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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2328

post #69811 of 93678
Critic's Notes
On Monday: Alexandra Pelosi's Patriotic Road Trip, Fireworks and More Fireworks
By Roger Catlin, Hartford Courant's 'TV Eye' Blog - July 4th, 2011

Amid a Fourth of July holiday weekend, there is no shortage of patriotic programming. Chief among them is "Citizen U.S.A.: A 50-State Road Trip" (HBO, 9 p.m.), in which filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi , inspired by her own Dutch-born husband's journey to become a naturalized citizen, attends ceremonies across the country.

Her questions seem obvious - "Why do you want to become an American?" - but the answers will remind us that things aren't easy in the rest of the world, where it is sometimes a daily struggle for food, work and security. Though she talks to well known first-generation Americans from Madeleine Albright and Arianna Huffington to Henry Kissinger and Gene Simmons of Kiss, the bulk of the film are ordinary new citizens in every corner of the country.

She can't quite give every state a lot of time in the hour long documentary (though she does in the accompanying book). And the film seems so loosely put together, it's easily one of Pelosi's weaker films for HBO. Much as she may want to, she can't quite shake the visual irony she honed so well in previous films like "Journeys with George." But what might be the most surprising part of the film is that it appears that in most of the country, the song often sung at the end of the ceremonies is not the National Anthem, nor "America the Beautiful." It's Lee Greenwood's "I'm Proud to be an American."

Nick Lachey hosts the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" (NBC, 9 p.m.), featuring musical performances from Katy Petty, Jennifer Hudson, James Taylor, Brad Paisley and Beyonce.

Lionel Richie, the scheduled performer on "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" (CBS, 10 p.m.) got sick, so at the last minute they got Martina McBride to fill in. Michael Chiklis hosts the traditional event that featuers the Boston Pops.

Public television's event from Washington, "A Capitol Fourth" (CPTV, Monday, 8 p.m.) features a different "American Idol" alumni, Jordin Sparks, who will sing that non-patriotic song, "Beauty and the Beast," that will be danced by recent "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Chelsea Hightower with Mark Ballas to honor the film's 20th anniversary. Jimmy Smits hosts the show that also features performances by Matthew Morrison of "Glee," Little Richard, Josh Groban, the Broadway cast of "Million Dollar Quartet," Kelli O'Hara and the National Symphony Orchestra.

But all people want to watch any of the shows, of course, will be the fireworks.

Locally, you can literally compare this year's event with last year's, as the 2010 "A Capitol Fourth" (CPTV, Monday, 9:30 p.m.) follows, with Smits hosting Gladys Knight, Reba McEntire, Darius Rucker, John Schneider and David Archuleta. They must like that one at CPTV; it will be the third time they will be showing it over the three day weekend.

Like most talk show hosts, Conan O'Brien has the night off. But he appears on Turner Classic Movies tonight to be guest programmer. His choice of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (8 p.m.) isn't just about the 4th of July; he says it's the movie that made him want to go into show business. His other picks: more Cagney with "The Roaring Twenties" (10:15 p.m.), "Network" (12:15 a.m.) and "Duck Soup" (2:15 a.m.).

Another tradition of the day involves gluttony: The annual Hot Dog Eating Contest (ESPN, noon) from Coney Island.

Queen Latifah guest stars on the show she produces, "Single Ladies" (VH1, 9 p.m.).

"The Bachelorette" (ABC, 8 p.m.) is a rerun of last week's show.

Baseball includes Blue Jays at Red Sox (NESN, 1:30 p.m.), and Yankees at Indians (YES, 6:30 p.m.)

* * * *

DAYTIME TALK

Regis and Kelly:
Rosario Dawson, Julie Andrews, Chris Byrne
Gayle King: Liza Minnelli, Fran Drescher (rerun)
The View: Vanessa Williams, Matt Paxton, Weird Al Yankovic
The Talk: Donny Osmond, Leslie Bibb, Katie Lee
Ellen DeGeneres: Shia LaBeouf, Marlee Matlin (rerun)
Wendy Williams: Carrie Ann Inaba.


http://blogs.courant.com/roger_catli...orts-with.html
post #69812 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
On The Air Tonight

PBS: (check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Washington D.C.
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Politically Collect
(R - November 3, 2008)
10PM - Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided - Part II: We Are Elected

Huh?

