Wednesday, January 31, 2007

MORE ON MARIAGATE


STILL GETTING BAD PRESS

Read this article on Marketwatch about Maria Bartiromo the Money Honey TM again, suggesting CNBC was now paying a hefty price for trying to make a celebrity out of Bartiromo. Flying on corporate jets, doing all these corporate appearances--- CNBC has created a monster.

Also, that article was talking about the deep bench there at CNBC. True. They were ranting about how Erin Burnett was poised to become a breakout star at the network.

Well, it is very true that Maria isn't the only female financial reporter out there, and it's also true that she hasn't exactly carried CNBC on her backs all by herself. Heck she anchored Business Center years ago at the height of her and her own network's popularity, and that didn't do that program any good--- the show got beat by Lou Dobbs and they had to replace her! Truth is that Maria's popularity is way overblown and people have finally clued in to that and are writing about it. She's a big name and probably a nice person from what I hear, but there was no reason for CNBC to make a big star out of her or make her the face of the network. Her fame was all due to the fact that she was on the floor of the Stock Exchange dodging all these wild-animal traders all the time! That was the Maria that the fans knew and loved.

But those days are long over. Now she's flying around in corporate jets and giving speeches for these bigshots. Not exactly a way to make yourself popular with the boring people in middle America who watch CNBC. Moreover, people are still mad at Maria for all those bull$#!t bullish reports she was fed by her hype-artist sources way back in the 1990s. They aren't so mad at Erin Burnett because, heck, she wasn't around for any of that! Same for Becky Quick, Melissa Francis, Rebecca Jarvis (!) and all these other CNBC financial news babes. They weren't on TV, or at least weren't famous back then, so they all get a free pass!

But Maria's been on TV too long and she's not the same Maria anymore to a lot of people. She's now a bigshot herself, just like these execs she is interviewing. So that's made her a prime target for stories like the ones flying around now.

Bottom line is Maria is definitely not the only biz TV reporter with fans on Wall Street. When FOX finally gets their financial news channel started Maria definitely has to look out for Alexis Glick and her big comeback--- Glick's fans on the Street are practically a cult. It would be no surprise if the Money HoneyTM feels insecure about all this. She isn't feeling the love from the fans that she used to, ladies and gentlemen. Besides, she really isn't the biggest bigshot star on CNBC when you think of it. The biggest star they have is that ugly-looking lunatic Jim Cramer, him and his balding head.

Maria really needs to put an end to all these bad news stories about her in the press. She really does need to make a statement or something, or at least get a good crisis-PR person.

"MY NAME IS TARA CONNER AND I AM AN ALCOHOLIC"


She's also admitted to cocaine use. Click here for all the gory details. She won't be in Playboy, either.

I think it's fair to say that with all these revelations coming out that Tara Conner has thrown away any chance of becoming President of the United States--- though stranger things have happened. (Ahhhnold.)

THIS IS PATHETIC

You get the impression this is yet another publicity stunt by the Miss USA pageant to keep this sorry babe in the news? This is really pathetic, Tara making the rounds of the TV shows confessing her girl-gone-wild ways to Matt Lauer and everyone else. This is all old hat, we know already about all this stuff, darnet!! They should all give up already.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

LATE NIGHT TV STUFF


(David Letterman pictured, with Demi Moore.)

This is a big week over at the Dave Letterman show as he celebrates his 25th anniversary hosting in late night on Thursday. That's including his years slaving away unappreciated over at NBC.

Bill Murray will be on the show, too. Check out this story about it all. I'm sure there will be plenty of stories about all the wild stuff that happened on the show, too--- like the night Drew Barrymore took off her top in front of Dave, or Farrah Fawcett's seemingly stoned appearance on the show, or Howard Stern's ranting, and on and on.

Also, I found this blurb about Spike Feresten's heavily-ignored wasted effort on Saturday nights on FOX, right after MAD TV. All I will say is help this poor guy keep his gig and tune in, because they're doing a good job.

His show reminds me of the old Letterman show in the old days when he was on NBC, and that is a compliment. Feresten in fact wrote for Letterman in those old days. So the similarities are pretty pronounced. Of course, everyone makes note of the fact that nobody knows who Spike Feresten is, but people in the comedy community know who he is. People in these news organizations really should get out more often. That's it for now.

EPIC MOVIE GETS A BIG ZERO

I am looking around for a movie to go to so I can escape American Idol on TV. There seem to be a few good possibilities, but you have to be careful.

The movie that is currently running at the top of the box office charts right now is Epic Movie, and that flick takes the mickey right out of all the current hits at the theatres. You know, James Bond, Borat, that sort of thing.

And you want to know where it ranks with the folks at Rotten Tomatoes? Well, it gets a big fat zero percent.

Talk about terrible. The Dukes of Hazzard did better than that, the Pink Panther did better. The Razzie-award-nominated Basic Instinct 2 even did better! Zero percent takes a lot of effort.

I don't even know if this piece of junk was officially screened for reviewers--- very few people seemed to review this movie. Maybe they snuck into theatres, or paid their way to see it. If they did, it's obvious that they lost their money. Zero percent, and this for a movie that is on top of the box office.

You know, lots of people keep on griping about how nobody listens to film critics anymore or even cares what they have to say. Everyone keeps writing about how critics have declining influence and that the golden age of film criticism is over. People keep saying they don't like to be told what to think about a movie. There are even people who will make a point of seeing movies that critics rip to shreds, just to spite them!

Well, maybe people ought to listen to these film critics more often. Then they might stay clear of these junk movies that are playing at the cinemas! Hollywood would get the message not to make any more lousy movies, and we'll all be better off! The public would get to see better flicks!

But no, the boring people in middle America keep on refusing to heed the critics' warnings, and insist on giving their hard-earned money away to lousy movies. And then when the movie is awful they complain about it. Well, it's your own fault, folks.

It begs the question, of course: why do people bother to go to lousy movies that everyone gives a big fat zero percent rating to, while they spurn these other movies that might be better? Beats me. This isn't the first time, either, that a movie got a zero percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes and topped the box office; it's happened before. I forget the name of it, but one of these movies got a big zero last year, too, and the folks at Box Office Mojo reported that it finished in first place, too.

Maybe the masses would rather see downmarket entertainment. Or maybe they're all just plain stupid--- like the movies they are seeing.

UPDATE (Wednesday): Good news! Epic Movie is no longer at o%. Some reviewer just posted a positive review, so now Rotten Tomatoes rates this movie at... 3%.

Woo hoo!

Monday, January 29, 2007

SAD DAY FOR HORSE RACING FANS

BARBARO has died. Story from ABC.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

MISS AMERICA PAGEANT IS MONDAY


On CMT. In Las Vegas.

Woo hoo! I'm excited, and I'm sure you are, too. Right. (Does CMT in Canada carry this, too? Doubt it.)

I'm also very excited by the nonstop basketball fare on TV right now--- so excited, in fact, that I have decided to blog about Miss America instead. I don't know why basketball doesn't cut the mustard, but it just doesn't--- at least not on Sunday afternoons.

SAG AWARDS TONIGHT

Also, the Screen Actors Guild awards go tonight and you can tune in to streaming from the red carpet on TNT online. They also plan live stuff from the press room. And you're going what?! Another awards show? That's what I was thinking, too.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT, MR. TRUMP

YOU CAN'T FIRE ME, I QUIT

Well last week's big "bombshell" on the once-good Apprentice show in L.A. was that Michelle resigned on the spot shortly after leading her team to another humiliating, total defeat. It was a Hollywood tour bus task and Michelle was a total flop running a tour bus. As soon as her team's utter defeat was announced, she resigned. Trump of course laid into her. "Doesn't that make you a quitter? Doesn't that make you a loser?" He went on and on, belllowing about how he has more respect for the boxer who goes down fighting than someone who just gives up, and how she'd regret this decision, and on and on.

Well, I have more respect for the boxer who has the sense to throw in the towel before he gets so badly beaten up in the ring that he ends up with brain damage or even killed! Michelle was getting killed. Trump was saying how Michelle was giving up this great opportunity and how she'd regret it later in life and so on, but that was all a load of BS. The fact was Michelle was going to be fired. At the very least, she was still going to keep on living outside in a stupid tent. She wasn't going to get humiliated any more by this process! Might as well go home (or at least, go to a movie or something) and not bother hanging around these jerks at
"Tent City" any longer.

Really, this whole "Tent City" idea has been a disaster. This is the downfall of the show! It's bad enough to lose, but this is really rubbing it in. It's really easy to quit and go home to your apartment when this is what you have to put up with--- especially if you know your situation is hopeless. This is a farce, ladies and gentlemen.

