Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Too Darn Hot!

The last ever episode of Lost has aired in countries around the world, including Great British this very morning. So ... if you don't want to know the score now, look away ... In the conclusion to the two-and-a-half hour series finale - The End - it was revealed that the characters on the show had all died. In the flash sideways storyline, the castaways all remembered their previous island lives, one-by-one, before gathering for their own mass funeral service. On the island, Jack finally killed Not-Locke, then appointed Hurley as his successor before saving the island from destruction. A group of survivors - including Sawyer, Kate and Claire - managed to escape on a plane. In the final scene, Jack collapsed in the jungle, dying from a stab wound, while at the service, the characters all smiled as the room filled with a bright light. The closing shot was of Jack's eye closing in the jungle, a nice circular moment taking us back to where it all began six years ago. When you write it down like that it sounds a bit ... blah, frankly. But, actually, it was as well-handled and beautifully performed as you'd expect. There's only one problem. If only it hadn't been shown just a couple of days after the last episode of Ashes To Ashes had, essentially, pulled exactly the same dramatic trick it would have been a crowning glory to one of the most perfectly devised TV shows ever made. What a pity, and not its fault, either. Still, you can't have everything. Where would you keep it?And, speaking of Ashes To Ashes, Matthew Graham has revealed that he initially wanted John Simm to return for the finale. Graham, who co-created the drama with Ashley Pharoah, admitted that Simm's Life On Mars alter ego Sam Tyler was originally meant to come out of the Railway Arms instead of Nelson to greet the Ashes faithful. He told the Guardian: 'There was originally a version where John came back. It was never scripted but it was storylined. Everyone seemed to really like it. We were all quite happy and excited about it.' However, he admitted that such a move would have insulted the identity of the standalone spin-off as well as the show's star Keeley Hawes, who played Alex Drake. Graham explained: 'Then we suddenly thought that it would steal all of Keeley's thunder, it would undermine Ashes as a show and also Sam's supposed to be dead, so he should be in heaven. It suddenly made him seem like a superhero - he could go from purgatory to heaven and back again. So we decided not to do that. We never asked him.' Meanwhile, according to the Daily Express, show bosses - who were said to be 'dismayed' at the series being shown on Friday nights this year - allegedly wanted the final episode to be ninety minutes long. 'This had been the plan all along but the BBC wanted nothing to do with it,' a - nameless - 'source' claimed. However, a BBC spokesperson dismissed the speculation: 'There is absolutely no truth to this and it has never even been discussed with the BBC.' So, someone's clearly lying. Who do you believe, dear blog reader, the nameless insider, the Daily Express or the BBC?

The hottest day of the year so far on Saturday saw overnight TV ratings plummet right across the board. On thing that Saturday night did prove was just how much ITV depends on Britain's Got Talent as the centrepiece for their entire weekend these days. It's for-one-week-only replacement, the UEFA Champions League Final between Bayern Munich v Inter Milan could only muster 3.1m viewers. It was the seventh most watched programme of the night and ITV's top performer. The Whole Nineteen Yards was considerably down on its previous steady steady audience c. four million figure with 1.9m and The Prisoner's viewing figures finally completely collapsed, with just seven hundred thousand viewers tuning it to the fifth episode of the drama. On BBC1 the big news was Doctor Who getting its lowest overnight audience for an episode since its return in 2005. Four and half million viewers watched The Hungry Earth (pity, it was a really good episode as well) although the show's audience share of thirty two per cent was, roughly, in line with it normally gets. Interestingly, its BBC HD figure of three hundred thousand was pretty much what the previous episode got. Just shows how few people were actually watching TV at all early on Saturday evening. It'll be very interesting to see the size of time shifting for that episode in particular - final BARB audience figures will be released early next week. The results show for the final of Over The Rainbow won the entire night with an audience of six and a half million. Casualty also had quite a good night, being viewed by 5.4m at 9:30.

