Wednesday, July 25, 2007

LINDSAY LOHAN IN TROUBLE AGAIN

See you in jail, Lindsay.

It just doesn't ever end with these babes, does it?! By the way, she says she is innocent. Right.

Monday, July 23, 2007

DREW CAREY GETS PRICE IS RIGHT JOB


Drew Carey----Come on down!!!! You are the next host of the Price is Right.

He went on the Letterman show and just announced it. Wow, what a difference this is going to be from Bob Barker. I would have thought this job was going to either Mark Steines or Todd Newton, but Carey?!

At least it's not Rosie O'Donnell, but still---- what a different style of host this is going to be for The Price is Right. I guess they figured no one could be the next Bob Barker, so we might as well get the anti-Bob Barker.

I don't doubt Carey can host a game show, but this one?! Look on the bright side, though. If Howie Mandel can host Deal or No Deal, Drew Carey can host The Price is Right.

What do we call those hot dames on the show now? Carey's Beauties?!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

BIG SPORTS WEEKEND


(Pictured: the ChampCar girls.)

It was a big weekend in the world of sports up here in frozen Canada.

The ChampCar race went today in Edmonton, and while I was not there for the actual race I was definitely there for the practise sessions and qualifying on Friday.

Comparing the ChampCar event in Edmonton to the event in Toronto, the people living in Edmonton have a much better situation. For one, the event is still fresh and brand-new, and feels more like a top-notch auto racing event. In fact, the NASCAR Canadian Tire series also ran here and people were excited about that, even though it's only the Canadian Tire series and not the main attraction. People in Edmonton seem genuinely excited just to have a bigtime auto race in town.

As for Toronto's event, though, the glory days are definitely behind it. All the best cars and teams, all its history, departed for the IRL a few years ago. Even the sponsor, Molson, left. So it kind of seems as if the event there has totally gone in the tank. Which it has, frankly. It's turned into nothing more than a big excuse to go drink beer. Anyway, the Edmonton event isn't suffering from nearly the kind of baggage the Toronto event has going against it, just because it is so new.

The second thing about the Edmonton track is that you can actually SEE the TRACK! In Toronto, the street course winds around all these grandstands and buildings. Even though you can get very close to the action you can only see a small part of the race course at any one time. In Edmonton you can see these cars racing all around the entire track, even way out in the distance. So you actually can figure out who's leading! It's a really good setup for the spectators, you can follow the event without having to watch the big TV screens all the time! In fact, you have to wonder why people in Toronto put up with that obstructed-view street-track that they have at the exhibition grounds there.

It's kind of neat to hold the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton at an actual airport. There were planes landing at the same time that these cars were racing all around the track! The ChampCar event held in Cleveland, Ohio is set up the same way.

Beyond the differences with the track, though, it's the same event as what I was used to in Toronto. The same people selling souvenir stuff, the same Miss Grand Prix competition featuring the cute ChampCar girls, and the same beer gardens. I met the adorable ChampCar girls. I gotta say Alberta women are nice, and also a lot less ethnic than the girls in Toronto.

It would have been nice if they had an actual indoor facility somewhere in the area so that people could beat the heat, but what do you expect for an event held at an airport. At least in Toronto those indoor facilities provided proper washrooms instead of these disgusting portables that were in Edmonton stinking the place up. Yecch.

All in all, I learned an important lesson in returning to the prairies this year--- the things I enjoyed the most about living in Toronto were never exclusive to the city. They could be found in other places as well-- movie multiplexes, bookstores, and ChampCar races. I think it's great that the prairies have a ChampCar event to look forward to every year, and it's going to be around for a long time.

Oh, and Sebastian Bourdais won today.

SOCCER WEEKEND IN CANADA

This weekend wrapped the Under-20s with a 2-1 Argentina win over the Czech Republic. The big story, though, was that clash with the police involving that Chilean squad. People in Canada are shocked to see this type of thing go on, but in fact this seems to happen all the time in South America, we are told. Sort of like hockey fights.

Anyway, the Under-20s were a big success in Canada. I notice, though, on the radio, these fans were all complaining about how poorly Canada did. People are mad that Canada got hammered! This is why soccer has an uphill mountain to climb in Canada. It does well in these multi-ethnic cities, but how will people care in the rest of the country if the national team continually does so poorly?! That's why hockey is so popular as a sport in Canada--- because Canadians are able to win at it.

BECKHAM IN LA

David Beckham had his big debut event down in LA, with the Galaxy taking on Chelsea. He made a 12-minute cameo appearance, playing on his busted ankle, and his new team lost 1-0.

