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Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: January 31, 2010

In today's Beacon Journal:

Thanks to a new DVD release of "Omnibus" performances by Leonard Berstein, as well the previous release of his "Young People's Concerts," I look back at how Bernstein used television -- and the days when commercial broadcast TV included cultural programming.

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For Your Video Amusement

By admin Published: January 29, 2010

A couple of people have passed this along this piece on how to report TV news. And I have seen way too many pieces using this very format...


How To Report The News - Watch more Funny Videos

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J.D. Salinger, R.I.P.

By admin Published: January 28, 2010

The author of "The Catcher in the Rye" has died at the age of 91. The Washington Post/Associated Press obit is here.

From the New York Times e-mail:

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Cleveland Film Fest Honorees

By admin Published: January 28, 2010

Jan Hrebejk, Emily Abt, Jesper Ganslandt, Mark Harris get nods. Full announcement after the jump.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: January 28, 2010

Today's mailbag column is here. Topics include "Lie to Me," "The Amazing Race," an old John Denver recording and more.

Watched last night's "American Idol" and am still waiting for a contestant to knock my socks, well, at least below my ankles. This was another night where the major entertainment involved judge-watching. Neil Patrick Harris was far more interesting, and focused, than Joe Jonas. Even more amusing was the way the Fox-based "American Idol" kept throwing out "Doogie Howser" references with NPH. It's not just corporate envy (that is, Fox not touting competitor CBS by showcasing "How I Met Your Mother"). "Doogie" may have aired on CBS but it was made by 20th Century -- wait for it -- Fox.

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Jennifer Lopez To Visit "HIMYM"

By admin Published: January 27, 2010

From CBS:

Jennifer Lopez will guest star in an episode of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER to be broadcast this March on the CBS Television Network.

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TCM Picks Top Movie Soundtracks

By admin Published: January 27, 2010

The list of "15 Most Influential Soundtracks," with the complete announcement after the jump, incluides "American Graffiti," "King Kong," "Star Wars," "The Graduate," "Saturday Night Fever," "Blackboard Jungle," "A Hard Day's Night," "Psycho," "Goldfinger," "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," "Shaft," more. Take a look and tell me what you think is missing.

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HeldenFiles Live! and Other Notes

By admin Published: January 26, 2010

In this week's video: Mose Allison (just because), "Watch What Happens" shot glasses, "The Bachelor," "American Idol," the movie "Big Fan."

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"HIMYM" Renewed

By admin Published: January 26, 2010

From CBS today:

CBS has given a sixth season pickup to HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER for broadcast in the 2010-11 season.

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A Few Words From Pernell Roberts (1991)

By admin Published: January 26, 2010

The former star of "Bonanza" and "Trapper John, M.D.," has died. He had a reputation as a good actor who was also his own man -- who walked away from "Bonanza," even though it was hit, because he was unsatisfied with the show -- and that came through in 1991, when he met the press to promote "FBI: The Untold Stories," a series he was promoting. I dug out the transcript to offer a few excerpts.

Most of it involved Q&A with the show's producers. But Roberts was asked why he came back to TV with that show (which aired 1991-93), five years after "Trapper John" ended:

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CBS Renews "Survivor," "Amazing Race"

By admin Published: January 25, 2010

From the network today, some good news for fans of two reality shows. I am always psyched for more "Amazing Race" and am probably more intrigued by the next "Survivor," the "heroes vs. villains" series, than good sense would allow.
Here's the boilerplate:

CBS has ordered more editions of its Emmy Award-winning reality franchises—SURVIVOR and THE AMAZING RACE—for broadcast in the 2010-2011 season.

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This Is Opening Up?

By admin Published: January 25, 2010

That's what "Inside Edition" called this bob-and-weave with Jay Leno. From today's email, a plug for an "Inside" segment today:

Jay Leno opens up to INSIDE EDITION about his relationship with Conan O’Brien, speaking out for the first time since he was officially renamed the host of “The Tonight Show.”

