Baseball Toaster Screen Jam
Upfronts Schedule
2007-05-11 14:44
by Jon Weisman

Here's the schedule for next week's upfront presentations by the broadcast networks for announcing their fall prime-time schedules:

NBC – Monday 5/14
ABC – Tuesday 5/15
CBS – Wednesday 5/16
CW – Thursday 5/17
Fox – Thursday 5/17

Among other sites, The Futon Critic has a good guide to the upfronts.

Every thread at Screen Jam is an open chat thread.

2007-05-12 09:47:02
1.   Bob Timmermann
So, I shouldn't be holding my breath for "Six Degrees" renewal?

What about "The Nine?"

2007-05-12 11:00:21
2.   Jon Weisman
1 - Don't taunt me :) I can't even watch Six Degrees until I boost the RAM in my computer.
2007-05-12 11:40:06
3.   dzzrtRatt
This summer, NBC should replay, in order, "Friday Night Lights" and "Heroes" so people like me, who missed out at the beginning and felt as if we couldn't catch up, can get another chance.

This is something brilliant TV executives generally do only by accident, in between thinking up ideas like "Oprah Winfrey's Big Give," or "Untitled Victoria Beckham Project."

2007-05-12 12:20:40
4.   trainwreck
Come on CW, I know Girlfriends has lost a lot when Tony left the show, but don't cancel the show!
2007-05-12 12:25:58
5.   trainwreck
Ben Savage returns to television.
2007-05-12 13:03:42
6.   Bob Timmermann
And you've missed the introduction of a crucial new character.

Who is very annoying.

2007-05-12 14:54:11
7.   Daniel Zappala
My theories about the latest Lost episode:

* Locke can't see Jacob (and Ben seems surprised) because he didn't kill his father, he got Sawyer to do it for him.

* Locke will recover because the island helps him recover quickly (it healed his legs and he can't feel pain).

2007-05-12 16:28:31
8.   the OZ
7 I disagree with your first theory only because Locke did indeed hear Jacob's voice. I think your second point is right on, with the nitpicky note that Locke's spine was healed by the island, allowing his legs to function. His legs were never damaged.

I also suspect that a second purge is coming soon. Ben's little world is beginning to unravel, and he feels pressure to take a simplifying action.

2007-05-12 16:36:46
9.   Bluebleeder87
i know i'm a day late & a buck short but i'm about the watch broke back mountain on HBO is it worth watching? i heard it won a bunch of awards.
2007-05-12 16:47:26
10.   Bluebleeder87
i just read a little info on what it's about.
2007-05-12 16:53:38
11.   Bob Timmermann
Remember, they're shepherds, not cowboys.
2007-05-12 17:39:32
12.   JoeyP
Can someone post the link to all of the archived Office episodes?

I notice ABC always has Lost episodes online, but I never see NBC do that.

Are they available on the internet?

2007-05-12 17:47:39
13.   Bob Timmermann
I believe NBC only posts the most recent episode online. You would have to buy "The Office" episodes from iTunes or try some other method that will likely run afoul of intellectual property law.
2007-05-12 17:49:59
14.   overkill94
I've watched a few movies recently, let's see if any of these spark some conversation:

Touch of Evil (1958) - old detective story starring a young Charlton Heston as the Mexican detective protagonist and Orson Welles as the American shady detective. It was okay, but some of the crime-solving methods were laughably old-school (i.e. a "bug" where the receiver has to be within about 50 feet to be able to hear). Not one of the better "old" movies I've seen.

World Trade Center (2006) - I know it's based on a true story (the rescue, not the whole incident, I'm not that dumb), but Oliver Stone seemed to add a bit too much sap for my taste. Instead of feeling triumphant at the end, the movie just seemed like it had finally reached its endpoint without their being much tension. United 93 was a much more successful endeavor in showing this type of material.

