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October 21, 2014

variety show

Carrie Underwood next in line for variety show revival attempt at FOX

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 13th 2009 1:05PM
Carrie UnderwoodOh man, that variety show format worked so well for Nick & Jessica! Remember what a smash sensation the Osbournes variety show was? Boy, Rosie O'Donnell sure rewrote the book on how to do a great variety special! The networks remember how great these attempts to revive the long dead TV format went, because they're at it again.

This time, FOX is dipping back into the American Idol well and plucking out plucky season four winner Carrie Underwood. They've scheduled Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special for a December 7 air-time. Luckily, since Underwood is doing just fine in her recording career, this isn't likely to be an attempt at a weekly series.

If the networks really do believe they can revive the variety format, this is a good way to do it. The holiday season seems to be the best time to lure American audiences into one-off specials and different kinds of programming. If the special does well, they can look for another one next year maybe. Or perhaps they'll have found something to do with all those former Idol contestants.

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Ellen DeGeneres Interview for 'Ellen's Bigger, Longer and Wider Show'

by Katy Kroll, posted Jun 23rd 2009 6:00AM
It's called 'Ellen's Bigger, Longer and Wider Show' -- and Ellen DeGeneres' variety show, in its third year, promises to be just that.

As part of TBS' annual Very Funny Festival, Ellen heads to Chicago for an over-the-top night of live music, dancers, comedians and oddball acts that airs on Sat., June 27. Kanye West is set to perform; David Blaine will hit the streets to show off his unique brand of magic; and Nick Cannon will man the DJ booth.

The jokester chatted it up with AOL TV via conference call about leaving standup behind (for now), why she's such a fan of Adam Lambert and whether she and partner Portia de Rossi are planning to start a family anytime soon. -- By Katy Kroll

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Ellen's Bigger, Longer & Wider Show features acts big and small

by Nick Zaino, posted Jun 17th 2009 2:32PM
Ellen DeGeneresThere are some big names on the bill for Ellen DeGeneres's variety show, Ellen's Bigger, Longer & Wider Show, which airs June 27 on TBS. Kanye West will be a big part of it, and magician David Blaine and comedian Nick Cannon will also appear.

Even the Chicago Cubs will make an appearance, as DeGeneres tapes a segment at Wrigley Field, singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch June 16 (the rest of the show will be taped June 17 at the Chicago Theatre).

But the thing DeGeneres seems most excited about is comedian Joe Wong, whom we first wrote about in April when he made his network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman. She'd love to see more comedians like Wong on television.

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Here's a sneak peek at The Jay Leno Show

by Bob Sassone, posted May 4th 2009 3:19PM
NBC announced their new shows today (still no word yet on Chuck, Law and Order, or Medium), and they also have a sneak peek of Jay Leno's new Monday through Friday at 10PM show. From the looks of it, I think the only reason they're not calling it The Tonight Show is because that name is already taken. Maybe it be The Tonight Show Pre-Game? Headlines! Celebrities! Comedy! Monlogues! Jaywalking!

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Reprise the theme song, roll the credits, and for the love of God, revive Roundhouse! - VIDEO

by Eliot Glazer, posted Apr 15th 2009 6:07PM
roundhouse nickelodeon snick crystal lewisAs a kid, my parents were totally cool with my television viewing habits, as long as it never became excessive or kept my face from being kissed by the light of day every once in a while. Not that they had anything to be worried about, of course, considering that all I was watching was Nickelodeon.

While my fellow prepubescents were slowly but surely migrating to more grown-up programming on MTV (and Playboy, if you had a cable box), I spent the bulk of my time between 1992 and 1996 fully devoted to Roundhouse, a 30-minute sketch show sandwiched between the more popular Clarissa Explains It All and Are You Afraid Of The Dark? on SNICK, Nickelodeon's Saturday night programming block.

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Sharon Osbourne talks Osbournes: Reloaded

by Nick Zaino, posted Mar 28th 2009 1:02PM
Sharon OsbourneFor those who might think the new Osbournes: Reloaded variety show is a quick-fix, six-episode ratings boost, think again. Reloaded, which premieres Tuesday at 9PM on Fox, was two years in the making. According to Sharon Osbourne, who spoke with reporters via a conference call Thursday, the family was given a somewhat open-ended invitation to return to television, and they wanted to make sure they picked the right project.

They cycled through a few options, rejecting most of them, including one idea that will be a smaller part of the finished product. "It was going around the country just looking for other Osbournes, and I was like, I don't think so," Sharon told the group. "But we did keep that as a segment on the show."

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Rosie Live now among the living dead

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 30th 2008 12:05PM
It seems that the show NBC hoped would revive the variety show format was getting an autopsy before it even had a chance to get off of the operating table.

E! Online reports that Rosie O'Donnell said her live variety show, the cleverly named Rosie Live, won't make it past the first episode, or as she so cutely wrote on her web site, "there will b no more."

