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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: The NBC/Leno/Conan 'Brokeback Mountain' Love Triangle; NBC Winter Oly Effups; Bourdain is Back!

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We're so happy that "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" is back tonight @ 10pm on the Travel Channel! We will be watching the 11pm rerun after "Men of a Certain Age" on TNT at 10pm

We're so happy that "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" is back tonight @ 10pm on the Travel Channel! We will be watching the 11pm rerun after "Men of a Certain Age" on TNT at 10pm
We've been writing about the shitstorm that is now late night television at NBC for over a year now and it give us little pleasure to say "I told you so". We pointed out NBC's lack of commitment to Conan by still keeping Leno as a "safety" at 10pm, a move that has cost the network millions of dollars and viewers. The proposed schedule of 1/2 hr of Leno followed by Conan's "Tomorrow Show", then Jimmy Fallon at 1am is ridiculous. What is this power that Leno has over NBC?It's like some kind of mutant version of Brokeback Mountain with NBC as Jack Twist telling Leno, "You are too much for me Jay, you sonofawhoreson bitch! I wish I knew how to quit you" but the only person getting it in the can as a result is Conan, oh, and the public. As we've been telling friends, the silver lining on these clouds is that NBC is already greenlighting pilots to fill the 10pm slot. There's always the possibility that some good programming will result.

Would we watch Conan on FOX? Heck yeah but for all the folks on Twitter who are vowing to "boycott" NBC if Conan gets pushed to 12:05am or jets to another network are out of their gourds as NBC Comedy Thursday is the only thing to watch that night of the week, honestly.

We thought Jerry Seinfeld's comments about Conan having "nothing to complain about" were scurrilous (what if you got that kind of treatment Jerry?) and that comedian Patton Oswalt's were right on (listen to the entire, very funny, Oswalt interview at the end of this post)
Another NBC Gaffe: "Ebersol: NBC expects to lose money on Olympics". Fact: The Winter Olympics are a month away, but go to and the word "Olympics" isn't even on that page yet there's nothing else there that required anywhere near the $800+ million for broadcast rights. It takes 3 clicks to get from to a page that has the word "Olympics" on it. What form of telepathy do you expect the public to have in order to know that they are supposed to go to your Universal Sports website for winter sports coverage?

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Of course, at the NBC Sports page, the Olympics are listed after the NFL, the NBA, college football, and baseball. Get your act together NBC, put some frickin' links up to your biggest investment of the year and start hyping it. Little bits of Shaun White and Apolo Ohno do not cut the mustard. Start telling people about what's going on in the World Cup events, start showing programming of the athletes and their sports now, not the weekend before the Olympics begin. Get people to buy into it sooner. We look at your schedule and we see a lot of repeated material that has low viewership. Most of the US Olympic team is selected: Who are they? What are their events? How does the US rank? What are the stories?

We hear about NBA criminals and baseball lotharios year-round, let's put some human beings on TV for a change.

Unfortunately, NBC is already telegraphing who they want to make a "star": this time around it's Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn. Get ready to endure endless segments of soft-focus, Jim McCay-ified fluff pieces on her in lieu of actual coverage of events in prime time. There are many more stories than Lindsey Vonn's, and a lot of them are probably more interesting.
On the lighter side: CBS launches $5000 contest for the best impersonation of David Caruso's Horatio Caine. Our question is: how different is that from an impersonation of David Caruso?
The TV Junkie Plan: "Chuck", "Fringe", "Men of a Certain Age" (#MOACA), "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" (the 11pm repeat), Conan (Gary Oldman), Ferguson (Mila Kunis).

8:00pm Chuck NBC - Chuck must protect a visiting dictator from an assassination threat; Awesome is excited about the idea of being a spy.

8:00pm House FOX - A drug dealer mysteriously collapses during a sale; House and Wilson compete for a new neighbor's affection

9:00pm How I Met Your Mother CBS - 100th Episode

9:00pm Heroes NBC - H.R.G. exposes Samuel's biggest weakness in an attempt to take him down; Ando and Hiro try to save Dr. Suresh.

9:00pm Fringe FOX - After a teenage girl is pronounced brain dead she mysteriously reawakens, seemingly with the mind of a high-ranking Russian soldier.

9:00pm American Masters - Sam Cooke: Crossing Over Singer PBS/KCET - Sam Cooke brings the spirit of the black church to popular music, becoming the first black artist to reach number one

9:00pm The Libertine IFC - (2005) In 17th-century England John Wilmot (Johnny Depp), the Earl of Rochester, indulges in a life of debauchery and grooms an actress (Samantha Morton) for stardom

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9:30pm The Big Bang Theory CBS - Sheldon and Koothrappali attend a university mixer; Leonard discovers that Penny believes in psychics.

10:00pm Men of a Certain Age TNT - Joe recounts his first date in 20 years which included a black eye, an embarrassing encounter, advice from Terry, an anxious Little Leaguer and a poorly placed lamp.

10:00pm The Jay Leno Show NBC - Comic Bill Cosby; TV personality Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.

10:00pm Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Travel - Season Premiere. Panama

10:00pm Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Food - Season Premiere

10:00pm Fantasia for Real VH1 - Series Premiere

10:00pm Pepa VH1 - Series Premiere

11:00pm Lopez Tonight TBS - Actor Jackie Chan; interview and performance by Ke$ha.

11:30pm The Colbert Report Comedy Central - Morgan Freeman guests

11:35pm Late Show With David Letterman CBS - Actress Jennifer Connelly; TV personality Paul Teutul Sr.; Ryan Bingham performs.

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien NBC - Actor Gary Oldman; actor Dax Shepard; Vampire Weekend performs.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Actress Mila Kunis; Nellie McKay performs.

12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal; professional baseball player David Ortiz; actor Lenny Clarke.