Last year, Time magazine did a cover story on Jay Leno and his big move to primetime, in which the magazine called him the "future of television."
But on this year's list of the 100 Most Influential People, Leno is nowhere to be found. Who made it instead? Yep, you guessed it: former 'Tonight Show' host Conan O'Brien.
There are eight other TV people on the list too, ranging from talk-show hosts, to a reality show judge to a couple of producers. See who made it after the jump.
Letterman's longtime sidekick and band leader Paul Shaffer has just released a new memoir called We'll Be Here the Rest of Our Lives about his rise to late night music infamy. He talked more than a few ears off about his own life in music, but he's kept very hush-hush on the whole Letterman brewhaha.
"You know, I just can't talk about it," Shaffer told a Time reporter in a recent interview. "There is a legal proceeding going on. I've been advised that I can't comment on that stuff."
He couldn't even tell Harry Smith on CBS' Early Show on his own network just what the mood is like around Late Show central. However, the rest of both interviews offer a very interesting peak into a life in music that has spanned just about every end of the TV dial and a very funny diversion from Smith's persistent reporter powers to get something out of him about the whole scandal. Something tells me Shaffer would have made one hell of a good press secretary.
In the latest issue of Time (hits newsstands tomorrow) the mag's resident critic James Poniewozik has a great article on the upcoming prime-time premiere of The Jay Leno Show. Poniewozik makes the argument (an ubiquitous one at this point) that as a result of Leno's move to 10 p.m., your TV is shrinking.
As he puts it, in a TV viewing world where the attention span of potential eyeballs is so segmented because of cable, DVRs, and Hulu, NBC is throwing all their eggs in one basket with "America's most successful purveyor of vanilla."
However, a lot of people really like vanilla. Good sign? Hard to say.
Highlights and a look the issue's cover after the jump.
Time conducted a survey across the country, asking people who the most trusted newscaster is now that Walter Cronkite is gone. Not really sure why Cronkite matters in this context because he hadn't been a newsman in quite some time, but it's interesting to see all of the statistics by state. You probably won't agree with who came in first with 44%.
Other shows on the list are good examples of bad spin-offs too, including The Ropers, the Three's Company spin-off that was rather unnecessary; Joey, the Friends spin-off that just couldn't recapture the magic of the parent series; and Baywatch Nights, which always amazed me with the fact that Mitch Buchannon never mentioned to the other lifeguards at his day job on the beach that he was fighting monsters and evil spirits in his night job.
I'm impressed that they not only picked the Spenser: For Hire spin-off A Man Called Hawk but placed it so high on the list, at number three. That really was a disappointing show. Some characters are just more effective in supporting roles.
The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing are scheduled to begin on August 8th. According to the minutes of a May 29th meeting, procedures which have been used by broadcasters in other Olympics are conflicting with China's authoritarian government. Some plans are months behind schedule, which could force broadcasters to compromise coverage plans.
Time's annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World is out, and for the third year in the row I just missed making the list (last year I was 103, this year I'm at 102, so I'm getting better!). The list is broken down into five different categories: Leaders & Revolutionaries, Heroes & Pioneers, Scientists & Thinkers, Artists & Entertainers, and Builders & Titans. This year, Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana herself, is #59. And the weird thing is, it's under the Scientists & Thinkers category.
OK, that's not true (she's under Artists & Entertainers), but it got me thinking that there must really be a shortage of influential people in the world today.
I like lists as much as the next guy, but I'm not sure how useful a "100 Best" list of anything is. Twenty-five best? OK. Ten best? That's good too, because you're really picking what you think are the best. But once your lists gets into three digits, it seems more like history than opinion. I mean, what wouldn't be on the list?
Time's James Poniewozik picks the 100 Best TV Shows of All-Time (or All-TIME, as the web site cleverly puts it). Since he picked 100 shows, all the usual suspects are here. The obvious ones (The Dick Van Dyke Show, All in the Family, Your Show of Shows, 60 Minutes, Cheers, I Love Lucy, M*A*S*H, etc) and the not-quite-so-obvious but certainly deserving (Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Odd Couple, Friends). And it includes a few surprises too (American Idol, King of the Hill, Oprah).
- One third of Americans have a negative view of Katie Couric.
- Meanwhile, Bill O'Reilly insults someone every 6.8 seconds.
- A whole bunch of stories about Paris Hilton going to jail.
- Stephen Colbert teaches a congressman about weed.
- Remember that story about Mark Harmon threatening to leave NCIS? He's not the one leaving.
- Are Rosie O'Donnell and Tina Fey really two of the most influential people in the world?
- Will next season be the last for Smallville?
In a way, he might be right, as his fake newscast came before theirs. But TDS and TCR are so different from Chase's newscast, that his claim of "starting" it is tenuous at best. Never let it be said that, despite a declining career, Chevy didn't still have his mid-career ego intact. At least he admits to it.
- Hiccup girl goes on The Today Show, so Good Morning America calls her 57 times for an interview.
- I can't tell if Time's James Poniewozik likes Heroes or not.
- Ken Levine was once on The Dating Game?!
- Irwin Handleman gives his opinion on the whole Joe Rogan/Carlos Mencia controversy.
- The original Jill Abbott on The Young and the Restless is in an Hawaiian jail.
- In case you missed it, here's George Takei's answer to Tim Hardaway's rant against gays, from Jimmy Kimmel Live.
- BuddyTV is having an Oscars contest.
- I think Tom Shales is on a wild goose chase here.
Wow, that might be the oddest sentence I've ever written.
A while back it was reported that NBC was editing out the religious aspects of the Veggie Tales cartoons they were airing on Saturday mornings. But now, Time's James Poniewozik reports that the network has had a change of heart and will actually put the religious themes back into the shows. The Parents Television Council broke the news earlier this week.
Like Poniewozik, I'm not a fan of the PTC (I think some of their ideas are dangerous), but I agree that NBC is doing the right thing here. I mean, I'm not a big fan of editing or censorship, no matter what side of the political or social spectrum you fall on, and I thought it was bizarre when it was revealed that NBC was taking out the religious aspects of the episodes. I've never seen the show, but when they took the religion out, what was left? Was it just a bunch of vegetables running around?
Earlier this week we told you that actress Jane Wyatt had passed away at the age of 96, and now Time magazine's Richard Corliss writes a beautiful, long appreciation of the actress.
Most TV fans only seem to think of her as the mom on Father Knows Best, and even then, as Corliss points out, many of them are confusing her with the actress who married Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman. But she had an amazing depth to her body of work that not only spanned several decades in the movies, but an impressive stage resume as welll, including Clifford Odets' Night Music, Dinner At Eight, The Fatal Alibi (from Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and Lillian Hellman's The Autumn Garden, where her costar was James Lipton from Inside The Actor's Studio(!)
But this isn't just a rattling off of her credits. Corliss had a personal connection to Wyatt after meeting her in 1987, where they got into a discussion of politics and race. It's well worth reading.
Even though former co-host Meredith Vieira doesn't watch the show anymore (she's too busy getting up early and working on The Today Show), she did watch Star Jones' final show, and feels that the show has become a joke and is now hard to watch.
This is one of the many things that Vieira says in a "10 Questions" interview with Time magazine. She also talks about women who were angry with her when she left 60 Minutes, how she was raised a boy, and what kinds of stories she wants to focus on when her gig on The Today Show starts in a couple of weeks.