Katie Couric's talk show, once so promising, is in trouble. Also today in show business news: Last night was a TV ratings black hole, Cinemax renews a gratuitous but great show, and we finally see Streisand and Rogen in action together.
It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating the grand TV return of Katie Couric with the success of her new talk show Katie. Well, in fact, it was three weeks ago, and the good old days are now over. It seems that local affiliates are unhappy with the show, as ratings have dwindled and it is not proving to be the show they were sold. The Hollywood Reporter writes that Couric and her producer Jeff Zucker "promised a topical show that would serve as a perfect afternoon news lead-in but instead [have] delivered more typical talk show guests, such as Jessica Simpson revealing her Weight Watchers success story during the show's premiere episode." Uh ohhhh. Jessica Simpson burn. One thing that's actually pretty amazing about this is that someone actually wanted a more serious, newsy show on television. Isn't that kind of incredible?? I am pretty impressed with the local affiliates. But not with Katie Couric. Figure your stuff out, lady. You too, you other talk show hosts whose shows are failing, like Ricki Lake and Jeff Probst. Is the daytime talk show dying? Save us, Oprah! [The Hollywood Reporter]
Speaking of failing television shows, what the hell happened last night? Pretty much every show was down in the ratings, including number-one CBS' NCIS shows (though some of us did our best to help) and the well-performing freshman Vegas. The Voice dropped for NBC because it was a recap episode, which affected Go On and New Normal. And over at Fox, all those comedies were off, from a bad debut for Raising Hope (down 45% for last season) to a low The Mindy Project (down 21% from its premiere), and an even droopier Ben & Kate. The only bright spot was New Girl, which held strong amidst all the mess and then did a cutesy tap dance to cheer everyone up or something. So, Tuesday bloody Tuesday. It really is a pretty weak programming night, unless you like Dancing With the Stars, The Voice, or NCIS, which no one in America seems to. Figure it out, TV! (Save us, Oprah?) [Entertainment Weekly]
In good TV news, Cinemax has renewed the British co-production Strike Back, a hilariously ridiculous espionage action series that features a bajillion bullets fired a week plus at least one graphic sex scene. At least. It's a completely ludicrous show but it is very much fun. And, y'know, the international intrigue is at least mildly smart and intriguing. But mostly you're just there for the guns and sex and profusion of "F-cks" that litters each episode. Good thinking, Cinemax. You must like watching it too. [Deadline]
Two good bits of news about Matthew McConaughey's upcoming AIDS/weed drama (yup) Dallas Buyers Club: One is that Gael Garcia Bernal has signed on to play "an effeminate member of the club," meaning Gael Garcia Bernal will be playing a gay. So that is good! The other bit of nice news is that Hilary Swank has dropped out. Haha, I know that's mean to say, but come on. Hilary Swank isn't going to be doing another movie in which she is asked to act. That's a general good, isn't it? I think it is. You have to admit that it is. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Here is a trailer for The Guilt Trip, a mother/son roadtrip comedy starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen. Yup. That's what it's about. They are mother and son and they go on a sales trip for Rogen's job and they meet wacky characters and do wacky things and hopefully find love. Not with each other! Well, mother/son love (ew) sure, but not like sex love. They hopefully find sex love with other people. This is coming out on the same day as that Bette Midler/Billy Crystal comedy, which is Christmas Day, so basically all old people's heads are going to explode trying to figure out which one to see, especially Jewish old people because, c'mon, Barbra Streisand vs. Billy Crystal and nothing else is open? That's tough. I'm thinking they go Streisand, but I might be, ahem, biased. Anyway, good luck old people, we'll miss you.
And here is a red band trailer for the vignette (seems like a dignified, and maybe not even that accurate, word for this movie) comedy Movie 43, which is a bunch of bigtime movie stars saying and doing gross things. Non-comedians like Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, and Naomi Watts even get in on the act, alongside lots of more traditionally funny people. Oh, this is a red band trailer, with swears and nudity, so beware. Basically this is either going to be a bawdy delight or a really embarrassing example of non-funny celebrities trying to be funny by saying dirty things. Basically the Funny Or Die model half of the time. We hope it's the former, but sadly expect the latter.