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Couric, Muppets Talk About Grieving

By admin Published: January 25, 2010

The folks at "Sesame Street" have laudably addressed the issue of death for their young viewers, notably in the show about Mr. Hooper's passing. Now the Sesame Workshop is preparing a new show:

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, in association with Worldwide Pants Incorporated and Lookalike Productions, is producing a new primetime television special, When Families Grieve featuring Katie Couric and the Sesame Street Muppets. This hour-long HD special, airing in primetime nationwide in April on PBS, will present families’ personal stories about coping with the death of a parent, as well as strategies that have helped these families move forward.

Most recent data state that one in 20 American children under the age of 15 experiences the death of a parent whether it be from illness, suicide, accident or war-related.*

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And the Biggest Game Show in the World Is ...

By admin Published: January 25, 2010

Well, these guys say it's "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?"

According to Television Business International magazine (TBI),which is part of Informa Telecoms & Media, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is the most popular gameshow in the world. Analysis of ratings data in the world’s key TV territories revealed that it was the most popular TV contest in 2009, twelve years since its launch on ITV in the UK.

TBI compiled the top-ten list of the world’s most popular gameshows (see table below) and other entries include Deal or No Deal, Wheel of Fortune and Hole in the Wall.

However, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was the runaway winner in terms of audiences across the world. Sony Pictures Television, through its format distribution arm 2waytraffic, sells the show to international broadcasters and has licensed it to over 120 territories. Having launched on ITV in the UK in 1998, the show was sold to 2waytraffic in 2006 and it was in turn acquired by Sony in 2008.

“In tough economic times broadcasters want cost-effective shows that reach a broad section of viewers and gameshow tick those boxes - the results clearly show the enduring appeal of a well thought out gameshow format,” says Stewart Clarke, TBI Magazine Editor. “The fact a show like Who Wants to be a Millionaire? has gone off air in several countries only to return later proves it has achieved ‘classic’ status. The appearance of veteran formats including Jeopardy and Family Feud/Family Fortunes also illustrate the kind of lifespan a successful gameshow can have.”

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The Awards Season Rolls On ...

By admin Published: January 25, 2010

You can find a report on the winners of the Producers Guild awards -- which included "The Hurt Locker" as best movie, "30 Rock"
as best TV comedy and "Mad Men" as best TV drama -- here. The nominees are here.

"Hurt Locker" looked like an Oscar contender but the story notes it "lost footing after the [Golden] Globes chose 'Avatar' as best dramatic film and the SAG film ensemble award went to 'Inglourious Basterds.' Taking home the top PGA prize has put the low-budget indie back on the fast track for Oscar gold."

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Jean Simmons, R.I.P.

By admin Published: January 23, 2010

The actress has died. Los Angeles Times has a good obit/tribute here. She was a great beauty, an able performer, a class act.

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Friday Night Notebook

By admin Published: January 22, 2010

I watched the "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon and it was a worthwhile cause, executed reasonably well (some small glitches here and there) in the style of the 9/11 "Tribute to Heroes" special. As you know if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I got a little misty over Muhammad Ali/Chris Rock and the sight of the child who had been rescued after days under rubble. And, of course, I will always stop to listen to Mr. Morgan Freeman.

You also know that I will be downloading a bunch of the songs from iTunes -- John Legend, Jay-Z/Bono/Rihanna, Shakira (doing a Pretenders song, no less), Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, maybe the Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow/Keith Urban performance ... Lots of interesting song choices, although with the warhorses it probably depends on how attached you are to a singer or song, and how tired of hearing it again and again. No knock on Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris, for instance, but I've heard enough of "Hallelujah."

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2010 Rose Bowl, BCS Championship on DVD Feb. 16

By admin Published: January 21, 2010

The Rose Bowl DVD also includes "a condensed version of the Buckeyes’ last Rose Bowl victory, a 20-17 win over Arizona State in 1997." Details after the jump.

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"A Serious Man" to BD/DVD

By admin Published: January 21, 2010

The Coen brothers' latest Oscar contender arrives on Feb. 9. Details after the jump.

