Wednesday, February 28, 2007

ON THE FORD FRICK AWARD

Well, all these people in Toronto are ticked off once again because the late former Toronto Blue Jays voice Tom Cheek did not get into the baseball Hall of Fame last week. Instead, the Ford Frick Award went to Denny Matthews, the long-time voice of the Kansas City Royals.

Here's a bitter article from the Star about Cheek's defeat, blaming the Americans for ignoring Canada and showing Toronto a lack of respect, and calling on the players to wear a Tom Cheek jersey with the number "4306" on the back (the number of games in a row that ironman Cheek called.)

Okay, fine. The Star has a right to an opinion. But you know, it would do people in Toronto a lot more good if they cared enough to actually cast their votes in the online poll- and of course they didn't bother to do that. Cheek actually got nominated as a finalist for this award by all these "old cronies" and "Americans", not by the Internet voters. Those Internet folks actually cast their votes for Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson, Bill King and Joe Nuxhall. Personally, I dunno why anyone would vote for Harrelson, but that's what happened.

Besides, the committee also nominated Tony Kubek, and guess which team he did the games for in the 1980s? That's right--- your Toronto Blue Jays, paired with Don Chevrier on TV for several years. So that whole argument about a "lack of respect" by the Ford Frick voters for the fair city of Toronto is totally out the window, because two guys who did games for Toronto got nominated. So enough already.

And there's a second issue to consider as well. Explain this to me--- if Tom Cheek deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, why the heck was it so freaking hard for people living in frozen Saskatchewan to listen to him do the bleeping games on the radio? It was actually Denny Matthews who was easier to hear during the whole 1980s! I remember listening to plenty of baseball on the radio during that time and the easiest team to hear by a country mile was the Kansas City Royals. The games were on several 50,000-watt radio stations located throughout the midwest and into Colorado, even. I could tune in to AM 1100 and AM 1600, both from Colorado, and hear the Royals' strong signal in Saskatoon. (This was before the Colorado Rockies came into existence). It was so easy to hear Royals games that it was a joke. It was also really easy to hear the Twins, Cardinals and the White Sox. Even the Texas Rangers games were easy to find on WBAP 820 AM.

But fat chance was I able to hear a Blue Jays broadcast every day. Really, it was easier to hear the distant Detroit Tigers or the Cleveland Indians than it was to hear Tom Cheek on most nights! Occasionally the signal from Winkler, Manitoba would be strong enough to make its way to my radio late at night, and there were a couple of distant Saskatchewan stations near the American border that had the games only on weekends, but that was about it! S0me network this was, this "Telemedia Sports Network" that did the Blue Jays games--- although eventually they did manage to find a few stations to broadcast some games in Saskatchewan. You know, it's hard to get into the Hall of Fame if your team's broadcaster can't be heard on the radio.

You know, they'll probably complain in Toronto if Dave Niehaus ever gets in, too, and that's another situation where it was a lot easier to hear him! Seattle Mariners games are so easy to hear in western Canada that it is a joke. The games boomed into Saskatchewan on KIRO 710 and also on its network stations, so you could hear that wild and crazy Niehaus do his "that ball will fly away" routine. And now that the games are on KOMO 1000, they're easier to hear than ever! In fact the M's network even has affiliates in Canada, now! These folks in Toronto really should blame Canada for Cheek's problems getting into the Hall of Fame, because his freaking radio network was a joke outside of Ontario with all these light-bulb stations the games were on. My point is there are a lot of good baseball broadcasters out there, Toronto didn't have a monopoly on quality. Besides, look at some of the teams these other broadcasters got stuck with. It takes a lot of skill for a guy like Niehaus to make games for a bad team like the Mariners interesting, especially during the terrible 1980s when he called games from the empty Kingdome all the time. And those games STILL sounded exciting.

The fact that Tom Cheek didn't win this time doesn't show a lack of respect for Toronto or Canada. Tom Cheek was still a good broadcaster who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame one of these days. I think this bellyaching by the Toronto Star about the Ford Frick Award is just another case of the city of Toronto showing its usual lack of self-esteem again. The usual complaint in Toronto is that these Frick voters prefer people who call games in places like New York or Los Angeles or Chicago. What a pile of rubbish. If that was the criteria John Sterling ("thaaaaaa Yankees win!!!") would've gotten in the Hall of Fame this year, and "Hawk" Harrelson would have gotten in a long time ago. Fact is that guys from Houston, San Diego, Milwaukee, Minnesota and elsewhere all got in. They also put in 3 Latino broadcasters who broadcast in Spanish into the Hall, too! So folks in Toronto should quit griping about how nobody cares about Toronto, and should keep on campaigning for Cheek to get into the Hall of Fame. If they do that, then one of these days he'll be inducted, no problem--- certainly within the next decade.

Cheek's been nominated three years in a row, he's bound to be nominated next year as well if the "campaigning" keeps up. Frankly, if Denny Matthews can get in, calling the stinking-awful Kansas City Royals, then anyone can get in.

Besides, I think the fact that Cheek did the games in Canada is not a strike against him, but a point in his favor. Bringing baseball to an international audience certainly counts for something. Too bad Cheek didn't bring it to folks living in Saskatchewan who had to listen to Denny Matthews instead, but that's life.

ANOTHER UPDATE, AND THAT OUGHT TO BE IT FOR THE ANNA NICOLE POSTS FOR A WHILE

The court of appeals in Florida affirmed the decision of Judge Larry from last week, saying there was no reversible error--- so the coast is clear for Anna Nicole Smith to be buried in the Bahamas, finally.

And the whole DNA issue will be decided, eventually. And that's all the Anna Nicole posts that I am doing for a while, I hope, because I am sick of writing about this story.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

BOB WOODRUFF IS BACK, AND OTHER NEWS

Just want to remind you TV news fans to switch away from all the Anna Nicole Smith coverage on the other channels, and tune in to ABC News at 10EST/9 Central.

That's when they'll run Bob Woodruff's documentary To Iraq and Back- basically the story of how he cheated death over there. The story he lived to tell. This special should have CBS News and NBC News all beat.

Come to think of it, here's an idea for CBS News: Kimberly Dozier: The Story She Lived to Tell! As for NBC News, they can't do a documentary about David Bloom, because he's dead. Besides, it's too depressing. Anyway ABC should clean up tonight.

Noticed Charlie Gibson interviewed Bob tonight on World News. I guess they thought this was better than covering Anna Nicole Smith--- though they did lead with that big 400-point market selloff that CNBC was going hog wild over. Anyway Bob looked good and could talk, but you could tell he'd been through a lot.

Speaking of Anna Nicole, rumor is she might actually have a funeral in the Bahamas on Thursday, and also sources are saying that Anna Nicole may have secretly suffered from lupus. Anyway, the Court of Appeal will hear the case tomorrow on what to do about the body, so presumably something will be decided tomorrow.

Monday, February 26, 2007

COMING TO A TV SHOW NEAR YOU: JUDGE LARRY

Well, here is a blurb about Judge Larry Seidlin of Florida. His wildest dream to be on TV is coming true, folks.

His Anna Nicole Smith trial may be getting reviewed and possibly overturned by a higher court, but he was a big hit on TV. And that is all that counts, eh? The CBS Saturday Early Show has made an offer to Judge Larry, offering him a segment answering viewers' questions about the law on national TV.

Not a bad offer, but why stop there? Judge Larry should go into syndication! That's what all the rest of these judges do, and that's where all the money is. Think about it: he can do the Saturday Early Show, and then do the TV-court thing the rest of the week in syndication for big money. Just like Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Maria Lopez, Judge Hatchett, and all these other TV judges. Believe you me: Judge Larry is coming soon, too.

I don't blame the Judge for wanting to be on TV, but I do have an honest question: why do people watch these shows?! Watching Maury do paternity tests on TV is better than this! You know, people might as well just go down to the local courthouse and sit in on a few small claims trials, because that's what these are!! Except those judges are a lot more boring. Small claims court is a waste of time to watch. If you really need your courtroom fix, tune in a real trial on Court TV where someone is on the verge of being thrown in jail. Something good, at least!

ANNA NICOLE IS NEVER GOING TO BE BURIED

Found out from Court TV that some court has issued a stay connected to that probate decision by Judge Seidlin down in Florida. Virgie Arthur's appeal is going to be heard in a hearing tomorrow. Catherine Crier on Court TV is actually saying she has a pretty good legal case, too. Meanwhile Anna Nicole continues to rot away in some morgue somewhere.

My goodness, this is a farce, what is going on down there. Don't hold your breath waiting for the funeral. What is it, two weeks now?!

GUYS' PERSPECTIVE OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS

Well, here is my wrapup of the Oscars from a guys' perspective, and as I say this whole broadcast was actually pretty boring.

I watched all the red carpet shows, but the fashion play-by-play was actually pretty annoying. And I tuned out at various points to catch a hockey game on the other channel and also the cartoons on FOX. It was a slow night, but the show did get interesting near the end so I did actually watch most of the Oscar show.

