Friday, June 25, 2010

TV's Summer Season is Cooking -- Plus There Are A Couple of Really Funny New Shows

Where does all of the time go?  It’s hard to believe that we’re already half-way through 2010 and in a matter of days it will be July 4th and before you know it – Jerry Lewis is going to be hosting another telethon – is this year is going fast or what??!!!  Before you know it – we’re all going to be bitching about the cold temperatures and how we’re being pounded by cold fronts and snow storms.

Well. It’s been awhile since I have written anything of interest on this blog – and I wouldn’t want to blow that winning streak – so, I might as well talk about something I know nothing about – but love to talk about any way – television.

The Summer TV season has arrived and it’s time that we all took a break away from all of the news on the mess in the Gulf and escape with some mindless television entertainment.  If you’re a foodie – the people who gave you the Food Network have blessed us with another channel – “The Cooking Channel”…a channel filled with a lot of old Food Network programming like “Emeril Live” and some new food shows from their Food Network operations in Canada.  The people who own these two networks are positioning the Cooking Channel for those who love to cook and the Food Network as a reality based food network with cooking competition shows mixed in with the regular programming.  Either way you look at it – it’s a lot of food programs!

If you want to find out how important you are to the Food Network or Cooking Channel – if the program you’re doing has you preparing food with cheap production music that you would normally hear play in the background in porn movie – you’re not that important to these channels.  If they have porn music playing behind your cooking demonstrations – the odds are pretty good that you won’t be asked to compete on “Iron Chef America” or be a featured chef on one of their Food documentaries.        

There is a lot of food competition programming on TV these days.  For over the top dramatics – there’s Gordon Ramsey’s “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox with a bunch of chefs competing to be a chef in one of his restaurants.  The Food Network is back with another season of “The Next Food Network Star” on Food Network, and the classiest food competition show of the bunch “Top Chef” is back on Bravo with this season’s competition taking place in our nation’s capital – Washington, D.C.

Gordon Ramsey is adding another show to his Fox TV workload.  Unlike “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares” – it looks like we’re going to see a much softer and caring Chef Ramsey with the premiere of his new show in July on Fox called “”Master Chef”.  On this show – a slew of chefs will be competing to become a master chef – what they’ll receive once they obtain that title remains to be seen – but there’s one thing that is guaranteed – the show will be entertaining as all hell.

Imagine being a geeky kid in eighth grade – who’s in love with the most beautiful girl in school – but he can only get the attention of a geeky eighth grade girl and you have MTV’s newest comedy “The Hard Times of RJ Berger”.  Now you have got to remember that all of RJ’s friends are complete geeks and nerds….that is until in the middle of a basketball game – in front of the whole school – his basketball shorts are pulled down and his jock strap falls to the floor exposing what is perhaps the largest, you know what, to everyone in the bleacher stands.  All of a sudden – RJ’s popularity takes a turn to something more than just nerds and geeks.  This is one funny show….Monday nights at 10pm on MTV.

Following RJ at 10:30 on MTV is a new show “Warren the Ape” is a spin-off of another live action puppet comedy “Greg the Bunny” that has aired on several cable networks.  “Warren the Ape” is a puppet who’s career has taken a bit of a turn….he’s gone from being an “A” list celebrity to a “D” list and below.  He’s also in “Celebrity Rehab” – complete with appearances by Dr. Drew Pinsky himself – hoping that it might revitalize his career.  If you want to laugh and laugh out loud – check out “Warren the Ape” Monday nights at 10:30pm on MTV.

Betty White continues to be hot hot hot…with the premiere of her new sitcom “Hot in Cleveland” attracting some five million people to TV Land.  The show, which also stars Jane Leeves (“Fraiser”) and Valerie Bertinelli “One Day At A Time”) is about three women from Los Angeles who land in Cleveland and discover that unlike the west coast – men are actually attracted to them and don’t think of them as “old”.  They decide to rent a home in Cleveland and Betty White is the person who maintains the house.  The premise is a bit lame – but Betty White could read tea leaves and make it funny and she does it on this show.  Its premiere episode on TV Land attracted some five million viewers – which is more viewers than NBC had when they tried to unload Jay Leno in the 10pm slot. (“Hot in Cleveland” airs at 9pm Wednesday Nights on TV Land and on CMT later in the week.)

The afternoon TV landscapes is going to look at lot different come September – when Oprah leaves daytime TV to begin a new career on a new cable network – the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).  TV stations that carry Oprah now are looking for programming to put in Oprah’s time slot that will hopefully bring in the same size audience every day that Oprah has been delivering.  One of the shows that is profiting from Oprah leaving daytime TV is another Oprah Winfrey produced program – Dr. Oz.  Beginning in September – Dr. Oz’s show will move from its 3pm time slot on Channel 4 in Detroit to Oprah’s 4pm time slot on Channel 7 – and the show is getting similar upgrades at other stations around the country.

In other TV news:  It was nice seeing Bryant Gumble hosting “The View” last week.  It’s been a long time since we have seen Bryant on commercial television (he still does a show for HBO) and I forgot how good he was and how comfortable his on-the-air style is – especially against some of the screaming and yelling that goes on during that show.

And – one last thing before I leave.  I started out this blog entry by mentioning how quickly this year is going by – well…here’s another shocker for you.  Believe it or not – Beatle drummer Ringo Starr is going to be 70 years old this July.  You heard me – 70 years old!  If Ringo’s 70 – how old does it makes all of us who remember him as one of the mop top Beatles?

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