A ton of celebrities were at that soccer game-- I notice that uncontrollable media whore Eva Longoria was there with Victoria Beckham, drinking the champagne and all that. Katie Holmes was there, too. Aren't you fed up seeing these celebrities again?! I fully expect to see Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears at LA Galaxy games, soon.

What a joke. I dunno if the rest of America is going to warm up to soccer if this is what we are in for, David Beckham throwing his big celebrity weight around all the time. People want to see the GAME, not these big celebrities! This is why soccer will never catch up to baseball, football or basketball in the 'States--- these other sports do not require big celebrities to provide all the entertainment. When Wayne Gretzky went to LA to play with the Kings, he was humble enough to work hard at building the sport of hockey. But I get the impression these Beckhams are just there to hang out in Hollywood with the A-list.

This isn't going to build soccer up. In fact, people in these other cities tend to be turned off by celebrities acting as if they are bigger than the game. At least when Pele was in New York playing pro soccer with the Cosmos, the guy wasn't there being a celebrity--- he was there being an athlete! David Beckham isn't going to help soccer in the USA as much as he's going to help himself.

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

Non-sports news; Chuck and Larry finished first at the box office despite 14% at Rotten Tomatoes.

That's it!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

TAMMY FAYE DIES

Tammy Faye Messner, formerly known as Tammy Faye Bakker, has died of cancer. People may remember she was married to Jim Bakker who got caught up in that scandal involving the PTL ministry and had an affair with Jessica Hahn, and Jim got the book thrown at him for fraud.

Tammy Faye was a frequent guest on Larry King's show. That PTL scandal basically made King's career; it was one of his biggest stories. Earlier this week she appeared on the King show and I was mad at the television set, thinking this interview was demeaning because of how frail she looked. It turns out she actually died Friday and the news was held from the public until King announced the death live tonight on TV.

ON TORONTO

Is it just me, but has the city of Toronto completely gone to hell ever since I left?!

Think about it. You had Sassafraz burn to the ground. You had Sam the Record Man close down. The Leafs are in the tank. Now, word is leaking out that Mayor David Miller and the gang at City Hall are going mad looking for ways to sock it to the people of Toronto. The ones still living there, that is.

As you may have heard in the national press, Toronto is in deep financial trouble from all the wild spending that city had done the last several years. On Monday, Mayor Miller had gone to City Hall looking to bring in some big tax increases. He wanted a 2% land-transfer tax and a $60 vehicle registration fee. A real sock-it-to-'em type of proposal!! But city council voted 23-22 to shelve that whole plan, at least until after the provincial election. Good, that'll give Toronto residents plenty of time to sell their houses and leave for Peel Region, York Region and Durham before any new taxes come in. Some of these councillors still have hopes of wringing more money out of the province during this provincial election campaign coming up. Others on council are against tax hikes, period, and were voting against the plan no matter what. I notice this article in the National Post mentions how Denzil Minnan-Wong, Toronto city councillor, had put together a campaign to put a kibosh to these hikes.

Then Miller decided that if he couldn't hike taxes, maybe he could sock it to the people taking the TTC. The talk this week has been about closing the brand-new Sheppard subway line and socking it to the commuters. I think this shut-down plan is total madness. That subway line is really efficient and a big help to commuters living all along Sheppard Avenue. Besides, everyone in Toronto is complaining about the gridlock and about the need to expand the transit service, not cut it back. Among other things, what Miller is now proposing flies in the face of the line of spin he's been spouting about how important it is to improve the transit system. Taking the TTC is supposed to be good for the environment and cuts down on car usage, and cuts down on smog, etcetera, etcetera!

Anyway, yesterday the TTC decided to defer a decision on THAT, too. You get the impression that maybe they are hoping for a big announcement from Dalton McGuinty about new spending on Toronto?! But Ontario is supposed to be cash-strapped, too. And if McGuinty announces new spending measures on Toronto, John Tory and the gang on the opposition benches will just be able to say that McGuinty will go ahead and pay for a bailout of Toronto by socking it to the province with new taxes of their own. In fact, knowing the Liberal record on promises, people will suspect that the Liberals will promise to not raise taxes one moment, and then sock it to people the next. You can bet that people outside Toronto will not be pleased at all about the prospect of their tax dollars going to a Toronto bailout.

I don't think McGuinty is planning a bailout, though. Finance minister Greg Sorbara says these proposed TTC cuts are poorly thought out and a political ploy. He's right!!

I truly think Mayor David Miller has lost his marbles. Cutting the Sheppard subway line is crazy!!! I get the impression Miller is starting to alienate many members of city council. Read this Star article with councillor Karen Stintz complaining about the mayor's leadership style.

