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October 20, 2014

America

'American Idol' Mansion Haunted or Contestants Just High Maintenance?

by Hilary Rothing, posted Mar 25th 2011 1:00PM
Flickering lights, a leaky roof and spiders, oh my!

After the season 10 'American Idol' contestants claimed living in the plush 'Idol' mansion was turning into 'Paranormal Activity 3,'on Monday night the show's producers moved the 11 'Idols' into less spooky digs.

After TMZ broke the story earlier this week, 'Idol' producers turned the whole to-do into a silly segment on the local news here in New York, after last night's insane results show. In fact, when Nigel Lythgoe and Ryan Seacrest took to Twitter to hype the "shocking" elimination hour, many feared it was the "haunted mansion" nonsense we'd be subjected to, not one of the best 'Idol' episodes ever!

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'America: The Story of Us' Premiere Breaks Records for History

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 27th 2010 11:00AM
america the story of us'America: The Story of Us' is a hit for History.

Sunday's premiere of the six-part miniseries drew 5.7 million viewers to become the cable net's highest-rated special ever. The record-breaking educational series, which featured an intro by President Barack Obama, tracks 400 years of American history, from the early Jamestown settlers to the headlines of today.

"The success personifies the hunger for information and the desire to re-connect with our past," History President Nancy Dubuc said in a statement. "Ultimately there's no story more dramatic and gripping than the story of America itself.

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Stephen Colbert to guest edit Newsweek

by Nick Zaino, posted Jun 3rd 2009 4:36PM
Stephen Colbert, The Colbert ReportThe New York Observer is reporting that Stephen Colbert will guest edit the June 8 edition of Newsweek. According to the Observer, the idea came from a lunch between Newsweek editor Jon Meacham (who has been a guest on The Colbert Report) and Colbert, in which Meacham was impressed by Colbert's knowledge of current events.

The stories themselves will be treated seriously, as they would in any other issue, but Colbert gets to play in the margins, editing contributor bios, writing an essay, and annotating different stories. Which should make next week's issue look something like the magazine version of The Daily Show's faux text book America.

The Observer quotes Colbert as saying, "I'm confident we'll have mixed results! I want to be apart [sic] of that proud tradition!" and cites a few other guest editor ventures gone wrong. I wonder about the timing of it. Newsweek launched a complete redesign three issues ago, trying to re-conceptualize the newsweekly's place in the age of instant news.

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Will Ferrell's Broadway Bush - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 15th 2009 11:09AM
Bush FerrellWho knew this was George W. Bush in reflection week? I must have missed the memo. But when I tuned in to watch the HBO debut of Will Ferrell: You're Welcome, America, his take on President Bush since the end of this presidency, I couldn't help but recall that just a couple of days ago on Hard Ball, MSNBC's Chris Matthews was going at Bush's former press secretary Ari Fleischer hammer and tongs as Fleischer defended his old boss.

Don't these post-mortems usually take a few years to take place? But this post isn't about politics. It's about Will Ferrell, and my thoughts are mainly about Ferrell's show, which has a certain raunchy charm, which apparently offended quite a few people when it played on Broadway. All the raunch is still in place in the HBO version, so if you're curious about Bush's little George (allegedly), check it out.

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Oh, so THIS is where Carson Daly has been - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 5th 2008 3:02PM
Carson DalyI've been really snarky the past few weeks about Last Call with Carson Daly. The show has just seemed to be on an endless stream of repeats, even when all of the other NBC late night shows have been new, and I (and several readers) haven't understood why the show can't air some new episodes (or why the show is still even on, to be honest). Now I think I've figured out at least part of the reason why the show has been in repeats lately.

Daly has been touring America!

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Hannah Storm heading to ESPN morning

by Allison Waldman, posted May 12th 2008 10:04AM
StormI hope Hannah Storm enjoyed sleeping late since she's been off the CBS Early Show because her new gig will be on the AM shift once again. And she'll be back talking sports. ESPN is going to announce tomorrow that Hannah Storm will anchor a new, revamped SportsCenter morning edition. SportsCenter is already on every morning, so you have to assume that by adding Storm to the mix, the folks at Disney (ESPN's parent company) are looking to pump up the old format and maybe bring in some new viewers -- like maybe those who used to watch Hannah on CBS.

Of course, there's already two other competing morning shows on the ESPN family of channels, Mike & Mike in the Morning which stars Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, and First Take (formerly known as Cold Pizza) with Jay Crawford and Dana Jacobson.

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Millions of $40 TV coupons now available from the government

by Jay Black, posted Jan 2nd 2008 6:03PM
Yep, if you're a hipster douchebag that still loves TV, you'll need one of these things...If you're one of the 14.3 million households that currently gets their television via over-the-air broadcasts, you'll be without a signal come February 18, 2009. That's the date the US switches from old, boring analog to what is being called by high-ranking officials as "the new hotness" or... digital.

But, you're not completely out of luck. As of yesterday, the US government is giving away 33.5 million $40 coupons to help people buy converter boxes (expected to cost between $50 and $70) so they continue to suck on the sweet electronic teat without interruption. No, don't call your doctor or wash your eyes out with bleach, you read that right: the US government is spending $1.5 billion to help people watch TV.

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Sneak preview of PBS' The War available online - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 1st 2007 1:03PM

ken burnsLike everyone else, I'm looking forward to the end of summer reruns, and for the new fall season to kick off over the next several weeks. In addition to returning shows and new offerings from the networks and studios, I'm also quite interested in Ken Burns' new documentary for PBS, The War, which debuts on September 23 at 8:00 p.m. and is scheduled to air in seven parts. Check your listings for airtimes in your area.

I've been drawn to the idea of a lengthy documentary about World War II partially for the historical aspect, but moreso because of the human aspect. Growing up, my exposure to that era was through films featuring rugged heroes and clean, bloodless battles. Combine this with the solipsism inherent in all young people, and the result is a skewed --if not completely false-- perspective on what it was really like to be alive during that era, not only for the soldiers on the battlefields overseas, but also for the people back home.

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Beckham's reality series could become a primetime special

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 5th 2007 12:02PM

david and victoria beckhamNot too long ago, Anna told you that former Spice Girl and wife of soccer star David Beckham, Victoria Beckham, would be starring in a reality series on NBC that would follow her and her husband as they make their move to the United States.

Well, the series is still happening, except it won't be a series, it'll be a primetime special. All of this is merely speculation at this point, and NBC hasn't made any comment one way or the other. However, like Anna, I haven't quite figured out what it is about this series/special that's supposed to attract people, especially Americans. I think whatever mainstream infatuation we had with Posh Spice has long since gone away, and while David Beckham is no doubt a superstar in his own right, soccer just isn't that popular here. That's not a slight against the sport itself, I'm merely pointing out that it's unclear exactly who this series/special is trying to attract.

Of course, surprises are always nice, so maybe after this hits TV screens I'll be coming back on this blog and telling everyone how great it is.

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The Daily Show: August 21, 2006

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 22nd 2006 11:15AM
The Daily Show"Karr Talk": FOX News was bragging a bit about having one of their people on the plane, scoping out John Karr. Ohh, just imagine all the crazy crap that could've gone down! As it turned out, Karr spent most of his ride sipping champagne and eating king prawns. Wow. Senior Media Ethicist Rob Corddry reported live from the plane, his head slowly emerging from a toilet bowl. He wanted to do some real investigative journalism and find out more about ol' Pervert McMurderman (HA!) by hiding in the First Class toilet. He seemed crushed when Jon informed him that Karr wasn't in First Class but in Business Class. Oh, and I loved how the entire audience let out a collective groan when Rob said, "Scoop of a lifetime, Jon, and I let it slip through my fingers." After they cut away, Jon started laughing and explained that, since it's Rob's last week, they've all been think of terrible things for him to do. Man, I'm really going to miss Rob.

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Peter Jennings last TV appearance to air next Thursday

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 18th 2006 10:02AM
peter jenningsLast year, shortly before being diagnosed with lung cancer, Peter Jennings was part of a documentary being taped for ABC News called Out of Control: AIDS in Black America. Jennings passed away in the midst of the documentary filming, and despite him appearing on screen over a year after his death possibly being disconcerting to some viewers, the network has decided to keep his segment intact. Jennings, who is not anchoring the program, will be seen interviewing a group of black men with HIV. Jennings became interested when a producer informed him of the current AIDS crisis in the black community. I can't imagine anyone would have issues with this, but who knows? It seems the makers of the documentary felt Jennings' contribution was vital to the story, and that seems like reason enough to keep his segment in. What do you guys think? The episode airs next Thursday at 10 pm.

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The Daily Show vs. The Colbert Report

by Annie Wu, posted May 15th 2006 8:51PM
The first stars a fake newsman with a wicked smirk, and the second stars a fake right-wing pundit with a vicious cocked eyebrow. They both skewer all the ridiculous aspects of America's take on democracy. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report share the late night 11 - midnight block on Comedy Central and have a tight-knit relationship (the segues alone are proof of this), so I'm always surprised by how so many people have extremely strong preferences over one or the other.

So, which one do you like better? Read about my personal choice after the jump.

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Jordan's Ben and Izzy

by Adam Finley, posted May 8th 2006 1:03PM

yasmineA new cartoon created to promote tolerance between the East and West is being screened today in New York City. The cartoon, created by a Jordanian media firm and titled Ben and Izzy, will focus on an American child (Ben) and his Arab friend Izzy, both grandsons of archaeologists, who, along with a genie named Yasmine (voice by Lucy Liu), have "Indiana Jones" style adventures while trying to thwart an evil antiques dealer named Clutchford Wells. The cartoon will focus on their cultural differences, but more importantly their ability to work together as a team and find common ground. There does not appear to be an information so far as to whether the show will be picked up by American television or not, though it does feature some voices familiar to American cartoons, such as Kath Soucie and Mark Hamill.

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Aliens are coming, good news for Chris?

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 4th 2006 1:01PM
outer spaceA new pilot called Aliens in America has been picked up by what will soon be known as the CW. The comedy will focus on a shy nerdy kid living in a small Wisconsin town whose mother invites an exchange student to live with the family. The mother hopes the new friend will help her son become more popular, but the exchange student turns out to be Muslim. Sounds like another wacky comedy about cultural differences. Right now there's just not enough information to get me too excited about this show, but who knows, it could be good. The best news to come from this, however, is that the show is being described as a possible companion to Everybody Hates Chris, meaning Chris Rock's sitcom may actually make the transition to the CW after all. Very cool, says I.

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