TV Rants & Raves: Bernie and the “Beanstalk”

The good, bad and the ugly on the tube this past week:


Mac attack

Without question, Bernie Mac‘s the real deal. Not only is his FOX sitcom doing well in the ratings–last week attracting 12 million viewers in the key 18-49 demographic–but his recent stint as host of the Billboard Music Awards was nothing short of hilarious. Of course, his usual brand of comedy had to be toned down (he replaced profane words with “doggone,” which seemingly he said several thousand times), but Mac pulled off an impressive performance nonetheless. You’d better get used to him: he’s not going away any time soon.


One super soap

673. Sounds like a fairly arbitrary number. Sounds like. For execs at CBS, it’s the number of consecutive weeks that The Young and the Restless has been the most watched soap in daytime TV. I’m no statistician, but something tells me that’s good.


Jilting “Jack”

Hey, it can’t all be praise for the Eye Network this week. While CBS‘ presentation of the two-part TV movie Jim Henson’s Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story scored high marks in the Nielsens (attracting 13.4 million viewers), the special was, well, not special.

Taking cheesiness to a high art, Jack willingly offered up some of the worst dialogue in recent memory. Admittedly, the combination of medieval and modern elements was mildly interesting–I have no problem saying that. I also have no problem saying that a four-hour movie based on a kids’ storybook, which takes itself as seriously as Braveheart, is ridiculous.


ABC on the rebound?

Lately, ABC has taken some hard knocks ratings-wise. It’s almost getting too tiresome to write about. But now, there’s no need, as ABC‘s making a strong comeback this season, finishing up number two for the week. On Tuesday night alone ABC pulled off a surprising victory, finishing in first place as viewers decided to check in on what’s happening on Dharma & Greg, Spin City, NYPD Blue and newcomer Philly. Sunday night’s remake of Brian’s Song also drew big numbers.

For a network that just cancelled Thieves and is threatening to fire Regis from Millionaire, it’s a shock that there’s still some life left in ABC. And this past week, new signs of strength were evident. Execs at the Alphabet Network are currently attempting to partially steal NBA coverage away from NBC, and the ABC public relations juggernaut is already touting its 2002 six-part miniseries Dinotopia–about a world where dinosaurs and humans peacefully coexist–as the Star Wars of TV events.