Monday, July 31, 2006

Monthly TV Schedule Update

I've added shows and info for four more weeks — a total of 537 new records. You can now search over 122,000 records in the trivialTV airings database.

I've also added more links to TV Guide and soon-to-be-released DVDs at Amazon.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Give Her an Inch and She'll Take a Thousand Miles?

I see that iTunes released three more seasons of Punk'd sometime in the past two weeks.

Just a note. Episode 407 is only 14:34, compared to 20:00-22:00 for every other ep. Either the length is miscalculated or one of the three segements is not included.

Ciara, Vanessa Carlton and Nicole Richie originally appeared in this ep when it aired on MTV. The iTunes preview shows Ciara and its description mentions Nicole. Does this mean that Vanessa Carlton no longer appears in Ep 407?

I don't care enough to spend the $2 to find out. I'm just wondering out loud.

Never Give Guthy-Renker an Even Break

Just think about what you see on late night TV as you channel surf. Youthful Essence. Proactiv. Sheer Cover. Winsor Pilates. You stop just long enough to see what's one and then quickly go to the next channel.

Haven't seen enough infomercials from Guthy-Renker? Just wait.

On July 21 Guthy-Renker filed docs with the USPTO to protect the word, podfomercial. Yes, you read that right. Podfomercial.

I reckon that means you'll be able to watch infomercials for free from iTunes. I guess that's one way you can watch Vanessa, Jessica, Kelly, Brooke or Elle on demand while they peddle a skin-care product.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

First Comedy, First Served

I'd love to see a version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 written by the masses, and now is the time for somebody to step up.

The talent is there and willing. Are you worried the snide remarks won't be witty enough compared to professional writers? You'd be surprised how much quality amateur talent is waiting to be discovered and how many freelance pro writers want to advertise their wares. Just take a look at the response to Ken Levine's little punch-line contest and the winning entries. Just give appropriate credit and people will come.

The technology is available. Last week Google Video announced that you can link to a specific point within a video. Once you can link to a clip, you can associate something with it.

Now some site simply has to put these two ideas together. Choose a video from Google Video and set up multiple links to different parts of the video. Have users supply their wittiest remarks for each of these links — ideally with a voice recording but text will do for now. Review the comedy, choose the best ones and mash the funniest punch lines with the video.


I just wish I was funny enough to play along with something like this.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Blunder Lasts But Nine Days

New shows have been selected. Preem dates have been officially announced. Hopes are high.

But every viewer knows most new shows won't be around next year. And, even though the writers are grateful for being picked up and hopeful for syndication, they also know the odds are slim. Some scribes convey these self-realizations through their ep titles. Take a look.
  • One Down (1st ep of ''Head Over Heels'' on UPN, 8/26/1997)
  • Son of Pilot (1st ep of ''Nurses'' on NBC, 9/14/1991)
  • The Second One, Believe It or Not (2nd ep of ''That's Life'' on ABC, 3/10/1998)
  • Episode Two: The Series Has Landed (2nd ep of ''Futurama'' on Fox, 4/4/1999)
  • 94 to Syndication (4th ep of ''That's Life'' on ABC, 3/31/1998)
  • The Show We Wrote the Day We Found Out We Were Going on Opposite Roseanne (7th ep of ''Double Rush'' on CBS, 3/8/1995)
  • Episode Six (a.k.a. The Last Episode Ever) (6th ep of ''Clerks'' was originally unaired)
  • 13th Episode Anniversary Special (13th ep of ''Good Grief'' on Fox, 2/3/1991)
  • Next Stop, Valhalla (81st ep of ''The Nurses'' on CBS, 12/15/1964)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Family Breeds Content

On August 3 Fox will air ''That '70s Show'' for the last time, marking the end of the Masterson brothers era on primetime TV.

Naturally, this event leads to the very simple question: What other siblings appeared as regular characters on different primetime TV shows at the same time?

I don't care about siblings playing different characters on the same show, like Tia & Tamera Mowry on ''Sister, Sister'' or the Olsen twins on ''Two of a Kind.'' And these family members had to be contemporaries — the Sagal sisters just missed since Katey appeared on ''Mary'' from 12/85 - 4/86 immediately after her sisters (Liz, Jean) played ''Double Trouble'' from 8/84 - 8/85.

