Sunday, August 29, 2010

Random Thoughts I Think About the Emmy's

I will post random things I think during the Red Carpet and the Award Show on here at random points over the course of the night, so refresh!

-If it isn't cancelled after this season (which is still my thought) I bet Ryan Seacrest leaves Idol after the season.

-Tony Parker would rather be playing the World Basketball Championship than walking the red carpet with Eva Longoria.

-The non-nerdy daughter from Modern Family cleans up very well.

-Giuliana Rancic might be the most famous person ever to marry a reality tv show winner. Her or the hockey player who married Carrie Underwood.

-At 7PM EST, the final odds for the last person in the In Memoriam tribute:
   -Gary Coleman 2:1
   -Rue McLanahan 4:1
   -Corey Haim 8:1
   -Roy Disney 15:1
   -Jay Leno's 10PM Show 50:1

-It may be impossible for Christina Hendricks to not look good.

-Heidi Klum might be wearing the ugliest outfit I've ever seen, but I leave that for my friend down at the Washington College of Law. Mindy Kaling looks better in a similar dress.

-Manny from Modern Family is awesome in every way.

-NPH won 2 Emmys last week- for the Tonys and for Glee. If he wins for HIMYM, his costar Colbie Smulders said she will call him "Neil Hatrick Harris." I want this to happen.

-NPH is putting a whole lot of pressure on Julianne Hough.

-E!'s Kristin dos Santos, after breaking that she's pregnant (which she did online like an hour ago) called Michael Scott and Holly the couple on The Office that everyone has been rooting for. So take that, Jim and Pam. And Dwight and Angela. And Andy and Erin. And Kelly and Ryan. And Meredith and Creed.

-Hugh Laurie told Seacrest he just completed a film about a love story between a 50 year old man and a 22 year old girl. Seacrest responded with "that's a good storyline." I love how he's still pretending that relationship is a secret.

-I have no idea what is happening on NBC involving Billy Bush, Matthew Morrison, and some high school senior.

-This is probably not agreed with by anyone else, but I think Julie Bowen is the most attractive star of Modern Family.

-It really doesn't matter what Dianna Agron wears, she's going to look good.

-Giulianna Rancic is confused. She thought I'd never believe Susan Sarandon loves ping pong. In actuality I'd never care.

-Why is Kim Kardashian at the Emmys? Please tell me Keeping Up with the Kardashians is not nominated.

-Billy Bush made a fool out of himself to end the red carpet show on NBC.

-That was the perfect way to use Kate Gosselin.

-Well done, Mr. Fallon, well done.

-As Sesame Street's The Count would say, "that's one! One Conan O'Brien joke! HAHAHAHAHA"

-Really, no monologue?

-Jon Hamm does not like Cameron from Modern Family. He wins anyway.

-Good start for Modern Family. And our first Old Spice joke. Did not see that coming. Also John Hodgeman is actually funny so far. I'm proud to use a PC.

-Far from stunning win for Jane Lynch, but well deserved.

-Seeing that Betty White Community ad a 2nd time was just as funny as the first.

-I've known this since Studio 60, but the Matthew Perry/Lauren Graham chemistry is amazing. I wonder if they're still dating.

-I love Heather Morris.

-Brilliant Modern Family bit.

-Parsons gets a very well deserved win. 2/3. But really anything that resulted in Tony Shalhoub not winning was a victory.

-Solid NPH, solid. Edie Falco wins. Eh.

-Will Arnett slips into the Gob Bluth voice for nominees as Top Chef shocks Amazing Race, and voters say F You to Simon Cowell.

-What I've learned tonight is that over the run of her show, Oprah's looks have changed drastically but her voice has stayed exactly the same.

-Well they did make the Dramas montage much more dramatic than the other montages.

-Mad Men wins writing for a drama. I have nothing particularly amusing to add.

-According to Hodgeman, Best Supporting Actor Aaron Paul's first memory of TV was "watching Fraggle Rock." I am now very happy he won.

-I think the NBC promo woman got confused. We just saw Russell and Arnett. They're presenting again?

-Someone from the Good Wife just won for Supporting Actress in a Drama. I actually felt confident picking Hendricks there. Oh well.

