Day: October 16, 2008

New sitcom reviews, Fall TV 2008: Worst Week

So, it’s mid-October, and you’re wondering, is it not a little late to begin reviewing the new fall crop of TV sitcoms? No. It is not. In fact, most TV critics weigh in too early, often with just a pilot episode to go on, sometimes with a second episode, but usually hardly without time to see if the producers, writers and cast have been able to expand upon a premise or build a storyline worth laughing at and following from week to week. Most people wouldn’t have given Seinfeld much of a chance with its pilot, and conventional wisdom now hails that sitcom as one of the best ever. Cheers took a while to find its audience, but NBC stuck with it and it paid dividends for all involved. Of course, the mainstream thinking now holds that the sitcom is dead and/or dying, that networks cannot take chances on sitcoms, and that your best laughs are coming in hourlong "dramedies" or dramas that are really comedies in disguise (see: House, Bones, Chuck, Life, Pushing Daisies, Ugly Betty, and so on and so forth). But that’s not stopping folks from trying to launch new sitcoms, so let’s see how they’re doing after four weeks. First up: Worst Week. Sitcom: Worst Week (CBS) 9:30 p.m. ET/PT Mondays Premise: Sam Briggs (Kyle Bornheimer), an entertainment magazine editor, has gotten his girlfriend Melanie...

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Sundance’s Voices on the Election

The presidential debates are over, so now it’s time for the final stretch of the election campaign, and the Sundance Channel has launched its own online campaign venture called Voices on the Election, complete with serious and satirical videos and interviews. Including this series by comedian Dave Hill, Dave Hill’s Guide to Voting. Here’s a sample: Among the other comedic offerings…Attack Ads by Amsterdam based comedy troupe Boom Chicago; a Panty Raiders series of mock elections held on the streets of Bombay, London and Mexico City called Project Vote; a mini-opera by comedian/songwriter David Driver called Sometimes the Dream is Real; and Gail Levin’s The Naked Campaign, a series of animated profiles of the candidates via New Yorker cartoonist Steve Brodner. Want to see the attack ads? After the jump we...

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Preview: Childrens’ Hospital

Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel, Lake Bell, Megan Mullally, Erinn Hayes, Jason Sudeikis, David Wain, Seth Morris, Ken Marino, "the other" Corddry and more…narrated by Stephen Colbert! Intoning things such as "The Internet’s sexiest drama just got…sexiester." We cannot wait to see what happens next on the new series, Childrens’ Hospital. But, wait. It’s only online. What’s up, WB? Or should I say, Oh, look what you did there. You got me to help promote your beta site. You’re...

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Comedy Central launches live entertainment division

It’s about time. Seriously. I long have wondered why Comedy Central had not done more to cement its branding as the central place for all things comedy, so today’s announcement by the cable network that it has created a live entertainment division sounds like positive news. The network, of course, already has established Comedy Central Records and increased its position there in recent years — the release of the posthumous Mitch Hedberg CD debuted at #18 on the Billboard charts and stayed in the top 100 for the next two weeks. They also have expanded to live stand-up DVDs and comedy tours. Several comedians in the past year have made side deals with Comedy Central to air their hour specials. And this year, the network has partnered with the New York Comedy Festival to provide new broadcast and retail opportunities. Acknowledging this expansion, Comedy Central publicly has gone on record today that they’re willing to step things up a notch or two or more. Here is an official quote from Mitch Fried, the new senior v.p. of Comedy Central Live Entertainment: "By providing talent, whether they’re just starting out or are already household names, with the strength and power of the COMEDY CENTRAL brand we will be able to maximize their exposure and revenue by reaching their fans across multiple platforms, be it through a tour, a special, a...

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