Saturday, January 29, 2011

Online Pick of the Week (1/29): All-Star Junior Pyramid

Another classic Pyramid is this week's pick.

This comes from one of my favorite eras of the show, the 1970's, September 2, 1979 to be exact. A special all-celebrity version of the show, with a temporarily different name: The All-Star Junior Pyramid. Celebrities are from ABC prime time shows of the time; including Susan Richardson and Tony Danza, from Eight is Enough and Taxi respectively, and some more from what I'm assuming was a short-lived show at the time. One of them would include a 16-year-old Rob Lowe.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I don't get The CW... I really don't.

Sooooo... fans were not happy one bit Thursday when they found out that new mid-season premiere Supernatural and Smallville episodes that were going to air tonight were going to be pushed back a week for reruns of The Vampire Diaries and Nikita. And then we found out their excuse:

"Contrary to rumors, it's not about preemptions. The CW hopes that re-airing the "The Vampire Diaries" in a timeslot that doesn't compete with ratings juggernaut "American Idol" will help to boost total viewership."

This reasoning makes no sense. Idol to me is no excuse. They should have known for months that it'd be competition; hell, Idol has existed for longer than the CW.

Not to mention Supernatural and Smallville have both been up against other popular shows on the other major networks for years (CSI, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, The Office, Survivor, etc.) and they never got the kind of treatment The Vampire Diaries and Nikita are getting with Idol. Oh, and they'll just be in the SAME EXACT predicament next week, which makes this schedule exercise all the more pointless.

I think the worst thing about it is the little notice. If they made this decision a week or two ago, then I'm sure most people wouldn't have been so pissed. Or if they were, people would have been like "well, this sucks" and then moved on with their day instead of flooding the CW with tweets and phone calls. And people ARE pissed. Twitter exploded when this news came out. I don't venture into fandom often, but today it proves all the more that fandoms of any kind don't like to be toyed with.

I think most networks would not make schedule decisions like this at the last minute. You don't get all your fans' hopes and expectations up with two months' worth of hype and promotion (especially when said promotion is minuscule in comparison to a show like The Vampire Diaries) and randomly decide to make a change for a ridiculous reason like this with just barely over 24 hours' notice. It's certainly not the end of the world, but it IS a poor programming choice.

Smallville has served The WB/CW for 10 years and is in its final season, and Supernatural has been going for 5 years into 6; both have fans worldwide (and if you don't believe me, Google for pics of Supernatural fan conventions in Australia, the new animated series that's being made for Japan, and check out YouTube videos of promotional ads and so forth for the show in places like the UK, Canada, and Australia) and deserve better treatment than this.

But considering this is the same network that canceled Everwood, treated Reba like crap even though it was one of their most successful shows, and gave 7th Heaven an extra season it desperately didn't need after a much hyped original series finale, I'm not surprised.

Oh, and one final note: I would appreciate it in the future when publications report on Supernatural that they would be so kind as to mention that dudes like the show too. Thanks.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Online Pick of the Week (1/22): $25,000 Pyramid

What's been found here in my honest opinion is a very good episode of the show. And even though more than 1,000 episodes were done, this can still be narrowed down as a favorite of mine. Markie Post and Richard Kline were terrific and sharp-witted players and proved for some fun and exciting times. Here is no exception.

There's also the fact that this is a studio master, so we see things like the slate and so forth. And well, if you're tired of GSN airing the same season of $25,000, then seeing an episode from this version's early years (original airdate: September 27, 1983) should be a real treat for you.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Online Pick of the Week (1/15): What's My Line?

From October 1962, this week's online YouTube pick shows how live TV back then had its disadvantages. From an episode of the original What's My Line? mystery guest segment, a random man walks on stage and attempts to start some kind of random presentation of some sort.

What I love is even when John Daly makes it crystal clear that this is NOT the time to make such a thing, random dude here continues to try to present until he's removed from the stage. Makes me think that he had no business there period, let alone during the start of this particular segment. It also makes me think that the people in the control room back then wish they had a five second delay like today.

Lingo Returning

Some interesting news from GSN regarding Lingo this week.

The good news is that the show is coming back; 40 episodes, starting this June. What some people, especially long time fans of the program, could see as bad news is that Chuck Woolery will not be rejoining the program. Instead we'll be seeing comedian and actor Bill Engvall as the new host for the show. It's also his first time hosting a game show. Shandi Finnessey won't be returning either; though personally the latter doesn't disappoint me too much. No offense to her, or Stacey Hayes, but I found that the show flowed just fine without the need for a sidekick. But there will be a new co-host for the new episodes.

Lingo is GSN's longest-running and one of their most respected originals. It honestly may be much too early to hand a complete judgment on this decision as to whether or not it's a good decision to go on with a new host, but I will say this: they better hope they know what they're doing.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Online Pick of the Week (1/8): The $10,000 Pyramid

Not to sound like a squealing fanb0i, but OH MY GOD. As a long-time Pyramid fan, I have awaited the possibility of finding a rare episode from the long lost original era of the series. This is what started it all. Before $100,000. Before $50,000. Before $25,000. Hell, before even $20,000; there was The $10,000 Pyramid.

Beforehand, not much was known to exist from the original version of the show, and there still isn't too much, which aired on CBS daytime from 1973, and then moved to ABC a year later. With the exception of about 13 episodes that were found several years ago from special Hollywood taped weeks (the show's original roots were in New York City) and a black-and-white copy of the third episode.

Now we can add another one to the "exists" pile. This episode, which is also a black-and-white copy, is the fifth episode of the premiere week. The guests were June Lockhart and Rob Reiner. The episode was uploaded by the daughter of one of the contestants. A rare find indeed, and a good treat for fans who want to see a show's humble beginnings. Even before the illegal cuckoo sound effect was used.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Online Pick of the Week (1/1): Password Plus

The online pick this week is the first episode of one of my favorite shows.

It is January 8, 1979. The guests are Elizabeth Montgomery and Robert Foxworth. This was the start of a new era for the classic word game Password. New network (NBC; the previous networks being CBS and ABC), new set, and new music. And a new name for the show, obviously. Password Plus was a perfect example of taking the classic game element of Password and adding something new to it by putting the words into themed puzzles. Some words would make up the description for a person, place, TV show, movie, you name it. When a player reached $300, they won the game and played the bonus round, called Alphabetics.

Alphabetics is a really good example of a fast-paced bonus round. Some fans see what could be considered as a flaw with the illegal clue structure with $1,000 being deducted for each slip-up; though I guess if you were a contestant and got all but one I'm sure you'd be happier with $4,000 instead of $900, no matter how weird it's set up.

A lot of excitement on this episode. Allen was obviously really happy to have the show back on the air, Liz and Robert were good players, and the new puzzle element coupled with the Alphabetics bonus round where someone could win $5,000 added some really nice twists to the show. It's my pick this week.