Are YOU growing a strike beard?

Apparently, Conan O’Brien is, as you’ll see when you watch this “important message” from the man in NBC’s 12:30 AM slot.

Sometimes I forget just how funny that guy is…


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Kitchen Nightmares: Tony Soprano Might Eat Here

Last night’s Kitchen Nightmares featured an Italian restaurant called Campania’s, located in Fairlawn, New Jersey, which is 20 minutes from New York City. Looking at the location and surroundings, it felt like this restaurant was located on the set of The Sopranos. Like you could imagine that meat store Tony and his boys hang out at being in the same strip mall. But I digress….

Gordon Ramsey was sent to rescue Campania’s from impending bankruptcy. Its owner/chef, Joe, was about $80K in debt and nobody was eating there anymore. In addition, he had too much food inventory, too many employees to pay, and was running his business like a frat party.

They showed the staff joking around, including Joe, head chef Gene, servers Josette and Jessica and pretty much everyone else. They interviewed Joe’s mom, Pat, who was worried about his son’s business and his health.

So Ramsey sits down and orders lunch so he can sample the food at Campania’s. He orders tortellini soup, some kind of sausage ravioli and chicken with what I think was a pistachio crust. After waiting more than 20 minutes for his soup, Ramsey was extremely disappointed. The soup was bland, the ravioli had too much garlic and the chicken was dry. The next day, he inspects the fridge and notices that there is way too much food for the amount of business the place is doing. He finds out that Campania’s serves huge portions and folks are always taking food home. In addition, Ramsey starts sending wait staff home because the place just has too much overhead. After the dinner service confirms a lot of these problems to Ramsey, he sits down with Joe and tells him he needs to make some changes to his business. Joe is hard-headed but in the end realizes that Ramsey is correct.

Ramsey even visits Joe’s house and his wife Melissa, who looks like Marisa Tomei. Melissa wants Joe to succeed so badly but knows he needs to make changes as well at the restaurant.

The first thing that Ramsey does when he returns to the restaurant is teach the staff how to make some great meatballs, and suggests that instead of the flashy dishes they are serving, that the restaurant go back to basics and feature these meatballs. He paints the Campania’s logo on a van and takes some of the staff with him to serve the meatballs on the street, calling them “New Jersey’s Best Meatballs.” People on the street are loving it. Then, the design team re-does the interior as well as the signage out front, and the kitchen is equipped with a new stove. Finally, Ramsey institutes the use of smaller plates, forcing the portion sizes to shrink, and simplifies the menu.

In the new dinner service, the wait staff likes the new menu, and gets to play “bingo” as Ramsey says whoever sells one of each item on the menu takes home $100. Most of the customers love the food, except for an older woman that says everything is terrible…Ramsey sticks up for his chefs and calls the woman an “old bag” to her face. That’s great television. Then, another woman who says the food is like “Ragu,” gets berated by another customer who is drunk. Again, great TV.

So with the new menu and the staff more serious about their work, Campania’s begins to make money. Thankfully, there is no footnote that the place has closed down five months later…as far as we know, Campania’s is still going strong and Joe is back on track to making money. I know I want to go taste those meatballs now!

Next week’s show is a repeat, so I’m not sure if and when Kitchen Nightmares will return with new episodes. But until then, see ya!


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Well, it’s a start, anyway…

Ain’t It Cool News got the scoop, but we’re not complaining: we’re just happy to hear the news that NBC will indeed be airing Episode 12 of “Journeyman.”

Here’s what their missive from show creator / executive Kevin Falls said:

Journeyman Fans–

NBC has decided to air the 12th episode (“Perfidia”) on Wednesday, December 19th at ten o’clock. That means our 10th episode will air on Monday the 10th (“Home by Another Way”), the 11th will air on 17th (“The Hanged Man”).

The decision to air the 12th episode had a lot to do with the passion of our fans through, the online petition and letters and emails to NBC executives.

And is it true you can vote once a day for the People’s Choice Awards?

There’s still no news on our long term future, but we can promise you this: three terrific episodes inside of ten days. Oh, yeah, and you’ll get some answers, too.

Your comments and pro-active attempts to save the show are very much appreciated by me and my fellow Executive Producer Alex Graves, Kevin McKidd and the cast, writers and crew. But more importantly, it’s working.

But don’t rest. We need you. We want a back nine–and beyond.

Thanks again,

Kevin Falls

Awesome news. Now, let’s all tune in for every one of these last episodes, shall we?


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“Scrubs” fans may already be aware of this…

…but any of you old-fashioned romantics out there will no doubt get a kick out of watching this clip of “Scrubs” grip Ted Mayer proposing to the show’s utility sound technician, Anna Wilborn, with a little help from Zach Braff and John C. McGinley. (I guess it pays to have friends in high places…and on hit TV shows.)


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As long as we’re talking about time-travel-related shows…

…I know that both myself and Ross are pleased at punch at the news that Billie Piper will be returning to “Doctor Who” for a trio of episodes in the currently-filming fourth season.

Unsurprisingly, Piper will be reprising her role of Rose Tyler, who served as the Doctor’s assistant during Seasons 1 and 2 but scored an easy out when Rose was transported into a parallel universe from which there was no escape. Well, supposedly no escape, anyway. I’m looking forward to finding out what scientific gobbledygook they’ve come up with to escape how she made it out…but, then again, I started getting excited about the new season the moment I heard that Kylie Minogue would be guest-starring on the Christmas special.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to stay excited ’til 2008; beyond the Christmas special, the actual Season 4 doesn’t premiere in March in the UK, but there’s no word on when the Sci-Fi Channel will begin its airing of the season. (You can bet it won’t be ’til late in the year, though.)


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