Just get to the answer, you say? OK. OK. Here it is — the list of siblings who regularly appeared on different, contemporary primetime shows.
  • Jason & Justine Bateman
    • Jason: ''Silver Spoons,'' ''It's Your Move'' & ''Valerie''/''Hogan Family''
    • Justine: ''Family Ties''

    • Jason: ''George & Leo'' & ''Chicago Sons''
    • Justine: ''Men Behaving Badly''

  • Christian & Neve Campbell
    • Christian: ''Malibu Shores''
    • Neve: ''Party of Five''

  • Candace & Kirk Cameron
    • Candace: ''Full House''
    • Kirk: ''Growing Pains''

  • Tim & Tyne Daly
    • Tim: ''Ryan's Four''
    • Tyne: ''Cagney & Lacy''

    • Tim: ''Wings''
    • Tyne: ''Christy''

    • Tim: ''The Fugitive'' & ''Eyes''
    • Tyne: ''Judging Amy''

  • Alexis & Kim Fields
    • Alexis: ''Roc''
    • Kim: ''Living Single''

  • Marla Gibbs & Susie Garrett
    • Marla: ''The Jeffersons'' & ''227''
    • Susie: ''Punky Brewster''

  • Melissa & Sara Gilbert
    • Melissa: ''Stand By Your Man'' & ''Sweet Justice''
    • Sara: ''Roseanne''

  • Missy & Tracy Gold
    • Missy: ''Benson''
    • Tracey: ''Shirley,'' ''Goodnight, Beantown'' & ''Growing Pains''

  • Clint & Ron Howard
    • Clint: ''The Baileys of Balboa'' & ''Gentle Ben''
    • Ron: ''The Andy Griffith Show''

    • Clint: ''The Cowboys''
    • Ron: ''Happy Days''

  • Anthony & Jonathan LaPaglia
    • Anthony: ''Murder One''
    • Jonathan: ''New York Undercover''

    • Anthony: ''Without a Trace''
    • Jonathan: ''The District''

  • Christopher & Danny Masterson
    • Christopher: ''Malcolm in the Middle''
    • Danny: ''That '70s Show''

  • Nancy & Philip McKeon
    • Nancy: ''Facts of Life''
    • Philip: ''Alice''

  • Tamera, Tia & Tahj Mowry
    • Tamera, Tia: ''Sister, Sister''
    • Tahj: ''Smart Guy''

  • Ben & Fred Savage
    • Ben: ''A Family for Joe''
    • Fred: ''Wonder Years''

    • Ben: ''Boy Meets World''
    • Fred: ''Working''

  • Ashlee & Jessica Simpson
    • Ashlee: ''7th Heaven''
    • Jessica: ''Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica''

Monday, July 24, 2006

New iTunes Releases

Apple just performed its standard Monday night update. You can now download the following shows from iTunes:
    ''The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron'' (Nick)
    • Normal Boy; Birth of a Salesman (oad: 9/6/2002)
    • Brobot; The Big Pinch (oad: 9/13/2002)
    • Granny Baby; Time Is Money (oad: 9/20/2002)
    • Raise The Oozy Scab; I Dream of Jimmy (oad: 9/27/2002)
    • Jimmy on Ice; Battle of the Band (oad: 10/4/2002)
    • See Jimmy Run; Trading Faces (oad: 10/14/2002)
    • Phantom of Retroland; My Son, the Hamster (oad: 10/30/2002)
    • Hall Monster; Hypno-Birthday to You (oad: 11/1/2002)
    • Krunch Time; Substitute Creature (oad: 11/15/2002)
    • Safety First; Crime Sheen Investigation (oad: 11/30/2002)
    • Journey to the Center of Carl; Aaughh!! Wilderness!! (oad: 1/31/2003)
    • Broadcast Blues; Professor Calamitous, I Presume (oad: 3/14/2003)
    • Maximum Hugh; Sleepless in Retroville (oad: 5/17/2003)
    • Make Room for Daddy-O (oad: 6/6/2003)
    • Love Potion 9.76; J (oad: 2/13/2004)
    • The Timmy/Jimmy Power Hour
  • ''Aquaman'' (WB)
    • unaired pilot
  • ''Babylon 5'' (Synd; iTunes under WB)
    • The Gathering (Pilot) (oad: 2/22/1993)
    • Midnight on the Firing Line (oad: 1/26/1994)
    • Soul Hunter (oad: 2/2/1994)
    • Born to the Purple (oad: 2/9/1994)
    • Infection (oad: 2/16/1994)
    • The Parliament of Dreams (oad: 2/23/1994)
    • Mind War (oad: 3/2/1994)
    • The War Prayer (oad: 3/9/1994)
    • And the Sky Full of Stars (oad: 3/16/1994)
    • Deathwalker (oad: 4/20/1994)
    • Believers (oad: 4/27/1994)
    • Survivors (oad: 5/4/1994)
    • By Any Means Necessary (oad: 5/11/1994)
    • Signs and Portents (oad: 5/18/1994)
    • TKO (oad: 5/25/1994)
    • Grail (oad: 7/6/1994)
    • Eyes (oad: 7/13/1994)
    • Legacies (oad: 7/20/1994)
    • A Voice in the Wilderness (Part 1 of 2) (oad: 7/27/1994)
    • A Voice in the Wilderness (Part 2 of 2) (oad: 8/3/1994)
    • Babylon Squared (oad: 8/10/1994)
    • The Quality of Mercy (oad: 8/17/1994)
    • Chrysalis (oad: 10/3/1994)
  • ''The Flintstones'' (ABC; iTunes under WB)
    • The Flintstone Flyer (oad: 9/30/1960)
    • Hot Lips Hannigan (oad: 10/7/1960)
    • The Swimming Pool (oad: 10/14/1960)
    • No Help Wanted (oad: 10/21/1960)
    • The Split Personality (oad: 10/28/1960)
    • The Monster from the Tar Pits (oad: 11/4/1960)
    • The Babysitters (oad: 11/11/1960)
    • At the Races (oad: 11/18/1960)
    • The Engagement Ring (oad: 11/25/1960)
    • Hollyrock, Here I Come (oad: 12/2/1960)
    • The Golf Champion (oad: 12/9/1960)
    • The Sweepstake Ticket (oad: 12/16/1960)
    • The Drive-In (oad: 12/23/1960)
    • The Prowler (oad: 12/30/1960)
    • The Girls Night out (oad: 1/6/1961)
    • Arthur Quarry's Dance Class (oad: 1/13/1961)
    • The Big Bank Robbery (oad: 1/20/1961)
    • The Snorkasaurus Haunters (oad: 1/27/1961)
    • The Hot Piano (oad: 2/3/1961)
    • The Hypnotist (oad: 2/10/1961)
    • Love Letters on the Rocks (oad: 2/17/1961)
    • The Tycoon (oad: 2/24/1961)
    • The Astro-nuts (oad: 3/3/1961)
    • The Long, Long Weekend (oad: 3/10/1961)
    • In the Dough (oad: 3/17/1961)
    • The Good Scout (oad: 3/24/1961)
    • Rooms for Rent (oad: 3/31/1961)
    • Fred Flintstone: Before and After (oad: 4/7/1961)
  • Friends (NBC; iTunes under WB)
    • The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate (oad: 9/22/1994)
    • The One with the Sonogram at the End (oad: 9/29/1994)
    • The One with the Thumb (oad: 10/6/1994)
    • The One with George Stephanopoulos (oad: 10/13/1994)
    • The One with the East German Laundry Detergent (oad: 10/20/1994)
    • The One with the Butt (oad: 10/27/1994)
    • The One with the Blackout (oad: 11/3/1994)
    • The One Where Nana Dies Twice (oad: 11/10/1994)
    • The One Where Underdog Gets Away (oad: 11/17/1994)
    • The One with the Monkey (oad: 12/15/1994)
    • The One with Mrs. Bing (oad: 1/5/1995)
    • The One with the Dozen Lasagnas (oad: 1/12/1995)
    • The One with the Boobies (oad: 1/19/1995)