Talk about a city in crisis, ladies and gentlemen. This mayor has taken leave of his political senses with what he is doing. What he's proposing, what's he's been up to, is nuts.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

BUSINESS NEWS REPORTER LIZ CLAMAN LEAVING


Read a story on TVNewser that Liz Claman has departed CNBC, possibly to cross the street to Fox Business Network this fall. You know, she may not have been a star on the level of Maria Bartiromo/Becky Quick/Erin Burnett et al., but these Wall Street guys on the street still loved her and thought she was a babe.

She'd fit right in with Alexis Glick and the rest of the Fox Business Network reporters if that is indeed where she ends up. Fox News is already in pretty decent shape as far as financial reporters go; they already have a lot of people there. Stay tuned.

In other news Squawk on the Street has been expanded to two hours to take advantage of Erin Burnett's overall hotness, and also--- in my opinion--- presumably to keep Mark Haines happy so that he doesn't cross the street to join Roger Ailes, too. Expect more fun stories of talent pickups and possible raids in the coming weeks.

On a separate topic regarding business news talent: does anyone know what the deal is with Lisa Oake over at Canada's own biz channel BNN? Is she out as anchor?! I read somewhere that she left. (I know Lisa from way back, so that's why I'm asking about her.)

EMMY NOMINATIONS

Read it here. All the usual people got nominated (Sopranos, Ugly Betty) and all the usual people got robbed again (Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Battlestar Galactica, Lost, How I Met Your Mother etc.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

SOME PROGRAMMING NOTES

Just some programming notes for all three of you people who tune in to THE CAIRNS BLOG:

Blogging posts will be relatively few in number in the coming days. I will be away doing some writing tomorrow which will be running somewhere else. Then on Friday I will be gone for the day. I plan to be at the ChampCar World Series event in Edmonton, looking at race cars and checking out girls. (See right.)

Next week, I will be away from most computers and expect to be gone for the week. I plan to be back in action the following week, though.

Stay tuned for more junk coming soon on THE CAIRNS BLOG, including my ChampCar thoughts this weekend.

Now, here is a link to the big story of this day, that scary steam explosion in New York City.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CELEBRITY APPRENTICE COMING

Well, here we go. The Apprentice is coming back from the dead, all right--- NBC just announced it. But fans who hoped this series might possibly "get back to basics" and get rid of the fake wannabe-actors and the product placements are in for a big letdown. The next Apprentice cycle will be Celebrity Apprentice, with a bunch of celebs vying for a job with the Donald.

Just what we need. Instead of fake wannabe actors looking for a job with Donald Trump, we're going to get real ones, these D-listers. No doubt we'll also probably get Rob and Amber fighting for a job with Trump. Or maybe if they can't get them they'll get Jonathan and Victoria. Maybe they'll get Adam Mesh from Average Joe, the rich day-trader dude. I kid you not. They'll get these actresses and these standup comedians. Maybe they'll get some more ex-Olympians, too. I'm sure they'll place a call to Amanda Beard and get her on the show, now that she's a famous pinup model. The one person not joining the show is Rosie O'Donnell, though she was considered, apparently. Really?!

Actually I think the reason they are going with celebrities is because all these normal people from the real world have decided they want nothing to do with this show and do not want to appear on it, period. Not only are you likely to get fired if you appear on this series, but you're likely to be embarrassed on national television. Plus, your credibility afterwards is shot; you're tarred as a wannabe actor. Who wants to appear on this three-ring Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey effort, other than celebrities?!

You think Kevin Reilly is looking at what is happening to NBC from his new offices at the Fox Network and just shaking his head in disbelief? This sounds like a terrible idea for a show. Word is Reilly was the guy who hated this Apprentice show in the first place and wanted this embarrassing train wreck of a series gone. But he was replaced by Ben Silverman, who single-handedly saved this show. You wanna bet that this celebrity edition is perhaps his idea? I wouldn't be surprised, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's a GOOD idea.

Are they going to go back to LA, too?! They might as well, if this is what they've dreamed up!!!

This is truly a sure sign that your show is on its last legs, when they have to bring in the celebrities and these other idiots to try and prop your show up. Reminds me of what happened with The Mole, the reality show that went straight downhill with celebrity editions; same for The Weakest Link which also went in the tank with celebrity editions. Holding a celebrity edition is the end of your television show. It's not a "jump the shark" moment--- it's an "end is near" moment.

The heck with this phony "celebrity edition"!! What's left of this show's credibility as a show about business is officially up in smoke. If Trump wants to hire a celebrity, there's really no need to even hold a show. He can just go ahead and hire THIS guy (see picture below).


(Pictured: Henry "Jump the Shark" Winkler).

