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February 2008 Archives

Having a Laugh, Legally

February 29, 2008 5:17 PM

A comedy club, particularly one situated at the mouth of the Sunset Strip, seems an unlikely setting for dry, officious legal proceedings. But that’s what DirecTV proposed in a dark room at the back of the Laugh Factory, at a meet-and-greet for their new project “The Supreme Court of Comedy.” Justice, and brunch, were served.

The new show from creator Jamie Masada hopes to breathe new life into the courtroom genre by hiring the Laugh Factory’s resident comedians to act on behalf of real litigants.

Ever wished Tom Arnold could help you resolve your small-claims case? Now he can, as part of an unholy law firm that includes Kennedy, Joe Piscopo, Victoria Jackson and a host of other wholly unqualified comedians. Taking up Judge Judy’s lacy mantle is Dom Irrera, who will preside as the court’s resident “chief justice.”

The Daily Blink habeas’d its corpus to a banquet near the buffet, where wire photographers and comedians jockeyed for space at the bagel station.

When asked if they had any legal experience, comedian and “defense lawyer” Dov Davidoff mentioned that he’d once successfully fought a traffic ticket.

“The Forty Year Old Virgin” actor and standup Gerry Bednob, also a defense lawyer, said, “You watch those court shows on TV and the judges so badly want to be comedians. They’re up there insulting everyone. It’s like a comedy show anyhow.”

So what’s the difference, we asked.

“We don’t insult the clients, we embrace them,” offered Bednob.

“But,” said Davidoff, “we’ll screw them over for the sake of a goof.”

Should Sinbad ruin your case in the name of a “hung jury” joke, you’ll be happy to know it’s not legally binding. The series airs this spring on DirecTV’s original content channel, The 101.

Julieanne Smolinski

‘Light’ of Realism Shines on Long-Running Soap Opera

February 28, 2008 5:06 PM

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Soap operas have long cited this motto as they continued to use shooting techniques developed during the genre’s infancy more than 50 years ago. Starting Friday, CBS’ “Guiding Light” is bucking about 56 years of tradition by switching to handheld cameras, using more exterior shots and installing four-wall sets in order to give the show a more cinematic feel.

Ellen Wheeler, executive producer of “Guiding Light,” said the overhaul was spurred by the fans, according to an audience survey paid for by “Light’s” Procter & Gamble Productions. “[The audience] didn’t love the things that seemed fake to them,” she said.

The fans give soap operas major leeway, knowing they have to produce nearly 260 episodes a year, she said. But, “‘You’re not cutting the mustard’ is basically what they told us.’ We were not hip enough.”

Ms. Wheeler said she wasn’t aware of any rumors that “Light” might be canceled, but CBS had rumbled that “Light” and fellow soap “As the World Turns” were on the bubble and urged producers to evolve their look.

The new look, according to Ms. Wheeler, is inspired by a philanthropic outing the show made in 2006. After Hurricane Katrina, “Light” took a weeklong hiatus to help rebuild houses in Louisiana. The show’s crew filmed the actors, out of character, with handheld cameras and edited the footage together for a week of shows. This was striking to Wheeler, who said she loved being right there with the actors. “I wish I could portray the show with that same level of intimacy,” she thought.

The advantage to the new production style also involves on-site editing of scenes (for faster turnaround) and seamless transitions between interior and exterior shots.

“Light” is using Peapack, N.J., to depict the show’s main city, Springfield, in exterior shots. It also has built 40 permanent sets (with real working light switches and running faucets) in its New York City studio, as opposed to the eight temporary sets used previously on the show.

“Every set that we have has been redesigned to look like a real space,” she said.

Ms. Wheeler also said production offices also have been worked into sets. She said her set had become a chapel during production.

“[The show] is completely different, but it’s completely familiar,” Ms. Wheeler said.

Andrew Krukowski

Won't You Wear a Sweater?

February 27, 2008 4:21 PM

Neighborhoods will get a little friendlier March 20, as Family Communications kicks off Sweater Day in honor of what would have been Fred Rogers’ 80th birthday.

“We’re asking everyone (including members of the media) everywhere (from Pittsburgh to Paris) to wear their favorite sweater on that day,” David Newell, aka Mr. McFeely, said in a statement. Mr. Newell is the public relations director at Family Communications, founded by Fred Rogers.

