If ever there were a show that was suited to having a Halloween themed episode, it’s The Munsters. But then, not far after that on the list, it’s Medium. Allison’s abilities bring their own spooky vibe to every episode, and it really does dovetail nicely with this time of year. The Medium team really went all out with “Bite Me”, doing a really convincing job of inserting Allison into George Romero’s zombie-classic, Night Of The Living Dead. As if solving a murder wasn’t a hard enough gig, try doing that while battling zombies all night.
( They're coming to get you, Barbra! )
CBS took the night, as is the custom on Fridays, with an average 7.904 million viewers and a 5.0 rating/9 share in households. NBC eked out a second-place win with 6.7 million viewers and a 4.4/8, while ABC came in third (5.44 million viewers, 3.7 rating/7 share). FOX's "House" repeats snagged an average 3.75 million viewers and a 2.4 rating/4 share, while The CW followed the pack with 1.93 million viewers and a 1.2/2. CBS also took the 18-49 demographic with a 1.9 rating/6 share in households, with ABC and NBC tying at a 1.4 rating/5 share. FOX took third with a 1.2/4, and The CW scored last with an 0.8/3.
Friday hour by hour:
( Watch Your Head )
On Friday's episode of CBS's "Medium," psychic Allison Dubois (Patricia Arquette) has some nightmares that will look familiar to fans of director George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead." For the episode, Arquette is inserted into scenes from the classic horror film, cast in the role of Barbara, originally played by Judith O'Dea.
"This one was so much fun to do," said "Medium" co-executive producer Craig Sweeny, who grew up in Point Breeze and is a 1992 graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice High School. He wrote this week's "Medium" episode (9 p.m. Friday, KDKA-TV) with Robert Doherty. The story came about at the end of last season when the pair met with "Medium" creator Glenn Gordon Caron, who tossed out an idea he had back in his days writing for "Moonlighting": Insert the actors from his show in a movie that's in the public domain.
"He had no more notion of what the episode would be than that," Sweeny said. Doherty began looking into what films that might qualify and "Night of the Living Dead" stood out.
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All is not lost for Halloween TV devotees and horror-show shut-ins hoping for that out-of-body Halloween TV experience. In an audacious stunt reminiscent of Halloween TV's glory years of yore, the supernatural drama Medium, starring Patricia Arquette as an idealized - and fictionalized - version of real-life psychic medium Allison DuBois, will feature a Halloween Eve episode in which Arquette will be digitally inserted into scenes from George A. Romero's horror classic Night of the Living Dead.
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Patricia Arquette is excited about many things these days.
She's excited that CBS picked up Medium, that her husband's show Hung is doing well and that she soon gets to live out a childhood dream by being in a Night of the Living Dead-themed Halloween episode.
"I love that movie," she told reporters at CBS' Television Critics Association day. "When I was a teenager, it was kind of like when you start breaking away from the establishment and your parents. It's like you find these jewels after school...in the hot California sun, watching this weird movie. I love a good monster movie; here I am in a monster show. I'm the monster, but it's exciting."
She chatted up reporters after the panel yesterday to dish about that and then some...
How is the Night of the Living Dead-themed Halloween episode going to work?
That's a good question. I'm not sure. I don't know what color screen we use now, green screen, blue screen, silver screen, gold screen.
Tell us about your new short 'do.
It was written in the script that I had this brain tumor. So when I came back, they said we can get you, like, 10 wigs, and you can get a wig on every day, or we can cut your hair, and I said, you know what, let's cut my hair. I love it. It feels really good.
Now that the kids are older, how does that affect the storylines?
We're only on our second episode right now, but there are aspects of this episode that we're just finishing where Ariel [Sofia Vassilieva] is kind of breaking away and testing the boundaries as a teenager. And then the littlest one, she's getting much more comfortable memorizing. And [she's] getting more dialog. She's getting more comfortable with her scholastic skills, so she's taking on more.
What did you think of Sofia in My Sister's Keeper?
I was crying and crying. I was really sobbing.
With the show picked up for a full 22 episodes, how does that affect how you work?
It's a mind-melder. I just have to go one day at a time. You do have to really pace yourself and with your family too. It's like being on a marathon. It's not even a problem.
When NBC didn't pick up the show, was there a moment where you were ready to move on?
I was OK. Really, my feeling was I would just miss being around everybody every day because it's like a family. It's like going to school. I was trying to look on the bright side, like, wow, I can spend time with my daughter and this would be good. And my husband [Thomas Jane, who plays a prostitute on HBO's Hung] was starting a show. So he can do that. And that'll be good.
What do you think of your husband's show Hung?
I thought it was great. I love it. I told him to do it. Me and my sister convinced him. [He was like] "I don't know if I want to do TV." What are you talking about?
Did you know about the nudity on Hung?
Yeah. He's pretty comfortable. I mean, we went to Burning Man, and I was like, "Well [are you going to] get naked the whole time?" And he was like, "No because everybody else is naked." He likes being the only naked person.
What do you think of the upcoming Night of the Living Dead-inspired ep of Medium? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
The producer of "Medium" has acquired the rights to use George A. Romero's classic "Night of the Living Dead" and will stage a mash-up episode inserting Patricia Arquette's character into the film. The outing will air just before Halloween.
"I'm so excited about it because I love that movie," Arquette said. "Also I started out in horror movies with 'Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 3.'"
But what critics at the summer press tour really want to know is: What do showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron and Patricia Arquette have to say about NBC now that "Medium" is moving to CBS?
"The CBS conversation has been going on for five years," Caron said of the switch. "[Our new lead-in] 'Ghost Whisper' is clearly a show people like. And given our history [at NBC], it's nice to follow a show people really like. Last time we were [at press tour] NBC made us walk."
Caron emphasized that he was "incredibly grateful to NBC," yet was repeatedly pressed by critics to talk about the subject and obliged with a couple more critical statements.
"CBS has already run more promos than NBC has in the whole five years," he said, drawing appreciative chuckles from CBS executives at the back of the ballroom. "For the first time in three years we're going to do 22 episodes ... there were times along the way even a couple inside NBC thought maybe if we gave the show a little more attention -- that's no great secret there. Could things have been done differently? Sure."
Caron compared the fate of his show to the buzz-heavy "Chuck," which received a last-minute pickup.
"'Chuck' is a really, really good show ... that NBC has attempted to launch twice. ... Those people have generated a tremendous amount of buzz for the show ... but that hasn't translated into ratings ... and what does that say about the show? ... We didn't create as much buzz as 'Chuck,' but we did attract more viewers."
Had he received a longer notice about his show's fate on NBC, "We had a whole Quiznos thing set up."
Caron was also asked about the showrunner protest against the TV Academy/CBS for cutting two writing categories, and he gave a rather eloquent answer:
"A big part of success or failure is the writing that contributes to the show, so the idea of moving the writing off of the main broadcast seems short-sighted," he said. "Television is in a unique position to say these things are thought about, written, read, and when we take those things off the main broadcast it diminishes the importance of that.... This is a written medium. but it begins with a blank page. How can you have this whole procession of people picking up prizes and not have the people who are there when nothing exists?"
TCA Press Tour: 'Medium' says Goobye to NBC and hello to CBS