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"The Deep End"

By admin Published: January 21, 2010

I had a little breathing room this afternoon and got over my promo-induced reluctance long enough to watch the pilot of "The Deep End," the lawyer series premiering tonight on ABC. And now I'm done with it, as I will explain after the jump. (Updated with a spoiler.)

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"Hope for Haiti" Telethon Updates

By admin Published: January 21, 2010

The latest announcement is after the jump. We're up to about three dozen channels carrying the event at 8 p.m. Friday, and that list doesn't include TV One, which separately announced that it will be carrying "Hope for Haiti" also.

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Not 25 Years!

By admin Published: January 21, 2010

In case you're curious about things not Conan, after the jump is a rather long press release about Kimberley Rew, who wrote the Katrina & The Waves classic "Walking on Sunshine" -- a song marking its 25th anniversary as a huge and much replayed hit. You can find a list of its movie/TV inclusions here.
Recordings of Rew's pre-"Sunshine" material are being reissued.

For those of you tuning in late, Rew is a man; the vocalist on the song was Katrina Leskanich.

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And So the Wrangling Ends

By admin Published: January 21, 2010

From NBC today:

NBC and Conan O’Brien have reached a resolution of the issues surrounding O’Brien’s contract to host “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.”

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New "Amazing Race" Cast

By admin Published: January 21, 2010

Show starts Feb. 14. Players include undercover detectives, models, people from "Big Brother." Full announcement after the jump.

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New "Questor Tapes"?

By admin Published: January 21, 2010

From the overnight email:

CEO of Roddenberry Productions Rod Roddenberry announced today that Roddenberry Productions has entered into a deal with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Television to develop the Gene Roddenberry pilot “The Questor Tapes.”

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AMC Orders "Walking Dead," "Killing" Pilots

By admin Published: January 20, 2010

The Hoff's Reality Series A Go

By admin Published: January 20, 2010

I don't know who in David Hasselhoff's circle thought this was a good idea, but here it is:

A&E ordered ten half-hour episodes of an untitled David Hasselhoff real-life docu- series from FremantleMedia North America, it was announced today by Robert Sharenow, Senior Vice President, Non-Fiction & Alternative Programming, A&E Network. The series, slated for 2010, will take a behind-the-scenes look into the life of “The Hoff” focusing on his multiple entertainment and business endeavors, as well as his most important role as a single dad trying to help his teenage daughters’ break into the recording industry.

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"Matt Houston" to DVD

By admin Published: January 20, 2010

The first season of the 1982-85 series starring Lee Horsley arrives on March 9. Full announcement after the jump.

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"Breaking Bad" DVD/BD Update

By admin Published: January 20, 2010

This announcement includes a change in the release date of the series:

The Emmy®-winning and critically acclaimed AMC series returns to DVD and debuts on Blu-ray™ March 16 when Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases Breaking Bad: The Complete Second Season. ... All 13 episodes will be included on both the four-disc DVD and three-disc High-Def Blu-ray™, along with exclusive bonus content, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, cast and crew commentaries and much more.

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Looking Back a Year

By admin Published: January 20, 2010

The news this morning is full of the Massachusetts senate debacle and what it says about the Obama administration. Since the discussion comes on the anniversary of President Obama's inauguration, I have been thinking about what was going on in the news a year ago. Here is the link to the first of a series of blog posts I did on that day; you can go to it and then follow through all the posts.

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HeldenFiles Live! -- New Video

By admin Published: January 19, 2010

We've changed the name of my weekly video since they have involved more than "talking television." This week's topics include Robert B. Parker, C.D. Payne's "Youth in Revolt" book, vintage Roger Corman on DVD, a few words about the Golden Globes, a new Allison Moorer CD.