Honestly, I don't care about Trump's views about employees quitting or any of that, because frankly, he's not in their situation. If a person works hard at a job and gets completely nowhere, or finds out the hard way that he or she is a flop at the job or even hates it, then it makes total sense for them to cut their losses and go home! I see nothing good coming of wasting your time in a company that disrespects you and where you aren't doing well, especially if it's not the type of rewarding experience that you expected it to be. At least by quitting, Michelle was able to register her disgust with the entire situation and give the Trump organization the collective finger. Way to go.

Michelle gave an interview to TVGuide where she elaborated on the reasons why she quit. She told TV Guide that she was thinking of quitting at "pretty much the moment [during the season premiere] we were building the stupid tent. I was like, 'Hmm, this is insane.' When it really hit home was when I was on the top of the double-decker tour bus failing miserably. It dawned on me, 'I don't have to do this. It's just too much, and it's not worth it.' " She called herself "horrific and dismal as a tour-bus project manager."

She said she feels she is a gifted orator and would like to be a full-time television correspondent. She also has acting credits just like other people who have appeared on this contrived Apprentice show.

Anyway, I think this show demonstrated there is such a thing in the business world as "cutting your losses". Michelle did the sensible thing in resigning. Though it could well have been a big act to get herself noticed in Hollywood. Either way, it worked. That episode also demonstrated what a completely stupid season it has been at the Apprentice show. When even the contestants are fed up with the gimmicks and the tents, and the nonsensical tasks they have to put up with, well, that says it all.

To be honest, though, last week's show was the best one in a long, long time--- certainly the best ending, although I heard something like this was going to happen so I wasn't terribly surprised. Maybe I'm just jaded with this series; we really have seen it all. Apparently the Apprentice show goes back to being a worthless piece of junk again tomorrow, as Trump blows his top in Rosie O'Donnell-type fashion at one of these pathetic candidates in the boardroom. Maybe someone cooked the books or did something unethical or something like that, who knows. Also, there's going to be a big contrived romance on the show, to which I say "who cares". I am done with this show and its stupid gimmicks.

Friday, January 26, 2007

DON'T HAVE A COW, MAN

I went to TV Squad and they posted this link to a Futon Critic interview with Don Payne, who is a writer for The Simpsons.

I thought I would post it because I still think The Simpsons would be a great place to be a TV writer. And I dunno how long this show is gonna last but it's a good gig for someone interested in a comedy writing career. Even after all these years this is still a great show with great comedy writing, and it makes watching TV on FOX on a Sunday night a true joy.

Of course Payne also was the writer for My Super Ex-Girlfriend, but as always you can try and blame the director for that. Yeah, I always have to throw in my usual cut-down remark. Well, so what.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WHO'S GONNA BE WONDER WOMAN?

Well, the big buzz out there on the movie sites is all about who is gonna win the coveted role of Wonder Woman for that Joss Whedon flick that is supposed to come out. This reminds me of that whole James Bond casting thing where a lot of people were being floated for the role. Also reminds me of those Entourage episodes where Vincent Chase was wondering whether he was gonna be Aquaman. Same thing here-- except this is for real.

I was reading Ain't It Cool News and there was a whole thread on this topic and it sure seemed like the big push was on there for Monica Bellucci. Now, she would definitely be a great Wonder Woman. There was also a lot of support for Charisma Carpenter who I think would also be excellent. Charisma certainly looks like a Wonder Woman, she could channel Lynda Carter bigtime. But who knows. For some reason there were a bunch of no-names and B-listers being floated around for the role, including a lot of people I've never heard of. Though lately, a few of the names seem to be people that fans actually have heard of, or seen on TV.

A few weeks ago the name Sophia Bush came up as the person who was going to play Wonder Woman, but this blog site speculated that this was just the "newest in a long line of completely fabricated Wonder Woman casting rumors". I'm sure a lot of these actresses are just trying to drum up free publicity for themselves.

There was another rumor floating around somewhere that Rachel Bilson of the O.C. was being considered. But that rumor is probably rubbish, too.

THAT MERCURY GIRL

Another name has popped up just in the last 24 hours, hottie Jill Wagner (pictured). And apparently the rumors with her have some credibility to them. Word is that she has actually met Joel Silver about the role. Check out the article about it, one of the many. Check out also an interview she did with FlickDirect.

Jill would be good because she is very popular with guys and appeared on the series Blade. But more importantly, she's been outed as that mysterious "Mercury" girl in the TV ads for Mercury automobiles! Check out this press release from the Ford Motor Company about her. Being a spokesmodel selling automobiles for Mercury seems a good fit for Jill because she was a business major in college and has her degree in it.

Anyway all I will say is that these ads are wildly popular among guys. All the guys I know love "that girl in the Mercury ads".

As I say, the woman who needs to be cast as Wonder Woman needs to be popular and hot, and loved by guys! Otherwise no one will pay to see the movie! Jill fits that description perfectly. Also, the name "Jill Wagner" reminds people of Lindsay Wagner ("The Bionic Woman") so it just screams "70s TV" and "retro" and so on, and channels that whole TV superhero era. And so everyone will remember the TV show and be excited to see the movie Wonder Woman.

Anyway, we'll see what happens. I always wanted to find some excuse to post about Jill Wagner and put up a picture of her next to a Mercury. Glad I found something.

GET A LOAD OF THIS 20th CENTURY FOX- CANADA PIRACY NONSENSE

Ran across this article about how 20th Century Fox is upset at Canada because of all the video piracy that supposedly is going on up here.

Apparently Canada is supposed to be a hotbed of piracy. Supposedly you have all these people going into movie theaters, and they are videotaping these movies and selling bootleg DVDs to China and India, and doing all these nasty things. Now Fox is making big noises about possibly pulling all of their movies out of Canada because of it! They claim Canada's doing nothing to stop piracy from happening, and that in fact these theaters aren't even allowed to arrest people or stop people from taping movies in theaters.

Now, I know that piracy is a big problem, and all these theaters in Canada have these big billboards up threatening people with a long jail term if they are ever caught pirating a movie and so on. But I gotta say this is ridiculous. If Fox pulls all their movies out of Canada that is going to serve no purpose than get everyone in Canada upset at them. It's bad enough that Canadians are being treated like second-class neighbours by the American government, which is now forcing people to show passports at the border and is generally treating Canadians as hostile foreigners. But when motion picture companies start treating Canadians this shabbily, well, it's really bad news. It's another slap in the face to Canada. And as that article that I linked to stated, this is just going to encourage Canadians to engage in even more piracy if Fox movies are banned in Canada or forced into a delayed-release schedule. Shame on Fox for even bringing up this stupid, birdbrained idea.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

LESBIANS ON TV


Well, here I am trying to boost traffic by writing about lesbians on TV.

But you know, it's fun to write about lesbians. Of course Howard Stern loves lesbians, rants about them all the time on his show. They've made his career! But who cares about him.

Maybe I'm just jazzed up about the subject because I watched the David Lynch classic Mulholland Drive on CBC late at night last week, a really good movie. And quite unbelievably, the CBC didn't censor it. So I saw that famous scene where Laura Harring was making out with Naomi Watts. After seeing that I was going wow, what a scene. That was the most passionate, best kissing I have ever seen in a movie, period. Oscar-award-worthy kissing on the CBC.

And now I just can't get that beautiful Laura Harring woman out of my mind. Now I want to see this gorgeous femme fatale in her other movie roles. (Laura Harring: former Miss USA. The first of that long string of winners from Texas in the 1980s. Shown French-kissing Naomi Watts. The pageant isn't going to like this.)

Actually, there happens to be some actual lesbian TV news to tell you about, so here it is.

COURTENEY COX ARQUETTE TO KISS JENNIFER ANISTON ON TV

Courteney Cox Arquette (pictured) is starring in a new series on FX called Dirt, and all the buzz now is about how she's going to have an episode with her former Friends costar Jennifer Aniston. The ratings are going to go through the roof anyway, but get a load of this. On that episode Aniston plays a lesbian, and Jen and Courteney will get to share a big on-screen liplock.

Holy Cow. I guess they are desperate for ratings over there. Anyway, this is bound to work, this show is going to get to season 2 for sure after this. Though this cheap ratings stunt MAY NOT work--- here's a typical cynical reaction at TVGasm.

Hope these two women enjoy kissing each other. This should rank right up there with Laura & Naomi.

THE L WORD SUCKS; TOO MANY CAST CHANGES

Now on to news about Dr. Gregory House's favorite show The L Word.