Anyway, here's a rundown of what went down last night from a guys' perspective.

(1) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest won for Best Visual Effects while Pan's Labyrinth took home a couple of awards. Honestly, a down year for special effects. I think Ahhnold's job in California has a lot to do with it. Budgets also got slashed.

(2) Fun Fact for guys about Best Actress winner Helen Mirren (The Queen): she is absolutely notorious for taking her clothes off in movies. She has been naked in films going all the way back to her "hot babe" days in the 60s and 70s. In fact I think she's done nude scenes in the majority of movies she's been in! So look out Greta Scacchi, Lena Olin and the rest of you famous naked movie actresses. There's hope for you yet.

Ironically, for her Oscar-winning role Helen kept her clothes on, for once; probably a good thing. The Queen would not have been amused otherwise.

The other fun news for guys is that Penelope Cruz has a hot-looking sister named Monica who is as stunningly beautiful as Penelope always is. (Is she single?)

(3) Ellen DeGeneres proved to be pure vanilla at the Oscars. Pretty average as far as hosts go, and utterly uncontroversial-- which when you think of it is a little surprising. Here's another fun fact for guys: Ellen is a lesbian. ("Yeah, we know already" you are saying.)

The problem wasn't so much that Ellen was no good. The problem was that the whole rest of the show was too long and not all that funny. The show opening montage was crucified for being boring, for instance. It was telling that the funniest guy on that stage last night was Jerry Seinfeld, of all people, ripping the theater-going experience during the presentation for Best Documentary Feature. He ripped the high prices and said it was his right to throw his junk on the floor!

Ha ha ha. That was about as big an endorsement of "television" that I saw all evening. Needless to say Seinfeld will never host the Oscars. He was the only guy who dared to be controversial up there- a big no-no with this crowd.

And where the hell was Borat?!

He could have been good for a few laughs, could have livened up the freaking place. Sacha Baron Cohen told the press that Borat was boycotting the Oscars. Well, no wonder this show wasn't funny.

(4) No big controversial political statements but a lot of mention of the environment. Gee, I wonder why.

Did you see how Leo DiCaprio was drooling over Al Gore during that big announcement that the Oscars had "gone green"? That bit where Gore started to make an "important announcement", only to be drowned out by the music, was pretty funny.

Other than that there was hardly any political stuff-- and if there was, quite frankly I would have been really turned off. I tune into entertainment shows to get away from all these idiots from the world of politics! I don't want to have to listen to more of their rants and raves.

(5) As you know it was a big night for mobsters everywhere, especially in Boston, with Martin Scorsese winning Best Director and The Departed winning Best Picture.

I wonder what they will do in Boston to celebrate this big win. They should close the town down again and look for more Aqua Teen packages.

And the revelation of the evening is that Clint Eastwood can translate Italian. I'm impressed.

(6) They didn't even bother to mention Anna Nicole Smith in that list of dead people that they ran (I guess they couldn't find the clip from the Naked Gun movie she was in)! But they did show Jack Palance doing one-handed push-ups, and finally got around to mentioning Don Knotts. Knotts actually kicked the bucket before last year's show and they forgot to mention him last year, so they figure better late than never.

Uh, that's it. Like I say, not much of a night from a guy's perspective.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A GREAT NIGHT FOR ALL MOBSTERS

The Departed wins Best Picture, and Martin Scorsese wins Best Director and receives his Academy Award from the Three Amigos ( Spielberg, Lucas and Coppola). I believe it was four Oscars that movie won, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. Helen Mirren won Best Actress, Forest Whitaker won Best Actor, Jennifer Hudson won Best Supporting Actress.

And it was also a big night for the Al Gore Presidential Campaign 2008-- An Inconvenient Truth won Best Documentary Feature and also won for Best Song (Melissa Etheridge).

What a boring show, though, and it went over time, too. In fact, at one point I was so bored that I flipped the channel to catch a really good hockey game on another station. The Colorado Avalanche were taking on the Anaheim Ducks, and the Ducks won 5-3.

ALAN ARKIN BEATS EDDIE MURPHY

In the first big upset of the Oscar evening Alan Arkin wins Best Supporting Actor, beating Dreamgirls' Eddie Murphy who was considered the favorite.

Eddie should never have made Norbit-- people will be blaming that lousy movie for his defeat. I guess all the rumors about how everyone in Hollywood hates Eddie Murphy are true, then. Certainly everyone hated Norbit. But the nomination was for Dreamgirls. Oh well.

You might be interested in the fact that Pan's Labyrinth won Best Art Direction and Best Makeup. Actually I haven't been watching much of this-- I kind of lost interest after the red carpet shows were over.

Here's the liveblog from Nikki Finke for those of you who don't want to waste your time watching this boring show tonight on ABC.

UPDATE: WTF?! Happy Feet beats Cars for best cartoon. (Booooo.)

LIVE OSCAR COVERAGE

UPDATE: Red carpet live streams are now over.
Here are some links to live coverage of the Oscars tonight:

www.oscars.com- obviously
www.foxnews.com - fair and balanced live Red Carpet stream. Yes, my favorite woman Courtney Friel (gush!) (aaah!) will be there.
ktla.trb.com/entertainment/movies/ktla-lfaa,0,5493717.special?coll=ktla-home-1- live webcast at 6:30 PM EST/3:30 pst
www.cnn.com - red carpet coverage from CNN Pipeline
www.ctv.ca/mini/oscars2007/- Ben Mulroney and the eTalk crew with live coverage from Hollywood
www.reelzchannel.com/article.aspx?articleId=215 - from the press room.
www.accesshollywood.com/oscars/
www.showbuzz.cbsnews.com/
www.eonline.com
www.etonline.com/oscars07/
www.tmz.com
www.people.com
www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com -Nikki Finke is liveblogging
www.hollywood-elsewhere.com
www.moviecitynews.com

If I think of any more I'll add them as the night goes on-- in between episodes of The Simpsons and Family Guy. Nothing big is supposed to happen until late, anyway. Rumor is this could be the longest Oscar telecast ever. Long and boring, with plenty of commercials.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

SHARON STONE GETS RAZZIED

As expected the terrible Basic Instinct 2 (aka Basically It Stinks, Too) swept the Razzies tonight. It was awarded (?) the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture and, in a supreme injustice, the famous naked movie star Sharon Stone takes home Worst Actress.

Oh, come on. Couldn't they find someone else to give the Worst Actress award to? At least last year the Razzies gave its award to a legitimately brutal actress, the lovable Jenny McCarthy. But Sharon--- you know, she's at least trying to be a good actress. I mean, she was in Bobby for crying out loud. And she once got nominated for an Oscar for Casino and has won other awards--- real ones. She deserves better than this. In fact, this is the second time she's won Worst Actress; the first time was for Intersection in 1994! And she's been Razzie-nominated five other times-- for Sliver and other crap.

This is not fair. Sharon was the only good thing about this lousy movie. Basic Instinct 2 was definitely a piece of junk, but most people did think the movie deserved at least one or two stars on the strength of Sharon Stone and her incredible hot body. This role certainly brought out her natural animal magnetism. Her performance may have been completely over the top, and it was definitely really embarrassing, but at least it was sort of entertaining. And from a pure physical standpoint, Sharon looks better than she's looked in years. By letting her hair grow long again, Sharon appears at least 10 years younger. Face it, Sharon Stone looks great at age 48.

So while I would have thrown the book at the whole rest of that embarrassing movie, I wouldn't have given a Razzie to Sharon. It just seems like a cheap shot to do that, and besides, she has her Razzie already anyway. Instead, I would have given it to the truly awful Jessica Simpson for Employee of the Month and Just My Luck, because based on her lousy screen efforts she truly deserves it. She's absolutely terrible, and that's all I'll say about that.

Actually, I'm also a little biased because I love Sharon Stone and have followed her career closely--- from before Basic Instinct, even. She's probably my favorite actress, in fact- I think her flirty "sex kitten" routine is a blast, plus everyone knows how intelligent and brainy she really is. I've found it fascinating to see her grow as a movie actress. She actually became a big star rather late in her career. She appeared in so many really bad movies and TV shows in the 1980s, playing so many awful "babe" roles, that it was a joke. Talk about a career in the toilet: her biggest role in the whole 1980s was opposite Richard Chamberlain in the god-awful piece of junk King Soloman's Mines. That role was a bit of a precursor of what was to come for Sharon because she was really sexy in that flick, wearing tight cut-off shorts. She also was in the sequel Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold, and was in one of those bad Police Academy sequels, and appeared in Action Jackson opposite Carl Weathers. Lots of total dreck and terrible roles, but at least the pay was good.

