Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Change Is as Good as a Nest

I took a look over at the stack of DVDs next to my PS2. What's in my queue for June viewing?
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  • American Graffitt (1973)
  • Delicatessen (1991)
  • Transamerica (2005)
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
An odd mix.

Since I can see Jack's face from across the room, that's reason enough to see just how many TV shows paid homage to this Academy Award winner:
  • One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest (''Welcome Back, Kotter,'' 2/5/1976)
  • Sharkey Flies over the Cuckoo's Nest (''C.P.O. Sharkey,'' 11/11/1977)
  • One Flew Into the Cuckoo's Nest (''The Jeffersons,'' 1/6/1980)
  • Two Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (''Three's Company,'' 11/17/1981)
  • One Flew Over the Prestons' Nest (''Down to Earth'')
  • One Flu Over the Munsters' Nest (''The Munsters Today,'' 2/18/1989)
  • One Flew Over the Empty Nest (''Who's the Boss?,'' 10/16/1990)
  • One Flew Over the Bird's Nest (''Gabriel's Fire,'' 4/17/1991)
  • One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest (''The Jackie Thomas Show,'' 3/16/1993)
  • Two Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (''Melrose Place,'' 12/4/1995)
  • One Flew Over the Cooper's Nest (''Wings,'' 2/27/1996)
  • One Flew Over the Hoochie's Nest (''Martin,'' 4/24/1997)
  • Paul Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (''Spin City,'' 9/24/1997)
  • One Flew Over the County's Nest (''The Jamie Foxx Show,'' 9/28/1997)
  • One Flew Over the 'Cuda's Nest (''Nash Bridges,'' 10/10/1997)
  • Two Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (''One World,'' 11/14/1998)
  • One Flu Over the Cuckold's Nest (''Good Morning, Miami,'' 4/17/2003)
  • One Flew Over the Kai-Kai's Nest (''All About the Andersons,'' 1/15/2004)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

As Honest as the Days of Longform

When you read about the upfronts two weeks ago, did you notice that CBS announced "Cold Case" and "Without a Trace" will replace the "CBS Sunday Movie?"

The made-for-TV movie is mostly dead for the nets. Really, we shouldn't be surprised. Over the last three years, only a handful of these small screen Sunday flicks scored over a 10.0 rating on CBS. None — really, none — of these longforms earned more than a 15.0 rating.

True. Ratings are down across the board; so let's ask two different questions. How many of these CBS Sunday MOWs hit the top ten during the past three TV seasons? Ten. Last season? None.

Now you know why CBS finally threw in the towel.

I expect CBS to present the occasional flick as a special presentation, but if you enjoy these TV movies you should really start watching the Lifetime Movie Network.

Can you name the made-for-TV movies to score better than a 30.0 rating on any network in US TV history?

Don't include TV flicks associated with series, such as Walton Thanksgiving, The Night Stalker and Return to Mayberry. Don't include multi-part movies and miniseries (Fatal Vision).


Monday, May 29, 2006

Airings Update

As promised, I spent the past week filling in gaps and correcting some errors in the historical TV schedule. I assigned dates/days/times to 1,462 records, bringing the grand total to 120,447 records that you can search.

Right now the trivialTV online database is about 98% correct and complete for the period 1/1/1983 to 4/23/2006. It's about 1% incomplete — you'll still find the occassional empty time slot, and I estimate the error rate is about 1%.

Not bad for free.

Next week I'll add another 530 records for the time period from 4/24/2006 - 5/21/2006 once I finish entering Nielsen Ratings for those four weeks.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Dreams Always Rise to the Topless at 10,000

According to Jason Blevins' March 21, 2006 article in the Denver Post,
[Michael] Weiner [CEO and chairman of New Frontier Media] said he was angered by the resort's [Crested Butte] snub. So in addition to sponsoring most of the women skiers, he and [Carrie Jo] Chernoff threw a racy party in the underground lounge Lobar that definitely raised the carnal vibe in the fleece-is-sexy town.

The party - dubbed "Topless at 10,000 Feet" - featured an abundance of barely dressed dancers and was filmed as a special event for TEN subscribers. The skin-parading shindig also marked a unusual moment in skidom, with the sport's inherent sexiness - traditionally something barely noticeable underneath all that polypro and Gore-Tex - overtly displayed and unabashedly celebrated.
That was then. This is now.

Two months later — On May 17, 2006 — New Frontier Media (NFM) filed docs with the USPTO to protect the phrase, Topless at 10,000, for the purpose of "an adult television series."

