Wednesday, November 28, 2018


If you missed it, there will be no more new episodes of MURPHY BROWN.  The reboot was a failure.  It was an awful show.  Ava and C.I. called it back in October:

There are people being paid to spin this as a hit despite the ratings.  There's the lie being spread that MURPHY's debut was hurt by the fact that it happened on the same day as the Kavanaugh hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.


MURPHY didn't just do bad -- ROSEANNE got over twice the viewers for the debut of her reboot.  MURPHY did bad for CBS.  It wasn't just that MURPHY was low rated.  It was that MURHPY was CBS' lowest rated sitcom for the night.  People turned off, people changed channels, people actively avoided watching MURPHY BROWN.  Even the audience for MOM was not in the mood for MURPHY.  Equally true, as the minutes ticked by during MURPHY's broadcast, the ratings continued to fall.  People watching the show, giving it a chance, had more than enough before the credits rolled.

The reboot was a bomb.

And it never should have been rebooted.

Let's get to that because people are lying there as well.

MURPHY BROWN was not a hit in syndication because -- look it up on CRAPAPEDIA -- the rights to the songs used in the show were too costly?


What a bunch of b.s.  Did you ever hear of BOSOM BUDDIES?  That Tom Hanks, Donna Dixon, Wendie Jo Sperber starring sitcom played endlessly in syndication.  But it did so with a different theme song.  Billy Joel's "My Life" was used when the show was in production and ABC broadcast new episodes.  Joel didn't want it used in syndication.  So they flipped it.  Something similar happened to CHARMED.  It happens on many shows.  The easiest corrective is you use some instrumental notes (don't call it music).  And MURPHY BROWN, if that was the problem, could have done so.  There's only one song that has to be included -- and in two episodes.  Aretha Franklin performs her hit "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman" on one episode and Murphy sings it to her child on another.  That's it.  And it's not expensive.  You're not paying to use the ATLANTIC RECORDS hit recording.  Again, Aretha performs it live -- her voice, her playing at the piano.  And Candice Bergen sings it live.  All you're dealing with are the publishing rights -- and Screen-Gems has always been willing to take pennies.

The show went off the air in 1998.  And it went off a show that was not a hit.  Now if times were different, MURPHY would have gone into syndication while it was still airing and CBS would've had it in syndication by the fourth season.  That's how it happens today.  But back then it was a little different -- especially for the behind the times Tiffany network.

.Seasons seven and eight did not indicate the show would be watched -- both failed to make the top fifteen of what was being marketed as a top ten show.  Then came seasons nine and ten where the ratings slid even further (by season ten, the 'hit' show as the 69th most watched primetime show on the big four -- CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX).  It was a flop and people didn't want to watch it.

That's not good news when you're trying to syndicate.

It was a bust.  No one wanted it when it went off the air and then came 9/11 ensuring it would remain a bust.  (9/11, as we've long documented, saw women weakened and vanished on TV.  You can also refer to Susan Faludi's THE TERROR DREAM.)

So grasp that.  And grasp that Diane and Candice were right to be grateful to predator Leslie Moonves because no one else would have been stupid enough to bring that show back.

ROSEANNE was a hit show that people continued to watch -- in syndication and on NETFLIX and on DVD.  (And they continue to stream it today -- even though the media has lied that it was pulled from every venue.)  It built an audience.  MURPHY BROWN?  America ignored it in syndication and they refused it as a DVD (only season one ever came out on DVD).

So, for the reboot, all you really had was the core audience.  You needed that original audience to tune it.

But, in 2018, there was a good chance that they wouldn't.

Most  of that is fat ass Candice's fault.  MURPHY BROWN will always be infamous for its battle with then-US Vice President Dan Quayle.  But while Diane English missed no opportunity to rant about Dan, as soon as Candice was no longer working with Diane, she enraged many by insisting that Dan was right and his remarks were reasonable.

Grasp what a betrayal of the audience that was.  It was the real and videoed battles with Dan that took the show to its highest ratings.  Murphy was standing up to the Vice President!  And then, a few years later, the actress who played Murphy was saying, eh, it wasn't all that important and I agreed with him.

The show never should have been rebooted.