    • The One with the Candy Hearts (oad: 2/9/1995)
    • The One with the Stoned Guy (oad: 2/16/1995)
    • The One with Two Parts (Part 1 of 2) (oad: 2/23/1995)
    • The One with Two Parts (Part 2 of 2) (oad: 2/23/1995)
    • The One with All the Poker (oad: 3/2/1995)
    • The One Where the Monkey Gets Away (oad: 3/9/1995)
    • The One with the Evil Orthodontist (oad: 4/6/1995)
    • The One with the Fake Monica (oad: 4/27/1995)
    • The One with the Ick Factor (oad: 5/4/1995)
    • The One with the Birth (oad: 5/11/1995)
    • The One Where Rachel Finds Out (oad: 5/18/1995)
  • ''The Jetsons'' (ABC; iTunes under WB)
    • Rosey, the Robot (oad: 9/23/1962)
    • A Date with Jet Screamer (oad: 9/30/1962)
    • Jetson's Nite Out (oad: 10/7/1962)
    • The Space Car (oad: 10/14/1962)
    • The Coming of Astro (oad: 10/21/1962)
    • The Good Little Scouts (oad: 10/28/1962)
    • The Flying Suit (oad: 11/4/1962)
    • Rosey's Boyfriend (oad: 11/11/1962)
    • Elroy's TV Show (oad: 11/18/1962)
    • Uniblab (oad: 11/25/1962)
    • A Visit from Grandpa (oad: 12/2/1962)
    • Astro's Top Secret (oad: 12/9/1962)
    • Las Venus (oad: 12/16/1962)
    • Elroy's Pal (oad: 12/23/1962)
    • Test Pilot (oad: 12/30/1962)
    • Millionaire Astro (oad: 1/6/1963)
    • The Little Man (oad: 1/13/1963)
    • Jane's Driving Lesson (oad: 1/20/1963)
    • G.I. Jetson (oad: 1/27/1963)
    • Miss Solar System (oad: 2/3/1963)
    • Private Property (oad: 2/10/1963)
    • Planet Dude (oad: 2/17/1963)
    • TV or Not TV (oad: 2/24/1963)
    • Elroy's Mob (oad: 3/3/1963)
  • ''MAD tv'' (Fox; iTunes under WB)
    • Best of Season 8 (2 eps)
    • Best of Season 9 (3 eps)
    • Best of Season 10 (3 eps)
  • ''Miami Vice'' (NBC; iTunes under Sleuth)
    • Brother's Keeper (Part 1 of 2); Brother's Keeper (Part 2 of 2) (oad: 9/16/1984)
    • Heart of Darkness (oad: 9/28/1984)
    • Cool Runnin' (oad: 10/5/1984)
    • Calderone's Return (Part 1 of 2): The Hit List (oad: 10/19/1984)
    • Calderone's Return (Part 2 of 2): Calderone's Demise (oad: 10/26/1984)
    • One-Eyed Jack (oad: 11/2/1984)
    • No Exit (a.k.a. Three-Eyed Turtle) (oad: 11/9/1984)
    • The Great McCarthy (oad: 11/16/1984)
    • Glades (oad: 11/30/1984)
    • Give a Little, Take a Little (oad: 12/7/1984)
    • Little Prince (oad: 12/14/1984)
    • The Milk Run (oad: 1/4/1985)
    • Golden Triangle (Part 1 of 2) (oad: 1/11/1985)
    • Golden Triangle (Part 2 of 2) (oad: 1/18/1985)
    • Smuggler's Blues (oad: 2/1/1985)
    • Rites of Passage (oad: 2/8/1985)
    • The Maze (oad: 2/22/1985)
    • Made for Each Other (oad: 3/8/1985)
    • Home Invaders (oad: 3/15/1985)
    • Nobody Lives Forever (oad: 3/29/1985)
    • Evan (oad: 5/3/1985)
    • Lombard (oad: 5/10/1985)
  • ''My Super Sweet 16''
    • Marissa (oad: 4/12/2006)
    • Aaron (oad: 4/12/2006)
    • Alexa (oad: 4/19/2006)
    • Chelsi (oad: 4/26/2006)
    • Meleny (oad: 5/3/2006)
    • Alex (oad: 5/10/2006)
    • Darnell (oad: 5/17/2006)
    • Erica (oad: 6/27/2006)
  • ''Open Bar'' (Logo)
    • Welcome to iCandy
    • One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
    • Trial by Fire
    • The Best Laid Plans
    • Crunch Time!
    • The Grand Opening
  • ''Tabloid Wars'' (Bravo)
  • ''Nick Cannon Presents Wild 'n Out'' (MTV)
    • Episode 01-001 (oad: 7/28/2005)
    • Episode 01-002 (oad: 8/4/2005)
    • Episode 01-003 (oad: 8/11/2005)
    • Episode 01-004 (oad: 8/18/2005)
    • Episode 01-005 (oad: 8/25/2005)
    • Episode 01-006 (oad: 9/1/2005)
    • Episode 01-007 (oad: 9/8/2005)
    • Episode 01-008 (oad: 9/15/2005)
    • Episode 01-009 (oad: 9/22/2005)
    • Episode 01-010 (oad: 9/29/2005)
    • Episode 02-001 (oad: 2/2/2006)
    • Episode 02-002 (oad: 2/9/2006)
    • Episode 02-003 (oad: 2/16/2006)
    • Episode 02-004 (oad: 2/23/2006)
    • Episode 02-005 (oad: 3/2/2006)
    • Episode 02-006 (oad: 3/9/2006)
    • Episode 02-007 (oad: 3/16/2006)
    • Episode 02-008 (oad: 3/23/2006)
    • Episode 02-009 (oad: 3/30/2006)
    • Episode 02-010 (oad: 4/6/2006)
  • ''Work Out'' (Bravo)

