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

THE OPENING CREDITS: Look at this…

** What? The television industry unrealistically portraying an important job that people do every day? Never!

** A television show based on a moderately successful movie franchise? Well, it worked for Buffy…

** Comedy Central really looks like they want a piece of the late-night TV market. They probably figure that since Leno kind if blows, this would be a good time to swoop in…

** I never thought I’d say it, but I think Anthony Anderson is doing a great job this season on The Shield

THE IP TV STAFF…HARD AT WORK…

** Last week’s The Amazing Race column was a bit of a rush job, so I’ll go ahead and skip that one and link the one Jonathan baker and I did about London instead.

And look…Jonathan himself linked it onhis own Web site! Yes!

WITHOUT CELEBRITIES, WHERE WOULD WE BE?

** Has Nick Warnock ever missed a recap for The Apprentice for InsidePulse.com? I’m always linking this guy’s stuff. I’m a little surprised in his rooting for Kendra though. I’m a Tana man all the way…Then again, I think Nick would be better than both of them…I explain below…read on…

** That’s TWO for Kendra! Wow! Chris Russo is rooting for her too. Though I do love that the two of them are lukewarm at best toward both of them. I’m still trying to figure out how they ended up with this cast this season…

** Get ready kids…Murtz is going to have an avalanche of The Apprentice coverage on the site over the next week or two since he’s interviewed just about everyone associated with the show except George, Carolyn, and “The Donald” himself. (They were all “away on business.”) This week, a two-parter with Tara Dowdell. Here’s Part I and here’s Part II. I keep getting her confused with Verna. I should probably stop doing that…

** Matt Romanada had the opportunity to interview Deadwood‘s Jim Beaver! Very cool!

WE’RE STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT A FLAGSHIP IS…

** Cheri handicaps The Amazing Race. She feels the same way Jonathan Baker does. She’s obviously cheating off of his paper……I’m telling the teacher!

** Sorry Romo but in this day in age, doing a “year-end” Top 10 list of TV shows in May is pretty fruitless. Networks don’t exactly “follow the TV season rules” anymore. So, we might as well just stick to the normal calendar ourselves…

** Sarah Quigley bashes Craig and praises Tana and Kendra. And her final pick? Let’s just say I like her style…

JUST IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

** Our recap team is outstanding there to sum up and comment on the hottest reality and scripted series on television today.

** The smallest things make InsidePulse.com’s “IT” chick, Gloomchen so happy…

Don’t believe me. Check out her The Shield recap. Here’s part of it…

Danny is with Vic on his stakeout, which appears to be watching Captain Rawling at her new abode. Danny is all, blah blah blah, and Vic is pretty quiet. She’s trying to thank him for getting her added to the drug task force. He’s still vacant. Danny finally cuts to the chase and kisses him. That’s all he needed, and the Mackeysex is ON as they start gettin’ down right in the front seat of the vehicle. I am the happiest girl alive.

Generally, I’m happier when I’m having sex.

I have to ask this though…Were they actually having sex in the car? The camera angle was remarkably confusing…It looked like he only got to “3rd base” instead of “hitting a home run” with her. I guess we have to wait two weeks to find out…

TELEVISION COLUMNS GALORE!

** Mathan recaps shows and asks the QUIRKIEST questions…And I’m with him, I’m going with Tom and Jerry’s antics all the way…

** Remarkably…every other column this week is about Survivor. Let’s get to it…

* Mike Sage learned from Survivor that boys are better than girls.

* Sarah Quigley talked about her eye-patch-wearing friend and said Stephenie was unlucky. I tell you, if CBS offers one of those “bonus $1 million prizes” that Rupert won after Survivor: All-Stars, Stephenie has that one locked up. Everybody loves her!

* Patrick pays tribute to Stephenie and breaks down the rest of the players.

* Dan Wentzel doesn’t talk as much as he usually does, but he still has a lot to say…

THE CLOSING CREDITS: Mr. Coogan’s 5 questions about God knows what…

1. A Family Guy question: – The fans finally got the show’s return. How did they respond? – Let’s just say that if this keeps up, Seth McFarlane could remain employed writing and voicing episodes of the animated comedy for a long time…

According to data reported in a Zap2it.com article, the long-awaited fourth season debut of Family Guy drew in 11.85 million viewers on Sunday night (May 1). Also, despite some pretty brutal reviews, McFarlane’s other creation, American Dad managed to hold on to 80 percent of Family Guy‘s audience, meaning Stan Smith and his own wacky family secured about 9.5 million sets of eyes itself.

