Talk show is drowning in saucy metaphors but could still be a recipe for success
Bing: More about "The Chew"
It's only Day 2 for ABC's new talk/cooking show, which assumed the "All My Children" time slot Monday, but if the food fest can maintain its premiere day numbers, ABC could have a surprise winner on its hands.
"The Chew" lured in 2.5 million viewers Monday, and 590,000 of those were in the coveted daytime group of women aged 18-49. That beats the 1997 launch of "The View" (1.9 million) and last year's "The Talk" premiere (2.2 million).
ABC's new venture also eked ahead of the show it replaced, "All My Children." "The Chew" topped the soap's 2010-2011 season averages in total viewers (2.5 million vs. 2.4 million) and women 18-49 (590,000/0.9 rating vs. 541,000/0.8 rating). It also beat recent September numbers.
What seems like a small lead over the canceled soap could factor into a big win, since the cooking show costs less to produce than "All My Children" did, but it's too soon to take that souffle out of the oven. Just because folks tuned in to check it out, doesn't mean they're going to come back.
The rest of premiere week includes today's visit from Whoopi Goldberg ("The View"), who gets a private tour of Mario Batali's Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the world; as well as visits from Joy Behar ("The View" and HLN's "The Joy Behar Show") and Paula Deen and a trip to the Orange County Fair with Daphne Oz.
Stay tuned. And if you caught the premiere, chime in and let us know what you thought of it.
"The Chew" airs weekdays on ABC.
Fake feud with 'Glee' star is superbad and unfunny
Hey, Jonah Hill,
I’m calling you out, buddy. Any time, any place.
If anyone seriously needs the Cliff Notes, the newly svelte "Superbad" star appeared on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” last week to promote his new movie, “Moneyball,” and to call out the actor who plays “Glee’s” teacher/occasional rapper.
“You better bring your s*** next time I see you!” he yelled while Fallon restrained him. Supposedly, the two were at a Hollywood party together where Hill overheard Morrison and “’Gossip Girl’ guy” Chace Crawford use “Jonah Hill” as the punch line of a joke.
Last night, Morrison responded, also via Fallon, gleefully accepting the challenge while defending the honor of the musical theater and complimenting “Moneyball.” Quoth Morrison: "This just got real, man."
Mr. Hill, your fans agreed to make you famous for your high body mass index and ironic sense of comedy (also for being Seth Rogen’s Mini-Me). Yet you have broken our contract. Not only do you not look funny anymore, but not a single one of us believes your fake feud is real, which is the problem. You chickened out and let us in on your joke. (And "chickened" wasn’t the word I meant.)
Mr. Hill, you need a fake talk-show feud lesson from dead comedian Andy Kaufman, who went for broke against wrestler Jerry Lawler on “Late Night with David Letterman” in 1982, the year before you were born. Not until 15 years after Kaufman’s death was their ruse revealed, and never before then was there the slightest wink or nudge to the audience.
Of course, your fake feud could have been funny in an ironic sense -- if there were another current feud in pop culture it could be perceived as lampooning. But there’s not. Your feud was engineered not to mock, but to stand on its own comedic brilliance.
And that’s why it will fall. You have made danger a stranger to it. No one will gasp when your feud comes to its predictable head on a future "Fallon." And the big corporations you work for will rejoice at all the plugs, publicity and profit you generate for them without ever exiting conditions deemed risk-free by their insurance companies.
Your big payoff can only be some lame cousin of the Emmy routine in which co-presenters/Jimmys Fallon and Kimmel ended up wrestling on stage because they couldn’t figure out a funny ending to their fake feud, either.
Speaking of Fallon, I realize this was probably all his lame idea to generate ratings. In going from a guy who makes fun of talk show hosts to a talk show host, Fallon has certainly dulled his own satire blade more than a touch. But it is still mostly your fault, Mr. Hill, for accepting, and so vigorously embracing, his lame idea.
OK, so maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you won’t wrestle to the floor but have a dance-off instead. Wow, how superbad of you.
Dude, you were already entering the mainstream on your own terms. (You are currently co-starring with Brad Pitt in a movie!) There was no need to adopt their terms. I was a big fan of yours, and you have let me down.
