With all this upfront talk dominating the television conversation over the past three weeks, it’s hard to remember that it’s actually finale time! This week, we said goodbye to the last slew of shows (Revenge! Awake!), and hello to the first bits of summer TV (SYTYCD! Duets!). Here’s how it all played out:
OMG you guys! Did you see that Revenge finale. Holy shit. HOLY SHIT!!!! What a satisfying, wonderful, breath-taking season finale – and the perfect cap on a perfect first season. Huge applause the creators and writers for crafting a delicious story, and to ABC for launching the biggest hit of the 2011-2012 TV season.
While we’re handing out props to a good finale, hats off to Ryan Murphy and his team for actually giving us a solid Glee finale. The show’s third season has been a huge improvement over the mess that was season two. And even though it still felt really uneven and rushed (Quin went from a goth girl to a revengeful mom to a wheelchair-bound charity case to cheerleading captain? WTF!), I did find myself tearing up throughout most of the finale. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next season. (All the graduated seniors are slated to return, so the show will split it’s focus – half on McKinley, half on … other places.) Will you be watching?
Hey guess what! Some white guy won American Idol again! Phillip Phillips was crowned the season eleven winner this week. I have a hard time telling him apart from the other boring white guys with guitars who’ve won Idol over the past few years, but apparently he sounds like Dave Matthews and had eight separate operations for kidney stones during the run of the show. Yikes! 132 million people voted for Phillip – a new voting record for Idol. Though apparently the finale was the lowest rated in Idol history.
Meanwhile, can we talk about Jennifer Holliday on that Idol finale? Ahhhhh!
Football player Donald Driver was crowned the season 14 champ of Dancing with the Stars, beating out opera singer Katherine Jenkins and telenovela actor William Levy who took second and third place, respectively. I was rooting for Gladys Knight, but apparently she was voted off back in mid-April. Who knew!?! Anyway, it was a lame ending to a lame season – mainly because all the “stars” were voted out far too early (let’s be honest: I had to Google the three finalists to find out who they were, and you would have too had I not told you). But it shouldn’t be such a surprise that the guy who won was a football player. Of the past 14 seasons, 7 winners have been sports stars. When will Dancing with the Stars just rename itself Dancing with the Athletes?
Speaking of bullshit winners, can we talk about how Arsenio Hall won The Celebrity Apprentice? I’m no clay-mate, but Clay Aiken was completely robbed. The final task was to throw a charity event. Finalists were judged on how much money they raised, who made the best PSA, and who threw the best party. And Clay made way more money, had a better PSA, and threw the better party. So obviously he lost. Because Donald Trump loves Arsenio Hall. And Magic Johnson, who’s foundation Hall was representing. Oh, and NBC probably wants an Arsenio Hall talk show sometimes soon (On the finale, Hall said he wanted to get back into late night, and Trump said he wanted to see him there again too). So yeah. He won. Sorry Clay! Always the bridesmaid!
The biggest non-finale news this week was about Dan Harmon, who was abruptly fired by Sony as Community showrunner for the show’s fourth season. Harmon’s been replaced by two dudes who previously had nothing to do with Community – David Guarascio and Moses Port – in an attempt to broaden the show’s appeal. I’ve never been a huge fan of Community, so I can’t speak to Dan Harmon’s strength as a showrunner. But I will say this: according to his account of how things went down, he got totally screwed. We’ll see what’s better for viewers: a fourth season of Community, or a season of Community without Harmon.
Community isn’t the only show in the midst of a showrunner shakeup. SMASH, which returns for its second season in January, has canned showrunner Theresa Rebeck. In her place comes Josh Safran, an executive producer and writer from Gossip Girl. Safran’s already made some positive changes, giving pink slips to dead-weights Raza Jaffrey (Dev), Jaime Cepero (Ellis), and Will Chase (Michael Swift). Sadly, he’s also gotten rid of Brian d’Arcy James, who played Julia’s husband Frank. Sure, Frank was kind of lame – but Brian d’Arcy James is wonderful and talented and could have done more. Oh well. At least this means we probably won’t have to see stupid Leo anymore!
Yes it’s true. Last week’s Saturday Night Live finale was Kristin Wiig’s final episode. The folks at SNL rolled out the red carpet for Wiig, putting together a pretty touching goodbye that included guest appearances from Steve Martin, Jon Hamm, Chris Parnell, Amy Poehler, Chris Kattan, and Rachel Dratch. But it wasn’t just Wiig’s finale episode. Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis were also saying goodbye. (SNL won’t officially confirm that, but “Lazy Sunday 2” made claims it was the last “SNL Digital Short”, and Sudeikis has a slew of movies filming in the fall, and also, duh). Don’t worry though – Samberg and Sudeikis had their chance to shine at the after party. They performed “I Love Rock n’ Roll with The Foo Fighters … and Kristin Wiig singing lead. #wompwomp
SAVE THE DATE. Breaking Bad is returning for the first half of its fifth and final season on July 15. Sadly, the second half will not air until summer 2013, so it’s going to be a long wait before the end. But at least that means that we’ll have Walter White on our TV screens again soon. Cue the choir!
A&E has cancelled Dog the Bounty Hunter after eight seasons on the air. I would not want to be the executive who made that decision. Dog is going to come after him! Also, how much do you bet Dog appears on Celebrity Apprentice next season?
In daytime news, ABC is following in the footsteps of The Today Show, adding a third hour to Good Morning America called Good Afternoon America. The show, hosted by Lara Spencer and Josh Elliott, will begin a nine-week trial on July 9 at 2 p.m., in the slot formerly occupied by One Life to Live and The Revolution. GMA alums Lara Spencer and Josh Elliott will co-host, though GMA regulars George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, and Robin Roberts will appear. If it does well, it’ll be a worth lead-in for Katie Couric’s syndicated talk show, which debuts September 10. Per their press release, we can expect “celebrity appearances, musical performance, pop culture news and original entertainment, lifestyle, health, workplace and consumer reporting.” Finally – just what daytime needs! More fluff!
Finally, let’s end on something sweet. The season five intro to the The Real Housewives of New York City has leaked. One of these ladies has one leg. Enjoy!