The new season has started on Showtime and here in Canada on Movie Central and after seeing this series on TV all I will say is I think I'm done with this show. What point is there to watching now? Too many of my favorite lesbians are gone from the cast.

There was Erin Daniels who was bumped off, which is too bad because I liked her. And Sarah Shahi left the cast. which is really too bad because she was absolutely the most gorgeous looker on the entire show (she was a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader). Maybe she simply got fed up with kissing girls all the time. Of course, Karina Lombard was the hottest babe ever, but they got rid of her a long time ago.

So that's basically everyone I was interested in on the show, gone. Who's left? Mia Kirshner? I'm fed up with all these cast changes and people quitting the show, especially when they're good-looking and popular with guys. It sort of kills interest in the show among the heterosexual members of the population. A good way to get your show cancelled.

Now the big story is that Cybill Shepherd is on the show now, trying to bail it out. And all I gotta say is who cares about Cybill Shepherd anymore either, she's too old. I guess Marlee Matlin is on the show, too. What are they going to do next, get Jennifer Aniston? They might as well, eh?

I don't think people want to see all these cast changes, they liked the show that was on before! And these cast changes are ruining it, going out and putting these big names in there. Maybe they're trying to make a big statement by doing this, putting these A-list people on. But as far as I'm concerned this show has already made its statement and doesn't need to prove itself any further, and doesn't need these big stars to begin with.

Anyway that's that. Thank you again to all you folks who found THE CAIRNS BLOG by entering the search term "Laura Harring."

LIFE IS BAD FOR SPORTS FANS

This is absolutely the worst time of year for sports fans. Canadian fans, anyway.

This coming weekend there is NO FOOTBALL. No NFL, people, for two freaking awful weeks. And this week, to make matters worse, there is also NO HOCKEY.

You call the NHL All Star Game real hockey? Give me a break. This game in Dallas is bound to be a brilliant demonstration of the travesty that is the "new NHL"-- the no-hitting, no-fun NHL.

Couldn't this league have come up with some sort of scheme which would have truly returned the game to what it was in the late 70s and 80s? Where you had the high-flying, freewheeling style of play with a little toughness thrown in? But instead they turned this game all European, getting rid of all the toughness. And the American fans all hate it bigtime.

But the NHL insists it is a big success. Now the Board of Governors has decided to keep its awful unbalanced schedule, so teams in the East don't get to meet many teams in the West at all. (Way to go, NHL). There's even talk of expansion (!), and all I will say about that is that these governors are smoking a lot of crack if that is what they want to do, expand this freaking league with all its problems. I guess they figure they can use the expansion money to make up for all the financial losses, due to the loss of all the fans that have turned right off this sport.

They still don't even know what to do with the Pittsburgh Penguins, yet, these fools! They really need to get out of Mellon Arena, that team. I noticed Sportsnet did a big story on their awful, cramped, disgusting visitors dressing room.

Anyway, what is a sports fan to do this week? Watch the WHL or OHL, I guess, or watch the National Lacrosse League. Ha! How about basketball on TV?! What a joke.

Me, I'm gonna watch NASCAR when it returns soon. I gotta say I love auto racing, and even though it is a very short off-season I miss it already. I'll be glad when it comes back.

OSCAR NOMINATIONS OUT TODAY

Well, the Academy Awards nominations were announced today and the big news is that Dreamgirls got snubbed. But really, did they really get snubbed? They got eight nominations, after all, so they did get some recognition.

I think the bottom line though is that this was a movie that had a lot of great individual performances and a lot of things going for it, but somewhere, somehow, something was missing from this picture. And that's what stopped this film in its tracks. But still, this is all anyone will talk about, Dreamgirls getting the most nominations and getting shut out of Best Picture. This is like some sports team that finishes first and then gets beat in the first round of the playoffs.

Really, though, if you look at the Best Picture category and the list of films that were nominated, I think the pictures that got nominated all deserved to be there. The only questionable one for me might be Letters from Iwo Jima, which kind of came out of left field to get a nomination, but that's about it. I think more people would have been upset if Martin Scorsese had gotten the shaft, but he didn't.

Anyway, check out the list of nominees. Also I understand Al Gore got an Oscar nomination-- or his movie, did, anyway.

Since this is an American Idol night and since Golden Globe winner Jennifer Hudson is up for Best Supporting Actress and probably will win it, I thought I'd post this clip from Ken Levine's blog. It's a YouTube video of the night Hudson got voted out on American Idol. It's entitled America got it WRONG. And I actually remember watching this particular American Idol episode and remember how shocked the judges were with the voting results.

Check it out. Ken Levine says: "for everyone who has ever been overlooked, or fired, here's the video for you."

Monday, January 22, 2007

MORE ON-AIR PEOPLE I'VE MET

You know, I keep watching TV and keep Googling around, looking for people I knew or met back when I was doing TV on a regular basis. A lot of wound up going on to interesting places, including the sports guys I worked with such as Dave Mendonca who went on to the Score, or Shadd Dales who did a lot of stuff with the Brampton Battalion and then went on to do radio stuff with the Windsor Spitfires. And on and on. Lots of people I knew from the time I was at Rogers TV went on to other things. A lot of people went to radio, or to the CBC or to Global, or Citytv, and to the Weather Network.

Recently I was watching the Weather Network and I noticed that Kelly Noseworthy was the bureau reporter. You can find her bio on this page. She was actually at Rogers Television in Peel Region for a time as a producer and I worked with her there very briefly. Actually, I took time off during her producing tenure to do stuff for a political campaign. Anyway, she was the producer when I came back and that's how I met her, and then all of a sudden one day she left!! So that was that. Anyway, she went on to do some reporting for CH in Hamilton. Now she's at the Weather Network, working with all the other Rogers TV refugees I know of there.

Also, here is the website for Aida Memisevic's production company that I happened to find one time on the Internet. She was at Rogers TV for a while as well, doing a lot of on-air stuff, and she also did some entertainment stuff over at CTV.

I noticed my former co-anchor Farah Nasser has a new gig with Citytv and you can read her bio here. You radio fans may have heard her on CFRB which is where she was for many years. I know that radio people Silvana Aceto and Daniela Bilotta were also at Rogers TV but I didn't really see them all that often. I noticed Jason White, who was seen as a real up-and-comer at our TV news operation, is doing radio for 680 News now and not getting too much sleep I imagine. He got in there as an intern and stayed on, and I think he's got a bright future in the business, he really has a nose for news. I don't know what happened to my former co-anchor Allison Annesley, who went on to host Daytime. I guess she left.

I could go on and mention these CHRW people I met, or the Western journalism people, but I don't feel like it tonight. Suffice it to say that a lot of the Western people I met went on to the CBC.

Anyway it's nice to catch up on what these people are doing. Why do I mention these people? Because I'm a good guy, and maybe by mentioning them they'll get some free publicity, and go on to bigger and better things at bigger radio and TV stations that will pay them more money. Or maybe they'll get to keep their good jobs thanks to the free publicity I'm giving them. Maybe more people will tune in their shows!

Me, I'm itching to get back on the air now that I've rid myself of Toronto (and for that matter out of politics, but that's another story). Let's face it, if you want to break into broadcasting Toronto is no place to be--- it's too competitive and difficult to advance or get on the air. You have to basically compete with everyone out of Ryerson University for jobs! It's a real meat market. And too many of these places want you to volunteer for free to get experience!

Actually, Toronto's a good place to get experience because there are a lot of internship opportunities there. You can intern at any of these TV stations or cable networks (ie. The Score), or work as an editorial assistant at TSN or somewhere like that. And people with a broadcast background/degree can volunteer at any number of Rogers Television operations throughout the GTA, whether in Mississauga, York Region, Durham or in Toronto. So the GTA is a comparatively better place to be than, say, London Ontario, because you can end up with a tape and good exposure to the business. But getting a living salary out of any of these folks is pretty much impossible! I know a number of radio stations were starting people off for free, too, or doing chimp production tasks part-time. It's too bad, because I think the radio stations there in TO are first-rate, and Toronto is a terrific place to be a broadcaster. I'd love to go back to Toronto again at a higher level one day.

Toronto was good for me for one thing: it got me a lot of experience with these TV networks. And I got great on-air experience at Rogers Television in Mississauga. But that's about all I'll say for it.

CANADIAN DEAL OR NO DEAL COMING


Well, the big TV news out of this country is that Deal or No Deal Canada is coming soon, set to debut the night of the Super Bowl from what I heard, and Global TV has announced that the suitcase models have been chosen for this big made-in-Canada production.

