The Weekly Pulse: Mr. Coogan's Groove Tube Update

The debut of Mr. Coogan’s 5 questions! I want YOU to participate!

LOOK AT THIS……

** Cojo’s making waves”¦ I’m not sure what he did though besides have a kidney transplant and talk about it with Oprah”¦

** Even if Desperate Housewives‘ Marcia Cross was a lesbian, would it really matter? It certainly wouldn’t make her less hot”¦

** A Sopranos cookbook? I wonder if the recipes include drugs and the body parts from whacked characters of the past. Adrianna stew anyone?

** A made-for-TV movie about Donald Trump? This has disaster written all over it”¦

I’ll say this though. ABC wouldn’t have been able to get away with this last year”¦You know “B.D.H.L.” (Before Desperate Housewives and Lost).

THE OPENING CREDITS: The IP TV staff is psyched about The Apprentice and getting ready for Survivor“¦

** Some day I’ll find a good new show to review”¦Fox’s Point Pleasant isn’t it though”¦

** Last week’s Groove Tube Update answered the question: “Why SHOULDN’T we report stories of the networks picking up pilots?” (Because it’s fake news”¦that’s why”¦)

** Get ready”¦Looks like IP TV will be bringing you more and more LIVE COVERAGE of the best shows on television in the coming weeks. Here’s a great example: Matt Romanada’s coverage of The Apprentice.

** Speaking of which”¦I’ve never seen so much coverage of The Apprentice in my life. Let’s see what we’ve got”¦Old reliable, Nick Warnock from Season 1 is still providing hard hitting commentary. His latest is about Episode 3.

** Season 2 runner up, Jen Massey is catching up and offering a glut of coverage. Here’s Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3. Phew”¦.Great work though!

** Meanwhile, I want to call Elizabeth adorable, but I don’t want to demean her as a business woman. So, I’ll just tell you to read her Episode 2 and Episode 3 recaps.

** And Chris Russo already has his recap of Episode 4 up. Phew”¦

** Looks like we’re saying good bye to Ms. Didey and hello to Laura Whitehouse as a flagship columnist. In her debut, she talks about a few different networks, you may not know much about.

** Cheri watched the Super Bowl and wanted to share her thoughts with the readership, no matter how random they might be”¦

** Let the Survivor previews and coverage begin!!! Mark Polishuk, Carlos, Sarah Quigley and Patrick all have some sort of preview looking at the players. I’m not sure what they can get from that. But they’re all excited and that’s what counts.

** Mike Lawrence talks about dating, poetry, the Super Bowl, The Simpsons and American Dad. Looks like he’d be a great moodspins candidate. Isn’t that true Matthew Michael?

** Hey Mathan”¦ How do you get so much reader feedback? How come I don’t get any besides from you? Anyway”¦keep up the good work”¦

TV NEWS

Super Bowl related”¦stuff”¦

** Is there a downside to 86.1 million people tuning into your network for a three-hour block of time? Kind of”¦ – While the New England Patriots and their fans were celebrating the team’s third Super Bowl victory in four years and Fox was counting its money after advertisers paid a whopping $2.4 million for a 30-second spot, something kind of strange was happening.

Fewer people were watching the biggest sporting event of the year.

According to Nielsen statistics reported on Zap2it.com, approximately 86.1 million people watched the game between the Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, a fairly significant five percent dip from last yea’s 89.8 million viewers who tuned in to see the Patriots win their first of consecutive championship games and Janet Jackson’s right nipple.

Despite the dip, people at Fox aren’t worried since between the game and two episodes of American Idol, the network will enjoy their best ratings week ever, according to the Zap2it.com article.

I still have to wonder though”¦A five percent dip? Is it that more people are going to monster parties and Nielsen still hasn’t figured out a way to count them? Or are more people actually finding better things to do than watching football when they’re not very interested in it? It’s worth thinking about anyway”¦

** And the best ad goes to”¦ – I’m not sure when it happened but USA Today’s Ad Meter became the definitive source for determining a “good” Super Bowl ad versus a “bad” one. Using various score indicators, focus groups rate all of the Super Bowl ads and who ever gets the highest score (based out of a score of 10) is the best ad. I suppose this is the best way to quantify what “the American people” like.