“It doesn’t have to have a zipper down the front like the one Mr. Rogers wore on the program. It just has to be special to you,” he said.

Sweater Day is a part of Pittsburgh’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Days, running March 15-20.

In honor of that, the Daily Blink has two Fred Rogers-related items today. First, here’s Mr. Rogers addressing the U.S. Senate about cutting back funding for PBS in 1969.

And secondly, for your buddy/mom/co-worker who explains Mr. Rogers’ iconic sweaters by swearing up and down that he was a Navy SEAL with tattoos covering his arms, here’s proof that it’s just not true.

Andrew Krukowski

I Fed Half of Hollywood and All I Got Was This T-Shirt

February 26, 2008 4:48 PM

Cleveland’s native son Drew Carey has been giving stuff away on “The Price Is Right” for a handful of months now. But he also gave away food during the Writers Guild of America strike, covering the meals of striking writers during the pickets at Swingers and Bob’s Big Boy in the Los Angeles area.

Writer Elaine Aronson thought that was really sporting of Mr. Carey, and expressed her appreciation and that of other writers by giving him a signed shirt.

Drew Carey's Shirt

Ms. Aronson took in a meal at Bob’s Big Boy a few days before the writers’ big meeting at the Shrine Auditorium in early February and noticed a vast majority of the patrons at the diner were WGA writers.

“I thought it would be really nice to take advantage of having so many people there to get something special signed to send to him. At first I thought maybe a card, but I couldn't find one,” she wrote in an e-mail to Blink.

Ms. Aronson estimates Mr. Carey spent tens of thousands of dollars feeding hungry writers.

“I know some people who went to eat at Bob's or Swingers every day of the strike,” she wrote.

Some notes from the writers on the shirt include, “You’re my big boy,” “Thanks for the strike fuel,” “Like Cleveland, you rock” and “Drew, I ate there and I threw up, so you should get your $8.50 back.”

Mr. Carey did not respond to a request for comment.

Andrew Krukowski

Quiet Riot: A Day With the WWE

February 25, 2008 4:57 PM

Wrestlemania 24If you ever wanted to see a minor-scale riot, World Wrestling Entertainment is more than happy to fill that need. The Daily Blink took a trip down to the Wrestlemania 24 press conference at Staples Center today to see what all the commotion was.

Scheduled for March 30 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Wrestlemania brings all sorts out of the woodwork, from Donald Trump to Pete Rose to, this year, pro boxer Floyd Mayweather. Mr. Mayweather is going to take on Paul “The Big Show” Wight (all 7 foot, 430 pounds of him) in a match.

Hundreds of rowdy fans turned out for the press conference, held in the main lobby. For the rest of this post, we’re going to flag the riot threat level during the event.

WWE Crowd

The modern-day P.T. Barnum himself, WWE CEO Vince McMahon, kicked off the event by talking about how global and awesome the WWE is.

“The WWE is the only variety show left on television,” Mr. McMahon said.

Vince McMahon

RIOT THREAT LEVEL: Low.

John Cena, who has effectively split fans into “love him” or “despise him” categories, also was on hand. The crowd—and remember, this is a "press" conference—started up competing chants of “Cena” and “Sucks.”

These chants continued throughout the event, long after Mr. Cena had sat down.

RIOT THREAT LEVEL: Moderate.

Also making appearances at the event were current Raw champion Randy Orton, current Smackdown champ Edge, Triple H, WWE diva Maria and Rey Mysterio.

Then undefeated WBC welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. came out. In terms of wrestling, Floyd should be considered a “babyface,” or good guy. But "Pretty Boy" Floyd, who defeated hometown hero Oscar De La Hoya in May, was roundly booed during the event. Until he flashed some cash. Which he could afford to do—after all, he's getting $20 million for the WWE bout.

Floyd Mayweather

RIOT THREAT LEVEL: Quickly rising.

Mr. Mayweather was flashing a huge stack of bills (it looked like 50s and 100s) and, after three minutes of taunting the crowd, threw up the cash out into the crowd.

Cash

RIOT THREAT LEVEL: A large siren should be sounding now.

While it’s nice that some fans were compensated for their, one assumes, day off from work to attend this event (one guy was shown, on the big screens displaying the event, walking with four $100 bills), they definitely had to work for that cash as the crowd just scrambled around chasing the money.

