T Dog’s Think Tank: Four-for-one special

Jenny McCarthy as a Sun-Times columnist. Whoa boy.

It’s a four-for-one-special in this edition of T Dog’s Think Tank – thoughts on four subjects in one post. What a deal!

– Is Fox’s incompetence at its local Chicago stations spreading to the network? Last week, the network scheduled X Factor to Wednesday, but game three of the NLCS between San Francisco and St. Louis (which started earlier in the afternoon) bled into primetime thanks to a rain delay. Instead of X Factor, the network aired a repeat of Ben & Kate, followed by X Factor – but cut it off and aired eight minutes to air a Mindy Project repeat – followed by a resumption of the game. This past Tuesday night, Fox aired the rest of the X Factor episode.

While you can’t do any about the weather (and fans of these singing competition shows are quite annoying), is just another example of how Fox’s scheduling this season has been absolutely ridiculous at times, from airing The Simpsons annual Treehouse of Horror earlier than usual to refusing to cancel low-rated joke Mob Doctor, which is returning after the World Series – not to mention shelving Friday night drama Touch at the last minute until January for – wait for it – Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares (like we need more of him.)

Fox management is starting to make CW look better by comparison – something we all know too well in Chicago where as the contracts of WFLD/WPWR General Manager Mike Renda and news anchor Robin Robinson were extended and dropping The Big Bang Theory and Simpsons repeats from WFLD’s late-night schedule for TMZ and Dish Nation. Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch was in town last weekend and yours truly wondered if he even paid a visit to 205 N. Michigan, where both stations are based. Maybe Murdoch needs to be more concerned about the performance of his network and his owned-and-operated stations than tweeting about politics.

Its hard to believe Fox was once an innovative network, apart from the stodgy big three. Now they’re no different than them. In fact, NBC has showed more innovation than Fox has in the past year, with The Voice and Revolution (more on that later).

– A follower of yours truly’s Twitter account on Saturday mentioned Jenny McCarthy joining the Sun-Times’ Splash magazine as a columnist and asked me about whether I remembered the time Jerry Springer delivered commentaries over WMAQ’s 10 p.m. newscasts back in 1997 (oh boy, do I ever. In fact, I wrote a Think Tank marking the tenth anniversary of that fateful moment back in 2007.)

McCarthy, a 1990 Mother McAuley graduate and Chicago native (same year yours truly graduated high school) is best known posing for Playboy, hosting MTV’s Singled Out in the early 1990’s, and starring in failed NBC sitcom Jenny during the 1997-98 season. But much like Jim Belushi (who also is a Chicago native), McCarthy has an obnoxious personality that turns a lot of people off. McCarthy has also authored some books on autism – not to mention making some rather controversial comments about the disease. McCarthy, Belushi, and other Chicago celebs are contributing a column a month to the Sun-Times and donating their money to charity. But now, McCarthy is writing a column and a blog full-time for the paper.

Not sure what this means for the future of journalism in Chicago, which has been in decline for several years. But with the city making embarrassing national and international headlines on an almost daily basis (whether its for the surging murder rate, continued corruption, or even the White Sox’s inability to draw fans in a pennant race), the Sun-Times’ hiring of Jenny McCarthy is one more embarrassing item we don’t need. She has absolutely contributed nothing to society – well, other than the obvious…

And to the washed-up former radio personality named “Puke” or “Pugs” or whatever who called me “a hater” of Ms. McCarthy on a local message board the other day… so fucking what? Don’t everybody hate something or somebody in this world? It’s called being human. You should try that sometimes, instead on relying on some bullshit ghetto slang from 1995. Of course she doesn’t care… and I don’t care for her. Or for you, either.

– Yours truly however, has no hate for J.J. Abrams’ new hit drama, Revolution (so far.) Okay, its sometimes violent. And the dialogue is sometimes laughable, worthy of mocking by the MST3K crew. But the series has been exciting with interesting characters, interesting storyline, and a lot of conflict – the lifeblood of genre TV. A much-needed ratings hit for NBC – solidly beating CBS’ lackluster Hawaii Five-O and ABC’s Castle in the 18-49 demo, the network has picked up the Monday night drama for the rest of the season. The only question is – can it keep up the momentum onward? Remember, the same things being said about Revolution were also said about Heroes‘ first season and FlashForward early in its short run – and look how that turned out. Revolution is clearly the best new drama in a rather lackluster freshman class of entries.

– Finally, if you read Ad Age’s network pricing chart Monday, you be surprised to learn two CW shows (Arrow and Vampire Diaries) drew higher prices than some of the networks’ (notably CBS and NBC’s) Friday and Saturday’s shows, which is understandable given CW’s young audience and strong social media presence for each show. But here’s something that will blow you away: $320,000 per thirty second spot for Fox’s New Girl? $320,000 for a show that so far this season is averaging around a 2.7 demo rating and is down 40 percent in the ratings from last year? (can you say makegoods?) And its now the second-most expensive sitcom on television, only behind Modern Family.

And this YouTube video sums up my thoughts on New Girl exactly: