The Weekly Pulse: TV's Second Wife

The summer keeps rolling along and look what time it is..it’s almost August! Where did the time go? Summer has flown by this year! But I don’t have to go back to school this Fall, so that’s always a good thing! The summer can just keep going for me. TV’s Fall season is coming up in a month or so. A whole new batch of shows will attempt to become part of your weekly TV lineup. Which ones will succeed and which ones will fail? And will the shows you already watch continue to be good enough for you to watch them? Those questions might get answered within a few months.

If you are like me, though, you have found plenty of stuff to watch on TV this summer. Network and cable channels have offered new shows and new seasons of old shows this summer. Network TV has been pretty hit or miss this summer. One show could be fantastic, while the next one could be sub-par and boring. However, most of the good stuff this summer could be found on cable channels. That got me thinking..“which cable channel has the best original programming lineup?” I will attempt to answer that question later in this column.

There were no new shows for me to watch this week, but I do want to comment on ‘The Contender’, since I didn’t last week. The edited fights are a negative with all of the sound effects and stuff. However, the show is pretty interesting. The “characters” of the boxers on the show and how they interact with each other is the best part of the show. I was shocked to see Michael Clark go down in the first round, but I see a trend happening already. If a boxer is cocky and underestimates his opponent, like Michael or Aaron this past week, they usually go down in defeat! You can be good, but you can’t be cocky. Just box and prove how good you are. If I had to predict a winner, it would be Ebo Elder or Steve Forbes. Of course, neither has fought yet..so that may change.

Time to talk ‘Big Brother’ now. I really did agree with James’ picks for eviction this week. It was a smart strategy that he and Kaysar came up with. People say send Will home now, but I say he’s still entertaining and I would much rather have him at the end than George. But it all got SCREWED UP on Tuesday night! George won the “Power of Veto”. First off, that veto competition was the lamest one EVER! They basically set it up for George to win. Why? Well..George is crazy and you had to be crazy to win that “POV” contest. George knew he was going home if he didn’t win. So of course he’s going to do everything that they throw at him, including eating “slop” for as many days as he could. He may regret it later, but it saved him another week on this show. Kaysar should had stopped sooner, if he wasn’t going to go all out at the end. You knew George would. So who took George’s place? Jase! My prediction for overall winner this year. You know..it may have been a slight mistake with him blowing up at the end like that. But it sure was fun watching him “call out” Marcellas like that. And what about those nomination speeches! The most entertaining ones I have ever seen! Will was GREAT! He begs to get sent home! So just do it! I don’t want either of them to go, but it has to be Will now since Jase is against him. Honestly, though, it’s another flip of the coin this week as to who goes home. Yes..if Jase leaves Will will be entertaining to watch as he wrecks havoc on the house for NOT sending him home. But Jase is my man, and he could do just as much damage as Will could. Really..George should be going home right noW! Arrgh! But the votes are in and by a count of 9 – 0..Jase is going home! I’m shocked that everyone voted against Jase, but it makes a little sense. Jase is a dangerous player. Will thinks he is smart, but he’s not really. Everyone is on to him. At least Kaysar is, and that is all that matters. I do agree that Jase was SCREWED over, though. That is the worse way to go home! Damn that chicken man! Things should be the same thing week with Janelle back in power. “BB6” is still in power and that’s key. Unfortunately, they may not go after George again this week. Maybe Diane or maybe they go after Will and Mike. Who knows, but the “good” people are safe once again. Bring back Jase!!!

Okay..it’s time to get the show on the road. More talk from me later, but right now lets take a look at the week that was here at IPTV!!

Seinfeld Quote of the Week

“I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a hankering for some Double Mint gum!”Jerry when he is driving in the car with Elaine and the “Elaine” mannequin next to him from Season Five’s “The Pie”!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Columns a.k.a. Knock, Knock, Here Comes August!!!

Mathan Erhardt tries to hook his brother on ‘Lost’ this week! He also comments on ‘Psych’, ‘Monk’, ‘Eureka’, ‘Entourage’, ‘Lucky Louie’, ‘Brotherhood’, ‘Hustle’, and ‘City of Men’! Only 2 for 7 this week! Not that great, but what can I do. I don’t have HBO or SHOWTIME or Sundance, so there you go! And I would go straight to ‘Cheers’!

Matt Basilo talks about articles he read in TV Guide about ‘Lost’ and ‘Smallville’. He also comments on ‘Windfall’, ‘The 4400’, and ‘The Dead Zone’! Blame his computer for the lateness in this column as well!

Scott Keith has his second rant on reality TV shows this week! He comments on ‘Big Brother 7’, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’, ‘Canada’s Next Top Model’, and ‘Rock Star: Supernova’! Reality TV at its best and worst!

