Monday, June 30, 2008

DEADLINE IS TODAY FOR THE HOLLYWOOD ACTORS

The producers and the Screen Actors Guild are still in talks as we speak and I sure hope they come to their senses and make a deal. This labour uncertainty is killing Hollywood and ruining the economy, and sending lots of movie people into alternative employment.

The continuing coverage of the situation can be found -- where else -- from Nikki Finke.

GOOD ADVICE ON STARTING A MOVIE BLOG

John Campea recently wrote an article over on The Movie Blog providing readers with 20 tips on how to start your own movie blog. Interesting article, certainly something to keep in mind as an option given the state of affairs in the media these days.

One need look no further than Nikki Finke to see how much impact movie blogs or even showbiz blogs can have. And speaking of Finke, a post on the actors talks is coming up next.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

IT'S OFFICIAL: TV VIEWERS ARE OLD FOLKS


Read an item over at Variety that said that the age of the average TV viewer is now over age 50.

I think part of the reason is because people are getting older in general, and there has been a big flight of young people to other media and other avenues for getting their entertainment. Young people also have very little time to devote to watching television, as they are usually studying or working, and a lot of these professional jobs require absolutely insane hours which makes it difficult to get near any televisions. Retired people have plenty of time to devote to watching shows like Desperate Housewives, a series dominated by over-the-hill middle aged women.

No wonder young people aren't watching if this is the type of programming they must put up with! I think a big reason the average age is so high these days is that there is very little on TV that appeals to people UNDER 50 these days!

What is there on TV that appeals to young people? Well, there's MTV's reality shows starring the likes of Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag, some of the stuff shown on the CW network, a few reality shows on cable, some of the cartoons on FOX and shows like Scrubs, and Hannah Montana. And that's about it.

The rest of these shows skew middle-aged at best (CBS shows like Survivor and How I Met Your Mother have average ages of 45) to retirement age at worst (Fox News Channel). You'd think some of these would skew younger, but they don't, and it's all because young people have fled the TV medium.

I truly believe these networks don't know how to put on shows that appeal to young people. They think the answer is to try and find the next Friends, or to put on some crap reality show featuring musical contestants or something like that. This will bring in some viewers but it will never work in the long run. What these broadcast and cable networks really need to do is put on more escapist fare.

I remember when I was a very young television viewer in the Seventies and early Eighties. There were so many shows on TV that appealed to young people, such as the Six Million Dollar Man, the Bionic Woman, the Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, CHiPs, Battlestar Galactica (the original one), The Greatest American Hero, The Dukes of Hazzard -- you name it. Not all the shows were good, but it was these escapist types of shows that young people tuned into in droves.

But here's the thing. If you want to see the kind of stuff I just talked about anywhere these days, you can't tune in to TV anymore. I mean, there's HEROES and Smallville and maybe that new Terminator show, and the Sci-Fi channel has some decent shows. But if you want real escapist fare you have to trudge down to the local theater and see The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Wanted, WALL-E, Prince Caspian and all that stuff. Quite a few of these are based on comic books that appeal to a younger crowd to begin with. In a few weeks we'll have the latest Batman flick The Dark Knight, which people will flock to as well. There will also be an animated Star Wars flick coming. You can bet young people will want to see that, too. And Judd Apatow can always be counted on to appeal to a young crowd, too.

One thing I've noticed since I began doing my column for the Film School Rejects website in particular is that there is an endless supply of movies and movie series out there right now that have passionate, young fans. You know what I mean, Star Wars, the Spider-Man movies, the Batman flicks, Harry Potter, that sort of thing. But where are the passionate young fans for TV series? I'll tell you where they are: at the rental counter or buying DVDs, because they aren't interested in the crap on TV starring these washed-up movie actors and other people.

What is there to appeal to young people on TV these days? Nicollette Sheridan? These C.S.I. shows?! I read that Jeff Goldblum is going back to TV to the Law and Order series, and young people don't care about him either. You aren't going to win young people back by relying on folks like James Woods or Jimmy Smits or even Sally Field. Same with every show Regis Philbin ever hosts. I'm sorry.

Compounding matters are the baffling decisions by network people to get rid of shows that appeal to a lot of young people, like Jericho. It's gotten to the point where young TV fans will purchase DVDs of entire TV series that were cancelled by the networks, just because there's nothing to watch on TV.

I think the fact that they're bringing back the Star Trek franchise with another outing on the big screen instead of on TV says a lot about the state of things. The movies are what appeals to young people these days, not this crap on TV!! Same with these video games they play all the time. But I guarantee you this: if there was something on TV worth tuning into, young people would make a point to watch that and would put off playing these silly video games.
Not even American Idol gets a young audience anymore, and the reason is because young people realize that show is crap. To win that show, these singers routinely have to appeal to the boring people of middle America in order to win. And they keep on hauling out these old-timers like Barry Manilow to appear on the show, and they force these kids to sing these old songs from the Seventies and Eighties that weren't any good back then, either. So young people have basically given up on that show, too.