Married, Single, Other has been cancelled after just one series, it has been confirmed by ITV. Earlier this year, the 'romantic dramedy' (yeah, pretentious much?) - which starred Ralf Little and Lucy Davis - only averaged a modest four million viewers over its six-episode run in a nine o'clock slot. 'ITV won't be commissioning a second series of Married Single Other. This has been a tough decision as it brought warmth and wit to our drama slate. The cast, the writing and the production were all superb,; a spokesperson announced. 'However, the overall audience fell short of what we need to deliver at 9pm and, regretfully, we've had to make space for new titles.'

Danielle Hope has been crowned champion of Over The Rainbow. After receiving the majority of the public vote, she beat seventeen-year-old Sophie Evans in Saturday night's live final on BBC1. Danielle and Sophie, who both had to perform renditions of 'Over The Rainbow' as well as their favourite songs from the series, were lauded by the judges and sinister cult-leader Andrew Lloyd Webber for their performances throughout the competition. Upon her victory, Danielle said: 'I really, really don't think a thank you is enough. For the amazing public and everyone who comes to support us every week and the girls. Thank you and it comes from [the heart] and we all [thank you] for this amazing opportunity,' as she collected a pair of sweaty red slippers from Lord Webber's Shoe-Tree Of Despair. His M'Lordship himself commented: 'The nation hasn't got it wrong yet. My goodness me, you can act from the soul, and that's very, very special.' This is expected to be the final BBC-Lloyd Webber collaboration as his contract with them runs out this summer.

Glee has been given a third season pick-up, it has been confirmed. Entertainment Weekly reports that the musical comedy - which recently became the top scripted show among adult viewers - has impressed FOX bosses. And, indeed, FOX bankers. 'In just one year, Glee has transcended the television landscape and emerged as a global pop culture phenomenon,' said Peter Rice, FOX's entertainment chairman. 'Everything about Glee - from the concept to the characters to the marketing - has been innovative and risky, but with Ryan Murphy tapping into the zeitgeist, the risk has paid off with this truly remarkable series,' added Kevin Reilly, the network's entertainment president. 'Glee has one of the most active, devoted fan bases I've ever seen, and we couldn't be more thrilled to give Gleeks a third season of their favourite show.' Meanwhile, creator Ryan Murphy said of the show's success: 'It's been a whirlwind year - from shooting the pilot to performing at the White House to the concert tour that began last week - and yet we all feel like we've just begun this amazing musical journey. We think our Gleeks worldwide are going to love what we’ll have in store for them in seasons two and three.'

The Rolling Stones have scored their first UK number one LP for sixteen years with a re-release of their classic Exile On Main Street. The double LP, which was first released in 1972, has been reissued in a fortieth anniversary package - which yer Keith Telly Topping really must buy for himself at some stage - with previously unheard songs. The band's last number one LP was 1994's Voodoo Lounge. Another 1972 recording has appeared in the singles chart this week. A song by Leeds United FC's 1972 squad, re-released to celebrate the club's recent promotion, is at number ten.

The Duchess Of York allegedly plotted to sell access to her ex-husband Prince Andrew amid claims he could set up lucrative trade deals. Sarah Ferguson was apparently the victim of a tabloid sting by the News Of The World, who used an undercover reporter posing as a businessman to offer her a commercial deal. The tabloid claims the Duchess offered to sell access to trade envoy Prince Andrew for five hundred thousand pounds and accepted a forty thousand dollar cash down payment from the reporter. The paper claims that unknown to the prince, the Duchess, promised to introduce reporters to her ex-husband and claimed he would help fix lucrative deals. She allegedly went on to demand a cut of all profits. If the only good thing to come out of this rather tawdry affair is that ITV now think twice about giving this lard-arsed waste-of-space another series of The Duchess On The Estate and end her opportunities to patronise the working classes then, I have to say, yer Keith Telly Topping would like to applaud the New Of The World and, indeed, buy them all a drink. And that's the first time he's ever said that.

Piers Morgan has admitted that he is wary of Simon Cowell's power on Britain's Got Talent. Speaking to the News Of The World, the former disgraced newspaper editor and all round oily twat admitted that he felt very lucky to still be on the show. 'I don't think any of us takes anything for granted. Amanda and I could be out on our ear if he decides to get rid of us.' If only wishing made it so.

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