Barton Fink (1991) - Coen brothers movies are a mixed bag for me, and this one was no different. I loved how kooky a lot of the characters are (especially the studio head) and there were some effectively strange visuals, but the story didn't seem to flow very well so I was left wanting at the end. Overall I'd recommend it, but I felt like it could have been a killer had it used even slightly more conventional storytelling methods.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) - I'm not usually a fan of feel-good stories, so it wasn't surprising that I wasn't hooked on this one. I spent the whole movie trying to figure out why Will Smith's character didn't just get a part-time job to help him stay afloat considering he was flat broke and not having much luck selling his medical stuff. The acting was very good, but the actions that the characters took just didn't make much sense to me. It's great that he ended up a gagillionaire and everything, but he was taking a big risk and could have lost his kid forever with a little less luck on his side.

Next on the plate will be watching Little Children again, my favorite movie of 2006!

2007-05-12 17:51:23
15.   overkill94
12 NBC only seems to post the shows that they know no one would buy from itunes. When I missed an episode (stupid roommate accidentally deleted it) I went to try and find it but all they ever have for The Office are small clips that are usually no longer than a minute or so.
2007-05-12 18:21:28
16.   Mark T.R. Donohue
8 Good point about a new purge. After seeing the preview for the next episode I feel that Ben is probably orchestrating the upcoming conflict between the Others and the plane crash survivors so as to maximize casualties on both sides.
2007-05-12 18:52:23
17.   the OZ
16 Haha, I intentionally don't watch the promos so I can avoid seeing what's coming next week. Now I know. Dangit.

My roommates look at me like I'm crazy when I close my eyes and demand the "Mute" button be pressed when a LOST promo comes on the air.

2007-05-12 19:32:40
18.   King of the Hobos
Is it against the rules to mention TV Links/PeekVid for any reason? You can pretty much watch any episode from well over a hundred series, including just about every current show (including the Office). It's what I use if I ever miss a show that I can't watch otherwise. Most of the shows are posted on Daily Motion (which the other sites then provide convenient links to), which is a French based video sharing site that allows sharing tv shows/movies for some reason.

2007-05-12 21:18:07
19.   Jon Weisman
14 - I saw Touch of Evil years back at the Nuart during a highly publicized rerelease and was underwhelmed. Barton Fink I also have mixed feelings on, but I love the Coen brothers and often like their movies more with each subsequent viewing - something I never gave BF.

As for Pursuit, I can't quite believe you spent the movie wondering why he didn't get a part-time job. The guy was pounding the city morning til night at least five days a week trying to sell those things. He had a job. If you're saying he should have just given up on them, well, that's easier said than done when they are worth huge amounts of money. So I'm not sure why you can't understand why he didn't do it. It wasn't as if he was never selling them - he was selling just enough to keep himself going.

Certainly, he was ready to make a career change - and he does - but then his wife left him with the kid, complicating things. So I'm not sure when he was supposed to get this part-time job you're suggesting. If you're saying he should have gone for a part-time job instead of the internship, well, that's what tons of people do each day, but he wanted something that would get himself off the vicious cycle he was in.

2007-05-12 21:19:20
20.   Jon Weisman
16 - Yes, first rule of Screen Jam! Don't post anything here about upcoming episodes.
2007-05-13 00:40:23
21.   overkill94
19 I guess it has a lot to do with me not being a big risk-taker when it comes to money (Vegas excluded). I can see him being totally psyched about selling those medical devices, but couldn't he spend half his work day trying to sell them and get a job for the rest? Seems like way too risky of an endeavor to try and support a family on the chance of making a sale.

What it comes down to is that I have no tolerance for people who can't support their family. You don't make much money? Have a tight budget and live in a cheap area (not freakin San Francisco). You want to take a big risk by spending a ton of money in hopes of selling something? First of all, you better be damn sure you'll be able to sell them. Second of all, you better have a good backup plan.

Seriously though, how many doctor's offices are there in the bay area for him to try and sell these to? Sounds like a three month job maximum, shouldn't he have been pretty close to running out of possible buyers by then?