What a great idea! The perfect mash of extreme sports, exotic locales and erotic women. Watch chicks shred the slopes during the day and hang with scantily-clad Betties at night as the party moves to a different resort every weekend.

I don't what NFM has planned, but at least that's my vision.

You Can't Take Pits with You

NASCAR is a money machine.

If you want, you can buy the DVD, NASCAR Hot Pass: Behind the Scenes. But if you're a real stock car junkie, that just won't do. You want to be behind the scenes for every race possible. And I mean every race.

Soon you'll have that option, if you're willing to pay for it. It appears that NASCAR is considering a pay-per-view version of "Hot Pass."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

He Who Graphs Last, Graphs Best

We're in the middle of a media explosion. More network shows. More cable channels airing new content. More items are professionally produced for limited release. And definitely more amateur content.

How will you ever find anything in the long tail of media if few others sample the content before you? Maybe you're interested in content that was found organically (via search) and hasn't been tagged according to some standard convention. Microsoft Music Maps may lead us down the pathway of automated content classification.

The USPTO just published Microsoft's latest endeavor (US Patent Application 20060112098) in this area: Client-based generation of music playlists via clustering of music similarity vectors.

Why music? Look at the pathway for content delivery. It all started with text, migrated to music, moved to short video clips, then TV eps and finally movies. What was the main driver? File size versus available bandwith.

This same content sequence (text -> music -> TV eps -> films) also represents an increase in complexity. We have no prayer of automatically classifying short video clips (with audio) if we can't even classify short audio clips (music singles).

And guess what. Algorithms still can't reliably detect music genres. If you're interested in the technical details, check out this summary or this one from Sony.

Fair enough. But what about classifying TV shows?

Imagine using the Music Mapper to analyze the soundtrack for a TV show — opening credits, closing credits, background music, laugh track. Next, use voice recognition to convert the dialogue to text and use text analysis (used to classify novellas and short stories) to specify the genre and subgenre while simultaneously using the Music Mapper results.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

He That Hunts Two Affairs Loses Both

An Affair to Remember. Yes, the 1957 Cary Grant movie. Who knew that TV writers loved the movie so much? Not only is it one of the most romantic movies, but it's also one of the most referenced films in TV ep titles. Take a look:
  • Not an Affair to Remember (''Family Ties,'' 11/2/1983)
  • An Intern-al Affair to Remember (''Nurses,'' 11/16/1991)
  • An Affair to Vaguely Remember (''Jack's Place,'' 1/12/1993)
  • A Non-Affair to Remember (''The Jeff Foxworthy Show,'' 9/16/1995)
  • An Affair to Dismember (''The Nanny,'' 11/13/1996)
  • Affairs to Remember (''The Love Boat: The Next Wave,'' 11/20/1998)
  • A Repair to Remember (''Saved by the Bell: The New Class,'' 1/8/2000)
  • A Pharaoh to Remember (''Futurama,'' 3/10/2002)
  • An Affair Not to Remember (''Spin City,'' 4/9/2002)
  • A Fair to Remember
    • ''Silver Spoons,' (10/29/1983)
    • ''Sweet Valley High'' (10/23/1995)
    • ''The Mummy: The Animated Series'' (3/15/2003)
    • ''The New Adventures of Old Christine'' (5/22/2006)

  • An Affair to Remember
    • ''It Takes Two'' (12/16/1982)
    • ''Brothers'' (4/25/1985)
    • ''The Tortellis'' (1/28/1987)
    • ''Zorro'' (9/8/1992)
    • ''Spin City'' (2/18/1997)
    • ''Gilmore Girls'' (10/28/2003)

  • An Affair to Forget
    • ''Occasional Wife'' (4/18/1967)
    • ''The Paul Lynde Show'' (12/6/1972)
    • ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show'' (12/21/1974)
    • ''Laverne & Shirley'' (2/9/1982)
    • ''Three's Company'' (11/30/1982)
    • ''Sanchez of Bel Air'' (11/28/1986)
    • ''Mama's Family'' (9/25/1989)
    • ''Who's the Boss?'' (10/5/1991)
    • ''Wings'' (10/14/1993)
    • ''Frasier'' (5/2/1995)
    • ''Boy Meets World'' (11/29/1996)
    • ''The Parent 'Hood'' (3/1/1998)
    • ''Will & Grace'' (4/18/2000)
    • ''Butch Patterson: Private Dick'' (11/8/2000)
    • ''McLeod's Daughters'' (3/5/2003)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Common Threads #6

What do these series have in common?
  • "Another World"
  • "Beverly Hills, 90210"
  • "Frasier"
  • "Moonlighting"
  • "The Parkers"
  • "Roswell"

Monday, May 22, 2006

Airings Update

What update? The dates didn't change next to the text box. Plus it's two weeks too early for the regular monthly update.

