The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on September 24, 2003 · Page 79
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 79

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Page 79
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ET_E_12_E12_LA_1_09-24-03_we_1_CMYK 2003:09:23:15:06:46 E12 WEDNESDAY,SEPTEMBER24,2003 CALENDAR LOSANGELESTIMES TELEVISION & RADIO Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Sept. 15-21) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates there are 272.04 million potential viewers in the U.S. age 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions. Program Network View- ersProgram Network Viewers 1 Survivor: Pearl Islands CBS21.50 2 Monday Night FootballABC18.33 3 Emmy Awards FOX17.94 4 NFL Monday Showcase ABC14.46 5 Everybody Loves Raymond CBS14.37 --------------------------------------------6 CSICBS14.08 7 “A Life of Laughter: John Ritter” ABC13.95 8 FriendsNBC12.92 9 Law & OrderNBC12.25 10 CSI: MiamiCBS11.65 --------------------------------------------11 Will & GraceNBC11.64 12 WhoopiNBC11.30 13 20/20 (Fri.)ABC11.04 14 Big Brother 4 (Wed.)CBS10.99 15 60 MinutesCBS10.98 --------------------------------------------16 NFL Football CBS10.74 17 48 Hours Investigates (Wed.) CBS10.55 18 “Miss America”ABC10.27 19 60 Minutes IICBS10.11 The West WingNBC10.11 --------------------------------------------21 Primetime ThursdayABC10.08 22 CSI (10 p.m.)CBS10.04 23 Happy FamilyNBC9.97 Big Brother 4 (Tue.)CBS9.97 25 Law & Order: SVU (Tue.)NBC9.76 --------------------------------------------26 NFL Today CBS9.69 27 Law & Order: Criminal Intent (10 p.m.) NBC9.65 28 According to JimABC9.61 29 CupidCBS9.53 30 My Wife and KidsABC9.46 --------------------------------------------31 “Countdown to Emmys” (7:50 p.m.) FOX9.41 32 Law & Order: Criminal Intent NBC9.36 33 George Lopez (9 p.m.)ABC9.29 34 The O.C.FOX8.77 35 Fear FactorNBC8.71 --------------------------------------------36 Extreme Makeover (Thu.)ABC8.50 37 Dateline: NBC (Fri.)NBC8.49 FrasierNBC8.49 39 America’s Funniest Home Videos ABC8.44 40 George Lopez (9:30 p.m.)ABC8.34 --------------------------------------------41 Still StandingCBS8.25 42 7th HeavenWB8.08 43 ERNBC7.75 44 Primetime MondayABC7.71 45 Yes, DearCBS7.68 --------------------------------------------46 America’s Most WantedFOX7.66 47 Threat MatrixABC7.58 48 Judging AmyCBS7.12 49 Big Brother (Fri.)CBS7.05 50 Dateline: NBC (Sun.)NBC6.94 --------------------------------------------51 Without a Trace (Sun.)CBS6.85 52 Survivor: Pearl Islands Encore (9:30 p.m.) CBS6.78 53 Paradise Hotel (Wed.)FOX6.73 54 JAGCBS6.62 55 NYPD BlueABC6.41 --------------------------------------------56 Paradise Hotel (Mon.)FOX6.28 Cops (8:30 p.m.)FOX6.28 58 EdNBC6.20 Law & Order (Sat.)NBC6.20 60 “ABC Bloopers”ABC6.13 --------------------------------------------61 America’s Funniest Home Videos (Sun.) ABC6.12 62 Whoopi (Sat., 8:30 p.m.)NBC6.00 63 The DistrictCBS5.97 64 EverwoodWB5.93 65 Good Morning MiamiNBC5.75 --------------------------------------------66 The SimpsonsFOX5.63 67 “Countdown to Emmys” (7:30 p.m.) FOX5.54 68 That ’70s ShowFOX5.50 69 Third WatchNBC5.48 70 CopsFOX5.46 --------------------------------------------71 Threat Matrix (Sun.)ABC5.45 72 Happy FamilyNBC5.43 73 Happy Family (9:30 p.m.)NBC5.42 74 Boston PublicFOX5.34 75 Whoopi (Sat., 8 p.m.)NBC5.28 --------------------------------------------76 “Save the Last Dance”WB5.26 77 WWE Smackdown!UPN5.19 78 HackCBS5.15 79 48 Hours Investigates (Sat.) CBS5.13 80 BoomtownNBC4.72 --------------------------------------------81 All of UsUPN4.67 82 “Lethal Weapon”ABC4.61 83 Third WatchNBC4.60 84 American DreamsNBC4.47 Temptation Island 3FOX4.47 --------------------------------------------86 Wanda at LargeFOX4.36 87 The O.C. (Mon.)FOX4.32 88 EnterpriseUPN4.29 89 “Countdown to Emmys” (7 p.m.) FOX4.21 90 Performing As ...FOX4.19 --------------------------------------------91 RebaWB4.18 92 LuisFOX4.17 93 GirlfriendsUPN4.16 94 That ’70s Show (Thu., 8:30 p.m.) FOX4.11 95 EveUPN4.02 --------------------------------------------Half and HalfUPN4.02 97 That ’70s Show (8 p.m.)FOX3.84 98 Like FamilyWB3.81 99 The ParkersUPN3.69 100 One on OneUPN3.46 --------------------------------------------101 Grounded for LifeWB3.30 102 Smallville (9 p.m.)WB3.22 Steve Harvey’s Big TimeWB3.22 104 All About AndersonsWB3.18 105 Jamie KennedyWB3.08 --------------------------------------------106 Jake 2.0UPN2.90 107 SmallvilleWB2.88 108 Rock Me BabyUPN2.81 109 Gilmore GirlsWB2.78 110 Run of the HouseWB2.70 --------------------------------------------111 What I Like About YouWB2.56 112 Gilmore Girls (9 p.m.)WB2.47 Network averages Here is the number of viewers (in millions) that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season. Network Last week Season to date CBS10.0011.13 -------------------------------------------- ABC9.388.79 -------------------------------------------- NBC8.0310.38 -------------------------------------------- FOX7.918.67 -------------------------------------------- WB3.903.61 -------------------------------------------- UPN3.583.32 The Early Show Kevin James; fall foliage. 7 a.m. KCBS Today Ben Stiller; Seann William Scott; author Diana Kennedy (“From My Mexican Kitchen”). 7 a.m. KNBC KTLA Morning News Los Angeles County Food Fair. 7 a.m. KTLA Good Morning America First lady Laura Bush; Luciano Pavarotti; Bob Guiney (“The Bachelor”). 7 a.m. KABC Living It Up! With Ali & Jack Sarah Ferguson; Marilu Henner. 9 a.m. KCBS Good Day Live Carmen Electra; Dave Matthews. 9 a.m. KTTV The Ellen DeGeneres Show Allison Janney; Donnie Wahlberg. 3 p.m. KNBC Gubernatorial Debate From Sacramento. 6p.m. KABC, KCOP, KCET, FNC Charlie Rose German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. 11:30 p.m. KCET Late Show With David Letterman The Rock; Lynne Cheney. 11:35 p.m. KCBS The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Rob Lowe; Michelle Branch. 11:35 p.m. KNBC The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn Marg Helgenberger; Jason Gedrick; comic Alexandra McHale. 12:35 a.m. KCBS Late Night With Conan O’Brien Whoopi Goldberg; Rosario Dawson. 12:35 a.m. KNBC Listings include talk shows that provide aguest list. Today’s Talk Shows Where: CBS When: Wednesdays, 10p.m.; premieres tonight Rating: The network has rated the series TV-14-L,V (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 14, with advisories for coarse language and violence). Randy Quaid .......................Hank Shaw John Carroll Lynch .........Garrett Shaw Chris Penn .......................Waylon Shaw Mare Winningham ............Dottie Shaw Elizabeth McGovern .........Helen Shaw Ann Cusack ..........................Julie Shaw Angela Goethals .................Katie Shaw Creator-writerDavid E. Kelley. Executive producersKelley and Michael Pressman. Director Pressman. ‘The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire’ SERIES Searching for Saddam: Dan Rather accompanies American troops in Iraq searching for Saddam Hussein on “60 Minutes II” (8 p.m. CBS). Homage: Finalists emulate their favorite music superstars onstage competing for the $200,000 grand prize on the finale of “Performing As ...” (8 p.m. Fox). Back from extinction: Archer, Reed and Hoshi (Scott Bakula, Dominic Keating, Linda Park) are exposed to a virus that transforms their bodies and minds into those of long-extinct aliens on “Enterprise” (8 p.m. UPN). Searchers: The acting president (John Goodman) considers launching a preemptive military strike as the search continues for President Bartlett’s (Martin Sheen) daughter on the season premiere of “The West Wing” (9 