The Week In TV: Jay Leno's Flag Pin And, For Some Ungodly Reason, An Animated Joe Dirt
• So, Jay Leno went on Oprah's show last week to talk about his side of the whole late-night debacle. (Out of every weird thing about the interview, tops was the American flag pin on Jay's lapel. Pick your psychological reasoning: He's always behind the curve, so it might as well be 2002 for him; his demo is the same old white guy who watches Fox News; he wants to seem real and folksy but has no idea how to do it aside from grabbing randomly at pop iconography; etc., etc.) It was basically an opportunity for Jay to play the part of bewildered victim. He also talked about being verbally slaughtered by Jimmy Kimmel, and Kimmel offered a follow-up that kept on punching. The best is when he writes off Jay as someone who "used to be a comedian." Check it, and this one, too:
• Dollhouse ended Friday night. Although I lost interest around the sixth or seventh episode of the first season, I'm told by fans that that's when the show started to get good. On one hand, they've probably got a point: Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn't find its stride until its second year, so it's not like Joss Whedon's known for nailing it right out of the gate. (Except for, well, Firefly.) Then again, no one's ever pretended that Eliza Dushku can act, and it's hard to love a show or get others to love it if you have to issue the caveat that it's more about what's happening and less about the way it happens. Did anybody out there keep up with the show and watch the finale?
• Jersey Shore is coming back for a second season because are you kidding America. MTV is expected to start shooting soon so they can drop a dozen new episodes on an undeserving populace by the end of summer.
• ManCrunch, a dating site for gay men, had its potential Super Bowl ad rejected by CBS, who said the ad was "not within the Network's Broadcast Standards for Super Bowl Sunday." We can spend time later unpacking the weird sexual standards of American broadcasters who want you to watch cheerleaders' spandex-wrapped breasts bounce in high-definition while toned men chase each other back and forth. The point here is that there is just no way ManCrunch actually expected their ad to get accepted, so they figured they could get some free press out of its rejection. They still get their name out there, the ad still gets played, and they don't have to spend $3 million for a 30-second spot.
• Speaking of the Super Bowl: It's this Sunday, I have just remembered/been told by the Internet. The Who are playing at halftime, which will probably go over well with the CBS viewers who vaguely remember the band's LPs but are now more familiar with them thanks to the opening credits of CSI. So tune in, if that's your thing.
• Ugly Betty has been cancelled. I don't even think I know anyone who knows anyone who watches that show.
• Remember Joe Dirt? Of course you do. David Spade's 2001 comedy taught us all how to laugh and how to love. Well, the prayers I know we've all offered have been answered: TBS is developing an animated pilot based on the movie. At the very least, the network's "Very Funny" tagline is going to be called into serious doubt.
• Speaking of unfunny things and, more broadly, networks with no sense of direction: the History Channel has ordered a series starring Larry the Cable Guy. Finally! The working title is Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy, and it will apparently "celebrate the American experience" by having Mr. the Cable Guy travel the country and talk about different jobs and lifestyles. No word yet if one of those jobs will be "derivative redneck humor that appeals to the lowest echelon of those with high school diplomas or an equivalent," but we'll see.
• Finally, Lost returns for its final season tomorrow night. For those who just can't wait, the first couple minutes "leaked" online last week. (I say "leaked" because the footage was distributed by ABC as a prize in a fan sweepstakes, so really it's just an attempt to build viral buzz ahead of the premiere, but I know you know that.) Anyway, I haven't watched the clip, which is apparently a couple minutes of last season's finale with a couple minutes of new footage after. I'm waiting for tomorrow, when I can sit and watch the whole two hours in a row, but for those who just absolutely can't hold out, here it is: