a Web favorite—660,000 hits and counting less than a week after its debut. Veteran cast member Andy Samberg and his fellow Lonely Island members, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, debuted a rappish ode to, ummm, non-procreational and uncontrollable male emissions titled “Jizz in My Pants.” The J-word was heard many, many, many times. But hearing-impaired viewers who need closed-captioning to follow what’s happening on TV didn’t see “jizz” in the captioned lyrics; they saw “—.” Just “—” every time. Not because of any prudishness on the part of the captioners, all of whom are dedicated to replicating as closely as possible the complete TV experience. Late-night captioners have been known to follow a joke that bombed with “(smattering of applause).” According to a spokeswoman for VITAC, which captions “SNL,” the musical short was not included in the dress rehearsal, which VITAC’s captioners watch to familiarize themselves with what they may see about three hours later. When the captioners saw the musical short on the live show later that night, they could not be sure what the word was and the rule is to not guess but to indicate something was being left out. Blink is partial to “(garbled lyrics”), which is often how rappers are rendered during live performances on TV. But now that VITAC knows what the word is, it will be accurately reflected in the closed-captioning on any encore broadcasts. That’s the official word.

—Michele Greppi

The Snow Must Go On!

December 14, 2008 8:30 PM

In true the-show-must-go-on tradition, NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman Ben Silverman hit the slopes for charity the weekend immediately preceding the network’s wholesale axing of its top creative executives.

Ben Silverman at the Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest

Mr. Silverman—looking startlingly upbeat, considering—posed with slalom ace Steve Mahre, left, and event host Bob Horowitz, president of Juma Entertainment, right, at the 17th annual Deer Valley (Utah) Celebrity Skifest presented by Paul Mitchell. Highlights of the fest, which raised $500,000 via live auction for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization that fights water pollution, are scheduled to air Sunday on—you guessed it, CBS.

—Tom Gilbert

Here’s to ‘Sheets’

December 14, 2008 8:30 PM

Fans of “Jericho” and “Moonlight” aren’t the only die-hard types willing to rally in order to save their favorite shows. At least that’s what Zane Lamprey is counting on. For the past three years, he’s hosted “Three Sheets,” a drinking-’round-the-globe series that aired on the tiny cable network Mojo HD.

Zane Lamprey

Unfortunately, the network, operated by In Demand, called it quits earlier this year—leaving “Three Sheets” twisting in the wind. Mr. Lamprey and his fans, however, have come up with an innovative way to call attention to the show’s plight. On Dec. 16, Mr. Lamprey will host a combination rally/pub crawl in the Los Angeles area, marching outside the offices of TV executives while simultaneously getting hammered at three different L.A. bars. A similar stunt is planned for Dec. 18 in New York City. Mr. Lamprey said he hopes executives realize his series “is not just a show about a guy who travels around the world and drinks. It’s more than that. I also eat.” More info on the effort to save “Three Sheets” is available at zanelamprey.com.

—Josef Adalian

An Evening With a Punch at Paley Gala

December 12, 2008 5:03 PM

Three things happened at Thursday’s Paley Center for Media annual gala ceremony in Los Angeles: Carl Reiner hated the food, nobody wanted to see themselves in high definition and the night’s host, Bonnie Hunt, punched the Daily Blink in the arm.

Carl Reiner

Mr. Reiner, who was one of the evening’s honorees, gave a speech about Paley Center founder William S. Paley offering a job to a local woman to run a hot dog stand in Paley Park in New York City.

He said he’d rather have the hot dogs at the stand than the “awful” dinner served at the event, which was a chicken turnover with potatoes and vegetables. The crowd clapped in agreement.

Bonnie Hunt

Mr. Reiner also put on an impromptu performance of “The 2,000 Year Old Man” with longtime partner Mel Brooks, which is still as funny as it ever was.

Despite the hatred of the food, the night included touching comments from Carl Reiner’s son, writer-director-producer Rob, who talked about his father’s secret signal to him during “Your Show of Shows,” and a talk from Dick Van Dyke, who disliked the large HD screen behind him broadcasting the event to the room at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City.

The distrust of HD continued throughout the night, with other speakers making note of the huge screen behind them.

Also receiving recognition was Showtime Networks, with Chairman-CEO Matthew Blank and President of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt accepting the kudos. While Mr. Blank and Mr. Greenblatt were on stage, the ceremony’s host, Bonnie Hunt, walked over to the Daily Blink and said, “Everyone keeps talking about this HD screen. Do I really look THAT bad up there?”

“What? No, you look fine,” I said.

