Baseball Toaster Screen Jam
Monthly archives: April 2007


KTLA's 60th Anniversary
2007-04-27 20:54
by Jon Weisman

As part of a special section on the 60th anniversary of KTLA, I had the privilege of interviewing KTLA's Stan Chambers and Hal Fishman in Chambers' office for Variety - if you're interested in news reporting and its history, take a look.

Also, we have other stories celebrating KTLA's history - in particular, I recommend this feature on the remarkable, pioneering station manager Klaus Landsberg.

Beer Me a Thursday Night Open Chat
2007-04-26 22:02
by Jon Weisman

Season finale for 30 Rock, plus other delectables ...

Update: The Office was hysterical. And it was great to see Kelly and Creed showcased at their jobs.

All of Me: Can They Possibly Improve on the Original?
2007-04-26 09:18
by Jon Weisman

... or at least make it worth remaking? Or would we all just be better served by a 25th-anniversary re-release in 2009?

April 19 Open Chat
2007-04-19 16:55
by Jon Weisman

Mostly new episodes on the networks tonight, but The Office is a rerun.

Not Exactly Cupid's Arrow
2007-04-18 23:36
by Jon Weisman

A solid if mostly predictable episode of Lost tonight. I did enjoy Desmond's backstory and loved his meet-cute scene with Penny. There was a twist at the end, but it didn't have the setup to be jawdropping. Still, I liked the episode. Of course, I usually do.

Thursday Night's All Right for Vegging
2007-04-12 16:58
by Jon Weisman

Thursday night's all right
All right all right




Thursday night's all right
Continue reading...

Good Lost Tonight
2007-04-11 23:07
by Jon Weisman

Admittedly, that isn't the best analysis of the episode you'll find on the Internet, but it'll let you talk.

Friday Night Lights Season Finale Night
2007-04-11 15:24
by Jon Weisman

Like enough of you care :(

Trying Some New Things
2007-04-10 08:30
by Jon Weisman

Watched the first 15 minutes of the new improv show, Thank God You're Here. I enjoy me some good improv, and was impressed during the one sketch I watched by Wayne Knight not only thinking on his feet, but going beyond the obvious joke to something even more clever - even though the bit overall wasn't funnier than anything you'd see on NBC Thursday nights.

But the endless preamble and postamble by host David Alan Grier and the show's celebrity judge, the beloved Dave Foley, was enough to get my teeth rattling. More than anything, that made me change the channel. Forget about setting up the show - just get to the comedy.

Foley, whom I'll watch in anything, was also on Monday's The New Adventures of Old Christine and combined with Julia Louis-Dreyfus to provide the first laugh-out-loud moment I've had in my very sporadic viewings of that show. It won't be as funny without seeing it, but it went something like this:

Him: "You look nice."
Her (flipping her head back and blushing): "Oh, stunning … I wouldn't say stunning."

And I even saw some of Two and a Half Men, mainly because of guest star Judy Greer – who played Kitty, the alienated secretary to George Bluth on Arrested Development but got all prettied up for her part as a potential serious girlfriend for Charlie Sheen's character. The two of them had great chemistry, and though I don't plan to commit to the show, I would make an effort to watch them again.

TV Lets Another Andy Richter Gem Get Away
2007-04-09 15:38
by Jon Weisman

Andy Barker, P.I. joins Andy Richter Controls the Universe in TV heaven, according to Josef Adalian of Variety.

The final two episodes of the show will air Saturday. Here's a big opportunity, America, for you to show that there is a place for good television on Saturdays. We just need about 20 million of you to watch.

Do I need to get Sanjaya to guest-star?

Sunday Night Open Chat
2007-04-08 14:28
by Jon Weisman

It's Premiere Night 2007 for The Sopranos and Entourage. Remember, my Sopranos package at Variety can be found here.

I'm also an Entourage watcher, although I think the hype about the show got a little out of control last year. It's fun and fairly clever and strangely believable, but it never makes me think I'm watching exceptional television. That's no slam - just my own personal reality check.