So what happened? If you take a look at the scoreboard (near right column), you'll notice that the airings database now includes 118,985 records. That's 377 more records than Friday.

Where'd they come from? If you previously viewed TV listings for a day in 1983 or 1984, you may have noticed a lot of empty spaces in the schedules. The LAPL (Central) didn't have TV Guides for a large number of weeks for these two years even though I had Nielsen Ratings. I spent the weekend using to go through old TV schedules day-by-day to fill in these gaps.

I should be able to finish this effort by the end of the week and fill in some more holes in the schedule. I've been meaning to do this task for a while, and I finally forced myself to run out of excuses.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ask No Questions and Hear Nothing About Lye

Exactly two weeks ago Disney filed docs with the USPTO to protect the word, Soapedia.

I thought the word was brilliant. A nice mash of two easily recognized words. A simple description for an online database for soap operas. A combination of eight letters that returns exactly ZERO results in a Google search.

Disney has been planning this site for a while — they registered the domain,, way back on February 23, 2006 — but it's done little with the site. Right now it just refers to the main page for SoapNet.

So disappointing. I really expected Disney and SoapNet to develop (or purchase) information that would rival and add a significant online video collection. Not yet.

I hope Disney doesn't make soap fans feel like an Emmy statue waiting for Susan Lucci.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Easy Commercial, Easy Go

Since we're in the middle of the upfronts, where most companies purchase ads for the Fall TV season, we get to hear all about ad-skipping studies. We hear that "87% [of DVR owners] said they use the skip function frequently."

Sounds about right. I reckon the other 13% just can't find the remote.

Think this problem is new? Think again.

Let's look back 21 years ago via Stephen Advokat's Seattle Times article (May 26, 1985), "Tired of Commercials? Then Zap Them"
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., more than 5 percent of the prime-time television audience switches channels during commercials, and 50 percent of the people watching programs on VCRs fast-forward through the spots.
In that same article, we read about one technology that allows TV watchers to record shows without commercials. That means you don't even have to push a button to skip an ad. Here's a short description.
It's the Vidicraft CCU-120 Commercial Cutter, a device that electronically edits television commercials from programs as they are being taped on a video cassette recorder.

The company says its unit can eliminate between 90 and 98 percent of all commercials through three microprocessors that analyze audio and video elements of the television signal. When the CCU-120 senses that a commercial is over, it automatically rewinds the tape to the start of the ad and begins recording over it.

But consumers have been cool to Vidicraft's commercial cutter.

Even though the $399 suggested list price has been discounted in some stores to about $250, company representatives admit it's too expensive for mass sales.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Leave No Tony Unturned

Did you notice something about the Tony nominees for Best Musical:
  • The Color Purple
  • The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Jersey Boys
  • The Wedding Singer
Two originals. One based on a novel. One based on a movie. No TV shows.

I don't get it. TV writers love Broadway but are treated like peacocks. My proof? Take a look at these ep titles where TV writers honor past Tony winners for Best Musical. (The year at the beginning of each line is the year of the award ceremony.)
  • 2005: Jamalot (''CSI: NY,'' 11/30/2005)
  • 1998: Skeleton King (''Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!,'' 2/6/2005)
  • 1995: Eastbridge Boulevard (''The Commish,'' 5/1/1993)
  • 1993: Kiss of the Ice Cream Woman (''Evening Shade,'' 10/18/1993)
  • 1992: Crazy for You ... and You (''Flying Blind,'' 9/27/1992)
  • 1991: The Tamale Follies (''The Brothers Garcia,'' 3/10/2002)
  • 1988: Phantom of the Oil Rig (''Dallas,'' 9/22/1989)
  • 1987: Les Miseranimals (''Animaniacs,'' 9/27/1993)
  • 1986: The Mystery of Morning Wood (''The Beavis & Butt-Head Show,'' 11/20/1995)
  • 1984: La Cage aux Sanford (''Sherman Oaks,'' 9/15/1996)
  • 1978: Eight Misbehavin' (''The Simpsons,'' 11/21/1999)
  • 1976: Chorus Line Angels (''Charlie's Angels,'' 2/21/1981)
  • 1973: A Little Fright Music (''Welcome Back, Kotter,'' 12/2/1978)
  • 1972: Two Gentlemen of Capeside (''Dawson's Creek,'' 10/18/2000)
  • 1965: Fiddling on the Roof (''Melrose Place,'' 11/16/1998)
  • 1964: Hello, Dalai (''Ellen,'' 2/19/1997)
  • 1963: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Unemployment Office (''The Stockard Channing Show,'' 3/24/1980)
  • 1962: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying to Be a Lesbian (''What I Like About You,'' 1/21/2005)
  • 1961: Bye Bye Nerdy (''Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends,'' 7/1/2005)
  • 1960: The Smell of Music (''M*A*S*H,'' 1/3/1978)
  • 1958: The Music Mac (''The Bernie Mac Show,'' 4/1/2005)
  • 1957: My Feral Lady (''Duckman,'' 6/21/1997)
  • 1956: Damn Bundys (''Married…with Children,'' 4/28/1997)
  • 1951: Lost Boys and Gothic Girls (''413 Hope St.,'' 12/18/1997)
  • 1949: Kick Me, Kate (''I'm Dickens, He's Fenster,'' 4/5/1963)
If you enjoyed this list, check out my list of TV ep titles honoring past Oscar winners for Best Picture.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

