Of Elmo, 'Boss,' NBC, Math, Chevy, Trump and Other Dirty Things

Everything We Know We Learned From Television, Vol. 3.
Kelsey Grammer, who should have another Emmy on his mantle

Everything We Know We Learned From Television:

* Yes, the Liz & Dick movie really is this bad. Perhaps we’ll have to live-tweet that mess.

* It was disappointing news to hear to that Starz, the premium channel struggling to compete with HBO and Showtime, wasn’t going through with a third season of Boss. First, it’s the best series on the channel. Second, no actor was robbed and dispatched with the kind of force Kelsey Grammer was when Emmy voters bum-tossed him on the sidewalk. People – including Grammer, unfortunately – who say he was snubbed because he’s Republican are missing a bigger point. Well, two. Hardly anyone was watching the show. And that means Emmy voters probably never saw it (they certainly didn’t luxuriate in a ton of episodes, like they do with Mad Men, etc., that’s for sure). Lastly, they whiffed. Grammer’s performance was nothing short of astonishing. It’s just virtuoso from start to, well, this sad finish. Nobody can take that away from him.

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* The Kevin Clash situation has yet to settle, and things of this nature tend to spiral. But he’s stepped down as the puppeteer for Elmo and away from Sesame Street. He started off as a victim of TMZ’s dubious and salacious allegations (later recanted by the accuser), then got slapped with a lawsuit that has the whiff of a last-minute shakedown. So, he’s been outed as a gay man -- something he preferred to keep private -- his career is over, and his reputation tarnished. If this all ends with the conclusion that consenting adults did things you have no right to know about, it’ll be tragic. If it ends with actual charges and the involvement of minors, it’ll be even more tragic and Clash will get due process (well, a little late) and face the justice meted out. Right now, before we know the ending, it’s just sad all the way around.

* OK, let’s lighten up this dark room. Hey, The Neighbors survived on ABC! Oh, wrong choice. Gah.

* Chevy Chase quitting Community is basically the subtraction of the least interesting character on the show. What I want to know is, now that he's out, can Dan Harmon come back? Oh, and you're going to put the show on eventually, NBC -- right?

* I could boycott any show with that insane blowhard Donald Trump, but then that would mean I’d actually have to watch it in the first place. But I’m against censorship, even when it involves people with comb-overs, so I’ll take my own frequently dispensed advice and vote with my remote.

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* Still waiting for ABC News to explain the Diane Sawyer Election Night fiasco. Whenever you guys are ready, I’ll be right here.

* Discovery canceled Dirty Jobs. But hey, it was a long, popular run for Mike Rowe, who’s always been a good guy.

* Congratulations to NBC for winning the November sweep. This is a town that wants qualifiers and counterspin, but give NBC its due: The network is turning things around and showing positive improvement. Good work, Bob Greenblatt.

* Cutty on The Walking Dead? Absolutely. We’ll take it. We like characters from The Wire in just about anything that isn't 90210. Chad Coleman will be a nice fit on the zombie series. Hopefully his arrival doesn’t mean that another African-American actor has to go. Somebody should do a one-in, one-out chart of minority additions to TV series.

* Now that the election is over, it’s wonderful to see the triumph of statistics and the death of political punditry. What? It’s not dead? You mean there still are tea leaves being read and someone’s gut telling them what’s going to happen? Are you saying that people who believe in math and statistics will be treated like witches, just like we said they would? So sad. Nate Silver and others of his ilk should be permanent counterpoints to the cable news nonsense. Something like this: “Actually, all that stuff you’ve been talking about here for the last eight commercial breaks? Yeah, that’s all bullshit. The numbers don’t lie. Math is not political. OK, back to you and your nonsense.”

* This week’s Under Your Nose and Underappreciated: 1. Kelsey Grammer. 2. Ben and Kate. 3. Elementary. 4. Everybody on Raising Hope. 5. Jimmy Kimmel.

* Bring me the head of Donald Trump. Sans hair, please.

* The High Fives: 1. The Walking Dead. 2. Homeland. 3. Dexter. 4. Fox soccer (enjoy it while you can). 5. Statistics.

Email: Tim.Goodman@THR.com

Twitter: @BastardMachine



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