Look out for Lookout
2007-04-06 10:46
by Jon Weisman

The Lookout, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is a tale well-told - not in a way that haunts you emotionally like Little Children or fascinates you like Memento, but entertaining without dumbing down to its audience. I recommend it.

Tonight's Oddball NBC Schedule
2007-04-05 13:12
by Jon Weisman

8:00 The Office
8:44 30 Rock
9:23 Scrubs
9:59 Andy Barker, P.I.
10:28 My Name Is Earl (rerun)

Cannes Owns the Night
2007-04-05 10:07
by Jon Weisman

We Own the Night, the film written and directed by my cousin James Gray (read more about it here), was confirmed to appear at the Cannes Film Festival next month. You can read more about the festival lineup at Variety.

Wednesday Night Open Chat
2007-04-04 16:34
by Jon Weisman

Was Coach Taylor reading the headlines about the Creighton coach who took the Arkansas job and then untook it a day later?

I feel like that kind of thing happens almost every year in college basketball.

Anyway, I'll be on the edge of my Friday Night Lights seat as usual, and hopefully there for Lost as well.

Update: Ugly Betty, Scrubs, The Office and FNL won Peabody awards today.
Continue reading...

Alleged Drunk Driver Kills Christmas Story Director
2007-04-04 14:00
by Jon Weisman

From the Times:

Film director Bob Clark and his son Ariel were killed in an early morning collision along a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, authorities said. ...

LAPD investigators said Clark was driving a 1997 Infiniti Q-30 sedan southbound on PCH when the driver of a GMC Yukon, Hector Velazquez-Nava, 24, of Los Angeles swerved and hit the Clark vehicle head-on. ...

Nava was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol and operating a motor vehicle without a driver's license. After treatment, he was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and gross vehicular manslaughter, Vernon said.

Thanks to Bhsportsguy for the pointer.

Sopranos Warms Up Final Aria
2007-04-04 08:54
by Jon Weisman

The final nine episodes of The Sopranos will start one-by-oneing the cablewaves Sunday. For Variety, I supervised a special section that celebrates The Sopranos: The Final Season with articles on almost every aspect of production.

Here's my lead story:

While the television world slept in the winter of 1999, "The Sopranos" woke up one morning and got itself a gun.

Creatively, "The Sopranos" shot to No. 1 with a bullet. Eight years later, as the series heads into its final nine episodes (beginning Sunday), its cold-blooded impact on the industry is still a marvel to those who remember life before Tony Soprano and his crew.

"The first season of 'The Sopranos' is one of the most essential, transformative moments in TV history," Newsweek television critic Devin Gordon says. "It's arguably the best season of television that's ever aired, but beyond that, it challenged every artist, every viewer and every fan of culture to reconsider some long-held notions about the medium of television: that it was cheap and disposable, that it could be quality at its best but never art." ...

The section hits newsstands Thursday and looks even better in print, so check it out.

Jordin's Sparks
2007-04-04 08:26
by Jon Weisman

I pegged Jordin Sparks as an American Idol finalist two weeks ago, and now I'm almost willing to bet that she'll win. I'm definitely willing to bet that she'll have the biggest career of the finalists.

Melinda Dolittle is a professional through and through, and maybe that will be enough to carry her to the title. But her gee-whiz act continues unabated and grows a tad more tiresome each week. Sparks' personality is much more inviting, and I think voters might finally be ready to give the trophy to a teenager, a year after crowning last year's elder, Taylor Hicks.

Lakisha Jones' is the other great singer left, but her stage presence is going to defeat her.

And then there's Sanjaya Malakar, who is such a wild card that I can't even rationally factor him into the conversation. He may be elected president in 2008, for all I know.

* * *

NBC has renewed 30 Rock for a second season, reports Josef Adalian of Variety, but has held off on announcing the fate of Friday Night Lights. As much as I enjoy 30 Rock, the latter decision is much more critical.