Nonetheless, the grades are in and here are the top five ads:

1. Anheuser-Busch
Pilot jumps out of plane for six-pack of Bud Light after skydiver refuses.
8.65

2. Ameriquest Mortgage
Store customer’s cell phone chat misunderstood to be robbery.
8.06

3. Anheuser-Busch
American troops get standing ovation thank you at airport.
7.94

4. CareerBuilder.com
Guy in boardroom won’t kiss-up to monkey boss — but one monkey does.
7.86

5. CareerBuilder.com
Guy sits on whoopee cushion as prankster monkey colleagues laugh.
7.81

Interestingly, CareerBuilder.com also finished in the 6th spot, Anheuser-Busch finished 7th, and Ameriquest Mortgage finished 8th. So, that means those three companies held the top eight spots in the Ad Meter results. Anheuser-Busch also had 8 of the top 20 ads (the Ad Meter ranked 55 overall) and finished with the best score overall for the 7th straight year according to the publication.

And the bottom 5:

5. Taco Bell
Chicken enchilada dropped on sports card collection.
4.98

4. Bubblicious
LeBron James blows big bubble for Bubblicious.
4.92

3. Anheuser-Busch
Introduction of Budweiser Select low-carb beer with no aftertaste.
4.78

2. Ciba Vision
People float in bubbles for O2OPTIX silicone hydrogen contact lenses.
4.44

1. Napster
Feline icon at football game holds up sign comparing price of new Napster service
With rival iTunes
4.37

So, even though they were the best overall, Anheuser-Busch had so many ads, they were bound to have a stinker too. I’m a little surprised that superstar athlete, LeBron James finished so low considering everyone loves him and the commercial wasn’t that bad.

I definitely see why Napster scored the lowest. Ad viewers usually aren’t in the mood for playing word association games unless they actively seek one out”¦

Now that this is over, I guess we can look forward to the Academy Awards for more great commercials? Eh”¦.Who am I kidding? This is the best it gets”¦

* * * * * *

** Law & Order – The more things change, the more they stay the same. – In a move that’s been rumored for some time now, it was announced by NBC (and reported my multiple news reporting outlets) that Chris Noth (probably most recently known as “Mr. Big” in Sex in the City) will reprise the Det. Mike Logan for Law & Order: Criminal Intent, first in an episode airing Feb. 13 and then again for 11 episodes during the 2005-06 season. Noth was with the original Law & Order from 1990-95 and played the main character in the 1998 Law & Order made-for-TV movie, Exiled.

He will split the “smart male detective role” with Vincent D’Onofrio who plays know-it-all detective, Robert Goren, on the show now. There was some scuttlebutt that Noth would take over full-time for D’Onofrio who over the last several months has had to fight apparent bouts of exhaustion that have caused him to visit the hospital and miss work.
Instead, Noth and D’Onofrio will split the work of the strong male presence in half for next season.

According to a Zap2it.com article, Law & Order creator and executive producer, Dick Wolf, said the following about D’Onofrio (and Noth):

The hardest job in show business is being a single lead on an hour drama series. Vincent has done an unbelievable job for the last four seasons, but after 3.5 years, the grueling pace finally took its toll. This is an ideal solution so that Vincent can continue to do the incredible work that has become the hallmark of the role. I’ve worked with Chris over the past 17 years, and bringing him on to reprise one of the most popular characters in the history of the brand, is a win-win situation.

I’m not sure what shows Wolf are watching, but to say D’Onofrio has done “an unbelievable job” is overstating it just a tad. Goren may be the one of the smartest cops/detectives) on television (probably only surpassed by Adrian Monk) but he’s also the most annoying by a landslide. D’Onofrio often overacts and since Goren appears to catch on to things quicker than everyone the actor often plays the character in a way that’s demeaning to the other characters present and the viewer at home. Besides the premise, which needs some sprucing up itself, D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Goren is a reason not to watch the show.

Meanwhile, the character Noth played, Logan, was strong and passionate while also knowing what the hell he was doing”¦for the most part. After all, in the storylines, Logan was banished to be a detective in Staten Island (rather than the more popular, more exciting Manhattan beat) after punching a public official. Despite the temper, Logan is a much more interesting, down-to-earth character than Goren.

Will the move drastically improve ratings? I doubt it. Maybe a few people who’d want to see the character will tune in. Maybe others will just be happy to see Mr. Big on screen again. Either way, Criminal Intent definitely is a better show with Noth playing Logan. Too bad it will only be better half the time.

