What I Learned on the TV Beat This Week

On Charlie Sheen, the tsunami coverage and everything.

It took a tsunami to get Charlie Sheen off of everybody’s Web pages and Twitter accounts. Then Sheen sent a tweet about Japan, and the whole crazy train started rolling again.

Fox dumping the May premiere of Terra Nova is actually a good thing. Not because the show needs work (other than the computer-generated stuff that initiated the stall), but it frees us from hype. Can you imagine if the pilot rocked in May, then everybody had to wait until September to see the second episode (ala Glee)? How many EW covers is that, anyway?

By giving up the last day of the May sweep, Nova — with its Steven Spielberg bloodlines — now cedes first dibs to TNT’s Falling Skies (with its Spielberg bloodlines). If Skies is a dud, that might lessen enthusiasm for Nova. Or maybe everyone will still be obsessed with Sheen, and it won’t matter.

We love how everybody in this town seems to crave casting news, like every addition is a blockbuster move and a game-changer for that pilot. Then the pilot is made, and it’s lousy and nobody gives a damn anymore. Right, Tom Selleck?

Doesn’t it seem strange that Richard Hatch of Survivor fame does so much more jail time than Sheen? Just thinking out loud.

When Jimmy Kimmel was most in peril from the Japanese tsunami while on vacation, did your mind wander a bit and wonder whether Jay Leno had already placed a call to ABC? Oh, just me?

Speaking of ABC, the network’s news division is getting a lot of heat because when the Japanese tsunami news was breaking out West, the network didn’t go live. Instead, hello Kathy Griffin and other pointless dreck. And yet, we will not jump on the hating bandwagon. Should Nightline have gone live for the West Coast? Sure. But wasn’t it just a little bit noble that they were doing a feature on Griffin instead of Sheen?

In that same vein, what’s worse? That The Wire actress Felicia “Snoop” Pearson was arrested in a drug raid or that Wire actor Tristan Wilds took a role on 90210? Pearson might end up with just a light sentence, but Wilds is going to have to carry that decision his whole life.

Speaking of not being street, how much credibility is Quentin Tarantino going to have after suing Alan Ball for having loud birds? That’s so weak. It doesn’t take Sheen to tell you that first you shoot the birds with a Glock, then you pay whatever fine or do whatever minimal time you need to do. Then you can make badass films. But suing? Why not remake The Sound of Music?

The good news about Julianne Moore playing Sarah Palin in an upcoming HBO movie is she won’t have that Boston accent she used in 30 Rock. Right? Please say right. Although, that’s an acting choice that might be funny.

The Japanese tsunami delivered frightening and surreal images that were played repeatedly on 24-hour news channels, but much of the most levelheaded reporting again came from Al Jazeera English. Less levelheaded was a report on EW.com that the cast of Off the Map, which films in Hawaii, was in no danger from the tsunami. Why? Because filming for Off the Map was over. Thank you, EW. Next time, wait until the cast is swept away and that stupid show is off the air before you give us some more news.

Thank God Billy Ray Cyrus is finally getting a chance to go on The View and tell the world how Disney and Hannah Montana ruined his family and turned Miley into tabloid fodder. We can’t wait until the big reveal — when Billy Ray takes all of his uncashed Hannah Montana checks out of his pocket and burns them on a pile. What? He cashed them? Oh. Nevermind. Another reason not to watch View.

The High Fives: 1. Justified. 2. So many exceptional sitcoms on the air. 3. The hoped-for cancellation of Off the Map. 4. Al Jazeera English. 5. Jimmy Kimmel’s survival.