TV Turmoil

Our man Will Harris is in Los Angeles for the latest gathering of the Television Critics Association and he’s been reporting on all the turmoil in TV land. The hot story of course surrounds NBC and the recent decision to cancel Jay Leno’s prime time show. He also reported that Simon Cowell will be leaving “American Idol.”

Of course, the NBC decision has now led to complete chaos, as the NBC brass decided that they wanted to keep Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon in their late-night lineup. All of the late-night comedians are having a field day with the situation, but Conan had some of the best zingers in a recent monologue that you can see above.

Will just reported, however, that the situation is now breaking down completely, as Conan released a statement claiming that he won’t stay on as host of “The Tonight Show” if the start time is moved back to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno show. Good for him! As Will says, “you should absolutely read it in full, as it’s a ballsy missive that’ll make a whole lot of his fellow comedians (not to mention quite a few TV critics, including myself) stand up and cheer.”

You can get your “I’m with Coco” t-shirts here.

  

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Decade Debate: 15 Sci-Fi series that deserved a longer run

Together with the editors of Premium Hollywood and The Scores Report, Bullz-Eye.com is looking back at the past decade (what the hell should we call it?) and compiling lists of some of the best and worst of the 00′s in television, movies and sports. These decade debates are fun, so feel free to leave comments with your perspectives as well as we’ll be featuring them here in the Bullz-Eye Blog.

Starting with television in the 2000s, Will Harris posted a great list on Premium Hollywood of the 15 sci-fi series that deserved a longer run. One series that stood out was “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Here’s our take:

Season 1 had its highs and lows, but the show’s sophomore year was consistently intriguing throughout, starting with the season premiere and the introduction of Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson), the co-founder and current CEO of ZeiraCorp…except that, as we discovered immediately prior to the closing credits, she wasn’t actually Catherine Weaver but, indeed, was a shapeshifting T-1001. As the season progressed, however, her physical transformation became less interesting than her emotional evolution, with the T-1001 being forced to maintain the façade of its new identity in its entirety, which required her to raise Catherine’s daughter, Savannah (Mackenzie Smith), and try to understand her. (I have a suspicion that all of the parents in our readership just snorted en masse and said, “Uh, yeah, good luck with that!”)

The T-1001 wasn’t the only Terminator to get a crash course in humanity during Season 2. Cameron (Summer Glau) spent much of the season suffering from a serious chip malfunction, leading her at one point to adopt the approximate memories of future resistance fighter Allison Young, on whom her personality had originally been patterned, but we also saw her interacting outside of the Connor camp; elsewhere, the Terminator formerly known as Cromartie (Garret Dillahunt) had his chip destroyed, but his body was connected to ZeiraCorp’s artificial intelligence known as the Babylon A.I., leading him to take on a new name – John Henry – and leading the series to explore matters of spirituality by querying whether his sentience means that terms like “life” and “death” now apply to him. Oh, right, and there was also some pretty good stuff with the human characters, too.

Sure, there were moments which defied credibility, but when you’re dealing with a show that lives and dies by time travel, suspension of disbelief and acceptance of pretty much everything that’s handed to you is a necessity. Fortunately, executive producer Josh Friedman found a way to combine the necessary technological components of “Terminator” with deep characterization. It seriously sucked that “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” was canceled just as those who’d followed it from the beginning were really feeling rewarded for their steadfast viewership, but it was just insult to injury when “Terminator: Salvation” bombed, taking down any decent chance that the series might be revisited at some point.

We have to admit that Lena Headey and Summer Glau added an eye candy factor that made the shows even more enjoyable. Both of their characters found their way onto our TV Girlfriends feature, with Lena’ Headey’s Sara Conner featured in our Married to the Job category and Summer Glau’s Cameron battling in our Fox Force Five list.

  

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