Here's the full list. The one thing I notice about this group: heavily ethnic. Lots of South Asians. I guess they felt that they would be more representative of Canada by putting in plenty of South Asians, and they probably are--- it's certainly a different looking group from the Americans. Five of them were chosen in a big nationwide open call model search. Personally, I think the American girls are better looking. But that's just my opinion.

Anyway, the models picked were all Canadians. The banker, too, is Canadian and the money is paid out in Canadian currency. Nice, the contestants here get ripped off at the exchange rate. They'll have to pay higher Canadian taxes on their winnings, too. Great.

The host, however, is the same bald-headed individual who haunts audiences in the United States: Howie Mandel. Canadian.

Well, at least this is better than what Who Wants to Be a Millionaire tried to do. For their Canadian show they handed the reins to "serious newswoman" Pamela Wallin, and she was so stiff. I mean, they might as well have gotten William Shatner or someone for that effort, anyone could have been better than her. They needed a game show host, or at the very least someone with an entertainment sensibility! Pamela Wallin had none of that.

Anyway, Deal or No Deal doesn't have that problem, they can rely on Howie and his Canadian passport. Well, he'd better have a passport, these days, or else he won't be able to get back and forth from the United States!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

NFL ALL SET TO STOMP ALL OVER THE DONALD

I'm looking at the TV schedule and Donald Trump cannot be happy about this. His sinking NBC Apprentice show runs right up against the heavily over-hyped Indianapolis-New England AFC title game on CBS!

I guess this must be the NFL's revenge for the Donald's involvement in the rival USFL years ago, as owner of the New Jersey Generals.

And oh yeah, the same slaughter is in store on Super Bowl night. It'll be the Donald versus Vince Lombardi. Vince is gonna clean Trump's clock.

Hope that the Donald can handle some ridiculously low ratings as his fans--- the few remaining--- flee this show in favor of what's really important in life. Football! NBC needs to move this show off of Sunday night, folks. Fast.

On tonight's Apprentice show, by the way, there's supposed to be some sort of big bombshell in the boardroom. I wonder what this latest gimmick/cheap stunt is. Is it the Donald announcing that he's finally done with the show?! I sure hope so. Give up already.

UPDATE: Ahem. The NE-Indy game is tied at 28-28 as we speak and the Apprentice show has been on for 25 minutes.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Another ahem. NBC is giving the Donald the week off during the Super Bowl. Well, no wonder.

GO SAINTS

In the NFL playoffs right now I gotta say there's no team out there that I'm pulling for harder than the New Orleans Saints.

Not only because I can identify with cheering for a losing squad (hey, I cheer for Saskatchewan), but also because of the very real suffering New Orleans residents experienced with Katrina. That town is badly in need of a lift, and this team can provide it.

We've seen it time and time again, with sports teams rising up to provide fans in troubled areas some sort of glee. We saw it with the Oakland A's in 1989 with that Bay-area earthquake, and the Yankees' playoff run after 9/11. Now it's happening again.

Personally, I'd love to see the Saints in the Super Bowl, and I want to see them take on the Indianapolis Colts-- for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that I'm fed up with the New England Patroits and Tom Brady, and all their winning.

For one, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is the son of Archie Manning, and Archie was the legendary quarterback of Saints history. It would be quite fitting if that matchup happened for the Super Bowl title.

For another, it would be the matchup of the team that snuck out of town in the middle of the night, versus the team that, for all the mess and chaos and all that happened to New Orleans, managed to stay put.

I'd love to see it happen. Knowing my luck, though, I fully expect it'll be Bears-Patriots. Happy playoffs!

Friday, January 19, 2007

LONG AWAITED WORST TV SHOW LIST


Well here we go with the worst TV show list for 2006 (three weeks late) and all I gotta say is that thanks to Rosie O'Donnell, The View is on the list.

What a no-brainer. Rosie has been taking on everyone and going hog wild. She's taken on Donald Trump, she's taken on Paula Abdul. She's even taken on Barbara Walters! No wonder Babs is embarrassed.

Now there's word that Rosie might get her own TV show. All I will say is God help all of us TV viewers; one more bad TV show starring Rosie. Anyway, this show jumped the shark when Meredith Vieira left.

In fact, daytime TV is absolutely littered with crud. Of course, you have The Jerry Springer Show with people still get into fights all the time, and the Maury Povich Show where people still take paternity tests all the time, and you've got two really bad shows right there.

Add to that the much maligned Megan Mullally boring me-me-me show (good riddance already) and Greg Behrendt's lousy effort. Greg, I'm just not that into your show.

Reality shows have to rank way up there. My nominees are the notoriously bad America's Got Talent, to which I go "oh really?" Not based on what I saw up there on that stage. It's due to come back, believe it or not.

Then you have two worthy nominees from cable: My Fair Brady, a piece of junk starring Chris Knight and Adrianne Curry, and from E! and the Playboy Mansion, The Girls Next Door. I gotta say about the latter that this show is literally junk food TV. These have got to be the two dumbest shows on television. The adorable cast members Holly, Bridget and Kendra engage in absolutely banal adventures (!) (?) but you're hooked anyway. Just like what happened on Fear Factor. Anyway, this show is completely stupid, dumb, but totally addictive.

From cable talk TV I have to sent a big dart the way of the awful Nancy Grace show on CNN Headline News. If there is a worse show on cable news TV, I gotta say, I don't know what it is. Maybe it's one of those shows CNBC runs that nobody watches. Who knows. All I know is that this Nancy Grace show is a disgrace. I'm sorry, but this woman is horrible. Just a horrible, horrible, bitter human being. She is mean and nasty, and mean-spirited, and she cuts people off and always has to get in her last word. Hello?! This show is duck soup for the late night comedians and other parodists, and the topics--- Britney's bad behavior, Anna Nicole Smith---- have hardly any connection to the legal world. But these losers get mentioned on the show and that gives Nancy her big opening to trash and skewer these people.

At least Greta on the other station tries to stick to law, or at least make an effort to be a nice person! At least she doesn't berate people on the air to the point where they commit suicide--- which is exactly what happened to one of Nancy's guests. Give up already, Nancy.

Finally I gotta stand and observe a moment of silence for the once-good Ebert and Roeper show, and all I will say about this is I sure hope Roger Ebert comes back, soon, to rescue this show from the abyss. This show sucks bigtime with him gone. The "guest critics" facing Richard Roeper have been more misses than hits, though I will say that A. O. Scott of the NY Times seems to hold his own up there better than the rest. He looks and acts like a guy who could appear as a TV critic. Some of them look like serious critics, but the rest...oh boy. They really aren't that great---- especially these comedians. What a joke.

Wow, I've made it to ten already. You know, I was thinking of adding the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric to the list of Worst of 2006, but then I remembered: Bob Schieffer anchored for most of the year and for much of that time the broadcast was really good. It's just that now that this new team has shown up, this show has gone in the tank. The wrecking crew is swinging over at CBS at the newscast, wrecking that show.

I guess there's a lot more shows I could mention--- like all the shows on MTV, a few of these other crappy reality shows, these idiotic game shows like Show Me the Money, and the other ripoffs that have basically copied the other hit shows on TV. I wish I could put American Idol on the worst list too, but all its imitator shows are even worse. So American Idol kind of stays off the list by default. And The Apprentice is a really bad show, but I can't put it on the worst-ten list either, because many other shows are way worse. Anyway I've leave this rant for next year.

Not on the list this year are the cancelled shows like Fear Factor. That other junk show Elimidate is gone, too, finally. May they rest in peace.

WORST NETWORK: THE CW

I was thinking of giving an award for the worst network, just based on what I've seen. I gotta say, I must hand it to the CW. They really did find a way to utterly stink up the joint, this year, eh, with their collection of lousy shows?! They took what remained of the WB and the UPN network and combined them both, but all that did was bring all the junk together under one roof. Who watches 7th Heaven anymore, and Beauty and the Geek has had it. And their big show now is that America's Next Top Model piece of junk with Tyra Banks.

I don't watch this network anymore now, and considering that I tuned in to the WB and UPN a lot in the old days, that really says it all.

I also have to give thumbs down to utterly useless channels like MTV Canada, which shows every crappy reality show you can think of, and a few other junk channels. I'm sorry, but most of these cable channels are junk. At least in Canada the stations like the Comedy Network and Showcase, and Bravo--- they at least make an effort. But Spike TV is junk, TLC is boring, too, and A&E has gone totally in the tank. If it wasn't for those Sopranos reruns there'd be no reason to tune in. It's not the station it used to be, folks.