-A threepeat for Ted Mosby's former boss, Bryan Cranston. I believe Bryan Cranston is coached by Phil Jackson.

-And that ad reminds me why I thoroughly enjoy Community and why I believe it was snubbed by its 0 nominations.

-Way to work that synergy, NBC.

-Jimmy Fallon can legit pull off Elton John. Well done, sir.

-And a solid impression of Tony Nominated Broadway Composer Billie Joe Armstrong.

-The fact that we just found out we're close to a presentation from Tina Fey and Matthew Morrison has me excited.

-Kyra Sedgwick stuns Julianna Margulies. Did not see that coming.

-This better feature some clips from the Conan-Leno war.

-The Tonys win an Emmy.

-I will not buy OxiClean until Billy Mays is no longer in their ads. Come on guys.

-Ricky Gervais is going back and forth between funny and irritating.

-Bill Simmons refers to the last person in the In Memoriam montages as "the hammer," a curling reference. My pick is Dennis Hopper. Other thoughts?

-Let's go CoCo! Let's go CoCo!

-I never root against TDS, but CoCo deserved that. Boo.

-I wonder if part of why Jon Stewart didn't come was because he really thought Conan would win.

-I'm sure George Clooney is very deserving of the Bob Hope Humanitarian award, but its not entertaining enough for me to blog about it.

-Because it was for some reason done a week ago this year, the footage for the list of writers for Tonight Show with Conan

-You go, Emmy loser Katharine O'Whatshername.

-I'm not totally sure what Claire Danes was in that made her famous, but I'm always surprised by how goodlooking she is.

-A lot of famous people have won best supporting actor in a miniseries/movie. At first I thought this guy was not one of them, then his name looked familiar and I realized he played Murrow and Good Night and Good Luck. So welcome back to the public consciousness, David Strathairn.

-The producer of Roots steals the hammer from Dennis Hopper! What an upset. An upset story for all ages. Move over Butler, theres a new Cinderella in town, and his name is David L. Wolper.

-Jimmy Fallon sounded sarcastic thanking Jewel for her "wonderful performance. If he wasn't being sarcastic, he should have been.

-I didn't see the movie and/or miniseries, but after all these nominations, I feel like I do, in fact, know Jack.

-Well at least I now know Claire Danes is an Emmy winner, if nothing else.

-Nothing says football like a jazz musician most well known for his recurring guest role on Will and Grace.

-I get the sense that Temple Grandin may have been good.

-WOAH! Jack Kevorkian is at the Emmys? I thought he was in prison or dead?!?

-@JoshMalina: I have a weird feeling that Temple Grandin and Jack Kevorkian are going to hook up tonight.

-I think they didn't let John Hodgeman introduce Laurence Fishburne for a very specific reason.

-Temple Grande wins for Made for TV Movie. Like anyone didn't see that coming...

-Temple Grande and Lea Michele share a birthday. But only one of them owns an Emmy!

-Tom Selleck presenting Outstanding drama. I picked Mad Men. The winner is: Mad Men.

-And our final Emmys2010 commercial break! What you got for me now, Cast of NBC's Community?

-Both Tom Hanks and George Clooney are in the house, but presenting the last award of the night is Ted Danson. Outstanding Comedy Series goes to Modern Family!

-To sum it all up I went 5 for 10 on my picks. Not great, but not bad.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Emmy Predictions

The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards are tomorrow, so here are my predictions and commentary for each award:

The Award:

The Nominees:
-Breaking Bad (AMC)
-Dexter (Showtime)
-The Good Wife (CBS)
-Lost (ABC)
-Mad Men (AMC)
-True Blood (HBO)

The Defending Champion:
Mad Men

The Expert Opinion:
Ken Tucker (EW)- Lost
Michael Ausiello (EW)- Mad Men
Kristin dos Santos (E!)- True Blood
Tom O'Neil (LA Times)- Mad Men
Alessandra Stanley (NY Times)- The Good Wife

My Pick:
Mad Men. It's just hard to see the critics not giving it the threepeat. The emotional pull for Lost won't be enough.