If these networks really want a younger audience, they need to quit putting on shows starring these middle-agers, and they need to quit putting on shows about ballroom dancing. Simply put.

As I say, these TV networks need to take a page from the movies, and put on more shows based on comic books and the like.

EURO 2008 FINAL IS ON

You know, it's days like today when I miss Toronto. Here where I am now, they only care about that other brand of football ( the Canadian brand). But Toronto is different. Unlike pretty much the entire rest of the country (except for maybe Montreal and Vancouver), they care about this Euro 2008 stuff.

You can bet everyone in town will be either glued to TV sets at home, or watching the TVs in department stores or in store windows on the street. Or they'd be in some bar somewhere in town, watching the final game of Euro 2008.

Even if the freaking Italians, Greeks and Portuguese are out of it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

SCREEN ACTORS THREATENING TO GO ON STRIKE

Everyone seems to be worried about this June 30th deadline except Nikki Finke, who seems confident there will be no repeat of the Writers Guild strike nonsense that shut down all of television and did nothing for no one. Still, a lot of productions are shutting down or in limbo, particularly on the movie side. (This situation is pretty apparent here in stinking hot Canada.)

We wait and watch.

LIFE IN CANADA: CTV

Canada Day is coming July 1, so I thought it would be a good time to resume my Life in Canada posts with a look now at what we got on the tube for years from CTV.

Once again I have dipped into the YouTube vaults to see what long-lost stuff is out there. Believe you me, a lot of CTV's stuff IS lost. Apparently one of their old TV shows The Pig n' Whistle was completely erased and wiped out, except for two episodes. Can you believe that? Two known episodes left of the Pig n' Whistle show, and that show ran for years.

Anyway, some of these shows still have clips that exist, so here they are.

Definition- This famous show ran for many years on CTV and featured Jim Perry as host. The show looked a lot like Wheel of Fortune, except it predated it by a couple of years and didn't have a wheel. It also featured a changing cast of well-known Canadian celebrities and the baritone announcing sounds of legendary Toronto weatherman Dave Devall.

For years, Definition used the Soul Bossa Nova song (popularized in the Austin Powers movies) as their theme, but late in the show's run they dropped that tune for the ditty played in this clip here:



Clips now from one of the all-time worst TV shows EVER! The Trouble with Tracy.




The Bobby Vinton Show.


Here's clips from the Eighties sitcom Check it Out, starring Don Adams of all people. It was a co-production between CTV and the USA Network.



Here's the open to one of the wildest TV shows Canada has ever seen: Bizarre, starring American comedian John Byner. This show also made a star out of Super Dave Osborne. Apparently when this show aired in the USA it was even wilder, they unbleeped all the foul language and so on.



And I found these clips from CFTO's 25th anniversary show in 1986, with plenty of stuff from a lot of the old shows that CTV used to run back in the Seventies and Eighties.





And finally, a REALLY long lost clip from a show that used to run on CTV on Saturday mornings: the Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show. It aired on American TV as well, was produced in Toronto, and was loaded with Canadians (ie. Billy Van).



That's it for now.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

GOOD NEWS FOR FOOTBALL FANS

The CFL IS BACK!

And the NBA Draft is on tonight.

THAT VERY DASHING, VERY SEXY LARA LOGAN

Well, the dashing CBS News correspondent Lara Logan, a woman who'd be cast as a female lead in any James Bond picture if she had chosen acting as her line of work, is proving herself to be quite the jet-setting international playgirl.

Did you hear this? Lara has been splashed all over the front page of the New York Post today. Apparently Logan was in quite the love triangle in Iraq. She's been accused of being a homewrecker by dating this civilian contractor named Joe Burkett. AND she also apparently dated CNN correspondent Michael Ware. Here's the best part. Apparently these two guys got into a fight.

Maybe the writers of Get Smart should take some notes? This is funnier than everything in that whole movie! This kind of also has that Larry Mendte-Alycia Lane nonsense all beat. Lara Logan's passionate love life is too funny for words.

Logan was in the news for appearing on Comedy Central recently, and has gotten a big promotion this week to work in the Washington D.C. bureau of CBS News. Hopefully a change of scenery will keep this girl out of trouble.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ED GETS SOCKED

More fallout from the takeover of Citytv by Rogers, only made possible after the big CTV takeover of previous owner CHUM put Citytv on the block to begin with.

Seems the new owners have been dumping some programs and getting rid of people (Peter Silverman), and Marilyn Denis called it quits, and now they've gotten rid of Ed's Night Party, the popular and politically-incorrect comedy show that aired on Fridays late at night.

That's right, Ed the Sock has been sent to the cleaners at last. This show was known for featuring a lot of strippers and other members of the upper crust of society.

