THE TKTV NEWSLETTER
Season 4, Episode 8 aired March 5, 2001
2. Letters from the viewing audience
3. The poll
4. Don't Miss
5. TV Trivia
6. Slave to the Idiot Box
-by guest writer William Noetling
7. A totally unrelated link
Why is it that every magazine and web site everywhere has decided that "Yes, Dear" is the worst new show on the air this season, and that someone at CBS is on drugs to keep it on the air? I'll admit, there's nothing particularly special about this show, but at the same time, the characters are likeable, they're not total stereotypes, the acting is good, and the writing is decent. I enjoy watching this family-based comedy, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. (And I LOVE the opening sequence.)
On the other hand, there's another new sitcom on the air this season that I'm a little ashamed to admit that I like: "Nikki." First of all, I'm not a huge Nikki Cox fan, but she and Nick von Esmarch are just so likeable. Secondly, the premise is totally ridiculous. She's a Vegas show-girl and he's a Vegas wrestler? And yet this premise helps make this show stand out from the crowd. You get great cheesy Vegas dance numbers, and normal people in silly situations instead of silly people in normal situations. Lastly, there are some really funny one-liners in this show. I know, I know, a show cannot live on one-liners alone, but they do make for a nice bonus.
Last week I mentioned that "Saved by the Bell" star Mark-Paul Gosselaar would be joining the cast of "NYPD Blue," but now I've found out that Charlotte Ross is also going to be joining the squad. I've always loved Ross as an actress. She was great when she was a kid on "Days of Our Lives," and she's had some good, if short, roles since then on shows like "The Heights," "The Five Mrs. Buchanans" and NBC's doomed "Trinity." She also spent two seasons on the Showtime comedy, "Beggars and Choosers," and recently had a guest stint on "Frasier" as the woman Frasier falls in love with in that "Sliding Doors" episode from a few weeks ago. My only concern is that Ross is just too pretty and delicate to pull off being a New York City police detective. Then again, I'm sure that Kim Delaney fans had similar concerns when she joined the show, and she's managed to pull it off, so I will reserve judgment until I see Ross in action. "NYPD Blue" always surprises me with their casting decisions.
Why is "Boston Public" getting so little press? Is it just that people are tired of David E. Kelley dominating television? This is a powerful new drama, with strong characters that are perfectly dramatically flawed. I don't know how long Kelley can keep it up, but I think he's still got it.
CBS has turned its Saturday nights into a feel-good fest that's getting on my nerves. From the very beginning, the preachy "The District" annoyed the hell out of me, but now that it has been linked to the much more tolerable "That's Life" by the new Mary Stuart Masterson/Erin Brokovich-ish drama "Kate Brasher," it feels like CBS Saturdays from 8pm to 11pm is a three-hour episode of "Touched by an Angel" without the religious overtones. I thought CBS was trying to skew younger, but now I realize they're just going for preachier.
Have you ever heard of mail-in campaigns that help save shows? Like fans of the WB's Roswell sent bottles of Tabasco sauce to the WB to show support for the alien/high school drama. Well, here's an unofficial campaign that I can get behind: save "Grosse Pointe!" The show's tagline is "Grosse Pointe... all the dirt behind the soap," so some fans have decided to send bars of soap to the WB to encourge the network to renew this bit of satirical genius. If you feel the same, send your soap to: Save Grosse Pointe, c/o The WB, 411 N. Hollywood Blvd. Burbank, CA 94505. Remember, if you include a letter, and I recommend that you do, make it polite; polite letters are much better at getting a network's attention.
Okay, I've prattled on enough for one week. If you're in the New York area, stay inside and hide from the snow. Happy Birthday, dad!
2. Letters from the viewing audience
From gutzl (a German viewer):
I haven't known your site for a very long time, but I could see that you know a lot of the TV shows that I like too. So, I thought you could help me with a little problem I'm having with my brain. I have been trying to remember a show that I saw a few years ago here on German television. It was a one-hour drama, and was on the air here around five or ten years ago. The show was about a family with a lot of kids, both their own and foster children. I think there were some animals too. One other thing I remember is that the youngest child was a boy and the character was played by an actor who only used his first name, which of course I forgot. So, do you have any idea what this show is? I'd really be very thankful for your help, and I hope you continue with your admirable work on your websites.
Note from TK: any viewers out there have any ideas? This isn't ringing any bells for me.
There was an amazing show that was set in the future about an old guy that tells a little kid (his grandson maybe?) about his past. Sometimes the "past" was a contemporary "real" story and sometimes it was futuristic (e.g. the "Crash of '99). I think it aired in the late '80s or early '90s. Do you know the show to I'm referring? If not, do you know how/where I could look it up? By the way, great site, and thanks for your help.
Note from TK: again, I'm hoping someone else can help here 'cause I've never heard of it.