Who Else I Would Have Nominated:
I admit I don't watch many dramas, but with 2 stars nominated, you would think NBC's Friday Night Lights also deserves an Outstanding Series nod.

The Award:

The Nominees:
-30 Rock (NBC)
-Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
-Glee (Fox)
-Modern Family (ABC)
-Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
-The Office (NBC)

The Defending Champion:
30 Rock

The Expert Opinion:
Ken Tucker (EW)- Modern Family
Michael Ausiello (EW)- Modern Family
Kristin dos Santos (E!)- Glee
Tom O'Neil (LA Times)- Modern Family
Alessandra Stanley (NY Times)- Modern Family

My Pick:
Modern Family. The last time an hour long series has won the Comedy Emmy was Ally McBeal in 1999. As good as Glee is, I don't see it happening again this year.

Who Else I Would Have Nominated:
It is rare one of the best written comedies is also the best rated. The Academy seems to have something against CBS's The Big Bang Theory, but I'm not sure what.

The Award:

The Nominees:
-Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights (NBC)
-Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
-Matthew Fox, Lost
-Michael C. Hall, Dexter
-Jon Hamm, Mad Men
-Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)

The Defending Champion:

The Expert Opinion:
Ken Tucker (EW)- Chandler
Michael Ausiello (EW)- Cranston/Chandler
Kristin dos Santos (E!)- Chandler/Fox
Tom O'Neil (LA Times)- Hall
Alessandra Stanley (NY Times)- Chandler

My Pick:
Cranston. This is one of the hardest to call. Sentimental value should be towards Fox and the now completed Lost. Cranston is a two time defending champion. Chandler has long been considered a snub. It could go either of those ways, but again I sense when the competition is too close to call, the voters go with the status quo.

Who Else I Would Have Nominated:
The Mentalist's Simon Baker (CBS) seems to have gone from beloved to forgotten in the course of one year.

The Award:

The Nominees:
-Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
-Glenn Close, Damages (FX)
-Mariska Hargitay, Law and Order:SVU (NBC)
-January Jones, Mad Men
-Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
-Kyra Sedgewick, The Closer (TNT)

The Defending Champion:

The Expert Opinion:
Ken Tucker (EW)- Margulies
Michael Ausiello (EW)- Margulies
Kristin dos Santos (E!)- Margulies
Tom O'Neil (LA Times)- Margulies
Alessandra Stanley (NY Times)- Margulies

My Pick:
Margulies. The consensus above exists for a reason. She carried the top new drama and will win.

Who Else I Would Have Nominated:
Again, I don't watch, but the Academy seemingly forgot despite its cancellation that TNT's Saving Grace and Holly Hunter did have a 2009-10 season.

The Award:

The Nominees:
-Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
-Steve Carrell, The Office
-Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
-Matthew Morrison, Glee
-Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
-Tony Shalhoub, Monk (USA)

The Defending Champion:

The Expert Opinion:
Ken Tucker (EW)- Parsons
Michael Ausiello (EW)- Parsons
Kristin dos Santos (E!)- Parsons
Tom O'Neil (LA Times)- Shalhoub
Alessandra Stanley (NY Times)- Parsons

My Pick:
Parsons. Who knew that Monk was still on? Shalhoub has won three times for his title role, and a victory for the final season is certainly possible, but he is not the most deserving. Nor is 2-time defending winner Baldwin. Parsons' Sheldon is perhaps the most interesting character on television, and Parsons captures him perfectly. The fact that he doesn't have one or two of these yet is criminal.

Who Else I Would Have Nominated:
Hopefully Community's Joel McHale (NBC) will replace Shalhoub on this list for many years to come.

The Award:

The Nominees:
-Toni Collette, United States of Tara (Showtime)
-Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
-Tina Fey, 30 Rock
-Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
-Lea Michele, Glee
-Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (NBC)
 The Defending Champion:

The Expert Opinion:
Ken Tucker (EW)- Falco
Michael Ausiello (EW)- Falco
Kristin dos Santos (E!)- Michele
Tom O'Neil (LA Times)- Falco
Alessandra Stanley (NY Times)- Poehler

My Pick:
Michele. Honestly, any of these six could win and it wouldn't shock me. Collette, as the defending champ, clearly is liked by the academy. Similarly, Fey won in 2008 and Louis-Dreyfus in 2006. Falco won for drama for The Sopranos on multiple occasions, but there are questions about how much of a comedy Nurse Jackie is. Poehler gave perhaps the best performance of any of these actresses this season. But, for at least the first half of the season and much of the second, carried the most buzzed about TV series on her shoulders. This could at least make up for her 2007 Tony Award non-nomination snub for Spring Awakening.

