Next season could be the show's last even with a settlement, characters offer reactions
"Simpsons" fans, you can finally have that cow, man. After 23 seasons, your show appears doomed.
Even if a settlement is reached in the current contract stalemate, according to a report by TheWrap.com, FOX is eyeing next season as the show's last.
For the fun to continue even that long -- and boy, won't it be fun after all this? -- the studio has demanded a reported 45 percent pay cut for all crew and cast members.
Some producers have agreed. But the six regular voice actors -- who earn $8 million each per season -- have not. They have until tomorrow.
The actors -- who commissioned a study estimating that the show has earned $1 billion in profits -- countered with an offer to accept 30 percent less in combination with a stake in a series. FOX flatly rejected it.
"We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model," FOX said in a statement.
The actors are not commenting. (Would you if your stance was that slightly more than $4 million per year isn't enough to voice cartoons for a living?) However, when reached for comment from this blogger, the "Simpsons" characters had the following reactions …
Homer Simpson: "Dough!"
Marge Simpson: "Hmm, I don't have a good feeling about this."
Lisa Simpson: "And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
Bart Simpson: "Big whoop."
Maggie Simpson: (pacifier sucking noise)
Smithers: "Did someone say four million?"
"The Simpsons" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
The newlyweds get silly during their first daytime interview as man and wife
On the heels of doing their first interview on "Late Night with Jay Leno" last night, newlyweds Kim and Kris Kardashian - er, we mean Humphries -- take on daytime today, Wednesday, Oct. 5, with a visit to "Ellen." With a new special to promote, the newlyweds stop by to dish wedding details and babies and renew their vows in a wacky ceremony officiated by Ellen DeGeneres.
Bing: More on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' | Watch clips
"We are gathered here today, because we are the only 300 people not invited to Kris and Kim's wedding," DeGeneres quips during today's mock vow renewal, and no surprise, she proves to be one entertaining master of ceremonies (see clip above).
Kim and Kris are making the rounds to promote "Kim's Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event," the E! special about their original, star-studded summer nuptials, airing Oct. 9 and 10. In order to lure viewers to tune in, the couple dished with DeGeneres about being newlyweds, babies and, of course, the big day.
While Kim had one word for how she would have changed her big event -- "Elope!” -- hubby Kris reveals he would have added a bit more partying to the after party. Kim would agree, if only she'd been a bit less mental.
"I was so crazy for an entire month," she says. "I literally went crazy. It was so stressful.”
You can catch the full chat today on "Ellen," and per our weekly daytime celeb roundup. Kim will also be on "Today" this Friday, first as a guest, then as a co-host.
"Ellen" airs weekdays on NBC. Check local listings for airtimes.
We learn some of the truth but get many more lies in an uneven episode
It was hard to keep track of all the broken promises and betrayals on display in "Brick", both those dredged up from the past and entered into in the present. Some worked better than others, on both an emotional and logical level. Let's run through them, shall we?
So Clay slept with his best friend John Teller's wife, made a couple of unsuccessful attempts on his life, and eventually managed to kill him while using Unser to make it look like an accident. By positioning Clay as the mastermind, and putting both Unser and Gemma as willing but regretful accomplices, the series seems to be setting him up as the real new villain of the season. Unfortunately, the whole thing felt somehow anti-climactic, and the ongoing farce of The Incredibly Incriminating Letters Of Doom already seems played out. This story did allow Dayton Callie to do his usual superb job as an alternately vulnerable and angry ex-cop, and my money is on him (and Piney) as the wild card that may join forces with others against Clay.
The truth also came out about Bobby Elvis shacking up with the late Luann, and Otto seems to be at peace with that. Of course, he also thinks that Samcro killed her (alleged) murderer (porn king Georgie Caruso) instead of using him to bring down Charming Heights, in a rather convoluted plan that Clay and Jax managed to brainstorm on in roughly thirty seconds. Still, this was the strongest thread in an emotional sense: the character of Otto invokes both fear and pity in equal measure and pretty much everyone behaved and reacted to the situation with a degree of rationality.
If only the same thing could be said about the stuff going on with Juice. I am by no means an expert in the racial politics of Northern California motorcycle gangs, but from a purely practical viewpoint, what could possibly motivate this man to be so easily persuaded to turn rat. The mixed-race issue has come completely out of the blue, whereas the last three years have established beyond the smallest doubt what happens to club members who align themselves with law enforcement, not to mention ample evidence as to the false promises made in the past by Agent Stahl and her ilk. Are the consequences of being part black in a white club so dire that Juice would basically sign his own death warrant to avoid them? After what happened with the cocaine, he is in too deep to get out now. But seeing him go down (if that is what happens) will be a painful pill to swallow.
- I'm sorry Opie, what part of marrying a sweet but damaged porn star did you not understand?
- "Talk to my Mom; she knows the drill." Get out while you still can, Tara.
- David Hasselhoff and Tom Arnold would be a bit much on any other show. On "Sons of Anarchy", it's another day at the (porn) office.
- Boy, the security at this hospital is stellar.
More than just gangsters and flappers
Special to MSN TV
Ken Burns has spent all of his thirty-year (and running) career as a documentary filmmaker turning his camera back on the history of the United States: the defining people, events and accomplishments that defined, divided and united the country. From "Brooklyn Bridge" and "The Statue of Liberty" to "The Civil War" and "Jazz" and "The National Parks" (to name but a few), he has tackled subjects small and expansive with the same focus: finding the human stories that illuminate the history. His latest production, "Prohibition" (PBS/Paramount), presents a complex story of unlikely allies, disastrous political misjudgments and destructive consequences, and a political climate that is eerily familiar today.
The three-part documentary debuted over three nights on PBS and arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Videodrone spoke with Burns about "Prohibition," his fascination with American history and what he's been watching.
MSN TV: What have you been watching?
Ken Burns: Not much. I've been working 24/7 promoting the "Prohibition" series. Basically I've been watching "Boardwalk Empire," which is a kind of cousin of what we've done, a dramatic, fictionalized version of the themes that we tackled with our documentary on "Prohibition."
What does Ken Burns pull out of his DVD library to watch to relax after working on a documentary all day?
I'm a child of R&B and rock 'n' roll. I was born in the early fifties and grew up in the late fifties and early sixties, and that was my music, but in 2001 we released a 17 and a half-hour history of jazz and everything is filled with jazz, I listen to it all the time. I like the old stuff. I like the new stuff. I listen to Louis Armstrong: I think he's God. I think he is to music in the 20th century -- and I didn't say jazz -- I think he is to music in the 20th century what Einstein was to physics, what Freud was to medicine and what the Wright Brothers are to travel -- that is to say, a quantum leap in our musical understanding.
My father told me stories of my grandfather, who as a child in the Dakotas would accompany my uncle as he made deliveries of moonshine that his family made from a still in the hills.
You know what? We traveled all around the country on this promotional tour, every walk of life, and I don’t know anybody that doesn't have some related prohibition story. It's really wonderful. I love the way our films -- "The Civil War," "Baseball," "Jazz," "The National Parks" -- but this one in particular draws out stories in people quite apart from our own stories that we're trying to tell.
"Prohibition" is available on DVD and Blu-ray from PBS and Paramount Home Video.
Daytime diva responds to 'Whateverland: Learning to Live Here'
"Well there’s a real buzz in the air, can you hear it?" Stewart teased on her show. "The studio is buzzing, my blackberry is buzzing. I get a little 'ping ping' like every five minutes. The Internet is buzzing, and it's all because of my daughter Alexis. She's at it again. 'Whateverland: Learning to Live Here.' You think that now she's a mom, she's a grown-up; that she would have sort of figured it out? Well she hasn’t."
Sounds like Stewart is giving her daughter a hard time, but it's all in good fun -- just like the book. Apparently, Stewart was surprised by it, but she did get to read a preview copy a few months back and she approves, calling it "hilarious" and "enlightening."
"It's not an autobiography. Let's get that straight right now," Stewart clarified on this morning's show. "It touches on everything; food, fashion, cleaning, organizing and me. It’s irreverent and it’s lots of fun. Remember that 'Whatever, [Martha]' show that those girls had on TV? That was my idea. Making fun of good things is a good idea."
Some "Whateverland" excerpts are already raising eyebrows and when Stewart checked in with her daughter today, Alexis revealed she'd already answered to some of those inflammatory tidbits for Us Weekly, but then her responses weren't printed.
Here's what Alexis had to say about some of the controversial excerpts, and how Mom responded to those responses:
"There was never anything to eat at my house. Other people had food. I had no food . . . There were ingredients but no prepared food of any kind."
Alexis: And that is how my house is today. Turned out to be a good thing.