Monday, July 16, 2007

SOCCER JUNK

We have been getting inundated with soccer on TV lately. CBC has been going full bore lately with coverage of the under-20s. It's like the Stanley Cup Playoffs almost. Instead of hockey, we get soccer every night on CBC, complete with the in-studio show.

They even had a Soccer Day in Canada. CBC showed it a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, it was scheduled the day of the ChampCar auto race in Toronto, the Grand Prix. So, of course I forgot about it and didn't bother to tune in. Come to think of it, why the heck don't people hold an Auto Racing Day in Canada?! It's not as if auto racing isn't popular. In fact, it's much more popular than soccer is in this country. More people go to these races and watch them on TV on a regular basis.

As you know David Beckham recently arrived in Los Angeles and is all set to play with the Galaxy. I see his wife Posh Spice is all over the TV these days. I notice NBC is running the show Victoria Beckham: Coming to America on Monday nights. You know, all this isn't going to sell soccer in the USA with the Beckhams coming here. This is all about celebrity, this is all about TV! They'll get their 15 minutes of fame, sell all the merchandise they are going to sell, and then Beckham will retire and things will go back to normal. It'll be like Wayne Gretzky going to Los Angeles--- it'll spike interest for a while, but it won't make the sport Number One in the USA.

Still, these are fun times for soccer fans in North America. It used to be that all the top action would go on abroad in places like England, Italy, Germany and Spain, and soccer fans in these parts would feel a little left out. Not these days, not with Beckham in MLS. Same for Canada, with the under-20s a big success and with that new MLS team getting lots of attention and playing to packed houses in Toronto.

Though I notice--- these under-20s sure aren't packing them in over in Edmonton. Every time I see a tournament game there, it's all empty seats! The rest of the country-- whether it's Burnaby, Victoria, Montreal, Ottawa or wherever-- decent crowds. But not in Alberta. Heck, you would think there would be soccer fans in Edmonton! They used to have pro teams. I think that's the operative word, though--- they "used" to have teams there. But the Drillers left Edmonton a long time ago, because there are no soccer fans in Edmonton. Just too many redneck Canadians in that city.

Clearly all they care about in Edmonton is hockey--- and that other version of football that involves running, tackling and scoring touchdowns.

UPDATE: Seems Victoria Beckham's show is a total flop with audiences and with the critics. Story here.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

TV NEWS JUNK: MORE NEWS PEOPLE WALK THE PLANK (ANDREA KOPPEL, RUDI BAKHTIAR ETC.)

Well it has been another big week for TV news people getting the boot.

Found out that CNN is giving the can to Andrea Koppel, daughter of Ted Koppel. Contract wasn't renewed. Apparently she is getting replaced by Jessica Yellin who left ABC.

Also found out that gorgeous newsbabe Rudi Bakhtiar is done at Fox News. Apparently she's been off the air for a while anyways. Well, well. First Rudi's booted from CNN and now she's left Fox News. That woman just cannot keep a job.

What's with all these news people getting canned? This is why people are turned off by TV news careers-- especially guys thinking of careers in TV news. Too much of this crazy stuff is happening. If Andrea Koppel isn't safe, no one is. Maybe she can apply to Fox News, they're hiring for that business channel they have going. Maybe not.

Also, in other news CBS News says it is standing by its embattled losing news anchor Katie Couric, and claims she has a five-year contract. I think this is just damage control.

By the way, earlier this week Court TV finally announced its big changes. It will be known as truTV, to reflect the true-life format that they plan on showing come January. Well, they can go ahead and make the changes without me, I think this is garbage. It was bad enough that reality TV ruined prime time, but now it is ruining entire networks and putting them out of business.

Finally, some more useless information. I learned that Rogers Sportsnet added a new reporter recently by the name of Evanka Osmak. Turns out she worked in Yuma, Arizona in the sunny United States! Here's her bio from the station she worked for in Yuma. I did some Googling and found out she also did some time at Rogers Television Mississauga, hosting shows there. Rogers Mississauga!! When was she there? I think she was there after I left. She went from there to a radio job in Orillia before leaving for the sunny United States. Now she's doing sports in Canada. Interesting. I should think of going to the 'States, too. One of these days.

HARRY-MANIA

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was the big winner at the box office this weekend. Check out the box office results here. It also set the all-time Wednesday record.

So Harry's the big winner. The big loser? Captivity, starring Elisha Cuthbert. Another flop horror movie--- there have been a few of those.

Friday, July 13, 2007

BLACK FRIDAY IN CHICAGO

The jury in the Conrad Black trial finally returned a verdict today; nine acquittals, but unfortunately for Black four convictions on the most important charges, which means he is going to prison for a long, long time. Sure he can appeal it; maybe he can get it overturned.