The official reason is they want to program more shows aimed at a female audience. But that line of bull makes no sense because Ed aired late at night, which isn't known for having a lot of female-skewed shows anyway. (The female shows tend to air just about the entire rest of the day and in prime time, too.) I suspect the real reason is that Rogers plans to clear Ed to make room for more of the late night shows from the 'States that they have rights to, but I have no confirmation of that. I'm just not convinced this idiot Ed will be replaced by any show aimed at women.

Ed, of course, is one of the all-time legendary Citytv shows, right up there with the Baby Blue Movie, Citypulse, Breakfast Television, Cityline and Fashion Television.

(FT is of course switching over to CTV, and Cityline is getting a new host, and Citypulse changed its name to CityNews. Citytv as we knew it is slowly but surely being gutted. It's gone straight downhill ever since Moses Znaimer left. All that's left now is for Gord Martineau to be booted onto the street.)

Ed famously got his start doing access-cable before hitting it big. (Folks like Tom Green and that sex-advice woman Dr. Sue Johanson went the same route.) Methinks Ed will find a home somewhere else, possibly on CTV's Comedy Network. And if not there, then I'm sure Showcase or the E! network or somebody else will take him.

Let's face it, his show was a pile of trash, but it was funny.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

MORE SINGLE WOMEN: SIENNA MILLER

It's true: smoking-hottie Sienna Miller (a big fave of this blog, by the way) has dumped her man and is considering a move to LA.

All the coolest women are suddenly on the market! Life is good.

This has gotten me thinking. Maybe I can interest Sienna, Cindy Margolis and Anne Hathaway into doing the three-girlfriend thing. Just like what Hef has going with Holly, Bridget and Kendra.

(And maybe we'll all do a reality show while we are at it and get rich. Right.)

AUDIENCES GET SMART

...by not showing up at the theaters to see The Love Guru.

My rant on the weekend box office where Get Smart took in 39 million.

And a reminder to myself to file another box office report on Thursday as Wall-E and WANTED come out. (I really have been working like a dog lately so I had better remind myself, or else I'd forget.)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

ANOTHER DEATH

George Carlin has died. Age 71.

All that needs to be said is one single word: $#!t.

GAME SHOW RANTS

I decided that the blog would give a rest to its continuing coverage of girls to follow some other stuff. First it was that Tom Brokaw announcement, and now I will comment about fun summer programming: game shows in prime time.

Noticed that CBS has a new game show on Sunday evenings these days. It's called Celebrity Password and it's patterned on the original Password show that aired during daytime that had Allen Ludden as host.

They've redone it with all the prime-time elements, including a set reminiscent of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Hey, even the host is from that show. Regis Philbin!

Meanwhile, the folks at CBS have been doing more Price is Right shows in prime time. Drew Carey has been hosting these Million Dollar Spectaculars, and has actually been giving away a million dollars on the show, believe it or not.

All the loot Drew Carey has doled out has made the folks over at Deal or No Deal look really bad. They tried one jump-the-shark tactic after another this season, loading up the board with several million-dollar cases as part of their "Million Dollar Mission." It was all in the hope that someone will have the guts to go all the way and take home a million dollar case. Instead, everyone chickened out and made deals with the banker. If Howie Mandel still had hair on his head, he would have been tearing his out.

I have mixed feelings about all the game shows in prime time. I personally think it's the easy way out for these networks to program these shows. The cheap way out. These shows really ought to air during the day or on weekends, and leave prime time to scripted shows that have a lot of effort put into them. Not that they don't put an effort into game shows - it's just that we get too much cheap stuff and not enough scripted shows these days.

At least some game shows we are seeing rolled out in prime time these days are more of the classic game shows. I'm not sure I like some of the ones on FOX, these ones like Don't Forget the Lyrics, the nauseating The Moment of Truth and especially that Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? show.

Forget that these shows make people in the audience feel stupid -- the people who like these shows ARE stupid!

BROKAW TO HELM MEET THE PRESS

On to serious business now.

In the aftermath of the death of Tim Russert, it was announced today on Meet The Press that Tom Brokaw will serve as moderator through the November elections.

Good. They'll take their time in making the right decision about appointing a permanent host.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

NO LOVE FOR THE LOVE GURU AT ALL

Thought I would let you in on the lack of love out there for Mike Myers and his apparent total bomb The Love Guru.

I had predicted in my box-office column a third-place finish for him, but the latest word is his movie may do even worse than that and might even end up fourth for the weekend.

There is a lot of venom being spewed towards Myers and this movie right now. Rotten Tomatoes has it running at something like 15 per cent right now! That's awful!! And people are going on and on saying Myers is past his prime and that people are sick of the toilet humor that stinks up the movies he appears in. Myers went down this same path in the last two Austin Powers movies, going the scatological route, which was not a good move in my opinion. It really turned people off, but the movies were still hits.