And last Thursday, the few viewers that tuned in realized that as they watched what had to be the ugliest cast ever.

Candice should have lost some weight or they should have made a comment on Murphy's weight.  (It would have really been funny, in a Carol Burnett skit way, if they'd done the whole episode trying to disguise Candice's weight, hiding her behind big purses and plants, like she was pregnant.)  By 2014, even Candy Crowley had been dumped by CNN and she'd been the token heavy woman on TV 'news,' the only one.

But we're supposed to believe that looking like that, Murphy can get hired for CNN (or whatever network she's supposed to be on) to do a morning show that's like the FYI show she did over two decades ago?  What world do they live in?

And could no one have fixed Grant Shaud?  Yes, he needed to lose at least thirty pounds before stepping in front of the cameras as Miles.  But even more important, he needed to have a consistent hair color.  He could have gone Anderson Cooper grey.  Or he could have died it a dark color.  But he couldn't do both.  That hair was hideous.

Sorry, do you hear that sobbing?  That's Joe Regalbuto.  He's afraid we're about to talk his hair -- or lack of it.  No, we're not.  We're just going to note he's butt ugly.  Butt.  Ugly.

Then you've got Tyne Daly -- tugboat Tyne.  We love the jokes about how she was cast to make Candice look thinner but the reality is that Candice is larger than Tyne -- as well as larger than many single-family homes.

"Ava and C.I., you always harp on appearance and then say it's a visual medium to justify it!"

Well, it is a visual medium.  But we're harping on appearances this go round because what else is there?

Did you watch the episode?

What else is there?

Let's note the Faith Ford looks fine.  And her comedic touch is still there.  Good for Faith, maybe CBS will notice and give her a sitcom.

But where are the characters?

The show has been off for decades.  We're talking about FYI -- the newshow within a show -- but it's true of MURPHY BROWN as well.

The show has been off for decades.  And what has anyone done with their lives?

Murphy?  Okay, she parked herself in front of the fridge, clearly.  But otherwise?

Does no one find it appalling -- and telling -- that after 20 years off the air, the show returns and not one character did anything worthwhile -- or even not worthwhile -- with their personal lives during the last 20 years?

No one's married.  No one has had a child during the 20 years off the air.  No one's tried a new career.  No one has done a damn thing.

The only good news?  I saw season one of MURPHY BROWNE on DVD at a store the other day.  I'll grab it next time I go to the drug store.  The show was funny back then. 

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, November 28, 2018.  Protests continue in Iraq as the government continues to falter.

How bad are things in Iraq?  RUDAW reports:

The government in Baghdad is tackling the country’s dirty water problem, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said on Tuesday.

“We have held a series of important meetings with senior experts to stop water pollution, typically in rivers,” he told reporters during his annual press conference.

Iraqis are concerned about the health of their water supply after a series of crises this year – water levels in the Tigris were at historic lows this summer, polluted and very salty water sent thousands to hospital in Basra, and mass fish deaths sparked concerns that the Euphrates River had been poisoned. 

The water problem is being tackled!  Why, there have been meetings!

Wait, comedian Adil Abdul al-Mahdi wasn't done with the laughs: "He said that recent rains – which caused deadly floods in the centre of the country – had improved water supplies in Basra."

The floods!  He's using the floods as a selling point!  That would be the floods that have claimed lives and displaced so many.


More than 15 schools badly affected in Thi Qar province after recent floods.
The scale of damage caused by flooding at Qayara cano was heart breaking. Over 2,000 families had their tents completely flooded with no dry space to even sit on.

Emergency workers in Iraq struggle to help flood victims

In Southern Iraq, water levels usually rise slightly in November with the rainy season in late December or early January, where sudden transient floods are expected. So this may just get worse unfortunately. May God keep them safe and secure always.

This is the prime minister's selling point?  We've held meetings and, by the way, the flooding has made the water better -- while also killing people and displacing them and creating a crisis -- rah rah!  That's his selling point?

In other 'great news,' he promises -- continues to promise -- a full Cabinet -- some day.