TV Guide Update (Part 2)

I continue to update the trivialTV database with links to shows in the TV Guide database using their new numbering system. You'll see only minor changes this week.

Friday, July 21, 2006

When in Harlem, Do As Big L Would Do

After L

Viacom registered the domain name,, on May 2, 2006 and lists MTV Networks as the contact. The site is currently inactive.

Viacom then filed docs on July 14, 2006 with the USPTO to protect the word mark, After L. Unfortunately, the description of the goods & services is quite general and broad:
Entertainment services, namely television programs featuring live action, drama, comedy, animation, music, news, and general entertainment; providing online information in the field of entertainment concerning television programs.
This text is just Viacom's current boilerplate legalese for any TV show.

I haven't been able to find any other information about the phrase, but I have my suspicions. I'm guessing that "After L" will be a show on MTV about the posthumous influence of Big L on Harlem and the hip-hop scene.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Interact Is Stranger than Fiction

Charter Communications is running ads telling us how great digital cable will be since we'll be able to use our remotes to participate, vote and provide feedback. I'm still waiting...

All this talk about interactive TV (iTV) got me thinking. When did iTV begin?

Some would argue that iTV started on December 12, 1977 when the Qube network first aired in Columbus, OH. Qube was billed as "the world's first interactive TV service," offering multiple channels. What were a few of Qube's milestones?
  • 1980 Jun 20: Nearly 7,0000 QUBE households in Columbus, OH paid $10 each to watch Sugar Ray Leonard battle Roberto Duran for the WBC welterweight title. What? That's not historical enough for you? OK. What if I tell you that viewers acted as home judges? The QUBE system allowed every PPV subscriber to vote for each round of the match. I would love to see the scorecards for the home judges for Duran's unanimous, but narrow, win.
  • 1980 Jul 12: The semi-pro football game between the Racine Gladiators and the Columbus Metros used the collective 'expertise' of approximately 5,000 armchair quarterbacks. Before every snap the QUBE system presented five plays on screen, each household selected a play, the central computer tallied the results and conveyed the plurality's choice to the Columbus coach. I don't know how well the Metros would've normally played against the Gladiators, but "Your Call Football" viewers led the Gladiators to a 10-7 defeat.
But I think iTV started much earlier when ''Winky Dinky and You'' preemed on CBS on October 10, 1953. I never saw the show, but I think Dave Barry says it best in his March 13, 1994 article:
This was the first ''interactive'' TV show. You, the viewer, sent 50 cents to Box 5, New York 19, New York, and you got back a Magic Window, which was a piece of transparent plastic that you put on your TV screen. Then, under the direction of your host, Jack Barry, you used special crayons to draw lines on the plastic. (Or, if you were my sister and I, and you didn't have a Magic Window, you drew right on the TV screen and interacted with your parents later.)

After the lines were drawn, you and Jack Barry said the Magic Word — "WINKO!" — and the lines became part of, say, a bridge, which Winky Dink would use to get across a river.
Definitely low-tech iTV.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Don't Write Off More Than U Have 2

What were the #1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 list five and ten years ago this week?
  • 2001: 'U Remind Me' by Usher
  • 1996: 'How Do U Want It' / 'California Love' by 2Pac featuring K-Ci and JoJo / featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
I expected a ton of TV ep titles to use the you/U word replacement since Prince has been doing it since 'Jack U Off' on his 1981 album, Controversy. There were surprisingly very few:
  • O, R-V, I N-V U (''Goof Troop,'' 9/14/1992)
  • Nothing Compares 2 U (''Doogie Howser, M.D.,'' 11/11/1992)
  • U Go Kart (''The PJs,'' 5/4/1999)
  • U Got the Look (''Degrassi: The Next Generation,'' 10/1/2003)
  • Lucky U (''Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks,'' 9/2/2004)
What about for/4, to/2 or too/2?
  • 2 Good 2 Be 4 Real (''Cheers,'' 11/14/1985)
  • 2 Hip 2 Work (''George,'' 11/6/1993)
  • 2 Good 2 B 4 Gotten (''Wings,'' 11/18/1993)
  • Back 2 School (''Boy Meets World,'' 9/23/1994)
  • Crazy 4 You (''The Wayans Brothers,'' 2/18/1999)
  • 2 Young, 2 Curious (''One on One,'' 10/14/2003)
  • 2 Punk 4 This: The Real World San Diego Reunion (''The Real World,'' 7/6/2004)
Who expected ''Cheers'' to be at the leading edge of pop culture abbreviations?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Show Is Never Cited for Showing Itself Often

Last week I told you about the series that accounted for the most schedule time on cable TV during the second quarter of this year (4/1/2006 - 6/30/2006). That little exercise got me thinking about which episode aired the greatest number of times during that same time period.

Well, with a little database magic I found the answer for you.

But first I have to tell you about something that shocked me. During that 91-day period, some eps aired at least 20 times. Twenty times! Now that's getting your money's worth. And it wasn't an isolated incident — 40 different eps aired that often.

