The Ascension of Dr. Phil

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The Ascension of Dr. Phil
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The Ascension of Dr. Phil

Though he is basically a bowl of chili with a master's degree, teevee mind-guru Dr. Phil McGraw continues to perform ably as a dispenser of daytime issues-based television. In fact, right now he reigns supreme. For the first time in its eleven-year history, Dr. Phil was at the top of the November sweeps pile, averaging a 3.2 rating, which apparently comes out to some 4.3 million viewers a day. That's a lot of people looking for self-help in the middle of the day. What could be causing that? Oh, right. But, yes, Dr. Phil has finally found himself as the king of daytime. And like any good king, he's up a lot higher than everyone else. The next show down was Live! With Kelly & Michael, which was 23 percent short of Dr. Phil. Meanwhile, talk-show newbie Katie Couric's program, the mysteriously named Katie, placed sixth overall, with a 1.9 rating, which is about 2.5 million viewers per day. And then down there at the bottom of the barrel were the new shows from Jeff Probst (because everyone wants to hear from Jeff Probst) and Ricki Lake, which stumbled in with 0.7 ratings. Which, I believe, comes out to around several production staff members per day. So congratulations, Dr. Phil, you old pretzel roll. Maybe you can help these other folks figure out what's wrong with them. (In the cases of Probst and Lake, the problem is likely that they have talk shows.) [The Hollywood Reporter]

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ABC has ordered, straight to series, a 13-episode summer show about paranormal things called Weird Desk. Which, y'know, great title. Just a really good, strong title. Communicates what the show is about, which is a weird desk. "On the next episode of Weird Desk, there's a weird desk." "Enhance that photo. More. More. Is that..." "I think it is, sir. It's a weird desk." So that ought to be great. Nothing that people want more in the summer that shows about weird things, especially desks. It's such a simple name, one that really bluntly says what the show is about. Other series should be just as clear in their messaging. Will Benson and Munch catch the perp? Find out on the next episode of Sex Nightmares. Can Gibbs, DiNozzo, and the rest of the gang track down the killer? Tune in to the next A Navy Person Has Been Murdered. Simple titles are great. Weird Desk, about a weird desk. Or possibly multiple weird desks. But, well, the show isn't called Weird Desks. It's just the one. So, yeah, it's the same desk, popping up in different places. Can't wait. [Deadline]

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Model turned Andy Roddick's wife turned actress Brooklyn Decker will be guest starring on an upcoming episode of Fox's New Girl (see, very clear and concise title; in the beginning of the show she was a new girl to an apartment. Though, hm, I suppose she isn't anymore, so the title is a little deceiving — but Old Girl is already that Tim Gunn online-only Runway supplement, so who knows what to do), playing a hottie boombalottie who gets in between the three guy roommates on the show. Her "character's" thing is that she's attracted to broken men, so the three zane-balls start "playing up their love wounds." Which, uh, "playing up your love wounds" could mean something pretty gross depending on what century you're reading this from. ANYWAY, that's what Brooklyn Decker is up to these days if you guys need, um, some, uh, context for later. [Entertainment Weekly]

This will end well: E! Entertainment Television is developing a scripted supernatural series from the two people who made Can't Hardly Wait. The show "centers on a young entertainment lawyer who dies but is determined to pursue a romance with a woman who’s still alive — while he exists in limbo in New York City, working for the department that judges the recently departed." So... it's Dead Like Me with a few minor tweaks? I mean that is basically Dead Like Me, just with a couple things rearranged. One of those changed things is probably that instead of Mandy Patinkin they'll get the dad from Wizards of Waverly Place. (Dom DeLuise's son, I know.) That guy is basically the E! man's Mandy Patinkin. Look, we like Can't Hardly Wait (to an extent), so we're willing to give this the benefit of the doubt, but... It's on E!, guys. E!. [Deadline]

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