She responded with a joking “I’m serious!”

The Daily Blink laughed. She then punched me in the arm and walked away.

I was honored that night, too, as I can now tell my parents that I was assaulted* by a major celebrity.

*Playfully and all in good fun.

—Andrew Krukowski

Non-Leno News From the Late-Night Front

December 9, 2008 2:14 PM

With all of the talk about Jay Leno getting the 10 p.m. weeknight slot on NBC, the launch of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’s” video blog was pushed to the back burner.

JimmyFallon Video Blog

The show’s vlog launched Monday at 12:30 a.m. ET, with Jimmy “The Giggler” Fallon giving a quick tour of his new surroundings at Rockefeller Center’s Studio 6B.

Why viewers need to wait until 12:30 a.m. to see unfinished studio and office space is anyone’s guess.

Mr. Fallon introduces the Roots as “Late Night’s” house band and tries to solicit questions from viewers that will be answered on the video blog.

However, instead of some kind of simple question submission form, NBC is trying to get viewers to sign up for its “discussion forums,” which just isn’t going to happen. Nice try, NBC, but I’d rather handwrite my question and stuff it in an envelope addressed to “The Internet” than try to traverse an online fan forum.

Check out the thrilling first vlog from last night:

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A Fresh Stab at ‘Nip/Tuck’

December 5, 2008 4:49 PM

Blink_NipTuck.jpgFX’s plastic surgery-themed “Nip/Tuck” is picking up right where last season left off, with Dr. Sean McNamara, played by Dylan Walsh, fresh from a bloody backstabbing and being dragged across the floor.

In the following clips, the show’s cast and creative team give a sneak peek at some of the things brewing for season six, which begins Jan. 6.

Will children follow in their parents’ footsteps, regardless of age? Will a child upstage the big doctors, for that matter? What happens when Dr. Christian Troy, played by Julian McMahon, finally feels up Dr. Liz Cruz (Roma Maffia)?

Check out the clips and behind-the-scenes information after the jump, if not for the spoilers then at least for the roster of guest stars including Morgan Fairchild, Katee Sackhoff and Jennifer Coolidge.

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Be of Good(Bye) Cheer

December 5, 2008 2:18 PM

The timing couldn’t have been worse.

Kathie Lee Gifford

The annual party thrown by the “Today” executive producer and talent for the morning show’s staff had, for several months, been scheduled for Thursday. That, of course, was the day when the bulk of the personnel cuts were enacted on “Today” and in other units of NBC News, cuts made as part of the $500 million NBC Universal retrenchment ordered last October by NBCU President Jeff Zucker.

On Friday, Kathie Lee Gifford opened up the fourth hour of “Today” she co-hosts with Hoda Kotb, waving pictures from the party—including one in which the co-hosts were simultaneously planting kisses on the cheeks of executive producer Jim Bell.

“The ‘Today’ holiday party is thrown each year to thank the hundreds of staff and crew members who work so hard on the show every day. It was personally hosted by Jim Bell and the ‘Today’ talent and was planned months ago,” a spokeswoman for the morning show said.

Blink understands that life must go on. But it does seem a bit tone-deaf to trill on the air about letting the good times roll, a day after the good times came to a screeching halt for so many.

—Michele Greppi

Need an FCC Chairman? Try the Classifieds

December 2, 2008 11:11 AM

What’s the best way to find a new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission? How about a classified ad?

Free Press, a public-interest group, is running a tongue-in-cheek classified ad for FCC chairman this morning, saying it wants to drive home the message both of the post’s importance and the need to have someone who represents the public and not just the media industry.

Today’s ad ran in the classified sections of the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Politico.com and TheHill.com. It makes reference to some of current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s moves, among them sponsoring a NASCAR car to promote the digital TV transition. The car crashed in two of the three races in which the FCC sponsored it.

“Help Wanted: FCC Chairman,” says the ad.

“The American people seek a new leader at the Federal Communications Commission to take media and technology policy into the 21st century.

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'Scrubs' Invites First Guest to New Home

December 1, 2008 3:06 PM

When “Scrubs” moves to ABC on Jan. 6, it’ll be bringing along a friend.

“Friends” star Courteney Cox will guest star as the new chief of medicine. She’s “extremely hot”—which causes J.D. to go into an overly prolonged slow-motion sequence—and super-friendly. She even manages to get a smile out of perpetual grump Dr. Cox.

No idea what Zach Braff’s scruff is about, but the Daily Blink hopes he finds a shaving razor. Stat.

—Vlada Gelman