Without further ado, here are the top twelve most-aired eps on cable TV from 4/1/2006 through 6/30/2006:
  • 53 times: Action News (''The Surreal Life,'' VH1)
  • 46: Tawny Takes on Flo (''The Surreal Life,'' VH1)
  • 35: Nick Gets the Bug (''Hogan Knows Best,'' VH1/CMT)
  • 34: Blind Confusion (''Top Chef,'' BRAVO)
  • 34: Family Vacation (''Hogan Knows Best,'' VH1/CMT)
  • 33: Yes You Can! (''Johnny & the Sprites,'' Disney)
  • 32: Who's on First? (''Johnny & the Sprites,'' Disney)
  • 32: Waiting for the Stars (''Johnny & the Sprites,'' Disney)
  • 32: Leave a Little Lettuce (''Johnny & the Sprites,'' Disney)
  • 32: Laugh, Basil, Laugh (''Johnny & the Sprites,'' Disney)
  • 31: Phillips (''Daddy's Spoiled Little Girl,'' WE)
  • 30: Reunion: After the Lovin' (''The Flavor of Love,'' VH1)

Latest iTunes Update

This week iTunes added the following shows to their collection:
  • ''A Baby Story'' (TLC)
    • Baby Abdulrahman
    • Baby Almeida
    • Baby Brenner
    • Baby Bryjak
    • Baby Carera
    • Baby Cortina
    • Baby Eglow
    • Baby Garst
    • Baby Hutchins

  • ''Little People, Big World'' (TLC)
    • Living Little (oad: 3/4/2006)
    • Twins? (oad: 3/4/2006)
    • Our Little Anniversary (oad: 3/11/2006)
    • Father and Sons (oad: 3/11/2006)
    • Birthday Girls (oad: 3/18/2006)
    • Back to School (oad: 3/18/2006)
    • Testing Zach (oad: 3/25/2006)
    • One Farm, Two Dreams (oad: 3/25/2006)
    • Growing Up (oad: 4/1/2006)
    • Treb-U-What? (oad: 4/1/2006)
    • Merry Little Christmas (oad: 4/8/2006)
    • New Year, New Plan (oad: 4/8/2006)
    • Zach's Future (oad: 4/15/2006)
    • Try, Try Again (oad: 4/15/2006)
    • Running with the Pack (oad: 4/29/2006)
    • Calm and Chaos (oad: 4/29/2006)

  • ''Shalom in the Home'' (TLC)
    • The Romeros (oad: 4/10/2006)
    • The Gordons (oad: 4/17/2006)
    • The Lubners (oad: 4/24/2006)
    • The Wexlers (oad: 5/1/2006)
    • The Maxwells (oad: 5/8/2006)
    • The Morgans (oad: 5/15/2006)
    • The Sterlings (oad: 5/22/2006)
    • The Warrens (oad: 5/29/2006)
    • The Herrons (oad: 6/5/2006)
    • The Di Josephs (oad: 6/12/2006)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Schedule d/b Cleanup

I've updated:
  • all TV Guide links (using their new numbering system),
  • AOL's in2tv references,
  • iTunes references.
Just an FYI. Did you know that there were a few series that you could see last month at AOL's in2tv but not this month? Here's the list:
  • ''All About the Andersons''
  • ''Center of the Universe''
  • ''Head of the Class''
  • ''Histeria''
  • ''Michael Richards Show''
Hope you didn't miss them!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Don't Put All Your Eggs in one Basketball Coach

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to play for a great college basketball coach? Maybe you saw ''Knight School'' on ESPN earlier this year, but that wasn't enough to whet your appetite.

I have great news for you. RIVR Media is developing a reality series about Rick Pitino, entitled ''Playing for Pitino.'' Rivr Media filed docs with the USPTO on July 6, 2006, but I have not been able to find any other info about the series.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

From the Primetime to the Vidiculous

I finally read about a site (via bookofjoe) that's going to allow you to use a photo to perform a visual search of the web. It's about time. But I guess that means it will take a while before I'll be able to find my ideal video search engine.

What about this mythical TV vid search engine? Just use a menu to select the title of the series and, if desired, the ep name. The search engine first uses the series and ep titles to find sites that might be relevant. Next, the engine uses one (or more) pre-stored pics to select the best matches from these relevant sites by comparing the uploaded pics to key screen captures of the available videos.

Too structured? What if you upload your own pic and type one or more keyword(s). As before, the search engine first uses the text to find likely matches and confirms these matches by comparing the uploaded pic with key vid stills.

I reckon that this vid search engine would work best for animated series.

Maybe YouTube or GoogleVideo will develop it, but I really thought that the porn industry would've developed something like this already. Then again, maybe it already has and I just don't know about it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Only the Good Diet Young

Why is there an obesity epidemic in the US? Lack of collective will power?

We're a nation that's outwardly obsessed with dieting, but we can't lose weight. And it's not a recent ruse either. Three of the top ten nonfiction books from 25 years ago told us how to lose weight:
    1. The Beverly Hills Diet, Judy Mazel
    3. Richard Simmons' Never-Say-Diet Book, Richard Simmons
    8. Weight Watchers 365-Day Menu Cookbook
We've also seen the Atkins, Hollywood, and South Beach diets — to name just a few.