Sharon's career was actually starting to look up by the time she was cast in Total Recall opposite Ahhhnold. She appeared in Playboy around the same time, which got her attention and solid "babe" credentials, and Total Recall turned out to be a pretty good movie. So Sharon was becoming a rising star, and then came that famous between-the-legs shot that finally put her on the A-list and made her world famous for good.

Sharon's done a lot worse than Basic Instinct 2 with all that awful dreck she was in at the start of her career. It makes no sense that she takes home a Razzie for playing Catherine Tramell, her greatest role of all time, when she should have taken home Razzies thoughout the entire 1980s for those awful Allan Quartermain and Police Academy movies. But that's life. Sharon, you naughty girl you.
WAY TO GO, CARMEN

Oh, and congrats to Carmen Electra for winning Worst Supporting Actress for Date Movie and Scary Movie 4, beating out another favorite of mine Jenny McCarthy. All of my favorite women are Razzie-award winners or nominees! Life is not fair.

Friday, February 23, 2007

THE GUYS' GUIDE TO THE OSCARS



Well the Academy Awards ceremony is coming two days from now and guys across America and the world let out a collective groan and yawn.

Actually, so do I. I really can't get too worked up about the Oscars. I may be a big movie nut these days, but obsessing about the Oscars seems to me to be a total, wanton waste of time.

For most guys, the big event that they sit and tune into is the Super Bowl. That's what really counts with us guys: seeing two football teams duke it out, and then tune in to the interesting half-time musical entertainment and all the commercials on TV.

But the Oscars?! Lessee, there's the usual boring Barbara Walters special that only women watch, then you have the red carpet interviews with all these designers doing color commentary on all the latest fashions (who cares, again), and then you tune in to watch some usually hip comedian struggle to try and rev-up an audience filled with uptight Hollywood movie stars and power players. Then it's over, and it's on to coverage of the big parties these big stars attend.

Guys look at this and go so what? Let's face it, this is an event that appeals to WOMEN. If you are a guy who is seriously interested in the Oscars, most other guys will think you are gay or something. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but this awards show has serious problems with the male segment of the population and deservedly so.
Personally, I've never liked the Oscar show, even though I watch it every year. It's a boring show, and my favorite movies never get nominated. You never see a comedy or an action movie winning an Oscar for Best Picture, ever! And the comedians on stage are scared to tell any good jokes lest they offend everyone. In fact, one of the better Oscar telecasts in recent memory was that one hosted by Chris Rock. And I thought he was pretty funny, but everyone hated him anyway. Shows you what I know about my Oscar tastes. My taste is clearly out of step with the awards-crowd in Hollywood.

I watch this Oscar show for reasons that are different from the ones that most other people watch the Oscars for. Mainly, I tune in to see if some actor or director will say something nutty on TV. And also to see how badly the host crashes and burns. But other than that, really, who cares?

I'm going to try and provide a guide to all you guys out there- those of you stuck at home watching the Oscars with your girlfriends- to try and help you get something out of the evening. I mean heck, lots of guys like the movies! You'd think something about the Oscars would appeal to guys!

Anyway, here goes:

(1) Follow the so-called technical awards for special effects, sound, lighting, and all that fun stuff. Usually these awards are dominated by films that are popular with guys- such as Terminator II: Judgement Day, or King Kong, or any of these Steven Spielberg science-fiction efforts. This year Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is up for several awards, and Superman Returns and Poseidon are up for Visual Effects as well. Rats, that isn't much.

(2) Follow your favorite naked movie actresses and see if they win any awards. A guy with time on his hands called Mr. Skin claims that all of this year's Best Actress nominees have done nude scenes at some point in their careers. He claims that the best way to win a Best Actress Oscar is to get naked on-screen in a mainstream movie! True, Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie won Oscars after getting naked in movies. But by Mr. Skin's logic, actresses like Denise Richards, Demi Moore and Natasha Henstridge ought to be cleaning up! Henstridge would have won Best Actress for Species if this was the criteria, getting naked on screen. And how many movies has Sharon Stone been naked in? She should have won several Oscars by now if this was the criteria they use. Instead she'll likely win a Razzie for Basic Instinct 2.

Anyway, guys might have fun figuring out the movies all these Oscar-nominated actresses appeared naked in. It would kill time.

(3) See the reaction to this year's latest host-comedian and how badly they crash and burn. Jon Stewart bombed last year and Dave Letterman was crucified, and Chris Rock was ripped for his hosting before he even walked on the stage! So it's interesting to see the reaction from the Oscar crowd.

This year Ellen DeGeneres has the gruesome task of trying to entertain these uptights in the audience. Keep in mind that Oscar's idea of a big success is Billy Crystal. Not that he did a bad job or any of that--- in fact he was pretty good--- but this is the most tightly wound, humorless group of people any comedian will have to entertain in their lifetimes. And being edgy and groundbreaking is a big strike against you. Fat chance that Sarah Silverman will ever host this broadcast!

(4) See if anyone makes any political statements at the Oscars- that should be good for a few laughs. Watch out if Al Gore wins something for An Inconvenient Truth and then goes up there and gives the victory speech he never gave on Election Night. Maybe someone will say something about the war. Who knows.

(5) By all means, cheer for Martin Scorsese and The Departed, the only real guy's movie that has a chance to clean up--- a flick filled with violence and mobsters. And if you can't cheer for him, cheer for Clint Eastwood.

(6) Last but not least, check out the usual list of dead people that the Academy runs and see if Anna Nicole Smith is mentioned--- because she appeared in movies, too, believe it or not.

Actually, you know what, why bother watching the Oscars if you're a guy?! Might as well try and find a good action movie to rent, or watch the cartoons over on FOX instead! Anything's better than this.

PATERNITY NOW THE ISSUE BEING DECIDED

Here's a link to the latest story over at Court TV about how Larry Birkhead is fighting to obtain DNA samples from Danielynn, and of course Howard K. Stern is doing his best to be uncooperative.

I have a question. Why the heck is all this in court to begin with?! I know a lot of money is at stake and all that, what with book deals and movies-of-the-week hanging in the balance. But these guys need to get together and just get these DNA tests done and get it over with, because the only people getting rich from this are the lawyers! It isn't worth fighting over in court because these cases are cut and dried! Figure out among yourselves what jurisdiction applies to all this nonsense, figure out for yourselves what laws apply and get the tests done already, man!!! If you need a judge to sign off on it, fine, but this court fight is the biggest waste of time ever.

Ultimately this isn't about paternity; this is all about greed and who ultimately profits off of Anna Nicole Smith. Why should people at home really care about that? This is disgusting, ladies and gentlemen.

The media coverage and the commentary by these uninformed commentators are a joke. Why the heck were those television cameras down there? What went on in that lousy courtroom down in Fort Lauderdale was a total waste of time for television viewers. The case was cut and dried and the outcome was totally predictable, and in fact people were a lot more unified on the actual issue of burial than the press led anyone to believe. So why did that case take so long to get settled? The best answer I can come up with is that all these lawyers were trying to get people to state on record various things that could affect paternity! And Judge Larry was taking his time trying to make sure he wasn't going to encroach on someone else's jurisdiction and make a complete hash of the decision. It was a total waste of time. I don't know why Larry King even bothered with it, really.

It's obvious people are fed up with this whole case. I am tuning in to these radio talk shows and people are saying they are fed up with turning on the television and seeing this live continuing coverage of Anna Nicole Smith. I'm sure the press will go nuts covering this funeral--- if it ever happens.

Now I understand a motion to stay yesterday's burial decision has been filed by Virgie Arthur's attorneys. So the nonsense that happened yesterday isn't settled yet, either. This is a FARCE and a waste of time.

Anyway, who am I to comment about all this--- what do I know? The one thing I've learned from this week is that I really don't have a clue what I am talking about. I should give up and cover the Oscars.

I'll break in with any Anna Nicole news if there's something big happening--- like an actual DNA test.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

DECISION ON ANNA NICOLE'S BODY

Judge Larry finally made his decision today (thank God) and he tearfully awarded the body of Anna Nicole Smith to the custodian of Dannielynn. The decision effectively punted the burial decision to these lawyers, and the lawyers say the body will be buried in the Bahamas. Meanwhile, the decision is likely to be appealed by Anna Nicole's mother, who still wants the body buried in Texas. But that appeal isn't likely to get very far.

Interesting media event outside the courtroom as Howard K. Stern, Larry Birkhead and Virgie Arthur, came out arm in arm to meet the press. And the lawyers told the press to go home. But don't worry, they won't be going home anytime soon.

Why? Because a Florida court will get involved in the paternity case tomorrow and probably make a ruling. Big issue is likely to be jurisdiction tomorrow. California is involved in all this and so is the Bahamas.

Also, if jurisdiction is awarded to the Bahamas, you can expect less of this nonstop trial television coverage, because I don't think they have cameras in the court down there. Anyway, this was all over TV. I finally figured out the purpose of CNN Headline News: to be CNN's tabloid operation! Headline runs all these sensational trials and tabloid trash like Nancy Grace and Showbiz Tonight; meanwhile the main CNN is free to cover Scooter Libby, Iraq, and all the misery in the world--- at least until Larry King comes on. Then it's back to this junk.

