What are you watching this summer? Curious about the fall programming lineup? Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert was online Thursday, Aug. 17, at noon to chat with you about all things TV.
The transcript follows.
Matthew_Gilbert: Greetings on this thursday afternoon.
Matthew_Gilbert: It's pretty good, wolpster. Not great or anything, but a sweet-geek kind of thing with some suspence thrown in.
wolpster__Guest_: I've seen a lot of promotion lately for NBC's new show, "Chuck". What's the word on it? Is it any good?
Matthew_Gilbert: the above answer is for the above question...!
GMMR__Guest_: What time did the chat start?
Matthew_Gilbert: It was supposed to start at noon, but there was a glitch. Got any questions, comments, gmmr?
heya__Guest_: With Sopranos done, what are we fans going to do now? Do you think anything's coming up that could possibly compare?
Matthew_Gilbert: We fans are not going to stop believing...
Matthew_Gilbert: in TV...
Matthew_Gilbert: right heya?
Matthew_Gilbert: There are other good things on, for sure, although nothing quite as groundbreaking and excellent. Have you seen Mad Men? It's far from the Sopranos, but I'm liking it a lot.
GMMR__Guest_: I'm late so I'm sorry if you've already discussed it, but I'm crazy about "Pushing Daisies" so you honestly believe it's too quiry to find and hold an audience?
Matthew_Gilbert: I don't think it's too quirky. I just think it might be too limited a concept, you know? It's very Edward Scissorhands, I think. It's a movie-sized idea that will be stretched into a series...
WaitingForFallTV__Guest_: Matthew - looking foward to your fall preview of new shows and network schedules. Will that be published soon?
Matthew_Gilbert: Yes, Wawiting. It's due in the paper on Sept 2. I've been watching up a storm. This season is actually my favorite part of the job.
Matthew_Gilbert: It's the time when I can hope to find at least ONE GOOD NEW SHOW...
GMMR__Guest_: Matthew, why do you think Friday Night Lights was overlooked in the major Emmy categories this season? I thought for sure Connie Britton would have received a nom.
Matthew_Gilbert: I'm not sure, gmmr. I think the Emmy voters were among the millions who did NOT watch Friday Night Lights. Such a shame. Maybe they were afraid of backing a show that may be doomed to early cancellation?
Matthew_Gilbert: Anyhow, the Emmy voters only confirmed FNL's identity as an underdog. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
GMMR__Guest_: Re: Pushing Daisies - other than the visual difference from other shows, I think the week to week mysteries will work. It's worked for CSI..LOL
Matthew_Gilbert: Um, gmmr, are you an ABC publicist?
WaitingForFallTV__Guest_: Is FNL still slated for the awful Friday time slot?
Matthew_Gilbert: It was moved from Fridays at 10 to Fridays at 9, which is more reasonable, I guess. But I don't think new NBC pres Ben Silverman is going to give the show much time to build. Friday Night Lights is a little too...wholesome?... for his tastes, I fear.
tek__Guest_: is grey's anatomy going to come back around this season? it definitely shouldn't have been nominated after such a bad year
Matthew_Gilbert: Shonda Rhimes is promising to get back on track, but, you know, she would say that. I think the show will have a lot of trouble getting back on track without two major characters, including its best -- Addison.
chikt__Guest_: Do you think the Networks will ever go to the season model of cable stations like FX, TNT and USA having shows rotate seasons to keep fresh new shows on year round?
Matthew_Gilbert: That's happening a little already, with January-Feb premieres of 24, Lost, and American Idol. But I think most of the time, the nets will continue to use the fall-spring model, and fill in gaps with cheap reality tv.
GMMR__Guest_: Ha ha...no. Just someone that loves TV and wants to see this unique show make it. In a world where "Cavemen" gets airtime, I NEED Pushing Daisies to succeed.
Matthew_Gilbert: Have you seen Cavemen? It's brilliant.
Matthew_Gilbert: Almost as brilliant as According to Jim
little_by_little__Guest_: Okay, what is up with the boys-to-men-gone-wrong shows? VH1: Scott Baio is 45 ... and single! And some members of boy bands all grown up and going nowhere are getting together to try to go somewhere. Will they succeed? Will Scott Baio settle down? Will a "man band" become the next big thing? Perhaps Scott Baio will conduct ... hmmm ...
Matthew_Gilbert: It's a way for a down and out celeb to milk his/her down and outedness. And maybe even recharge his/her career. Reality TV, the last chance Texaco.
pg__Guest_: Do you think the Sheild and/or Michael Chicklis (sp?) deserved and Emmy nod?