Who Else I Would Have Nominated:
Courtney Cox carried ABC's Cougar Town until it found what it was meant to be.

The Award:

The Nominees:
-Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age (TNT)
-Michael Emerson, Lost
-Terry O'Quinn, Lost
-Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
-Martin Short, Damages
-John Slattery, Mad Men

The Defending Champion:

The Expert Opinion:
Ken Tucker (EW)- Braugher
Michael Ausiello (EW)- Paul
Tom O'Neil (LA Times)- O'Quinn

My Pick:
O'Quinn. I've never seen any of these shows, so I'm giving Lost the emotional sentiment here. I picked O'Quinn over Emerson, since I know that O'Quinn's characters played a significant role in the final season.

Who Else I Would Have Nominated:
Would've been nice to see The Good Wife's Josh Charles get a nod.

The Award:

The Nominees:
-Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
-Rose Byrne, Damages
-Sharon Gless, Burn Notice (USA)
-Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
-Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
-Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

The Defending Champion:
Cherry Jones, 24 (Fox)

The Expert Opinion:
Ken Tucker (EW)- Hendricks
Michael Ausiello (EW)- Hendricks
Tom O'Neil (LA Times)- Hendricks

My Pick:
Hendricks. This has been a breakout year for Hendricks, and an Emmy would be a great highlight.

Who Else I Would Have Nominated:
There should always be a spot on this list of nominations for Grey's Anatomy's Chandra Wilson (ABC), who provided unbelievable work throughout the season, but particularly in the otherwise overdramatic season finale.

The Award:

The Nominees:
-Ty Burrell, Modern Family
-Chris Colfer, Glee
-Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
-Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
-Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
-Eric Stonestreet, Modern FamilyThe Defending Champion:

The Expert Opinion:
Ken Tucker (EW)- Burrell
Michael Ausiello (EW)- Burrell
Tom O'Neil (LA Times)- Colfer

My Pick:
Jeremy Piven, Entourage (HBO). No, seriously, Harris. After years of deserving to win and failing to do so, NPH finally gets his statue (actually his 2nd, he won for his guest appearance on Glee last week) in a year he is not the most deserving nominee. No, that would be Burrell, the highlight of most Modern Family episodes. But he could very easily split votes with his 2 conominated costars, leaving Harris with a victory that can only be considered legen-

Wait for it.*

Who Else I Would Have Nominated:
Ed O'Neill is the obvious snub with all his adult costars getting nods, but Community's Danny Pudi and 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer are possibly the funniest characters on TV.

The Award:

The Nominees:
-Julie Bowen, Modern Family
-Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
-Jane Lynch, Glee
-Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
-Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
-Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live (SNL)

The Defending Champion:
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies (ABC)

The Expert Opinion:
Ken Tucker (EW)- Lynch
Michael Ausiello (EW)- Lynch
Tom O'Neil (LA Times)- Lynch

My Pick:
Lynch. She was TV's breakout star this year, but this should only be the first of many Emmy wins.

Who Else I Would Have Nominated:
Park and Recreation's Rashida Jones will easily be here in the future, if her storyline with Rob Lowe is anywhere near as good as it can be.

The Other Awards:
Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: If The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien does not win, it will be almost as bad as that time Jay Leno screwed him out of hosting The Tonight Show.

Outstanding Reality Competition Program: The Amazing Race has won every year in the history of this award. Unless there is a strong sentiment in Hollywood for Simon Cowell (and I don't think there is), the streak will continue.

*dary. Legendary.

Friday, August 27, 2010

How I'd Fix the Mets

Fun Fact #18- In my 22 years of life, the 4 major sport teams I root for- the Jets, Mets, Islanders, and Knicks, have won a grand total of 0 championships.

