His final speech on The Tonight Show. Perfect.
Stay classy, Conan. I’ll be there wherever you may surface.
And the great performance of ‘Long May You Run’ …to Fox
The kid nails it.
So NBC really gave Conan a big shot. While Conan O’Brien’s new Tonight Show has had a decline in ratings, NBC has been working behind the scenes to complete sabotage Conan’s show by moving it to 12:05 and moving the amazing Jay Leno Show to 11:35. This would reward Leno for his horrible ratings, shtick and show, and punish Conan for doing an admirable job. Makes complete sense!
What to do? Conan now has the option to leave NBC or accept their terms. Personally, I’d prefer he move to another network, but would he be willing to go out on the market? ABC has invested in Jimmy Kimmel, but previously showed a willingness to go after David Letterman when his contract was up. While Conan is not on Letterman’s level, he has cache and hits key demographic targets. Plus, he’s just good. A combinaton of Kimmel and O’Brien would instantly crush Leno/Jimmy Fallon in the talent department, and certainly work well against Letterman/Carig Ferguson.
Or he could go to FOX and make it a four-way battle. While fun for us viewers, this would be crazy and someone would almost certainly be crushed in the end. I’ll support Conan no matter where he goes, and I can’t hate Jay Leno the person, but I can certainly despise the way NBC handled their late-night lineup. First they get rid of five hours of programming to have more people talking on chairs and couches, and now that it isn’t working they’re making O’Brien’s Tonight Show the scapegoat.
Rest easy Chuck fans, your precious show has been saved. NBC announced it’s renewed the beloved Josh Schwartz product for a 13 episode season 3, ensuring fan boys everywhere can stop spending $5 plus tax every day at their local family Subway restaurant. The average-rated hour-long fun fest will return with what will likely be less filler and more story, as the season 2 finale threw a game-changer in the mix when Chuck (Zachary Levi) became a new and improved ‘intersect’ who now knows Kung Fu! Yay!
Congrats Chucksters, and please don’t do this again. Is the show really THAT GOOD? I viewed this like the previous attempts to save the former CBS show Jericho. I just don’t get people pining for more of a show that’s really just an hour of fun and cheesy fluff. It’d be like me starting a campaign to save the cancellation of Yes, Dear. You’ve gotten your second chance, now run with it like Family Guy did. Either get your buddies to start watching, or accept its eventual demise. I’m still waiting for The Critic to get resurrected, again.
Celebrity Apprentice remains the sole unscripted television program in my viewing rotation. The season finale airs on Sunday at 8pm in a three-hour extravaganza! It’s not good television, it’s not educational television, but it’s both compelling and entertaining. I’ve becoming entranced with the absurdity of it all, from the idea that Donald Trump’s using it to enhance the public profiles of his children, to blatant two-hour commerical aspect of it. Poker player Annie Duke and comedienne Joan Rivers square off to see who will get fake-hired for the fake job! And what a crazy ride it’s been to this showdown of business titans.
The celebrities, some of them more famous than others, have butted heads (who’d have seen that one coming?!). The very first week saw Andrew Dice Clay kicked off the show rather unceremoniously when he refused to do any work and then semi-quit in the boardroom. He tried to backtrack, but all Trump had to hear was the word ‘quit’. Then there was Tom Green, who was fired because he couldn’t handle Dennis Rodman, who also was later fired for simply being a lush who went out with guests instead of working. Scott Hamilton was fired for being boring ass Scott Hamilton.
One of the more ridiculous aspects of Celebrity Apprentice, which only adds to the entertainment value, came when Trump fired Khloe Kardashian. She’s only nominally famous, being a sister to a person famous for having a big butt and a nominally famous parents. However, the producers of the show had to know she was serving out a sentence for a DUI by going to classes in Los Angeles. Apparently the producers knew, but they didn’t tell ol’ Trump. And when he found out, halfway through the season, he fired her for that reason and that reason alone. Because he hates drunk drivers! Yeah, that wasn’t staged! The staging makes it all the more sweet, because it creates a game within the game; guess what’s real and what ain’t.
Another firing that stood out was Trump’s dismissal of T-Boz, of TLC fame. Perhaps one of the more famous celebrities, at least to me, Trump fired her when she voluntarily came into the boardroom to support her friend. This is where Trump shows his true business instincts: never put yourself in front of a bullet for a friend, because there are no friends. He saw the move as utterly moronic, and fired her because she can’t fake-work for him if she’s going to have empathy.
However, the best episodes came when those who obviously wouldn’t be winning were kicked off the show. Contenders like Jesse James, Brande Roderick, and Melissa Rivers remained, all bringing different positives and negatives to the game. James seemed to have a keen business instinct, as he actually , you know, runs a big-ass company. His laid back demeanor belied a quiet intensity, as he took over a project when he became project manager. However, his inability to raise charity dollars made him a target for Donald’s canning. He was fired in the second to last episode, along with Brande Roderick.
Roderick’s firing might be the most perplexing. She raised the second-most money on the show behind Annie Duke, helped gear her teams to sevearl wins with her presentation and social skills, and came into her own by defending herself in the boardroom. However, she had a couple things working against her. She was blonde, she was pretty, and Trump probably never looked above her chest to see that she had a brain. He fired her simply because he didn’t feel in his gut she ‘had it’, whatever ‘it’ was. Trump’s chauvinism reared its head. The arbitrary nature of the firings on this show continue to amaze me. It’s what makes the show so great. Performance can only take the celebs so far, as what ultimately matters is whether Trump had corn flakes or oatmeal for breakfast that morning when he decides one’s fate.
The best firing of them all came when the teams were three on three, with Clint Black, Joan Rivers and Jesse James on one side, and Melissa Rivers, Annie Duke and Brande Roderick on the other. Duke had proven herself to be a terrific gameplayer, as she understood it WAS a game. She took out the emotional aspect of it and looked at it as any whore pit viper would: something to be won. It’s business and it’s really just fake television business, so there’s no reason to denigrate other players. Check out her blog to see how much she thought it all out. What she did was point out people’s flaws in regards to how they approached the game, and apparently that alienated Melissa and Joan Rivers. When Melissa was fired she erupted like a volcano, spewing hate and stampeding out of the boardroom and out of the building. Her mother followed, but not before calling Annie every name under the book (including comparing her to Adolph Hitler a few episodes prior).
Still, Joan came back. And she somehow survived, and even thrived. Clint Black took the reigns on the next project when there were only five left, lost the challenge, and was booted off. Somehow Jesse James and Brande Roderick were kicked off when Trump convened the final four, and Rivers remained standing. To that point she’d done very little to deserve it. She’d raised no money, performed no task exceptionally well, and screwed up royally in her one major task (she didn’t tell guests about the costs of many of the perks she was ordering for them when she headed the hotel for a night). She did have one thing going for her though: CONTROVERSY!
Controversy sells. More directly, controversy gets ratings. A Duke v J. Rivers final would certainly guarantee more fireworks than James v Duke or Roderick v Duke. Annie won’t back down to Rivers’ childish taunts, and Rivers feels she’s standing up for some perceived slight against her child Melissa. A three-hour episode with a bunch of people deciding on who to fake hire needs some pizazz, and this matchup will bring just that. I came into this show disliking Annie Duke for her connection to Ulimate Bet. I’ve come out the experience actually rooting for her to kick Rivers’ butt for all poker players and poker enthusiasts. It’s funny how a keenly edited weekly broadcast of a bunch of former and minor celebrities can make one start to like perhaps the most cunning of them all. Well played Annie, well played.