Thursday, July 2, 2009

In Loving Memory of John Jay Smith

A Big night of TV last night threw up a few last minute schedule changes and a few surprises.

The main schedule switches were on Ten, subbing the Simpsons for a 48 Hours special on the recently deceased Michael Jackson - averaging 1.15 million it did better than any Simpsons ep since the first widescreen one back in April, though as a lot of angry Simpsons fans have pointed out in the blogosphere - where is the 3rd season premiere "Stark Raving Dad" featuring the mysteriously named 'John Jay Smith' in what was one of Jackson's only appearances on a scripted TV show.

In fact nothing better illustrates the rise and fall of Michael Jackson than The Simpsons, in it's early years Jackson was a friend to the program and a hero to it's main protagonist, Bart.

Michael Jackson wrote the song 'Do the Bartman' (true story) and Bart Simpson appeared in the full length Black or White video (the full length version hasn't really been seen since it's premiere due to it controversial content except for this week when music stations started rolling it out again), then Jacko went on to appear on the show's third season premiere, one of the first celebrity guest stars on the show, during that ep Michael Jackson was showcased as a hero and a living legend.

Contrast that to the show's seventh season with the episode 'Bart Sells His Soul' we get the following classic quote from Bart

"There's no such thing as a soul. It's just something they made up to scare kids, like the boogeyman or Michael Jackson."

Show those two episodes Ten and you've got the essence of the man's spectacular ride down the pop culture slippery dip better than just about any documentary could illustrate.

Continuing with the night's theme, Nine pushed aside Cold Case for their own MJ Documentary giving them the 9.30 hour with room to spare.

The Chaser also apparently weighed in with their own riff on the Jackson saga, but this being the first week since their premiere ep where they're not hindered by State of Origin shows up a big decline for the show - while still first in it's slot (just) it's down a sizeable 22% from it's May 27 debut, not exactly the bang you want for a million bucks a pop.

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