Fun Fact #19- Had I been a Giants, Yankees, and Rangers fan, my championships-in-lifetime total would be 8.

Despite this constant debilitating disappointment, I continue to have hope, which in turn only leads to more severe disappointment.

And because of that, I, like every fan, have my own theories of how to fix my team.

Below, how I would rebuild the 2011 Mets. With help from Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Let's start with the assumption the Mets payroll in 2011 will be the same as the 2010 payroll, give or take $5 million. The 2010 payroll is about $126.5 million, so we'll give them $131.5 million for 2011.

Here's who is under contract for 2011:
1. Johan Santana- $22.5mil
2. Carlos Beltran- $18.5mil
3. Oliver Perez- $12mil
4. Francisco Rodriguez- $11.5mil
5. David Wright- $14mil
6. Jason Bay- $16mil
7. Luis Castillo- $6mil
8. Ryoto Igarashi- $1.75mil

This totals to $102.25, leaving the team $29.25mil to spend.
They owe $1mil to Gary Matthews Jr, knocking it down to $28.25mil.

Jose Reyes has an $11mil option. Either the Mets will pick it up or give him a long term deal, but either way this is likely to be the salary they pay him next year. This brings it down to $18.25mil.

Mike Pelfrey is set for arbitration for the first time this season. After making $3mil off his rookie contract in 2009, he made $500,000 this season. I would expect that salary to go back up to about $3mil, so we're down to $15.25mil.

Angel Pagan and R.A. Dickey are arbitration eligible as well. Pagan is making $1.45mil this season. With his big year, I think that could go up to over $4mil. Dickey is making about $700,000, and will likely get bumped to $1.5 due to his poor numbers before this season. We're down to $9.5mil.

Jeff Francoeur, John Maine, and Sean Green are abrbitration eligible, but should be nontendered. Green may be brought back on a minor league contract, but this will not affect the payroll.

With $122mil in the books, this is what the roster looks like:

SP1- Johan Santana
SP2- Mike Pelfrey
SP3- RA Dickey
RP- Francisco Rodriguez
RP- Ryoto Igarashi
RP- Oliver Perez
2B- Luis Castillo
3B- David Wright
SS- Jose Reyes
LF- Jason Bay
CF- Carlos Beltran
RF- Angel Pagan

Of course the bench spots are not set in stone, teams carry between 11-13 pitchers, and 2-3 backup IF and OF.

Next are the players signed for the major league minimum who will make the team next year:
-Jon Niese
-Ike Davis
-Josh Thole
-Ruben Tejada
-Fernando Martinez
-Bobby Parnell
Six players at $400,000 for the year adds to $2.4mil.

Now, with $7.1mil to go, the roster looks like this:
SP1- Johan Santana
SP2- Mike Pelfrey
SP3- RA Dickey
SP4- Jon Niese
RP- Francisco Rodriguez
RP- Ryoto Igarashi
RP- Oliver Perez
RP- Bobby Parnell
C- Josh Thole
1B- Ike Davis
2B- Ruben Tejada
3B- David Wright
SS- Jose Reyes
LF- Jason Bay
CF- Carlos Beltran
RF- Angel Pagan
IF- Luis Castillo
OF- Fernando Martinez

Jenrry Mejia will likely make his play for the #5 starting spot in September. If he pitches well, he could earn that spot, or at least a strong chance in Spring Training. He would earn the minimum, leaving up with $6.6mil. Resigning Henry Blanco to back up Thole and catch Santana may be a good idea. With bonuses he will make about $1mil this season, and probably would accept a similar amount for next year. Hisanori Takahashi has pitched well this season, and likely earned a spot in the bullpen for close to the $1mil he made this year. Similarly, Manny Acosta and Pat Misch have pitched well enough that they could compete for a spot in the bullpen, earning the $400,000 minimum. Daniel Murphy and Mike Hessman can compete for the corner infield spot off the bench, and the same can be said about Chris "The Animal" Carter, Nick Evans, and Jesus Feliciano. This is another $800,000 for those two. Altogether, another $3.6mil.

