Friday, February 19, 2010

Live From New York, it's... Rose Nylund!

For the more than 400,000 of you (and counting!) who have joined the Facebook charge to get Betty White as host of Saturday Night Live, I present this Golden Girls clip from 17 years ago, during the show's seventh and final season.

As Rose lies in the hospital, under sedation after suffering a heart attack, she has some surprising words for her daughter Kiersten at about the 1 minute mark. Take note, Lorne Michaels -- because there are at least half a million people out there who hope to hear them again soon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BREAKING NEWS... CW announces 5 early renewals

Breaking News: The CW has taken the somewhat unusual step of announcing early pickups for five of its series. And hmmm... I notice that Melrose Place and Smallville aren't mentioned...


Freshman Hit “The Vampire Diaries,” “Gossip Girl,” “90210,” “Supernatural” and “America’s Next Top Model” To Return Next Season

February 16, 2010 (Burbank, California) € The CW Network has given early pickups to five series for next season, including four signature dramas and the reality hit AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL. All five shows will return in Fall 2010.

The series receiving early renewals include this season’s breakout hit THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, The CW’s most-watched show (4.6 million viewers) and the network’s number one show among adults 18-34 (2.5/8). THE VAMPIRE DIARIES premiere generated the largest audience in network history for a series debut (5.7 million total viewers). THE VAMPIRE DIARIES has improved The CW’s performance Thursday at 8:00 p.m. by 114% among women 18-34 this season. The network also renewed fan favorite SUPERNATURAL, which will enter its sixth season next year. SUPERNATURAL has one of the most loyal audiences of any show on television and does heroic work in a perennially tough time period. It has improved over last season among women and adults 18-34 (29% and 8%, respectively) this season, a remarkable accomplishment for a fifth-year show.

Also given early pickups for next season are The CW’s Monday night sensation GOSSIP GIRL, which is The CW’s number one show among its target demographic of women 18-34, and Tuesday’s trend-setting drama, 90210, which sees some of TV’s largest percent increases from DVR playback, nearly doubling its women 18-34 live-only ratings once live+7 data is included. Wednesday anchor AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL will also be back for cycles 15 and 16 with superstar Tyra Banks and new groups of aspiring models. TOP MODEL continues to rank second in the competitive Wednesday 8:00 p.m. hour among young women 18-34 (3.4/10.)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Very Brady Friday

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting two TV icons in the same day. Coincidentally, they come from the same TV family. And it was only fitting that I would meet Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) and her TV mom Carol (Florence Henderson) on a Friday, the day on which The Brady Bunch aired on ABC from 1969-74.

Eve had stopped by the Sirius XM studios, appearing on the 2nd hour of the Frank DeCaro Show on OutQ to promote the February 18 opening of a New York gallery exhibit of her paintings.

Then, that night, Frank and I headed downtown to Joe's Pub, to catch Florence Henderson in her two-night show, "All The Lives of Me... A Musical Journey." In her very intimate and personal performance, Henderson talks about life not only as Carol Brady, but as a Broadway musical star, and even as a young girl, growing up as the 10th and youngest child of a poor Kentucky family.

In fact, in that section, Henderson talked about how as a very young girl, she was often forced by her mother to literally sing for the large clan's supper, to earn groceries from the local store. With that, she did some funny "crowd work" as she worked her way through the room, passing a cowboy hat for donations as she repeatedly sang "You Are My Sunshine."

It turns out, of course, that Henderson donates the proceeds from whenever she does this bit -- which she then personally matches -- to a local charity -- in this case, Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. The star has a personal connection to the cause, as her Brady co-star Robert Reed died of the disease in the early '90s.

And so coming up soon, she and her TV daughter Eve will appear together on stage, when Florence hosts Broadway Backwards 5, a one-night only lineup where performers will sing musical numbers originally written for the opposite gender. The show, where the two Brady ladies will be doing a duet, will be on February 22 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at New York's Lincoln Center. Because after all, giving back is a very Brady thing to do.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vanessa Williams Introduces You to the Stars of Classic TV

For the past 5 years, I've been working with a fabulous organization within the Television Academy in Los Angeles, the Archive of American Television. The Archive is an unprecedented catalog of revealing, behind-the-scenes interviews with over 600 television industry greats -- from stars to producers, executives and other creative talent.

Now, those interviews are available to be viewed online, at the Archive's home page, Check out my chats with Jayne Meadows, The Cosby Show's Phylicia Rashad, Cagney & Lacey Star Tyne Daly, Get Smart's beautiful Agent 99, Barbara Feldon, and so many others conducted by preeminent TV experts and journalists.

Below, in a newly produced video promoting the Archive, the incredible star of Ugly Betty, Vanessa Williams, will introduce you to the Archive's resources. "What the Academy Foundation has done with is amazing," she enthused in a press announcement of the video. "I am proud to help spread the word about this incredible resources for TV fans worldwide."

And an incredible resource it is, too, full of little-known anecdotes, unique perspectives, and eyewitness accounts from the top names in TV, past and present. The interviews can be watched in their entirety, or browsed by person, show, topic or profession. Check them out! You just might come across a gem, such as when Golden Girl Rue McClanahan slipped, at my request, into Blanche Devereaux's voice to talk about her "many, many men." Priceless!

Monday, February 8, 2010

That's Not What Your Girlfriend Says!

The greatest thing about this past weekend: the debut of the new Snickers commercial starring the 88-years-young Betty White. I won't give it away, but there's a surprise appearance at the end by another elder TV veteran that's equally hysterical.

With commercials like these, it almost makes it worth watching whatever sports thingy -- something with Roman numerals -- during which this aired yesterday. Almost. (Thank God for YouTube!)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Greetings from Manhatan

Okay, so here's what we know about the membrane universe(s) on Fringe:

1) It's 2010

2) Obama is president

3) On 9/11, terrorists attacked the Pentagon and the White House (but not the Twin Towers in New York)

4) Some office worker guy -- who now has 4 legs and a head growing out of his stomach -- was married, whereas he's not in our reality. (How many does he have of other body parts? If that guy were still alive, well let's just say I know of one lucky girl!)

5) Somewhere, in some other reality, Peter Bishop disappeared as a young boy (to replace our dearly departed young Peter Bishop here.)

And oh yeah --

6) New York City is referred to as "Manhatan," spelled with only one "t."

That was, for me (a copy editor and a Virgo to boot), the most jarring part of this past Thursday's episode, "Jacksonville": the realization that either

a) somewhere in the last nearly 400 years of history, someone aiming to name this invaluable island came up with a different bastardization of the name "Mannahatta," given by the local Lenape native tribe


b) somewhere in the last season on creator JJ Abrams' staff, someone made a giant spelling mistake in the floating, 3-D location name chyrons for which Fringe has become famous.

Normally, I'm a cynic. But having witnessed for two seasons now how clever Fringe and its writers can be, I'm leaning heavily toward b). Let's just hope "Manhatan" doesn't decide to send us any more of its edifices in exchange for one of our own. I like my limbs just where they are, thank you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Forget the Saints and the Colts -- I'm for Team Betty!

I've always said that, even now at age 88, Betty White is still an energetic force of nature who can do anything. And that includes taking to the field for a game of touch (hopefully just touch!) football. Check out this sneak peek of her hilarious Super Bowl ads for Snickers, debuting this weekend during the game: