The Week In TV: Hope for Haiti (and Coco)
• So, I'm pretty sure we all watched Conan O'Brien's last episode as host of The Tonight Show. Nielsen ratings showed that his Friday episode drew a 4.8 rating in adults 18-49, much higher than usual; even as the controversial shuffling began a couple weeks ago, the brouhaha brought the show ratings in the 1.7-1.9 range. It was a sweet, funny, poignant, but ultimately energetic finish to a show that was more critically than culturally adored. And of course, it galvanized the youth movement against the returning Jay Leno (dig the art up top courtesy of Twitter user @studionashvegas). I'll have more to say in a separate blog post on the debacle, but for now, I'll leave it at this: I'm with Coco, and always will be.
• The Hope for Haiti Telethon aired Friday, which is indicative of everything you need to know about the level of commitment networks are willing to make to charity. After all, when's the last time Friday was a viable night in the ratings war? Miami Vice? There's no way that George Clooney, who spearheaded the telethon, could have gotten all the networks that aired it to give up anything other than a Friday. Regardless of that sad fact, the telethon was a success: It's raised close to $60 million so far, which doesn't even count the iTunes downloads of musical performances from the show. That's amazing, and a record for money raised by a telethon for natural disaster relief. If you want to donate, click here.
• The departure of The Jay Leno Show has made some room on NBC's schedule, so in order to fill the gaps and be able to move stuff around, they've ordered more episodes of certain series. Some are shows you don't watch anyway (Trauma is still on?), but the good news is they're adding three eps of Community and two of Parks and Recreation. Those are two great, solid comedies, and part of the only good thing NBC now has, its Thursday comedy block, so I'm happy we'll get longer seasons. If you've been missing either one, jump in now and catch up. You'll thank me. A lot.
• Man, did you see 24? Could you believe that terrorist plot? What about that thing with Jack's family? What do you think he'll do?! ... Okay, so I don't watch 24. But I can at least fake my way through a conversation about it.
• I'm so sick of Bravo I could vomit. I DVR the two-hour block of The West Wing reruns that air every morning just as something fun to watch if there's nothing else on, and I pay a price for it: commercials. Even with my trigger-thumbs on the mute and fast-forward buttons, I still wind up hearing and seeing fragments of ads for atrocious, abhorrent reality shows starring garbage people. Kell on Earth? Did the world need another fashion show about self-obsessed people being awful to each other? And the cooking shows, and the spoiled, leathery wives of millionaires who drink and swagger and are just rotten examples of humanity. And the snotty guy who narrates the ads, with his voice manipulated at first like it's a tinny AM station that then flips to full stereo. It's all bad. All of it. And I own the West Wing DVDs, so really, what the hell am I doing? I need to strike this channel and its memory from my life.
• The video porn arm of Hustler, perhaps out of sheer boredom, has given the green light to new porn "parodies" of Glee, Curb Your Enthusiasm, I Dream of Jeannie, The Hills, and in what is somehow the weirdest choice, E!'s The Soup. I can do nothing to this news to make it funnier or sadder, so write your own jokes/obituaries for our society.
• Looking ahead to this week, the nets are in full swing with new eps, the State of the Union airs Wednesday, and the series finale of Dollhouse airs Friday night. In other words, it's a pretty solid week.
• I'll leave you with this disappointing news: Jay Leno has been tapped to host the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in May. The whole thing's a weird schmooze-fest and kind of pointless, so I guess that makes Leno the perfect guy for the job. But no one will ever measure up to Stephen Colbert, who hosted in 2006 and used his time to blast the news media and George W. Bush, who was understandably upset when it was explained to him later that the jokes had been at his expense. For those who never saw it or those who are happy to kill a few minutes at work watching it again, here it is: