The Austin Chronicle

TV Eye

Funny Finds a New Home

By Belinda Acosta, November 23, 2007, Screens

The other day someone asked me what I was writing about since the Writers Guild of America strike began. Well, it's not like TV screens went black. Infomercials would air before that happened. That would suit the 13% of individuals who said they would "watch whatever comes on TV," according to a poll conducted by the WPP group, as reported in Advertising Age ( The rest are migrating to other media, namely (hark!) books and magazines. But all this speculation about what viewers will do with their viewing time may be coming to an end soon. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the WGA have decided to resume negotiations on Nov. 26, which is a good indication that no one wants the strike to go on longer than it already has. However, WGA members will continue to walk picket lines on both coasts. It's not over till it's over, folks.

In the meantime, I've been scouting more strike-related websites. One of the more amusing is, featuring some snark by the snarkiest of the snarky, writers who write for Late Show With David Letterman. I was particularly amused by a piece by Steve Young, detailing how "a confused and desperate AMPTP" has responded to the other WGA — the Western Growers Association, which represents produce growers in California and Arizona:

"We thank you for not demanding even 1/100th of 1% of any fresh produce-related revenue we may eventually generate through DVDs or new media. ... Many of our executives routinely send fruit baskets to friends and clients. It would be a shame if the contents of those baskets had to be sourced from New Mexico, Oregon, or who knows where else. It doesn't have to happen – as long as you keep your roughened, dirty hands out of our pockets."


Holiday Stuff

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your TV fan? How about some cool collectibles from The Office, 30 Rock, Las Vegas, and Friday Night Lights? The most impressive items include Heroes artwork by Tim Sale (Sale paints the future-predicting canvases fictionally created by Isaac Mendez). Wardrobe items and props from other NBC and Universal Media Studio series will also be on the block. Go to to see what's available. The first round of bidding goes through Dec. 3. A portion of the auction's proceeds will benefit the United Way and its various partner organizations.

For gift-giving closer to home, ME Television wants to grant wishes to 15 lucky viewers for their second annual 15 Days of Xmas program. A night out on the town, new toys for kids, or any other idea that comes into your head, with an emphasis on the good cheer of the holiday season, will be considered by a ME Television assembled selection committee. Each fulfilled wish will be filmed and aired Dec. 11-25. To submit a wish, go to or write to Santa in care of ME Television, 2123 S. Congress, Austin, TX 78704.

You know, I usually get excited about all the holiday fare coming up, but then I remember that you can watch it all, anytime of the year, on DVD. Actually, I still get excited – cookie baking just isn't the same without It's a Wonderful Life playing in the living room, and Holiday Inn and White Christmas without commercial breaks just seems weird to me. Two of the few things that can't be watched on DVD happen on Thanksgiving: the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show. This year, Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer, and Al Roker anchor the parade, now in its 81st year. I love me a parade, but standing in the cold with hit-or-miss access to restrooms? No, thank you. I'd rather watch Viera and company battle the elements while I watch from the comfort of my home, as I chop, slice, bake, and stir the annual Thanksgiving meal. Following the parade, John O'Hurley hosts the National Dog Show, aired live from Philadelphia. If that's not good, clean fun, I don't know what is.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade airs Thursday at 8am, followed by the National Dog Show at noon, both on NBC.

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