Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Top of the 1st
Upfronts, is an annual rite of spring in the TV business, not unlike Spring Training in baseball. Each year, around this time, the television networks announce their fall schedule and as is the custom, NBC went first. NBC is the fourth-rated network behind CBS, Fox, and ABC and this year they took the unusual step of planning an entire of schedule of baseball shows…at least that’s how I read it.
8 p.m., “Deal or No Deal.” – Uber-agent Scott Boras goes from team-to-team marketing his players. Watch as Boras takes Alex Rodriguez to various owners and asks, “Deal or no deal?”
9 p.m., “Heroes” – Does the name David Ortiz mean anything to you, Boston? How about Bill Mazeroski or Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh? Mickey Mantle, New York? “The Chicken”, San Diego? Each week this show celebrates baseball’s heroes.
10 p.m., “Journeyman.” – Fifteen big league seasons and eight teams for Julian Tavarez. Bobo Newsom, 20 years, changed uniforms 16 times. Marlon Anderson, six teams in 10 years. David Wells, 11 uniforms in 21 years. These are your Journeymen.
8 p.m., “The Biggest Loser.” It’s more than the Jeff Weaver story. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Washington Nationals, the Pittsburgh Pirates are all featured and wait until you see who the Loser of the Week is.
9 p.m., “Chuck” – The trials and tribulations of a baseball columnist – honestly it’s not as boring as you think.
10 p.m., “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” – Each week we watch George Mitchell and his special commission find new ways to ineffectually find breaking information about steroids in baseball. In the premiere episode, Mitchell talks to clerks at GNC…on the record!
8 p.m., “Deal or No Deal.” As we approach the trading line, two fans from sports radio stations get to negotiate their proposed trades. “Gee, the Red Sox could use one more pitcher. I think we should trade Wily Mo Pena to the Padres for Jake Peavy.”
9 p.m., “Bionic Woman” – This was going to be called “The Steroid Man” but, at the request of Bud Selig, the name was changed. In the premiere episode, the Bionic Woman, Barrie Bonds, deals with back acne.
10 p.m., “Life” – Now pitching for the Venezuela Prisoneros, Ugueth Urbina
8 p.m., “My Name Is Earl.” – Each week former Orioles manager Earl Weaver visits an umpire to apologize for the things he said that led to his ejection.
8:30 p.m., “30 Rock.” – Rocky Colavito, John Rocker, Ron “Rocky” Swoboda, Tim “Rock” Raines, Rocky Bridges. Don’t worry, NBC will find 30 baseball “Rocks” and then find something to do with them
9 p.m., “The Office.” – What’s it like for the people whose job it is to clean the stands after a ballgame? “It’s just another day at the office,” explains crew chief Michael Scott as played by Steve Carell.
9:30 p.m., “Scrubs.” Alex Cora, Rob Mackowiak, So Taguchi, Neifi Perez – who are they, What are they? They’re Scrubs!
10 p.m., “ER.” – Definitely a better name than “DL” but the concept stays the same. Players get hurt, players get well. Trainers fall in love with each other.
8 p.m., “1 vs. 100.” – In this reality show, fans get their time at bat versus Joel Zumaya, the 100 MPH reliever of the Detroit Tigers. The batter who does best wins something.
9 p.m., “Las Vegas.” – Gambling in baseball? No, no, no. We follow the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers and their game of the week. Pre-game show hosted by Pete Rose.
10 p.m., “Friday Night Lights.” Little league games from all over the country.
8 p.m., “Dateline NBC” – Would you like to go out with a major league baseball player? Let NBC arrange it and follow you around with a camera. Just call 1-555-IMD-LOWE.
9-11 p.m., Drama series encores – Each week players from different teams put on a dramatic play. Up first, the Texas Rangers perform Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll