Well, fellow couch potatoes, Mr. Spud hasn't been on the job for too many months and already he seems to have fallen into the TV-critic mind-set.
You may remember that, in response to a survey by Electronic Media magazine, we published the first Mr. Spud Poll of Television's Best and Worst Programs a few weeks ago. Well, the results of the Mr. Spud Poll and Electronic Media's poll of 67 TV critics are remarkably similar.Eight of Mr. Spud's top 10 also appear on E.M.'s top 10. And three of Mr. Spud's bottom five also appear on E.M.'s bottom five.
The question is, does this mean Mr. Spud really knows what's going on in TV land, or does it mean that he's already become just another hack writing about the tube?
At any rate, here's a comparison of the two polls:
Electronic Media: 1. "Murphy Brown"; 2. "The Simpsons"; 3. "L.A. Law"; 4. "Cheers"; 5. "The Wonder Years"; 6. "Twin Peaks"; 7. "thirtysomething"; 8. "Designing Women"; 9. "In Living Color"; 10. "China Beach."
Mr. Spud: 1. "Murphy Brown"; 2. "Designing Women"; 3. "L.A. Law"; 4. "thirtysomething"; 5. "The Simpsons"; 6. "The Wonder Years"; 7. "Star Trek: The Next Generation"; 8. "Twin Peaks;" 9. "Cheers"; 10. "Parenthood."
Electronic Media: 1. "Good Grief"; 2. "Uncle Buck"; 3. "Ferris Bueller"; 4. "E.A.R.T.H. Force"; 5. "Going Places."
Mr. Spud: 1. "America's Funniest People"; 2. "Good Grief"; 3. "Uncle Buck"; 4. "Ferris Bueller"; 5. "Cop Rock."
By the way, the only thing that kept "E.A.R.T.H. Force" of Mr. Spud's "worst" list was the fact that it had already been canceled.
There are a few other interesting facts about the semiannual Electronic Media poll:
- "Murphy Brown" was No. 1 for the second time in a row.
- The highest-ranking new show was "Evening Shade" at No. 14.
- "Star Trek: The Next Generation" just barely missed the Top 10, coming in 11th - the highest ever for a syndicated show.
- HBO's "Dream On" was the only cable show to make the Top 20, finishing tied for 20th with NBC's "Law & Order."
- The critics don't think much of ABC's "America's Funniest People" or "America's Funniest Home Videos" - "AFP" was No. 6 on the "worst" list and "AFHV" was No. 7.
TRADING PLACES: CBS has announced that a couple of its sitcoms will switch nights next week - "Evening Shade" moves from Friday at 7 p.m. to Monday at 7 p.m., while "Uncle Buck" moves in the opposite direction.
This really comes as no surprise. When CBS aired "Shade" on Monday a couple weeks ago, the show pulled the highest ratings of any network program in that time period this season. Not just the highest on CBS, but the highest on all three networks.
"Shade" has been withering on Fridays, but CBS has a large commitment to the show. Not only do the execs want to keep Burt Reynolds happy, but they want to keep creator/producer/writer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason happy as well - she's also the woman behind "Designing Women."
The move also makes Mondays on CBS arguably the strongest comedy lineup on TV, even stronger that Thursdays on NBC. I'll take "Evening Shade," "Major Dad," "Murphy Brown" and "Designing Women" over "Cosby," "A Different World," "Cheers" and "Grand" any time.
What the move also means is probably death for both "Uncle Buck" and "Bagdad Cafe." At least for "Bagdad," which seems in no way compatible with "Buck," it's new lead-in.
D.E.A. IS D.O.A. - ALMOST: Fox has done some schedule shuffling of its own.
The extremely low-rated "D.E.A." is being pulled from the Friday night schedule, although Fox execs insist it will be back someday. In its place, the extremely low-rated "Against the Law" moves to Fridays at 8 p.m. (Ch. 13, locally).
Fox discovered that running three hours of comedies on Sunday followed by "Against" ran against the grain of its viewers. The network is hoping "America's Most Wanted" viewers will stick around on Fridays.
And on Sundays at 9 p.m., FBC will air "Comic Strip Live," a collection of standup comedians. (However, that show will also continue on Saturdays at 10 p.m. as "Comic Strip Live: Late Night."
HUSBAND AND WIFE: Real-life spouses Delta Burke ("Designing Women") and Gerald McRaney ("Major Dad") are separated by just a half-hour on Monday nights, but they're going to be getting a lot closer than that on CBS.
The network has announced that the couple will star in a made-for-TV comedy/murder mystery titled "Love and Curses." Not only that, but the duo will be co-producers and McRaney will direct.
Do you suppose CBS is trying to keep them happy, too?