There's Safety in (Shows with) Numbers

Did you take a look at NBC's Fall schedule? Take a look at Wednesday and Thursday:
8-9 pm “The Biggest Loser”
9-9:30 pm “20 GOOD YEARS”
9:30-10 pm “30 ROCK”
10-11 pm “Law & Order”

8-8:30 pm “My Name Is Earl” (new time)
8:30-9 pm “The Office” (new time)
Anything stick out?

All three new shows (in caps) have a number in the title! More than 90 series have already appeared on US primetime network TV with a number in the title.

And that brings us to this week's trivia questions.

Can you name any series with a studio or stage number in its title?

Turns out that many series titles are simply street addresses. Can you name any of these street-address series?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Scoreboard Update

It's been about two months since I updated the scoreboard for the trivialTV database. Just a quick update today.

I've recently added 250 series to the database, bringing the grand total to just over 11,000 unique US series. You won't know about most of these shows unless they have fun ep names or when they appear in the "On This Date" feature. My fave show that I've added? Fuse TV's train-wreck-of-a-show, "Pants Off Dance Off."

I've also added confirmed preem dates for 237 skeins. Nearly 8,000 of these 11,000 series have debut dates, and they'll all appear in the "On This Date" feature.


Friday, May 12, 2006

It's Not the -cise of the ...

Jazzercise. Aerobicise. Cardio Karaticise.

None of these were your -cise? Don't worry, you might have another chance to join the fitness craze. (Since we talk about the fitness craze and the obesity epidemic during the same newscast, does that mean that our nation has an eating disorder? Just wondering.)

Karakoecise, courtesy of Raynaldo Garza, may be coming to a small screen at your personal home gym. It's just what you think it is — an exercise program combined with karaoke music. If you think you sound bad now, just wait 'til you try singing in the middle of a workout.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Common Cents Is Not So Common

What's in today's patent goodie bag? Personalized coupons through your TV.

Last year I discussed targeted, local advertising in which a local grocery store can advertise, allowing you can lock-in a sale price on the item in the ad. All in the comfort of your home while you watch the telly. This concept still makes sense to me. The advertiser rewards the viewer for watching while still meeting its own goals.

There's one major problem with that idea. You only get the sale price if you have a shopper's card and if a local/regional merchant advertises. If you're missing either of those two things, you're stuck paying full price. Not an ideal scenario for national conglomerates that are trying to push their wares.

Today the USPTO published a patent app (20060100929) for a system that allows you to request a coupon by pressing a button on your remote while you watch a commercial. According to the app, you make your request from the "Manufacturer's Coupon Generator Station." This Station analyzes viewer demographics, point-of-sale information, local conditions (including season, time, weather), and the sales/revenue goals of the manufacturer. After this analysis, the Station electronically delivers a coupon with the appropriate cents-off. Just print and use.

Just one more reason not to buy Sunday's LA Times anymore.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Nothing Is Certain But Death and Taxes....Unless Death Takes a Holiday

Who woulda thunk that Kelsey Grammer would play the Angel of Death? Wait. He was responsible for killing two network hours with "Kelsey Grammer Presents The Sketch Show." Maybe it wasn't that much of a stretch.