And that is why I’m calling you out. It’s you who’d better bring your s***. And I’m not faking.
MSN TV blogger
P.S. Matthew Morrison, if you are reading this, you are exonerated. You are an innocent bystander to dangerous comedy and obviously happy to participate in anything that’s not “Glee.”
TV gets a heady dose of prehistoric action on tonight's two-hour premiere of 'Terra Nova'
Everything goes terribly, horrifically wrong in a tremendous episode
"He got on a ride that was rough to get off of." – Hank
As the saying goes, if you want to hear God laugh, make a plan. Tonight, we saw the outcome of Gustavo Fring's meticulous, detailed and ultimately successful scheme to take down the entire cartel. Although there were certainly bumps along the way, as Jesse admiringly comments, he really did think of everything. Conversely, we also saw the disastrous fall-out from Walter White's non-plan, climaxing with one of the most amazing shots in "Breaking Bad" history.
It is frequently amusing how fans of the show complain about the episodes where "nothing happens." But hours like "Crawl Space" point up the ultimate absurdity of that idea. If Walter hadn't methodically and self-destructively chipped away at Jesse's bond with him, if Jesse hadn't been taken under Mike's wing for a slow and patient re-entry into the world of the living, if Hank hadn't been prodded by Walt into looking further into the murder of Gale, and if Ted hadn't backed Skyler into a corner by his stubborn refusal to pay his stupid taxes, we wouldn't be staring down that crawl space at a filthy, hysterical, panicked Walter White, surrounded by the emptied out garment bags and listening to Marie's desperate crying out to Skyler about the hit out on her husband. Out of options, out of time, out of solutions, this is the scariest place that most of the characters have been placed in up to now. How will they get out of it? And more importantly, what will be sacrificed to get them there?
- That tented mobile hospital was pretty cool, and just another reminder (as if we needed one) of the cool and stunning brilliance of Gus.
- So that was the explanation for Mike taking the necklace – as evidence for Tio that everyone he ever knew or cared about was dead.
- It is interesting to see Jesse is mature enough to defend Walt's life, but still wants to have nothing to do with him.
- "When did wrong suddenly become a problem for you?"
- Well, now I feel completely guilty for all those times I muttered to myself "Ted Beneke needs to GO." Also, secure your throw rugs, people.
- Oh forget it - "The lease is pretty ironclad". SHUT UP TED.
- Any guesses on what the insurance premiums for that Aztec are lately?
- Before the last minute of the show, I thought the extended long shot of that conversation in the desert, with the (lucky?) cloud formation casting huge shadows, would be the MVP shot of the night.
- "I don't want to talk about it to you or to anyone else. I'm done explaining myself."
Atlantic City is just as dangerous and intriguing as ever in the season premiere
It has only been a few months since the action of the season finale, but a lot of the relationships are on a very different footing already. Jimmy, Eli and the Commodore have made significant progress in their campaign to overthrow Nucky, mainly through using the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize Chalky and paralyze his liquor distribution. However allied they seem to be, there are still cracks in the brain trust. The old man and his biological son are already sidelining the chief of police, which will most likely backfire on them sooner or later; Eli has proven to be a short-sighted petulant blowhard no matter which "side" he is on at any given moment. And Jimmy is putting on a brave face, but it's clear he still has a deep connection to his surrogate father Nucky, although he is doing a good job of burying it pretty deep.
Margaret and Nucky are deep into a settled domestic pattern (although he does seem to be at least open to the possibility of some floozies on the side), and he is warming up to acting as a father figure to her children. Margaret is easily the most fascinating and identifiable character in this universe, and she is poised to become the power behind the throne in some way. Meanwhile, the newly-legal couple of Jimmy and Angela are still doing their delicate dance around speaking honestly to one another; complications include the meddling "I'm only here to help you by constantly reminding you of my extra-special closeness with the son I had when I was barely a teenager" machinations of Gillian, and the more benign and poignant specter of Richard Harrow yearning after Jimmy's family.
