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October 1, 2014

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Barbra Streisand talks to The Doctors

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 16th 2009 11:30AM
streisand_afiThere will be an interesting guest checking in with The Doctors today -- Barbra Streisand. No, the singer/actress/director won't be talking about dry throat or stage fright or even tinnitus, an ailment she suffers from that causes an unending high-pitched ringing in the ears.

Barbra Streisand is calling in to The Doctors to discuss heart health awareness for women... and even though I've never watched The Doctors, I will today. I guess that's why and how celebrity helps causes like this. It draws attention and, presumably, I'm going to get something of value out of tuning in. I've already had my eyes opened.

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Susan Boyle's CD premiering on QVC

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 29th 2009 3:09PM
susan_boyle_singingOn November 24, British music sensation Susan Boyle's first CD will be released, and as I wrote before, it won't be filled with just show tunes. It's been getting a lot of buzz considering that Susan has not been going on television promoting the album... till now.

Susan will appear on QVC on November 4 to launch her debut album I Dreamed a Dream. If you tune in, you'll see Susan talking about the CD -- it doesn't sound like she'll be singing live -- but they'll spin some cuts and urge you to order.

If you do, there'll be a bonus DVD of rare footage that you'll get along with the eclectic batch of songs she's recorded. How eclectic? Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses," The Monkees' "Daydream Believer," Madonna's "You'll See" and, of course, from Les Miserables, "I Dreamed A Dream."

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Jon Bon Jovi teams with NBCU for major album promotion

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 14th 2009 8:27PM
jon_bon_joviIn the last month, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston and Michael Bublé have all appeared and sang on The Oprah Winfrey Show. All three have had number one albums. Coincidence? No. Good promotion (although Whitney had already reached number one by the time she warbled on Oprah). Therefore, I have to wonder why Jon Bon Jovi has entered an exclusive "artist in residence" deal with NBC Universal? For two months, Bon Jovi will promote the new Bon Jovi CD, The Circle, only just on NBCU channels.

You'll see him on Today, The Tonight Show, The Jay Leno Show, Saturday Night Live, a segment of the NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams and a sit down with James Lipton on Bravo's Inside the Actors' Studio. When The Circle is released on November 10, you'll know all about it... if you've watched NBC and Bravo.

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Streisand Tonight: On Jonathan Ross's BBC America Show

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 9th 2009 4:20PM
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It's been a good week for Barbra Streisand. Her new CD, Love Is the Answer, debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 chart, beating out Mariah Carey, Madonna and Paramore. Not bad for a lady who had her first chart-topper in 1964 with People. Well, tonight on BBC America, you'll have a chance to hear Streisand talk about the CD and sing two songs from it as well. Friday Night With Streisand & Ross airs on tonight at 9 p.m. on BBC America, a special edition of the UK talk show starring Jonathan Ross.

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What's gotten into Oprah?

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 17th 2009 4:35PM
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Does it seem like somebody lit a fire under Oprah Winfrey? It seems like it to me. Her new season commenced this week with the Whitney Houston two-parter, she's off to Central Park for tomorrow show which will relaunch Oprah's Book Club, and on Monday Oprah's doing a flashback to the 1960's with Mad Men's Jon Hamm and January Jones as guests.

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MTV's star-studded West Side Story parody

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 29th 2009 11:35AM
Russell_Brand_MTV_VMA_awardsHow do you pump up the viewership for a music award show on a network that used to be all about music but lately has been all about reality TV and nasty scandals? Well, apparently MTV has decided to go retro and keep it funny. To promote the upcoming 2009 Video Awards, MTV has created a West Side Story parody, not too different from the brilliant solo turn by Neil Patrick Harris at last June's Tony Awards.

The commercial is a mixed bag. Taylor Swift proves that she has the real goods as a singer, doing the toughest part of the "Tonight" quintet. Ne-Yo's dance turn is more of a salute to Michael Jackson than an homage to composers Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. And Katy Perry's rooftop bit reinforces the fact that she's funny and playful.

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Bravo concocts The Real Housewives of D.C.

by Allison Waldman, posted May 26th 2009 2:03PM
bravo logoRemember that Barbra Streisand-Donna Summer disco duet, "Enough Is Enough"? That's what came to mind when I read that Bravo is planning another edition of The Real Housewives, this time D.C. Is there any end to Bravo's lack of innovation? Are there no new ideas out there that they have to spin out more housewives. How real they are remains debatable, if you ask me.

Don't get me wrong. I've actually watched The Real Housewives of Orange County, as well as the New York City ladies and even the newest creation, those Jersey girls, The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The latter, in fact, are a hoot if you can get past the similarities to Carmela Soprano that imbue the entire series. I keep expecting Tony or Uncle Junior to pop up at one of their parties.

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CBS served up a smidge of Streisand

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 26th 2009 3:10PM
Barbra Streisand live 2006In her Oscar-winning movie Funny Girl, Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice described herself as "a bagel on a plateful of onion rolls." Last night, CBS served up the Barbra bagel in the one-hour TV special Streisand Live 2006. As music specials go it was a delicious serving of all-time great hits like "Somewhere," "Evergreen," "The Way We Were" and "Don't Rain on My Parade." But at just an hour -- probably 48 minutes considering the commercials -- the show just wasn't enough. It was a smidge of Streisand. I wanted the whole thing.

From a marketing point of view, this was probably just what the Streisand camp wanted. On Tuesday, April 28, Sony is releasing a 3-DVD set of Barbra TV concerts, including the full, two-hour-plus version of Streisand Live 2006. So in many ways, the CBS special was an extended preview, an infomercial, a nibble that would make you want to buy the DVD.