I laugh when people say this is a partial verdict. This is no partial verdict, it's a total f***ing defeat for Black. Any verdict that puts your client in a position to be sent to jail for 35 years is a total f***ing defeat. Even if he's out in 5 or 10 years, it's still prison!!

One of the things taught in law school is that the main job of the defence lawyer is to keep your client out of jail. If you've done that, you've succeeded. Well, Eddie Greenspan and the gang didn't succeed at all in this case. Their client Lord Black is going to rot in jail, possibly until he dies.

Seems like another case to me of someone who was rich and full of himself being convicted for being rich and full of himself. I can't say I am surprised. It's easier to get acquitted of murdering your wife than to escape a white-collar conviction these days. Ask Martha Stewart.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

WALKING OUT ON MOVIES

There was an interesting post a few days ago by Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune about walking out on movies.

Usually I don't like to walk out on movies. It's bad enough if you waste your money on a bad movie. But walking out compounds matters, because it means you threw all your money away. I've walked out of movies for various reasons, usually because I was bored out of my skull.

The very first movie I walked out of early was one of those Pink Panther movies starring Peter Sellers. I was a kid at the time and recall that I was quite disappointed that the Pink Panther cartoon character wasn't in more of the movie, so we left. Now I happen to think the Pink Panther movies are classics but I sure didn't feel that way at that time.

Other movies I walked out of:

Con Air---- As I recall it, my mind was on other things during that movie and I really didn't enjoy myself, so I left. Usually movies help me get my mind off my troubles; not this night.

Bedazzled-- - No such distractions to blame for this fiasco, this was an absolute debacle from start to finish. An utterly lame remake starring Elizabeth Hurley as the Devil. I was in love with Liz because of the Austin Powers movies and was hoping the critics were all wrong. Well, the critics were right--- it was a boring, witless movie. I walked out, shortly after that scene where Hurley wore that hot red bikini. After that I figured I had gotten my money's worth and that was it.

A Very Brady Sequel--- Question here is not why I walked out but why I went to it in the first place. Answer was I was bored out of my skull. I was bored enough to go to the movie, and bored enough to walk right out.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show--- Probably my most interesting walkout story. Our high school graduation class went to see this movie en masse at the local theater as a midnight movie. We all were there throwing toast at each other and all that, but everyone there walked out in the middle of it. I don't know why we all did; it was really strange. I think most of these kids wanted to spend the rest of their high school graduation night getting drunk.

There was also some lame action movie that I used up some free movie coupon on, and I'm quite glad that it was free because I just was not into that movie one bit. If you are going to walk out of a movie, make sure it's a free one.

Of course, there was also the time when I left a movie before it concluded because the projector broke down, but in fact I was not enjoying the movie anyway and was very happy the projector broke down, because it meant I got a free pass and could go see a better movie for free! That's it.

GORGEOUS SIENNA MILLER ON LETTERMAN


Here's a link to video of an interview Dave Letterman did the other night with CAIRNS BLOG fave/lust-object Sienna Miller. Her new movie Interview opens in select cities this coming weekend.

I link because I can. (Isn't Sienna the coolest babe ever?)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

SINGING BEE IS A HIT!

This is sad. The fact that The Singing Bee is a hit on NBC (Number One for the night, in fact) is more proof that the dumb dumbells who watch TV in middle America are a bunch of total idiots. This is more evidence that TV has completely gone to hell in the United States.

Since we get this junk in Canada, too, it means TV has gone to hell in Canada, too--- and we also get to see Canadian Idol. Oh, and America's Got Talent also beat the All Star Game.

Is it any wonder why I get off the couch to go to the theaters these days?! This is just terrible. This is going to encourage programmer Ben Silverman to schedule lots of cheap junk on NBC when what they really ought to do is find some good scripted shows. I hate these reality shows and ripoff talent shows. Oh, and by the way, this Singing Bee show was ushered onto the air several weeks early in order to beat to the air Fox's lame ripoff effort So You Think You Can Sing or whatever the heck it's supposed to be called.

Is it called Don't Forget the Lyrics?! I forget.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

D'OH! SPRINGFIELD, VERMONT IS HOME FOR THE SIMPSONS

Speaking of cartoons, the big USA Today poll is over and Springfield, Vermont has won the title of home of The Simpsons. So they get the big world premiere of the Simpsons movie later this month.

Vermont?! That is so funny.

You know what this means, folks. Howard Dean served as governor of this group of cartoon characters!! Why am I not surprised?!

He'll probably make an appearance on next season's Simpsons show.

