Salutations, denizens of the TV Wasteland! As Andrew Hershberger saddles off to ride away into a picture perfect sunset, it falls upon myself to mount up and become your new host for CINESCAPE's weekly television column, TV Wasteland. My name's Patrick Sauriol and I'm the resident News Editor for CINESCAPE magazine and the website; I'm also the guy that created Corona's Coming Attractions, the pioneering movie news/scoops website, and which now presents its info at CINESCAPE's Development Heck department. With the departure of Andrew, I'll be bringing you your weekly roundup of television listings: what's cool, what's not cool and what could be cool. The Wasteland will still bring you all your favorite listings and more, and I hope it will still provide you as a guide and a resource for your boob tube cruise.
As you well know, every time Andrew wrote the Wasteland he delivered that week's worth of TV listings with a sly sense of dry humor. Just so you know, I plan on keeping that sense of ambivalent fun with the Wasteland's listings. No matter what the program was Andrew always thought up a novel way to write up the show's description, and let's face it: when it's re-run season or it's the fortieth time STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN is playing on a network, you've got to have a sense of humor about these things or else you'll go mad. (Which may be in fact what really happened to poor Andrew, which also doesn't bode well for me [or the daily news articles for that matter]). That's why I want you to take note of this now, in case something I write in the future offends a fan of a particular TV show: whatever the write-up for the show may be, don't take it personally. And that goes double for anyone that reads these words who happens to help make the show in question! We're all here reading the Wasteland because we enjoy TV, whether for the weekly dose of adventure or drama with our favorite characters or for cough potato recreation. Just because that week's write-up may poke fun at the storyline of your favorite TV series, don't shoot the messenger. Think of me as a stand-up comedian and this an opportunity to deliver a joke or two at the expense of mass entertainment. And after living with television all of these years, surely TV owes us that much?
There will be some new shows added to the Wasteland. Some of the shows that Andrew covered may not be there this week; that may be due to not having access to the same resources that Andrew used, or it may be because I just couldn't find the right material (note to the peep that updates NBC's SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE site: DO IT MORE OFTEN.) If you don't see a particular show covered on the Wasteland and feel it should be in there, let me know via feedback. The same goes if you know where I can get fresh info about a show; for instance, I'd love to know if there's a place on the net to find out when and where new episodes of HARVEY BIRDMAN are coming. If ever.
So without further adieu, I present to you our listings for the first full week of July. Believe it or not, it's a week where we've got the season premieres of four shows proving that the networks are truly going for a year-round schedule of programming. So go buy more TVs for your home and help those poor network executives afford to feed themselves, OK?
MONDAY, JULY 5
TEEN TITANS (6:30 PM, CARTOON NETWORK) The Titans try and stop a jailbreak but Cyborg and Robin wind up smacking each other around. (Repeat)
FEAR FACTOR (8 PM, NBC) Joe Rogan wins big: it's female model night on the show! Here's a real dare for the models: ask them to eat more than 650 calories in one serving. (Repeat)
FOR LOVE OR MONEY (9 PM, NBC) Two girls are left and a decision has to be made by the available guy. It's the finale episode of this season. Depending on how you feel about that, it's a good or bad thing.
FROM STARGATE TO ATLANTIS: A SCI FI LOWDOWN (10 PM, SCIFI) The latest Sci Fi Lowdown special takes a look ahead at the eighth season of STARGATE SG-1 and a behind-the-scenes look at the spinoff, STARGATE ATLANTIS. Repeats again this Friday before the season premiere of STARGATE SG-1.
TUESDAY, JULY 6
BIG BROTHER 5 (8 PM, CBS) Season premiere. For the fifth year a bunch of strangers agree to live inside a sealed environment, perform in embarrassing contests and engage in petty disputes all to win half-a-million dollars. Where do I sign up for BIG BROTHER 6?
THE AMAZING RACE (9:30 PM, CBS) Season premiere. Eleven teams of two people each race against each other in a global contest. First destination: send a postcard from friendly Iraq.
NYPD 24/7 (10 PM, ABC) A rookie cop, who also happens to be the daughter of a police chief, wants to prove she's got the goods to stay on the force.
