Here's the Scoop: August 6, 2014

A very profitable Theory
There was a “big” announcement in the TV world this week — the lead characters in The Big Bang Theory received hefty raises to $1 million per episode. This is very good news.
As a general rule, my TV viewing is pretty limited. For six-plus months of the year my channel surfing stops at shows featuring a fellow on a small hill trying to throw a ball past another guy in a different colored uniform who tries to hit the ball with a bat. Then there are eight other players who try to stop the “batter” from running around symmetrical bases if he manages to hit the ball. The actual rules are far more complicated, but you get the idea. I hope.
There are times of the year and of the day when there is no baseball viewing, though. In the past, if I did any TV viewing during these periods, I generally tuned into House Hunters because I find it fascinating that couples would consider not buying a house because “I hate that color paint.”
This habit started changing a few years ago when I noticed that my wife was watching a lot of The Big Bang Theory. At first, I didn’t pay much attention, but I would occasionally join her in viewing when she kept insisting, “This is a really funny show.”

More than comedy
I’ll admit that my initial “viewing pleasure” was mostly derived from scenes involving the adorable Kaley Cuoco. However, it was an added bonus that the show delivered plenty of laughs.
I wasn’t going to stop watching baseball, but I enjoy a humorous show and this fit the bill. So, I started watching more often. This proved to be really easy, since The Big Bang Theory is pretty much on all the time. I actually have no idea when the show airs during its weekly run, because reruns are so plentiful.
In keeping with the premise of (most) of its characters being of superior intelligence, the show’s jokes are generally the “smart” variety. It’s certainly much funnier than House Hunters.
As far as the rumored million-dollar per episode salary inked by the show’s top three stars, good for them. If TV networks are willing to pay that much, it’s got to be a worthwhile investment, right? A smart and funny TV show is an intelligent investment. Plus, baseball season is only six months long, so it’s good to have backup viewing.

Best of both worlds
Oddly enough, the worlds of screen stars and diamond stars collided the other day when I made a rare public appearance. A business owner was arguing that baseball “players” are overpaid. I begged to differ. As an example, I noted that Cameron Diaz made a reported $50 million by agreeing to be paid a percentage of revenues from the very mediocre movie “Bad Teacher.”
Plus, I argued, actors have others who write their scripts — and even dress them! And, they get as many “do-overs” as they need to get the desired outcome. Even if it’s not good.
Baseball players on the other hand, are paid to perform and don’t get second chances to make up for errors. My friend blurted out the name “Bill Buckner,” proving my point. No amount of money will ever wipe that memory from the minds of even casual baseball fans. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re probably busy watching The Big Bang Theory.
— Brian Sweeney