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Don't Pay the Ransom, I've Escaped!

By RD Heldenfels Published: October 17, 2006

Bonus points for knowing the joke that goes with the punchline above. The last few days have been hectic as all get out. Last night, for example, I watched ''Studio 60'' sometime after 11 p.m. while finishing an envelope-stuffing project. I was done just in time to catch the wild end to that Bears-Cardinals game. Saturday night I was writing the thing that was stuffed, Sunday afternoon we were making copies and folding them, and that was just part of the non-job obligations of late.

As for ''Studio 60,'' I still think Matthew Perry is terrific. Am already tired of Maureen Dowd, or whatever it is they're calling the Christine Lahti character. Sarah Paulson's Nancy Grace isn't as good as her Holly Hunter, but I almost laughed at the premise of that sketch, which may be the only time I have even thought about laughing at one of the sketches within ''Studio 60.'' Didn't for a second believe the whole reality show/HBO show storyline. Mildly amused by the shout-out to my colleague David Bianculli (you may have noticed ''Bianculli'' in the crawl in the Grace bit) and by the ''bad cack in the schoolyard'' line, which is the comment that caused Aaron Sorkin so much embarrassment on the TV critics' press tour this summer, but those are both way inside baseball.

Summing up, it wasn't good but it wasn't quite as annoying as last week's episode. Then again, I wasn't stufffing envelopes during last week. All things considered, I could have spent my time better by just watching last week's ''The Office'' again, twice.

From yesterday's e-mail:

ABC’s new hit series “Brothers & Sisters” was picked up for a full season order, Stephen McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment, announced today. The critically acclaimed drama marking Calista Flockhart’s triumphant return to primetime television focuses on the Walker family, five complicated adult siblings who embrace one another unconditionally while striving to reflect the perceived perfection of their role model parents. The series is executive-produced by Ken Olin, playwright Jon Robin Baitz and Greg Berlanti.

            “‘Brothers & Sisters’ is a great addition to our Sunday night lineup and has given us a strong complement to ‘Desperate Housewives,’” said McPherson.

            This past Sunday “Brothers & Sisters” won the 10 o’clock hour among Adults 18-49 (4.9/12) and across key women (W18-34 - 5.3/14, W18-49 - 7.2/17 & W25-54 - 8.2/18), defeating both CBS and NBC in the hour (fast affiliate ratings for 10/15). The ABC freshman is the top new program on any night in the 10 o’clock hour among Adults 18-49 and is the second-highest-rated new series of the season among Adults 18-49. “Brothers & Sisters” leads its CBS drama competition in the time period across key adults demos by 47% in Adults 18-34 (4.4/12 vs. 3.0/8) and 22% with Adults 18-49 (5.5/14 vs. 4.5/11). 

More notes later today, I hope.

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