Friday, October 28, 2005

Sirius about Stern

You may have heard that Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed "King of all media", is leaving broadcast radio and will begin airing his show on Sirius satellite radio. He will do this in January, and his replacements have been named. One is not a huge surprise, and the other came out of left field. When Stern leaves, some stations will have Adam Corolla take over as host, and others will have David Lee Roth. Infinity Broadcasting will have Corolla on some of their major market stations, while Roth will be on others. I have been a fan of Corolla since his syndicated radio show Loveline, which he co-hosted with Dr. Drew Pinsky. He also was known for Comedy Central shows such as The Man Show, Crank Yankers, and his current TV show Too Late with Adam Corolla. The former 2 shows he developed with his buddy and ABC late night host, Jimmy Kimmel. So, a funny guy like Corolla getting a good radio gig was not a shocker. On the other hand, last thing I had heard was that David Lee Roth was working as a paramedic in New York City. No doubt he'll get quite a pay raise for his job as a morning drive radio host. He must have put on quite a show for his audition for the big wigs at Infinity to give him the job. I doubt that he has any radio experience. Anyway, Stern says that he's confident that his audience of 6 million listeners will follow him to Sirius next year. Subscriptions have jumped from 600,000 to 2.2 million since the announcement of Stern's deal. On the other hand, XM satellite radio is doing all right too, since their membership has jumped from 2.5 to 5 million.

*Source for some material in this article:Entertainment Weekly magazine

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Network TV ratings and show biz buzz

For the week of October 10, CBS holds the #1 slot with Thursday night's CSI. Other CBS shows in the top 25 include Without a Trace, CSI: Miami, Survivor, NCIS, CSI: NY, Cold Case and Criminal Minds. In a way, I'm surprised that a 4th CSI did not show up on the fall schedule. CBS' sitcoms Two and a Half Men and Out of Practice are generating big numbers as well. Although CBS has lost Everybody Loves Raymond, they still are strong on Monday nights. ABC holds the second and third positions with Desperate Housewives and Lost. These 2 shows have resurrected the once struggling network and have helped to garner big numbers acting as lead in programs for Grey's Anatomy and Invasion. Monday Night Football and Commander in Chief are also big hits for the alphabet network. The only 2 shows from Fox to make the top 25 for this week were major league baseball games. Hits for NBC included Law and Order: SVU, My Name is Earl, ER, Las Vegas, and Medium. Sunday night have turned into a horse race between CBS and ABC. CBS does well with 60 Minutes and Cold Case, while ABC thrives with Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and Grey's Anatomy. I think that a large reason for the success of Desperate Housewives is the fact that it went on the air just as Sex and the City was going off. They attract the same demographic.

Thankfully, the Rock Star Van Halen story, mentioned in my last blog entry, was just a rumor. Another rumor was circulating regarding Alice in Chains using the show to find a new lead singer, but that has proven to be false as well. There must be a better way to find a lead singer than to go on a cheesy reality show.

Speaking of reality, or maybe fabricated reality, is anyone else watching that trainwreck of a show-Breaking Bonaduce on VH1? The Partridge Family alum, Danny Bonaduce spends much of the show in therapy with his wife, drinking excessively and shooting up with steroids, and who knows what else. I know that he has had issues with addiction in the past, but one must wonder how much of this is grandstanding for the cameras in order to add drama to the show. After all, if it was about one big happy family, would they make a show out of it? I think not. I also wonder about the ethical questions of televising therapy, which should be a private matter. Reality shows like this one, the Surreal Life, and the one with Chritopher Knight , a.k.a. Peter Brady, have provided work for many "celebrities" whose career options are limited. So these has-beens hope that the reality TV trend never dies.

Look out Martha Stewart, here comes Rachael Ray! She just launched a new magazine called Everyday with Rachael Ray. The Food Network star, who has 4 shows and countless cookbooks she has authored, will have her own talk show starting next fall. She talked about it with David Letterman this week. Oprah Winfrey will help to get the show off the ground. Maybe Oprah can produce the same kind of success for Rachael as she did for Dr. Phil.

