Big Brother 17 ~ Thoughts Part 1

As an Australian, watching the American Big Brother format has taken some getting used to. For me Big Brother involved watching people sit around all day, and us voting out the boring ones. Oh and there could never be any talk of nominations. I start watching what I would now regard as the superior format of the show, and all of a sudden I’m learning all these new terms like Head of Household, getting backdoored, Power of Veto, and Battle of the Block. And everyone is also talking about Dan’s funeral which is funny because I though the French Survivor was the only reality tv show to have someone die while filming.

So I had some catching up to do. Over the past month or so I have been learning as I go along with the season (thankfully I didn’t start watching last year or I wouldn’t of learnt much) and hear are some of my thoughts.

First off I’m so glad the game is at where it is now. Can you imagine if James didn’t win HoH and if Shelli had sent home James or Jackie. The Sixth Sense alliance would still be strong and might of continued their power through to this week.



Pilots for the 2015-16 season that I would want to watch

The Broad Squad
Inspired by true stories, the project follows the first four women to graduate from Boston’s Police Academy in 1978. Bess Wohl will write and executive-produce with Stephanie Savage, Josh Schwartz, Len Goldstein and Aaron Kaplan.

When his sister is found dead during her freshman year at an elite Ivy League university, a young man adopts a new identity to infiltrate the school and its century-old secret society – consisting of privileged students, ambitious faculty, and high-profile alums – in order to investigate her death. Sallie Patrick will write and executive-produce.

A one-hour dramedy that explores the realities of modern-day families—multi-cultural, multi-generational, built through divorces, affairs and adoptions—set against the backdrop of a revered family restaurant at a crossroads. Jennifer Cecil will write and executive-produce with Le Train Train, Rashida Jones and Will McCormack.

Chev & Bev
A comedy starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as two baby boomers who are fun, relevant and living a selfish retirement when their world is turned upsisde down and they are suddenly left to raise their grandchildren. Brad Copeland will write and executive-produce with Aaron Kaplan.

Untitled Dan Savage project
Based on the life of boundary-pushing columnist Dan Savage, a picture perfect family is turned upside down when the youngest son comes out of the closet. What seems like the end of their idyllic life turns out to be the beginning of a bright new chapter when everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real. David Windsor and Casey Johnson will write and executive-produce with Savage, Brian Pines and Dan McDermott.


My White/Blue/No collar Survivor cast


As do many other Survivor fans, I enjoy making together my own all star cast lists. With the up coming season having a tribe divide of White Collar vs Blue Collar vs No Collar, I put together a season of returnees with this theme.

Yul Kwon (13)
Marty Piombo (21)
Andrew Savage (7)
Eliza Orlins (9 & 16)
Kass McQuillen (28)
Corinne Kaplan (17 & 26)



Survivor Seasons 1-8 Thoughts

Over the past six months I have been re-watching the first eight seasons of Survivor. Many consider these seasons to be part of the glory days, when the show was at its peek of popularity. I wanted to put some thoughts together about certain aspects of the show, and its evolution, so here it is.

The Pagong tribe was a mess from the start. All over the place. Even though Gretchen was a great leader, she didn’t have much of a team to lead. B.B. wouldn’t listen to anyone. Ramona was sick, or just wouldn’t eat the food, and couldn’t do much. Gervase thought he could win the whole game by playing cards with people. Jenna was crazy, and Colleen and Greg were always going off on island dating adventures. No wonder they messed up the merge vote.

People may complain about Borneo from a production point of view, but the challenges were good for a show with a summer budget in the first year of the millennium. Yeah, simple, but at least it wasn’t swimming for puzzle pieces every week. And some of these challenges set the basis for what the show would become over the next four years.

Dr. Sean was smarter than you think. The alphabet strategy meant that he would vote for all of the Pagong tribe, before having to write a former Tagi’s name down.

What if moment: Pagong don’t lose the Immunity before merge, and goes in 6-4.

Player that should return: Richard

This is still to this day on the shows best casts. Even the first two to go, Debb and Kel, were memorable.

It only made me hate the Kucha’s more whenever they brought up how they would of been in power if Mike didn’t fall into the fire, but there was a 50-50 chance Ogakor might of won, and I sense Mike would of been voted out anyway if it had to come to it.

Can we all take a moment to think about the moment Colby dumped Jerri on her ass in the reward challenge. And can we just remember how funny the guy was. All they say is five immunities in a row, or how he had a great bod(as Jerri put it), but he was always cracking me up. Hersey bar. Ha!