Stewart [to camera]: Yes if you wanted to eat when she was growing up. You had to cook something. That was the whole idea. She is a superb cook.
"Martha does everything better! You can't win! If I didn't do something perfectly, I had to do it again. . . . I grew up with a glue gun pointed at my head."
Alexis: Obviously what I say in this book is an exaggeration of the truth. I’m not sure there were glue guns when I was a kid.
Stewart: And she’s right there were not any glue guns. She was twenty-something when I first started working with glue guns and making my Christmas book. And she says, "I definitely prefer to have a mother who is good at things than the alternative."
"Halloween was also a grim affair: There were no costumes. There was no anything. We turned off all the lights and pretended we weren't home."
Alexis: Oh OK, I left out the years when my mother made me costumes on the sewing machine. Or let me wear all of my grandmother’s fabulous costume jewelry when I was very young and was a gypsy for Halloween. It was kind of fun pretending no one was home. No one else did that or would admit that they did it. And I still do it till this day.
Stewart's conclusion about all the hubbub?
"I must have instilled in her some good habits," Steward preened. "She’s tall, beautiful, gorgeous and mother of baby Jude and that’s all that counts. The book is out late October wherever books are sold. I encourage you to buy it, read and make it a best seller."
"The Martha Stewart Show" airs on Hallmark Channel. Check local listings.
Who will follow 'The Playboy Club' into the abyss?
After only three episodes, "The Playboy Club" lost its liquor license this morning. Here are four other new shows likely to follow suit shortly, due to disappointing ratings.
"Prime Suspect," NBC
Average rating in the 18-49 demo: 1.6
"Prime Suspect" is the prime suspect. Most TV experts saw promise in Maria Bello as a scrappy outsider who battles discrimination and distrust in the NYPD. But you saw nothing. The show was gunned down by CBS's "The Mentalist" and ABC's "Private Practice," and continues to slip.
"Charlie's Angels," ABC
Average rating: 1.8
Good morning, angels, and good night. America just isn't digging a chintzy remake of a chintzy '70s series whose success was based largely on the lack of Internet porn and good cable TV at the time. The show was fourth in its time slot, slipping 29 percent in ratings from its first to second weeks.
"Free Agents," NBC
Average rating: 1.5
Look for stars Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn to soon be free agents, too. Their workplace chemistry just never made the cut. Reportedly, the sitcom lost a million of its 6 million viewers between the start and finish of its first episode.
"How to Be a Gentleman," CBS
Average rating: 2.7
Wait, is this an "Entourage" subplot? It seems Kevin Dillon can't command any respect as a real-life actor, either. This snoozer was CBS's lowest-rated sitcom, and The Eye traditionally cancels its lowest- rated. Maybe they should try giving in to Andrew "Dice" Clay's outrageous salary demands.
Amber Riley's Mercedes and other 'Glee' underdogs finally get their turn in the spotlight
Self-fulfilling prophecy? An episode on the wild teenage mind ends in disaster
"I was very saddened to hear the news of this accident and want to express my deepest concerns for the teenager who was injured," Cooper said in a statement. "I take this situation seriously, and my thoughts and prayers for his health, well-being and recovery are with him and his family."
The story, first broken by Gawker on Friday, is that the teen was asked to bring in footage of himself being a crazy teen for an upcoming episode. In preparation for the episode, he tried to make a new video of himself doing a wild move on his skateboard, only to fall and land in the hospital. With the teen in a reported coma, production of "Anderson" was halted and host Cooper is purportedly -- and reasonably -- distraught over the accident.
While the show admits it asked for footage, a release from "Anderson" was quick to point out that they didn't ask the teen to wild out and create new video. "Our producers were working with a teen and his parents on a show about the science of the Teenage Brain, based on a National Geographic story," said the release. "As part of our routine process, we ask guests for video footage and photos. We did not provide the family with a camera. On the morning that they were supposed to travel to NYC, we learned that the teen had been injured. We are very concerned about him, and are thinking of him and his family at this time."
This morning, "Today" reported on the story, questioning whether a producer did in fact "encourage dangerous behavior" and raising the familiar daytime question of "How far is too far?"
Unfortunately, the accident may just have proved the point of the halted "Anderson" episode and the National Geographic story. Teenagers do crazy, stupid things, because their brains are still forming. Hopefully, however, a producer didn’t play a part in this tragedy by actually asking one to behave foolishly, as Gawker and "Today" suggest.
"Anderson" and "Today" air weekdays.