After seeing our readers’ poll last week on cable news, the one in which Fox News won decisively, Terry Pardue writes: “Where would we be without Fox News? When we only had the three major networks and CNN, we were like sheep being lead to slaughter. We hear all the time how Fox is bias to the right but all you need to do is tune in and see they have just as many left leaning people on as they do from the right. Fox has opened the eyes of millions of people who can see where this government of ours has been leading us, (socialism).”
On that same topic, Bob Brady writes: “I cannot believe that in this market of mostly functional illiterates you would publish a letter from one of them claiming that Fox News, the right arm of the Republican Party — not my conclusion but the almost universal conclusion of critical observers — is the least biased of the cable news networks; or should I conclude the columnist is a member of the Southwest Florida Illiterati.”
Bob. Neither the poll nor the opinion was mine. But all thoughts are welcome here. I personally don’t find any of the cable news networks to be exceeding in their fields at this stage of the game. If you want a less-biased, educated approach to the news, might I suggest BBC World News?
In response to my comments last week on the ratings slip for “House,” Joe Funigiello of Naples writes: “Enjoyed your column this morning. I was a dedicated ‘House’ fan until this season. The House/Cuddy thing doesn’t make for good TV, now I skip ‘House.’ Actually it is a good thing; I got one hour of my life back. Give me a good ‘CSI’ (love all of them) and I’m happy.”
Kathy Hart writes: “I enjoy your column very much and look forward to it each week. I’ve been watching ‘House’ since it began. I’m not sure I’ll be watching it any more and it has nothing to do with the new House/Cuddy storyline. The writers have taken all of the humanity out of the show. House was always hard to take, but that was his character and he played it well. However, he was surrounded by caring people. Now they all treat each other with disrespect and cruelty. The few characters that I could relate to and care about are gone. I find that I don’t care enough about any of them to continue watching the show. It’s too bad because I think there are some good actors but I’ll watch for them on a more appealing show.”
Good point Kathy.
Barbara Crissman writes: “Dear Bill: My friends and I don’t watch ‘House’ anymore! The show changed some of the characters and storylines. ... When House/Cuddy were sparring, and had that sexual tension, it was great! ... My daughter (who is a hospital administrator) used to watch it, but no more. Saw a promo for cable about ‘Southland’ returning in January. Have you heard anything?”
You are correct Barbara; TNT has booked a third season of its critically acclaimed drama “Southland” from Emmy-winning producer John Wells (“ER,” “The West Wing”). The network has ordered 10 episodes for the third season, which is slated to begin airing in January.
Created by another Emmy winner, Ann Biderman (“NYPD Blue,” “Public Enemies”), “Southland” is a raw look at police work L.A. The series focuses on officers, detectives and members of a gang unit.
TNT picked up “Southland” after the series was dropped by NBC. Prior to the launch of its second season, TNT presented an encore of the seven-episode first season beginning in January 2010, followed by a premiere run of the six-episode second season beginning in March 2010.
In other TNT-related news, one of my favorites, “The Closer,” returns Dec. 6. More on that in a future column.
If you have a TV-related question, e-mail me at email@example.com.
Famous film reviewer Gene Shalit and his giant mustache are leaving the “Today” show after 40 years to “pursue other activities.”
Tim Allen, the former star of successful ABC comedy “Home Improvement,” is in discussions to star in a new comedy series for ABC called “Man Up.”
Nancy O’Dell of “Access Hollywood,” fame has been named Mary Hart’s heir apparent on “Entertainment Tonight.” “The Insider’s” Lara Spencer had earlier been mentioned as a possible replacement.
Who will be the next “Spartacus?” Starz has narrowed the field to three actors: Stephen Amell, Aiden Turner and Liam McIntyre. One of the three newcomers will most likely replace Andy Whitfield, who dropped out in September because of a recurrence of cancer. Turner is the most familiar to U.S. audiences. He was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars” and was on “All My Children.”
Speaking of soaps, the only remaining daytime soap opera on NBC found out recently that it has at least two more years of plot twists ahead of it. In this uncertain time for soaps, “Days of Our Lives” had hoped at least a one year renewal. “Days” will continue through September 2013, with an option for an additional year if the show remains popular.
Another series enters our canceled list for 2010. “Undercovers,” about a pair of gorgeous agents who also happen to be married, had sparked a bidding war among the networks when J.J. Abrams had pitched the idea. But the drama never caught on with viewers, and the program hit a new last week when only 5.8 million viewers tuned in for its Wednesday at 8 p.m. airing.
NBC said it’s likely to broadcast the program’s six remaining episodes.
Steve O of “Jackass” fame is performing on Marco Island this weekend. Visit www.captbriens.com for ticket info.
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist with a secret life as a couch potato. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org