Also I notice Mika Brzezinski has a job now at MSNBC and I'm surprised because I thought NBC was laying everyone off!? Big question of the day-- who is being paid more? Serious newswoman Mika Brzezinski, or Courtney Friel ?! I'm sure Jean Casarez (Court TV) is asking the same question--- and she has a law degree. Hope she's well paid for covering this complete nonsense in Florida.

Anyway there will be more nonsense tomorrow and I imagine this paternity business is going to be a big circus. And I assume there will be saturation coverage of the big Anna Nicole funeral. On TV.

We'll see Judge Larry again on TV, you can bet on that.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

MORE ON KIRAN CHETRY

Watched CNN tonight and Larry King introduced John King (no relation) and Kiran Chetry who were hosting Anderson Cooper 360 tonight. These two were dubbed the Dynamic Duo by Mr. King. He quipped that they sounded like a good food dish. Kiran was looking at the camera with a stunned sort of look on her face at that comment. Way to go, Larry, you fool.

Anyway, read at the Post-Chronicle that Chetry was supposedly commanding $300,000 a year over at Fox News, and Fox wanted to bump it up to $400,000 in the new contract. But her agent definitely tried to be a "Big Swinging Dick", it appears, and he demanded $700,000 a year, plus a host gig for Kiran at Fox and Friends! Yeah, the agent tried to get Gretchen Carlson fired. So Fox News called the agent's bluff and canned Kiran.

Well, I sure hope Kiran Chetry is making more at CNN than what she made at Fox News- otherwise this is a big debacle for her and also for her agent. Not that she's likely to be starving. You know, based on these numbers it's obvious there's lots of money in TV news--- but it's all in the States, though.

As for bikini-newswoman Courtney Friel, who joined Fox News the next day after Kiran left, weather woman Janice Dean remarked to her slobbering co-anchors: “You guys have to wipe the drool off your mouths."

I wonder what fellow Fox News weatherman Chris Knowles thinks. Knowles is actually married to Kiran Chetry! Wonder what his opinion is of the bosses after all this. Should make for some interesting bedroom conversations with the wife.

MEGYN LOOKING FOR A NEW HUSBAND

Speaking of wives, or former ones--- found out that Fox News' Megyn Kelly is a single woman again (hence she's back to her maiden name) and has relocated to New York from Washington, D.C. for a new anchor gig there. Awesome. New York's a great town for singles, just ask Carrie Bradshaw.

The folks at Washington Life are in mourning already about her move. They posted a nice, classy picture of her for all these drooling bachelors in New York to see, these guys seeking wives (or at least a date). Click here for the picture of this hottie. Megyn should definitely go on "The Bachelorette." (Oops-- wrong network.)

UPDATE: Found out that Chris Knowles has parted ways with Fox News just this week. I'm sure it's got to do with his wife leaving and all that nonsense. Anyway that's that.

IT'S A KANGAROO COURT DOWN THERE

THE CAIRNS BLOG continues its live continuing coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith probate case in Florida. What a kangaroo court that was today.

We had Howard K. Stern on the stand again, and we had Anna Nicole's mother Virgie Arthur on the stand today, and Larry Birkhead was on the stand today. Interestingly I think it's clear that Anna Nicole is going to be buried in the Bahamas, Birkhead went on the stand and said that he wouldn't be unhappy if that happened. But these lawyers are going hog wild. I saw Debra Opri go after Howard K. Stern on the stand today, and she was a pit bull terrier, asking him whether or not he was the natural father of Dannielynn!!! And of course that was a big "you are out of order" moment, as everyone in the courtroom was groaning and booing. Shades of the WWE in there today. What a farce.


I'll tell you, I've been in quite a few courtrooms over the years and I've never seen a courtroom operate like this one here. This was nonsense, ladies and gentlemen. These lawyers down there are totally out of control.

Also, we know now that Ms. Smith went under several aliases in order to get access to these drugs she got. She went under names such as "Norma Jean" and get this, "Mrs. Flintstone." I wish I were kidding about this, folks.

They are asking about financial records and going on and on about all this irrelevant nonsense. Nancy Grace is going hog wild tonight on her show, ranting about " what has all this stuff in court got to do with burying a body"? Apparently it goes to motive and money, say these well-informed people who know more about this than I do. And apparently people are accusing Howard K. Stern of wanting the body for his own financial gain. Anyway, Nancy is going ballistic about what she sees as hearsay and speculation going on in court, all of which should be thrown out. Also, these lawyers are trying to sandbag these witnesses and trying to get them to say things in court that can be used against them later in paternity proceedings.


The judge is having a hard time keeping these animals in the courtroom under control. And of course Judge Larry Seidlin is playing for the cameras and rattling off these one-liners. In fact, this is his dream come true, this case! TMZ is reporting that this guy's dream is to be the next Judge Judy and even has a demo reel of himself!!! This case is the best thing ever to happen to his career--- his TV career that is.


Seems he's not the only one with a reel. Debra Opri has a reel of herself, too, and she's making the most of her 15 minutes of fame in the Florida courtroom. She's going on every TV show imaginable and I am sure her agent is taping her every move (yes, she has an agent.) I'm sure she'd be a big hit, too, if she ever got a show; she has a big mouth.

(I have a reel of myself, too, if anyone cares. Everyone wants to be on TV these days.)


The case continues tomorrow, and may have to compete with Britney Spears for attention-- apparently Kevin Federline might step in and try and get custody of her kid. The nonsense continues.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

HOWARD K. STERN'S BIG DAY IN COURT

Well, it was yet another big day in the Anna Nicole Smith case as Howard K. Stern testified in court today. Probate court. This whole fight is over who gets control of Anna Nicole's dead body.

What a mess. And here's the best part- we now have learned that Anna Nicole's body is rotting away faster than expected, so they need to make a decision on the body by Saturday. And this is just the start of the fun, folks. Still to come is the main event of the evening, this whole issue of paternity. That Howard K. Stern character continues to be uncooperative on that front, too.

What a circus this has become--- and I don't blame the media for this, I blame Stern and all these lawyers. They won't simply sort through this mess and be reasonable; instead they all want to duke it out in court. Debra Opri and Kristi Barth and everyone else are all having a field day over this. In fact I saw Opri on TV, on Larry King again, calling Stern's performance on the stand "pathetic". I also saw Bradford Cohen of Apprentice fame on Court TV commenting about this case to Jami Floyd-- he's actually a lawyer in Florida. This is great for the lawyers and legal analysts, because they all get to spout off on TV. But don't blame the media for this fiasco; they're only stuck covering this story because crazy stuff keeps on happening. If this case was settled, the media would definitely all go home and stop reporting about Anna Nicole Smith, because they are sick of this story.

In fact I read over on TVNewser that Brian Williams said on his Daily Nightly blog that the nightly news tonight would have no coverage of Anna Nicole Smith and no coverage of Britney Spears. He's not the only one doing this either. Way to go.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

TV VERSUS THE MOVIES

Found an interesting Newsweek article, claiming that TV is better than ever and has the crud at the movie theaters all beat. I notice quite a debate over at Hollywood Elsewhere about it, in the "Comments".

The jist of the article is this: (1) there's more originality in TV. David Gordon writes that "while the major film studios have responded by taking shelter beneath big-tent franchises, the TV industry has gone the opposite route, welcoming anyone with an original idea." He cites shows like Sarah Silverman Presents, Dexter, and The Office, and of course mentions The Wire. All the usual suspects. Also, he mentions the popularity of DVDs which allow you to watch entire seasons of 24 in one shot.

You know, we keep seeing these articles popping up all the time, claiming that TV is better. Even during the Seinfeld/Frasier/ER era they were claiming that, claiming these blockbusters and other movies were unoriginal and uninspired compared to the great stuff on our TV sets. There's nothing new about this. I will say though, it's hard to argue against what this guy says about what we are seeing from TV. Certainly there are a lot of great shows on the air where people are knocking themselves out, trying to do great work-- whether it's The Sopranos or Lost or whatever.

Meanwhile you see a movie like Norbit at the theaters and you automatically think all Hollywood movies are junk. Gordon is saying the main Hollywood studios are mailing it in with formulaic movies aimed at 12-year-olds, citing this year's upcoming blockbuster efforts: "'Spider-Man 3.' 'Shrek 3.' The third 'Pirates of the Caribbean.' The fourth 'Die Hard.' The fifth 'Harry Potter.'" So it's easy to think that The Sopranos, 24, and these other shows have this stuff all beat.

"TV IS IN A NEW GOLDEN AGE": MY FOOT

Okay, so that is the argument: this is the new Golden Age of Television and television is way better than the movies, so we should all stay home!