BAD CARTOON CHARACTERS COMING TO A THEATER NEAR YOU

Last week, I went to Ratatouille. Excellent. Yes, I still go to cartoons. I'll watch cartoons, only as long as they are good. If it's no good it just isn't worth my while.

I really am a fan of good animation. Goes back to the days when I tuned into those Saturday morning cartoons, watching Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner, the Pink Panther, and all kinds of funny animals.

Now, those old cartoons were good. They tended to be shown in theaters first and played to an adult audience. These days, the reverse is happening. We are seeing lots of movies being made based on Saturday morning cartoons. Frankly, I have not seen too many good feature-length motion pictures based on these cartoon characters. Come to think of it, I don't think there are any. Whether it's Rocky and Bullwinkle, Josie and the Pussycats, Fat Albert, Scooby-Doo, Casper the Friendly Ghost, or these Garfield movies, all these efforts have universally and completely stunk at the theaters. Every stinking last one of them. Hollywood ought to just forget it, already.

Even the big-screen efforts involving Bugs Bunny have been dismal. I remember seeing Bugs in Space Jam! with Michael Jordan in it, and that was really a brutal effort by the crew over at Warner Brothers. The animation was good but the flick was just so boring.

The only live-action efforts that seem to be any good are these ones involving these Marvel and DC superheroes that just so happened to also have cartoons shown on Saturday morning. That's it!

Unfortunately, the local movie theaters are serving up one Saturday morning retread cartoon after another these days. This year alone, we have already had appearances by Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, and most recently by Transformers, "more than meets the eye". All of them former Saturday morning cartoons. All of them, regrettably, producing mixed results. Those efforts, though, look like Citizen Kane compared to these adaptations on the way soon.

THERE'S A NEED TO FEAR--- UNDERDOG IS HERE

I saw the trailer for Underdog and I want to throw up.

Yes, Disney is bringing back the classic cartoon superhero as a live-action mutt. This looks like one of the worst movies of this decade, let alone the year. This mutt doesn't look like Underdog, or even sound like him.

It looks like they've ruined Polly Purebred, too. On the TV show she was a gorgeous TV newsbabe-hound, sort of a dog version of Barbara Walters. But for this flick they turned her into an ugly-looking live mutt as well.

You would have thought that people would have learned their lesson about turning these cartoons into live-action heroes after those dismal Flintstones movies. This is so depressing. Couldn't they have tried a CGI version? That would have at least been a worthy effort, at least these characters would have looked like the original cartoons. Based on the trailer alone, though, this Underdog live-action movie they have cooked up looks like absolute dog s#!t.

ALVIN and the CHIPMUNKS COMING BACK (GOD HELP US ALL)

Coming later this year is another travesty: the return of those famous Billboard-Number One recording artists Alvin and the Chipmunks. But who wants to see Alvin, Simon or Theodore again? No one, that's the problem.

Lots of people still member the Chipmunks from their terrible, sappy Eighties TV show. That Saturday morning show also featured girlfriends for these annoying Chipmunks. The show was so bad and boring that people forgot that there was a time when these characters were actually amusing, like during their good 1961 original TV show--- or from these fun records that they used to put out a long time ago. Anyway, that Eighties show has made these characters permanently unpopular. People hoped these three idiots had been put out of their misery for good, but unfortunately these stupid chipmunks with their high-pitched vocals are coming back. In a movie.

These Chipmunks are back later this year in a computer-animated effort starring Jason Lee as their manager David Seville. That's right, "Earl" as Seville. Already, people are horrified at this flick. Just the thought of Jason Lee in the same movie with Alvin and the Chipmunks is turning peoples' stomachs. There's a new movie poster out featuring the Chipmunks dressed as gangsta rappers. They look like they ought to be in jail, these three! Gone from Alvin is his trademark ball cap; instead he's covered in a hood.

Good freaking grief.

All I will say is that the upcoming Simpsons movie had better be good, or TV cartoon fans will have NOTHING to look forward to at the theaters.

Who are they going to bring back next and make a live-action movie out of? Penelope Pitstop!? Hong Kong Phooey?! I wouldn't be surprised. There are plenty more of these cartoon-to-feature efforts planned including, get this, a live-action version of The Jetsons. Heaven help all of us.

Monday, July 09, 2007

DAN PATRICK LEAVES ESPN

Well, the announcement was delayed a few days, but Dan Patrick has finally announced he is leaving ESPN, ending an era over there.

Despite those crazy rumors about The Price is Right, it sure appears Patrick's next move will be a radio one, likely with a syndicated show. Or maybe he'll replace Katie Couric at the CBS Evening News! (Just kidding.)