PM : A number of oversight bodies including the Accountability and Justice Commission are carrying out due diligence work and vetting of nominees for the remaining Cabinet posts. We will present our nominees to parliament once this process is completed

Had the Iraqi Constitution been followed, October 24th wouldn't have found him moving from prime minister-designate to prime minister.  He would have either come up with a full Cabinet in the 30 days or he wouldn't be prime minister.  That's all you have to do per the Constitution.  The president names your prime minister-designate and then you have 30 days to form a Cabinet -- that's what you do in order to become prime minister.

But he couldn't do it.  Not even after drastically reducing the Cabinet to 22 posts, he still couldn't fill it.  He couldn't even fill the security posts: Minister of the Interior and Minister of Defense.

He couldn't fill the Cabinet and people are losing patience.

Iraq's Sadr calls on prime minister to finalize cabinet

Iraq's Sadr calls on prime minister to finalize cabinet

The new appointed PM of Iraq Adil AbdulMahdi is going no where with his efforts to form a cabinet of Ministers that can work with him to provide essential services to the people. The guy is passive and lacks the determination to do what he was asked to do.

Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said the ministries of defense and interior in the new should be filled with independent cadres or commanders who played a major role in the war against .

And while Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior should be the focus, let's remember they are only two of eight posts that the prime minister still hasn't filled.  Repeatedly, it's going to happen . . . next week.  In fact, the posts were supposed to be filled yesterday but now that's been postponed to . . . next week.

The last time a prime minister failed to fill the posts of Ministers of Defense and Interior, what happened?  The rise of ISIS in Iraq.  It was Nouri al-Maliki, in his second term and Iraq's still dealing with ISIS to this day.

Dealing poorly with ISIS in many ways.  For example, ANADOLU AGENCY reports:

Around 1,900 bodies have been pulled from the rubble in the northern city of Mosul following Iraq’s three-year conflict (2014-2017) with the [ISIS]  terrorist group, a local civil-defense official said Wednesday.
"Civil-defense teams have so far recovered some 1,900 bodies found under the rubble of destroyed buildings in Mosul's Old City district," Fahed al-Abed, a civil-defense official in Iraq’s Nineveh province (of which Mosul is provincial capital), told Anadolu Agency.

Under the rubble?  Hmm.  Rubble?  Oh, right from all the bombs dropped on a city with civilians in it.  Dropped from war planes -- planes in the US-led coalition because what better way to save the occupied city of Mosul then to bomb it?

At least al-Mahdi can take comfort in the fact that the timeline there is on the previous prime ministers Nouri al-Maliki and then Hayder al-Abadi.  However, the Basra protests?  They started in July.  He became prime minister in October.  And he's issued a lot of statements -- he does love those statements -- but he's done nothing to meet the demands of the protesters -- demands that include safe drinking water which won't result in another 100,000 residents being sent to the hospital.

“We've been sleeping on the streets for 30 days…I told the governor, the youth is a ticking bomb,” a protester told the media today in light of renewed street blocking protests in due to lack of government response to address deteriorating living conditions
Following 5 months of continued street protests accompanied by 27 nights of sit-in demonstrations in front of Oil Company, time has expired on yet another set of promises. Dire living conditions in are not addressed and today marks a new phase in .

On the issue of protests, THE NEW ARAB reports:

"Raise your voices! Where are your voices? Raise your voices against killings of women, raise your voices for women!" exclaimed the scores of women and men at a demonstration in central Baghdad this month.
Activists gathered near the al-Mutanabbi Statue in downtown Baghdad on November 16, calling for the end to violence against women. Hundreds of others in the area joined the activists, reinforcing their outcry for women and freedoms of women.

Every year up to hundreds of women in Iraq are killed by men belonging to tribes. They accuse women of immorality and they proudly claim to possess them and their honour, while impeding them from any decision in life or free movement.
The protests were planned by the Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), with demonstrators holding large red banners stating that tribal killings of women should be treated in the same way as the Anti-Terrorism Act. Activists said that these unjustified killings destroyed the woman’s family life and endangered her children for the rest of their lives.
"Every tribe man who takes a woman’s right to life must be punished - not defended or protected by the state," said activist and founder of OWFI, Inar Mohammed.
"The state is collaborating with tribes in the killings of women under the guise of dishonour to society. We are here today against these tribal killings, against child marriages and against all violence women endure."

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