* * * * * *

** So help me God, it Arrested Development ends up getting cancelled”¦ – Chances are, this isn’t the last time we’re going to be talking about this, but it bears mention now”¦

Do you want the good news or bad news first? Let’s go with the good first since it may soften the blow of the bad”¦

After the strong performance of its series premiere (15 million viewers after the Super Bowl), Fox has decided to move around the new Seth McFarlane animated comedy, American Dad from its original 9:30 destination upon its return on May 1 to 8:30 after The Simpsons.

This is great for the new show because new episodes of The Simpsons will air for the first three weeks of May until going on summer hiatus This means American Dad will be sandwiched between new episodes of the most successful animated comedy ever in The Simpsons and new episodes of the most highly anticipated returning show in recent memory, Family Guy, which will maintain its premiere date and time of 9 p.m.

All this for a show that didn’t receive much praise from the critics.

And now the bad news”¦especially to the critics”¦Since American Dad is getting moved to 8:30 as of May 1, the current occupant of that timeslot, reigning Best Comedy Emmy winner Arrested Development is likely going to have its season trimmed down fairly significantly and end by the end of April. Fox hasn’t announced those plans yet.

In fact, according to TVGuide.com’s Michael Ausiello, heard the following from “an insider close to the show:

Nothing’s definite. There’s two more weeks before [the network] has to make a final decision [on how many episodes it wants]. In either case, it’s not canceled.

We’ll see”¦

Despite the ultimate free publicity in the form of abundant praise from countless critics and winning an Emmy Award on a nationally televised broadcast on another network, the idiot viewing public still hasn’t caught on to the show as it’s only averaging about six million viewers per airing, despite having a lead-in of The Simpsons.

Six million viewers? Don’t repeats of Battlestar Gallactica on Sci-Fi draw better than that? Ugh.

At this rate, despite “the inside’s” claim, I don’t have any idea what is going to save this show from getting put to sleep once it finishes its second season. If the network were smart, I’d say they should quit holding off on either Family Guy or American Dad, plug it right into that 8:30 spot now and plug Arrested Development right into a post-American Idol slot. Sure, it’s a completely different type of show than Idol, but at least it will draw 10 million viewers in its sleep”¦If that happens, at least the show will live on without trying to search for it on a network like Comedy Central or TBS”¦

Hopefully, I’m dead wrong”¦

* * * * * *

** In a surprise to no one thanks to advance buzz, two Survivor veterans will double dip in the world of reality television – Yes, it’s true. This news escaped to the general public in drops and CBS finally confirmed it: Survivor: All Stars and engaged couple “Boston” Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich will be among the 11 teams competing for $1 million in the seventh season of The Amazing Race, set to debut Tuesday, March 1.

Two of the most famous contestants from the most famous competition based reality show on television is certainly a coup for Jerry Bruckheimer and those associated with The Amazing Race. Often hailed by critics as one of the best produced reality shows ever, it only averaged about 11 million viewers this past season, significantly fewer than Survivor and The Apprentice. With Mariano and Brkich, this latest season will have some added juice and it could attract some leftover Survivor junkies that have never invested themselves in this gem of a show.

As for the motivations behind why the two feel the need to go through with this considering Brkich has already won a million dollars, I’ll just leave that to the imagination of the reader. Sometimes it’s best to listen to your mothe’s advice and remember: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

Zap2it.com noted in its coverage of CBS’ announcement that the contestants of the 11 teams are more “real” and not people listing their occupation as “model” or “actor” trying to advance careers in Hollywood or to make them more famous (I’ll overlook the irony of that analysis and allow you, the faithful reader, to draw your own conclusions”¦). Instead, you’ll see people like a stockbroker, a stay-at-home mom, a teacher and several people active in political related jobs as part of the cast instead.

Either way, if you’ve missed the first six seasons of The Amazing Race, then maybe now you’ll have a reason to tune in. I wonder if the Survivor veterans are good at multiple reality show competitions”¦Hmmm”¦.

* * * * * *

** Uh-oh”¦I get the feeling American Dreams could be on its last leg”¦ (and other NBC scheduling stuff”¦)American Dreams, the adorable NBC drama set in 1960s Philadelphia with early American Bandstand episodes as part of the backdrop of the show, is being moved from its comfortable 8 p.m. Sunday night slot to the same time on Wednesdays, opposite ABC juggernaut Lost the network announced this week.

