ABC Disney and Cablevision are in another programming feud with one side threatening to yank the plug out of the wall for the local New York City affiliate WABC. This time, it's over (spins the "Wheel of Media Conglomerate Feud Causes") licensing fees! Man, the wheel keeps landing on that one for some reason. I swear that one of these days, it's going to land on "custody of Jon and/or Kate."
Cablevision executive vice president Charles Schueler said ABC Disney wants an additional $40 million on top of the $200 million they have already forked over to the Mouse House. The veep released a harsh statement against the media giant that said "It is not fair to force Cablevision customers to pay a new TV tax for programming ABC Disney gives away free, both over-the-air and on the Internet. In tough economic times, it is shameful that ABC Disney would hold viewers hostage by threatening to pull the plug, and we urge them to work with us to reach a fair agreement."
For this edition of American Idol, the crew traveled to New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. One of my favorite things about the auditions is seeing the expressions on the judges' faces – when they're witnessing true talent and also when they're being tortured by the voice of the devil.
Despite the distracting bobbing boat behind the judges (and a guy ON the boat at one point!), I tried to keep focused on the auditions in New York City. Let's get to it:
Adeola Adegoke, 19. She sang "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going," and she's so sure of her singing abilities that she quit her job. Bad move. Simon calls the audition "shockingly bad" and then calls her former boss to try and get her job back. Thank goodness it works. Adeola is going back to her day job instead of flying to Hollywood.
The latest set of ads, which air three times an hour in New York, depict a sick woman getting a bronchoscopy. During this, we hear the whistling noise of air whipping around the tumor in the lung, and the doctor explains that at that point, it's "too late to operate."
The first few times I saw the ad, though, something struck me as odd: it was the doctor's voice. It sounded very dubbed and announcer-y, as if some Shakespearean actor was reading from a script. Upon further review, it looked like it was indeed a dubbing job, and not a very good one at that.
So, the return of Top Chef -- season five -- was like greeting an old friend. Here are people I can relate to, even if they have culinary skills that exceed mine.
The new edition is set in New York, a point that was obvious from the start with arrivals not coming via a pedestrian airport. No, here we are at Grand Central Station, a landmark. Then it's onto a ferry to Governor's Island to really get a look at the city.
At this rate, "let's get this guy" is going to become a Harvey Keitel/Gene Hunt catchphrase. It's better than his "you're surrounded by armed bastards".
For starters, the producers are determined to streamline the show, taking advantage of being in NYC and sharpening the focus of the show. Horta said the goal for the Ugly Betty writing team for season three is "to make the show more about Betty's journey and to weave the characters into more unified, emotionally grounded plots."
To prepare you for tonight's return (AMC, 10pm) of Mad Men (OK, it was only off for a week, but a week without Mad Men is like a week without brushing your teeth*), Gridskipper has a really fun map showing all of the locations used on the show. They use Google to tell us where Sterling Cooper is located, where Mencken's Department Store is, even where Don and Betty live (Ossining, in Westchester County).
Not all of the locations are 100% accurate, because some of the exact locations haven't been mentioned in the show, but there are some good guesses here to go along with places they actually can pin down, such as The Gaslight Cafe, which was an actual establishment that opened in 1958 (it's the music/poetry place where Midge's beatnik friends take Don and Midge), and the Roosevelt Hotel, where Sal met the sales rep for a drink but couldn't go any further with their liaison.
*I have no idea what this means.
According to TV Guide's Michael Ausiello, Bell will take over the lead role in the Broadway version of Legally Blonde in February. He's putting two-and-two together to come to this conclusion, but it seems pretty logical. She has wanted to do Broadway in the past, but her Veronica Mars schedule would never accommodate it.
This seems like an...interesting...career choice. A role on Lost would boost her visibility with mainstream viewers, while a role on Broadway will only make her visible to those who are into that sort of thing. But, if Broadway's your dream, go for it!
Remember that Saturday Night Live sketch earlier this season, the one where they depicted a master acting class that prepared actors for bit roles on Law and Order? I thought of that after reading this.
The article points out that Law and Order has been quite a goldmine for actors who live and work in New York City. Most prime time shows are filmed in California, so to have a long-running show cast and filmed on the East Coast was an incredible thing for struggling actors trying to get a break into television and more established actors who prefer to live in NYC than LA. But now if it's canceled, that outlet might dry up (even if Law and Order: SVU is safe). As one actor points out, you can do several Broadway shows but if people can see you on just one TV show it's even bigger.
I guess actors can try out for soap operas and 30 Rock, but it's not the same.
Apparently the HBO store in NYC has some exclusive items, but you can also do a little HBO shopping online.
(S01E10) Good news! Men in Trees performed well in its new 10 pm slot last night. It retained 51% of Grey's Anatomy's audience. That is an improvement over the show in the former slot, Six Degrees, which only held onto 38% of Grey's audience.
This whole episode was about Marin's discovery that she belongs in Alaska, and not in New York City. While I think we all knew that Marin wasn't going to stay in NYC, I still found her journey captivating/sweet. There were a lot of signs that NYC wasn't the right place for her: the broken showerhead, the loud parties, all the people. I liked how she kept apologizing to people she bumped into on the street. The dove was obviously a metaphor for Marin's predicament: the city has caused her to lose her way. She came to the conclusion that Alaska was the right place for her without having to be told anything by Jack, a small gesture on the part of the writers that helps strengthen Marin's character. When this series began, I liked Marin but now I like her even more. She has become less girly (although the list comparing Elmo to NYC was super girly) and more of an independent person.
When I first saw the headline, I thought it sounded like the plot for an upcoming episode of 30 Rock, or something that would happen to Jordan McDeere on Studio 60: comedian Tracy Morgan was arrested this morning in New York for drunk driving. Of course, TMZ has all the info (they seem to be the go-to site for breaking celeb news...I think they must have a reporter covering every single celeb in the world at all times). Morgan admitted to cops that he was drinking beer before getting into the car.
And this isn't the first time that Morgan has been arrested for drunk driving. He was arrested and convicted of D.U.I. last year in Los Angeles. Maybe this is part of some cross-country drunk driving tour that Morgan is doing. "On December 9th I'll be driving drunk on the freeway near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and then on the 14th I'll be in Cleveland driving drunk on the street outside the Yuk Yuk Hut."
Clark was on the show last year after missing the 2004 show because of a stroke, and he'll be back to co-host New Year's Rockin' Eve as ABC rings in 2007 and the ball drops in Times Square. (The pic on the right is from this year's Emmy Awards, when he got a special award from Barry Manilow.)
That's the good news. The bad news? He'll have to ring in the New Year with Ryan Seacrest, Christina Aguilera, and a hundred young people who actually filmed their dance segments days if not weeks ago.