Explain this, then: why is there so much junk on TV if it's supposed to be so freaking good? Maybe I'm just cynical after watching yet another bad night of boring reality TV, but it's a legitimate question.

This week, for example, we are in for American Idol on three nights in a row and you can't convince me that the movies are worse than that piece of junk! In fact, Gordon torches his own argument by praising the phenomenon that is American Idol! That show has become a parody of itself. The judges have gotten too carried away and the songs are boring, and the wrong losers lose and the wrong winners win!

It's shows like that one that have ushered in all these amateur-hour talent hours with the jerk judges on TV-- these dancing and skating shows, especially. We have shows littered with Simon Cowell-wannabes (ie. Chef Gordon Ramsey) on basically every channel. Not exactly original programming ideas here. In fact, NBC is now claiming they want to get away from attempting serious dramas and comedies at the 8PM hour. They're no longer going to knock themselves out doing quality stuff, and say they will mail it in with reality shows and game shows like Deal or No Deal. That isn't an improvement, folks. In fact, irony of ironies, the latest so-called original idea coming from Mark Burnett is a reality show about making motion pictures. He's teamed up with Steven Spielberg to come up with a show where they try and find the next great director. Personally, though, these aspiring directors ought to just go and try and make their movie instead of wasting time appearing on yet another reality show, trying to get validation from the American public.

Gordon talks about how original these TV shows are. What planet is this guy on? You look at the new shows that have come out this year on network TV and they haven't been all that great. Lots of people like Ugly Betty, and Friday Night Lights is pretty good. But Friday Night Lights isn't an original idea-- they based that show on the book and the movie! That NBC effort Studio 60 is based on Saturday Night Live and is the stalest show Aaron Sorkin has ever done; it is getting ripped by a lot of people. Shark just looks like another lawyer show to me, and lots of these dramas and comedies tanked so badly that they were cancelled! Networks like FOX have taken a bath with all the shows that have been cancelled this season-- they basically junked their whole lineup! And the state of the situation comedy on TV is nothing short of abominable. Basically it's Monday night on CBS and that's it!!

Weekend TV has turned into a bad joke. Saturday night has turned into a big "repeat night" for every one of these networks--- and let's not even talk about all the infomercials that are on. If I see Kevin Trudeau on TV one more time I will need a headache pill.

Gordon also mentioned how good these "niche" channels are and how they breed original programming all the time. But these home-and-garden-channels and learning channels and music channels--- let's face it, they program a lot of junk, too. An awful lot of junk. Just look at the stuff shown on E! for example, or all the poker shown on TV. And while some of these cable channels have been doing terrific award-worthy stuff, others have totally gone down the tubes. Have you seen A&E? Now, that's a really good example of a channel in deep decline. They were good during the Biography/Law & Order days, and even before that. I used to love that channel! Now they have done a big revamp to try and appeal to younger viewers, and they are throwing on there every reality show imaginable. I hate it! That channel is just unwatchable, and it's sad because it used to be a great channel with these documentaries and dramas and the like.

Some golden age this is folks! What weed is this writer at Newsweek smoking?! If TV really is better than movies, then going to the movies has got to be a completely miserable experience for most people.

I don't buy this argument that TV is better than movies. I do think TV is a lot better than it used to be and that there are a lot of good shows getting made, but it's not as if the medium is miles ahead, or even ahead at all. For every step forward TV makes, they take big steps back with all these idiotic reality show non-efforts, most of which are unoriginal ripoffs. That's all I am saying.

I will agree, though, that the main Hollywood studios have done a really poor job putting out original movies lately. I'm as sick and tired of these sequels and retreads as anyone. Having said that, these independents are doing a great job with movies like The Queen, or Little Miss Sunshine or these other flicks. The international market is putting out a lot of quality stuff, too. There's a lot of quality moviemaking going on in the world. But people ignore this and only focus on the big-ticket movies with the big names, thinking this is the entire industry. It's unfair to say TV is way ahead of the movies if you only look at the main Hollywood studios and ignore the rest of what is going on out there.

But still, you cannot escape the reality that the big Hollywood studios have been mailing it in as of late. You see it with the Oscars these days- they are getting killed. Frankly the question these studio executives ought to ask themselves is "why are we letting these independents steal our thunder all the time?" I'm convinced the big studios are just banking on the "franchises" because they want to make quick bucks. That's all they care about, so they go with the superheroes and the sequels all the time. As a result, these major studio efforts make the stuff on TV look good in comparison, and make the whole motion picture industry look worse than it is. It's not!!

BAD NIGHT OF REALITY TV AHEAD

Just some observations:

Tonight is the debut of The Amazing Race: All-Stars and all I will say about that is that I am fed up seeing Rob and Amber and don't want to see them on TV ever again, and so watching this show is bound to be a waste of time. Especially if these two idiots win.

Also, on NBC is yet another Grease: You're the One that I Want, and your reaction is probably the same as mine: "that show is still on?!"

Finally, the train wreck that is The Apprentice: Tent City I mean LA is back on. And all I gotta say is simply this. Why, oh why, am I still watching this awful piece of junk?!

Um, that's it, I'm changing the channel to the NBA All-Star Game.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY


It's too bad the NFL is over, but look on the bright side. The NEXTEL CUP is back!


The Daytona 500 runs tomorrow and it will be back to the soap opera which is NASCAR, what with its scandals (Michael Waltrip and all the rest of the cheaters) and bickering (Dale Earnhardt Jr.). And somewhere along the line will be racing, with Jimmie Johnson looking to defend his Cup title.


Meanwhile some people claim that interest is down in NASCAR and I don't see why that should be the case, people need something to do between now and the return of the NFL. Certainly the sport is still growing in Canada; there's going to be a Busch Series race in Montreal and I keep hearing about how they might put a truck race in Calgary. CASCAR in Canada is now being rebranded as the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series so that will be more exposure as well. There is definitely more TV interest here in Canada as well.

And more drivers keep on joining, like Juan Pablo Montoya who is getting a lot of attention because he left F1 to join this circuit. Anyway, the Daytona 500 certainly beats golf and college hoops on TV, and especially the bleeping boring NBA with its Las Vegas all-star game piece of junk.

YOU THOUGHT ANNA NICOLE WAS BIZARRE: THAT WEIRDO BRITNEY GOES BALD

Everyone is going nuts over the fact that Britney Spears has shaved her freaking head. For no apparent reason, either.

I gotta say, Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton and all these other famous young women never stooped this low. Not even Sienna Miller has stooped this low, and she's an absolute party animal! She smokes and drinks a lot, runs around with men all the time, and appears naked in movies!! She's a wild woman, but not that crazy. I guess Sienna wants to keep up her good looks.

At least when Melissa Etheridge went bald, she had a real reason. But Britney has totally lost it-- both her hair and her marbles. The stunned reaction at TMZ.com says it all: "We have now seen it all." "Words escape us."

I think we all owe Anna Nicole Smith an apology for thinking she was a freak--- clearly not when compared to Britney Spears.

Friday, February 16, 2007

IS "SWEEPS" OVER YET? ANNA NICOLE STILL DEAD

I tuned in to the usual entertainment shows on TV today and once again the top story is--- why, what else? Live continuing coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

How long has she been dead? Over a week? And this is STILL the top story. They ought to call it quits. By the way, whatever happened to the Natalee Holloway story? That's another story that all these vultures in the media were all hog wild about. I guess nobody found her. So they are swirling around Anna Nicole and her story instead.

ET is claiming this is the top story over at ETOnline, that everyone's been downloading it. Well, no wonder. Face it, folks, ET isn't an entertainment news show, it's a tabloid show. And they also had some story about some 1000-lb man trying to get rescued from his obesity by Dr. Phil. Yecch! Man, I wish that show was what it used to be years ago. But it isn't. They might as well hire Geraldo, those guys. Wait a minute-- Geraldo used to work for them. Never mind.

Anyway, all the lawyers have converged on Florida for their piece of the action. Apparently the will has named Howard K. Stern the executor of the estate, so everyone's mad about that. Anyway here are the latest Anna Nicole case stories from the tabloid artists over at TMZ.com.

TV JUNK: KEITH OLBERMANN RE-UPS, AND KIRAN CHETRY DEFECTS TO CNN

FOUR MORE YEARS

Well, some news from TV news to tell you about.

Found out that Keith Olbermann has re-upped with MSNBC. Four more years for the worst person in the world. (Just kidding.)

Actually, the really big surprise here is that Olbermann is able to keep a job! Olbermann has the worst record in the world for hopping from station to station, job to job, and so on. He left a Boston-area station after only six months, bounced around a couple of places in LA, and also worked for CNN. He worked for ESPN with Dan Patrick on The Big Show (Sportscenter), but torched his connection to that place by going on Craig Kilborn's show to blast Bristol, Connecticut as a place to live and work. Then he went to MSNBC and ended up quitting in protest over the coverage of Monica Lewinsky, and then he went to Fox Sports and ended up leaving there, too. Now he's finally able to keep a job, back at MSNBC--- and interestingly, also does sports talk appearing on ESPN Radio. So the news is Olbermann isn't going anywhere. Finally, some stability for him.

KIRAN CHETRY DECLARES FREE AGENCY, SIGNS WITH CNN

Wish we could say the same for former Fox and Friends "news babe" Kiran Chetry (pictured) who today turned up on CNN after negotiations with Fox News Channel completely fell apart. TVNewser had the scoop on the ugly negotiations that were going on. In fact they were bragging about their scoop, saying "first on TVNewser" and the like. Way to go.

Apparently Fox News was stark raving mad at Kiran's agent at the William Morris Agency for supposedly conducting the negotiations in an unprofessional manner and for making ridiculous, over-the-top demands. There was some letter that their business affairs people sent to the agency, claiming the agent was more or less demanding that one of the other anchors at Fox News Channel be removed to make room for Kiran Chetry! The headline over on TVNewser was of the "was Kiran Chetry trying to get Gretchen Carlson fired" variety. In fact, TV Newser says this is what FTVLive was reporting, that she was angling to get Carlson removed. There's also another story where people are saying this isn't true, she wasn't trying to get anyone fired. Who knows. I think this was a case of a very nasty negotiation and some hard feelings.

Personally, I think Kiran might have been mad at getting passed over for that morning show job that Gretchen Carlson eventually got--- if that's the case, then no wonder the agent was making ridiculous hardball demands.

And I think Fox News was mad because they knew Kiran was leaving, so they decided to cut her and her agent down a notch. They do not take defections well over there--- they had a huge cow when Paula Zahn defected. In fact the moment they got wind that she was leaving, they fired her! What a business.

Anyway, Kiran still has the same lousy gig she had before, except now it's for CNN. Hope her agent got her more money.


BIKINI NEWSBABE COURTNEY FRIEL

Fox News has also wasted no time making a new hire: they just added gorgeous hottie Courtney Friel who was best known for hosting, of all things, the World Poker Tour. Check her demo reel. Also, I just couldn't resist posting one of her many cute swimsuit photos (pictured). She's a babe!

Meanwhile, serious newswomen reach for the antacids- just like their male counterparts. This is where the news business is headed, folks.

She should fit right in with Megyn, Juliet, Gretchen, Laurie, Julie, Kimberly, and all the rest of "Roger's beauties" over there at Fox. But Courtney is going to have to get used to wearing boots and clingy sweaters from now on--- she'll have to ditch the bikini look over there.

UPDATE: I've added Courtney's web site to the broadcasters' links. Hey, reading her bio I notice she majored in political science in college (just like me!).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

SOME ADDITIONAL STUFF ADDED TO THE BLOG

I have been re-arranging things over on the blogroll lately-- it's all still there, except for a couple of sites that kicked the bucket. So I got rid of those. But most of it is still there.

I divided the entertainment blogs into one set for movies and another for TV, so it's all better organized now. Also, I got rid of the "New Orleans" category entirely and moved the New Orleans links to other parts of the blogroll.

Also I added a new category called "comedy" which is links to a few comedy-related websites. Just tonight, I found a link for http://www.punchlinemagazine.com/ which should be interesting reading for you comedy fans. I also added TV Guide to the TV section, I dunno why I didn't do it earlier.

I think blogging will be light for the next few days as I've decided my arms need a rest from being on the computer. Besides, there's no news. Anna Nicole Smith is still dead and Paula Abdul is still loopy. I may add a post or I may not. In any event, don't expect much.

UPDATE:

Added a few more sites including a couple with news about The Simpsons and Family Guy. And I added Brilliant But Cancelled.

Also--- what the heck are they thinking over at Sports Illustrated? They have put Beyonce on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue! That's right, they're not putting a supermodel on the cover like they did in the past; they used to put on Elle Macpherson and Rachel Hunter and Tyra Banks, and Petra Nemcova and Elsa Benitez, and all of these other hotties. The Sports Illustrated cover is supposed to launch people's careers as models, and make them stars! But here they pass over all their models, and totally sell out and go commercial by putting on Beyonce.

This is a disgrace, folks. But what do you expect? This is the same company that made "You" the Time Magazine Person of the Year! No wonder they are laying people off over there if this is all they can come up with for ideas. They aren't even going to sell more issues with this cheap stunt. Everyone's mad about it because people don't buy the swimsuit issue to see recording artists, they buy it to see supermodels! Everyone thinks all these other models got robbed.

Needless to say, I'm not going to buy this issue and I won't be the only one.

I know, I know-- off topic.

HUSTLE IS BACK ON CBC

Well, Bill Brioux is at it again ranting and raving about the CBC and all its "American" programming.

He was going on and on with his screed about how Hustle is going to take over the former Intelligence time slot beginning tonight on CBC, and he was going on and on about how this is a big CBC trend, going south of the border for programming. He was comparing this to when they put on the air The One which was a total flop last year. And he was ranting about how the CBC picked up Arrested Development and are showing those reruns every day, and on and on.

Now they're showing Hustle, and plopping it up against House tonight where it is sure to get creamed.

First of all, Bill Brioux, get it right. Hustle is not an American show. It is a British show that first aired on the BBC that just so happened to get picked up by the American network AMC (which usually only shows movies). Just because a series has Robert Vaughn in it doesn't mean it's American.

There's nothing new about the CBC showing imports from the UK. What do you think Doctor Who is? And they show Coronation Street all the time. And isn't Antiques Roadshow a British show, too? Now there are all these American and Canadian copycat versions of that very show. Just as there are American and Canadian copycat versions for Pop Idol, and Deal or No Deal, and all these other foreign shows that were hits around the world.

Second, about The One: enough already about that show. I think it's unfair to compare every imported show on the CBC to The One. But Hustle happens to be half decent. And quite frankly most of these imported shows are pretty good anyway. If they weren't, CTV and Global and these other channels wouldn't be wall-to-wall with them all the time! Does Global even air any Canadian shows in prime time? If they do, nobody watches them, that's for sure. (Oh yeah, I forgot about Deal or No Deal Canada.) So enough already about how controversial it is to put imported shows on the CBC. Besides, it's not as if the CBC is the only channel that does this kind of thing. Heck, look at these American networks! They keep on turning to the British and the Dutch for their programming ideas! I think this is just a fact of life for the TV business, and people in Canada ought to get over it.

Besides, the only reason they are putting this show on tonight is clearly to fill time in the schedule. Everyone knows House is going to kill the CBC tonight anyway, so why bother making an effort or rolling the dice with Canadian programming. Might as well throw in some import that might be good. Heck, the CBC could have thrown on some import like I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here or some other piece of junk like that, but they didn't. So quit complaining.

MORE ON THAT FOX BUSINESS CHANNEL THAT IS COMING SOON

By now you probably have heard the big news that the Fox Business Channel is definitely a go for the fourth quarter of this year. Whoopee.

The bad news for Roger Ailes is that the people at these cable companies are going to force Fox to run real programming on weekends; none of these awful informercials that CNBC runs. Ailes has been whining about it and about how this won't make his channel any money, but this is a blessing in disguise! It will force the Fox Business Channel to run real programs on the weekends, and as a viewer I say this is good news. Fox Business News will get decent ratings on the weekends for sure. So already this channel is bound to be better than the crappy weekend CNBC.

Really, CNBC's weekend programming is pathetic, ladies and gentlemen. I tune in and it's one boring exercise infomercial after another for these various useless products. Either that or this TIME- LIFE junk. In fact, you see this all the time on weekends and late at night, these bleeping infomercials, on every channel these days. It used to be that late at night you got to see old movies from the vault, or old reruns of TV shows. You used to see reruns of the Untouchables, or The Fugitive, or The Saint! Not anymore.

Now you see Kevin Trudeau, or Tony Robbins, or Leeza Gibbons or Julie Moran hawking something. See, this is the fate that is in store for people like Thea Andrews and Maria Menounos when they eventually get old and leave entertainment reporting: they will be stuck making a living doing crummy infomercials.

Anyway, back to Fox Business Channel. The big speculation is that they will be going after these CNBC "money honeys" and wave big bucks at all of them to defect. But let's face it, Fox News is already loaded with babes. They already have Martha MacCallum, and Alexis Glick, and Terry Keenan and a host of other people. They don't need any more babes. Besides, if it's financial babes that they want, they don't need to go to CNBC for them; they can poach CBS News and Bloomberg Television! The women there are bound to be underpaid.

FOX doesn't need any babes. If the folks at FOX are smart they would poach the entire Squawk Box crew--- at least, these guys who were on for years like Mark Haines, David Faber and Joe Kernen. Those folks are really popular. And maybe they can try and do a deal with Ron Insana while they are at it, and give him a show, too. Credibility is what they want.

