Thursday, January 18, 2007

St. Elsewhere and Other Happenings in the World of Entertainment

One of the best shows ever, St. Elsewhere, is now available on DVD. The show aired from 1982 to 1988 and featured fascinating characters and insightful storylines. It was nominated for 60 Emmy awards, winning 13. The show took place at a Boston hospital called St Eligius. The public called it St. Elsewhere since it was a facility that received no respect and was always in the shadow of the rival hospital, Boston General. Patients would rather be taken elsewhere. The show was a big break for actors like Howie Mandel, Denzel Washington, Mark Harmon, Ed Begley, Jr. and William Daniels. The voice of KITT, the car on Knight Rider with David Hasselhoff, was voiced by Daniels, who played the cranky surgeon with a severe Napoleon complex. I always enjoyed the senior staff of the hospital, including Dr. Craig , Dr. Westphall and Dr. Auschlander. The program was distributed by MTM, Mary Tyler Moore's company. One of the producers was Bruce Paltrow, the late father of Gwyneth.

A woman has died from water intoxication after participating in a water drinking contest on a Sacramento radio station. She was trying to win a Nintendo Wii video game console for her son. Ten employees were fired and homicide detectives have been investigating. Manslaughter charges may be filed. One of the sidekicks on the show brought up the dangers of drinking too much water, but they proceeded with the contest anyway. The thing that's creepy is that this type of contest takes place at stations all the time. I heard clips of the show on Opie and Anthony's show on XM. O&A had said they have done similar stunts in the past. Around Christmas they did an egg nog drinking contest. Ron and Fez, also on XM, did a show featuring an eating contest many years ago when they were in Florida. Vince (Don Vito) Margera, from the TV show Viva La Bam, was in the eating contest and ended up in a hospital in a coma.

The Today Show will add a 4th hour starting in September. Matt Lauer and Merideth Viera will not be involved. The 3rd hour is hosted by Al Roker and Ann Curry but it is unknown at this time whether or not they will host the additional hour. The CBS Evening News is still in 3rd place with former Today host Katie Couric at the helm. She has admitted that the job is more challenging than she had anticipated. One has to wonder if she regrets leaving Today.

Just when everyone thought that the main broadcast networks were floundering due to all of the competition from cable, DVDs and internet sites like You Tube, American Idol premieres its new season with monster ratings. 37.3 million people watched the show on Tuesday, which was 5% higher than last year's first episode. Expect to see many A.I. clones on other networks. Paula Abdul recently appeared on a Seattle TV news program appearing under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. She blames it on technical difficulties, but supposedly she takes lots of pain killers due to previous injuries. Idol judge Randy Jackson is producing a new CD with Travis Tritt, for Category 5 records. It is scheduled for release this summer.

*Some material from msn.com and imdb.com.
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