Actually, I'm surprised with some of the reaction to this announcement--- a lot of people are glad he's leaving, saying he has a big ego and so on. It's about time he left ESPN, he was there 18 years. Actually, it's a wonder why anyone works for ESPN in that nondescript, middle-of-nowhere Bristol, Connecticut. Everyone knows the place is boring and has no girls--- that's why Keith Olbermann quit in the first place. The only good thing about it is it's the home of ESPN and you can watch sports all the time if you work there.

Anyway, bye bye Dan Patrick.

KATIE IS SO DEAD

HATES HER JOB, LIFE SUCKS

What did I tell you? I said that all that Katie Couric needed to do was open her big mouth and she would be in big trouble. Just like Rosie O'Donnell, and Don Imus, and all these other people who opened their mouths and put a foot in it. Well, Katie wittingly or unwittingly may have just committed anchorwoman suicide.

Read this article on the embattled CBS Evening News anchor in the latest New York. Among other things, she is saying she wouldn't have taken this anchor job if she knew she would be doing what she was doing now, because they had initially wanted a much more chattier news program with more interviews and longer features and the like. Instead, she's stuck behind a desk, bingo-calling this boring hard news broadcast every night.


Throw her overboard, Les! End the agony now, and put Bob Schieffer back in. That's my reaction to this deadly piece. Although I must say, it's already too late for the CBS newscast. Too many of their best reporters and newsbabes have already quit/been fired from this sinking ship; people like Trish Regan, Elizabeth Kaledin and Mika Brzezinski. So this newscast is ruined no matter what. Last we heard, Mika was seen live on MSNBC and all over Youtube, setting her script on fire and putting her copy in the shredder because it had an item about Paris Hilton in it.

I almost think this New York magazine story was planted. You think maybe Katie is greasing the skids for her departure from the show by saying she'd rather do something else?! Like do a morning show, or 60 Minutes?! I wouldn't be surprised. There's also some crazy story in that article about how a stressed Katie apparently slapped one of her producers on the arm over some word he wanted her to say on the newscast, and she refused.


Talk about a bombshell of an article, ladies and gentlemen.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

$152 MIL FOR TRANSFORMERS

More here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

BIG RACE WEEKEND

Just a reminder, tomorrow is the ChampCar race in Toronto. Also tomorrow is the Formula One race in Great Britain, the British Grand Prix. I already tuned into tonight's NASCAR race taking place in Daytona, the Pepsi 400 won by Jamie McMurray at the wire. It's stuff like this that keep me going between now and NFL season. Also, the Arena Football playoffs are on, if you absolutely cannot do without a football fix.

On Monday it's the All Star Break. Enjoy the sports while you can, because there will be very little of it to watch on Monday.

Friday, July 06, 2007

LIVE EARTH IS ON

Woo hoo! Live Earth is on all over the world right now in various cities and on TV.

And on a side note, it is truly weird to see shots of the ChumCity Building... on CTV.

TRUMP COMING BACK

I am truly sorry to have to inform you that it looks like NBC is going to bring back Donald Trump and his lame, piece-of-junk Apprentice show.

Where are they going to hold this show this time? Seattle?! Really, is it any wonder why TV viewership is declining when this is what they do?!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

DAN PATRICK

I hate to pass on hot rumors but there's a hot one going that Dan Patrick may be on the brink of leaving ESPN and might announce it on his show Thursday.

Check out this story about it. Wow, if Patrick leaves that will be a big blow to the network; they've lost a ton of talent in recent years including Keith Olbermann, Rich Eisen, Craig Kilborn et al. And whatever happened to Roy Firestone?! I notice Kevin Frazier is now rotting away at Entertainment Tonight. Not that he was so great, but they've lost a lot of people.

Where could Patrick go? We understand Patrick is NOT leaving for the gig on The Price is Right. Apparently he was auditioning for it and finally said no. But here's what I am wondering: is he going to CBS--- to replace Imus?!?! On all-sports WFAN?!

Stay tuned. Something might still get worked out over at ESPN.

UPDATE: No new announcement on Thursday, apparently Patrick has not quit yet.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

BIG WEEK FOR TRANSFORMERS

Transformers had the biggest Tuesday open ever. 27 million on Tuesday for its official debut in the USA.

Since when did Tuesday become Premiere Day in the USA?! No wonder they set a record. The competition really got blown up.