Kevin Wong got new curtain rods this week! He also talks about a cartoon that aired a long time ago. It’s called ‘The Centurions’! He has clips and images from that show as well, so you better read to see all of that along with various comments on shows he has watched this week!

Recaps a.k.a. You Know What We Have To Say!!!

Trevor MacKay has a recap of last Thursday’s episode of ‘Big Brother 7: All-Stars’!

Murtz is STILL LIVE for the results of last week’s performances on ‘Canadian Idol’. He chats about the new location for the show! Then, it was Rolling Stones night for everyone!

I have another episode of the ‘Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat’ here! And another Sunday show of ‘Big Brother 7: All-Stars’ there!

Kevin Wong is busy again this week. He has some July 24th action of ‘Canadian Idol’! Next, is ‘Treasure Hunters’. And finally some more ‘Rock Star: Supernova’ with the performance show!

Richard Mauntah is back for Tuesday’s recap of ‘Big Brother 7: All-Stars’!

Ed Hampton has his view on the results show from this week’s ‘Canadian Idol’!

This week we had 2 TV on DVD reviews!

Joe Corey reviews Perry Mason – Season 1 (Vol. 1)!

John Cavanagh took care of The Pretender: The Complete Fourth Season

Celebrities a.k.a. Jessica and LAST CALL For My Contest!!

Former ‘Rock Star’, Jessica talks about week 3 of ‘Rock Star: Supernova’!!

LAST CALL for my contest! You can still enter. It’s your chance to win some stuff from the new show, ‘Psych’. I have a variety of prizes and you just have to answer a trivia question to enter your name in the random drawing for one of the prizes! Here is where you can ENTER! Entries will be accepted until Monday, July 31! So enter now if you haven’t already done so!

The Weekly Pulse Weekly Poll

Last week..I asked the question…”what do you think about the new show, ‘Psych’, on the USA Network?” And here are the results:

I LOVE it! – 2
I LIKE it a little bit! – 2
I DON’T like that much! – 0
I HATE it! – 0
I have NO OPINION on it! – 0
I have NOT seen it yet! – 2

So by the votes it seems that if you have watched the show, you have at least liked it a little bit and will continue to watch it. Either that or you have not seen the show yet. That’s a good sign, though. May turn new viewers to the show to see if they like it or not. And I’m sure that they will like it at least a little bit. It’s a likable show with likable characters.

Now for this week’s question. It sorta comes from last week’s question as well. Basically..this week’s question is…“which cable channel has the best original programming lineup?”. Is it the USA Network or TNT? What about FX or A&E? Maybe MTV or VH1 or Comedy Central or some other channel not mentioned? Let me know what you think by clicking on the link and VOTING! Remember..VOTE OR DIE!

What Did My TiVo Record This Week?

Friday

– ‘King of the Hill’

– ’24’

– ‘Monk’

– ‘Psych’

– ‘Hi-Jinks’

– ‘Late Show with David Letterman

Saturday

– ‘Inked’

– ‘The Cosby Show’

– ‘Fast Inc.’

Sunday

– ‘King of the Hill’

– ‘The 4400’

– ‘Chappelle’s Show’ (It’s OVER!)

– ‘The Dead Zone’

– ‘Mind of Mencia’

Monday

– ‘King of the Hill’

– ‘Made’

– ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’

– ‘Project Runway’

– ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

– ‘Driving Force’

– ‘Treasure Hunters’

– ‘CMA Music Festival’ (Just because I could watch it!)

– ‘WWE Monday Night RAW’

– ‘Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat’

– ‘Fast Inc.’

– ‘Saved’

– ‘Late Show with David Letterman’

Tuesday

– ‘The Secret Life Of…’ (Popcorn!)

– ‘The Secret Life Of…’ (Salt!)

– ‘Criss Angel Mind Freak’

– ‘King of the Hill’

– ‘Big Brother 7: All-Stars’

– ‘Fear Factor’

– ‘Last Comic Standing’

– ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’

– ‘Rock Star: Supernova’

– ‘The Contender’

– ‘The Real World: Key West’

– ‘ECW Wrestling’

– ‘Rescue Me’

– ‘Late Show with David Letterman’

Wednesday

– ‘Miami Ink’

– ‘King of Cars’

– ‘King of the Hill’

– ‘Blue Collar TV’

– ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’

– ‘Rock Star: Supernova’

– ‘One Tree Hill’

– ‘Dog Bites Man’

– ‘The Hills’

– ‘Inked’

– ‘Criss Angel Mindfreak’

– ‘Late Show with David Letterman’

Thursday

– ‘World Series of Pop Culture’

– ‘King of the Hill’

– ‘Big Brother 7: All-Stars’

– ‘My Name is Earl’

– ‘The Office’

– ‘Making the Band 3’

– ‘Run’s House’

– ‘Windfall’

– ‘Pimp My Ride’

– ‘TNA Impact!’