According to Zap2it.com, Kevin Reilly, president of NBC Entertainment, had the following to say about the move:

We are tweaking our rollout of three fine and promising series … in order to provide the best launch platform possible in March. Plus, American Dreams will have the chance to add new viewers to its loyal audience in its new mid-week position.

Man”¦PR spin like that really burns my ass sometimes”¦How many “new viewers” do the NBC executives think American Dreams is going to get when it goes up against the show that dominates the ratings during that timeslot?!?

Even though NBC is at least giving the show the courtesy of moving it to a night during the week instead of banishing it to Saturdays, it just seems that it doesn’t have much interest in letting it go on long term. First, the show gets dumped during sweeps month and now it’s forced to accept the unenviable task of trying to take some of Lost‘s audience. While they’re at it, why not ask them to turn water into wine too?

Oh yeah”¦other schedule announcements from the peacock”¦

* The Contender – The reason why American Dreams is getting the boot from Sundays is because NBC has decided to install the new Mark Burnett produced, Sylvester Stallone, “Sugar” Ray Leonard led reality show, The Contender to Sunday nights at 8 starting with its March 13 premiere.

The show’s timeslot has already been changed a couple of times and Sundays are always packed with tough competition, so it’s a bold move by NBC. Then again, going through with this show in general is a bold move considering the heavy sports focus”¦How they appeal to the television watching female not interested in boxing will be interesting”¦

* Law & Order: Trial by Jury – NBC will try to improve its Friday night fortunes by pushing up the debut date of the fourth Law & Order franchise to an advance screening on Thursday, March 3 (after ER finishes its cycle of new episodes) and will move permanently to its official home, on Fridays the next night. Zap2it.com said that the show will replace Medical Investigation but didn’t specify if the show was being cancelled or just being “placed on hiatus.”

* The Office – The American remake of the successful British series starring Steve Carell (The Daily Show, Anchorman) will debut with a special preview episode after The Apprentice on Thursday, March 24 at 9:30 (Trump’s on early that night) and will settle into its permanent spot on Tuesday, March 29 at 9:30 after Scrubs. Considering the early reviews and Scrubs‘ paltry audience, it looks like there could be two good comedies on that night that no one will watch”¦

* * * * * *

** After all it’s been through, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s ABC show ends up in the trash”¦ – Originally designed for last fall and then shifted to midseason”¦.further and further into midseason”¦ABC finally did the humane thing and pulled the plug on the Jennifer Love Hewitt (Party of Five, Garfield) led comedy, In the Game. The show, which also starred Ed O’Neill (Married”¦with Children) and featured appearances by Sara Gilbert (Roseanne) and Christine Baranski (Cybil) in the second pilot filmed, was about Hewitt’s character who’s formerly a sports producer that ends up becoming a high profile sports show anchor.

In addition to suffering the indignity of filming two pilots to fix the creative and casting problems from the first, those associated with the show also had an embarrassing relationship with Buffy and American Pie sweetie Alyson Hannigan who joined the show for just a few weeks before leaving because of some sort of creative differences.

So, after all the anticipation, the show is dead and the actors involved are looking for work. Considering Hewitt still has a very perky”¦ “personality,” she likely won’t be out of work long, but I do have to ask: Does being associated with a mess like this hurt an actor trying to secure regular work with another network or studio? Things that make you go “Hmmmm”¦”¦.”

THE CLOSING CREDITS: Mr. Coogan’s 5 questions

I’ve been looking for a new way to end this column for a little while now instead of just babbling incessantly about something related to the television industry. So, I think I found something here with my new segment: Mr. Coogan’s 5 questions.

Yes, I’m well aware that this was a popular segment on The Daily Show first before Craig Kilborn hijacked it and used it on CBS’ Late Late Show too.

There are two obvious differences here. First, I made mine “respectable” with the “Mr. Coogan” part. Second, I’ll actually take this pretty seriously and ask a question about a show and answer it honestly. Maybe it will be about some news related to it. Maybe it will be about storyline developments. Maybe it will be about an actor, actress, writer, or producer. Everything about every show is fair game.

If YOU have a question you want answered about a show, feel free to drop me a line at scoogan@insidepulse.com and I’ll make sure I add it to the list!

Since I just came up with this, I’ll answer some questions for myself (and you the reader”¦.)

1. A Super Bowl question: Should the Super Bowl be played on Saturday? – I heard the cries loudest on ESPN Radio”¦Why is the Super Bowl played on a Sunday night when everyone has to get up the next morning and go to work like most normal people do? Since the NFL has made this one of the parties of the year for all of America, why not put it on a party night like Saturday? People can go to late night parties, imbibe large amounts of alcohol if they so choose and take it easy on Sunday before going back to work on Monday.