What if moment: Kimmi didn’t reveal Jeff got a vote at their first tribal.

Players that should return: Jeff and Alicia.



My 2014-15 TV Schedule

Okay, let’s imagine I had time every night to sit and watch as much television as possible. And imagine that I actually lived in America (one can dream). Well this is what my week would look like.

08.00 – The Simpsons (FOX)
08.30 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
09.00 – Resurrection (ABC)
10.00 – Revenge (ABC)

08.00 – Gotham (FOX)
DVR – The Voice (NBC)



Ranking Survivor Winners (Season 1-8)

Richard Hatch, Borneo – While Hatch often gets discredited for being part of the inaugural season with a bunch of people who didn’t know what it took to win, I believe this fact makes him even more deserving of the top spot on this list. His perception of others and self-awareness, along with the fact he knew forming a voting block would be necessary, makes him the best of the first eight, and would still be in the top five for overall winners.

Sandra Diaz-Twine, Pearl Islands – “Any one but me”. While this strategy can be linked back to Vecepia three seasons earlier, Sandra really made it her own, and it is how more players need to think. She always had the intentions of booting Rupert with Christa, but the rug was pulled out from under her when FairPlay did it before she could. At the final seven she sat outside the core alliance but somehow made it to the end, and got six out of seven jury votes.

Tina Wesson, Australian Outback – Due to the edit not wanting to show off much of their winner, we didn’t get to see nearly enough off her. All I need to say here is she convinced Colby Donaldson to basically give her the million. Do you need anymore convincing on how good she was?


Survivor: Borneo, Australia, Africa, and … Cagayan?

While the twenty eighth season of Survivor wraps up today, I’ve just finished re-watching the first three seasons. Survivor Cagayan has been one of the best in recent years, and dare I say, one of the best in the franchises history, but there would of been many who have watched this season of Survivor, that have never seen the shows conception and beginning. I’ve heard over the years people saying the show is totally different now, than what it was fourteen years ago. Maybe in production value, but the core of the show is still there. Only thing is this year with Cagayan, it’s been as clear as ever, how this show is still the same.

What makes the first three seasons, Borneo, Australian Outback, and Africa, is the great characters and everyone’s desire to win. Nobody is sitting around for third place (which is another topic in itself). In Borneo every castaway that made the merge was memorable, and was given quality screen time. Same thing for Australia and Africa. I can also say this for Cagayan, while I can’t say that for all seasons from the past few years.

In this season we had Tony, the villain playing super hard. Spencer, the young underdog. Kass, the outspoken older woman. Trish and Woo, playing under the radar in Tony’s majority alliance, and the challenge beast, Tasha. This final six was one where every single person had a case to win. Which is not un-similar to the seasons I have mentioned, where their final six’s featured legends of the game like Richard Hatch, Rudy Boesch, Sue Hawk, Colleen Haskell (from Borneo), Tina Wesson, Colby Donaldson, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Amber Brkich (from Australia), Ethan Zohn, Lex van den Berghe, Tom Buchanan, and Teresa Cooper (from Africa). So if you’ve enjoyed Survivor: Cagayan, but haven’t seen how the whole show started, definitely check them out.


For the times (late night television) they are a-changin’

Recently I have slowly been plowing through Bill Carter’s The War For Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy, getting an in depth and well crafted look into the 2010 Tonight Show host and time slot conflict. The events presented by Carter are fresh to me, as when I was younger names like Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, and Chelsea Handler were not apart of my, now pop culture invested, life, while the two heavy weights of late night, David Letterman and Jay Leno, were known to me, but on a very small scale. It is now less than a week after Letterman’s announcement of retirement, I fear that Carter may be getting ready to pen a follow up to War For Late Night that could be billed as the third in his Late Show trilogy (Carter first documented the 1992 Tonight Show host conflict between Letterman and Leno in The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, & the Network Battle for the Night published in 1994). The 11.30 P.M game is in for a big shake up, and not everyone will come out of it being a winner.

In regard to Dave’s announcement, praise from other public figures such as, Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen DeGenerres, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, and even the President Barack Obama, was shown through their Twitter accounts, but instead of offering the same praise and recognition, most of the entertainment reporters and sites were focusing on who should be his replacement. This is full while knowing that Letterman will be with us on the air for at least another solid year. The Los Angeles Times couldn’t resist the headline, ‘With David Letterman retiring, all eyes on CBS’ next move”. Shouldn’t all eyes be Dave, and his fantastic contribution he has made to television. I guess it must be human nature to speculate about such things, but I was surprised at how many reporters were busy making their own shortlist’s for replacements, all featuring Stephen Colbert and Handler in top contention, while little were looking at Letterman’s achievements. Many need to take a second to note that David Letterman has been on the our television screens, whether it be at NCB or CBS, since 1982. While Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night, and now Tonight Show, flourishes on using Twitter and Youtube to its advantage, those were non existent for Letterman, and others in the field, in the eighties, nineties, and early two thousands. To date he has filmed over 6,000 episodes of The Late Show with David Letterman, and by the time he finishes up, he will have spent more years on the air than the king of late night television, Johnny Carson.