8-9:30 - A Capitol Fourth - Live
9:30-11 - A Captiol Fourth - repeat

EDIT: Figures, you were fixing it as I was composing this posting
post #69813 of 93678
Business Notes
Networks Want Slices of a New Pie
By Brian Stelter, The New York Times - July 4th, 2011

Two weeks ago, KSFX, a Fox television station in the Ozarks, told its viewers that the Fox part was going away in the fall. The station said it would still show all of its local newscasts, but the station's fans on Facebook had other concerns. What about American Idol? they asked. What about Bones?

Those shows, and the rest of Fox's prime time, will be carried instead by a competing station in southern Missouri, because KSFX's parent company, the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, refused to pay a new fee imposed by Fox, a unit of the News Corporation.

The fees, sometimes called reverse compensation, are changing the relationship between the broadcast networks and the local stations that carry their programs in big cities and small towns across the country.

In recent years, the stations including some that are owned by the networks have wangled lucrative new fees from cable and satellite operators for the right to retransmit the local stations' signals. Now the stations are finding that the networks want a big piece of the bounty.

It is the second front of the TV retransmission war.

The networks say they need the new fees from stations to keep supplying prime-time programs and sustain profitability for their parent companies, imitating the cable channel model of a dual revenue stream of advertising and subscriber fees.

We think that being a Fox affiliate is worth something, said Michael C. Hopkins, the president of affiliate sales for Fox, which has taken the most aggressive stance of all the networks and has severed its ties with three Nexstar-owned stations this year.

Most stations have agreed to the new terms, but others have objected. Perry A. Sook, the chairman and chief executive of Nexstar Broadcasting, said Fox's proposal was unprecedented in its size and scope.

Given the limited amount of regularly scheduled programming Fox provides to local stations compared to ABC, CBS and NBC, we just cannot make their numbers work, he said in an e-mail message, declining to comment further. (Fox supplies two hours of prime-time programming each night, while others supply three.)

The money at stake is significant. SNL Kagan, a research company, estimates that retransmission fees to local stations from cable and satellite operators accounted for $1.14 billion in revenue last year, and that the revenue will grow to $3.6 billion annually by 2017. The fees are passed on to consumers in the form of higher bills for cable and satellite services.

The government is contemplating changes in the retransmission negotiation process, since some cable companies say it currently favors the stations and causes occasional blackouts for customers. One such blackout of the New York-area ABC stations for Cablevision customers last year made national news because it cut off the beginning of the Academy Awards telecast.

Once stations have the fees, the networks believe they should have a fair share, as Leslie Moonves, the CBS Corporation chief executive, said at a media conference in New York last month.

If a station is looking at what's really bringing in the money, it's the N.F.L., it's American Idol,' it's CSI,' it's the prime-time strength, Mr. Moonves said. It's not the local news or, you know, Regis and Kelly' at 9 a.m., you know, that's bringing in the big bucks.

In the past, local stations handed over advertising time to the networks in exchange for prime-time programming and other benefits, like the prestige of a network affiliation. (David C. Joyce, an analyst for Miller Tabak & Company, projects that a station that loses a network affiliation could lose 50 to 75 percent of its value.) But as viewership and top-tier programming gradually moves to cable, the networks say they need a cut of the retransmission fees.

The payment plans differ depending on the network. NBC, for instance, is in talks with its affiliate board about negotiating retransmission deals on behalf of the affiliates, then splitting the fees down the middle, but that plan hinges on its acceptance by a sufficient number of affiliates.

Brian Lawlor, the chairman of the affiliate board, said he was hopeful that we will finalize the details in the coming weeks that will allow NBC to introduce a structure to the affiliate base that will be positively accepted. NBC is controlled by Comcast, the largest cable company in the country.

NBC said in a statement that the arrangement would be a win for both the network and the stations because both need to develop additional revenue streams to offset the high cost of producing local and national programming and news.

