Tag Archives: nbc

Outsourced, The Event Canceled; Chuck Renewed

According to Variety, NBC has canceled Outsourced and The Event, but Chuck will be back for at least 13 more episodes. I never watched The Event, but I did like Outsourced. Diedrich Bader was pretty funny there, and I dig cute Indian (and Aussie) girls, but I admit it wasn’t quite the laugh riot it could have been. Glad to see Chuck return; even if the ratings aren’t great, they must be making money from those embedded Subway commercials.

UPDATE: Bad news, NBC announced that this will be the final season of Chuck. I imagine the ratings will have to be phenomenal to reverse that.

UPDATE 2: They’ve now announced that Chuck will air in the Friday 8-9PM slot, the death knell for all sci fi/fantasy shows (BSG, Smallville, etc.). Enjoy it while it lasts!

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And I Jizz In My Pants

I finally saw the last SNL and the highlight was the Lonely Island music video Jizz In My Pants. Not terribly safe for most corporate environments, but the funniest video since Dick In A Box. This one stars Andy Samberg and Lonely Island cohort Jorma Taccone, with cameos from Justin Timberlake, Molly Sims, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler. I guess she’s in NYC visiting Turtle.

Also worth checking out are these tips on talking to girls, offered by a 9 year old. They were startlingly accurate:

If you liked those, check out these other Lonely Island and SNL videos.

NBC Fall Schedule

Some big news from NBC:

  • Knight Rider returns as a series. It’ll air Wednesdays at 8PM. No word on whether Val Kilmer will still play KITT.
  • Merlin, a new series about Camelot, will air Sundays at 8PM. Better have a two-tuner DVR to grab that and The Simpsons, Family Guy, et al.
  • Matthew Broderick will be in the season finale of 30 Rock. The show, of course, has been renewed.
  • The Office is getting a… well, they’re calling it a spinoff, but I don’t see how you can have a spinoff when supposedly none of the current cast will be in the new show, and it will be in a different location. Sounds more like a copycat show to me. A special Office episode and the copycat pilot will air right after the Superbowl. Like last year, the first episodes of the season will be an hour long.
  • SNL will have a spinoff called Thursday Night Live. It will consist of a half-hour of political sketches leading up to the election.
  • Heroes is of course coming back. The new season will start with a 2-hour episode on Sept. 15th, following one of those lame hour-long clip episodes that Lost is always doing.
  • Life is coming back! Annoyingly it will air Fridays at 10PM, but that’s what DVRs are for. I never watched this on TV, but caught them all online (you can, too – the whole season). Now I’m hooked. I really like the main character, and the supporting cast is great. Sara Shahi looks gorgeous when she’s not in butch cop mode, and I’ve always liked Adam Arkin. My big hope is that Christina Hendricks will return. She’s a beautiful redhead with a body that would make Barbie jealous. Seriously, one of the best bodies in the history of bodies… Where was I? Oh yeah, to top it off they’re getting Donal Logue as the new boss. If you’ve never seen The Tao of Steve, in which he stars, rent it now. A great guy movie.
  • Scrubs is not coming back! Well, not on NBC – it’s expected to move to ABC. Looks like it’s getting replaced by the Office copycat and Last Comic Standing. Whatever.
  • Over the summer, NBC is creating a bunch of webisodes for Chuck, Heroes, and The Office. Hopefully they’ll be in HD; Yvonne Strahovski and Hayden Panettiere deserve nothing less.

More at Variety.

The Internet TV Survival Guide

So the writer’s strike is raging and there’s less and less scripted TV to watch. And the cable bill is past due, and the TV is broke, or at the very least, it’s all the way in the other room. Too much damn walking. What to do, nephew?

I have cataloged here all best the ways to legally obtain video entertainment on the Internet. So no jackbooted stormtroopers from the MPAA will kick down your door and haul away your computer. And your children.

Note: As much as I love Firefox, I find most embedded video players perform far better on IE. Many won’t work at all in Firefox, even with IE Tab.

Crack TV!
The Crack Team has been pointing you to great videos since this site was launched. Through the miracle of tagging (and the back-breaking labor of back-tagging over 400 posts), you can now see an archive of all video posts on TCT. Try to find good stuff sites like YouTube and you’ll end up slogging through one mediocre video after another – even when you stick to the popular and highly rated ones. Save your time and watch Crack TV!

Netflix
Netflix is awesome. Without a doubt the biggest DVD selection anywhere, including HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.1 They also have a streaming service. While the selection of downloads is limited, it’s still good. I just finished season 1 of Dexter and next is Dead Like Me. They also have several NBC shows and a bunch of crap shows from the 70’s and 80’s. Best of all, they now allow you to download as much as you want! The quality is high, too. I’ve had no problems since signing up several years ago and they even give me an early adopter discount.