NIP/TUCK (10 PM, FX) A
LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (12:30 AM, NBC) Will Ferrell comes on to harass Conan and talk ANCHORMAN.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 7
STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE (8 PM, UPN) In "North Star" the crew visits a planet in the Delphic Expanse that's modeled after the 19th century old west. After that, in "Similtude", the ship's Chief Engineer is gravely injured and a replacement Trip is grown to be used to save the real Trip's life. No cheap jokes at the expense of this series were used in the making of this week's ENTERPRISE synopsis. (Repeats)
THE SIMPLE LIFE 2: ROAD TRIP (9 PM, FOX) Paris and Nicole visit a Louisiana family and encourage their young daughter to be just like them. A parents' true nightmare indeed.
THE DREW CAREY SHOW (9 PM, ABC) ABC is burning off all of their never-before-seen episodes of the series this summer with two more on tonight. Don't ask why, the Network moves in mysterious ways.
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO (11:30 PM, NBC) Will Smith is a guest and I'm betting he'll have a clip to show from I, ROBOT.
THURSDAY, JULY 8
FRIENDS (8 PM, NBC) "The One Where Zombies Kill Them All". Don't I wish. (Repeat)
STEPHEN KING'S KINGDOM HOSPITAL (9 PM, ABC) Peter Rickman has another seizure and sees what the true horror behind Kingdom Hospital really is.
TRU CALLING (9 PM, FOX) A reporter figures out Tru's secret ability but then gets shot before she can print the story. While this episode is a repeat, a new scene has now been included that shows Tru tossing a smoking gun out of a fast-moving car speeding away from the scene of the shooting. (Repeat)
CSI (9 PM, CBS) A bus goes ballistic on a windy road and the Vegas CSI team is called to the scene. I'm starting to notice that something bad always happens to the guest stars at the start of every show. What's up with that? (Repeat)
MXC (10 PM, SPIKE) It goes like this: an American cable channel purchases the rights to broadcast a zany Japanese game show where contestants have to perform bizarre and often hurtful stunts to score points. Then the US channel dubs over the voices of the contestants and the hosts in a MST3K kind of way. It's disturbing and probably two steps away from THE RUNNING MAN but God bless the people that thought this show up.
FRIDAY, JULY 9
GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA (8 PM, SCIFI) The Andromeda crew visit an over-developed planet and get into trouble. Somewhere HERCULES fans writhe in agony. (Repeat)
JOAN OF ARCADIA (8 PM, CBS) God asks Joan to join the staff of her high school yearbook committee. Do you always do everything God tells you to do, Joan? (Repeat)
STARGATE SG-1 (9 PM, SCIFI) Season premiere.
INVADERS FROM MARS (12:30 AM, AMC) The original, not the one that Tobe Hooper remade in the 1980s. A little boy sees a flying saucer land near his house but no one will believe him. Better enjoyed now as a time capsule for the "Red Scare" mania that swept America in the 1950s. Why not stay up to watch IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA which comes on directly after at 2 AM? You don't have to get up for work the next day (unless you do sorry about that.)
SATURDAY, JULY 10
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY: PRINCESS OF THIEVES (8 PM, ABC) The daughter of Robin Hood and Maid Marion has to rescue here Dad and his Merry Men from the Sheriff of Nottingham. Sure, you're thinking, why would this guy even dream that I would be interested in watching a Disney TV movie? Because, I tell you, Keira Knightly is playing Robin Hood's hottie daughter. You're welcome.
MAD TV (11 PM, FOX) Snoop Dogg and The Bishop get a little wacky. OK, a little more wacky.
SUNDAY, JULY 11
THE SIMPSONS (8 PM, FOX) Homer tells the family a story about the first girl he ever kissed which turns out to have not been Marge. (Repeat)
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (8:30 PM, FOX) The
THE 4400 (9 PM, USA) Series premiere. A strange ball of light returns forty-four hundred abductees back to Earth with no memory of their time away and not a day older than when they left. Two FBI agents are assigned to investigate the strange case for the X-Files division no wait! Wrong FBI agents!
TV Wasteland is our weekly Television column and was written this week from P3X-723.