November 20, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 46  

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Ratings rule this Newsroom

Mark Polishuk

Opinions Editor

Prepare yourself for a sampling of the finest pieces of meat in the rancid slaughterhouse that is your weekly TV schedule. “But, TV-watching dude,” you might say, not even bothering to read the name in my byline, “I have a TV Guide to tell me what’s on.” Well, it’s time to reveal a dark secret: TV Guide does not actually exist. It’s all just one enormous collective fantasy we share, such as Santa Claus, the Sports Illustrated cover jinx or honest government.

• Arrested Development (9:30 p.m., Sunday, FOX): By far the funniest new show of the year and probably the best new show overall. Starring Jason Bateman, David Cross and the ridiculously hot Portia de Rossi, the show is about a family beset by financial problems as the one normal son (Bateman) tries to right the family business while dealing with his crazy relatives. The tone can basically be described as a combination of The Royal Tenenbaums and one of Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries, which is a pretty strong pedigree. Also notable is the Wonder Years-esque narration by executive producer Ron “How the hell did I win an Oscar for Beautiful Mind?” Howard.

• The Newsroom (10:30 p.m., Wednesday, Comedy Network): In their eternal search for crappy Canadian content, the Comedy Network proved that even a blind squirrel can find a nut by re-airing this terrific CBC series from 1996. Writer-director Ken Finkleman stars as the news director of a hilariously corrupt news show where ratings, not journalism, rule the day. Peter Keleghan, whom you’ll recognize as “the smarmy clueless guy” on just about every CBC show in the last decade, plays the (you guessed it) smarmy and clueless anchorman.

• NFL Thanksgiving Football (12:30 p.m./4 p.m., Thursday, FOX/CBS): The Thanksgiving games have never been quite the same since John Madden left for ABC and thus could no longer spend an entire half of football discussing the “turducken” (a turkey/duck/chicken hybrid) feast waiting on the sidelines. This year’s games feature a competitive matchup between Miami and Dallas at 4 and what should be a perversely entertaining blowout as the Detroit Lions face doom at the hands of the Green Bay Packers at 12:30. Some might call me biased because I’m a Packers fan, but I’ll predict a final score of 51-6 for Green Bay. Cheer up, Detroit fans; at least you’ve got your baseball team to root for! (crickets chirping).



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