Now, though, it's gotten to the point where people are sick of that style of humor, and in particular, sick of HIM.

Check out this pretty damning review over at Cinema Blend which basically calls upon Mike Myers to stop making movies, period!!! Wow, it's not good when people hate your movie so much that they think you should quit the business.

Ouch!!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

BASEBALL MANAGERS FACE THE FIRING SQUAD

On a day when the losing Toronto Blue Jays had a big bloodbath with John Gibbons replaced by Cito Gaston of all people, the front page headlines on all the websites are about whether the even worse Toronto Maple Leafs will trade Mats Sundin to Montreal!!!

The biggest firings in years in Blue Jays land, and the press is asleep in Toronto. No wonder GM J.P. Ricciardi chose today to do the dirty deed: he figured the entire press corps in Toronto would be preoccupied with hockey, as usual. He'd have been RIGHT.

It sure would have been a different story if the Blue Jays were based in New York. Heck, when Willie Randolph was ashcanned by the Mets earlier this week in the middle of the night, the press in New York went nuts.

But in Toronto, no one cares. All they care about is HOCKEY and the DRAFT TONIGHT.

It's baseball season, gang. Get with the program.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

IS IT SMART TO REVIVE GET SMART?!

Well, the much-anticipated new Get Smart revival movie comes out this weekend starring Steve Carell as 86 and hottie Anne Hathaway as number 99.

I kind of approach this movie with anticipation and quite a bit of dread, actually. My worry is it will be a lot like that Pink Panther revival that starred Steve Martin. Martin was just no good as Inspector Clouseau: Peter Sellers owns that role for all time. My fear is that the same is true for Don Adams as 86. Steve Carell is no Don Adams, I'm afraid.

Anyway, looking back at the various incarnations of Get Smart, I have to say that it's been a pretty sad state of affairs for the franchise for a long time. Of course, the original series was brilliant, one of the classics of television. Until their jump-the-shark season of 1969 (see opening credits for that season below).





In that season Get Smart moved from NBC to CBS, 86 and 99 got married, and the show went straight into the toilet. And that was the end of the television series.

But there was another attempt to revive Get Smart some years later when they rolled out the movie The Nude Bomb, starring Don Adams as Smart again. But no 99 for some reason. Unfortunately, the movie was pretty dumb, and it flopped.





They made a Get Smart, Again reunion movie in 1989 and then had Max and 99 return for a series on FOX in the mid-Nineties, called... would you believe?... Get Smart! This effort featured Andy Dick as Smart's dick-head son.









Talk about sad. It's gone from bad to seemingly worse for this whole Get Smart franchise since the Mel Brooks/Buck Henry days. I sure hope the latest Get Smart movie turns out to be good. But I must admit, there hasn't been a good Get Smart production since 1969, I swear.

On the positive side, though, they did a great job casting this flick, especially the female lead. Stay tuned for a "Women I Love" column from me soon, as I plan to salute Anne Hathaway.

Methinks she'll make the same impression on me that Elizabeth Hurley and Heather Graham made in the Austin Powers flicks. Good news for guys: she dumped her man this week. Way to go, Annie, baby.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SHOCKING DEATHS OF TV PERSONALITIES

Been reading an article over at TV Squad about unexpected deaths of TV personalities over the years.

They are of course writing this article because of the sudden, totally unexpected death of Tim Russert on Friday. What was really unexpected was the fact that it happened right in the middle of the election year, before the conventions were even held. It's like when a die-hard NFL fan drops dead before the playoffs start. It just isn't fair.

Anyway that article goes on to talk about some of the other shocking deaths over the years. Two of the ones mentioned in that article I can kind of relate to: the deaths of Jim Henson and John Candy. Those were the kind of deaths that really shocked you because of how young and energetic they were. These guys were still doing good work, and suddenly they were gone. Henson, of course, died the same day that Sammy Davis Jr. died, and I remember Entertainment Tonight had to do a big, depressing show looking back at both of those guys.

John Candy's death from heart disease was pretty devastating for people up in Canada because of how big a personality he was in his home and native land. He was starring in all these movies and had joined forces with Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall to take over the Toronto Argonauts CFL team as an owner.

I remember the day I heard that Candy had died -- I was about to hit the road for my long commute back home to Saskatoon, and I had flipped on the car radio and heard the announcer talk about "the late great John Candy." And then they went into his obituary. Just shocking news. Actually, I found out the deaths of most of these big names that way, hearing it first on the radio.

That John Candy death -- boy, that was the shocker. I'd compare something like that to turning on the radio and hearing that Mike Myers had kicked the bucket.