The thing that bugs me most about the lists of replacements is that, even though it is unlikely he will get the job, Craig Ferguson, host of The Late Late Show which follows Letterman on CBS, is not at the top of them (Jesse David Fox and Josef Adalian from has been the only site I’ve seen to list him a top of a candidates list). When your long standing sports coach steps down, do you first interview the assistant, or to you scout out other talents? You first interview the assistant. Look maybe Ferguson doesn’t even want the earlier time slot with more pressure to perform (am I kidding myself, anybody his Ferguson’s position would want that slot), and maybe CBS will have no choice but to go with someone else due to Ferguson’s style, in the same way that Conan O’Brien didn’t work out on NBC’s Tonight Show, as he keep his same style from Late Night, while the NBC executive expected him to continue on with Leno’s ways keeping a broad audience. If Ferguson does in fact get over looked for the gig, which could cause some brand damage to the station, he will be getting a nice pay check for it. His previously inked deals with CBS include a “Prince of Wales” clause meaning Ferguson has the right slide into Letterman’s seat. We all know that if CBS really doesn’t want him to take on that role, a payout, reported between $8 to $12 million, will take place, and most likely Ferguson would walk, leaving not one, but two, shows for CBS to find a host for.

Others featured on the list of potentials are Colbert, who’s contract runs through 2014. Handler made an unexpected announcement that she would leave E! and her show Chelsea Lately once her contract expires at the same time of Colbert, making her available for the Late Show gig. Many believed that maybe a deal had already been struck, as it couldn’t be a coincidence that both announce major news like that within days of each other. Bravo’s Andy Cohen, and O’Brien, who has been at TBS since he walked from the Tonight Show are up for contract renewals in 2015. Even Jimmy Kimmel’s name has been thrown into the mix, as his contract is also up for renewal in 2015. Some have even dared to suggest Letterman’s long time rival, Leno would even be considered. I think Jimmy Fallon’s joke during his “Top Ten reasons David Letterman is retiring”, put it best, by saying “Jay Leno needs a partner for next season’s Amazing Race”. The joke was funny, but it really is true that Leno needs to move away from television, just as Letterman is. Actor’s and actress’ like Jerry Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Neil Patrick Harris, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Ellen DeGeneres (who you would think is comfortable in day-time television) have all been considered by reporters. It’s known that CBS are looking to find a replacement sooner rather than latter, which is the right way to do things, so Letterman can enjoy his final year without the focus being on his successor.

When looking at my own views originally I would of given Ferguson the job straight away, and if CBS wants to go with honor and integrity they will most likely go with him, but if they are playing to win, not playing to be nice, then they will most likely go with someone else. While Colbert may be the most critically acclaimed, winning over the critics may not be whats needed to win over The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. CBS needs to attract the young audience. My suggestion would be to bring in Handler (who is already known to be a free agent on the move), who would bring in a heap of female viewers, or Neil Patrick Harris (it is unknown if he would even be interested in such a gig, but being such a popular entertainer, and familiar with young faces after finishing up nine years on How I Met Your Mother, he would be just what CBS are looking for). Handler would really create a point of difference between the three commercial networks. From 2010 onwards we have had Leno, Letterman, and Kimmel. This year we have the two Jimmy’s, and David. All three slot filled by straight white middle aged men. I’m not saying diversity should be added just for the sake of it. I believe in employing the right person for the job regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, but it would help to add someone different into mix. The only thing with Chelsea is that she has worked for a long time to create her own brand and style at E!, and if CBS are expecting her to change things, it won’t work out. That’s why Patrick Harris could be a better fit.

Of course at the moment only one shows host needs to be found, but if Ferguson does indeed walk from the show, he has nearly worked on for close to a decade, due to not being chosen for Letterman’s job, then two positions will need to be filled. Maybe room for both of my picks? Who ever is chosen looks to become part of the next stage in late night on television. In the past viewers just had one: Carson. Now they have many. With so many chess pieces to pick from, I’m sure a few of them will be sitting in different positions by August 2015.