Fox is going a different route, insisting on a flat fee that is not directly tied to stations' retransmission fees. Fox's terms are not public, but the network is said to expect roughly 25 cents a month per viewer who receives the station via a cable or satellite company, escalating after the first year. In a letter to stations last winter, Mr. Hopkins wrote that if Fox's proposal did not work for some stations, the network would pursue different distribution channels.

He added, We don't want that to sound like a threat, but it is a fact.

Though the Nexstar disputes with Fox have been striking, most of the negotiations between stations and networks have happened without incident a point of pride for Fox's competitors.

The payment plan set up in the past two years by ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, is a combination of Fox's plan and NBC's proposed plan: a flat fee or a share of a station's retransmission fees, whichever is greater.

On top of several retransmission deals for its owned stations, ABC has successfully completed negotiations with more than 60 percent of our affiliate coverage for the network, a spokesman said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/04/bu..._r=1&ref=media
post #69814 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
Networks Want Slices of a New Pie
By Brian Stelter, The New York Times - July 4th, 2011

Two weeks ago, KSFX, a Fox television station in the Ozarks, told its viewers that the Fox part was going away in the fall. The station said it would still show all of its local newscasts,

In further news, this fall no one will be watching KSFX anymore.
post #69815 of 93678
Contrary to what that poster said, they still have a highlights section for the month. Maybe it's just because I've now seen a lot of the movies that HDNet has offered, but it seems to me that the offerings are rather stale. Maybe Cuban is losing interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cocoon View Post

Ok I won't beat around the bush. Is HDNet in danger of ceasing to exist?
post #69816 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGA$$TV View Post

Contrary to what that poster said, they still have a highlights section for the month. Maybe it's just because I've now seen a lot of the movies that HDNet has offered, but it seems to me that the offerings are rather stale. Maybe Cuban is losing interest.

They are back, I quit looking as they stopped for several months...
post #69817 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

Huh?

8-9:30 - A Capitol Fourth - Live
9:30-11 - A Captiol Fourth - repeat

EDIT: Figures, you were fixing it as I was composing this posting

Apparently not fast enough!

SUNDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings – along with AdWeek Analyst Marc Berman’s view of what they mean -- have been posted on his blog: http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/t...51/m/388109083.
post #69818 of 93678
TV Sports
ESPN close to landing rights deal for Wimbledon
By John Ourand, SportsBusiness Journal - July 3rd, 2011

ESPN is close to finalizing a deal with Wimbledon that would end NBC's 43-year association with the event, according to sources privy to the talks.

The deal has not been signed yet and specific contract details are not known. But sources tell SportsBusiness Journal that the All England Club has decided to sell its full rights package to ESPN. An announcement could come as soon as this week.

NBC, Fox and ESPN had been competing for the tennis tournament's rights over the past several months. The deal means that all Wimbledon matches will be showed live on cable, as ESPN has been pushing to bring big sporting events to cable. ESPN already signed deals to bring events like the British Open and BCS Championships to cable, and Wimbledon would make another example.

ESPN plans to make some taped programming available on ABC for weekend afternoon programming. It also will make matches available via its broadband (ESPN3) and mobile (Watch ESPN) applications.

The fact that ESPN also would be taking Wimbledon rights from NBC, which has been trying to build Versus as a potential competitor, also was an impetus to ESPN's push for the deal.

NBC's current four-year deal, which averages out to $13 million per year, ended Sunday at the conclusion of this year's tournament.

ESPN currently has early-round cable rights to Wimbledon and its current deal runs for two more years, ending after the 2013 tournament. That deal will be folded into the new deal, sources say, along with ESPN's Wimbledon deals in Latin America and Canada. It's not known how long those deals will run.

ESPN's Executive VP/Content John Skipper led negotiations last week in London, along with ESPN's Executive VP/Programming John Wildhack.

Wimbledon's pending ESPN deal is a blow to NBC Sports, whose outgoing President, Ken Schanzer, handled negotiations. Schanzer announced his retirement in May, but told Comcast officials that he would stick around through the summer, in part, to handle the Wimbledon negotiations.