I guess the Phil Hartman death was another big shocker, and so was John Ritter. Both guys were starring in sitcoms on TV at the time they died. I'm sure there were others that article didn't mention. One person who was really big up here in Canada was Barbara Frum. Frum had been anchoring the Journal on CBC and was basically an institution up here. She had also been suffering with leukemia for years, but nobody in the general public even knew she was sick! So when she died at an early age it was a big surprise to a lot of people.

Anyway, check out that article.

LIGHT EM UP, RED

Boston Celtics win yet another freaking NBA title (17th for them). All I gotta say is the Lakers threw away this series in game 4 when they blew that lead.

Too bad that I didn't have much of a chance to watch many NBA finals games this year due to other commitments, but that's life. (I sure didn't miss much tonight -- what a blowout.)

LAST WORD ON HOCKEY NIGHT THEME MESS

Just thought I would link to this article in the Globe today wrapping up the whole Hockey Night in Canada theme song mess.

Seems the CBC is still smarting over what happened, and Scott Moore is accusing CTV of interfering in the negotiations. He thinks it was unfair for CTV to swoop in and grab rights to that theme song while they were still negotiating with the rightsholders!

Wait a minute, let's set things straight here. Contract talks broke down, and the song was on the free market as of 5 p.m. on Friday, June 6. Once the clock struck 5 pm, the theme song copyright holders were free and clear to go sign with somebody else. If CBC were on the ball, they would have had the deal done well before the deadline.

As I see it, the CBC was doing their usual "get-tough" negotiating stance with an artist. They would not come to terms at the deadline, in the hopes that the artist would rush back and do a deal later -- just like what went down in the negotiation with Ron MacLean. But this time it completely blew up in their faces.

By the way, I never thought that the CBC was actually serious about going ahead with this crazy Canadian Idol-type search for a new hockey anthem for their show that they were talking about. But it seems that's exactly what these clowns are doing.

How much taxpayers' money are they wasting on this contest? What a joke.

Seems to me that if CTV wanted to make the CBC look like fools with this move, swiping the Hockey Night theme song from under them-- well, they've succeeded. The CBC looks like a bunch of buffoons. Everyone is laughing except the people at the CBC. And that's all I am going to say about the Hockey Night in Canada song mess.

Monday, June 16, 2008

SOME OLD FNN STUFF

Before CNBC, before Fox Business, there was FNN. I stumbled upon some old video of the late, great Financial News Network recently on YouTube and thought I would post some of that good stuff here. As most of you know by now I am a fairly heavy viewer of business news TV, especially during those times when I am at home during the day. (I sometimes have the day off during the week at my mainstream-media job.)

So I'm kind of interested in this stuff. FNN definitely operated during a different era-- no Money Honeys to be found. These business TV reporters could pass for accountants, many of them.

I don't remember much about FNN myself. All I remember about watching FNN were those times when I would watch the channel on cable TV in Calgary hotel rooms. For some reason, cable TV there blared FNN's market coverage, which said a lot about Calgary and how business-minded the place was.

Anyway, we have highlights taken from the last day FNN was on the air before it was merged into CNBC, with a look back at some of the people associated with the operation. And yes, the woman going by the name Sue McMahon in that tape is indeed Sue Herera.

The second screen features two guys familiar to most CNBC viewers, Bill Griffeth and Ron Insana, reporting on the 1987 crash live as it happened. Looks like Insana still had some of his hair on his head at the time.

Enjoy a look back at business TV history, folks.



Sunday, June 15, 2008

HULK-A-MANIA

Uh, not really. But the Hulk did win at the box office this weekend. My rant here.

IS IT REALLY STILL SPRING?

Yes, it's that time again -- time to put up my monthly picture of a Playmate. (Last month it was Jayde Nicole, and before that was Brande Roderick and Victoria Vetri. The month before that, it was Claudia Jennings, and before that was Tiffany Fallon. So yes, I like the bunnies, but the real reason I am putting this picture up is because I'm bored silly.)

In an attempt to make this blog a little more scurrilous and less relevant to the chattering classes (see that Vanity Fair chart below), here's a lovely picture of beautiful Jenny McCarthy.

Hey, I felt the need to lighten things up around here, especially after this week.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, DAD!

And now, the golf scores. (All that anyone cares about is sports.)

BLOGOPTICON

Continuing my coverage of the blog beat: noticed that Vanity Fair has published a Blogopticon which shows you where all the blogs are placed in the grand scheme of things.

Notice my own blog isn't even mentioned. Clearly, I have work to do getting my own name out there.

But if I was on this Blogopticon I imagine I would be placed somewhere between "news" and "scurrilous." I have way too much news to be scurrilous, and way too much coverage of movies and gorgeous babes to be in the "news" category, either.

And there's no way you can call this blog earnest. Earnest, my foot.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

BIG RACING WEEKEND

Ahem. Le Mans is on.

And I guess those guys over at Speed Channel will get around to covering it, but for some reason they're showing NASCAR right now. Oh, well.

