THE TKTV NEWSLETTER
Season 4, Episode 6 aired February 20, 2001
2. Letters from the viewing audience
3. Don't Miss
4. TV Trivia
5. Slave to the Idiot Box
-by guest writer William Noetling
6. A totally unrelated link
Ding, dong, The Hype is dead, The Hype is dead, The Hype is dead, ding, dong, the wicked Hype is dead!
Okay, so it's not officialy dead, but the WB has taken it off its schedule, which is good enough for me.
Now what I can't understand is why the fabulous Grosse Pointe is having such an early season finale? Where am I going to get my weekly dose of wit and parody? What's going to happen with the seemingly doomed couple of Marcy and Dave? Ahhh!
Did anyone else catch that Frasier's radio-love on last week's episode was voiced by Bernadette Peters? She could be heard at the very end of the episode when he was driving away from the party. She has such a great, distinctive voice. Does anyone still watch Frasier?
TKTV now has discussion boards! Talk about your favorite shows or just gossip about TV in general. Come check them out at:
Sorry this newsletter was a day late. I went on a little vacation for President's Day weekend and breathed in some fresh air just outside Portland, Maine. What a lovely town!
2. Letters from the viewing audience
I live in Papua New Guinea and am enjoying watching Survivor 2, not having previously watched Survivor 1. On the most recent episode I saw, Ogakor lost its second immunity challenge and voted off Maralyn "Mad Dog" Hershey, leaving it with 6 members. What happens in the unlikely event that Ogakor loses the next 4 or 5 immunity challenges? Surely, this would result in uneven challenges with Kucha? In Survivor 1, did any of the teams lose more then 2 immunity challenges in a row? I apologise in advance if someone has already asked these questions before.
Note from TK: As far as I remember, the two teams in the first Survivor were never more than one player difference. I, too, am curious what would happen if one team got way too small.
Gotta say, I don't watch so much, but during this weeks Simpsons, I saw the commercial with the little windup dolls that speak lines no one wants to hear ("I think your sister's attractive." "It happens to every guy.") that you can pay $1 to "crunch" (jump up and down on). Now, it doesn't make me want to eat the Snickers bar it advertises, but it sure made me laugh.
As to the pro/anti-Oz discussion, well, I've never seen it (no cable...) but Socrates said that theatre of the tragic mein was meant to "invoke terror and pity." Sounds like Oz does that pretty well. I don't know if that makes good TV, but I do know that the reason I don't watch much on the tube is that very little actually moves me in any way shape or form. (The Simpsons make me laugh every episode, so they have won me over pretty permanently.) So, if Oz is frightening to you, maybe that's not such a bad thing...
(Two kinds of terror, btw - blind, unreasoning fear a-la slasher films, which pretty much suck on a dramatic level, and deep, moving realisation - like terror, as in "the gods have condemned me to kill my own father, and have children by my mother" kind of terror, which is pretty much as good as it gets.)
Letters from the viewing audience are always welcome. Please email any opinions, questions, comments, or random thoughts to TK at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject of "letters." Letters may be edited for length or content.
3. Don't Miss
For details and lots more fun TV to look forward to, see
- Soap stars on Dharma & Greg
- Grammy Awards
- John Goodman guests on Ed
- Frankie Avalon guests on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
- Series premiere of Kate Brasher
- 'N Sync on The Simpsons
- Annabeth Gish guests on The X-Files
- Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows
4. TV Trivia
Last week's question was: what 1987 sci-fi film starred two men now known for their gruff personalities on their respective shows, "That '70s Show" and "ER?"
First prize goes to ScottSPM. Congratulations!
Honorable mentions go to Corinew77 and Rich B.
The correct answer was "Robocop" starring Kurtwood Smith (Red on "That '70s Show") and Paul McCrane (Dr. Romano on "ER").
This week's question is: which NBC sitcom star voices Sideshow Bob on "The Simpsons?"
Send answers to TK at email@example.com with the subject of tvtrivia. Winners will be chosen at random from all the correct answers.
5. Slave to the Idiot Box by William Noetling
We're almost done with our half-season review of the networks' prime-time offerings. This time, let's take a look at the so-called "Tiffany" network, CBS. For years CBS has had an audience that skewed towards members of AARP, but recently the old boys and girls have been attempting to skew younger and capture the all-important 18-49 demo. Well, they've been able to do it on a few shows, but somehow can't manage to drop the senior-citizen brigade. As I went through the list of CBS's shows, I noticed that I don't watch a single one of them on a regular basis. I don't know if that's sad or funny.