Anyway, I have gotten this rant out of my system and now maybe I can go back to watching TV and seeking out stuff that's actually good. I've been watching a lot of movies late at night, and also have tuned in to AMC and Turner Classic Movies, both of which have just arrived in Canada. And I tune in to these other movie channels. Maybe all I need to do is watch more movies. That's it.

ANDERSON COOPER: RICH

You know, it bugs the heck out of me that I'm not on the air doing TV news. Which is why I plan to be back on the air real soon- though maybe not in TV, maybe radio is a more likely bet. True, I'd like my TV news tape to be better, but I think I'm just beating myself up over nothing because it really isn't all that bad.

On that note, I just found this blurb about Anderson Cooper. He's inked a multi-year contract with CNN which is going to pay him a FORTUNE. Four million dollars, a year. For Anderson Cooper.

This is why I'd want to go back to news, I want to be paid 4 million a year to travel the world to the hellholes of the earth. Nice payday, Cooper. Downside, though, is that he'll probably have to go to Iraq now to get shot at, just to justify his fat salary.

Most TV newsers won't see anywhere near this kind of money, a lot of people are lucky to be making 20 grand a year. Seriously. In these smaller markets the pay is really atrocious.

Not even CBS correspondents get this kind of payday, either. In fact I understand a big cutback is underway at CBS News, correspondents are leaving in droves. Lee Cowan is out the door to NBC, and I read on TVNewser that Jim Acosta could be gone too. I read on one of the boards at TVSpy that Trish Regan of all people might be in line for the boot, too. Trish Regan!!! Man, I dunno if this is accurate information or not. If she's leaving, boy, this will really be a big bloodbath, because she was a big star over there.

THE AMERICAN IDOL MEAN STREAK



The latest controversy du jour concerns American Idol.

On The View show, Rosie O'Donnell, who obviously doesn't know when to quit, is on the warpath again. She is now blasting Simon Cowell and the gang for being mean to this latest crop of contestants. People are now accusing this show of having a mean streak, of unnecessarily trashing contestants and hurting people's feelings, and making otherwise decent people look bad on TV.

You know, I have to be honest, I gotta agree with Rosie on this one. I tuned in to part of the first show this week and what I saw was a bunch of not-so-great singers who weren't totally terrible, who probably needed to put a lot of work into what they were doing before they were allowed to record a single, but they needed to do more than what they were doing. And instead of getting constructive advice about where they were weak and what they needed to do to improve, they were being trashed and humiliated and told to give up their dreams!!! These judges were telling these contestants to quit singing and to do something else with their lives! Talk about jerks. And it was so bad, this meanness, that I had to turn the TV show off.

It's one thing to go after the total losers, these completely hopeless types with absolutely no talent. In fact it's pretty funny seeing these guys get put down and trashed by these judges. It's different when this mean treatment happens to the mediocre, marginal candidates. These folks who may not be all that good, but they shouldn't be told not to pursue music ever again! They shouldn't be made to feel small on TV. These people were probably serious about this competition, many of them! And they deserved better than to be carved up and trashed by Simon, Randy and Paula. That's what people are upset about, and I don't blame people one bit.

You know, this creates a big problem for this show. This show has made it big, in part, because of the nastiness of the judges, particularly Simon. If people turn against the nastiness of the Idol process, this show is going to jump the shark, because you'll end up taking the bite right out of the show. The judges will end up being nice to everyone, including these entertaining complete idiots!! No one will like that one bit, either. On the other hand, if these judges just trash everyone all the time, then this whole show looks heartless. And these judges completely lose their credibility.

This is what happens when a show gets too big, folks, you have people out there in middle America getting too caught up in this thing, and they're the ones all turning against the mean-spiritedness of the whole Idol competition.

(By the way, my worst TV show list is coming tomorrow, finally. I'm not doing it tonight, the computer has been too miserable.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

SUNDANCE IS ON

Well as someone interested in movies and in film festivals and all that, I thought I'd say the Sundance Film Festival is on and here are some links for coverage of it.

http://festival.sundance.org/2007/
http://www.cinematical.com/category/sundance/
http://www.sundancechannel.com/festival/
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/features/special/2007/sundance/
http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/
http://www.mcnblogs.com/thehotblog/
http://reporter.blogs.com/risky/
http://weblogs.variety.com/fest_central/
http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=features2007&dept=sundance

I am sure there are plenty of others, though I notice Nikki Finke has been busy ranting about CAA moving into new office space and having to give up a 310 area code for a 424 number. Who cares about that.

I dunno why I am even putting up a post about Sundance. Everyone says this is a vastly overrated festival, and everyone says they hate Park City and that it's too cold and crowded, and it's too difficult to get to, and that it's just a big sales event once you get there, and so on and so forth. All this whining. I guess I heard all these putdowns when I was in Toronto. But honestly I don't see how this Sundance event could be any worse than than any of these other film festivals going on. A lot of people say that all these other film events going on around Park City during Sundance are a lot better.

Anyway check out those links for all the news about those deals going . Fat chance you will see any coverage from Entertainment Tonight. Here's what passes for news at ET: Paula Abdul's strange behavior, Oprah reveals a big secret (that she was pregnant at 14!), and Lindsay Lohan enters rehab. And they're still going on about the Golden Globes and about the silly fashions all the stars were wearing. Who the heck cares about any of that. What happened to the old days when you had Leonard Maltin on there, giving you some serious coverage of these films!? I guess he's still there, but he's hardly ever on these days. Access Hollywood is just as bad--- they had a Lindsay Lohan rehab story and a Victoria Beckham comes-to-America story, and there's some small blurb about that guy who uttered some anti-gay slur on Grey's Anatomy.

I guess the big excuse from these TV shows is that Park City isn't, well, Hollywood. Of course it isn't, it's in Utah, but why the heck don't they give this some serious coverage-- just like all these blogs?! It's SAD that you are getting more coverage of the Sundance Film Festival from THE CAIRNS BLOG than from ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT!!! I hope it's just a case of this being early, yet, this festival has barely started. Still, this is why TV is getting beat by the Internet, folks; it's allowing the Web to take the lead and kill everyone in its coverage of news! If you want real news go to the Internet, because you're getting NOTHING from TV!

UPDATE (technically Saturday) : Noticed they aired the Sundance episode of Entourage on Bravo Canada this weekend. What timing, eh?!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

WEATHERMAN PERCY SALTZMAN DEAD


Well, the first TV weatherman in the history of Canada, and arguably the greatest, died the other day. Percy Saltzman was 91.

He was the first person you saw on the CBC and did the weather for years, and also was the first host of a CTV show that I'm familiar with---- Canada AM. Those were the days when you relied on local news and these morning shows for the weather fix. These days you can tune in to the Weather Network, or in the US the Weather Channel. Or you can tune in to these all-news channels and get more than your fix, including live hurricane and storm coverage from the likes of the Anderson Coopers of the world.

He also set the stage for the "personality weatherman" in this country. We would eventually get Dave Devall, Harold Hosein, and Michael Kuss in Toronto, and the late great Bill Matheson up in Edmonton, and all these various other weathercasters all over the country. Who can forget Greg Barnsley in Saskatoon with CFQC, a personal favorite. We eventually got to see female weathercasters eventually, like Susan Hay over at Global.

I used to see these old black-and-white reels of Saltzman tossing his chalk in the air all the time when he was on TV. Fun stuff. Interesting that he passed away at a time when the weather has been, ahem, a little too crazy for people. Southern Ontario finally got hit by a big ice storm on the weekend, ruining the unusually mild winter people were having. Cars went in the ditch everywhere, and the storm actually killed a lot of people. Storms also continue to wreak havoc on the USA. A big snowstorm hit Texas, and today I find out LA, of all places, is covered in snow.

DEFENDING MARIA


MARIA MENOUNOS GETS "YOUTUBED" AND TRASHED IN PRINT

Ahem. I have yet to serve up my list of bad TV shows--- I will get around to it, I hope, by week's end--- but it seems the Golden Globes telecast has to rank up there as bad TV.

The production was beset with gaffes and the critics unloaded mercilessly. Getting the brunt of the criticism is unfortunate entertainment reporter and CAIRNS BLOG fave Maria Menounos, who is getting unfairly trashed for seeming to ignore America Ferrera after her Ugly Betty win; then she was accused of asking inane questions of her after she won. Personally I don't see what was so bad about it--- it didn't seem like such a big deal. But Page Six killed her, said the producers hated her. And now there are videos of the whole thing floating around at YouTube, too, so Maria now has her own 15 minutes of infamy. Just like J.J. Ramberg (gag! choke!), Saddam Hussein and everyone else.