p.m. NBC). Super waiter: Jake is sent undercover to an Embassy party — posing as a waiter — to support agent Duarte’s mission to recover stolen documents on “Jake 2.0” (9 p.m. UPN). Serial killer: The investigation of the rape and murder of a teenage girl leads the detectives to uncover more killings on “Law &Order” (10 p.m. NBC). SPECIALS Changes: Actress Hilary Duff celebrates her 16th birthday on the Hawaiian island of Kauai and performs songs from her CD, “Metamorphosis,” on “Hilary Duff’s Island Birthday Bash” (8 p.m. WB). Overlooked: “Matters of Race” (9 p.m. KCET) takes a contemporary look at American Indians and Native Hawaiians, two communities often overlooked in America’s race dialogue. Spirituality: The need people feel for spiritual connection and belonging is explored in “The Sacred Balance” (8 p.m. KCET). MOVIES Rags to riches: James Mason stars as a fading Hollywood star who drinks away his life as the singing career of his wife (Judy Garland) takes off in the 1954 drama “A Star Is Born” (5 p.m. TCM). SPORTS Baseball: The Angels play host to the Seattle Mariners (7 p.m. FSN) and the Dodgers visit the San Diego Padres (7 p.m. FSN2). Today’s Highlights TIPS FOR TODAY 10 a.m.-noon—Larry Mantle’s Airtalk: “Recall Update” (10-10:30 a.m.); “Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003” (10:30-11 a.m.), KPCC-FM (89.3). 6-7:30 p.m.—California Gubernatorial Candidates Debate, broadcast live, KABC (790), KNX (1070), KCRW-FM (89.9), KPCC-FM (89.3). CLASSICAL 6-10 a.m.—Mornings With Rich Capparela, KMZT-FM (105.1). 10-11 a.m.—Morning Symphony: Haydn (Cello Concerto in C, cellist Heinrich Schiff, Academy of St. Martin-in-the- Fields), KCSN-FM (88.5). 11 a.m.-1 p.m.—Performance Today, KCSN-FM (88.5). Noon-12:30 p.m.—Masterpiece of the Day, KMZT-FM (105.1). 7-8 p.m.—Music From CS Northridge, KCSN-FM (88.5). 7 p.m.-midnight—Jim Svejda: Bach (“Goldberg Variations,” pianist Glenn Gould) (9:15-9:55 p.m.), KUSC-FM (91.5). 8-10 p.m.—Evening Concert, KMZT- FM (105.1). 8 p.m.-midnight—Opera House, KCSN-FM (88.5). SPORTS 7-10 p.m.—Baseball: Dodgers at San Diego Padres, KFWB (980), KWKW (1330). 1-4 p.m.—Baseball: Seattle Mariners at Angels, KSPN (710). 10-11 p.m.—Sports Wrap, KPLS (830). Radio CBS is starting the new fall season in winning form, with its new edition of “Survivor” attracting more than 21.5 million viewers to become the top-rated series last week, according to national Nielsen ratings released Tuesday. The first installment of “Survivor: Pearl Islands” stomped on ABC’s new drama, “Threat Matrix,” which made an unimpressive debut with more than 7.5 million viewers. Fox’s “The O.C.” wrapped up its successful run of episodes before leaving the air until the baseball playoffs conclude, and will return with new episodes in October. But the network had bad news with a dismal showing for its Friday night comedy lineup pairing the returning “Wanda at Large” with the new “Luis.” NBC’s Tuesday night comedies “Whoopi” and “Happy Family” continued to show promise, although they were both beaten by ABC’s special tribute to John Ritter, the star of the network’s “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,” who died suddenly Sept. 11. Meanwhile, Monday’s debut of NBC’s “Las Vegas” scored more than 12.6 million viewers, providing competition for CBS’ hit “CSI: Miami,” which pulled in 17.2 million viewers in its season opener. The premiere of “All of Us,” the new comedy from Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, did well for UPN, and the premiere of “Like Family” on the WB benefited from its strong “Reba” lead-in on Friday. —Greg Braxton CBS’ ‘Survivor’ is thriving By Scott Sandell Times Staff Writer Kids do the darndest things —like having kids of their own. Though that’s nothing new, perhaps it’s a sign of the times when a