For the hour, Fox more than doubled its ratings for what’s been airing in the Sunday 9 p.m. slot previously and even managed to secure more viewers than Desperate Housewives in two key areas – teenagers and males 18-34, two primary demographics where the show has always done well.

And now a promotional message:

But this is just the beginning, Family Guy fans. The television industry, Fox specifically, obviously, went out on a real limb here admitting its mistake by resurrecting a show they thought long was dead several years ago. This happens about as often as Haley’s Comet cruising through our solar system or about as often as Paula Abdul goes through a night without ingesting some sort of “medication” into her body.

Either way, us viewers have won the first battle. But that’s just it; it’s merely the first battle. If we want to make a real statement to the television industry, we need to get our friends and family to watch these shows, or at the very least make them buy seasons of them when they come out on DVD.

Remember, if we don’t fight the good fight, we’ll be forced to watch back-to-back hours of Richard Branson’s The Quest and My Big, Fat Obnoxious Boss five nights per week and praying for Saturday night when Cops is on.

We will now return you to your regularly scheduled television column…

My answer: The fans came out in droves for Season 4, Episode 1. But now they need to come out for the rest of the season too…

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2. A The Apprentice question: Are the right two people left to fight for the right to be “hired?” – Man…for the second straight season, I’m left wondering what InsidePulse.com’s own Nick Warnock is thinking right now. Looking back at Season 1, in addition to Nick, there are easily four candidates who would have been more qualified to work for Donald Trump than the finalists here. Taking Bill out of the equation because he’s already been hired, I’d say that Kwame, Amy, Nick, Troy and even Katrina would be more qualified to be in the final two of this season than anyone involved this season.

I just found out Kendra is 26 and was surprised by that. After all, she kind of comes off like one of those dopey 22-year-old people that always ends up on the show but never makes it too far because he/she is too immature. Even though she’s in her mid-20s and has some life experience, it’s pretty obvious she spent most of the season trying to overcompensate with the people in their 30s who have even more life experience and have been more successful than she has. If that’s the case with all of the contestants on a reality show, what is she going to be like in a real business situation? I’m staying away…

Then there’s Tana, who’s probably proved to be the best candidate for this dream job through out the entire season. But she’s from Iowa and even though she’s been a successful business woman, she seems to lack that killer instinct that Trump holds so near and dear. In other words, she’s too nice. That doesn’t even include that ridiculous stunt she pulled several weeks ago. Remember? Kendra stayed up all night developing a concept while Tana slept and then Tana took credit for it? Gee…it’s a real wonder why sales and marketing executives get such bad raps.

But is that really the question I posed? Yes, for the second straight season, the wrong people have been cast on this show and its painfully obvious the best cast so far has been from Season 1. But I asked if the right two people are left to fight for that job now.

In short, the answer is still no. Tana definitely belongs. But the other finalist? That’s a real tough call. Alex would be the first person that comes to my mind. But it’s hard to lose five straight tasks and be seriously considered for this prestigious position. The other two people I grew fond of were John and Erin, who were eliminated fairly early. They both performed very well in some tasks, but were so bad in the one they were bad in, that their weaknesses stuck out as badly as Trump would at a Grateful Dead concert.

So, the bottom line is….I’d still rather see Kwame, Nick or Amy in the fold…

My answer: No matter how you look at it, the answer simply is NO!

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3. A 24 question:Why is NBC even bothering trying to acquire the rights? According to a Zap2it.com story (which, in turn, credited the New York Post), NBC has made it well-known in industry circles that it would love to bring Season 5 of 24 to their network and wrangle it away from rival, Fox.

Of course, there’s a bit of a problem to contend with. Both the Fox network and 20th Century Fox TV, the producer of the hit drama are divisions of News Corp. So, while the producer may end up selling the rights to NBC for more money, they end up robbing Peter to pay Paul. After all, the studio makes money but the network is left with a huge hole in its schedule and that isn’t beneficial to anyone at News Corp.