Surprisingly, not one series immortalized a new TV diet in its title. A lot of characters went on diets, but there's nothing amusing about that. Instead, I looked for interesting ep titles with diet-related words. Enjoy today's short list:
  • Do or Diet (''Gimme a Break!,'' 11/26/1981)
  • Beauty and Obese (''L.A. Law,'' 2/11/1988)
  • To Live and Diet in L.A. (''L.A. Law,'' 1/5/1989)
  • They Shoot Fat Women, Don't They? (''Designing Women,'' 12/11/1989)
  • Fat Boy and Little Man (''Parker Lewis Can't Lose,'' 9/29/1991)
  • A Long, Fat Frontal Presentation (''Civil Wars,'' 12/11/1991)
  • The Fat Boys of Summer (''A League of Their Own,'' 4/17/1993)
  • He's Too Sexy for His Fat (''Family Guy,'' 6/27/2000)
  • I See Dead Fat People (''The Chronicle,'' 2/1/2002)
  • The Fat and the Furious (''King of the Hill,'' 11/10/2002)
  • My Best Friend Is a Big Fat Slut (''Good Girls Don't…,'' 6/4/2004)
  • Weight and See (''Jackie Chan Adventures,'' 6/18/2005)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

If You Can't Stand the Repeats, Get Out of the Living Room

You're home sick for a week and you're mindlessly flipping through the 300-odd channels on your digital receiver. Even though you're bleary-eyed, you're convinced that some series are repeated over and over and over. Trust me, it's not your imagination.

Now think about it. Which former network TV series were the greatest schedule fillers during the second quarter of 2006? From 4/1/2006 through 6/30/2006 the following series aired at least 273 hours outside of net primetime:
  • 523 hours: ''Walker, Texas Ranger'' (Hallmark, USA)
  • 431: ''Little House on the Prairie'' (Hallmark, TV Land)
  • 405: ''Cops'' (Court TV, FX, Synd)
  • 369: ''Roseanne'' (Nick, Oxygen)
  • 340: ''Murder, She Wrote'' (A&E, Biography)
  • 329: ''Law & Order: Criminal Intent'' (Bravo, USA)
  • 324: ''Law & Order'' (TNT)
  • 311: ''M*A*S*H'' (AMC, Hallmark, Synd)
  • 297: ''America's Funniest Home Videos'' (ABC Family, Synd)
  • 290: ''Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'' (USA, SciFi)
  • 286: ''The Wayans Bros.'' (BET)
  • 282: ''Full House'' (ABC Family, Nick)
Why 273 hours? That's an average of three hours per day.

Can you believe ''Walker, Texas Ranger'' nearly averaged six eps per day for three full months?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Scoreboard Update & Rants

Over the past few weeks I've added 249 new series to the trivialTV database and I'll continue to add more as I peruse the cable schedules for the past six months. I've also confirmed preem dates for 70 more series. The scoreboard at the bottom of the near sidebar reflects these changes.

And now for the rants.
  • AOL changed their database format yet again when they updated their shows on Friday. Three updates and three changes to the direct links. I'll be updating the numbers/links for these eps again. If AOL ever decides sticks with a format for more than a month, I'll make the in2tv logos active so that you can click and go directly to the video.
  • I don't know how much longer the TV Guide links will work. During the past week they changed back and forth between their old numbering system and their new numbering system. That's right. They've renumbered all of the series in their database. I started to change my links mid-week to the new system, but these numbers didn't work anymore on Thursday. So I changed all those numbers back to the old numbering system. On Friday the new system was available again. Talk about wasting eight hours of my life. Sometime in the next few weeks I'll change all my links once I'm satisfied TV Guide's new numbering system will be around for a while.
So far iTunes is the only organization to keep the same number for every video. Kudos to them for getting it right the first time!

Friday, July 07, 2006

As YouTube Show So Shall YouTube Reap

I can't wait for pilot season next year. Which network will have the guts to post any of its pilots on YouTube and then use viewer feedback to determine which shows to pick up for the Fall season? We'll find out whether ''Nobody's Watching'' had any effect at all.

I reckon that no networks or production companies want to be so bold, but I can hope. Can't I? If I'm in charge of the CW, I might try it to fill my last sitcom timeslot this way. That netlet has absolutely nothing to lose, and it can only gain viewers by giving the masses a sense of empowerment. Forget about next season, I would let the netizens choose my mid-season replacement sitcom.