– ‘Late Show with David Letterman’

Time to Talk a.k.a. Which Cable Channel Has the Best Original Shows?!?!?!

A year ago I wasn’t watching anything “new” on cable. Okay..I did watch MTV and Comedy Central and sometimes VH1 and ESPN and the Food Network, but that’s about it. But I certainly wasn’t really watching these channels for original shows. They just always seemed to be on when nothing else was on. I didn’t pay much attention to them. In fact, I didn’t pay much attention to TV shows at all. I watched them, but they were an afterthought. That all changed when I got this job, though. Now as you can probably tell..I watch A LOT of TV. Thank god for my TiVos, because without them..I would be DEAD! Now I CAN watch all of these shows that everyone was talking about. That includes network AND cable channels.

The usual TV season is September – May. And usually the summer is full of reruns. Network TV dominates the “normal” TV season. Cable was there as an afterthought really. In the summer, things get reversed and cable takes over, however. I didn’t really learn this until this summer. Yeah..the “Big 4” had their shows that were new or at least new seasons of old shows..but cable is where you can see new episodes of quality shows during the summer. I have been watching a lot of cable this summer and a lot of shows I have never seen before. My question is..“which cable channel has the best original programming lineup?”

First, I should define what I mean by “original programming”. These are shows that have never aired on any other channel before. They started out on a channel and that channel can lay claim to creating the show. Now I thought about this and there are two kinds of TV shows as you probably know. You have “reality” TV and “scripted” TV. These will be separated on this site in the near future and I understand why as they are different types of shows. However, I will still be talking about both kinds of shows. So I decided to just put everything together on this. Any show that is “original” to a cable channel is included here in this discussion. Now I based this on the shows aired during the summer, but I’m willing to consider other shows that air on cable during the “normal” TV season. But mainly this is just based on the summer.

The top cable channels, as far as “original programming” goes, to me are the USA NETWORK, TNT, FX, A&E, MTV, VH1, and COMEDY CENTRAL. I should mention that I don’t have all of the cable channels that some of you may have. For example, I don’t have BRAVO or E! or SUNDANCE. So I can’t compare channels I don’t have. But if I don’t mention a channel that you think beats all others, then feel free to e-mail me and tell me.

Now then..let me run down the list of “original programming” on cable from the top of my head. I may miss something here. If I did, just tell me. But here we go:

USA NETWORK

– ‘The 4400’

– ‘The Dead Zone’

– ‘Monk’

– ‘Psych’

– ‘Nashville Star’

TNT

– ‘The Closer’

– ‘Saved’

FX

– ‘Rescue Me’

– ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’

– ’30 Days’

– ‘Nip/Tuck’

– ‘The Shield’

A&E

– ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’

– ‘Inked’

– ‘Criss Angel Mindfreak’

– ‘King of Cars’

– ‘Driving Force’

– ‘The First 48’

– ‘Dallas S.W.A.T.’

– ‘Intervention’

MTV

– ‘The Real World’

– ‘Real World/Road Rules Challenge’

– ‘Laguna Beach’

– ‘The Hills’

– ‘Punk’d’

– ‘Made’

– ‘The Hills’

– ‘Making the Band’

– ‘Pimp My Ride’

– ‘Run’s House’

– There are many other shows I know, but these above have had at least two seasons.

VH1

– ‘I Love the 80’s/90’s/70’s…’

– ‘World Series of Pop Culture’

– ‘Surreal Life’

– ‘Celebrity Fit Club’

– ‘Hogan Knows Best’

– ‘My Fair Brady’

– ‘Flavor of Love’

COMEDY CENTRAL

– ‘Chappelle’s Show’

– ‘Reno 911’

– ‘Mind of Mencia’

– ‘Dog Bites Man’

– ‘South Park’

Now looking at the list of shows, there are more “reality” TV shows than “scripted” shows. USA NETWORK, FX, and TNT are really home to “scripted” shows, while A&E, MTV, VH1, and COMEDY CENTRAL usually have “reality” shows. You might find it difficult to compare these shows, but to me..the bottom line is entertainment. Which shows entertain you the most? Let me run down each channel and give you my take on them.

USA NETWORK is known for its characters. Its slogan is..“Characters Welcome”. As a result, they do a great job of creating interesting characters on interesting shows. This channel has been around awhile in the “original programming” department. Each of the first three shows have had multiple seasons and they all are entertaining and watchable. They appear to have another “hit” with the new show, ‘Psych’. They also have a “reality” TV in ‘Nashville Star’, which is country music’s answer to ‘American Idol’. It does its job effectively. They are near the top of the list.