Mr. Mayweather’s opponent, The Big Show, talked tough about “Money” Mayweather, and then promptly threw the podium down into the first row of press, nearly taking out the staff member looking to get the podium out of Mr. Show’s way.

Take that, podium.

RIOT THREAT LEVEL: Moderate.
BODILY INJURY THREAT LEVEL DUE TO WAYWARD LECTERN: Surprisingly high.

All in all, fans got to a real taste of Wrestlemania and WWE got what it was looking for, some crossover publicity between wrestling and boxing media outlets; several of the latter turned up to give the conference coverage.

The Daily Blink talked to The Big Show after the event, and he said, “All kidding aside, it’s an honor to be in the ring with Floyd Mayweather.”

But, he said, “It’s a different environment. [Mayweather] might be a great athlete in boxing, but he might choke in the wrestling ring. Or get choke-slammed…several times.”

Andrew Krukowski

Save This Petition!

February 21, 2008 3:47 PM

Pop culture blog “Best Week Ever” has been trying to rally the Internet troops in order to save “Friday Night Lights,” NBC’s critically acclaimed but low-rated high school football drama.

Because every “save this show” campaign needs a massive mailing since “Jericho’s” successful nut bombing of CBS, BWE has suggested mailing light bulbs to NBC Entertainment Co-Chair Ben Silverman.

A petition also cropped up on the site, and also had embeddable ads for the petition, so readers could link to it.

Let’s take a look at how the petition is doing

BWE 2

Wait, what? Thanks to the magic of Google cache, this is how the page was doing.

BWE 1

Seems to be running pretty well there.

More than 10,000 signatures, plus an additional 1,000 or so comments at the bottom of the page. But the BWE crew hasn’t commented on the petition since Feb. 12, which is about a decade's worth of avoidance of a topic in terms of blogging. What gives?

BWE didn’t respond immediately to e-mail requests for comment, but the media gadflies over at Defamer believe there’s some corporate skullduggery afoot. Defamer reports that insiders have said higher-ups at Viacom (parent company of VH1 and therefore BWE) weren’t thrilled about using their funds to promote a show owned by rival NBC, and dropped the hammer on the whole thing, even though it was pretty successful in generating response.

Defamer points out the irony of that, considering the VH1 show “Best Week Ever” is built on using media from outside of Viacom.

Andrew Krukowski

UPDATE: Two Things Certain for ‘Dexter’ on CBS: Death and Ad Breaks

February 20, 2008 1:48 PM

Showtime’s “Dexter” made its broadcast debut in a cleaned-up form Sunday on CBS. But how do you make a show about a vengeful serial killer network TV-ready? Read our observations of the first two CBS episodes here.

After initially being excited about making the jump from pay cable to broadcast, Sara Colleton, executive producer of “Dexter,” had a lingering thought.

“My second thought was, ‘Oh dear, are we going to slash and burn the show?’” she said.

Out of everything on “Dexter,” there were three main things to consider: violence, profanity and ad breaks.

Violence, she said, wasn’t the trickiest issue.

“It’s much less violent than you think,” she said. “You realize the most audacious thing about ‘Dexter’ is the idea.”

And the profanity involved some substitutions in the dialogue. Ms. Colleton knows the audience is smart enough to figure out what is being said behind the “dangs” and “foolings,” but Standards & Practices leaves her hands tied.

However, the ad breaks were the biggest thing to be considered. Most broadcast shows button scenes in order to accommodate ads.

“You can anticipate when to run to the loo because you know what’s coming up,” Ms. Colleton said.

“Dexter” wasn’t filmed with commercials in mind, making it tricky to insert ads without the breaks seeming arbitrary.

“What we have found is natural, rhythmic story breaks to go to a commercial,” she said.

And thankfully, Ms. Colleton confirmed that the Emmy Award-winning opening titles, while cut from the second episode, will reappear for the third.

She said the reason the titles got the ax from the second episode (the opening title didn’t appear in the first episode, even on Showtime) was in order to give viewers more time to get introduced to the characters.

“Dexter” on Showtime is readying its third season, where it’s scheduled to begin airing in early October.

Andrew Krukowski

Pants: The Hidden Cost of the Writers Strike

February 19, 2008 3:26 PM

WGA Contract HQWith our beloved writers back at their laptops where they belong, it’s now time to assess the damage of the WGA strike. Sure, we can look at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.’s report of a $2.5 billion loss to the Los Angeles economy. But the writers have lost something more than that.

