Mr. TV: Tubeys Time

If you love TV, you are no doubt familiar with Televisionwithoutpity, Bravo’s online destination for everything TV. Each year at this time, this heaven for couch potatoes offers its Tubey Awards, where viewers chime in with their picks for the best and worst of the season.

Unlike traditional television awards like the Emmys, the Tubeys call it like it really is, with the top 10 vote getters in each category making it to the final round of Tubey polls. New categories and nominees are unveiled weekly through Aug. 30.

Categories created by the fans include Best and Worst New and Returning Show, Best and Worst Single Episode (for both Comedy and Drama), Most Overrated and Underrated Show, Favorite and Least Favorite Character, Most Ludicrous Plotline, and Most Appealing and Most Appalling Reality TV Star. Since I am never shy offering my opinion, my picks in the last two categories are the women called Rivers: snappy 75-year-old Joan for winning Celebrity Apprentice (and taking no nonsense from lethal competitor Annie Duke) and coattails-riding daughter Melissa, who defines the phrase sore loser. Little “Missy’s” hissy fit after getting fired by Donald Trump will go down in the nonscripted record books right alongside Marie Osmond’s fainting spell on Dancing With the Stars.

After appalling behavior like this, the Tubeys should create a new category called D-Listers Most Likely to Be Hiding Under the Table. Joining Melissa Rivers would be Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt from NBC’s recently concluded I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

Well, I didn’t create that category, but I did decide to get into the Tubeys action. I’ve partnered with the Tubey Awards to create five categories that will roll out individually throughout the summer. The first, Best Programming Trend, will kick off on July 6 (see box for nominees and where to vote). Here’s how I feel about it. Had Canadian drama The Listener not recently bombed, choice three could have been a contender. But unless you can’t get enough of celebs like Paris Hilton and the Kardashian clan headlining their own nonscripted series,
The CW’s 90210 and ABC’s recently canceled Cupid, or NBC’s The Office and 30 Rock, the current glut of still-successful crime solvers makes choice two the favorite. Year in, year out, crime still pays in prime time.

Daniel Manu, site director for Television Without Pity, has his hands full at present dealing with an overly enthusiastic crowd this year. “Last season, we had about 250,000 votes in total,” said Manu, whose background includes stints at TV Guide Online, AOL Entertainment and Sony Online Entertainment. “This year we already surpassed that in the first week! In turbulent times like these, TV is like a comfort food.”

Indeed, the Tubeys hope to separate the really good meatloaf (unorthodox categories like Best Sidekick, Best Badass and Best Villain) from the tuna sandwich that’s been sitting in the sun too long (Worst American Accent by a Non-American Actor, Most Ludicrous Plotline, Most Over-hyped Big-Name Guest Appearance, etc).

“Let’s be honest…there is some really bad TV,” said Manu. “And we are here to point that out.”

Manu even offered some of his personal picks: Chuck as Most Improved Show, Lost as the Best Season Finale, Life as the Most Painful Series Cancellation and Dollhouse for the New Series From the 2008-09 Season With the Most Wasted Potential. Tubey winners will be announced in mid-September in the week leading up to the Emmy Awards.