Seems brilliant, doesn’t it? Sure, it’s not on the “traditional” football day of the week. But it’s not like the NFL hasn’t thrown games on during prime time Saturday night before, right?

My answer: I’m all for it, but at the same time, I’m not petitioning for it either”¦There are other things in the world to worry about”¦

* * * * * *

2. A Boston Legal question: Which guest appearance is cooler? Chi McBride reprising his character from David E. Kelley’s defunct Fox series, Boston Public or Carl Reiner appearing as an old bitter lawyer? – News came out this week that Carl Reiner and Chi McBride were going to be appearing on the March 13 episode of Boston Legal. Reiner will play an “old foe” of the Legal gang who wants to “pull a Ted Williams” (he wants his body to be cryogenically frozen). McBride will reprise his role as Steven Harper from Boston Public and (if I heard correctly) will visit the firm on behalf of several of his students in a legal matter.

Reiner is going to get some points here simply because he’s an acting and comedy legend, but c’mon! It’s not every day you see an actor reprise the role of a character from another show on ANOTHER NETWORK. It’s like entering an entirely new dimension and that’s just really cool.

My answer: To me, it’s Chi McBride by a landslide even though he’ll be relegated to a lesser role in the episode”¦

* * * * * *

3. A Joey question: Can Christina Ricci pass as Joey Tribbiani’s kid sister? – TVGuide.com reported this week that the gorgeous indie film queen, Christina Ricci, is guest starring as Joey and Gina’s kid sister in an episode likely airing at the end of sweeps month.

Matt LeBlanc and Drea de Matteo look ITALIAN and can pass as brother and sister”¦But Ricci? I suppose she looks like LeBlanc A LITTLE BIT in the dark hair and the way their eyes are set.

But Ricci is too concerned with looking like of the Olsen twins and keeping her weight under 98 pounds. Italians like to watch what they eat”¦go in their mouths”¦

My answer: I can kind of see the casting, but they’re pushing it”¦

* * * * * *

4. A Carnivale question: Should Ben and Sofie get together? – Ever since this HBO show premiered, I noticed something in Ben (Nick Stahl) and Sofie (Clea Duvall). Maybe it’s because they were simply in the same age range, but I thought I saw some spark in them. Of course, Ben, the emotionally stunted goon, pissed off Sofie and he ended up in the arms of the older Ruthie (Adrienne Barbeau) and Sofie briefly entertained the notion of getting back with Jonesy (Tim DeKay) before both deciding to be “single” again.

But as the second season unfolds, it appears that the two are forming some sort of strange bond where the two are constantly together fairly often and Sofie seems to like sleeping near Ben, as if it makes her feel more comfortable or something.

Should the two get together? I don’t know”¦I’m not sure romance is really in the cards with those two characters since they have so much other stuff on their other plates. Then again, maybe their powerful forces can join together with their impending relationship? Sure”¦I’ll buy it!

My answer: It could cause more harm than good, but I’m willing to take the risk and see what happens when Cupid shoots his arrow”¦

* * * * * *

5. A The Apprentice question: What does “excellent physical and mental health mean?” – A fairly interesting story comes from James Schottel Jr., a St. Louis lawyer who is paralyzed from the waist down and filed suit against those affiliated with The Apprentice. Schottel claims the application for The Apprentice may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by stating that prospective contestants must be in “excellent physical and mental health.”

He’s not seeking damages from the suit, he just wants to make sure he gets a fair shake and gets the opportunity to try out with all of the other contestants interested.

The question: Is he in “excellent physical health?” I’m sure he gets around OK and does what we has to do. But then I think of the motel task where elevators to get from floor to floor and room to room certainly aren’t at a premium, therefore making it more difficult on the team if they have a task like this or on the producers when they plan tasks.

Then again, every place should be accessible to the physically disabled and Schottel probably gets around just fine and he probably doesn’t want anyone feeling sorry for him or going out of their way to help him.

If he wants to make a fool of himself on national TV, then God Bless him”¦

My answer: “Excellent physical and mental health” means that Schottel should be considered for a slot on one of the upcoming seasons of The Apprentice. Hell, he’s probably in better shape than I am”¦

On that note”¦.Have a good weekend!

— Coogan

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