I'd also go after some talent that may be unhappy elsewhere or looking to move up in the world. I'd go after Pat Kiernan-- he used to do business news for ROBTV and he's now at New York 1. a local news channel. Fox Business News would be a step up, so go after him. They might also try and go after Trish Regan since she did business news at one point in time before going to CBS. And maybe they can get JJ Ramberg (gag! choke!) if they can lure her from MSNBC where she is wasting away doing real news- she has an MBA from Stanford.

I'm sure they could lure over some people from the Nightly Business Report on PBS! Heck, there are lots of places they can go for talent.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

GRAMMY AWARDS RED CARPET STREAMS

Honestly, I don't really care about the Grammy Awards but I tune in to these Red Carpet shows, just to see what these entertainment reporters are doing. Hopefully they've all left South Florida by now to cover some real entertainment news, for a change. Though there are still plenty of bizarre Anna Nicole stories running around. Apparently her place has been robbed now. Who knows. Anyway, she has nothing to do with music.

You can find a live Grammy red carpet stream from the CBS folks here. CBS is also showing this show on TV.

Also Access Hollywood will follow up their so-so performances at the Golden Globe with a red carpet stream over at http://www.accesshollywood.com.

I don't think they have a stream going but E! does have coverage.

If you are wondering I did actually go to one of these music awards shows once, the MuchMusic Video Awards last year. I saw that one for myself, so I got to see Paris Hilton. And Nelly Furtado. Live.

Friday, February 09, 2007

MORE ON THIS BIZARRE ANNA NICOLE DEATH CASE

You know what, I have been watching Larry King and he has of course gone hog wild on this Anna Nicole Smith story, and after looking at all this coverage all I gotta say is this: these lawyers are making out like bandits.

You have Ron Rale going on TV to state his case, and then you had Debra Opri coming on to state the case for Larry Birkhead, and now you have this big tug-of-war between him and Howard K. Stern over paternity. And oh yeah, Howard K. Stern is also a lawyer. So if you're a lawyer life is great. If you're Anna Nicole Smith things are not so great. In fact, dying hasn't put an end to the media circus that is Anna Nicole. The media circus is in fact worse than ever. You can't get away from this woman on TV.

And of course you have lawyers in the Bahamas getting involved in this estate, which looks like a total mess, too. This really is a lawyer's dream come true, trying to figure all this out. It reminds me of that scene in The People versus Larry Flynt, where Larry told his lawyer what a dream client he was: he was rich and never shuts up, and is always in trouble. Well, Anna Nicole was certainly rich, always in trouble, and a notorious publicity hound. She even had a case go all the way to the Supreme Court. If you're a lawyer you'd want Anna Nicole as your client, that's for sure--- alive or dead.

The latest piece of junk we are getting is that this prince who is the husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor has gotten involved and is claiming he might be the father, and he wants neither Howard K. Stern or Larry Birkhead to be involved with Anna Nicole's baby or have custody in any way. And in fact this Prince Frederick von Anhalt guy went on Larry King and actually said the word "$#!t" on TV, so look out for the video on that! So that's another wrinkle to this puzzle!

Obviously every entertainment reporter in Hollywood is having a field day covering this- I notice Tony Potts of Access Hollywood seems to be on every TV show imaginable, commenting on this tragedy. He says that there are tons of satellite trucks still down there in Florida. Now he's headed to the Bahamas. Nice life he's leading.

This story has been a boon to CNN, needless to say. The ratings are through the roof. I imagine people are doing cartwheels over at Court TV, as well, because of all the legal messes Anna Nicole left behind. Fox News is bound to be getting killed. What the heck can Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity and the gang say about this story? Those guys are obsessed with politics, but this has nothing to do with that. This is tabloid all the way, and right up the alley of Larry King and Paula Zahn, and Anderson Cooper, and all the rest of these vultures over at CNN. Anna Nicole has just handed that network at ton of free publicity. Though I notice these "big three" arrogant evening newscasts have thumbed their noses at this story.

We still don't even know how Anna Nicole died, so we still are in the dark over that. They say there is no evidence that a crime occured. But I still think there still could have been an overdose.

Anyway, that's all for now, suffice it to say that this story isn't going to go away any time soon. Now I notice Anderson Cooper is on, getting his fair share of the action on this story.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

NEW SURVIVOR BEGINS TONIGHT

Well, on the day that Anna Nicole Smith dies, the new season of Survivor is premiering on CBS. Survivor: Fiji is airing. With a new gimmick: winning tribe lives in the lap of luxury, while the losers have to brave the elements.

To which thoughtful viewers of this series have been scratching their heads and proclaiming in print that this defeats the whole purpose of Survivor, that everyone is supposed to brave the elements. But that's what they've decided to do. And who really can get into these tales of survival out on Fiji when Anna Nicole's torch gets snuffed out.

Must go; I gotta watch Larry King.

ANNA NICOLE DIES

Well it is a big day in the world of news. And instead of telling us what is going on in Iraq or Iran or any of these other places we ought to be more concerned about, the top story in the whole wide world is that Anna Nicole Smith has died.

What a sad, sad story. Actually, this woman's life has been a sad story from start to finish and I don't even want to talk about it, it's too depressing. And actually the news conference is meant to get underway soon.

You can tell how cynical I am about the media's coverage of this poor woman. I know that Lainey over at Lainey Gossip is another person turned off by this whole Anna Nicole story, with the drugs and the paternity suit and her son dying and all that. Her story is just too sad and pathetic. The coverage of this woman has been total overkill, sort of like vultures circling.

I guess we know what the top story will be on ET and Access Hollywood, and on Nancy Grace's show and Greta's show, and Larry King's show, and all these other shows tonight. I'm watching MSNBC and of course that notorious tabloid artist Rita Cosby is right on the story. I noticed on Headline News that the other big tabloid artist Jim Moret was right on the story, too. All my favorite people are on this story, just in time for sweeps.

At least that Astro-Nut story was kind of funny. This isn't.

UPDATE: Local coverage from south Florida from www.WSVN.com.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

THAT CRAZY ASTRONAUT

Is it just me or is the USA full of crazy people? That place has gone nuts. Anyway here's a link to a CNN story on that astronaut charged with attempted murder, and that's all I'm saying about it because I really don't feel like ranting and raving on the Internet tonight, so goodday!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

NEW DIRECTOR ON BOARD FOR THE FLASH

On the heels of last week's big Wonder Woman news ( that Joss Whedon had exited the project ) comes word of big changes at another Warner Brothers project, The Flash. Director David Goyer exited the project over the weekend, to be replaced by Shawn Levy. Levy of course has been on a roll with several commercial hits, none bigger than Night at the Museum which topped the box office for a good long time and made millions upon millions of dollars.

This doesn't sound promising, folks. First of all, who wants to see a movie about The Flash? The Flash was a second-tier DC character to begin with, not even on the same level as Superman or Batman. They had a TV show based on the Flash character years ago that ran on CBS, and it was a big flop. Let's face it, nobody cares about the Flash. If they make a movie about Wonder Woman, at least people would get excited to see a leggy actress playing the part. There's probably more interest in Aquaman, thanks to that fake movie on Entourage. But who wants to play the Flash? Adrian Grenier?! This Flash movie sounds like a bad idea from start to finish.

Especially now, based on what apparently went down with Goyer. Based on the story at Moviehole.net, Goyer was a real champion of this project. He had been pushing the Flash for years and tried to get a movie off the ground, and was pushing Ryan Reynolds to play the starring role. It sounds like he was looking for a "darker" version of the superhero, which would have been a lot better than some of the cartoonish Flash creations we have seen on TV and elsewhere. Goyer won rave reviews for his dark vision in Batman Begins and it sounds like he's a real comic book geek. If anyone could have pulled off a good Flash movie it was probably him.

But now he is off the project because the studio wants to go a different direction with the storyline. Sort of the same reason why Joss Whedon left/was kicked off Wonder Woman. It's too bad. If you're going to make a movie about a less prominent superhero like the Flash, at least have a guy with passion for the project running it! Then you stand a better chance that the movie that emerges will end up praised by lots of people. Nobody needs yet another bad comic book movie, but people might go out of their way to see one that's good.

Instead, it looks to me like Warner Brothers is looking to make a quick buck, pure and simple. What else can you say about the hiring of Levy? Among other things, he's directed Cheaper by the Dozen and Just Married, and of course Night at the Museum. So he sure can pack em in at the theaters.

I'm cynical, but it looks to me like the WB studio hired Shawn Levy because they thought he was the only guy capable of making a hit out of this lousy Flash character that no one cares about. But just because a director has directed hits in the past doesn't mean a thing; look at Michael Bay and the bath he took with The Island. Don't be surprised if the studio might go for some star actor for the role of the Flash: Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaghey, anyone who can get a crowd. I am convinced the powers that be are focusing on easy money. But they are much better off concentrating on making a good movie.