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"Hope For Haiti" Lineup Set, More Networks Added

By admin Published: January 19, 2010

I have an item about this in my print HeldenFiles tomorrow, but more info was released later today. Here's the announcement:

“Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief,” today announced its lineup of superstar musical performances. The global telethon will feature performances by Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Sting in New York City; Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and a group performance by Keith Urban, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow in Los Angeles; and Coldplay, and a group performance by Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z, and Rihanna in a newly added London location. All musical performances will be available for purchase for $.99 per song through the Apple® iTunes® Store beginning Saturday, January 23, with all proceeds benefiting Haiti relief funds managed by “Hope for Haiti Now” charities.

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Kate McGarrigle, R.I.P.

By admin Published: January 19, 2010

Kate, half of Kate & Anna McGarrigle, and part of a musical dynasty that also includes her ex-husband Loudon Wainwright III and their son Rufus Wainwright, has died. Longer obit here. Terrible loss. My college friend Fred Ridder introduced me to the McGarrigles' music via their "Kiss and Say Goodbye" (a very different song from the Manhattans' hit), and my enjoyment did not end there. "Dancer With Bruised Knees." "Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine." "Bundle of Sorrow, Bundle of Joy." "I Eat Dinner." The entire "McGarrigle Christmas Hour" CD.

Here are Kate and Anna performing their "Heart Like a Wheel," famous via Linda Ronstadt but infinitely better in their renditions. This performance was at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs ...

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Understanding the Late-Night Mess

By admin Published: January 19, 2010

I offer this explanation from a transcript of Seth Meyers' comments on "Saturday Night Live":

Let’s say you’re married. And it’s the #1 marriage in the country. But then you meet someone else who just sweeps you off your feet so you say to her, “I want to marry you - in five years.” And she says, “yes, I will wait 5 years to marry you.” So then you go home and tell your current wife, “honey, in 5 years we are getting a divorce.” Now you might think, your current wife would be super cool with that, and say “thank you for being honest” but it turns out, she’s actually super mad. And as the 5 years pass, she gets in really good shape, so when the time comes for the divorce, she’s looking better than ever. She looks so good that you see other people looking at her and you get jealous. So you come up with an awesome plan. You’ll still marry the second person but you’ll also stay married to the first. So you tell the new wife, “good news, we are totally married but every night when I get home I’m going to spend a half-hour with my first wife first, but then I’m all yours. And before you even see how she feels about it you hold a big press conference and tell people that you’ve changed the future of marriage. Now if you think the new wife is cool with this plan, she’s not, she’s super mad. And the first wife is also acting weird, you know, because you have two wives! But then just when you think you’re stuck, you come up with a perfect plan to solve all your problems. You kill your second wife.

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Robert B. Parker, R.I.P.

By admin Published: January 19, 2010

The novelist, famous for his Spenser and Jesse Stone novels, both of which became the basis for television productions, has died, according to published reports. When I first discovered the Spenser novels, I immediately became a fan, and for many years after would not miss one of them. Spenser had the wisecracking quality of an old-school private eye, but what I most liked was the seasoned aspect of him; he believed in mature relationships, and showed some age as the books went along.

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Starz Sets "Party Down," "Gravity" Date

By admin Published: January 19, 2010

From today's email:

Starz is piling on the offbeat humor, packaging the returning comedy series “Party Down” and the new dramatic comedy “Gravity” to run Fridays at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (et/pt), respectively, starting on Friday, April 23, only on Starz. These two comedies fit in with Starz’ commitment to program series unlike anything on TV.

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CBS Renews "NCIS: LA," "Good Wife"

By admin Published: January 14, 2010

Sort of mixed news here. I watch "The Good Wife," not "NCIS: Los Angeles." But here's the announcement:

CBS's NCIS: LOS ANGELES and THE GOOD WIFE, the season's top two freshman series, have been renewed for the 2010-2011 broadcast season.

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NBC Sets Post-Prime-Time-Leno Lineup

By admin Published: January 14, 2010

Which is also the post-Olympics lineup. The 10 p.m. slot will include "Law & Order" Mondays, "Parenthood" Tuesdays, "L&O: SVU" Wednesdays, "The Marriage Ref" Thursdays and "Dateline" Fridays.