What does all this mean? NBC may be interested, but it’s about as likely as Jay Leno being revered the same way Johnny Carson was.

Though, the peacock at least deserves some credit for thinking out of the box a little bit. 24 is experiencing probably its strongest season to date, not only creatively but in the ratings as well. The show is all alone anchoring Monday nights and is still attracting 12 million viewers per episode (versus less than 11 last year).

Meanwhile, NBC is going through its own creative slump, so swooping in with GE’s money to steal other network’s shows to make up for their own cold streak takes some gall. It’s better than seeing Supernanny…er …Nanny 911…er…Supernanny on several different networks.

My answer: Desperate times call for desperate measures.

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4. A Saturday Night Live question: Is bringing Will Ferrell back to host really a good idea? – NBC has announced that former SNL star cast member Will Ferrell will be coming back to host the show on Saturday, May 14 (to promote the opening of his dopey family comedy, Kicking and Screaming).

On the surface, of course it’s a good idea. He’ll probably anchor 90 percent of the skits, bring back a couple of his trademark characters. Hell, his appearance might even mean we can clean the moth balls off of Cheri Oteri and bring her back for a cheerleader skit. No matter how bad the writing is or how many lame skits they utilize terrible recurring characters in, everyone benefits in the interim.

But, Mr. Conspiracy Theory has something to say about how this is actually bad for the long running skit show.

Really, this just pertains to the current cast and writing team of SNL, but it should be said. Since that episode of the show will likely be funny, probably funnier than anything this entire season, isn’t bringing someone like Will Ferrell back merely hurting the credibility of the show? The show will be funny but it will be a 90-minute reminder that the last two years of the show have been some of the darkest since the mid-’80s.

Lorne Michaels couldn’t possibly want that…Yet, that’s probably what he is going to create. Short-term fixes often end up creating (or at least magnifying) bigger problems.

I think Jimmy Fallon should be hosting one of these episodes. Since he’s not talented, no one will watch an episode he’s in and think of the “good ole’ days.”

My answer: Short term, sure…it’s a great idea. But everyone’s going to be reminded how much the show sucks now…So, in that regard, it’s a bad idea…

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5. A Chappelle’s Show question: Are we ever going to see the show’s third season? – It was reported across various news sources, including here at InsidePulse.com that taping for the long-awaited third season of Chappelle’s Show was halted for some mysterious reason that no one can talk about.

This isn’t the first time the show’s production has been halted. Season 3 was supposed to debut at the beginning of this year but first, the late team simply just got off to a late start writing skits and then show brainchild of the show, Dave Chappelle, came down with a strange, crippling bout of the flu, the same kind of thing he’d probably make fun of people about on his show.

And now this mess…

The timing of this nonsense is a bit strange as well. It’s almost as if Chappelle has morphed into an NBA player sitting fat and happy after signing that big contract that could be worth up to $50 million. Seasons 1 and 2 were his “contract year.” He realized that without a strong showing here, not only would he not ever get an HBO special again, he’d be lucky to play at Banana’s (get the joke there?) in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. ever again. He’d fade away into “bolivian” while making a series of loud, nasty jokes and uttering the word “nigger” 50-75 times in the process. (I’m Irish…I think it’s a federal law I put that word in quotes…)

So, he worked hard, was a real team player, got the big contract and has now said “I don’t need this shit anymore.” Hell, he could be doing a real life like imitation of his character from Half-Baked for all we know.

Thankfully, just like these NBA players who sign huge contracts before mailing it in, they still have to show up to work at some point – for a full day even!. So, while the prospects for anything meaningful to come out of the “Chappelle camp” at any point in the next several months appear grim at best, he’s bound to show up at some point. After all, Comedy Central still signs his checks and they may actually stop signing them if he still has the “flu.” Then again, those NBA teams never stop signing those checks even though the players’ production goes down and their waist line goes up. Maybe Chappelle will never show up to work ever again.

I guess it boils down to the fact that I’m ridiculously optimistic…about NBA players and Dave Chappelle…

My answer: Yes, he will. I just won’t make plans to buy my friends the third season of Chappelle’s Show DVD until Christmas 2006.

Speaking of which…it’s the middle of May! Time to start making out my Christmas list for this year!

Selfishly and Obnoxiously Yours,

Steven A. Coogan

P.S. Have a nice day.

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