Friday, June 13, 2008

TIM RUSSERT HAS DIED

Shocking and sudden news out of NBC.

Meet the Press anchor Tim Russert has died, right in the middle of the 2008 election campaign. Apparently of a heart attack. Only age 58.

Tom Brokaw broke the news to viewers on NBC and you can see that video here.

What a blow to the world of TV news and to the political scene in Washington, D.C., folks. Continuing coverage over at TVNewser.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

WEEKEND OF THE HULK

My box office prediction here.

And since I am in a Hulk mood, here's a look at the classic Seventies TV about the Hulk. Ah, the Seventies, when there were so many superhero shows on TV.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

DETROIT TV NEWS IS ALL BLOOD AND GUTS

Since I am on a roll talking about TV news tonight--

Here's an amusing column by Les MacPherson in my hometown newspaper from Saskatoon, the Star-Phoenix, about the interesting stuff they get on cable TV. SHAW Cable in Saskatoon picks up feeds for the American TV networks from the affiliates in Detroit. So Saskatoon gets to see all the Detroit newscasts that are full of fire, murder and mayhem.

MacPherson says this:

Detroit and Saskatoon do not have much in common. English is the main language in both cities.
The Detroit Red Wings' coach, Mike Babcock, is from Saskatoon. Both places are on the same continent. And that's about it. Otherwise, the cities are about as dissimilar as they could be. The 1,300 miles between them is the least of their differences. Even so, Carmen Harlan, veteran news anchor at Detroit's NBC affiliate, is as almost well-known around here as Rob MacDonald at CFQC.


I guess Bernie Smilovitz is as famous as Kevin Waugh, then, too, eh? Here's some video of what Saskatoon residents (and for that matter, residents of many areas of the country) got to see from Motown:



MacPherson then goes on and on about Detroit's embarrassing mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. (I'll tell you, there's not a dull moment covering municipal politics in that town.) Check out a good read.

LIFE IN CANADA: TV (RETRO CBC)

Well, in the wake of this Hockey Night in Canada news (theme song to CTV, etcetera), I thought I would take the opportunity to dip into the YouTube vaults again and rescue some more pieces of Canadiana from the abyss. Yes, time to show clips from long-lost Canadian TV.

And in honor of the CBC and its royal botchup of the HNIC theme song negotiations, all the clips for this edition will be from old CBC stuff. I'll get around to showing the CTV stuff later; same for Citytv and these other places.

I thought I would show a promo first of all which kind of sums up what CBC had to offer back in 1985; some pretty iconic Canadian TV if you ask me.





Now a couple of clips from Wayne and Shuster!









Next, something from a long-forgotten afternoon show called Video Hits.




The opening to the CFL on CBC.





Now here's a look at The National circa 1978, anchored by Peter Kent.





Now a couple of items from some iconic children's TV shows Mr. Dressup and the Friendly Giant. I gotta say, the clips from Friendly Giant pretty much sum up what that series was like: it was exactly the same show every day, with the Giant hangin' with Rusty the Rooster and Jerome the Giraffe, and playing a few tunes.

I wouldn't call it "educational" because, well, you didn't learn anything, but it was quality kids TV in my book.















Long live YouTube and memories of great CBC shows! That's all for now.

Monday, June 09, 2008

CNBC'S TRISH REGAN PROFILED

In my continuing quest to bring you coverage of all things newsbabe, here's a profile of CNBC financial reporter Trish Regan.

Fun fact; she's a singer! Is it too late for her to try out for American Idol?

(Actually, the whole point of this post is so I could put up a picture of Trish Regan. Any flimsy excuse to put up a picture of a girl: that sums this blog right up.)

UPDATE: In other news, Fox News newser E.D. Hill's show was cancelled.

HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA THEME SONG --- SOLD TO CTV!!!

That's right; the theme song for the most popular show on the entire CBC network was sold by the composer to CTV today. CTV is now going to plaster the song over all its NHL hockey properties on TSN and elsewhere.

And just this morning CBC announced they were going to go to mediation to try and salvage the theme song one last time. Well, I guess composer Dolores Claman had other ideas.

All I will say is that I fell out of my chair laughing when I heard this news today. This not only makes the CBC look bad, losing this iconic theme song --- it makes them look supremely incompetent. Whoever was responsible for this supreme mess-up has GOT to be fired.

It's so typical of the CBC for something like this to happen. They've lost so many sports properties and personalities over the years, too. They lost the Olympics to CTV and all the CFL and Grey Cup games to TSN, not to mention sportscaster after sportscaster including Dave Hodge, Chris Cuthbert and Brian Williams. What's next -- is CBC going to lose the chief anchor of The National to CTV, too?

(Uh, yeah, that already happened.)

As a friend told me the other day, they might as well put the theme from The Muppet Show on Hockey Night in Canada now. Because the Muppets have truly taken over the show over there at the CBC.