2007-05-13 00:42:33
22.   overkill94
On a different note, I watched Half Nelson tonight and thought it was very good. Being that there's not a lot of sudden plot development, it was not the most exciting movie to watch, but Gosling's performance was excellent and the "opposition" between his drug habit and moral high ground was pretty fascinating.
2007-05-13 01:13:35
23.   JoeyP
18--Thanks for that link. Exactly what I was looking for.
2007-05-13 07:07:44
24.   Jon Weisman
21 - Sure, I wouldn't have done what he did, either. But I felt they established his character clearly enough to show that in his world, what he was doing was logical.

22 - Yeah, I basically agree with that.

2007-05-13 20:37:38
25.   Greg Brock
I can't imagine anybody being underwhelmed by Touch of Evil.

Barton Fink, I get. But not Touch of Evil.

2007-05-13 21:15:37
26.   Eric Enders
The Sopranos. Holy cow. Not sure if I should say more for spoiler reasons.
2007-05-13 21:39:37
27.   Greg Brock
I can't believe Chrissie is gone. Holy smokes.

Tony is falling apart.

2007-05-13 22:35:16
28.   Bob Timmermann
"Touch of Evil" is a tremendous film. I think Jon needs to adjust his ability to whelmed.

As for "The Sopranos" was I supposed to know the woman in Las Vegas? Or was that one of those characters that sort of came out of nowhere? Or was she in one episode five years ago and I was supposed to remember who she was?

And who was the corpse at Paulie's wake?

Do I need to go and remake my Giant Chart O' Characters?

2007-05-13 23:08:45
29.   Eric Enders
28 That was Paulie's sort-of mother at the wake. I don't think the Vegas woman had appeared before (although I certainly think she should have).

My relationship with Touch of Evil seems highly dependent on context. The first time I saw it was the bowdlerized cut, on a small TV screen, and I was very underwhelmed. The second time I saw it was the Welles cut on a big screen, and holy smokes. I was blown away.

That opening tracking shot, although so oft-imitated that it's almost become a cliche, remains stunning.

2007-05-13 23:12:24
30.   Bob Timmermann
Jon Weisman used to hold thig blog in his hand, now you can strain him through a sieve.
2007-05-14 00:15:21
31.   trainwreck
The camera work in Touch of Evil is so good that it makes the film good.

Sopranos was beyond fantastic this week. Wow! Just cemented it as the greatest television show ever made in my mind.

2007-05-14 00:17:37
32.   trainwreck
But Charlton Heston? Really??
2007-05-14 00:49:31
33.   Greg Brock
Touch of Evil, The Third Man, and Double Indemnity are my favorite noir films of the 40's/50's.

One movie I recently re-watched, and highly recommend, is Hitchcock's "Rope." Not noir, not the greatest movie ever made, but as an exercise in experimental film, it's just fantastic. I forgot how great an actor Farley Granger is.

2007-05-14 01:27:36
34.   overkill94
31 Technical crap (i.e. camera work) do absolutely nothing for me if I don't enjoy the movie, so it didn't help Touch of Evil for me at all (same thing with the camera work in Children of Men).

33 I thought The Third Man and Double Indemnity were excellent because they had storylines that held your attention throughout. Touch of Evil had an idiot detective who kept leaving his wife even though she was being terrorized and clues like "she smells like pot! she's a total drug addict! let's hang her!"

2007-05-14 07:24:38
35.   Jon Weisman
34 - Basically agree with you. I don't dismiss the great opening shot and such, but I do look at it as something that gives an otherwise problematic film more redeeming value. It's not on the level of Third Man or Double Indemnity.
2007-05-14 07:30:21
36.   Bob Timmermann
I will be praying for your souls.
2007-05-14 07:33:24
37.   Marty
Touch of Evil is one of my favorites. A movie has to be good if it lets you accept Charlton Heston as a Mexican.

I like Double Indemnity, but I don't love it. James M. Cain is one of my favorite authors and its too different from the book for me to rate it high.

The Third Man is a great movie.

2007-05-14 07:39:01
38.   Jon Weisman
NBC news:
2007-05-14 07:42:53
39.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.

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