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Streisand concert to premiere on CBS - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 9th 2009 7:00PM
Barbra Live logoYou know that old commercial, "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen." Well, when Barbra Streisand sings, people listen. People also spend a lot of money on tickets, but as one of one those people who's charged for a few of those concert experiences, I have to tell you that she's worth it.

And what's so great for us now is that her most recent tour, Streisand: Live in Concert, is coming out on DVD and before that, CBS is going to broadcast Streisand as a special on Saturday 25, 8 PM. And on a really, really personal level, I'm very psyched because I was at the Fort Lauderdale concert that they filmed for the special, so look for me in the crowd of 15,000.

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Another reason the Oscars will stink this year

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 13th 2009 6:00PM
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A few weeks ago, I shared with you my six reasons the Oscars will probably stink this year. Now I have another reason to add to the list. Peter Gabriel has dropped out of the broadcast in protest. Gabriel, who collaborated with Thomas Newman on the song "Down To Earth" from WALL-E, had been slated to perform the song during the February 22 airing on ABC. However, when the producers told Gabriel that his performance had be compressed to 65 seconds and fit into a medley of all the best song nominations, Peter opted out.

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60 Minutes scores with Obama

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 18th 2008 8:27AM
60 min logoAll things Obama are doing really well right now. Not just winning the election, but the top of the charts for Senator Barack Obama's two books, merchandise with Obama's image and name, anything and everything about the president-elect is hot, hot, hot. Thanks to the first major post-election sit-down interview with Barack and Michelle Obama last Sunday, CBS's 60 Minutes had its largest audience in nearly a decade. The 6.4 rating/16 share (adults 18-49) translated into a viewing audience of just under 25 million.

The enthusiasm and excitement for Obama is not unusual when you're talking about a new president. I recall this kind of buzz before Bill Clinton took office in 1993. The Clinton Inaugural even warranted a two-hour TV special that featured a glitzy array of celebrity Friends of Bill, like Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Fleetwood Mac, Warren Beatty and more.

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Streisand and Freeman among 2008 Kennedy Center Honorees

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 9th 2008 5:21PM
Streisand concert Kennedy ctrWhen I read the release today announcing the artists who will receive the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors -- actress/singer/director Barbra Streisand, actor Morgan Freeman, singer George Jones, choreographer Twyla Tharp, and musicians Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who -- my first reaction was, "It's about time!"

That was mostly about Barbra Streisand finally being named. Streisand, who's been recognized with every major show business award (two Oscars, multiple Emmys and Grammys, a special Tony, Peabody awards, an AFI, more Golden Globes and any other performer, and lots more) has been overdue for this one. It's been a glaring omission in her resume. Of course, the catch with the Kennedy Center is that you have to be there to get it.

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The Rachel Maddow Show (series premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 9th 2008 10:05AM
Rachel Maddow portraitThe most famous Rachel on TV today isn't the same one that made Jennifer Aniston a star. And it's Rachael with the extra "E" that's the syndicated star of a talk show that won the Emmy in 2008. But the newest Rachel on the air is MSNBC's plucky new host of her own show, Rachel Maddow. Like Aniston, Rachel Maddow's hairdoo is fashionable, and like Ray, Maddow's very personable. However, The Rachel Maddow Show is worlds apart from Friends or 30 Minute Meals/The Rachael Ray Show. Maddow is all about politics, current events and things that, by and large, are important.

In some ways, The Rachel Maddow Show is a spinoff of Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Maddow has been a regular sub for Olbermann, proving her prowess to MSNBC, and her show has a cushy spot between the first run of Countdown at 8 p.m. ET and the replay at 10 p.m. For the premiere episode, in fact, Keith appeared as Rachel's first guest -- a crossover from the end of Countdown where Rachel was interviewed in the last segment before the close. This was a smart move, sort of like a bridge from his show to hers, a bridge to somewhere if you will.

The new studio for Maddow has the quality MSNBC look, glass top desk, plasma screens, obnoxious -- but expected -- graphics on the bottom and bugs and flags reinforcing information as it's spoken.

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Monk: Mr. Monk Takes a Punch

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 9th 2008 10:05AM
Mr Monk takes a punch(S07E04) Okay, this episode was a definite reach, especially the convoluted way they came up with a climax to feature Monk doing all the things necessary to pass a fitness exam. Perhaps it was an homage to the Olympics, a twisted connection thanks to the NBC Universal. I don't know, but it took a leap of faith to buy it all.

For starters, there was no star murderer. It was an interesting case for a change, especially since the killer was a professional hit man. The planting of the bomb in the heavy bag was clever, although wouldn't a real pro make sure that the target would be hit? The set up was so random. And if you don't care about killing, why not leave a bomb big enough to destroy the gym and everyone in it? Just wondering...


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Big plans for 60th Emmy broadcast ... as long as there's no strike

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 18th 2008 2:05PM
Ken EhrlichFor Ken Erhlich, executive producer of the Emmy broadcast, the goal is clear. "The war cry is always, 'What are we going to do and how are we going to make it better?' We did some inventive things, we changed it up, we understand that this is the industry's big night. This means something and we can't trivialize it, but we certainly can have some fun with it." He told me that last year, prior to the Emmy-in-the-round broadcast, a memorable -- and successful show.

In 2008, the decisions about the 60th anniversary Emmys are still in the works for the September LA broadcast, but one decision has already been made. It won't be in the round. While it looked good on air, the industry didn't like it. "People loved it at home. It had a great look, but you know, you try things, you want to bring something fresh to the show."

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