The Hockey Night in Canada theme song on TSN. Now, that is beyond funny.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

CANADIAN TV: IT'S A, EH?

Here's another article about the Canadian TV scene, and in particular the battle between the two "secondary" TV networks in Canada, A Channel and E!.

A-Channel is, of course, owned by CTV now after being acquired in the CHUM takeover, and E! is the network of stations owned by Canwest Global that used to be known as the CH network of stations. That was before Canwest made a deal with the E! people down in the USA to bring their network to Canada and load up their stations with E!'s American entertainment-news programming.

Seems the folks over at the Globe and Mail think that there could be a battle for new programming between these two mini-networks, which basically have stations in communities that the CBC, CTV and Global do not (Hamilton, Barrie, London, Red Deer, Victoria, etc. etc.). Interestingly, these stations are in areas where the signals can be easily accessed in the big cities like Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

Noticed that A-Channel is going to be rebranded. Come this fall, it will be known simply as "A." Kind of a generic name if you ask me.

Also noticed the sale by Rogers of the two OMNI-TV multifaith/religious stations in Vancouver and Winnipeg to the people who run Vision TV, S-VOX, is complete. Rogers needed to get rid of those two stations as part of the deal to take over Citytv. That now leaves it free and clear for Rogers, who just got the CRTC approval to take over Channel M in Vancouver, to rebrand that multicultural station as OMNI-TV, just like their Toronto and Alberta stations.

Confused? Me too.

NEWS FROM HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE

Just thought I would take some time off from watching Animation Domination over on FOX to provide yet another News from Nowhere, where I update you on the latest news that is happening everywhere.

First, I should note that I found a new website! It's called LiveNewsCameras.com and it links up with all these news feeds from these TV stations in the USA and around the world. It includes quite a few live streaming newscasts. Check it out. I figure something like this will come in mighty handy during the political conventions, or for that matter during hurricane season. Now onto the latest news.

Jim McKay of ABC Sports has died.
Paul Newman is dying of cancer. And Martin Bashir of ABC News has a brain tumor.
Also, Dr. Sheila Basrur has died. She led Toronto's fight against the SARS virus that had come to the area and scared the wits out of people. Fortunately, it didn't do as much damage to Toronto as it did to other places such as Hong Kong, and we got a good rock concert out of the whole thing (the Rolling Stones). But still, it was scary. Anyway, she's dead.

Some news about comings and goings of TV personalities to tell you about. First of all, NESN has parted ways with Hazel Mae (Canadian). The heck's going on there? First Tina Cervasio leaves, and now Hazel.

Also, apparently Citytv has let go Peter Silverman and before that Amber MacArthur. I noticed, though, CP24 hired away Pooja Handa from Global to do traffic reports. (I know Pooja from way back.)

Kung Fu Panda and You Don't Mess with the Zohan were one-two at the box office.

Big Brown was a big flop at the Belmont. No Triple Crown winner in horse racing, unfortunately, again.

And this has been a big year for hockey teams dropping cups. Apparently Fort Wayne won the Turner Cup and the thing fell apart, and now apparently those wild Detroit Red Wings have put a dent in the Stanley Cup. Guys, show some respect for the trophy, eh?!

That's it for now.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

SATURDAY NIGHT JUST NOT THE SAME

You know, it's Saturday night, and there's no hockey on tonight as the Stanley Cup is, well, long over.

I gotta say, it may be summertime, and the weather is stinking hot outside in most parts of the country, and people are glued to their sets watching Euros play soccer games, and there's a big Grand Prix race in Montreal that raceheads like me are all excited about. And yet I still have that urge to want to tune in to the CBC to catch Ron and Don, and the hot-stovers, and the after hours gang, and that dunt da dunt da daa, dunt da dunt da daa, dunt da dunt de daaa dunt of the Hockey Night in Canada theme song one more time.

Which is why it defies common sense to get rid of it. Have people on both sides of this dispute between the CBC and the composer totally lost their marbles? Hockey Night in Canada is just another hockey broadcast without that theme song. With the theme gone, we all might as well watch hockey on NBC, because tradition will have had it over at the CBC. And with the theme song gone, the composer stands to lose all kinds of royalty money.

I'm not convinced totally that Friday's collapse of negotiations is the end of the story. I have to believe there will be some sort of intervention from somebody -- from the Prime Minister, perhaps. Yes, this issue is that big a deal to people.

But if the CBC does say sayonara to the familiar theme song, then the following pictures below will say it all about the state of the Hockey Night in Canada show.

CLINTON ENDS CAMPAIGN, ENDORSES OBAMA

Finally.

Friday, June 06, 2008

THE CAIRNS BLOG IS 4 YEARS OLD TODAY

Hard to believe, but true. Four years ago I was still living in Toronto, the Liberals were still in power, the NHL was about to walk off the job, and Anchorman was coming to theaters near you. In fact, a sequel could be on the way soon.