Specifically, their pants.

The Daily Blink took a trip down to the Writers Guild of America’s contract headquarters (formerly WGA Strike HQ, formerly the guild’s lounge) to check out the picket line Lost & Found. Aside from the standard baubles and trinkets with show logos on them (sweatshirts, hats, cups), here are some of the more interesting things writers lost during their 100-day war:

- Two pairs of pants
- A bra
- About 10 pairs of glasses
- Sets of keys (BMW, Porsche, etc.)
- An iPod
- Several cell phones
- Elementary school homework
- A walking stick
- A voter registration card (Republican)
- Several pots and pans
- Dr. Scholl’s orthopedic inserts, donated by a talent agency
- Collapsible stadium chair

And the biggest find: a wedding ring. The ring, a man’s silver band with the word “Benchmark” stamped on it, was found at CBS Television City. The WGA is using the inscription and date inside the ring as a security question in case someone wants to claim it.

Andrew Krukowski

A Doll’s Life

February 17, 2008 9:00 PM

America's Next Top Model DollsThey’re here—announcing the “America’s Next Top Model” fashion dolls: Paisley, Sienna, Sidney and Tascha. While they’re not quite of-this-world-looking (and it’s no wonder since they’re from the same manufacturer as those freakazoid Bratz dolls), little girls will no doubt love their impossible figures and flaxen hair—plus now they can play along at home with “ANTM,” which returns to The CW schedule Wednesday. According to CBS Consumer Products, which handles licensing for the show, the dolls are not based on any real-life contestants, but each does come with her own baggage—or, as the press release put it, “her very own back story bringing the glamour, beauty and responsibilities of the modeling world to life for young girls with fashion dreams.”

—Tom Gilbert

Greetings From a Showrunner

February 17, 2008 9:00 PM

Strike-idled hands have been the devil’s workshop for “24” showrunner and executive producer Howard Gordon. The target of his mischief? An industry that puts out more saccharine, formulaic work product than TV: The greeting card business. Hence his latest project, Regardsbox.com. Mr. Gordon has started an e-greeting card company that takes a left turn where Hallmark sticks to the straight and narrow. Building on existing e-greeting card companies’ technology, he and some cohorts have created a brand whose comic aesthetic runs more Harvard Lampoon than sugar-sweet. A sampling of the Valentine’s Day sentiments at Regardsbox. com: “I’m slightly more certain of my sexuality when I’m with you. Happy Valentine’s Day” and “I love you even though we believe in different gods.” The company is trying to extend its distribution, gain more advertising and perhaps go the brick-and-mortar route, Mr. Gordon said. “We feel like we hit a tone that works,” he said of the enterprise.

—Greg Baumann

‘Dexter’ Gets Clean for CBS

February 14, 2008 2:45 PM

Everyone’s favorite serial killer, Dexter Morgan, is making the jump to broadcast on Sunday, repurposed from Showtime to CBS. But, in one of those square-peg, round-hole deals, the 55-minute cut of “Dexter” that runs on Showtime isn’t going to fit into the 48-minute window on CBS.

And let’s not forget the Parents Television Council, which channeled its inner Helen Lovejoy to ask, “Won’t somebody please think of the children!” We got our hands on one of the CBS episodes of “Dexter,” so let see what’s in and what’s out:

What’s in
- Violence.
- Dexter acting creepy.

What’s out
- Lingering violence. The CBS version, for the most part, uses briefer cuts of any blood/stabbing/death than the Showtime version.
- Swearing. All of the four-letter goodness our premium cable channels provide have been replaced with foul, freakin’, foolin’ and hell. This leads to some awkward dubbing, especially when you can still hear the hard “F” noise abruptly replaced with a “hell.”
- Certain subplot seeds, such as Batista’s relationship with his family and further examples of Dexter’s inability to relate with people, have been whittled down.
- Cuts for time have been made, including scenes from the recap at the beginning of the episode.
- And perhaps worst of all, the Emmy-nominated main theme has gotten the ax, replaced with a five-second title card.