*Source for some material in this article:Entertainment Weekly magazine

Friday, October 21, 2005

Show biz buzz for 10-21-05

Apparently Donald Trump is blaming his Apprentice show's drop in ratings compared to last season on jailbird Martha Stewart. Trump's Thursday night NBC show currently attracts about 10 million viewers while Martha's show gets 6.6 million. Martha's show is exactly like "the Donald's" except for her letter she writes at the end to the ousted contestant. Thankfully, she has dropped her version of "You're fired" which was "You just don't fit in." She must have received many complaints regarding this phrase which sounded like a ridiculous high school taunt used by the popular crowd. Before long, Martha's show will not "fit in" to the NBC lineup. Trump feels that putting the 2 shows on consecutive nights was a mistake. That may be true, but Trump is also one of the executive producer's of Martha's show and he should have done something to distinguish the 2 shows. I think that interest in Trump's show may have lessened even without the Martha factor. But then again, I thought that Survivor would have been cancelled by now too after its umpteenth reincarnation.

From the say it ain't so file, according to the Bob and Tom radio show (which is a great show you should check out if you haven't), there will be a second season of Rock Star on CBS. Instead of looking for a new lead singer for INXS, the program will look for a singer to front Van Halen. Van Halen have been churning out great rock and roll since their groundbreaking first album in 1978. Their lead singer merry-go-round has included David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar, and for one album, former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone. I hope this story isn't true since a great band like Van Halen should choose another method of finding a lead singer. The group has recently performed some tour dates with Sammy Hagar, but they must have had a falling out. No matter who the next lead singer is, the group will retain its signature classic sound thanks to the virtuoso guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony.

Johnny Carson was a reclusive man who was rarely seen in public. Since his passing in January, information has been learned about why he was so private. The F.B.I. has a 400 page file documenting the many death threats and extorsion plots against the late night legend. Trumpeter Doc Severinsen has recently commented on how Carson was a shy man who didn't like socializing in large groups, but he also kept to himself out of fear for his life. Sidekick Ed McMahon has written a book about his time with Johnny which will be in bookstores soon. It should be an interesting read.

*Source for some material in this article:Entertainment Weekly magazine and Inside Edition

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite was one of the best movies from last year, and it's the funniest movie I have seen dealing with high school since Sixteen Candles. Unlike most movies today, it is not filled with profanity, sexual innuendo or violence, which is refreshing. These aspects do not need to be present to have a memorable film. I have heard that much of the cast and crew are Mormon, and they have made a clean, yet inventive and intelligent movie. It didn't have a big budget, and it was not advertised much, but many know about it from word of mouth.

Napoleon Dynamite (yes, that's the character's name), is a nerdy high school kid from rural Preston, Idaho. He starts the movie with no friends and no girlfriend, and a strange family. He's the only boy in the happy hands club, which is an organization which performs sign language to music. He likes drawing, especially mythical creatures such as a liger, which is half lion and half tiger. His family has a pet llama named Tina. He wears snow boots every day, even in the summer. His parents are never mentioned, but he does have a grandmother who is seen briefly. His brother Kip is an uber nerd like Napoleon, and he spends his time chatting with women on the internet and dreams of being a cage fighter. The boy's uncle Rico sells Tupperware-like products and lives in the past, wishing to go back to 1982 where he was on the high school football team. As the movie progresses Napoleon becomes friends with Pedro, who is a new student in the school from Mexico. Pedro asks out Summer, the popular girl who is played by Hailey Duff, the sister of Hillary. She turns him down, but he gets a date to the dance with Deb, a shy but sweet girl who does glamour shot photography and sells boondoggle keychains to raise money for college. Napoleon has an interest in Deb and she seems to like him, and at the end of the movie there is a hint that the 2 of them may develop a relationship. Napoleon and Pedro are both active in future farmers of America, and Pedro runs for class president. In an unforgettable scene, Napoleon clinches the presidency for Pedro with an entertaining dance performance.

This movie has a sweetness and a quirkiness that is seldom seen today and I'd recommend it highly for all to see.