With $3.5mil left, the roster looks like this:

SP1- Johan Santana
SP2- Mike Pelfrey
SP3- RA Dickey
SP4- Jon Niese
SP5- Jenrry Mejia
RP- Francisco Rodriguez
RP- Ryoto Igarashi
RP- Oliver Perez
RP- Bobby Parnell
RP- Hisanori Takahashi
RP- Pat Misch/Manny Acosta
C- Josh Thole
1B- Ike Davis
2B- Ruben Tejada
3B- David Wright
SS- Jose Reyes
LF- Jason Bay
CF- Carlos Beltran
RF- Angel Pagan
C- Henry Blanco
IF- Luis Castillo
IF- Dan Murphy/Mike Hessman
OF- Fernando Martinez
OF- Nick Evans/Chris Carter/Jesus Feliciano

Pedro Feliciano earned $2.9mil this season. He is a free agent this season. A three year, $10mil contract would not be extreme. Bringing back Feliciano for when this team does contend (hopefully 2012) would be wise- he is arguably the best left handed specialist in baseball over the past few years. If Feliciano cannot be resigned, signing a similar reliever off the free agent market would fill the same spot, possibly for less money.

I would be in favor of giving an incentive laden contract- say $1mil or less plus obtainable bonuses- to a pitcher like Brandon Webb, Vincente Padilla, or Jeff Suppan- if the team is willing to increase the payroll. This would provide depth beyond unproven Dillon Gee and Brad Holt.

The team could release Perez and have both Misch and Acosta (or another RP from the minors) on the roster. Same stands for Luis Castillo, and the team could sign Aaron Miles or Akinori Iwamora to a minimum contract.

The key is the financial freedom for 2012. Assuming KRod's option does not vest (which could occur if the Mets doctors fail him on a physical or he fails to reach games finished incentives), the team would have about $60mil coming off the books, with only the need to resign Reyes, sign a closer (or a lockdown 8th inning guy if Parnell looks like he can be the closer), and replace Beltran (hopefully with Martinez), Perez, Castillo, and Igarashi.

Two more changes go without saying. Reassign GM Omar Minaya to head of the scouting/Dominican Republic training field, and fire Manager Jerry Manuel and most of the coaching staff.*

*Namely, I would fire Manuel, Pitching Coach Dan Warthen, 1B Coach Razor Shines, and Bench Coach Dave Jauss. I am completely apathetic to the role of bullpen coach, and Randy Niemann has been with the team long enough that I trust he belongs. Hitting Coach Howard Johnson should be reassigned to being a roving hitting instructor. He belongs with the franchise, but he has failed as a major league hitting coach. 3B Coach Chip Hale has a good reputation and does a good job, and the Mets have had trouble finding a good 3B coach, so I'm all for keeping him around.

This is what I would have the front office and coaching staff look like for 2011:

GM- John Ricco
Vice President of Baseball Operations- Josh Byrnes
Vice President of Player Development and Scouting- Omar Minaya

Manager- Larry Bowa
Bench Coach- Wally Backman
Hitting Coach- Don Mattingly
Pitching Coach- Joe Kerrigan
1B Coach- Mookie Wilson
3B Coach- Chip Hale
Bullpen Coach- Randy Niemann

I think Joe Torre is done managing the Dodgers. I also think Bowa and Mattingly will not be chosen to manage the Dodgers. Bowa is the personality at manager the Mets need, a direct contrast to the more soft-spoken Manuel and Willie Randolph. He also will probably only manage for 2-3 years, so Backman and Mattingly will have the opportunity to compete to be his successor. Kerrigan has been a successful pitching coach for a long time, and Mookie, a fan favorite, harkins back not only to their 1986 win, but the more enjoyable 1990s teams for which he was also 1B coach. Byrnes did a very good job in Arizona, and can help being another strong voice in the front office, while still getting paid much of his salary by the Diamondbacks.

My plan isn't perfect. But it can't be worse than the last 22 years.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The First Monthly Network, Primetime, Half-Hour, Live-Action Sitcom Rankings

Last season, the four major broadcast networks (sorry, CW), aired a combined 22 primetime, half-hour, live-action sitcoms (the 23rd half hour program, Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday, was not a situation comedy and therefore will not be included). Exactly half of those 22 will not be returning this upcoming season. Half of the cancelled series were relatively popular and long running shows, such as Scrubs, The New Adventurees of Old Christine, and 'Til Death. Others, like Hank and Brothers, were neither long running or well liked. One, NBC's 100 Questions, I had not heard of before I began writing this.

Starting with this post, every month (near the end of the month) I will rank the currently running network (so no My Boys or anything by Tyler Perry), primetime, half-hour (to avoid the "Is Glee/Desperate Housewives a drama or comedy?" question), live-action (all animated network sitcoms are on Fox, so ranking them seems silly) sitcoms. I admit that of the 11 series, I watch only 8 of them regularly, so I will use the opinions of friends, TV beat writers, and Nielson Ratings in combination with my own opinions. As the new shows debut, I will add them into the rankings but the first set, below, will feature only the 11 returning shows.

#    SHOW                   NETWORK   % OF NEXT SEA.  NIEL. RK ON LIST(ALL SHOWS)
1.  MODERN FAMILY      ABC        100               4       (T21)
2.  BIG BANG THEORY    CBS        100               1         (5)
3.  THE OFFICE         NBC         90               3       (T11)
4.  COMMUNITY          NBC         75               9       (T60)
5.  TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS        100               2        (T9)
6.  30 ROCK            NBC         80               T6      (T36)
7.  PARKS AND REC...   NBC         75               T10     (T63)
8.  HOW I MET YOUR...  CBS         60               5       (T28)
9.  COUGAR TOWN        ABC         50               8       (T40)
10. THE MIDDLE         ABC         25               T10     (T63)
11. RULES OF ENGAG...  CBS         25               T6      (T36)

My predictions for this season- Community and Parks and Rec will bump up in viewership, allowing Community to bypass The Office, and Parks and Rec to jump into the top 5. Big Bang Theory and Modern family will move back and forth between the top 2 spots all year. The Middle and Rules will remain in the bottom 3 of these 11 shows. And How I Met Your Mother will either move into the top 5 or the bottom 3 (including new shows).

My quick views of the new shows, which will debut between September and May:


Better with You- From Wikipedia- "series revolves around three different relationships that are tightly intertwined in one family." That sounds vaguely familiar. It does star the insanely good looking Joanna Garcia (Fun Fact #14- Garcia is engaged to Yankees RF, and HIMYM Guest Star, Nick Swisher) and That 70's Show and Friends' Debra Jo Rupp. Likelihood of a Season 2- 50%

Happy Endings- Again via Wikipedia- "series is based around the lives of a group of friends whose little group will be rocked when the couple that brought them together, Alex and Dave, break up." This has happened on Friends, HIMYM, Big Bang Theory, pretty much every sitcom about a group of friends. Again, we're featuring an attractive actress, this time 24's Elisha Cuthbert, SNL's Casey Wilson, and (and you're going to think I'm making this up but I'm not, I swear, this is accurate) Damon Wayans Jr.. Likelihood of a Season 2- 10%

Mr. Sunshine- Just guess- "sports arena manager for the Sunshine Center, a second-tier arena in San Diego...goes through a mid-life crisis when he turns 40, while dealing with the unusual demands of his job and his unpredictable boss." Someone actually came up with an original story! This has an A+ cast, with Friends' Matthew Perry, along with West Wing's Allison Janney, Studio 60's Nate Torrence, Joey/Better Off Ted's Andrea Anders, and produced and directed by Tommy Schlamme. The only possible downfall is that, like Perry's last show Studio 60, it will become too expensive to continue. Likelihood of a Season 2- 85%


Mike and Molly- Wiki- "series, set in Chicago, follows two overweight people...who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group and become an unlikely pair. However, they also have to deal with the comments, jokes, and criticism." This show should border between horrendous and offensive. Stars Gilmore Girls'/Samantha Who's Melissa McCarthy (Fun Fact #15- Melissa is cousins with former Playmate Jenny McCarthy), Emmy and Tony Award winning actress Swoosie Kurtz, and- oh who cares, I'm never watching this show anyway. Likelihood of a Season 2- 5%