teenage, out-of-wedlock pregnancy can be sitcom fodder without a heavy dose of sappiness creeping into the mix. Yet that’s what ABC’s “My Wife and Kids” pulls off as it begins its fourth season tonight at 8with back-to-back episodes. Just as the heads of the Kyle household (Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell-Martin) are ready to see their son Junior off to college, the news comes: Junior (George O. Gore II) and his girlfriend, Vanessa (Brooklyn Sudano), are having a baby. Rather than react with one of those “very special” moments that can turn otherwise crisp comedies into mushy drama, the Kyles express some righteous anger at their son. Indeed, he suffers a brutal pillow beating at the hands of his mom. After anger, though, comes acceptance of the fact that the hopelessly naive Junior will be a father in a matter of months. What to do? The answer, Wayans’ character concludes, is to turn the boy into a man by teaching him how to survive in the working world, toeing the thin line between tough love and cruelty. Naturally, the plan backfires in more ways than one. Besides sharp writing from Don Reo in the first half-hour and from Kevin Rooney in the second, “My Wife and Kids” benefits greatly from Wayans’ ability to go from stern paternal figure one moment to goofy husband the next. Whether he’s laying down the law or pretending to be Stevie Wonder at the keyboard, he’s always entertaining. As this season progresses, it will be interesting to see how the show deals with what will doubtless become an even messier situation. Will Junior and Vanessa have the baby and keep it? Will they survive as a couple? Will the title change to “My Wife and Kids: The Next Generation”? TUNED IN Will it turn into ‘My Wife and Grandkids’? Mitchell Haaseth FAMILY TALK: George O. Gore II, left, and Damon Wayans play son and father. Prime-Time TV Rankings Where: NBC When: Sundays, 10p.m.; premieres Sunday Rating: TV-14 (may not be suitable for children under the age of 14). Rob Lowe ............................Jack Turner Matt Craven .....................George Riley Kyle Chandler ...............Grant Rashton Frances Fisher ....................Brit Hanley Elizabeth Mitchell ..............Ariel Saxon James Pickens Jr. ..................Terrence Christianson Creator-writer Remi Aubuchon.Executive producers Aubuchon, Rob Lowe, Kevin Falls, Brad Grey, Bernie Brillstein and Dan Sackheim. Director Sackheim. ‘The Lyon’s Den’ By Robert Lloyd Times Staff Writer Since it illuminates a problem common to almost all new TV series, it’s worth noting that the first episode of David E. Kelly’s “The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire,” premiering tonight on CBS, is actually a slightly retooled version of what was originally intended to be the second episode: The pilot has been scrapped as contrary to the series’ unfolding direction. Indeed, given television’s special serial form, in which situations and relationships are refined over time as writers and actors come to better know the characters — and one another — all series should probably begin with the second episode, or even (though Iunderstand this is unlikely) with the second season. Certainly it made some sense here to skip ahead: The abandoned pilot — which began with Randy Quaid, as police chief Hank Shaw, punching the town millionaire and ended with him hospitalizing the high school teacher who was sleeping with his niece — exists in almost a different universe than what airs tonight. (Those story lines have gone, along with the pilot’s real snow.) And by beginning, as it were, in the midst of things, the show now hits the ground running — though whether it’s running toward anywhere worthwhile remains to be seen. At present it seems like a great waste of acting talent. The doughy Shaw brothers — Quaid, John