Monday, Sept. 12
Now begins the fine fall tradition of stomping out every last bit of inner peace TV-business types might have achieved by basking on the beach during the summer. Foreshadowing next week's pileup of season debuts, syndicators unleash a torrent of premieres today: America's Next Talk Show, er, The Tyra Banks Show; Judge Alex (with tough-talking—is there any other kind of TV jurist?—former criminal court Judge Alex Ferrer); the returning Tony Danza Show andMartha, a chat show hosted by some woman from Connecticut. Did we mention that it's overstuffed-calendar time? Today marks the beginning of what is unofficially known as Cable Hell Week in New York. A perfectly nice affair, the Walter Kaitz Foundation dinner (on Wednesday), which is the centerpiece of the cable industry's perfectly nice “Diversity Week” annual jamboree, has spawned countless seminars, parties and panels that shamelessly take advantage of the mass gathering of cable execs. List all of the events here? Not on your life.
Tuesday, Sept. 13
Pure genius: MTV had one of those eureka moments and came up with a reality show about people trying to get on a reality show. It's called The Reality Show (premiere, 10:30 p.m. ET). The winner gets a six-episode series about his or her own daily life. Even purer genius: The WB had one of those eureka moments when trying to come up with a name for a new series about two brothers (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki) battling supernatural goings-on in a small town. Apparently, “Supernatural Goings-On in a Small Town” was too long, so they went with Supernatural (premiere, 9 p.m. ET).
Wednesday, Sept. 14
This whole melding of TV and the Internet thing can't happen a minute too soon for us. Because, right now, the two aren't exactly ideal partners. You go to network Web sites and either get annoying video snippets that look and sound terrible or—as with Fox's new sitcom Head Cases page—you get photos of characters with sample dialogue in cartoon balloons. Chris O'Donnell and Adam Goldberg play mismatched lawyers who both have psychological issues. Goldberg: “Did you know that giraffes sleep two hours a day?” O'Donnell: “We're not giraffes. And it's two in the morning! I was sleeping!” The premiere (8 p.m. ET) no doubt will be much, much funnier.
Thursday, Sept. 15
The Library of American Broadcasting fetes 15 “giants” of radio and television at a luncheon in the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York (tix: $500!). The fetees include producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner, and Dan Rather. Sounds like Mr. Rather could use a little bucking up, given his wan joke answering the phone last week when the Los Angeles Times called: “I used to be Dan Rather. I used to cover hurricanes.”
Friday, Sept. 16
It's getting creeeeepy on CBS. The network has two new Friday-night frighteners lined up to join Numb3rs. Threshold, with Carla Gugino taking on a government assignment to investigate an extraterrestrial visitation, premieres tonight (9 p.m. ET), and Ghost Whisperer—or is it Goat Whisperer?—will make it a spooky programming trio when Numb3rs debuts Sept. 23. With CBS and other networks loading up on eerie TV this fall, maybe it's time to revive SCTV's Monster Chiller Horror Theatre. Pretty scary, eh, kids?
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