The Season That Won't Stop Premiering
Two weeks into the official start of the new TV season, and the premieres just keep coming.
I remember getting emails and calls from readers way back in August, worried that the new fall season had started and we hadn't laid our munificent fall TV preview on them yet. Nearly two months later, the shows keep dropping -- and most of us are too tired to care anymore.
Which is too bad for ex-SNL vet Tina Fey's 30 Rock, an entertaining comedy about a network TV variety show thrown into a tailspin when a high-handed executive forces the show to take on a mentally imbalanced movie star.
As he's proven through his kickass appearances on Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin is a greaty comedic actor, and he proves the show's secret weapon here -- playing an executive convinced that his skill in marketing convection ovens has qualified him to revamp a struggling TV show. Best of all, Fey resists the temptation to turn the guy into a clueless cartoon, allowing his understanding of oversize egos and corporate politics to make her character -- the show's executive producer -- squirm a bit.
If only the same kind words could be offered for Twenty Good Years, the other NBC comedy dropping tonight. It's an ode to the new middle age -- as boomers turn 60, expect the networks to spend more time reaching out to this moneyed demographic with shows excavating their struggles.
They'll have to do better than this disappointment, which strands John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor in an over-the-top sitcom about two 60something guys trying to reinvent themselves 10 years after qualifying for an AARP card. Of course, considering how off base my predictions have been so far, it will probably be the comedy hit of the season.
Strippers and Solicitors: a Risky Combination
Notorious Tampa shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge keeps his lawyers busy: This time they're taking on a lawsuit filed by a self-described "Internet model" who claims the Sirius Satellite Radio personality badgered her into a sex act with a another woman and a, ahem, prosthetic sexual device during his show.
Hope Miller, also known as Brooke Skye, is suing Bubba, his on air crew, another internet model named Melissa Midwest, Bubba's production company and Sirius for an amount in excess of $15,000 for the June 12 incident, where she claims she was pressured into having sex with Midwest. As an aside, she also claims Bubba gave her alcohol even though she's under the legal drinking age.
Since Bubba vanished into the black hole of satellite radio, this lawsuit might actually work to his advantage -- reminding folks outside his circle of fans and Sirius subscribers that he's actually still on the air, somewhere.