Kristi Yamaguchi on Dancing with the Stars

I was hopeful when I heard that Kristi Yamaguchi was going to be on the ABC show Dancing with the Stars that she would rock the competition because she was such a talented figure skater. I made a similar transition from competitive figure skating in my own life (hobby) from 1984-1994 to social and sometimes competitive Swing Dancing in 1998-2003. I found that dancing was really easycompared with skating. No jumping was involved (lucky for me) and all the footwork was much much easier on the floor than it ever was on skates. Plus skaters have to have a great sense of body awareness to do what they do and in dancing that is useful to let you know where your head, hips, feet, shoulders, butt and fingertips are all at the same point in time and coordinate them all in different directions at the same time. Body awareness isn’t something you need for all sports, but you do need it for dance, gymnastics and figure skating because of the musical interpretation involved. (Those hobbies and pursuits that straddle the line between sport and art.) It was also great to finally really interpret the music with choreography and improvisation. The lead follow connection was easy too, but I would assume Kristi has that too since she skated pairs also for many years before concentrating on singles skating and winning the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics.

There are a few things Kristi Yamaguchi probably did have to learn in the Dancing with the Stars training sessions. The thing you don’t use in figure skating is the rest of your upper body, arms, head or expressions in much detail or variety. And skaters are not into the same kind of footwork as dancers because they are always skating for the sake of speed, to get to take off for jumps and can’t really spend time on any detail at a slow enough speed to be intricate. (it doesn’t get you any points) After learning to dance though, I thought skaters lacked real choreography, musicality and interpretation. They fell flat on TV as non-expressive beings trained to jump and without any real enthusiasm or artistic expression on the ice. Pretty posture isn’t enough to sell your performance or story to the audience let alone really interpret the music in a real way. I now prefer dancing both personally and for watching as entertainment, I think it has so much more to offer.

I think that Kristi Yamaguchi has the potential to be as good a dancer as the real ballroom dancers because she is in strong physical (cardio) shape, has great body awareness and seems to be learning the musicality and interpretation she needs to sell her dancing to the audience. I hope she goes all the way just like speed skater Apollo Anton Ono did a few seasons ago. It’s true, after figure skating, everything else in life is easy.

Top Popular TV Shows by Ratings November 2007

television, TV, showsEvery once in a while I like to check in on TV ratings and see what the most people are watching these days. My tastes don’t seem to be the same as the general public, but it’s interesting to see what they’re into even if it’s shows I would rather get a root canal than watch. This is how the list looks for the top 30 TV shows on network free TV in the past week (from the media week daily programming insider email)

What I think is surprising is that this list doesn’t look all that different than it did a year ago, or even 2 years ago. Last year Heroes was doing better but that is about it. Statistically we are still pretty much watching the same shows in 2007 that we were in 2005.  (yes, football got shifted around a bit in the mix, and “Samantha Who?” is new but that’s not a lot of change in 2 years)

Is it also just a little amazing that something like Charlie Brown still holds the attention of viewers after all these years? It’s nice to see something traditional on TV actually get some viewers.

Only 1 freshman series on the list. I guess there really weren’t many winners from this year’s new shows, so the writer’s strike could have started a whole lot earlier.

And how does 60 minutes keep drawing in an audience? I watch that and think it’s a show for old people, by old people. (and really bushy eyebrows) But then again only about 25% of our country is high school age or younger, (although it’s 1/3 of our lifespan) so maybe that isn’t such a bad demographic to pursue.

8 shows are Crime Dramas and 8 are reality shows. Except for Dancing with the Stars (which is almost a variety show) I could see all of them dropped and not miss them.

The rest: 5 dramas, 3 comedy and 3 sports. I am really surprised that Football is doing so well on Saturday and Sunday nights. Traditionally people are out of the house on Saturday night and TV ratings (much like internet traffic) is at it’s lowest point of the week so for any Saturday Night show to be on this list is amazing.