If she was going to be put on YouTube couldn't she have at least done something dramatic, like pass out or choke or something? Or have a wardrobe malfunction like Janet Jackson, or swear on live TV like Vanessa Minnillo did one time? What happened seemed actually pretty tame and no big deal.

I think the producers are to blame here--- they didn't seem to give Maria any direction at all or any idea that America Ferrera was standing right beside her! That's my theory of what happened. They are all covering their rear ends right now and trying to blame the help when they are the ones to be blamed.

Reminds me of the time when I did an infamous interview with Ronald McDonald, which ranks for all time as the lowest point of my time in TV. I just wanted to slit my wrists after that, it was such a humiliation---- and in fact after the interview was over I made a point of having dinner at the Burger King.

What happened was that clown Ronald infamously botched up Mayor Hazel McCallion's name and stormed off in mid-interview, leaving me totally hanging live-to-tape. I was going "Ronald, come back!" Ronald had wanted to do the whole thing over again but of course this was all going back to the studio live, so we couldn't do it over. Of course he didn't come back, and I got an earful from the producer at the studio who was yelling at me on the earpiece. (Pooja Handa, who later left to do traffic reports at Global TV in Toronto, was the anchor in the studio at the time and if she's reading this she probably remembers what happened and must be doubling over in laughter right now.)

I was ticked off and angry because I was just there doing my job! I was there doing the interview, it wasn't my fault that Ronald blew his lines!! I sure ended up looking like a big idiot on TV, just like Maria Menounos.

It sounds like this NBC production crew is totally envious of Maria Menounos and jealous of her, based on the bad stuff I've read in the Post and in the Defamer and elsewhere. They seem to be trying to make poor Maria out to be a diva in the press when it was them who made the bush league hash of that whole Golden Globe production! Listen, the talent is under a lot of pressure to perform and look good, and the talent has to stare at the camera; they can't be looking everywhere to see what big star to put on. If they do that, they look bad on TV! Maria read her lines and did her freaking job! They should have alerted Maria properly and put America Ferrera on, if these producers were any good at their jobs. I'll bet you they left it totally up to Maria. Typical.

All I gotta say to Maria, who I've had quite the crush on ever since seeing her live at the 2005 Toronto film fest, is: don't let these bastards in the press get you down! I still think you're the greatest. That's it!

RADIO STUNT KILLS CONTESTANT, GETS DJs FIRED

THIS IS THE END

Did you hear about this? A station in Sacramento fired its morning team because of an outrageous, awful stunt. They had a woman on the radio taking part in some contest, trying to drink the most water without going to the bathroom, and of course doing that can make you so sick you could die.

Well, she died.

Water intoxication, cause. That's everyone involved in that stunt fired, something like ten people.

I've been listening to Jim Richards' CFRB show on my computer and he has been playing these DJs with their ghastly show and their fatal stunt, and he's wondering whether people should go to jail for manslaughter for this. Certainly there is a big negligence claim here. Wasnn't there anyone there who thought this might be dangerous?! This station and these DJs are most definitely going to be hauled into court. And this is California, so you can bet these people will lose their shirts, too, facing these bloodthirsty juries. Well, that's their careers down the drain, these DJs, and probably that's the end of the station.

I've heard of awful radio stunts where people did disgusting things in cathedrals and stuff like that. Opie and Anthony and Howard Stern all did wild stuff. But this is over the score.

The station itself is KDND, Sacramento, otherwise known as 107.9 "The End". Well, this was the end, my only friend the end, with this stunt. Check out their apologetic web page. This station is RUINED.

---------------------------------

Incidentally I added a few more radio links to people who have way more sense than these fools in Sacramento. I added some radio boards like the WNY-S. Ontario radio forum, where people get to rant and rave about what's going on in southern Ont radio at places like CFRB. Seems Ted Woloshyn stepped down not too long ago, to be replaced by Bill Carroll.

So enjoy the links, radio fans.

UPDATE: This is the top story on Larry King tonight and they played clips from the show where that person died. Good grief, talk about ghoulish- it made my own stomach turn just listening to the clips from that show. Larry had on the winner of the contest, the woman that lived, and it sounded like these two had it pretty bad. Yikes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

IDOL IS BACK

And I am as enthused about the return of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and the rest of the gang as you are--- not.

Heaven help us all. Again.

Oh, and here's the link for http://www.votefortheworst.com/

Monday, January 15, 2007

THEY BLEW THE NUKES ON 24 TONIGHT

Nuclear weapon detonated in Los Angeles by the bad guys tonight. And there are four more of these things out there. Thought you folks who were watching Ugly Betty clean up should know LA is totalled.

Don't worry, though, Jack Bauer isn't dead. Yet.

For another article on 24 click here.

GOLDEN GLOBES ARE ON

Here's the live streaming from the red carpet and backstage from MSN. I notice all the Access Hollywood people are there: Shaun Robinson, Nancy O'Dell, Maria Menounos etcetera.

Also here's the awards coverage from the LA Times. I'm outta here.

GOLDEN GLOBES ARE TONIGHT

Just a reminder that the Golden Globes are on tonight.

Whether I can take them seriously is another story. This Tim Goodman rant says it all.

Read the ratings for last night and those silly Wisteria Lane women finished first, again, beating 24. But CBS won the night overall because of the big spillover ratings for NFL football and New England's road upset of the crumbling Chargers. The Patriots also did a lot of celebrating and taunting that led to some on-the-field fisticuffs. Also, 60 Minutes featured a ratings-grabbing interview with President Stupid, I mean Bush. At least the Democrats all think he's stupid.

THE APPRENTICE: CRASHING AND BURNING

Read that the once-good Apprentice show crashed into fourth place in its time slot with a terrible 2.9 rating among 18-49. I guess that gives Rosie O'Donnell more to crow about.

What do you expect from a show that has to rely on the cast of The Girls Next Door to make a cameo appearance to prop their show up?! What the heck was up with that--- having Bridget, Holly and Kendra show up?! When Donald Trump needs to rely on stars of other reality shows to prop up your own junk reality show, that's a sure sign of big trouble.

In fact I was having trouble concentrating on the show. I was watching 24 on the other channel and I was completely riveted. I think this is going to be the year when this 24 show reels me in for good; it's already off to a great start. It was easy for me to flip the channel to FOX because the Apprentice firing last night was sooooo predictable.

That Apprentice show last night was really pathetic, beyond embarrassing. Some idiot tried to market swimwear that no right-thinking male would be caught dead in. And of course his team lost because of it and he was fired. These are supposed to be the "brightest minds in business" on this show--- right. Where do they get these fools?! Off the street?! Um, uh---- yeah, actually they do.

I have just confirmed that The Apprentice this year features actors. Project manager Heidi who led her team to victory again is actually Heidi Androl, and she is actually a working actress in Hollywood! Here are her acting credits, which include lots of "babe" roles. She played a "hottie" in Not Another Teen Movie and had an appearance in a Playboy video---- nice Golden Globe-winning performances here. I also read that her boyfriend is an actor who appears on 7th Heaven. She is, though, quite the babe.

Needless to say I expect her to eventually be fired--- but not before they weed out the rest of these total idiots competing for a job with Trump. This Apprentice show is a joke.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT


Bauer is back. The new season of 24 begins tonight. Drudge is reporting they may go to the nukes. Yikes.

I'll finally get the Worst TV show list up pretty soon, finally, in time for the Golden Globes. Problem is there's too much good TV--- and good NFL.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA

Just an interesting observation:
Why, oh why, does the CBC schedule Hockey Day in Canada right against the NFL PLAYOFFS?!?! Couldn't they have waited a week? Or two?!

Hockey day is on and I can't enjoy it, because I'm tuned in to important NFL football. Rats!!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

JAPAN TSUNAMI WARNING

A massive 8.3 earthquake has produced a big tsunami and the northern Japan region has been issued with a tsunami warning.

Yet all I see on MSNBC is congressional stuff! And Larry King is on this story about these two missing boys who turned up alive! Big breaking news, that! Anyway, the guys on the radio seem really concerned about this one, they don't know why the networks aren't on this story. We'll see.

ANOTHER REALITY TV STAR GOES HOLLYWOOD

I shouldn't criticize reality TV. It's a good way to get into Hollywood.