If you watched "Medium" on Monday, you watched Kelsey Grammer play Death in an ep called "Death Takes a Policy." Of course, that ep title refers to the play and 1934 movie, Death Takes a Holiday. So far the nets have presented four different versions of this work:
  • Death Takes a Holiday (''The Broadway Television Theatre,'' 1/5/1953)
  • Death Takes a Holiday (''Kraft Television Theater,'' 12/30/1954)
  • Death Takes a Holiday (''Matinee Theatre,'' 4/8/1958)
  • Death Takes a Holiday (''ABC Movie of the Week,'' 10/23/1971)
Even though most of us have never seen the play on the telly, writers continue to pay homage to Casella's work. Turns out that Death is pretty greedy. Always taking something:
  • Death Takes a Partner (''Man Against Crime,'' 3/11/1953)
  • Death Takes No Holiday (''The Vise,'' 10/28/1955)
  • Death Takes an Encore (''Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer,'' 3/7/1958)
  • Death Takes a Lover (''Philip Marlowe,'' 1/26/1960)
  • Death Takes a Holiday (''M*A*S*H,'' 12/15/1980)
  • Death Takes a Curtain Call (''Murder, She Wrote,'' 12/16/1984)
  • Death Takes a Dive (''Murder, She Wrote,'' 2/22/1987)
  • Death Takes a Holiday on Ice (''Cheers,'' 11/9/1989)
  • Death Takes a Coffee Break (''Dream On,'' 7/15/1990)
  • Death Takes a Halloween (''Night Court,'' 10/26/1990)
  • Death Takes a Holiday (''Time Trax,'' 3/3/1993)
  • Death Takes a Three Day Holiday (''The Hughleys,'' 1/21/2000)
  • Death Takes a Halliwell (''Charmed,'' 3/15/2001)
  • Death Takes a Policy (''Medium,'' 5/8/2006)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

No Spain, No Game

Thanks to the success of "Deal or No Deal," game shows are trying to make another comeback.

If you look at some of the recent development notes at futoncritic, you'll read about four game shows that the nets are considering. Given three recent TV trends — games that don't require skill, skeins that are imported, and shows that scam the participants — I can't wait to watch the Spanish El Gordo Lottery on the telly rather than just getting e-mails about it!

Can you match each TV game show with its country of origin?
Game ShowCountry
1."Almost Anything Goes"a.Australia
2."Big Brother"b.Belgium
3."The Dating Experiment"c.Japan
4."Deal or No Deal"d.Netherlands
6."Dog Eat Dog"f.United Kingdom
7."Fear Factor"
8."Hell's Kitchen"
9."The Mole"


Monday, May 08, 2006

Standard Update

I've added another four weeks to the TV Schedule search above. No other news with this update.


Friday, May 05, 2006

A Nielsen Cannot Change Its SpotTrac

Just over a week ago, Nielsen Media Research, Inc. filed for patent protection for the word mark, SpotTrac. (Letter type and type style are mine. The filing, as shown online, has all characters in upper case letters in regular style.) Here is the text from the filing:
Computer software and hardware for use in encoding, decoding, reading, and analyzing broadcast, television, video and audio signals, audio and video coding, and signal source identification and analysis; firmware, namely electronic and integrated circuits, for use in encoding, decoding, reading, and analyzing broadcast, television, video and audio signals, audio and video coding, and signal source identification and analysis; electronic audio and video encoders; and electronic audio and video readers
Makes me think that Nielsen would like to have a greater presence on the broadcast end and not just the viewer side.

Nielsen has also filed for trademark protection for:
  • Creative*Views: On the face of it, the concept doesn't sound too groundbreaking. Seems like it's just e-delivery of their research services, allowing the customer to choose how they view reports.
  • Follow the Video: I can see Nielsen getting more involved in online video, such as tracking viewership, links and propagation
These are just my best guesses with limited information. I have not contacted, nor do I have an inside source, at Nielsen Media. But I am excited to see what Nielsen finally unveils.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Detachiness Is NEC's Godliness

NEC is diligently working on a next-rev cell phone that receives terrestrial TV.

If you've been watching NEC develop its terrTV cell phones, you might remember that NEC announced its first working prototype back in mid-July 2003. This prototype had an integrated Digital TV antenna and receiver.

What was the prototype missing? A stylus.

NEC found a clever solution. Engineers designed a retractable antenna that detaches and doubles as an input pen.