Boy, was the blog ever different back in the old days, when it still was a political blog. We were knee-deep covering the election and other politics happenings that summer, including the Ontario PC leadership race and the US vote.

A lot less of that serious stuff these days here; instead, this blog features a lot more junk.

Such is life.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE GIANT PANDA

This means you, Zohan. The latest edition of The Reject Report is up.

WHITHER THE THEME FOR HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA

These fools at the CBC want to junk the theme for Hockey Night in Canada, all because of litigation with the songwriters. I'm sorry, but this sounds absolutely like a bad idea, a bad stunt. And any kind of "Canadian Idol"-type search for a replacement theme song will be a debacle.

HILLARY TO CALL IT QUITS

We think, this time, she's actually going to concede. Or maybe she will concede yet not concede.

All I have to say is Hillary Clinton's non-concession speech on Tuesday wasn't exactly gracious if you ask me. The problem wasn't particularly with what Hillary said -- I have no problem with her saying she would take time to meet with advisors before deciding what to do next. The problem was the tone of the speech. It was not conciliatory in the least and seemed to be of the"fight on to the convention and challenge the results" variety. It seemed to de-legitimize Barack Obama's clinched nomination. Not a good way to promote party unity.

Seems that common sense is finally settling in with the Clinton gang, though. Those folks are beginning to realize that they've been totally defeated and that the bigwigs in the party are fed up with them. And about time, too. Me, I was getting really tired of those spinmeisters over there in her campaign, playing politics the old fashioned way. All combative, all the time.

Now she's campaigning to be on the ticket? So some say, but MSNBC says she's backing off of that, too.

Well, if Hillary gets on the ticket Obama can throw in the trashcan all his rhetoric about wanting to change the way politics is conducted in the USA. Having the Clintons on the ticket is basically asking for a return to the bad old days of rampant partisanism, because the Clintons are all about partisanship. And it would be a sure admission by Obama's people that he is all talk and no action.

By the way, there are plenty of articles now running alleging that Hillary lost because of sexism. What nonsense. You want to know why Hillary lost? Because she ran a LOUSY campaign, right to the bitter end.

She can't even concede a nomination fight without screwing it up!! Good riddance, Hillary... and you too, Bill.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

BRING IT ON

Barack Obama goes over the top and wins the Democratic nomination on the final night of the primary season. And now it's on to the election against John McCain.

Bring it on, I say. Hillary Clinton due to speak any time. More on her remarks soon.

IT'S OVER, IT'S OVER, IT'S OVER

... to quote a certain Roy Orbison song.

My quote is thank GOD, my Tuesday nights are liberated from primary coverage on the TV, finally. Who knew that Montana and South Dakota would count in the primary season, on the very last primary day of them all.

CNN is reporting that Barack Obama is 4 delegates short of clinching the nomination and they have a big graphic up in the background behind Wolf Blitzer, saying "4 Needed". In fact AP has reported that Obama has already won the nomination.

Superdelegates have been announcing for Obama all day. There is also great mystery as to what Hillary Clinton is going to say or do and a lot of bogus speculation out there about this that and the next thing. Who knows. In the meantime, we wait.

Barack Obama gives a big address tonight in St. Paul (site of the Republican convention later this year) where he will officially go over the top. I notice John McCain is speaking now.

For coverage check out the following:
http://www.cnn.com/
http://www.msnbc.com/
http://www.foxnews.com/
http://www.politico.com/
http://www.cspan.org/

That's just a few. Also I understand TVNewser is covering the coverage and liveblogging. Check that out, too.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

BIG WEEKEND FOR SEX AND THE CITY

My column is up.

LIFE IN CANADA: IT'S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA!

... but not tonight. Tonight, there is no game. But have no fear, fans.

Welcome to another edition of Life in Canada, which we have been doing for last month and now this month as well. Tonight is a rare night off in the Stanley Cup, and since it appears the final series could be over pretty soon (Detroit with a 3-1 lead), I thought now would be as good a time as any to dip into the YouTube vaults and put up some good Hockey Night in Canada stuff from the past. Enjoy.









And now some Winnipeg Jets stuff: the CBC coverage of the final game plus one of the news stories from the previous summer about the pending departure of the team.





That's it for now.

UNIVERSAL LOT UP IN SMOKE

Was sad to hear about the big fire at the backlot of Universal Studios and the sad news is that a large part of the lot burned down, including the King Kong attraction that was a big part of the studio tour. That's the part of the tour where King Kong comes over and shakes up your tour tram car.

That's too bad. The King Kong attraction was one of the my personal highlights of the whole tour when I was down there-- that, along with Jaws coming out of the water to eat the tour participants. Apparently, this fire wasn't far away from where that Jaws attraction was, either. Well, hopefully they'll rebuild it.