Ivan's Blog

Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks

Thursday, May 12, 2005
Video Games and Television--- There are two big events on television tonight, and it just so happens that they are both airing at the same time. The next-generation Xbox system will be unveiled on MTV in a half-hour special from 9:30 PM to 10:00 PM Eastern Time, while the season finale of The Apprentice airs on NBC from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM Eastern Time. If you have a TIVO, you already know that there is a way around this (and if you don't have a TIVO, shame on you!). The Xbox special re-airs on MTV at 1:30 AM Eastern Time, so if you want to watch both shows you can just watch The Apprentice live and watch (or tape) the replay of the Xbox unveiling.

I have previously written about who I think will be the winner on The Apprentice (in a word: Kendra). After the three-hour death march of a season finale that The Apprentice offered in its second season and the ensuing backlash about it being too long, NBC has over-reacted this year by making the season finale only one hour. I agree that three hours was too long, but I believe just as strongly that one hour is too short.

There is a logical reason for this happening, though. NBC wants to have the heavily-watched season finale of The Apprentice lead into the season finale of ER because ER needs all the help it can get at this point. After being untouchable in the ratings for almost ten years in the 10:00 PM timeslot, the mighty has finally fallen this year as CBS' Without a Trace has consistently beaten ER in the ratings. Last week, for example, Without a Trace drew a 12.3 rating compared to the 10.5 rating drawn by ER, something that was just unthinkable as recently as one year ago. Giving ER a strong lead-in like The Apprentice season finale is simply NBC's response to this problem on this particular week, and I don't think they're all that concerned about whether ot not it will hurt the quality of The Apprentice season finale

As for the next-generation Xbox unveiling, Microsoft should make a mental note that goes something like this: "Do not invite dozens of celebrities to your gaming system's premiere party and expect them to honor the non-disclosure agreements that they sign." Pictures from the unveiling have already leaked out on numerous web sites, along with the fact that the official name for the system is "Xbox 360" and the official launch date is November of this year. The mysterious grass-roots marketing web site, OurColony.net, has been counting down for weeks to 9:30 PM Eastern Time tonight. What will happen when the countdown reaches zero? I don't know, but it will likely involve a continuation of the "Colony" posters being plastered all over major metropolitan areas throughout America.

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