Also, "Friday Night Lights" will come back to NBC on April 30, earlier than previously announced. Full announcement after jump.

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"Where the Wild Things Are" DVD/BD March 2

By admin Published: January 14, 2010

Announcement including description of extras, after the jump.

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TNT Renews "Certain Age," Mrs. Fields Offers Conan a Job

By admin Published: January 14, 2010

From the e-mail:

TNT has renewed its critically acclaimed hit series MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE for a second season. The wry drama stars Emmy® winner Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond), Emmy winner Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street, TNT’s Salem’s Lot) and Golden Globe® winner Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Enterprise). MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE currently airs Mondays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). TNT has ordered 10 episodes for the second season.

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NBCU Offers Olympics Coverage Details

By admin Published: January 14, 2010

It involves 835 hours, six "platforms" and a very long press release, which is after the jump. But at least it includes curling.

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Hasselbeck Job Swap

By admin Published: January 14, 2010

This from the folks at ESPN:

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a Daytime Emmy Award-winning co-host of ABC’s “The View,” and her husband, ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck, are changing jobs – for one day.

Elisabeth will spend the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 19 on the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn., where she will appear in Tim’s place on ESPN programs, including NFL Live (4 p.m. ET), to discuss the NFL playoffs and other sports topics.

Tim will complete the job swap Thursday, Jan. 28, at the ABC studios in New York, where he will occupy Elisabeth’s seat on “The View” (11 a.m., ABC) alongside co-hosts Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and Barbara Walters. The former NFL quarterback will share his perspective and match wits with the all-female panel as they discuss the latest news, celebrity gossip and events of the day.

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Thursday Notebook: Teddy Pendergrass, R.I.P.

By admin Published: January 14, 2010

Teddy Pendergrass has passed away. Back in the '70s, when I was lucky enough to have a job that included covering the Hampton (Va.) Jazz Festival, I saw him perform one night. Tall, gleaming, shirtless, roaring, he had the ladies loving him -- they were lined up to approach the stage, bringing flowers to Teddy. At least, that's how it stays in memory. I don't remember much about how he sang that night -- or if he stood out much in what was always a lineup of big names -- but I remember the image. And later, I fell into his music. "Choose Me," from the movie of the same name and on the LP above (as "You're My Choice Tonight"), is one of my alltime favorite smooth-love songs, and one he recorded after the 1982 accident that curtailed his career. And I have a bunch of his work with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes in my iPod; still marvel at those long, bending and turning, whisper-to-a-scream, harmonizing epics they could do. I'll keep listening.

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"Hot in Cleveland" Casting

By admin Published: January 13, 2010

Still just a pilot, but here's the latest news from TV Land:

TV Land announced today that it has signed comedic actresses Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick to star as best friends in the network’s sitcom pilot “Hot in Cleveland.” Additionally, the incomparable Emmy Award-winning Betty White has also been cast in the comedy pilot as a recurring guest star. The sitcom, which was previously announced in October along with comedy pilot “Retired at 35,” is TV Land’s foray into scripted comedy series and is a TV Land PRIME presentation.

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"Army Wives" Returns April 11

By admin Published: January 13, 2010

Since the bride loves the show, I would be remiss if I did not make note of this from Lifetime:

Army Wives, cable’s #1 rated drama series among Women 18-49, will return for its fourth season with 18 all-new episodes set to premiere on Sunday, April 11, 2010, at 10 pm (ET/PT) on Lifetime Television.

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My Latest Video

By admin Published: January 13, 2010

Includes: An "American Idol" TV tray, an "Avatar" joke that sounded better in my head than it did out loud; comments about Simon Cowell, the NBC late-night situation and the book "The Lovely Bones" (saw the movie last night; skip it and read the book), another homage to Willie Mitchell, a little bit of Al Green, and me looking too often at my notes. Enjoy.

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Conan Speaks -- Sets Up NBC Departure?