Top 30 Network Shows – Ranking by Total Viewers:

1. Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC: 22.85 million)
2. Sunday Night Football (NBC Philadelphia at New England: 21.81)
3. Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC: 20.96)
4. Desperate Housewives (ABC: 18.64)
5. NCIS (CBS: 17.34)
6. House (Fox: 16.89)
7. 60 Minutes (CBS: 16.13)
8. Criminal Minds (CBS: 15.88)
9. CSI: Miami (CBS: 15.83)
10. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC: 15.03)
11. CSI (CBS: 14.75)
12. CSI: NY (CBS: 14.56)
13. Samantha Who? (ABC: 14.38)
14. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC: 14.11)
15. Two and a Half Men (CBS: 13.91)
16. Cold Case (CBS: 12.98)
17. Sunday Night Football (NBC : 12.91)
18. The Bachelor: After the Final Rose (ABC: 12.30)
19. Brothers & Sisters (ABC: 12.25)
20. Without a Trace (CBS: 12.21)
21. The Amazing Race 12 (CBS: 11.80)
22. Law & Order: SVU (NBC: 11.69)
23. Survivor: China (CBS, clips show: 11.58)
24. Rules of Engagement (CBS: 11.48)
25. The Bachelor (ABC: 11.22)
26. Saturday Night Football (ABC: 10.96)
27. Heroes (NBC: 10.80)
28. The Unit (CBS: 10.76)
29. He’s a Bully Charlie, Brown (ABC: 10.42)
30. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC, Sun. 7 p.m: 10.37)

DVR Playbacks of TV Season Premier Week

From the programming insider email today:

DVR Playback – Week of Sept. 17:
Based on ratings for the week of Sept. 17 (one week prior to the official start of the 2007-08 season), the season-premiere of CBS’ Survivor: China was the most recorded program of the week. According to the final Nielsen live plus 7-day ratings, Survivor: China was recorded and played back by 2.12 million viewers. Second was the season-premiere of Fox’s Family Guy.

Here is a listing of the top 10 most recorded and played back programs for the week of Sept. 17:

DVR Total Playback Audience
1. Survivor: China (CBS, season premiere): 2.12 million
2. Family Guy (Fox, season premiere): 1.84
3. Prison Break (Fox, season premiere): 1.55
4. Back To You Fox, premiere): 1.46
5. Come Rain/Come Shine (ABC): 1.26
6. Big Brother – Tuesday (CBS, season finale): 1.25
7. The Simpsons (Fox, season premiere): 1.09
8. Kid Nation (CBS, premiere): 1.01 million
9. K-Ville (Fox, premiere): 993,000
10. Shark (CBS, season premiere); 982,000

I was suprised to see some of those shows in the top of the list because they were not watched with a very high rating. What this might mean is that they were not important enough to watch live but they were curious enough to record them and play them back to see if they were good or bad. What will be telling is if they drop off the radar in the next few weeks if people decide they didn’t like them and don’t record them in the future.

I am always suprised to see so many CBS shows, when as a singly yuppie female I don’t like anything CBS produces. It’s all reality crap or crime cop shows, and I am not in to either. There is noticeably no NBC shows on this list, even though heroes has a huge  following and NBC shows aren’t available on iTunes anymore either. Does this mean that they all watched them live? Or are they using the NBC site downloads? Or are they just not that important? I am also always suprised at the following of the Simpsons and Family Guy when I don’t relate well to them either.

Another note about these stats, when you look at who owns a DVR machine it is most certainly a young male dominated group. (probably 70% male and 30% female is my guess) This is probably the DVR stats for the 25-40 yr old male (tech oriented) group more than anything else.

If you have a DVR what did you record?

Big Shots

I watched Big Shots on TV last night (ABC) and I was pleasantly suprised. I thought it was a funny way to turn the tables on men in the same relationship type drama that women usually have. I don’t know who the 4th guy is, the blonde one I don’t recognize from anywhere before. It is really good to see Michael Vartan back again and to see the guy from west wing. The 3rd guy I have seen somewhere before but I can’t remember where. There was also obviously some casting not set yet with the napoleons girl always showing the back of her head. I wonder who they will get for that role as the show moves on. All in all though I hope people watch because I  thought it was a great show.