Finally, there is Van Alden, who is, in a shock to absolutely no one, still totally and completely cuckoo bananas. Whether calling up a last minute restaurant raid to "thrill" his uptight and long-suffering wife, or stealing that establishment's money to pay off the impregnated Lucy (who is…living with him, or staying at his house, or something equally disturbing), Michael Shannon plays him like a man whose violent outbursts are barely suppressed from each minute to the next. Last season, his insanity pushed the bounds of believability, but in this episode, it seemed to be contained to more realistic bounds.
"Boardwalk Empire" continues to look absolutely gorgeous, from the meticulous costuming to the carefully decorated interiors to the wintry lighting of the beachfront houses in Atlantic City's off-season. If last season was missing a certain passion or spark in the telling of its stories (both historical and fictional), this season seems poised to correct that shortcoming. As the Commodore says "You'll be judged by what you succeed at, not by what you attempt." Right now, I am willing to bet the attempts will be successful.
- Just a brief scene with Al Capone in Chicago, but it did introduce another real-life character in George Remus, whose life definitely has the potential to cause some interesting stuff to happen.
- Eli is just horrible, isn't he?
- "10,000 black folks that make this city hum." Michael K. Williams is so good as Chalky, and the glimpse of his upscale home life (elegant wife, talented and intelligent son) was totally satisfying.
- "Your father is a very duplicitous man."
With 'All My Children' still in his rearview, Rick comes home
MSN TV caught up with Jacob Young moments after his character J.R.'s gun went off Friday, signaling the end of "All My Children" on ABC. Now, it's on to the next -- or rather, back to where it all started. Young has re-assumed the role of Rick Forrester on "The Bold and the Beautiful," which he held from 1997-99, and returns to the canvas on Monday, Sept. 26.
In addition to bringing Rick back from Paris on Monday, Young will stop by "The Talk" to kick off "All My Meals" week. He'll cook up his fave recipe and sit down at the table to talk shop with the ladies. “All My Children” funnyguy Michael E. Knight (Tad) is scheduled to do the same on Wednesday, Sept. 28, with Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake) scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 29.
Here's what Young had to say about it all. .
MSN TV: Wow, that was some crazy ending to "All My Children!"
Jacob Young: Yes. I finished there almost a month ago, but I've got to be honest. I watched about 45 minutes of the show and it's that old expression, bittersweet. Tears are flowing. I spent almost a decade over there. It was a long time to be with all those wonderful people and be lucky enough to be part of something as historical as "All My Children."
Back when things were wrapping up, you told MSN TV your wish for J.R. was that he decides who he is, once and for all, and stop vacillating between the dark and light. Are you satisfied?
He definitely made a decision! (Laughs) The funny thing is, this is an ending they had written before they knew I had the "The Bold and the Beautiful" deal in place. It seemed as though it perfectly coincided with that deal, but it had nothing to do with it. It was a great privilege to take J.R. to the places he went. I'm honored that the show put so much stock in me and believed I could do what I did.
Will you be talking about the big finale when you visit "The Talk" on Monday?
Of course, we're going to talk about "The Bold and the Beautiful" and touch on "All My Children," but I'm going in there to do some cooking, which is actually one of my passions. I hate to sound cliche, but I understand why people love to cook. It's fun! I'm doing a Southwestern soup. It's about 97 percent fat-free, just absolutely delicious and guaranteed to kill any cold. It's got a little spice, but it's also that good chicken stock. I swear by it.
Monday is also your on-air return to "The Bold and the Beautiful." What can we expect from Rick when he comes home from Paris?
I didn't want to push it too hard, right away. I wanted to make sure people could ease into me being on the show again, so I took baby steps. His intentions are to look after his sister (Hope) in the beginning, because she has so much drama going on right now, but he's going to get fired up with the rest of the family, shortly.
And with his ex, Amber?
There's going be some Amber action. I'm sure we have plenty of archived footage to pull from. I'm going to have to turn my head when I see myself from 14 years ago!
What was it like to step onto "The Bold and the Beautiful" stages after all those years?