Sunday nights CBS has the stalwart 60 Minutes, which is still going after more than a quarter-century. It still regularly wins its timeslot, and ranks in the top 10 programs. Next up, because it's Sunday, and Sunday is "Family Viewing Night," we get Touched by an Angel. Never seen it, doesn't interest me. Still does well in the ratings though. The CBS Movie of the Week follows Angel.
Monday is CBS Alternative Comedy night. Alternative to what? Monday Night Football silly. The programmers are wise to present half-hour comedies on a night where the other big boys present hour long dramas. Mondays being so competitive, CBS has really helped themselves by placing King of Queens, Yes, Dear, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Becker all in a row before the newer drama Family Law. Unfortunately, I never watch any of those, because I watch wrestling on Monday. I've caught Raymond and Becker once or twice, and wasn't impressed.
Tuesday, CBS has problems. Pairing the aging actioner JAG with a news show, 60 Minutes II, and then following it with Judging Amy is a mistake. You should NEVER put a news show in between two dramas, you lose viewers.
Wednesdays are another bad night for the Eye, with the fact that they're already replacing Welcome to New York (which I heard was pretty good) with a new show called Some of my Best Friends, and moving Bette to a new time slot.
If Wednesdays are the nadir of the CBS lineup, then Thursdays must be the apex. Starting with the all-new Survivor II at 8, then the rapidly growing audience grabber CSI at 9, CBS has gained a foothold into the struggle to defeat NBC's Must-See Thursday. They remain unable to break the lock that ER has on the 10 o'clock timeslot, but will debut David Milch's (the co-creator and driving force for the good years of NYPD Blue) new show Big Apple there soon.
Friday starts with the grey-hair show Diagnosis Murder starring Dick Van Dyke and his progeny. And that's enough about that. Friday nights also bring us Don Johnson, just like they did in the 80s. That's cool I suppose. I watched Nash Bridges for the first couple of episodes, and wasn't all that impressed. Someone must have been, because it's still going, and Cheech Marin still has an acting career without Tommy Chong (though 10 years ago I wouldn't have ever believed that both Cheech and Chong would be on network shows at the same time!). Sandwiched in between the AARP Fun Hour and the 80s revisited is the all-new Fugitive with Tim Daly. I can't see the purpose of this series at all, since between the original series (that ran for four years), the movie with Harrison Ford, and the numerous knock-offs, how can there be any original stories to tell? Anywho, this show is surprisingly doing very well, and has found an audience on Fridays. More power to them. Just what I love to see television doing, taking an old tired series and re-creating it for the new millennium. That was sarcasm by the way.
Saturday, CBS trots out That's Life, Walker, Texas Ranger and The District. Can't say anything bad about That's Life, since I've never seen it. Walker, on the other hand, is just trash, and always has been. I'm glad to see that Chuck Norris has finally decided to quit bugging us. I see them filming The District all the time here in Los Angeles. Makes for great realism doesn't it? Film a show that takes place in Washington DC in Los Angeles. 'Course I shouldn't talk, ER and NYPD Blue are both filmed here. I keep meaning to watch The District, but I never do. Bad time slot.
Overall a mixed batch I suppose. I'd like to catch CSI once in awhile, but again, bad time slot. I didn't watch Survivor I until the last episode, and I only caught about half of the first episode of Survivor II. I have to say, the Australian setting is more appealing to me, BUT, it's on when NBC is doing their darndest to win their time slots by airing gimmick shows and amping up the laugh content. For someone who's watched Friends from episode 1, I'm not going to switch to Survivor now, even though Friends hasn't been as funny recently as it used to be.
I would be remiss if I didn't discuss CBS Sports though. Aside from having a top-notch News division (remember when the network news was all we had?), CBS Sports has made a HUGE comeback from near oblivion. Just a few years ago CBS lost it's share of the NFL to then upstart FOX, and the misery kept coming. They have rebounded in a huge way though, snagging NBC's share of the NFL and signing the NCAA Men's Basketball to a long term contract. In addition they have NCAA Football and two of the four PGA Grand Slam golf tournaments (the Masters and the PGA Championship), and this year they televised the Super-Bowl. Viva CBS Sports indeed!
Next week we wrap all this foo-fer-all up with ABC, a net that I actually do watch, but not regularly. After that, I've got a piece on forgotten Sci-Fi TV shows.
For more writing by William Noetling, check out his web site at
TKTV is always looking for new guest writers. Do you have an idea for an article? Write to TK with the subject of "guestwriter."
6. A totally unrelated link
The History of Today
Drinking removes warts and dimples. Not from me, but from those I look at. -Jackie Gleason