I read on the Wall Street Journal law blawg that this guy, Wall Street lawyer Usman Shaikh, has quit law to try and become a Hollywood agent. This summer he appeared on the flop ABC series One Ocean View, where he was cooped up in the Hamptons with other beautiful people. And they were all supposed to make out with one another or something. Dullsville. Anyway, don't trash reality TV: he's now off to Hollywood to try and make it, and become a bigshot agent at ICM.

I read a lot of the comments where people were trashing his entry into this "agent training program." Ha ha ha, they say, he must be going into the mailroom. For information about what these "agent training programs" are really like, I suggest you read David Rensin's book, The Mailroom. I also suggest you watch Entourage, you'll get a good idea of life for these underlings, getting yelled at all the time by the likes of Ari Gold. No fun, but that's how you pay your dues in Tinseltown if you want to go the white-collar route.

Reminds me of all these other folks who used reality TV to get entertainment jobs. There are people from The Apprentice who got all these sweet gigs. I know Erin Elmore ended up at some talent management firm, and Rebecca Jarvis is now on CNBC. And I noticed that "Bachelor Bob" Guiney ended up marrying some hot actress from All My Children named Rebecca Budig! I remember this show The Lofters that was on Canadian TV years ago. One of the infamous Lofters was Jennifer Hedger, who parlayed her silly gig on that show into a career as a sportscaster on TV, on TSN!

So obviously if you want to get ahead in life you need to get on a reality show. Worked for this Usman Shaikh dude. Boy, I sound really sincere in this blog post tonight, not!! I hate this genre bigtime, what useless pieces of junk these shows are. I can't believe people are getting ahead by being on these shows. But there you go.

SOME GOOD REALITY TV SHOW NEWS TO PASS ALONG

I have some good news about Reality TV to tell you, for a change. That Queer Eye for the Straight Guy show has been CANCELLED by Bravo, after four years. That's right. The Fab Five are history. I guess that's progress. One series down, several hundred more to go.

YES, GOD IS A MAN


And Tricia Helfer is definitely a woman.

(I just couldn't resist using that "God is a man" line. Hey, this makes up for mentioning Erik Estrada in the previous post!)

For more on this Battlestar Galactica stunner and her sexy appearance in the February issue of Playboy, here's a story about it in the New York Post.

Based on what I've read from these Galactica fan boards, Tricia is adored and loved by the techies and the sci-fi freaks. You want a girl who will pull these sci-fi fans away from their beloved Star Trek and Star Wars?! Well, here she is--- Number Six herself, definitely a 10. And she's a Canadian, too, from Alberta! Tricia Helfer has got to be the ultimate dream girl for every one of those guys over at Beauty and the Geek. This is the geeks' dream come true.

All I gotta say is I love this babe, too.

Live long and prosper, Tricia! Or something. (I know already; wrong show.)

UPDATE: Here's an article in CANOE about Tricia. She's scheduled to appear on Letterman on Friday the 19th so be sure to tune in, you geeks.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR REALITY TV SHOULD BE ARRESTED

Okay. Tonight I am going to unload on reality TV. Again.
I gotta say, I am sick and tired of seeing all of these reality TV shows littering the screen. I really am! I know that everyone out there in TV land is sick of it, too. I just cannot believe these executives are keeping this genre going. Think of all the genres out there that could be shown on TV these days, which aren't. There could be more situation comedies, for example. They could bring back the panel shows like What's My Line! Or the variety show! I've been reading this book about TV's classic variety shows from the 1960s and 1970s, like Ed Sullivan and the Smothers Brothers, and Carol Burnett, and Laugh-In. That was a classy genre that basically totally died out, and it deserves to come back.

Instead, we get this. Reality shows and talent junk. It boggles my mind that variety shows are no longer on the air and sitcoms have been getting the boot, but amateurish talent shows are all over the place. And these reality shows are something else.

The latest fraud foisted upon the viewing public is a CBS piece of junk called Armed and Famous, starring Erik Estrada. Of course Estrada starred in the "real" TV series CHiPs years ago, as a cop. Now, he's playing a cop again, starring in a show with all of these grade-B celebs who are trying to be real cops.

It's set in Muncie, Indiana. Already the press has unloaded on this show and you can read about it here.

One pan, from the Charlotte Observer: "Armed & Famous is completely, joyously, riotously abominable. This is the perfect score: a show so bad even Fox wouldn't touch it."

Another from Reuters: "CBS's Keystone Cop-Out." And so on. Give up already, CBS. This network is far better off putting on yet another crummy procedural show, because even at its worst these procedural shows are better than any reality show ever attempted.

Also premiering this week is yet another lame effort by those two fools Rob and Amber. Yes, these two who have made their entire careers as reality TV "stars" are back with their own show. Rob & Amber: Against the Odds is the name of this piece of junk and it's airing on the Fox Reality Channel. In this show, these two losers move to Vegas and presumably play a lot of poker. It figures.

What's next, a show featuring Victoria and Jonathan? I wouldn't be surprised.

I hear the next Amazing Race is going to be an all-star edition, too, so all these idiots who've loitered around this show are all going to be back for more fun--- while we at home are in for more punishment. The cast is due to be announced tomorrow. Don't tell me Rob and Amber are going to be part of this dreck, too! I'm already sick of these all-star editions.

Another show on the air these days is the return of Beauty and the Geek, Wednesday nights on the CW. You know, I watched this during its first season over on the WB and I actually liked it--- maybe because I was a geek in high school, too. But you see it once, you've seen it all. These geeks, with their obsession with Star Trek and all that, are kind of lame. There was one guy who said that if he had to choose between Star Trek and girls, he would definitely choose Star Trek. I am sorry, but that poor guy is in dire need of a life.

Of course I already unloaded on Grease: You're the One That I Want, on NBC, where they are trying to cast leads for this Broadway show. And I already trashed this year's latest lame Apprentice show. I sure hope this is the last season for that piece of junk. I just can't take that show seriously anymore and I am sick of Donald Trump and his constant feuding with people. It is doing nothing for his show.

Here's what I know about what's coming up on The Apprentice. Apparently they have brought in some twist where an entire team gets an exemption for the following week after winning a task. And the losing team gets split in half and has to compete against itself. Interesting gimmick, but I hate all these stunts. It seems to me this show is no longer about finding the best in business; instead, it's just a circus. And Trump is the ringmaster. They might as well put Jerry Springer in there as the host, then, and have him fire people.

You get the impression that none of these reality shows are likely to win Emmy awards or be considered classics? It just seems to me like every reality show on the air is dragging the whole TV medium down. It just contributes to the "vast wasteland", as Newton Minow once referred to it. Every time I see some new promo for some new reality show, my instant reaction is of the "oh my God, not again" variety. It's getting to be that way with the game shows, too. I'm just fed up with this rubbish.

Incidentally, next week on January 16th and 17th, American Idol comes back on FOX. It is THIS show, more than any other, that is responsible for these lame ripoffs and gimmick-laden reality junk shows that are cluttering up the television dial on every channel.

And you can bet the ratings will go through the roof, and that will encourage even more of these executives to schedule more cheap reality shows and cheap talent shows, and that will drive even more people to change the channel to AMC or Turner Classic Movies or to some channel that shows something other than these garbage shows. Aaaargh!

THE BIG CANWEST-ALLIANCE DEAL

The big news in Canadian TV comes with the pending takeover of Alliance Atlantis by Canwest Global and Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs is getting the CSI franchise while Global wants to lay their hands on the multitude of Alliance-owned cable/satellite channels. The deal is delicately structured to meet all the CRTC ownership rules and so on. I guess we know now why the folks at Canwest were lobbying the government so hard to allow the Americans to come in: they wanted to partner up with somebody and take somebody over!

So much for all these stories in the press about how overleveraged Canwest supposedly was, and how they had no money, and on and on. For more on the deal, click here.

TRUMP-ROSIE FEUD STILL ON, UNFORTUNATELY

By the way, I am listening to Entertainment Tonight right now and they don't care at all about this Canwest deal. But they ARE still going on and on about Donald Trump, and showed a clip of Rosie trashing Donald's show and saying it "tanked". The biggest entertainment story in the world, according to ET, is this stupid feud. These fools should all give up already.

INSIDER PAT O'BRIEN REPORTEDLY NOT PARTING WAYS


Why don't these newspapers, and multiple sources, and anonymous sources, get it right for a change?! Especially when it comes to entertainment news?! I want my blog to be accurate and report accurate facts! But it's really hard when you have everyone saying one thing one day and then they all say something else the next.