UPDATE: For more about Transformers box office prospects click here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

STILL SPINNING ITS WHEELS: THE CITYTV TRUCK

Much of the dust has settled from the CTV takeover of CHUM. Quite a few questions have been answered already. There is going to be a transition period of about three years so that Rogers-owned Citytv can leave the building; Fashion Television will stay on Citytv for the coming season, but it now officially belongs to CTV and Rogers will need to decide whether it wants to buy these shows for air on Citytv after the season is over; the A-Channels will likely be rebranded (again); and Rogers will sell its Winnipeg and Vancouver OMNI operations to meet CRTC ownership regulations. (These were operated as faith-based stations. The Ontario and Alberta OMNI operations fall under a CRTC exemption for ethnic/multilingual stations and as such do not have to be sold.)

Of course, CTV gets the ChumCity building at Queen and John streets in Toronto, and they plan to renovate the place a little bit. One question is still up in the air, and that is the fate of the Citytv truck that is stuck in the side of the building. In fact it's a bit of a landmark in Toronto, that silly truck.

Supposedly, all the Citytv stuff belongs to Rogers, including the Citytv sign and the truck, so the thinking was that CTV will need to take down the sign and give Rogers the Citytv truck. The big rumor was that the truck was going to come down today! But there are questions now about whether this truck stays or goes. Apparently the ChumCity building and that truck have heritage status, and as such they need city approval to take it down.

Isn't this truck a part of the building? If so, it really ought to belong to CTV, because they own the building! What the people at CTVglobemedia really ought to do is keep the truck and repaint it in CP24 colours. Heck, CTVglobemedia owns CP24 now, that ain't going anywhere! I say CTV gets the truck, while Rogers gets all intellectual property rights to the name Citytv and all the colors associated with it for the vehicles. Rogers can get their own truck and slap Citytv on it, and have that thing come out of their own building! Man, they should just come to some agreement and get it over with.

Who knew that the most contentious issue in this whole transfer of ownership would be that freaking truck in the side of the building? Funny stuff.

Monday, July 02, 2007

BIG SPORTS WEEK COMING UP IN TORONTO

You know, I do not live in Toronto anymore but I keep following the sports there. It's a big week for the World Under 20s scccer tournament and people in Toronto are going crazy over it. CBC Sports has been on it like crazy and covering it, and providing live streams.

Also, the Toronto FC team in MLS has been selling out its games all year and are the hottest ticket in town. Hotter than the Leafs.

I am not surprised. Toronto goes crazy for soccer every time a World Cup is played anyway. It's about time Toronto had some real soccer games played in the city on a regular basis, by top-ranked teams like the ones playing at this tournament now. I would say soccer is fast becoming the number one sport in Toronto. Yes, I said number one. I know everyone in Toronto says they cheer for the Leafs but I'm convinced that is all lip service, especially now that the team sucks. I saw more people in Toronto go nuts watching these soccer games on TV in these watering holes and on the streets. I get the impression these Leafs fans all live in the suburbs outside Toronto and that soccer is taking over within the city itself. But who knows, a lot of bandwagon jumping goes on and the real reason why people follow soccer seems to have more to do with it being an excuse to get plastered in local bars.

Also, this week is a big one for fans of auto racing as the Grand Prix of Toronto is back again... with a new sponsor. Steelback Brewery is taking over as the title sponsor this year from Molson, so they get to take charge of the beer-and-babes-fest that is the Grand Prix. That's all this thing is, folks! Here's a profile on Steelback and also Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto, both of whom are taking on the giants like Molson and Labatts. Steelback also sponsors the Argos, I notice.

It's times like this that I miss living in Toronto, but I plan to get my auto racing fix regardless. There's a ChampCar race coming up in Edmonton and I am thinking of going to that (weather permitting). Besides, sporting events like the World Under-20 and the ChampCar World Series are no big endorsement for living in Toronto, anyway. You can go to these things in other parts of Canada. In fact, auto racing fans are far better off living in Montreal, there's a lot more happening there. At least they have F1 and NASCAR at Circuit-Gilles Villeneuve, and Mont-Tremblant is not far away for the ChampCar fans.

BIG WEEKEND FOR BRUCE WILLIS AND REMY THE RAT

Ratatouille numero uno.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

THE LOOP GETTING BURNED OFF


Irony of ironies this long weekend (with terrorist attacks at Scottish airports and the like) comes the final burnoff of the last three episodes of the airline comedy The Loop over on Fox. It wasn't much of a show, in fact it was really stupid, but I tuned in--- just to see too-sexy-for-TV Mimi Rogers.

Here's an article about that show. I find it interesting following the fortunes of these flop shows that no one cares about, which then get burned off by the network during the summer when no one cares about these shows anymore.

The good news for the comedy writers on that show is they can go work now for According to Jim. Against all odds, ABC ordered more episodes of that piece of junk that no one cares about, so it gets another season. WHY?!?