Carroll Lynch as mayor Garrettand Chris Penn as unemployed Waylon — are a fairly miserable trio, though it is hard to see why, given that they are married to, respectively, MareWinningham, Elizabeth McGovern and Ann Cusack. Iam all for giving air time to the middle-aged and miserable, the fat and/or bald, if only to strike a blow against the tyranny of the young, beautiful and smug that Kelly himself, on such shows as “Ally McBeal” and “The Practice,” has done much to perpetuate. But bad company is bad company. Hank’s marriage has gone stale, perhaps because he’s a cynic and a sourpuss; he watches Katie Couric for comfort. Garrett, who apparently has been mayor all his adult life, is being blackmailed by an old mistress. Brother Waylon is out of work and has duct-taped his buttocks into a more “muscular” configuration to project confidence to prospective employers. (Waylon is the most likable of the three — and we are, I think, supposed to like them — but all are whiners.) And together they must face the fact that “for the first time in a long time, we are perceived as vulnerable in this town.” It is hard to imagine them being perceived otherwise — or even being perceived. That’s in part because, despite establishing shots filmed in the real New Hampshire hamlet of Plymouth (pop. 6,526), the show creates neither a believable place nor community. It’s claimed, for instance, that “the town’s going dead,” but there’s no demonstration of the claim, nothing to make you feel the “there” there. In fact, the Shaws and their kin seem to have the townalmost entirely to themselves. No wonder they’ve run it for so long. Realism is not Kelly’s strong suit, in any case. He excels at what might be called ethical melodrama; his best shows dress ideas in sexy clothes, refract the real world without really belonging to it. “The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire,” with its “regular folks” bathed in the warm colors standard for domestic TV drama and riddled with now- feel-this musical cues, is more conventional Kelly than usual — adenatured cousin to his previous small-town series, “Picket Fences.” But apart from a few good oddball moments, it’s a dreary reality created here, and when not dreary, unpleasant: For this is at bottom a story of large little men afraid of losing their perks and privileges. Of the women, only Winningham, whose fear that she will “shrivel up” has prompted her to buy the town’s shuttered movie house, has yet had much to do; McGovern and Cusack serve mainly by acting concerned. There are some kids, too, for demographic reach. As Waylon’s daughter, Angela Goethals is sympathetic. As Garrett’s son, Jeff D’Agostino is acting out cosmetically (dyed hair, eyebrow rings), while his sister (Megan Henning) is sneaky and clever and paints cartoons on her father’s bald head while he’s asleep. She is the one to watch. THE FALL TV SEASON O ‘Brother,’ what art thou? A new series from David E. Kelly boasts a wealth of acting talent but starts out failing to use it wisely. Ron P. Jaffe ALL IN THE FAMILY: Randy Quaid, left, Chris Penn and John Carroll Lynch in “Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire.” Watch.” Whether “The West Wing” will nosedive without Sorkin became as pressing a concern among the show’s fans as whether Zoey Bartlet would be found dead or alive. Judging by its first hour, “The West Wing” is still “The West Wing.” It is no more TV for multi- taskers than it ever was. C.J., Josh, Leo, Charlie, Donna and Toby are still the sharpest kids in town, and outsiders are doomed to serve as their straight men. The quick, mouthy guardians of democracy remain our fantasy politicians, well-meaning and ambitious for all the right reasons. Goodman is a terrific but temporary addition, and although there are fewer laughs in the season