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. The poll
Last week's poll found out what everyone's favorite reality show was. It was gratifying, but not incredibly surprising, that over 42% of you chose "Survivor" as your favorite. "The Real World" came in second with about 24% of the vote, and "The Mole," "Temptation Island" and "Big Brother" trailed with approximately %14, %11 and 8% of the vote, respectively. I gotta say, I'm surprised that "The Mole" beat out "Temptation Island." Not that I was a great fan of either of them, but it seemed that an island full of sex held a lot more public appeal than some strange contrived games in Western Europe.
This week's poll finds out what you thought of the new "X-Files" spin-off, "The Lone Gunmen." Even if you didn't watch the pilot last night you should check out the poll, 'cause there's a place for you too.
As always, the TKTV weekly poll can be found right on the front page of the site.
4. Don't Miss
For details and lots more fun TV to look forward to, see
- Series premiere of The Fighting Fitzgeralds
- John Glenn guests on Frasier
- TV Guide Awards
- Hostage situation on Once and Again
- The merge on Survivor
- NAACP Image Awards
- Rene Auberjonois and Jenna Lewis on Nash Bridges
- Princess of Thieves
- Rosie O'Donnell on The Simpsons
- The Lost Empire
- The Practice/Gideon's Crossover
5. TV Trivia
Last week's question was: what was the name of the first person voted off of "Survivor: The Australian Outback?" First name only is fine.
For some reason a lot of people decided not to read the "Australian Outback" part and answered Sonja, but of course, those of you with just a little more attention span got the correct answer: Debb.
First prize goes to Aqua200204. Congratulations!
Honorable mentions go to Jess0147 and Lela K.
This week's question is: what instrument did "Kate Brasher" star Mary Stuart Masterson play in the movie "Some Kind of Wonderful?"
Send answers to TK at email@example.com with the subject of tvtrivia. Winners will be chosen at random from all the correct answers.
6. Slave to the Idiot Box by William Noetling
Just the other day I was sitting at work, doing nothing of any use, when I thought, "you know, there have been a ton of good Sci-Fi shows that lasted only one or two seasons." So let's take a look at a few of my favorite shows that weren't around very long. Most of these shows are being replayed on Sci-Fi Channel either now, or will be in the future.
The shows we will look at today are:
Alien Nation (FOX)
Quark was a cool sitcom that was on NBC for about two months in the late '70s. It starred Richard Benjamin as a galactic garbage man. His crew consisted of gorgeous twins, Ficus (a plant in human form), Gene/Jean (a transmute played by the great Tim Thomerson) and other weirdos. Quark was loads of fun, although I only vaguely remember it. My folks, who were a bit older and remember it better, loved it. Here's a cool site that has pics that will bring you back to the '70s (Quark hasn't been seen on TV since then).
Otherworld was Rod Taylor's idea of "Lost in Space on Earth." Rod Taylor really doesn't have that stellar of a bio over at the Internet Movie Database, but this show was truly inspired. Too bad it lasted about two months. The premise was that the Sterling family visited the Great Pyramid of Cheops, and in a freak alignment of the stars were teleported to an alternate universe, very similar to our own, but ruled by a totalitarian government. The best part was Jonathan Banks (soon to be on Wiseguy), as the villain Nuveen Kroll. I found an episode guide on the web, but otherwise there isn't much info out there on this 1985 series. With only 8 episodes, it's unlikely that Otherworld will ever return to TV.
Everyone in the universe remembers V, but they may not remember that besides the two mini-series there was a short lived television series also. Almost all of the original cast came back to continue the story. While the show paled in comparison to the mini-series, it was still the best stuff on TV at the time. I remember watching EACH and EVERY episode in detail, and even running a 'zine devoted to V. In fact, I still have some of those photo-copied issues (remember, this was 1984). V was a merchandising bonanza, spawning a 17 issue comic book series, a TON of original novels, and an action figure and trading card set. Some of that stuff I still have! There's TONS of V information on the web, but I've found that the best site is the enqueue site. The only thing it's missing is a synopsis for the un-aired wrap-up episode, but for that you can check the tripod site. I keep hearing rumours that V is coming back, especially from Europe, where the show was HUGE. I'm not sure though, it's been an awfully long time.
The man who created V, Kenneth Johnson, wrote a neat little movie starring James Caan and Mandy Patinkin called Alien Nation. It wasn't great, but had a good concept (VERY similar to V), in that Aliens come to Earth, but they're refugee slaves from ANOTHER alien race. They integrate themselves into our societies, and now we have yet another form of racism to deal with. The feature film was big-budget, and not very good, but the television series spin-off was low-budget, and WELL-WRITTEN. Starring Gary Graham and Eric Pierpoint, it expanded on the human/alien police detective paradigm, and explored a great many interesting topics. The series ran from 1989 to 1990, and was actually resurrected as a series of TV movies by Fox from 1994 to 1997. As with V, Alien Nation spawned a number of merchandising efforts, including trading cards, comics books, novels and clothing. There are some interesting sites out there, and a one site has a good FAQ .
Tune back in next week for more sci-fi, when I review The Adventures of Brisco County, Strange Luck, Space, Above and Beyond, and Nowhere Man.
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."
7. A totally unrelated link
Husbands are like fires, they go out when unattended. -Zsa Zsa Gabor