Thursday, 18 September 2008


US Networks Fall schedules already give a pretty neat idea of what will be the scale of the bodycount at the end of this 2008-2009 season.


Those who thought that previous season dug so low, WGA strike or not, will reach a Nirvana of oil with the chronicles of the shape of things to come on Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily, starting with NBC ( Home of the US version of The Office, the Peacock remakes an Australian sitcom Hit, Kath & Kim, due to arrive on October 9. « The art of adapting a programme from another country is a fraught with difficulty. For every hit: Ugly Betty, The Office, Queer as Folk, there is a miss along the lines of Chateau Snavely, the 1978 attempt to remake Fawlty Towers for an American audience, which was thankfully cancelled after the pilot », wrote Sarah Hughes on Viva Laughlin, the remake of BBC's Blackpool( What's next after ABC's remake of Life on Mars? An US remake of ITV's Lost in Austen? « Amanda Price hates her life, but she loves Gone in the Wind [Imagine the voice of the late Don LaFontaine] ... Lost in Mitchell, coming soon! »

Of NBC's October Coming Attractions, My Own Worst Enemy, with Christian Slater, is one of the most awaited. Watching the promos on the NBC Website ( leaves the impression of a Jekyll meets Jason Bourne but Christian Slater worths a look.

Other Networks seem to fare no better ( and, reading Deadline Hollywood Daily, ABC's Dirty Sexy Money looks neither « dirty » nor « sexy ». Anyway is Money sexy these days? After the Hell of a week in Wall Street, Nikki evaluates the impact of the Bloody Monday on the Entertainment Industry ( Note some wonderful pieces of Finkisms, like « And I hope there's a special hell reserved for "naked" short-sellers, and eventually a perp walk » or « They weren't ignoring Sarbanes-Oxley by lying, were they? »


The lucid, wise and corrosive Furious D, reacts on the views of Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and NBC Universal Television Studio, about the advantages of co-productions like the Network's Crusoe ( « One of the facets of this cubic zirconium of managerial brilliance is the use of international co-production to supposedly make NBC shows "bomb-proof," by making them profitable, even if they don't attract many viewers ».

« Lost in a Roman Wilderness of Pain » sung the Bard... When your humble servant
was a kid we were mesmerized by a clip shown on Le club des télévisions du monde (Televisions of the World Club, a summer show on French TV) and called Come on along with ABC, one of the most brilliant ad campaign ever for a US TV network. US Networks made the world dream then, US television made top-notch Entertainment for US audiences with US standards and sold it to the planet. What networks need most now is the Glen A. Larson, Stephen J. Cannell, Quinn Martin, Aaron Spelling, Harve Bennett, Doug Cramer, Kenneth Johnson or Lee Goldberg of the next 20 years. Plus new Fred Silverman and Brandon Tartikoff. Maybe US Networks should awake or leave Television fiction to Showtime or HBO. After all, Deal or no Deal is well done and fun to watch.

A propos of HBO, Nikki Finke expressed her disapproval of the early renewal of True Blood (started on September 7) for a season 2 (, qualifying the series of « nothing more than a contemporary version of Interview With The Vampire ». « And its pisspoor writing demonstrates that either Oscar and Emmy winner Alan Ball (American Beauty and Six Feet Under) is phoning it in or else he's got a talent-less nephew with the same name » (ouch!) Think about it, vampires are nothing new on TV but the move is rather smart for HBO, back to basics of The Hitchhiker after the Sopranos era. The original Hitchhiker series (not the USA-La Cinq No Sex-No gore Europudding sequel) - not precisely Shakespeare - contributed to put the cable channel on the map in the Eighties. Creative dynamic is clearly with Showtime but maybe it's too soon to bury HBO.

And a remake of The Hitchhiker would be a great idea, by the way...

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