By admin Published: January 12, 2010

Here's a link to a story, and a statement from Conan O'Brien, in which he says he won't go along with the plan to move "The Tonight Show" back to 12:05 a.m. Sure looks as if he is ready to jump networks, since NBC's proposal to put Leno at 11:35 p.m. makes clear that it doesn't want Conan at the earlier time, regardless of what the show is called. And he rightly takes NBC to task for impatience with his performance.

This whole deal has been a mess, and continues to be one -- although, if Conan leaves, NBC can put Leno back in charge of an 11:35 "Tonight Show" (Leno willing) and act as if the last 17 weeks never happened. Which is about as delusional as believing that a low-rated 10 p.m. show five nights a week won't tick off affiliates.

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ABC Renews "Modern Family," The Middle," "Cougar Town," Sets 10th "DWTS" Season March 22

By admin Published: January 12, 2010

From ABC this afternoon:

Stephen McPherson, president, ABC Entertainment Group, announced early pick-ups of hit Wednesday night comedies “Cougar Town,” “The Middle” and “Modern Family” for the 2010-2011 Season today at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.

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"Precious" on DVD/BD March 9

By admin Published: January 12, 2010

The announcement is after the jump. Bonus material will include audio commentary with the director, numerous featurettes, a deleted scene, an interview with author Sapphire and director Lee Daniels and Gabourey Sidibe's audition.
The release will be two days after this year's Oscars, where the movie is expected to contend for a number of major awards.

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"Prisoner" Revamp to DVD on March 23

By admin Published: January 11, 2010

Curiously, no Blu-ray announcement. The complete word from Warner Home Video after the jump.

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Fox Orders Second Season of "Glee"!

By admin Published: January 11, 2010

Announcements by Fox at press tour include "Glee" renewal, flashback 100th episode of "Bones":

"GLEEKS Rejoice! FOX Picks Up Second Season of 'GLEE'; Nationwide Open Casting Call for 'GLEE' Begins February and Will Air as Multi-Part Special This Fall on FOX"
"All-Points Bulletin: 'CODE 58 (working title)' Premieres Monday, June 7, with Special Previews Wednesday, May 12, and Wednesday, May 19, on FOX"
"Giggity Giggity! 'FAMILY GUY' Reaches Milestone 150th Episode Sunday, May 2, on FOX"
"'BONES' Celebrates Milestone 100th Episode Thursday, April 8, on FOX"
"'AMERICA'S MOST WANTED' Reaches Milestone 1000th Episode Saturday, March 6, on FOX"

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More From NBC: Mandel Succeeds 'Hoff

By admin Published: January 10, 2010

As you may have heard, David Hasselhoff has left "America's Got Talent." His replacement, announced today, is Howie Mandel. Full release after the jump.

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NBC Notes

By admin Published: January 10, 2010

If you've been following my press tour colleagues online, you know by now that NBC has said Jay Leno is done in prime time as of Feb. 12, and the network is still deal-making on how its post-Olympics lineup will look. (In other words, what does it have to do to appease Jay and Conan?) Looks as if the net is going back to a much more traditional approach, not only by appeasing affiliates with the Leno adjustment, but getting back to a standard "upfront" presentation to advertisers instead of its cutesy "infront" system in recent seasons. I know, that's very inside baseball, but it does set a tone and NBC went out of its way to announce it on press tour.

NBC also made some other announcements, which I have posted after the jump. Among them: Jim and Pam will have their "Office" baby in March 4 & 11 episodes. And the date has been set for "The Marriage Ref."

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Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: January 10, 2010

Worked a metro shift Saturday, then went to a University of Akron men's basketball game last night. (UA won easily, after looking awful at first.) And can't seem to get away from Wii. But that hasn't kept me from looking at stuff. Witness:

Some notes about the return of "American Idol," and my hope that it will run on time this year, are here.