Matthew_Gilbert: To be honest, pg, I didn't stay with the Shield last season, not because I don't like it but because I felt I'd seen enough. Chiklis is excellent, for sure, though, and he -- along with a whole mess of other actors, including Kyle Chandler and Ray Stevenson from Rome -- deserved a nod.
Glad_Man__Guest_: Is it true that Rosie will be on FNL? Please no. That was my favorite show til Mad Men. Brilliant - I wasn't in on the ground floor of the Sopranos but Mad Men is better than S's latter yrs - particularly given limits of basic cable.
Matthew_Gilbert: Wow, you're mad about "Mad Men." So am I, glad. Although I loved the Sopranos till the end, and thought the last season, including the Vito arc, was excellent.
Matthew_Gilbert: I heard the Rosie rumors, but I've not seen them confirmed. And I doubt they will be. She's definitely coming back to Nip/Tuch though.
Fuzzi__Guest_: Matt, Do you come from Maine?
Matthew_Gilbert: No, I'm not a Maine man.
pg__Guest_: I agree - it is to bad that some of those other actors do not get the attention they deserve while Keifer Sutherland does after an awful season of 24.
Matthew_Gilbert: Keifer deserves an Emmy. For outstanding grunt.
jah__Guest_: In your opinion what is the best show of all time to get a very premature cancellation by the network?
Matthew_Gilbert: It would be a toss up between Freaks and Geeks and The Comeback (which was on HBO). Although, in a way, I'm glad both shows didn't come back because they might not have stayed as great, you know?
WaitingForFallTV__Guest_: Speaking of Nip/Tuck...can we expect a good season? I'm worried it may have run its course.
Matthew_Gilbert: Me too, waiting. Big Time. Last season, Nip/Tuck seemed to fall apart. And next season, they'll be in Hollywood, there will be a ton of celebrity guests, and Joely R's character is going to have some kind of lesbian affair. Sounds a little desperate to me.
SoxFan__Guest_: Have you heard anything about whether or not Traveler will come back as a mid-season show? I may have been the only one watching so I'm assuming it will go the way of Windfall, et al
Matthew_Gilbert: The fact that you call yourself SoxFan says a lot of about you. I bet you're a good friend. But despite your loyalty, Traveler's gone for good.
tek__Guest_: do you watch/like myboys on tbs? is this another sign that quality tv will more and more be switching to cable?
Matthew_Gilbert: I've liked My Boys a bit. Quality tv will continue to show up on the nets, but there's lots of room for it on cable, too. In fact, there's more room.
Matthew_Gilbert: As cable pushes more and more good material, the nets will have to work harder, which is good for us all.
GMMR__Guest_: I have to wonder what pitches were so bad that "Cavemen" got the green light. I've seen the pilot and it's horrible. Were you at the ABC Upfronts? That show didn't even get a polite golf clap from the audience. I would have loved to see McPherson's face.
Matthew_Gilbert: Caveman has brand recognition, because of the Geico ads, which helped its chances enormously. No, I wasn't at the upfronts. But I can imagine, gmmr, I can imagine.
Matthew_Gilbert: Although, I don't think the fact that the show was developed from an ad is necessarily bad.
Matthew_Gilbert: Apparently, ABC is reshooting the pilot, so we'll see...
Lost_Fan789__Guest_: Have you heard the rumors of Lost being on at Fridays at 9PM? Perfect for Lost parties, but bad for ratings, I think...
Matthew_Gilbert: No! I haven't heard those rumors. That would be AWFUL. But if ABC thinks that the show is too intricate to bring in new viewers, and that Lost lovers are loyal enough to follow the show to Fridays....well, it's possible. But unlikely, I think.
Matthew_Gilbert: The Lost ratings were down last season, but not that much. I believe it was still in the top 20 most watched, which is good.
Lost_Fan__Guest_: Hi Matt! Any idea as to when Lost will kick off the new season? I was really bummed out that last season the bumped the time from 9 to 10...will it be in the same time slot?
Matthew_Gilbert: ABC hasn't announced a timeslot, but there were rumors it would not return in the 10 p.m. slot. It's due back in Jan-Feb.
Lost_Fan789__Guest_: Do you think Bionic Woman is going to be a HUGE hit? I've been hearing a lot of buzz from friends, so that has to be a good sign (since I'm in the know, jk)...
Matthew_Gilbert: I don't expect it to be a huge hit, lostfan. It may do well enough to survive, but it's a little culty, in the same was Alias was. And Alias never really brokethrough, even when it was great.
Pandachew__Guest_: Hi Matthew. Wife and I moved and didn't get hooked back up with cable in the new places. Since we've been doing a lot of reading and DVD renting. Is there any real reason for us to get hooked back up this fall? In general, do you think pay cable is worth the $50-$70/month?
