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Friday Notebook

By admin Published: July 10, 2009


"The Menopause Years"? That, seriously, is the subtitle of a planned DVD release of four "Cagney & Lacey" reunion movies from the '90s. That and other topics -- including the watch shown above -- after the jump.

Here's the official word:

Winner of 14 Emmy® Awards and nominated for 36, “CAGNEY & LACEY” was a ground and gender-breaking television series built around two now-iconic female cops: Chris Cagney (Sharon Gless) and Mary Beth Lacey (Tyne Daly). Now, CAGNEY & LACEY: THE MENOPAUSE YEARS, a compilation of four feature-length films that followed the TV series’ conclusion, will be available for the first time in a Collector’s Edition DVD set on sale September 29th for $39.95 SRP and CAGNEY & LACEY: THE RETURN will also be available as a single disc the same day for $12.95 SRP. What Gloria Steinem declared as “the best show on television” continues to entertain and enthrall audiences to this day.

I suppose the title is meant to be funny, but it keeps striking me as just mean. I can't imagine a set of reunion movies with male action stars being subtitled "The Viagra Years."

If you have been looking for my review of the movie "Bruno," there isn't one. The local publicists, under instruction from the studio, said any reviews had to be embargoed until today, when the movie opens. The Beacon Journal runs reviews on Thursday when possible, since that's where we have space; sometimes they appear earlier in the week, but that's usually a function of a mid-week premiere.

The idea of an embargo is ridiculous since dozens of reviews appear before a movie's premiere, including via online reviewers or online postings of print reviews. But the last time I broke an embargo -- just as many other print reviewers had done -- I was not invited to at least one subsequent screening of that studio's films. But what makes this even more ridiculous is our receiving "Bruno" reviews from wire services, with no embargo date. So we ran one of those instead of mine, and I saved the four hours it takes to go to a screening, see the movie and then drive home.

Time gets away from me, as was evident when looking at the latest Sports Illustrated "Where Are They Now?" issue. Has it really been 10 years since the U.S. soccer team won the women's World Cup? Another jolt, in today's e-mail: TV Guide Network will air a special Sunday about John F. Kennedy Jr., tied to the 10th anniversary of his death (which was actually a bit later in July 1999).

I was on the TV critics' press tour during coverage of the airplane accident which killed Kennedy. Here's a column I wrote at the time, from the July 19, 1999, Beacon Journal:

Defending his and other networks' enormous weekend coverage of the search for the plane carrying John F. Kennedy Jr., CNN/U.S. President Richard Kaplan curtly said, "I think the story pretty much speaks for itself. "I don't think I have to explain why it's wall-to-wall coverage on our network," Kaplan added at a press conference Saturday afternoon.
But it's too bad he didn't try, because the reasons are complicated, less based on the importance of the individuals on that airplane than on symbolism and the ongoing media fascination with all things Kennedy.
It's almost impossible to minimize the potent value of that name and the way John F. Kennedy Jr. had to carry it. He was portrayed as iconic, a mighty figure bathed in shining light, on a recent episode of the HBO comedy Sex and the City. The comedy cheekily suggested he carried miraculous powers, immediately restoring the shattered social status of a woman by befriending her.
Still, as the networks spent hours looking for something new to report, and considering once again the saga of all the Kennedys, they had to face the fact, too, that the world doesn't really come to a stop for much of anything anymore.
Saturday was a working day here, with print reporters who cover television gathered for press conferences about upcoming shows. For most of the day, those sessions -- with the History Channel, A&E, Comedy Central and Lifetime -- went on as scheduled, the Kennedy story unfolding with little or no comment aside from an expression of sympathy from a Lifetime executive who conveyed her sympathy while noting the network's "very long and very wonderful relationship with the Kennedy family."
Of course, many reporters were scrounging for comments, or departing sessions to check the latest reports on TV news, putting aside things that had been planned for months because of the force of events.
So CNN, which had a press conference late Saturday afternoon as part of presentations by half a dozen Turner networks, was in a sense competing with itself, knowing what was happening on TV might lure people away from its presentation.
Its solution was to have a special hookup between the Pasadena hotel where its press conference was and CNN in Washington, D.C., to update reporters in the room about what was happening on the other side of the continent. Kaplan told reporters that, should important news occur during the four hours of Turner presentations, the press conferences would be interrupted for news updates.
In the hours that followed, even as people talked about movies on TBS and TNT, or about new plans for the Cartoon Network, or even other projects at CNN, a monitor sat silently in a far corner, showing CNN's ongoing coverage of the Kennedy story.
But there was never anything important enough for CNN to disrupt the rest of its schedule. As Kaplan said before turning from the Kennedy story, "Life does go on, and we need to do that."
And life did indeed go on, especially out here, where it's three hours earlier than back East.
As NBC and CBS wrapped up their coverage Saturday night, it was midnight in the East but only 9 p.m. in the West; they, and later ABC when it ended coverage, still had to fill prime time hours with entertainment programming.
Yesterday morning, when the search for Kennedy resumed, it was only 5 a.m. here. CNN had the story, but local stations were still carrying infomercials and local shows and religious programming. And later, there was even a tacit acknowledgment on the network level that however much the networks might want to call this a breaking story, it had in fact turned into a prolonged vigil; ABC went on with scheduled coverage of the British Open golf tournament.

Now, about that watch. It's one of several new items now being offered at NBC's online store. Here's the announcement:

NBC Universal has announced another batch of highly exclusive, special edition collectible items from hit shows such as “The Office,” “Heroes,” “Chuck,” “Caprica,” and “Battlestar Gallactica,” through the (

This year's exclusive, limited-run products include a “Schrute Farms Beets Watch,” celebrating the #1 beet-related agro-tourism destination in Northeastern Pennsylvania (a precious 1,000 units); a “Heroes Double Helix Necklace” that will enable fans to advertise their Heroic status (just 1,000 units); a “Heroes-Sword Letter Opener” that replicates Hiro’s famous Kensei sword (1,000 units); a “Caprica USB Drive,” celebrating the period 58 years prior to the events seen in Battlestar Galactica (limited edition of 1,000 Units); and a “Chuck Supervisor Polo,” as worn by the elite of the Buy More retail family (1,000 units). Also available will be an updated version of last year’s wildly popular chrome, pop-up style “Battlestar Galactica Toaster” -- which creates the image of a Cylon on toast. The enhanced, 2009 edition -- the "Battlestar Galactica LED Toaster” -- is also emblazoned with the face of a Cylon that has red glowing eyes made of LED lights (limited edition of 2,000 units).

But would Mose even wear a watch.

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