opener than in many past episodes, his runt of a dog provides a few. Needless to say, everyone’s on edge. Not only is Zoey missing, but it becomes clear that her kidnapping is an act of retaliation for a covert assassination Bartlet had hoped to keep secret. The West Wing regulars, Bartlet’s men and women all, should pay attention to the political ramifications of the crisis. But how can they? They’re the president’s friends. As in the past, the series excels at distilling the basic emotions within large events. At the end of the hour Bartlet attends a private mass with his wife, other daughters and grandchildren. He isn’t a world leader in the grip of geopolitical forces. He’s just the head of a family in pain. In “The Lyon’s Den” — which debuts Sunday on NBC, opposite ABC’s retooled “The Practice”— “West Wing” refugee Rob Lowe asks, “Are ethics and the law an oxymoron?” “The Practice” has always chewed on moral dilemmas, so that line could have been ripped from the legal drama’splaybook. Interesting questions demand clever answers, but “The Lyon’s Den” has none. Earnest, politically correct and, oh, so self-righteous, this legal and political melodrama might not make everyone yell at the TV set, but it had that effect on this viewer. Lowe is Jack Turner, the scion of a political dynasty and erstwhile editor in chief of the Yale Law Review. He’s dedicated to pro bono work at a legal clinic in Washington, D.C., but he’s not as far as he’d like to be from the establishment’s grasp. His mentor, the managing partner of Lyon, LaCrosseand Levine, jumps out his office window, and Turner is picked to replace him. When Turner resists, he’s tricked into taking the job, since the powerful firm controls the do-gooding clinic’s budget. That was one screaming-at- the-tube moment. Oh, sure. That’s how lawyers become heads of important firms: They’re coerced, then they perform their jobs against their will. Back in D.C., Turner is anointed because he’s above reproach, which makes him the opposite of the partners who long ago checked their principles in the firm’s wood-paneled waiting room. With Turner and his equally idealistic friend George (Matt Craven) as white knights, acoven of scheming baddies, including Frances Fisher, Kyle Chandler and James PickensJr., play the devil’s disciples. They’re cartoon evildoers, as rotten as Bullwinkle and Rocky’s nemesis, Boris Badinoff, and as silly. “The Lyon’s Den” clearly has ambitions that stretch from “All The President’s Men” to last year’s bestselling legal thriller “The Emperor of Ocean Park.” The pilot hints at a grand conspiracy that will unravel throughout the season and will ultimately reveal the truth about the suicidal attorney’s death. There are also upstairs, downstairs possibilities at the firm, where paralegals and power- brokers fraternize at their peril. If only the proceedings weren’t so bloated with pomposity. Researchers have established aconnection between beauty and perceived goodness. Even children, when shown photographs of attractive people, ascribe positive personal qualities to them. Perhaps that’s why good-looking villains can be so arresting — we don’t expect them to behave badly. Lowe, who has often borne the career- crippling cross of good looks, is too pretty to play the hero. And he obviously isn’t having any fun fighting for justice. He makes it through the entire pilot without cracking a smile. There would have been sweet revenge if Lowe’s new series successfully invaded the territory of “The West Wing.” But while “The Lyon’s Den” may share the Emmy winner’s geography, it doesn’t come anywhere near its quality. Strong opening for ‘West Wing’ Fox NEW ROLE: Rob Lowe, formerly of “West Wing,” stars in “The Lyon’s Den.” [ Fall Season, from Page E1 ]

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