Frostbitten by the overly generous use of air conditioning and beginning to hallucinate that she's been trapped in "a weird icy vodka freezer," intrepid NY Times TV critic Virginia Heffernan has still managed to tap out frequent blog dispatches from inside ABC's ongoing upfront presentation to advertisers. Before finally collapsing underneath the weight of the icicles forming on her extremities, she notes that pilot-hoarding ABC president Greenlightin' Steve McPherson ("I think it's comical when I hear other people saying we're spending too much on television. We're not spending $600 million on football. We'll continue to spend on R&D," quotes TV Week) made sure that he didn't get so wrapped up in his special day that he forgot to thank infinitely beneficent TV deity Oprah Winfrey for delivering unto him a surefire winner:
Thank You, Your Oprah Majesty Stephen McPherson, the boss here, just thanked Oprah in the humble kiss-the-ring way for her first prime-time reality show, "The Big Give."
The ABC reality slate is just unspeakable. One gag has a guy's head pop up in a portapotty toilet. O.K.? Had enough?
Heffernan refrains from describing the portapotty bit in more detail, but we hope it was Ty Pennington's head rising up, Whac-a-Mole-style, from that commode in an attempt to remind everyone that he's still the fun-loving free spirit he was before that whole DUI mess. Still, it's nice to know that Oprah's around to class up the otherwise "unspeakable" reality offerings; handing over a $100,000 check to a predator-catching informant (she'll save that for the Give, no?) should help break up the lowbrow monotony of watching yet another group of washed-up celebrities learning how to dance.
- TV Upfronts: Thank You, Your Oprah Majesty [NY Times]