The All England Club has had a great relationship with NBC Sports, which had carried the tournament for more than four decades and made its Breakfast At Wimbledon a mid-summer tradition.

NBC has drawn fire over the past several years, however, for its strategy of showing many Wimbledon matches on tape delay. Just last week, fans were angered when it again opted to show its profitable Today show rather than some semi-finals live.

With the pending move to ESPN, all matches will be carried live on cable, sources said.

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/S...n-To-ESPN.aspx
post #69819 of 93678
TV Sports
TV’s Supporting Role in Dodgers’ Drama
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times - July 4th, 2011

The fight for control of the Los Angeles Dodgers that reached United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on Tuesday pits Frank McCourt, an owner desperate to keep his team, against Commissioner Bud Selig, who believes that McCourt has turned the iconic team into a financial wreck.

But away from the legal battle is the story of a long relationship between the Dodgers and Fox Sports, which underscores the rising value of sports television rights and what a media giant will do to keep them.

In the case of the Dodgers and Fox, it is a tale of mutual self-interest in which each side has taken turns at being the alpha male: the team knows it is valuable but needs money; Fox needs the team and has the cash.

“It’s beyond codependency,” said Lee H. Berke, the president and chief executive of a sports media consulting company.

Fox’s place in the Dodgers’ troubled present is because of its ownership of Prime Ticket, the regional sports network that shows the team’s games on cable television. Last year, Fox advanced McCourt $25 million from the team’s 2011 rights fee. Earlier this year, it agreed to lend McCourt $200 million, but Selig rejected the deal as adding more debt to a team that has too much of it. More recently, Fox angered Selig by skirting his right to approve team loans with a $30 million personal loan to McCourt to help him pay player salaries.

The clearest evidence of Fox’s desire to keep the Dodgers as a lucrative television property was a proposed 17-year deal, said to be worth $2.5 billion to $3 billion, that Selig vetoed last month because, he said, it would have enriched McCourt, and his estranged wife, Jamie, to the detriment of the team’s financial needs. The McCourts’ divorce case revealed that they had used $108 million in Dodgers money over a five-year period to bankroll their extravagant lifestyle.

McCourt alleged that Selig’s veto of the Fox deal forced him to confront a “distressed sale of the team to a buyer approved by the commissioner” or a bankruptcy filing. McCourt’s need for Fox’s money — $385 million of the 17-year deal would have been provided upfront — was as clear as Fox’s need to keep the Dodgers. Fox proposed giving McCourt, who last year was planning to start his own regional sports network, a 35 percent stake in Prime Ticket.

“McCourt needed a financial lifeline, and Fox had the inclination to help the situation and to protect its investment,” said David Carter, the director of the sports business institute at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

Save for McCourt’s need to secure a new deal with Fox to alleviate his cash crisis, there was no urgency for either side. The current agreement ends in 2013, and the Dodgers could not solicit offers from rival bidders until the end of November 2012, when a 45-day exclusive negotiating period with Fox would end.

But McCourt’s financial crunch came around the same time as the surprise appearance of a new competitor in the Los Angeles market: Time Warner Cable. In February, the cable operator snared Lakers rights from Fox Sports West, Prime’s sister channel, to make the team the centerpiece of two new regional sports networks for 20 years starting in 2012. The deal is worth a reported $3 billion, though the cable company has denied that estimate is accurate.

“Suddenly, Fox is finding itself in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Berke, who added, “Time Warner Cable is a major presence in the L.A. market.”

Fox, a division of News Corporation, is a huge presence in baseball — locally and nationally. Baseball is important, if not critical, to the success of regional sports networks because of the length of its season and the ratings that teams generate. Fox carries 14 major league teams on 15 regional sports networks. But there will be one team fewer on Fox’s roster next season; the Houston Astros will leave Fox’s Houston sports channel in 2013 to join the Houston Rockets and Comcast to form a sports network.

Fox is also M.L.B.’s exclusive national broadcaster. By the time Fox’s current deal ends in two years, it will have paid $4.6 billion since 1996 to show Saturday afternoon games, All-Star Games and the postseason.