TNT is relatively new in creating “original” shows. They created ‘The Closer’ last year and came up with ‘Saved’ this year. Now I like ‘Saved’, but don’t really care for ‘The Closer’. However, you can’t ignore the fact that both shows have gotten BIG ratings in the past. They are newcomers and can be a force to reckon with if they add more shows to their lineup.

FX is known for edgy material. I watch their shows and I’m shocked they actually show this stuff on cable. ‘Rescue Me’ is a great drama and ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ is a fantasic comedy. ‘Nip/Tuck’ is another good show, although I have not seen much of it. There is something to be said for going places that other channels wouldn’t dare go or can’t go. There is an interesting mix of shows here that could probably satisfy anyone’s appetite for quality TV, including an excellent reality TV show in ’30 Days’. Near the top of the list.

A&E is a channel that caught me by surprise. It’s mostly “reality” TV, but almost all of their shows are extremely entertaining on different levels. I watched this channel for ‘Inked’ at first. But soon liked ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ and ‘Criss Angel Mindfreak’. I continued to watch more shows from that network as the weeks went by and I wasn’t disappointed. You don’t see this stuff on any other channel, which is a positive right there. Overall entertaining stuff.

MTV has always been my main channel to watch when nothing is on. It always seems to be on at my house, and as a result..I know a lot about their shows. You look at their list of shows and it’s impressive. They have created a TON of shows that target their main audience (ages 14-28). The problem is that their shows are really 50/50. Some shows are so good and entertaining, while others are boring. Some shows just come and go when the network needs them to promote something, which is another negative. However, it does feature one of the first “reality” TV shows EVER in ‘The Real World’. It is still going strong and ‘RW/RR Challenge’ is right there with it. ‘Punk’d’ and ‘Pimp My Ride’ are also constant winners due to the hosts of each show. And ‘Laguna Beach’ appears to be another winner and a different kind of show all together! They are not afraid to try something out. That can be good and bad. It will always be #1 in my heart, but it’s not consistent enough to compete for the crown.

VH1 is an interesting channel. It goes for “CelebReality” and most of the time it’s just “MTV’s Little Sister” in that department. But two shows have emerged above the rest. The ‘I Love…’ series of shows is always fun for a week or two. It’s like crack as Mathan said. I like the 80’s over them all, but the 90’s and 70’s were interesting decades as well. You want me to watch VH1..you put that show on. I’m there. And how about the newest show named ‘World Series of Pop Culture’? This is a game show I could be on, which is probably why I like it so much. It’s the place to be if you have “useless” trivia in your head. I think it will be around for awhile. The other stuff can be entertaining, but it’s always a step below MTV shows in my opinion.

COMEDY CENTRAL is all about comedy, of course. When you talk about this channel, you have to talk about ‘South Park’. However, I never really cared for the show that much. So I won’t talk about it. You know the show anyways and you know its history. People watch it and it can be funny. Enough said. Now a show that could be the funniest show EVER is ‘Chappelle’s Show’! Too bad it’s now over, but this was THE show people quoted the next day at offices everywhere. It made its mark on pop culture. The other shows are funny as well. A notch below the first two shows mentioned, but they are funny, which means they are entertaining. But there is not a lot of variety here on this network. It provides only one kind of entertainment, which is a negative.

That is my take on the channels. But which channel do I think is the best as far as “original programming” goes? TNT is too young to make much of an impact right now. COMEDY CENTRAL is only about comedy. VH1 is no match for MTV. So that would be the “bottom three”. Entertaining shows can be found on all of these channels, but they don’t compete with the “top 4”. MTV has been around for a long time and is now known more for its “original programming” than its music. But the channel is too hit or miss right now to compete for #1. A&E comes right ahead of MTV at #3 on my list. Why? They have a variety of shows that are all entertaining. Therefore, this is perhaps the cable channel to go to, if you like “reality” TV. Some MTV shows are better than the A&E shows. But as a whole, this network is better. That just leaves FX and the USA NETWORK. This was tough to decide. FX is living on the edge of “mature audiences only”. It usually crosses over. USA is a little safer and it features interesting characters. But I will give the slightest of edges to FX in the end. You won’t see this on any other channel and their shows are always entertaining. That makes it the #1 cable channel for “original programming” for me!

Of course, this is just my opinion. So please feel free to state your opinion to me by e-mail. I would LOVE to hear what others think. I will try to get an overall feel of which cable channel is the best in my weekly poll this week. But if you want to explain your reasons why you think one channel is better than the others, then send it to me. Next week, I will post any agreements or differences in opinion. So send them my way!

That’s all I got this week! Any questions, comments, or suggestions are always welcome, of course! Whether that be telling me which cable channel you think is the best or anything else you want to tell me!

Remember..“Life Ain’t Always Beautiful, but It’s a Beautiful Ride!”

And as always…“You Can’t Fight Fate!”. See you when I see you!

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