YALE VS. HARVARD IN COMEDY

Was rummaging around at TVSquad when I found this blurb about how Yale is catching up to Harvard in terms of people having careers in the comedy ranks. Folks like Lewis Black, Demetri Martin, Allison Silverman et al. are making names for themselves in the comedy ranks with these shows.

You know, it's so obvious I should have gone to Harvard or Yale, then I could have spent all my free time at the Lampoon and then gone on to work as a comedy writer for one of these shows! Thank G I at least got one of my degrees from Western, a university that at least produced some notable entertainers and comedians--- ie. that goofy former entertainment-reporter-turned-comedian Carla Collins.

Didn't Alan Thicke go to Western, too? Did he graduate? But he doesn't count, anyway, because he isn't funny. (Come to think of it, Carla Collins isn't funny, either!)

BWAAAAHAHAHA, I'm a regular laugh riot, folks.

ACTRA STILL ON STRIKE

Well here's a blurb in the Hollywood Reporter telling everyone in the world that the ACTRA strike is still on, and talks are to resume Wednesday and Thursday with a federal mediator present.

All I gotta say is get this strike over with, already, we don't need any more losses of Canadian jobs. Production is going to grind to a halt if this is allowed to keeping going much longer. Also, I keep reading these boo-hoo stories in the press about "the decline of Hollywood North", and then they interview all these folks in Toronto who've been knocked out of work for a variety of reasons. Well, all I will say about that is these folks ought to move to Vancouver and try their luck there, because there's work there from what I hear.

But Toronto has gotten hit hard. Partly it's the industry's fault for fleeing the city, partly it's the exchange rate, but mostly it's the city's fault for closing down soundstages and dragging their heels on basic things relating to getting productions going in Toronto. Actually, if you want to blame anyone, point the finger at Louisiana. That state's tax credits are stealing productions away from everywhere. It's basically turned into Hollywood South. I think I read somewhere that Brad and Angelina bought a house in New Orleans.

Another big problem is, surprise surprise, reality TV. Every reality show that hits the air knocks some established drama or comedy show off the air, so that''s bound to hurt Canada because that's what they do up here. In fact I read that the LA area is a hotbed for reality show production - so much of it that it is a joke. Of course, so much programming on TV is reality-based that it is a joke, too--- though it is no joke to the people losing their jobs in Canada to these amateurs and wannabe-actors like Rob and Amber. Those two fools are coming back on Amazing Race All-Star Edition, by the way, but who cares about them.

They have got to get more Canadian productions going and get an ACTRA settlement, fast.

THAT HOT-LOOKING CNBC MONEY HONEY BECKY QUICK


Well, the folks over at Fishbowl NY completed their big Money Honey poll and they announced that the winner is none other than the brainy, well-informed Squawk Box financial news babe Becky Quick.


Way to go, Becky. I voted for you, too. Here's a link to a web site that some fan put up in her honor.Becky can now rightfully claim to call herself the Money Honey--- or at least the new Money Honey. What's Maria Bartiromo going to do about this? I think she should sue; that TM ought to be worth something.

As for Becky, she should ask for a raise. She won with 54% of the vote, clobbering Erin Burnett who finished with 17%, in spite of her hype and her overall hotness, and the fact that she's apparently losing weight. (She must be working out.) One voter said of her: "I'd like to vote for Erin, but with her rise in airtime, she appears to be dropping more and more weight. The overly skinny look just doesn't cut it for me." As for Maria, she only got 12% so she ought to fire her campaign manager.

I guess Sue Herera doesn't have too many fans because she only got 5% of the vote. I get a laugh reading some of the comments of some of these voters. My favorite was the one about Liz Claman. "If you only knew what she looked like before she got married and had children ... OMG." There was also a supporter offering a write-in vote for Michelle Caruso Cabrera, saying she is "cuter than all of them".

Anyway, enough of that, this poll is sooooo silly and stupid. Next they'll do a poll to see who the hottest male is at CNBC. Don't tell me, let me guess: Jim Cramer (LOL).

Sunday, February 04, 2007

LIVE SUPERBOWL COVERAGE

Well today is Super Bowl Sunday and for live coverage of the game check out http://www.superbowl.com/.


Also, for live blogging of the commercials check out http://www.tvsquad.com/category/super-bowl/. And to see the Super Bowl ads go to www.aol.ca/superbowl, and click on "commercials".

Hope Prince doesn't have a "wardrobe malfunction" during the half-time show, you can see what a riot that caused a few years back when that upstaged an entire game! No one cares about the game anymore--- it's all about the entertainment and the commercials. (Uh, who's playing?)

UPDATE: Ahem. Congratulations Global Television for ruining the end of the Super Bowl. As soon as the game counted down to zero, those geniuses immediately cut away and went straight to what was really important, their much hyped Deal or No Deal Canada.

Couldn't they have waited for the Colts to get the Vince Lombardi Trophy before cutting away?! That's what CBS did! Talk about disrespect. Think of the outrage in this country if they cut away from the awarding of the Stanley Cup, or even the Grey Cup. But that's what Global did tonight to the Colts. They cut away before they even named the MVP of the freaking game! Nice job, eh?

Thankfully I had access to a feed from Spokane that was free of all the Canadian ads so I avoided all this nonsense and got to see all the hardware handed out, plus the amusing talking animals and the entire GoDaddy marketing department on TV ads for the entire game.

It's not all negativity: at least the Global feed did not have the so-called Janet Jackson delay that afflicted the USA telecast. So Canadian fans should be thrilled, right?!

THE "I HATE THE OSCARS" CROWD IS BACK

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later but the "I hate the Oscars" articles have started in the press.

Geoff Pevere in the Toronto Star has written a screed "on behalf of those of us who do not give a rodent's rear end for the Oscars". What gets his goat are the inconsistencies with the Oscars and all the questionable movies and individuals that get these awards. He mentions the Oscars have nothing to do with quality of moviemaking and points to the number of Oscars won by Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Ingmar Bergman or Akira Kurosawa in the Best Director category as proof. (Big fat zero.) He notes Ron Howard has an Oscar while Orson Welles has none. He mentions how Barbara Stanwyck never won for Best Actress while Hilary Swank won two Oscars. He also points to other atrocities like Little Miss Sunshine getting a Best Picture nomination over Children of Men for example, and Dances with Wolves beating Goodfellas, and on and on.

I could go on a rant myself about how Pulp Fiction got robbed, but at least Quentin Tarantino got an Oscar for best original screenplay. But Tarantino's movies always seem to get robbed; same for David Lynch. Of course Martin Scorsese is forever getting robbed. The number of Scorsese movies that have gotten robbed at the Oscars is a long, long, long list. Anyway, bottom line is that this isn't the first time we've seen an article trashing the Oscars and we're bound to see more of them by the time the awards are handed out.

I largely agree with the criticisms of the Oscars. Too often these awards seem to be more about "who to let into the Hollywood club" as opposed to an accurate reflection of the quality of the movies. How else to describe all those years when Steven Spielberg got snubbed. Or for that matter, Martin Scorsese?

Me, I happen to fall into the "I hate Oscar" category myself for several compelling reasons:

(1) The show itself is lousy! Nobody tunes in to see coverage of any of the nominated movies. Instead, they tune in to see these "red carpet" shows on TV, overrun by "style experts" who care more about whether Sharon Stone passes muster with the "fashion police" than whether the latest movie she was in was any good. It's just a big referendum on "style"--- and on whether this year's host will ever be invited back or not.

(2) You know, every year people will tune into the Academy Awards is to see whether some old codger who's been robbed by the Academy for so many years will finally win an Oscar! This year people will wait with baited breath for Martin Scorsese to finally win Best Director for The Departed, or for Peter O'Toole to finally win a Best Actor award. We've seen big names like Steven Spielberg or Paul Newman win Oscars and get big standing ovations, and everyone would get so emotional and say what a great moment this was. But face it; the only reason it's such a great moment is because these guys had forever been robbed by the Academy to begin with! If there had been any justice these folks would have won more often!

(3) Last but not least is what is going on right now: the "Oscar race". All this hoopla and promotion and campaigning for Oscars going on all over town right now in the press. This really had nothing to do with talent, and everything to do with people being consumed by the business of Hollywood and these weekly "box office" totals. Winning an Oscar means money! You can promote your movies and your winning actors and directors as Academy Award winners, and people will go see your movie and rent your DVDs forever! Moreover, these agents can demand more money for the winning stars they represent and call the shots for these various projects! Conversely, if your movie ends up getting snubbed, that's lots of money up in smoke. Studio bosses could end up being fired! That's why people take out these "for your consideration" ads in all these trade papers--- they want to save their butts! The Oscars are just another part of the Hollywood "game"; it's not about the "art" or "quality" of movies at the end of the day for most of these people. Instead, it's about who has the best campaign.

Which is why I am just one more of the many people who will say, in print, that the Academy Awards cannot be taken seriously.