Fox’s connection to the Dodgers was once more profound than being its cable TV home: from 1998 to 2004, Fox owned the team. It built Fox Sports West 2, now Prime Ticket, around the Dodgers.

And when McCourt bought the team for $421 million, Fox helped him finance it with a two-year, $125 million loan secured by property in Boston that he eventually handed to Fox. The highly leveraged deal might not have been approved had it not been for Fox’s involvement in baseball.

Seven years later, McCourt is fighting to keep the Dodgers.

During a court hearing Tuesday, McCourt’s television benefactor lined up against him when a Fox lawyer sided with M.L.B. against an auction of the team’s TV rights to satisfy a condition of interim financing. Fox’s objection arose out of a concern that an auction might endanger its right to match a rival bid for Dodgers rights. The auction was eventually eliminated from the process.

A Dodgers spokesman expressed appreciation for Fox as a TV partner but said in a statement that the team would “proceed in the best interest of all parties and with the intention of maximizing value for the debtor.”

David Boies, who represents Jamie McCourt, said that what Fox has offered to pay the Dodgers was a substantial sum but was “under market” because of Frank McCourt’s “compulsion” to make a quick deal.

Boies said he could still see the bankruptcy court authorizing an auction in which Fox can match the highest bid.

“It would not be out of the ordinary for M.L.B. to say, ‘We won’t approve this deal unless we’re certain it’s market, and the only way to be sure of that is to let other people come in,’ ” he said. “But Fox has played a useful role in making the first offer; they’ve set the table. It makes a lot of sense to let Fox match.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/04/sp..._r=1&ref=media
post #69820 of 93678
TV Notes
Vinny Guadagnino leaves 'Jersey Shore' after fight with unidentified castmate, will not return
By Kathline Perricone, New York Daily News - July 3rd, 2011

The "Jersey Shore's" "MVP" clique -- Mike (The Situation) Sorrentino, Vinny Guadagnino and Paul (Pauly D) DelVecchio -- is now without its "V."

Guadagnino left the MTV show for good after getting into a fight with a castmate inside their Seaside Heights, N.J., shore house, reports TMZ.

Just days after they moved in to start shooting the fifth season of the MTV show, Guadagnino was seen moving out late Wednesday night.

Though he returned the next day after spending the night in a local hotel, the 23-year-old left once and for all on Friday and went home to Staten Island.

According to an Us Weekly source, the youngest "Jersey Shore" cast member has been "homesick" since he's been busy filming back-to-back seasons in Italy, and now New Jersey. "It's a long time to be away from his family."

MTV has had no comment on Guadagnino's departure, but added, "Viewers can be assured they will have answers when Season Five premieres."

Until then, Season 4, set in Florence, Italy, starts Aug. 4 at 10 p.m.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...mate_will.html
post #69821 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Sports
ESPN close to landing rights deal for Wimbledon
By John Ourand, SportsBusiness Journal - July 3rd, 2011

ESPN is close to finalizing a deal with Wimbledon that would end NBC's 43-year association with the event, according to sources privy to the talks.

Eventually there won't be any sportings events that won't require a cable/satellite subscription.
post #69822 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Eventually there won't be any sportings events that won't require a cable/satellite subscription.

If it means actually seeing events live, then I'm all for it. I couldn't believe that NBC delayed Wimbledon.
post #69823 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Eventually there won't be any sportings events that won't require a cable/satellite subscription.

I just wish it was À la carte. Then I could dump most of sports channels and save a good percentage off my cable TV bill.
post #69824 of 93678
It was Unforgettable and now it's The Rememberer...?? Seriously...? Besides the title did no one learn from absolute garbage like Medium or Ghost Whisperer... ?
post #69825 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by moob View Post

If it means actually seeing events live, then I'm all for it. I couldn't believe that NBC delayed Wimbledon.

Not so great for those that wish to quit getting raped by cable/satellite. Hope all your live sports are worth the $300 cable bill you'll be sporting in 15 years.
post #69826 of 93678
I got to say I think $4 bucks a month for ESPN is insane. However compare that to Newscorp getting $1buck a month for Fox News/ Business. How is that justifiable? At least one could make an argument that ESPN broadcasts a ton of athletic events that they must purchase the rights too. What justifies Newscorp getting that fee for Fox News? Fox Sports Net gets over $2 bucks - when was the last time anyone mentioned that sports net and what games do they even show?

I dont think a la carte is the way to go either. Your gonna end up paying more and getting less.

Whoever came up with the idea of having both subscriber fees and advertising is a genius. How long until HBO/Showtime start doing the same? The Sopranos could've been sponsored by the NRA/Smith & Wesson/ NJ Tourism. Dexter sponsored by expensive cutlery.
post #69827 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Not so great for those that wish to quit getting raped by cable/satellite. Hope all your live sports are worth the $300 cable bill you'll be sporting in 15 years.

Rape involves force. No ones forcing you to subscribe. Definitely not rape. $300 bucks a month would still be cheaper than going to the actual games.
post #69828 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by giantyank001 View Post

I got to say I think $4 bucks a month for ESPN is insane. However compare that to Newscorp getting $1buck a month for Fox News/ Business. How is that justifiable?

Same reason. Ratings and demand.
post #69829 of 93678
Well, here in Southern California, I can see a ton of Lakers, Dodgers and UCLA games on FSN. Two dollars a month? I pay $300 a year plus a big donation for six UCLA football games a year. So, it all depends on your viewing habits to determine what the value is to you. Fox and ESPN I presume charge cable cos the what the market will bear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by giantyank001 View Post

I got to say I think $4 bucks a month for ESPN is insane. However compare that to Newscorp getting $1buck a month for Fox News/ Business. How is that justifiable? At least one could make an argument that ESPN broadcasts a ton of athletic events that they must purchase the rights too. What justifies Newscorp getting that fee for Fox News? Fox Sports Net gets over $2 bucks - when was the last time anyone mentioned that sports net and what games do they even show?

I dont think a la carte is the way to go either. Your gonna end up paying more and getting less.

Whoever came up with the idea of having both subscriber fees and advertising is a genius. How long until HBO/Showtime start doing the same? The Sopranos could've been sponsored by the NRA/Smith & Wesson/ NJ Tourism. Dexter sponsored by expensive cutlery.
post #69830 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

I just wish it was À la carte. Then I could dump most of sports channels and save a good percentage off my cable TV bill.

To all the peeps subsidizing my great sports channels i just wanna say....

post #69831 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Same reason. Ratings and demand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGA$$TV View Post

Well, here in Southern California, I can see a ton of Lakers, Dodgers and UCLA games on FSN. Two dollars a month? I pay $300 a year plus a big donation for six UCLA football games a year. So, it all depends on your viewing habits to determine what the value is to you. Fox and ESPN I presume charge cable cos the what the market will bear.

Exactly the point - these cable nets get what the market will pay them. No one can complain about what ESPN gets when you look at what other lesser - lesser in terms of product put out ( e.g. game licenses) - and they get super high fees as well.

I think the real anger should be towards the cable companies for not fighting back against these insane fees. But then again when most of the cable companies also own entertainment companies producing and/or owning channels being broadcast - there's not gonna be much of a fight.
post #69832 of 93678
Critic's Notes
Ed Sullivan, American idol-maker
The Sunday night variety show he helmed for nearly a quarter-century ended its run 40 years ago last month, bringing to a close a unique chapter of television history.
By Gerald Nachman, Los Angeles Times - July 4th, 2011

Fans of the nation's top television talent showcases "American Idol," "America's Got Talent" and "Dancing With the Stars" may be shocked to learn that, for 23 years, one television show had the combined impact of those three smash hits. That weekly Sunday night extravaganza, "The Ed Sullivan Show" which left the air 40 years ago last month regularly created pop idols overnight, introduced unnoticed and unlikely talent, and featured fading stars who needn't dance to justify their presence on the show.

Another stunning difference: "American Idol" draws about 30 million viewers for its grand-finale shows, whereas Sullivan attracted some 40 million viewers nearly every Sunday night for two decades when the country had half as many people as it does now.

There are more than faint traces of Ed Sullivan's DNA in "Idol," "Talent" and "Dancing." Viewers who had never been to a Broadway show or a ballet, or heard an aria, encountered haute culture regularly on Sullivan's show right alongside Borsht Belt comics, Chinese tumblers, dancing poodles, Marine drill teams, or the new middleweight champion of the world.

If Ed Sullivan had someone on his show, viewers figured, they must be significant. As Carol Burnett, a Sullivan find, put it, "When Ed Sullivan put his arm around you and said, 'This is a very funny gal,' all of American said, "This is a very funny gal.'"

The show is remembered now mainly for two of its 10,000 acts: the American TV debut of the Beatles, and Elvis Presley's gyrations, which scandalized a then-easily scandalized country. But Sullivan's show contributed far more than just those two historic pop moments during its lengthy reign at a time when all America watched the show every Sunday with their family, a national ritual and an early example of "appointment TV." (It remains the longest-running prime-time live entertainment show in television history.)

Few then had heard of not to mention ever seen Carol Burnett, the Supremes, Nat King Cole, Stiller & Meara, Jackie Mason, Eartha Kitt, Sam Cooke, Sammy Davis Jr., Phyllis Diller, Shelley Berman, Shecky Greene, Teresa Brewer, George Carlin, Keely Smith, Myron Cohen, Patti Page, et al. when Sullivan escorted them into our homes on his national stage. His eclectic taste and a lust for the family audience inspired him to trot out acrobats, elephant acts, ventriloquists, along with the regulation comics and singers plus, and perhaps most rarefied of all, little-known black performers.

Sullivan's major legacy goes almost unmentioned now his trailblazing efforts to bring black artists to television at a time when it was unusual to see a black face other than an athlete on the small all-white screen on a major mainstream prime-time show. A few black megastars were allowed on TV Louis Armstrong, Bill Robinson, Duke Ellington but Sullivan regularly, and matter-of-factly, presented black entertainers he had seen at the Harlem clubs he routinely covered on his Broadway beat for the New York Daily News people such as Pigmeat Markham, Pearl Bailey, Aretha Franklin, from old-timers like dilapidated Moms Mabley to baby-faced newbies like Richard Pryor.

The show began modestly in TV's infancy, 1948, and ran until 1971, when the rock-and-roll juggernaut (and "Bonanza") helped drive it off the air. When the show debuted as "Toast of the Town," Sullivan was an aging Broadway columnist and ex-sportswriter, nearly 50, with no TV experience and three flop radio shows behind him.

Critics gleefully lambasted Ed's wooden manner and jumbled intros, dubbing him "the Great Stone Face," "the Toast of the Tomb," "Cod-Eyes," "Mr. Rigor Mortis" and the "Night of the Living Ed." Observed comic Joe E. Lewis: "Ed Sullivan is the only man who brightens up a room by leaving it," and Alan King bestowed this backhanded praise: "Ed Sullivan does nothing, but he does it better than anyone else on television." New York's leading TV critic, John Crosby, vilified Sullivan, writing that each weekend he asked himself "the same vexing question: Why is Ed Sullivan on television every Sunday night?"

Unlike the sleek hosts of today's talent auctions, Sullivan further enhanced his clunky image by coming up with much-quoted gaffes, such as introducing singer Dolores Gray as "now starving on Broadway" and saying how pleased he was "to prevent opera star Robert Merrill." He told a paraplegic war hero to stand and take a bow. He praised Jose Feliciano as "not only blind, he's also Puerto Rican" (backstage he asked Feliciano if his guide dog did any tricks). He introduced "the late, great Irving Berlin." Blanking out once on the Supremes' name, he shouted, "Here they are the the the girls!"

For years Ed Sullivan was mocked and mimicked in the media until he wisely turned it all around by inviting impressionists on the show like John Byner and Will Jordan, who created the freeze-dried mumbler that people still remember. The mimics gave Sullivan a lasting identity and over time Ed endeared himself to viewers with his everyman uneasiness. He was TV's first "reality" star who looked like the mug at the end of the bar.