Matthew_Gilbert: Pandachew, Pandachew, Pandachew.... I'm the TV critic!! Of course I think it's worth getting! I mean, there's a lot of crap on TV, for sure, but there are always a few good hours every week.
Matthew_Gilbert: I try to help readers find the good stuff, because it's always there, I think.
ooooooooooo__Guest_: David Milch fan here. Your take on John from Cincinnati? I had trouble with it. Also, I understand Deadwood is back this fall? I thought it's HBOs best show -- better than Sopranos (although I loved the final episode)
Matthew_Gilbert: Oh, ooooo. I feel for you. Yes, I hated "John." Hated. But I also held Deadwood in high esteem. It was masterful. But you are wrong, in that Deadwood is gone, and probably for good. Milch is working on yet another show for HBO, about a Vietnam Vet detective or something like that.
lil__Guest_: I know you hated John from Cincy but did you watch the entire season? What did you think if you did?
Matthew_Gilbert: I watched five episodes, Lil. FIVE. I've still got the others on my Tivo, but now that it's cancelled I think I will joyously delete them. unwatched.
Lost_Fan789__Guest_: Any update on the cast of House? They left it up in the air if Chase or Cameron are coming back...
Matthew_Gilbert: The entire cast will be back, Lostfan. And then there will be a few newbie onboard, too. Sounds crowded to me. Also, Chase and Cameron have called off their wedding in real life....O well.
hiphopapotamus__Guest_: Are you liking Flight of the Conchords? It's too quirky for a lot of people, but it's my favorite new comedy since It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Matthew_Gilbert: Yeah, I love Conchords too, hiphopo. It's just got a unique flavor. They make a great comedy duo. And I love their fan.
ooooooooooo__Guest_: Deadwood is dead? Please say it ain't so? Actually, what I really should type is one of the many fine swears from the show...
Matthew_Gilbert: Yeah, dead. Fed to the pigs. There has been talk of a pair of Deadwood movies to finish it off, but they look unlikely. Miltch is on to another show, and the cast is strewn about.
jendi__Guest_: I've finally given in to a friend's pleas to watch Dexter. I'm at Episode 6. Michael C. Hall is absolutely brilliant. Can't believe I can fall in love with a show about a serial killer. Why so few nominations for Dexter?
Matthew_Gilbert: I'm so happy to hear about your Dexter conversion. It is great. And maybe too dark and bloody for the Emmys? It will be back in early Oct, I believe.
Lost_Fan789__Guest_: You are like me and are strongly on Lost side of the fence. But I'm curious as to where Heroes goes from here. Do you think they can keep it up (or do better, as that was THE worst season ender ever)?
Matthew_Gilbert: I am VERY anxious about the future of Heroes, lostfan. I'm writing a story for next wednesday's paper about my fears. The finale stank, and the merchandizing is out of hand, and the Heroes: ORigins thingy sounds horrible, and there's been too many new characters cast, and....
jendi__Guest_: And the Sopranos isn't bloody and dark?
Matthew_Gilbert: Good point. But just the idea of a serial killer who kills serial killers might be too too for voters. That, or, more likely, they just didn't watch the show.
lil__Guest_: I am beating a dead horse, I always seem to like shows that get cancelled. What did you think of Studio 60?
Matthew_Gilbert: I loved it, and then I felt sorry for it. The show just seemed to go through a public identity crisis. I wish Sorkin had set it back in the 1970s. It would have made more sense. There's a lot less at stake on a comedy-skit show now.
pike__Guest_: what do you think of Mad Men - on AMC?
Matthew_Gilbert: I really like it a lot. I even kinda love it, pike.
Matthew_Gilbert: Let's just say that I like-like it.
Matthew_Gilbert: A great period piece, with some strong scripting. And acting. And set design.
Glad_Man__Guest_: Thanks and thank goodness! My plug for Mad Men is that its a mini-film noir. Love that even though Don Draper is center they've done full shows around other characters. Can't wait to see who's next.
Matthew_Gilbert: I like that description, Glad. The mystery of Don Draper is becoming interesting. He's clearly fractured, and yet kind of heroic in a weird, adulturous, cynical way.
jendi__Guest_: Your thoughts on the Closer? The cast really seems to have come together...great ensemble work.
Matthew_Gilbert: Oh Jendi. I am a HUGE Closer fan. Have been loving this season. Great ensemble, great lead, and great writing, too. I think people -- and Emmy voters -- focus so much on Kyra Sedgwick that they forget to notice how well the entire show is put together.
Matthew_Gilbert: And on that note, I will CLOSE. Thank you for coming, see you in a couple of weeks.
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