Broadcast
If you can, you’re probably best served by getting a good TV tuner card2 and using DVR software like Windows Media Center. This way you can get everything and skip all the commercials.3

All major broadcast networks have some video content online, but vary widely in the quality, selection, and commercial content. It’s a great way to try new shows now that so little new stuff is produced. Journeyman would be a great example, if you didn’t watch it before it was canceled.4 You can now watch the entire series. Similarly, I recently discovered Life at the suggestion of a friend and now I’m all caught up.

Cable networks are much more conservative, choosing to only offer video clips like you might see on YouTube. Full episodes (for the cable channels I watch) are nonexistent.

Fox
Most TV shows I watch are on Fox, and they’ve done an awesome job with Fox On Demand. The selection is great:

New shows appear 1-8 days after airing; it depends on the show. The videos are high quality; some are even in HD. I find that cranking up the resolution to 1280 x 1024 on my 21″ monitor gives a great HD image for shows like Terminator.5 And most shows are commercial free! Rupert Murdoch is my homeboy.

NBC
NBC is the #2 network for online viewing. The video quality is excellent. The bad news is that all their shows run commercials during the normal spots for commercial breaks. The good news is that they only run one 15-30 second spot. The bad news is that it’s the same commercial, over and over. Better than watching it live, but not as good as a DVR. Like Fox, NBC also has a great selection:

ABC
The only ABC show I really watch is Lost, but they seem to do a great job with it. Amazingly, they have all 4 seasons online in HD (1280 x 720), and when I boosted my resolution, full screen looked fantastic. Lost is easily the best looking show on the Internet. I thought I might try Pushing Daisies, as I heard that was good, but I found they only offer a few episodes of their other series.

CW
Smallville is one of my longtime faves, due in no small part to Kristin Kreuk. And Reaper is great. But CW’s online video offering is weak sauce. Very few full episodes and what they have is low quality. I have to admit, I am surprised they put online the director’s cut of the next new Smallville episode before it even aired. But it still wasn’t enough to get me to watch.

CBS
It sucks. First, I didn’t watch it when I had a TV. CBS has picked up Dexter, which is an awesome show, but they’re just airing censored versions of the Showtime series. When it’s all on Netflix, what’s the point? The only current CBS show I’m interested in is Jericho, as it was recently suggested to me by a few friends. When I went to watch past episodes, however, I found the video quality sucked. Full screen is almost unwatchable; it’s just stretching the original size, which is only 9″ diagonal on my monitor.

Headline News
I used to watch this more often to get a quick feed of major stories. This is still possible online through their Prime News segments. Personally, I can’t stand Nancy Grace, and don’t often bother with their other shows.

Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet
Decent quality full episodes, but very few shows (3 total at this time, none of which I watch), and only a couple episodes per show.

Comedy Central
More of a video clip outlet with no full episodes. Do you really need to see every second of The Daily Show or Colbert Report? Maybe not, especially now that the strike is affecting them. But I would like to see full episodes of South Park, Reno 911, and, should they ever return: Chapelle’s Show, Dr. Katz, Stella, Strangers With Candy, and Upright Citizen’s Brigade. I won’t be holding my breath.

Cartoon Network
They’ve produced some fantastic animated series, especially their superhero adaptations (Justice League Unlimited) and Adult Swim (Harvey Birdman, Sealab 2021). But the site seems very much geared towards kids, and only provides video clips. Nothing to see here.

  1. If you tell them you have either player, they just automatically send you those. []
  2. Make sure it’s ATSC for HD []
  3. Except for the upcoming Agent Mystery-produced So You Think You Can Dance. Be sure to watch it live and soak in all the commercials. []
  4. Thanks for killing a great show. []
  5. They do force you to download a proprietary video player, but it seems harmless. And yes, I know it’s a tragedy to watch Terminator on anything less than a 50″ 1080P screen. []

Journeyman Canceled

As a long time couch potato and fan of brilliant but short lived series, my spidey senses are well honed to detect cancellation. I knew it wasn’t a good sign when two new episodes of Journeyman were being aired two days apart. I just finished it watching the latest (now last :( ) episode, which had all sorts of closure points, and then did the dreaded web search for the words in this post’s title. Sadly, I came across this confirmation at the Journeyman blog.

If you didn’t watch it1, you can catch several episodes free online at NBC. It was a great show, especially with Kevin McKidd leading the charge. I hope he gets a new show soon.

  1. and I hear I’m to blame as well, since the rumor is that NBC was looking only at live viewings, not those from DVR/Tivo or online. []

NBC Schedule

Variety reports on the new NBC schedule.

The good news is that Heroes is back, and they also have a short spin-off called Heroes: Origins. Origins will be six 1-hour shows, each showcasing a new hero we’ve never seen before. At the end of the series, you’ll be able to vote on the web for who you want added to the regular show.

They’re also adding The Bionic Woman, starring some Brit I’ve never heard of. Her name’s Michelle Ryan, and she’s looker, but doesn’t remind you at all of Lindsay Wagner. Still, from this photo, I wouldn’t mind trying out a Sleep Number bed with her:

Michelle Ryan

Gone is Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Boo! And The Black Donnely’s, which I never watched, but would have had I known Paul Haggis was behind it. Oh well.