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Saturday Notebook

By admin Published: January 9, 2010

I could devote long posts to some of the topics here, but I don't think I have the energy or will. Have been wrenched a lot lately. Read the book of "The Lovely Bones" to prepare for seeing the movie next week, and it was draining. Very well written, too, but still a difficult if eventually uplifting story for anyone who has experienced grievous loss (and who, really, has been so fortunate as to have avoided that)? Not sure how it can be translated into a movie without seeming hokey, but I'll find out on Tuesday.

You may already have seen Roger Ebert's journal entry about his having lost the ability to eat. If not, please read it now. The tone reminded me more than a little of "The Lovely Bones"; part of that may simply be the result of adjacent reading, but each also deals with getting through something horrible and finding joy -- especially when Ebert talks about the way he is using food memories. While I can't help missing Ebert's crisp vocal delivery, he can at least still write. Man, can he write.

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CW Mid-Season Plans

By admin Published: January 8, 2010

Full announcement of shows, new episodes, after the jump.

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"Barnaby Jones" to DVD

By admin Published: January 7, 2010

I can't say I watched the show much. But I was a Buddy Ebsen fan, from his days dancing with Shirley Temple and playing sidekick to Fess Parker's Davy Crockett. Got to meet him once, when he joined the cast of "Matt Houston," and he was one cool dude. Anyway, if you care about "Barnaby," here's the release:

Television's sharpest P.I. returns when BARNABY JONES arrives on DVD for the first time February 16 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment. The four-disc set features all 13 episodes from the inaugural season, which have been beautifully remastered.

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"Our Little Genius" Bumped

By admin Published: January 7, 2010

The kind of creepy-sounding show, set to begin after Wednesday's "American Idol," has been pulled from the schedule. Here's the official word from Fox:

“Our Little Genius” will not premiere Wednesday, Jan. 13, as previously announced.

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CBS Announces "Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains" Cast

By admin Published: January 7, 2010

Rupert, Coach, Stephenie, Tom Westman, more Boston Rob and, yes, Evil Russell. Announcement after the jump.

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This Week's Video and Other Notes

By admin Published: January 6, 2010

My weekly video is above. Topics include "The Simpsons," some new DVD releases, and what I've been reading ("Churchill") and listening to (Phoenix, Gil Scott-Heron, Jeff Healey) of late. You may also note several Sam Cooke items in the background; I'm working on a column about "American Masters" on Cooke, and have been accumulating material.

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"Falcon Crest" to DVD

By admin Published: January 5, 2010

From Warner:

The dramatic saga of the rich and greedy fighting for power and money is finally coming to DVD when Warner Home Video releases Falcon Crest: The Complete First Season on April 20, 2010. This four disc DVD collector’s set, which includes all 18 episodes, is priced to own at $39.98 SRP.

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Cool "HIMYM" Picture

By admin Published: January 4, 2010

From the upcoming musical episode. The pic alone makes me smile. The official CBS description:

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NBC Announces Next "Celeb Apprentice" Cast

By admin Published: January 4, 2010

The rundown: Darryl Strawberry, Cyndi Lauper, Bret Michaels, Sharon Osbourne, Michael Johnson, Holly Robinson Peete, Goldberg, Carol Leifer, Sinbad, Summer Sanders, Rod Blagojevich, Maria Kanellis, Curtis Stone and Selita Ebank. The show starts March 14. The full release is after the jump.

I see that Blago has, apparently, finally made it onto an NBC reality show. But I must express my disappointment once again at not being chosen. After all, people would look at my name and say "who?" as much as they would to some of the monikers above.

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Inching Back Toward Work ...

By admin Published: January 3, 2010

This is the last day of my vacation. It's all right. Am ready to get back to work.
From today's Beacon Journal, a story on the decade in pop-culture technology, co-written with Malcolm X Abram, is here.

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Happy New Year

By admin Published: January 1, 2010

The above is an Australian press photo of their New Year's celebration. We had a more quiet one at home, with some movies and "New Year's Rockin' Eve" and the occasional digression to FB and Twitter. Whichever way you went last night, I hope it has you feeling happy -- and optimistic about the days to come. Here's a pretty appropriate tune for this time ...

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