You know what? I'm convinced this is all PR. They send out a phony rumor that Pat O'Brien is quitting, just to fire everyone up, and then the real truth comes out the next day. This reminds me of that phony Ryan Seacrest-Teri Hatcher rendezvous where those two snuggled for these supposed paparazzi cameras. I say "supposed" because I'll bet they were paid off. I'll bet you that was a big publicity stunt, and it worked, it got huge press.

Welcome to Hollywood, folks.

In any event here's something in the New York Post that says that Pat O'Brien is going to extend his deal with Paramount and stay at The Insider, and that you can expect him to haunt your TV screens for years to come. I'll believe it when I see it.

BIG BOLLYWOOD PREMIERE IN TORONTO

TORONTO? BOLLYWOOD?!

Here's a story in the National Post about a big Bollywood movie that is having its much-ballyhooed world premiere in, of all places, Toronto. The movie Guru is premiering at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto and the biggest stars from Bollywood are expected to be there tonight.

This is part of a big trend by Bollywood productions to reach out to expatriate communities around the world. They're showing a lot more of their movies in English to appeal to the new generation of Indians. And I know that Bollywood films are increasingly a big deal in the Toronto area where there is a large Indian population and a lot of interest in international movies in general. Movies like Water, and Bollywood/Hollywood (both by Deepa Mehta) have been big successes there. But those were Canadian-made with an Indian theme. This movie debuting tonight was actually made in India, which is why it is so significant.

Bollywood movies have also done very well in places like Surrey, B.C., where there is a large Indian community. Anyway, this is a first for Toronto and people there seem genuinely excited to be hosting a genuine Bollywood movie.

It reminds me of a funny scene from The Muppet Movie when The Great Gonzo told Kermit the Frog that his goal in life was to "move to Bombay, India and become a movie star!" Over time that line has proven to be less and less of a joke.

DAVID BECKHAM JOINS MLS

Well, the big news in the sports world today is that David Beckham, soccer star andwashed-up former England captain, is going completely Hollywood. He's signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy in one of the richest deals in sports. A million bucks a week.

This isn't a total surprise because rumors were swirling since last fall that Beckham might go to LA. While I have no idea what the reaction is in LA, already the phones in Toronto are off the hook with excited fans wondering when Toronto FC is going to play Beckham. This is already a big boost to the whole league. That Toronto franchise is going to move up bigtime in the eyes of the Toronto public because of this news.

But a million a week? This sounds crazy. You know, the old NASL went down the tubes because of all the wild spending that went on. Pele went to the New York Cosmos and the league started getting some good gates, but then everyone else got into the act and the whole league spent itself right into obvlivion.

Now the buzz is that Beckham is "trying to succeed where Pele failed." Actually, Pele didn't fail--- when he went to New York there was tons of interest! He got good crowds. But one player can only do so much and that gimmick-ridden, lousy NASL had a lot of problems to begin with. For instance, that league awarded six points for a win, and they had these crazy bonus points based on goals scored or something like that. No one could follow that freaking league.

Frankly Beckham isn't going to get soccer to the same level as baseball or football. Too many of these silly sportswriters are too hooked on baseball to bother with soccer! Soccer has the media stacked against them. I looked at ESPN and their top story today was the Chicago Bears. They buried this Beckham story, those fools! But that's what soccer has to face from the sporting press in the USA.

My worry is that MLS, which has tried to be financially responsible up until now, is going to go crazy spending money on big international players, and will spend itself right out of business. I am not worried about David Beckham's ability to pack them in or even to fit in with LA. Heck, he's practically gone Hollywood already, him and his glamorous wife (Victoria Beckham). I'm sure Entertainment Tonight and these other shows will have a field day, covering Beckham.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

INSIDER PAT O'BRIEN REPORTEDLY PARTING WAYS

Found this item on the TV Squad blog that The Insider Pat O'Brien is getting the boot over there at that show. Multiple sources say that his contract (worth $4 million) is up, and the next offer that he is likely to get from Paramount is going to be a big insult. So he's going to quit.

Apparently, O'Brien's infamous rehab stint and the notoriety surrounding it was his downfall, because the ratings stayed the same with him gone. I dunno who they'll get to replace him at The Insider. Maybe no one, they'll just have Lara Spencer go solo. Who cares anyway, I don't even watch the show.

Interesting this this news comes on the same day that Paramount boss Gail Berman got the boot. I think it's just a coincidence.

Also, that TV Squad item was speculating that O'Brien might return to sports. He hosted NBA games and then major league baseball over on CBS for a long time, and entertainment news was his side gig. He didn't go full-time as an entertainment reporter until only a few years ago. Of course, tons of ex-sports types have gone on to long careers in TV entertainment reporting including John Tesh, Mark Steines, Julie Moran, Jon Kelley (EXTRA!), Tony Potts (ACCESS!) and so on. I know Bob Goen of ET fame did local sports as well, though he made more of a mark as a game show host. Anyway, wouldn't surprise me if O'Brien went back. Bryant Gumbel left to do the "real broadcasting" thing for a while, too, in the morning, but he eventually returned to sports and that's what he is doing now.

I suppose it is possible that O'Brien could return to Access Hollywood: I keep hearing these rumors that Billy Bush wants out of Los Angeles. Bush tried out for some Today Show gig that would have gotten him out of LA for sure, but didn't get it.

Honestly, do you really think Pat O"Brien is going to miss much if he returned to sports? At least with sports he could discuss serious issues like whether allegedly juiced-up Mark McGwire deserves to be left out of the Hall of Fame. Would be a nice change from reporting this Trump-Rosie feud. Barbara Walters on the View show today called Donald Trump a "poor, pathetic man." And all the entertainment news shows reported it! This is what passes for entertainment news on TV.

If I were Pat O'Brien I would DEFINITELY go back to doing sports.

FUNNY MUSLIMS

You know, we keep on hearing all about what the CBC is doing wrong all the time. All that public money wasted on sporting events and Hollywood movies, and on all the flop shows they put on. And all that.

Well, to my eyes it seems like the CBC is making a concerted attempt over there to try and do things right. True, they've generally flopped bigtime with their dramas and talk shows, but they are getting good numbers with sports and extremely good numbers with comedy this season. They drew around a million for the Air Farce and almost that number for a comedy special with Ron James over the holiday period.

Comedy has been "the" area of dominance for the CBC over the years--- particularly comedy with underlying political/social overtones. Like this latest show they have on now.

They have a new sitcom on now called Little Mosque on the Prairie, and it's about these Muslims living life in a small prairie town called Mercy. It's a show that has generated a huge amount of buzz from bloggers and people who think this show is the end of civilization, portraying Muslims in a positive light and all that. The gimmick of the show is that Muslims can be funny and the joke's on everyone else.

Well, the ratings are in and two million people tuned in to this show. Two freaking million. That's pretty good. The reviews seem respectful, nobody's called it a complete piece of junk. Given that this is Canada where TV reviewers hate all TV shows, that ain't bad.

Anyway, here's a Q-and-A with the creator of the show Zarqa Nawaz in the Globe plus a profile of her in the Eyeopener (Ryerson newspaper). She actually lived in Regina for a time. Anyway, this must be a relief for the CBC to actually have a show on the air that people are actually talking about. FOR A CHANGE.

LAWYERS QUITTING IN DROVES

Well I've run into this article on a few of these legal "blawgs" about all these lawyers who are quitting these firms three, four, five years in. Right after their fat bonus checks are deposited.

In fact the situation is so bad that these firms are finding they don't have anyone around anymore to do the deals, they all quit. There's old guys and partners and then there's the newer calls, and no one in between at these places. They're mainly leaving for any jobs they can find that can get them out of these sweatshops. That one guy they talked to who was heading west is trying to get into screenwriting, actually.

I think what you're seeing is that life is so bad and so unbearable at these law firms in places like New York that people simply can't stand it. These billables are through the roof, but also you have so many people who are knocked right out of the running for partnership very early. So it's clear to most of these lawyers at these big firms that they have no future, so why bother continuing? Especially when you have to work all the time, and spend the night at these offices.

I dunno if the same situation is true in Canada. Lots of people went to law school not out of any great love for the law or any of that, but because they wanted a stable professional job and this was their best shot! Most of them weren't gung-ho about corporate law to begin with. They simply hoped this degree would allow them to do something interesting with their lives like conduct exciting trials and get justice for people, or negotiate deals for big athletes and entertainers, or get into politics and write policy and do cool things like that. Maybe even become Prime Minister! Fat chance.

That's why people are getting out of these firms. It's dead-end chimp work and the hours are terrible and the people you work with are horrible, and clients generally all hate you and say you are ripping them off. And these lawyers hate it.