The one and only episode of Rosie's return from TV purgatory was dismal, to say the least. Friday's Wednesday's episode only drew 5 million viewers, despite the appearance of high profile celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Alanis Morissette and Ne-Yo to help them forget the fact that they were watching a show where Rosie O'Donnell is the star.

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Rosie Live! - the parade with no balloons

by Debra McDuffee, posted Nov 26th 2008 10:04PM
finale of Rosie Live!

I grew up on The Lawrence Welk Show (during visits to my grandmother) and Donny and Marie, so my affinity for the variety show started young. I was always a little bit rock-and-roll, which is why I couldn't help but like the Nick and Jessica Variety Hour specials when they aired several years back; it was in my blood.

So I was curious to check out Rosie Live! tonight. I expected some goofy skits, like from Laugh In (or Nick and Jessica), but instead we got some authentic conversation with the guests, some horribly executed guest visits, some unknown talent that was almost painful to watch and ... show tunes.

I liken Rosie Live! to a parade. You wait through the whole broadcast for those special floats that don't come until the end, and of course for the bigger-than-life balloons. The balloons never came, folks.

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Rosie Live...or how NBC is trying to revive TV variety shows

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 13th 2008 1:00AM
rosieOnce upon a time the airwaves were filled with TV variety shows. There were stars like Sonny and Cher and Donny and Marie, and further back, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Carol Burnett Show.

Well, Rosie O'Donnell remembers that kind of TV entertainment, and she thinks it's what America wants now. As Bob reported not long ago, NBC is giving her an hour to see if anyone agrees, the night before Thanksgiving, November 26, from 9-10 p.m. ET, Rosie Live will air live from the Shubert Theater in New York.

The news today is that Rosie has booked Ne-Yo and Alanis Morissette to provide the musical portion of the program. The plans for the rest of the hour include a topical monologue, which Rosie should have no problem pulling off because she did one every day on her daytime talk show.

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30 Rock gets a second season

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 4th 2007 12:41PM

30 Rock Fans of 30 Rock can rest easy: the show has been renewed for the 2007-08 season.

Even though the Tina Fey/Alec Baldwin/Tracy Morgan show is on NBC's "Comedy Done Right" Thursday lineup and has picked up viewer and critic steam since a so-so start, it was still iffy as to whether or not the show would actually be renewed for a second season. I'm not really sure why it was iffy, because I always thought the show would be renewed, especially since the show moved to Thursdays and people started talking about it more. I just wish Rachel Dratch was given more to do on the show.

The show returns tomorrow with one of those "supersized" episodes.

[via Pop Candy]

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Another network game show in the works

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 8th 2006 3:41PM
Wanna Bet?Count 'em off. There's Deal or No Deal and Show Me the Money. Identity starts on NBC next week. CBS is developing a kiddie genius quiz show and a revamp of Name That Tune. Howie's outing was no fluke. Game shows are back on network TV in a big way. The latest game show-related announcement comes from ABC. The network has teamed up with the Weakest Leak production team to translate Germany's Wetten das...? (Wanna Bet?) to US television.

Wetten das...? has dominated German airwaves for two decades. The broadcast is part musical variety show and part game show. In the game show portion, a person says that they can do some wacky stunt. Celebrity guests than take bets on whether or not the person can actually accomplish the stunt. If the celebrity loses the bet, than he or she has do something equally wacky.

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Mike Douglas dead at 81 - BREAKING NEWS

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 11th 2006 2:04PM

Mike DouglasVeteran talk show host Mike Douglas has died in West Palm Beach, Florida. No cause of death was given yet, but he was admitted to the hospital after becoming ill on a golf course. Oddly, today is also his 81st birthday.

I remember watching Douglas in the 70s. Along with Merv Griffin, he always had an entertaining daytime talk/variety show. I felt bad a few years ago when Rosie O'Donnell had him on the show, and the day before she announced to the audience that "Mike Douglas" was going to be on the show, and the crowd went absolutely bonkers with delight. Even Rosie seemed a little shocked by the reaction of the audience. I think they were thinking of actor Michael Douglas. I cringed a little bit that day.

I couldn't find a DVD release for Douglas' show. Is there one yet? I know Griffin and Dick Cavett have releases.

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Before Idol, there was The Original Amateur Hour

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 19th 2006 6:22PM
Original Amateur HourYes, believe it or not, shows like American Idol and Star Search were not the first to showcase amateur talent from across the country. Premiering in 1948, a show titled The Original Amateur Hour launched the careers of people such as Pat Boone, Robert Klein, Connie Francis and Ann-Margret (even a young Frank Sinatra sang on the radio version of the show!). The New York Times reviews the new DVD set and declares it hit and miss.

The thing I hate about the review is the assertion by the writer that the only people who will enjoy this are people in their 90s. Um...huh? I think it can enjoyed by people who like this time of music/comedy, whether you're 30 or 90. She says the show is "TV for the very old." What a lame thing to say.

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