TV Premier Week update

I promised to review some of the new TV shows I have been able to catch this week on TV. I don’t have cable, so free TV is it for me. This stuff is what I have as an option or I am stuck with Netflix and the Internet. But then again sometimes my cat is the best entertainment ever. I don’t get much CBS coverage since the signal in Chicago is weak and I usually hate their shows anyway. I also rarely watch FOX because they go with lowest common denominator programming and a lot of sports and their signal is weak and fuzzy as well. If you are a TV exec or work for a network and are reading this, remember I am a 32 yr old single female yuppie professional. So these opinions are pretty related to that demo only.

Bionic Woman: Every critic has said this show either sucks or will not catch on. I don’t know why. I liked it. I got a very Alias feel from it and liked the discovery phase of not knowing what capabilites she has and the decision to embrace them. It feels very Alias to me. I hope people do watch it. It also has the whole action comic book thing going on too. Female heroines are very popular right now. Don’t count this one out.

Dirty Sexy Money: I thought this was good, but predictable. I think it is because it has been pretty heavily promoted and almost the entire pilot has been shown in bits on commericals and clips on the net. I think it will get better in the next few eps.

Dancing with the Stars: This is always interesting to me because I used to dance. I am always interested to see who is good and who sucks out of their element. I do think that the costumes are rediculous though.

Gossip Girl: A sometimes painfully obvious soap oera for teens. I think it will do well with the Teen Demo, but not much else.

Beauty and the Geek: I like this show even though apparently the ratings aren’t doing so well. I think they should keep going with it and I hope people keep watching.

Chuck: Again not much suprise when the entire plot of the pilot was in commericals but I think it has legs. A good combo of geekery and spy stuff. Comedy and Action drama stuff. And the word “nerd herd” is now part of the american vernacular.

Boston Legal: Always a pleasure to see. Always suprising and funny. This week’s closing arguement was a bit weak though. Need to keep good writers on this show that can feed James Spader good stuff.

Private Prctice: Ok show, although some shockingly awkward moments were so weird I had to change the channel. (guy dies while trying to submit sperm for artificial insemenation of girlfriend and exwife and girlfriend spend the entire show arguing over posession of dead guy’s sperm, while new doctor gets aclimated to practice with other Dr’s that didn’t know she was coming to work there) It’s a bit much over the top not believable sometimes. But than again that was the same problem I had with Grey’s Anatomy. But Kate Walsh is good. I like her a lot despite her not being able to dance really. (that was painfull too despite her being really pretty)

The Bachelor: Bad. Bad. Bad. This should have been canceled years ago. Please cut this show ASAP. Only the lowest intelligence women watch this show.

Heroes: I am not a fan of the premise of this show so I can’t really watch it. I am sure people will tune in though, people in my office were going home early to get ready to watch it, and talked about it the next day.

Cavemen: I am not giving this show the recognition of watching it.  It’s Stupid.

What did you think of all the shows you have watched in premier week? Any predictions on what will get cut?

New TV Season Premier Week

I will be trying to review the shows I can catch this week on the blog here. I am interested to see what can hold my cynical attention span and what won’t. I am also curious how many people will be watching them online this year. Most all the free networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) have said they will make shows either viewable or downloadable from online. What I wonder is if people will use this as their primary way to see shows or if it will be the backup when something better was on last night and they didn’t buy a tivo to record everything. I have a feeling that people use online viewing in a few ways. One, as a primary way to see things on networks they don’t recieve for some reason. Second, as a secondary viewing for shows that didn’t make the cut in real time last nigh but people will be talking about them so you still have to know what happens. Third, as a time waster either at work or at home, a way to justify procrastinating on those things in life that you really should be doing.

So as for what this means to the networks? Keep selling ads on these TV shows online, because it increases your reach and crossover with different audeinces, and increases the number of eyeballs each advertiser gets. So hopefully it increases convience for the viewers and money for the networks at the same time.