Will you, a die-hard “Dexter” fan with a working knowledge of the paralyzing drug cocktail used frequently in the show, care about the cuts? Freakin’ yes. Will your “CSI”-loving mom, who just knows Showtime as that one channel with the show about the lesbians, care? Not in the least.

Still, that is one catchy tune.

Show executive producers Sara Colleton and John Goldwyn and Showtime’s Bob Greenblatt, president of entertainment, who oversaw the CBS edits, weren’t immediately available for comment. But we should be able to get in touch with them next week.

Check back for updates.

Wed., Feb. 20- Guess what? The opening titles are only out for the first two episodes, which is still a difference from the Showtime cut, but not as bad as we thought. The Daily Blink talked to "Dexter" executive producer Sara Colleton about how to get a serial killer onto CBS. Read about it here.

Andrew Krukowski

Heads Up

February 13, 2008 11:10 AM

TV Guide NetworkAh, the bobblehead. It’s impossible to think of a more obnoxious, yet more eye-catching knickknack. Here, we have TV Guide Network’s Lisa Rinna and Joey Fatone in battle-tested, red carpet mode, ready to ask the tough celebrity questions, such as “Who are you wearing,” “How do you feel about your chances tonight” and, in case of the really evasive interviewees: “Seriously, who are you wearing?”

Mr. Fatone’s gaze is all business, while Ms. Rinna’s is more wistful, as if she’s eyeing other channels’ logos during the telecast, imagining a day where she’s reporting on the red carpet for a network where her bottom third isn’t missing due to listings for “The Dog Whisperer.”

Andrew Krukowski

Ford Adds Its Voice to KITT Casting

February 10, 2008 9:02 PM

Knight Rider (NBC)Anyone hoping to get their post-“Arrested Development” fix via Will Arnett’s role as KITT in NBC’s upcoming “Knight Rider” TV movie will be sorely disappointed. Mr. Arnett is out of the role just about a week before the special is scheduled to air. Daily Variety reported last week that conflicting sponsorship deals caused Mr. Arnett to step aside, leaving the talking car’s voicework to erstwhile Jim Morrison and Batman Val Kilmer. NBC has a heavy sponsorship with Ford on the “Knight Rider” movie (KITT is a Ford Mustang), while Mr. Arnett has lent his pipes to new GMC truck commercials currently airing. It just makes us wonder what William Daniels would have to say about all this.

—Andrew Krukowski

Just to Be Close to Dr. Phil

February 10, 2008 9:01 PM

Dr. PhilDr. Phil McGraw taped the 1,000th episode of his syndicated strip “Dr. Phil” on Jan. 25 and celebrated the achievement afterward at a party at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Dr. Phil’s wife, Robin, surprised him with a wee giftie: no less than a private serenade by Lionel Richie. Also on hand at the to-do were sons Jay (who is executive producing the new syndicated show “The Doctors”) and Jordan; CBS Corp. President-CEO Leslie Moonves and wife Julie Chen; “Dr. Phil” Executive Producer Carla Pennington; CBS Television Distribution executives Terry Wood, Bob Madden and John Nogawski; and the five doctors starring in spinoff “The Doctors,” including Dr. Travis Stork.

—Tom Gilbert

Take That, Tiki

February 10, 2008 9:00 PM

Don’t expect New York Giants’ fans to forgive and forget perceived verbal slights by Tiki Barber since he traded his Giants uniform after the 2006 season for a spot on the “Today” show couch and an opinion on NBC’s “Football Night in America.” During wall-to-wall coverage of the Feb. 5 parade celebrating the newly crowned NFL champions’ Super Bowl win along downtown Manhattan’s fabled “Canyon of Heroes,” one man in the thousands lining Broadway, identified only as “Charlie” from East Patchogue, N.Y., shouted into a microphone held by WCBS-TV sportscaster Sam Ryan: “We did it! We’re No. 1! Tiki said we couldn’t do it. You’re wrong!”

—Michele Greppi

Showtime Takes Its Emmy Screeners Online

February 3, 2008 9:02 PM

ShowtimeShowtime Networks partnered with Internet TV provider Brightcove last week to send the Showtime programs eligible for Emmy consideration to Emmy voters online. That’s right—not in the mail, not via UPS, not by FedEx. Starting Feb. 15, Showtime will offer full seasons of its original shows via the Brightcove player to Academy of Television Arts & Sciences members for balloting. The shows will be available through June on Brightcove’s new player designed specifically for hi-def, hi-res, full-screen viewing. We say, go Showtime! Blink would be happy never to receive a screener DVD from a network again. We don’t want the silver discs. We don’t want cardboard boxes or envelopes to recycle or jewel cases to wonder about how to recycle. We don’t want to be responsible for more oil used in more trucks to deliver DVDs by mail or UPS.

Public relations executives, follow Showtime’s lead. Send us your TV shows, your videos, your screeners online! “It’s much more economical, ecological and also makes it easier for the [academy] member,” Richard Licata, Showtime executive VP of corporate communication, said in a phone interview. It should be noted, however, that Showtime’s Emmy effort is not 100% digital; the network still will send three DVDs via mail, although that’s way down from 20 last year. We asked Mr. Licata why it’s sending any discs at all in the mail. “The demo of the TV Academy does have some members who may not be as technically confident, so it’s always kind of been a baby-step type of thing. This is a way to bridge it and get started,” he said. “And if there are older members who are not as comfortable online, they will see two great episodes from every one of our shows.” Showtime has our vote.
—Daisy Whitney

Addams Seeks Family

February 3, 2008 9:01 PM

Transamerican Love Story (Logo)If you thought MTV’s brazen bisexual Tila Tequila was on the cutting edge of reality TV’s sexual mores, brace yourself for one Calpernia Addams. Ms. Addams, star of Logo’s upcoming eight-part series “Transamerican Love Story,” is a transgender Marcia Cross lookalike with some serious lips who’s on the prowl for a mate. Logo assembled eight romantic prospects (including one pre-op female-to-male transgender person-in-progress—a confusing choice on so many levels) and locked them up in a Los Angeles-area mansion with Ms. Addams and her transgender activist BFF, Andrea James. The gents will be eliminated one by one, and each week viewers will be invited to visit LogoOnline.com to vote on which suitor should be nixed (although Ms. Addams ultimately makes the selection). Alec Mapa (at right with Ms. Addams), who plays the flamboyant fashion reporter on “Ugly Betty,” serves as the show’s Jeff Probst, stepping in now and then to instruct the fellas, build suspense and offer sage advice. The hourlong show debuts Feb. 11.
—Tom Gilbert

Ferguson Goes Native

February 3, 2008 9:00 PM

What a week it was for Craig Ferguson. The Feb. 1 edition of Entertainment Weekly listed “The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson” in fourth place on The Must List of 10 Things We Love This Week. “Only the Great Scot could keep us up so late on a school night with some of the wee hours’ most disarming and freewheeling chats,” the magazine plugged. Then, a week after he’d aced his U.S. citizenship test with all correct—and cheeky—answers, he took the oath Feb. 1 and became a citizen. It’s a milestone the “Late Late” host will celebrate big-time on tonight’s red-white-and-blue show at 12:37 a.m. on CBS. It will be, as he likes to say at the top of his monologues, “a great day for America.”
—Michele Greppi

What Do They Know?

February 3, 2008 9:00 PM

In its first month since the changeover from Court TV to truTV, the Turner Broadcasting network registered a 17% increase in total viewers. But you’d never know that from reading comments from die-hard Court TV viewers on the truTV online message boards. “They are throwing way to [sic] much reality crap in the mix … you see one drunk guy leading the police on a high speed chase … how many more times do you have to watch another version of it,” said poster Blossom71, who vowed not to tune in anymore. In a poll on the site, 79.5% said they don’t like any of the changes to the network—but then again, only 127 people participated. A Turner spokeswoman said the company keeps an eye on the message boards, but added, “While the boards can be a useful source of information, they aren’t an accurate way to measure brand health. The major reason is that any given discussion can be narrow in scope, making it a reflection of only a very small part of our audience. The most important measure of our performance involves ratings, and truTV is doing extremely well.”
—Jon Lafayette

HD: Puppies vs. Probst

February 3, 2008 9:00 PM

What’s now in HD: Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl.” Awww. So cute! Animal Planet’s always fitting alternative to the Super Bowl is three hours of nonstop frolicking action that was set to air in hi-def widescreen on Sunday for the first time. What’s not in HD: CBS’ biggest reality hit “Survivor,” which the network renewed for two more editions last week. The show still will not receive an upgrade to the most popular format for prime-time broadcast programming.
—James Hibberd