NEC filed for patent protection on October 31, 2005, and none too soon. If you've been following terrTV mobile products, you might have seen this blurb on November 28, 2005 at engadget, where Thomas Ricker suggested the antenna resembled a stylus. Too bad. NEC beat you to the punch by at least a month.

So now the real question. What do the mock-ups look like? Here are two drawings from the patent application (20060094464) that the USPTO published today. (You can click on the image to get a better look.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Don't Foul Your Earnest

Did you watch ''What About Brian'' on Monday? Brian did his best Algernon impression to get away for the weekend. That explains the ep title — The Importance of Being Brian.

Many moons ago, NBC twice presented Oscar Wilde's famous work:
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (''Masterpiece Playhouse,'' 8/20/1950)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (''Matinee Theatre,'' 2/8/1957)
Surprisingly, the play hasn't been on network TV since.

Even though we haven't seen the original work, many TV shows played off the basic premise and paid homage to this Wilde masterpiece. Here's a list of TV ep titles that gave a shout out to Oscar:
  • The Importance of Bea 'n Willie (''The Bing Crosby Show,'' 11/16/1964)
  • The Importance of Being 65937 (''Ben Casey,'' 11/15/1965)
  • The Importance of Being Hairy (''The Good Guys,'' 2/19/1969)
  • The Importance of Being Worthy (''Webster,'' 11/16/1987)
  • The Impotence of Being Ernest (''The Golden Girls,'' 2/4/1989)
  • The Importance of Being Alex (''Head of the Class,'' 12/11/1990)
  • The Unimportance of Being Charley (''Empty Nest,'' 2/15/1992)
  • The Importance of Being Ernie (''The Home Court,'' 1/13/1996)
  • The Importance of Missing Earnest (''Dave's World,'' 12/20/1996)
  • The Importance of Being Betty (''Remember WENN,'' 9/20/1997)
  • The Importance of Being Urnie (''Toonsylvania,'' 2/7/1998)
  • The Importance of Being Norma (''Sabrina, the Animated Series,'' 10/2/1999)
  • The Importance of Being Frank (''Girlfriends,'' 12/11/2000)
  • The Self-Importance of Being Carlos (''Third Watch,'' 3/19/2001)
  • The Importance of Being Eberts (''Invisible Man,'' 4/27/2001)
  • The Importance of Being Eldest (''Survivor,'' 9/19/2002)
  • The Importance of Being Jim (''According to Jim,'' 10/1/2002)
  • The Importance of Being Dawson (''Dawson's Creek,'' 10/9/2002)
  • The Importance of Being Phoebe (''Charmed,'' 1/12/2003)
  • The Importance of Being Maximix (''Cubix: Robots for Everyone,'' 4/12/2003)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

As the Biggest Event, So Shall the Family Tree Grow

Tonight on CBS you can watch a scandalous new special, "Dynasty: Catfights & Caviar"

Wait. Wasn't "Dynasty" on ABC?

It sure was, but now it looks like the Tiffany net is acting like ReunionSoapNet. Just take a look at what else the Eye showed in the last year-and-a-half:
  • 2 Dec 2005: "Knots Landing: Together Again"
  • 7 Nov 2004: "Dallas: Return to Southfork"
I find it surprising that CBS airs these sudsy reunions instead of ABC since Disney owns SoapNet.

Anyways. It's time to prepare for tonight's excitement. I reckon that a family tree is a simple way to refresh your memory about the characters; so here are the family trees for the Carrington and Colby clans.

(If you want to see larger images in your browser, just left-click on the images. You may also save or print by right-clicking the images and selecting print/save TARGET. If you select picture instead of target, you'll be disappointed.)

  • Sources used:
  • Family Tree constructed using Legacy (Family Tree) Deluxe Edition, version
  • Original charts (*.bmp) constructed using Legacy Charting Companion, version 2.0.
  • Charts converted to *.png and *.gif formats using MS Paint to reduce image size.

Monday, May 01, 2006

While There's a New Life, There's Hope for Larger Audiences

Birth. Marriage.

Two events that can change the course of any TV show — for better or for worse. It's no surprise that many series use these life-changing milestones to draw larger audiences during sweeps month.

Since May sweeps started last Thursday, it's just natural that I should present these events in the "On This Date" feature in the near right column now. I'm releasing this feature earlier than usual; so bear with me. Even though it's not complete, you'll find plenty of trivial beginnings.

Unfortunately, I have yet found an event for today, May 1. But don't worry. I already have 50 events in the database — just for the month of May! I'll continue to add events to the trivialTV database throughout the upcoming year.