$#*! (Pronounced Bleep) My Dad Says- The first sitcom based on a twitter account! Wiki- "Ed is a very opinionated 72-year-old who has been divorced three times. His two adult sons, Henry and Vince, are accustomed to his unsolicited and often politically incorrect rants. When Henry, a struggling writer and blogger, can no longer afford his rent, he is forced to move back in with Ed, which creates new issues in their tricky father-son relationship." I don't know. This show could be awesome. It could be a disaster. It could "boldly go where no show has gone before." That's right. It stars William Shatner. Also King of Queens' Nicole Sullivan (Fun Fact #16- King of Queens was the final live action sitcom that began in the 1990s when it ended in 2007). Likelihood of a Season 2- 50%

Mad Love- Wiki- "four twentysomething New Yorkers – Kate, Connie, Larry and Henry – are searching for love in the city. When Kate and Henry meet and fall for each other, their friends remain cynical about the relationship." Yes, it's like half the sitcoms developed since Friends (the other half have been about fat/shlumpy husbands with hot wives). But it stars Scrubs' Sarah Chalke, American Pie's Jason Biggs, and hilarious in anything and everything Judy Greer. Yeah, I think it's gunna be pretty good. Fun Fact #17- Sarah Chalke and Judy Greer both appeared on HIMYM with Alyson Hannigan, who played the prom date/girlfriend/fiance of Jason Biggs in the American Pie movies. Likelihood of a Season 2- 85%


Raising Hope- Wiki- "23-year-old must raise his infant daughter, conceived by a one-night stand, with the help of his flawed family after the baby's mother is sent to jail." Again, this could possibly be hilarious. But it could just as easily suck. But building a cast around Martha Plimpton and Cloris Leachman worries me. Likelihood of a Season 2- 33%

Running Wilde- Fox hasn't developed a successful live-action sitcom since Arrested Development, so the fact they haven't attempted this yet is crazy. Wiki doesn't even have a plot, but it doesn't matter. It is created and directed by AD's Mitch Hurwitz and stars AD's Will Arnett and David Cross. And Felicity aka Keri Russell. Likelihood of being good is 99%. Likelihood of a Season 2- 66%

Mixed Signals- All Wiki gives us is that its based on the Israeli show Ramzor. Ramzor is about "three friends in their mid-thirties...Each of them is in a distinct relationship condition (symbolized by the three colors of a traffic light). Itzko is the "red light": married with a 7 year old daughter. Amir is the "yellow light": He lives with his girlfriend "Tali". Hefer is the "green light": He has no permanent partner." I don't know how similar they will be, but this sounds like Rules of Engagement. It stars The Office's David Denman and a bunch of other people with limited fame. Likelihood of a Season 2- 30%


Outsourced- Wiki- "set in a Mumbai, India, call center, where an American novelties company has recently outsourced its order processing. A lone American manages the call center and must explain American popular culture to his employees as he comes to understand Indian culture." It's also based on a movie. This could easily be the funny show that just doesn't find an audience this season. Stars nobody famous. Likelihood of a Season 2- 15%

Friends with Benefits- Wiki- "series follows the very close friendship between two single people who are looking for the perfect mate, and their friends who question their relationship but at the same time have their own romantic problems to deal with." What an original concept. This vaguely reminds me of half the series we already covered, but with a less noteworthy cast, and on a network that has been much more successful with single camera shows. Likelihood of a Season 2- 20%

The Paul Reiser Show- Wiki- "a former television star who hasn't worked on a television series in several years." Paul Reiser came up with the idea himself. Who knows how. It stars- you'll never guess this- Paul Reiser. No idea how many episodes it will take before Helen Hunt pops up. This worked with Larry David when he could curse on HBO and because people loved Seinfeld. You never see Mad About You reruns on tv, do you? Likelihood of a Season 2- 10%

Perfect Couples- Wiki- "revolves around three unique couples at various stages in their relationships, yet who face similar problems." No kidding. Stars Attack of the Show!'s Olivia Munn (insanely good looking) and a bunch of people with failed series on their IMDB page. Likelihood of a Season 2- 30%

And that ends it. We'll talk about, and have an updated rankings, the shows that debut in late September.