Sullivan had his faults he was easily riled and got into public feuds he later regretted with stars and fellow columnists (scuffles with Jack Paar, Dick Clark, Hedda Hopper, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Jackie Mason). Throughout his marriage he chased singers such as Phyllis McGuire, Sheila MacRae, Jane Kean and Monica Lewis. And the FDR Democrat with liberal sentiments caved into the Red scare by banning from the show blacklisted entertainers such as dancers Jerome Robbins and Paul Draper, comic Orson Bean, folksinger Leon Bibb and harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler. (He later apologized privately to a few banned performers.)

When it finally left the air on June 6, 1971, "The Ed Sullivan Show" was chucked out by CBS as part of a general housecleaning of programs considered not urban enough, heartland mainstays such as "Lassie," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Green Acres" and "The Beverly Hillbillies." Sullivan's show came out of New York, and was heavily New York-centric, but after two decades CBS decided America had seen enough jugglers, dancing bears, divas, ballerinas, comics and crooners, no matter how famous or even cutting-edge (Mort Sahl, George Carlin, Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones). By '71, TV had loosened up considerably and variety shows hosted by Garry Moore, Perry Como, Dinah Shore, Carol Burnett and Sonny & Cher were presenting the same names Sullivan once had once featured exclusively.

By then, the entire nature of what constituted music, comedy and, indeed, entertainment and "popularity" itself had changed. The Sullivan show was no longer the gold standard of show business. Rock and roll, which ironically gave the show a temporary second wind, led to its gradual undoing as the viewing audience split into factions and teens rebelled against their parents' idea of entertainment.

Americans today wallow in 500 channels, but when Sullivan's show debuted in 1948, most of America beyond the big cities was a primitive land, culturally. Only movies and radio fed the nation's hunger for entertainment. For almost a quarter-century, Sullivan brought talent of every kind, both raw and refined, to the masses.

For better or worse, "The Ed Sullivan Show" helped shape the nation's cultural taste and destiny.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...0,574964.story
post #69833 of 93678
I watched Ed Sullivan, religiously, for nearly all of those 23 years. I missed a few in the early 60s because I was in the military. I'd love to see something like this find its way into modern TV.....
post #69834 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

To all the peeps subsidizing my great sports channels i just wanna say....


Ditto for you and my Fox News Channel.
post #69835 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Another stunning difference: "American Idol" draws about 30 million viewers for its grand-finale shows, whereas Sullivan attracted some 40 million viewers nearly every Sunday night for two decades — when the country had half as many people as it does now.

Why do these reporters tend to forget something else... There were only four networks, including PBS.

So even though there were less viewers, those viewers had no choice but to watch TV, live, selecting from far fewer channels.

How soon they forget
post #69836 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by giantyank001 View Post

Rape involves force. No ones forcing you to subscribe. Definitely not rape. $300 bucks a month would still be cheaper than going to the actual games.

If that's the only way to get sports that used to be available on FREE TV yes it is FORCE.
post #69837 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Eventually there won't be any sportings events that won't require a cable/satellite subscription.

ESPN doesn't care how much something costs. They just pass it along to the cable company. Put 'em on ala carte and see if they're quite so eager to spend.
post #69838 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by moob View Post

If it means actually seeing events live, then I'm all for it. I couldn't believe that NBC delayed Wimbledon.

And what advertiser will sign up for 3am spots?

You may want to pay $$$ for a cable bill and get up at 3am for tennis. Most of us don't.
post #69839 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

And what advertiser will sign up for 3am spots?

You may want to pay $$$ for a cable bill and get up at 3am for tennis. Most of us don't.

...and you'll get to see it later, too. That's the beauty of cable: They can air things at different times for people with different schedules.
post #69840 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Not so great for those that wish to quit getting raped by cable/satellite. Hope all your live sports are worth the $300 cable bill you'll be sporting in 15 years.

Probably a lot sooner than that. The last five years I had cable TV my bill doubled. Soon pay TV will be just for the filthy rich.
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