Here's what I would do. Post three pilots and advertise widely that you're going to let the viewers select one of these three. Tell the production companies their shows definitely won't be picked up if they don't participate. Hell, I might even stack the deck the first year with one really good pilot and two crappy ones just to test the process.

The infrastructure is already there, I just need to have a few analysts comb through the data after a two- or three-week trial period. I don't know how much it costs to assemble multiple pilot screenings, but I bet that I could save money by paying YouTube to host the event and YouTube would generate a much-needed revenue stream for themselves.

Think about it. I can track behavioral data as well as comments and ratings with the existing features at YouTube. Here are some metrics to consider:
  • # of views for Part #1: This metric measures the number people who found the premise interesting enough, the star(s) appealling enough or a friend's recommendation compelling enough to make an effort to view the video.
  • # of time shared: This number should correlate with the potential word-of-mouth advertising. Are viewers keeping their guilty pleasure a secret or do they want the world to be watching with them?
  • average viewing time: Of course, this metric simply measures viewer retention. Are viewers going to switch channels within minutes? During the first commercial break? Or watch all the way to the end? (If average viewing time isn't available, then use # of views for Part #3 divided by # of views for Part #1.)
  • ratings distribution: Average rating isn't good enough. I'd much rather have a show that has 80% 5.0 ratings and 20% 0.0 ratings than a show with 100% 4.0 ratings, even though both shows have an average rating of 4.0.
  • comment keywords: I'm sure each network already looks for keywords — both negative and positive — when it reads viewer feedback forms from live-audience pilot tests. Now it's even easier to find these keywords since all feedback is in electronic form in the comments section.
  • # of times favorited: This metric should be correlated with the projected size of the show's core audience.
  • average age of members that chose show as favorite: A show can only be favorited by YouTube members, and prospective members must provide their age when they sign up. This metric should confirm whether or not the show targets the appropriate core audience. (This metric might not be available, depending on YouTube's privacy policy and anything the viewer might agree to before watching the video.)
  • # of results for title searches: Use Google/Yahoo!/MSN or Google blogsearch/Technorati or other search engine(s) to measure just how much people talk about the show. It's one thing to markup the video as one of your favorites, but it's another thing to tell the world about it on your blog.
Les. If you're reading, please let the CW be bold sometime soon.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

In the Kingdom of the Blind Drunk, the Man with the Remote Is King


A TV remote control with a bottle opener.


OK. It's not exactly a new idea since Philips has one, and you can buy a different one at But Motorola's proposed version is simply spectacular in its simplicity. Nothing hangs off the bottom. No notches on the side. Everything looks very normal until you turn your remote over.

This morning the USPTO published Motorola's patent application (20060146483) for a 'battery door cover bottle opener.' Cell phone. mp3 player. Portable TV. PDA. Any battery-operated, portable, electronic device will have a bottle opener.

Truly brilliant!

Now if only someone would design a combination antenna/corkscrew for a cell phone...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

You Can't Have Your Namesake and Meet It Too

Have you read Matt Roush's Mon/Fri "Ask Matt" columns lately? I ask only because two of his recent installments inspired today's trivia question.

In Matt's column on June 9, Betty thought that "the two more popular docs on the two most popular shows (Lost and Grey's Anatomy) are both named Shephard." Matt reminded her that "their surnames are spelled differently. Jack's is Shepard, Derek's is Shepherd."

Then on June 16 Jodie wondered whether "anybody noticed the two Fox network characters with the same name. Both That 70s Show's Topher Grace and House's Omar Epps play(ed) Eric Foreman." Not quite, according to Matt: "First off, officially Fox's Erics spell their last names differently: Forman (70s Show) and Foreman (House)."

So close, but yet so far.

Has it ever happened? Have two network TV characters (lead or supporting) ever shared the same name on unrelated series during the same season?

Yes, they have.

Oh, you want the list too? So selfish. Do I have to do everything around here? Here ya' go:
  • Sam Beckett (''China Beach'' & ''Quantum Leap'')
  • Matthew Brock (''NewsRadio'' & ''Picket Fences'')
  • Ed Brown (''Chico & the Man'' & ''Ironside'')
  • Annie Cooper (''Family'' & ''Hizzonner'')
  • Charlie Davis (''Davis Rules'' & ''Going Places'')
  • James Hunter (''Hunter'' & ''James at 15'')
  • Jack Malloy (''LA Firefighters'' & ''Unhappily Ever After'')
  • Michael Mancini (''Melrose Place'' & ''Feds'')
  • David Silver (''Beverly Hills 90210'' & ''Temporarily Yours'')
This list is probably not complete since I did not check all first-name variations (Jim vs. James), but it's a good start.

Airings Update

Today I added over 500 records to the online trivialTV historic TV schedules. I also updated the numbers for Total Tube Time, but no shows changed places in the rankings.