I had made a career on my computer chronicling when good TV shows went bad. Now it was my turn to be on the other side of the camera. I was confident in the show concept we had come up with, but the butterflies were in full swing as I sat in front of the studio audience.
Greg Fitzsimmons was a great game show host. The panel of Kathy Griffin, Christian Finnegan and myself did our best at being fair and funny judges. The shoot went off without a hitch. It was a good pilot. But would a Jump The Shark TV show make "jump the shark" jump the shark?
There happened to be one other issue that I was unaware of at the time. King World planned to produce one new show for syndication that year, and the other contender was a talk show featuring some guy named Dr. Phil. Looks like King World made the right choice.
A couple of years later, we tried again at TV Land with a Jump The Shark panel discussion show featuring Barry Williams, Tatum O'Neal, Dean Edwards and yours truly. Shot the pilot, but it didn't fly.
Two failed Jump The Shark pilots gave me an appreciation for all that goes into making TV. I think twice when I see a "bad show", because that's never the intent of the creators.
Let's fast forward a few years, and I'm privileged to be hosting two shows on cable. I auditioned to host
The other show I co-hosted with my SiriusXM Radio partner Gary Dell'Abate was
For What It's Worth went away, but the idea didn't as you'll see in my picks below. A lot of TV is recycled premises, and the show rarely works the second or third time around.
Believe me, it's a lot easier to sit at home and watch these shows instead of trying to create or appear on one. I'm lucky to have experienced the best of both of these worlds.
THIS WEEK'S PICKS
Stanley Cup Qualifiers (NBC Sports Network)
Monday August 2 (All Week Long)
Hockey in August? Bring it on.
The playoff grind is legendary, and nothing tops the quest for the Stanley Cup. It takes 16 wins to earn the right to hoist Lord Stanley's trophy above your head. This year, thanks to COVID, there's a qualifying round to determine which teams make it to the round of 16.
Even if you're not a hockey fan, the Stanley Cup playoffs are worth the watch. The skills on display are impressive, but it's all of these athletes playing hurt, laying it on the line, not shaving, doing whatever it takes night in and night out to make it to the next round.
The intensity of these games can't be duplicated. The qualifying round gives us hockey all day long which I cannot get enough of. And even thought it's 100 degrees outside, it'll be cold in Toronto and Edmonton as the best in the business give it all they've got to get that Cup. Let's Go Pens!
What's It Worth? (A&E)
Tuesday August 4 9pm (Premiere)
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Considered me BEYOND flattered.
Jeff Foxworthy searches for hidden treasures across the country finding out if pop-culture keepsakes hold more sentimental or monetary value.
WTF?!! Do you recognize that premise?
I haven't seen a minute of this program (and I won't watch it), but they've clearly seen a certain VH1 Classic show I co-hosted eight years ago. I get that people can have similar ideas, but come on. Plus the same title?
Jeff Foxworthy and his production company should expect a fan letter. "You might be a ripoff artist if you..."
The Rain (NETFLIX)
Wednesday August 5 (Season 3 Premiere)
I've got a thing for Danish TV series. I loved The Twelve, so why not try an apocalyptic take on the world? Seems timely.
Season three continues the quest to find a cure from those pesky raindrops. This six episode season is reportedly the last one, so let's hope Rasmus and Simone can work things out.
We Hunt Together (SHOWTIME)
Sunday August 9 (Premiere)
This big-time crime drama from the BBC follows a couple who loves to kill and an unlikely pair of police detectives trying to track them down.
Eve Myles from the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood leads the quality cast through the cat and mouse chase. Baba and Freddy bond over their love for violence as the mismatched detectives find common ground tracking the killer couple.
This checks all the Showtime mystery boxes - sex, violence and lots of dark shots at nighttime.
If there's quality TV that I'm missing, please let me know.
Wear a mask. Stay healthy and safe.