TV sigh

Paul Reiser's fired, Robin Meade's hot, Katie Couric's no Oprah and bring on Dearborn housewives!

May 4, 2011 at 12:00 am
Robin Meade: Not Walter Cronkite.
Robin Meade: Not Walter Cronkite.

Peter King, the indefatigable pro football reporter for NBC and Sports Illustrated, writes a weekly column for SI during football season called "Things I Think I Think." It's a wonderful title, and I wish I'd thought of it.

But with all the lockout-lawsuit-union decertification nonsense going on in the NFL these days, no one can say for certain when or if we'll see our national sports religion again anytime soon. So, with respect and apologies to Mr. King, I'm stealing his column concept this week and applying it to the equally wacky world of television.

• I think the NBC execs who green-lighted the return of Paul Reiser to prime time should be looking for swords to fall on about now. The Paul Reiser Show, which I actually kind of felt bad about skewering in a review here last month, was canceled after only two episodes that pulled the lowest ratings of any new series in the network's history. (And that's saying something.) I screened four episodes, which means I spent an hour of my life watching shows most of America will never see. Lucky me.

• I think Robin Meade, anchor for Morning Express on HLN is the most stunningly beautiful woman to read news on any network. Ever. It's astonishing to me that anyone — especially men — can actually hear and understand the words that are coming out of her mouth.

• Speaking of news, I think Katie Couric will regret her decision to leave the CBS Evening News sooner rather than later. She says she's leaving to focus on "more multi-dimensional storytelling." Interpretation: She's positioning herself to fill the void Oprah Winfrey will leave in daytime when she retires her show this month. I'm sure Jane Pauley felt she could make a difference in syndicated talk too with The Jane Pauley Show. You don't remember Pauley's series? My point exactly. Wendy Williams worked, Tony Danza didn't. Who knows what the TV masses will flock to? But there will never be another Oprah.

• I think WDIV weather yoda Chuck Gaidica is far too good-looking a man to bury his face in those salt-and-pepper whiskers. Chuck, buddy, one word of advice: Barbasol.

• I think America reached its Tyler Perry TV saturation point with Meet the Browns. (Honestly, I thought we'd reached our fill with House of Payne, but Meet the Browns came on anyway.) Nevertheless, TBS has given the go-ahead to a third Perry sitcom, For Better or Worse, based on his Why Did I Get Married? movie franchise. Michael Jai White and Tasha Smith will head the cast, continuing their roles from the film series. Production begins in Atlanta this summer. Oooh, can't wait.

• I think the good news is that For Better or Worse is essentially replacing House of Payne, which will end its loooonng 222-episode run this year.

• I think HBO's new Game of Thrones (9 p.m. Sundays) is reason enough to subscribe to the cable network if you don't already. An amazingly faithful rendering of George R.R. Martin's dense medieval novels, it has the sweeping feel of the Lord of the Rings film spectacle in a weekly series. Phenomenal.

• I think The Voice is gimmicky and about five years too late, but last week's premiere (9 p.m. Tuesdays) beat both Glee and the Dancing With the Stars results show in the ratings, so what do I know? Tremendous job of marketing by NBC. And the opening number of Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton combining on Cee Lo's hit "Crazy" is something I'll remember a long time. Simply breathtaking.

• I think I sometimes chuckle to myself about how wrong my first impression was of Mary McCormack and In Plain Sight. Initially I thought she was as irritating as sandpaper underwear; now I think that she, along with Julianna Margulies of The Good Wife, owns the best female-led drama on television. I was positively giddy to watch the fourth season debut last Sunday (10 p.m., USA).

• I think I was equally giddy, maybe even giddier, for the return of Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe to Law & Order: Criminal Intent in the roles of Robert Goren and Alex Eames for the show's final eight episodes (9 p.m. Sundays, USA). Last Sunday's season premiere, however, seemed oddly disappointing. The originals are almost always best, but perhaps both actors and audience need a little time to get comfortable with each other again. Or maybe the explanation of how Goren returned to the NYPD after being fired seemed a little clunky. At any rate, I'll be really disappointed if producers don't resurrect Nicole Wallace (Olivia D'Abo) from the dead to match wits with Bobby Goren one last time before the series ends for good.

• I think NeNe Leakes has gone from budding TV star to household name through her bold-as-brass performance on Celebrity Apprentice (9 p.m. Sundays, NBC). She'll parlay this into her own series, wait and see.

• I think there should be a Real Housewives of Dearborn. A true melting pot of conflict! There's a show I'd go out of my way to see!