A time warp. Working for Disney for the last eight and a half years, people come and go -- production staff and actors. I stepped onto the sound stage and it was a literal time warp. Everyone had a few more wrinkles and a little more gray hairs, including myself! It was comforting. Everyone one of the actors embraced me, literally and figuratively. It's such a caring, tight knit group and I like that. Everyone is still, after all these year, as passionate as I remember.
Was it as easy to step into Rick's shoes?
It's an odd feeling. He's been played by a couple other people [Justin Torkildsen (1999-2006), Kyle Lowder (2007-2011)] and has been through some crazy things. I've been asking a hundred questions to find out where he is, emotionally. These are things I have to take into consideration and honor, but I'm also putting my own stamp on it. We need to refresh who Rick is. People change, they grow. We're definitely going to try to lighten up some of that darkness he's had. He's not going to have a J.R. rift to him, that's for sure! He's a young man who has nothing to prove. He comes from a loving family, with people who respect and appreciate him, so there's no reason he should be a menace. He should have a light heart and a good feeling about who he is, and be centered and make strong, beautiful choices in life.
What actually brings Rick back to town?
He comes back for a visit. He doing well and has a lot of great friends at the Forrester International office in Paris. His intentions are to come say hello, but everybody says, "Can you stay for awhile?" Alright, I'll stay for awhile. (laughs)
"The Bold and the Beautiful" and "The Talk" air weekdays on CBS.
Nucky and his knuckleheads were real
Not all HBO series about New Jersey mob kingpins are, as Tony Soprano might have put it, full of s***. The one about to premiere its second season on Sunday is surprisingly full of truth. Not even the names were changed in "Boardwalk Empire" (well, at least not the first names).
Famous for his flashy suits, limos and mistresses, Enoch Johnson ran Prohibition-era Atlantic City like it was his personal Monopoly board (which it kind of was, since the famous Parker Bros. game uses that city’s street names).
“Nucky” earned a meager salary as treasurer of Atlantic County, yet curiously managed to live in a suite at the Ritz-Carlton while being catered to by chauffeurs, maids and a valet. (The protection money he commanded amounted to $15 million per year in today’s currency.)
Nucky -- who rose to power when his mentor, a man who called himself “The Commodore,” was convicted of voter fraud in 1911 -- seemed to do most of his business not with local politicians but with gangsters such as Al Capone,Charlie “Lucky” Luciano,Meyer Lansky and Arnold Rothstein.
That was not the first season I just reviewed; it was historical fact. The show is based on the 2002 nonfiction book by Nelson Johnson (no relation).
Nucky even had bad teeth. (Nice acting job, Steve Buscemi!)
So you have to wonder why HBO bothered changing the last name of its Nucky from Johnson to Thompson, likewise tweaking The Commodore’s name from Louis Kuehnle to Louis Kaestner, Nucky’s assistant from Louis Kessel to Eddie Kessler, and his sheriff/brother from Eli to Alfred. (Sorry, descendants of the aforementioned dead guys, but you can’t sue us for slander because we engaged in slight name altering!)
OK, so there are some “full of s***” moments. The real Nucky was never known to order a hit on anyone, as Buscemi’s character has done numerous times. And he didn’t install Warren Harding as president.
“Never let the truth get in the way of a good story,” Buscemi said in the very first episode.
Yet that Hollywood truism doesn’t ring as true as it usually does. Compared to most serial TV drama, “Boardwalk Empire” is still “60 Minutes.”
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the real Nucky didn’t suffer much for his sins. He did only four years for tax evasion and died a peaceful death in 1968, far from penniless, at the old age of 85.
Oops, I probably should have typed “spoiler alert” before that last paragraph.
The second season of "Boardwalk Empire" premieres Sunday, Sept. 25, at 9 pm. ET/PT on NBC.
Kelly Monaco, Nadia Bjorlin, Kirsten Storms, Brandon Beemer, Farah Fath, JP Lavoisier and Galen Gering get personal
Bing: More on "Dirty Soap"
How Dirty will it get? "It's not like we're having orgies… Well, once a week, maybe," quips Galen Gering. "The title is very catchy and attracts eyeballs, but it also has a lot of play. You're getting the dirt, the inside scoop. Our lives aren't squeaky clean."
"Dirty Soap" airs Sundays on E! 10/9c.