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October 2008 Archives

Transgender Issues, Crappy Jobs in Spotlight on Election Day

October 30, 2008 3:19 PM

The economy is in crisis, but on Nov. 4 there’ll be a far greater choice to make than Barack Obama or John McCain.


Maury Povich will host his own vote on Election Day with a special episode that’s a little bit Carmelita from “Dirty Sexy Money.”

The big decision won’t be Democrat or Republican, but “Time to Vote! Born Man or Woman?”

Viewers in studio and at home will be able to cast their vote in the very democratic process of determining whether the transgendered candidates are men or women.

“This is probably the most important election in our country’s history ... not that the one with Barack Obama and John McCain doesn't count,” host Maury Povich joked. “Our goal, after a very long and tough presidential campaign, is just to have a little fun with our studio audience and viewers at home.”

Meanwhile, couch potatoes who prefer their election tributes with a little less daytime drama and more dirt can check out Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” on election night.

The program will air 11 “Dirty Presidents” animated segments between 8 and 11 p.m. ET uncovering the dirty work past presidents had to do before they headed into the dirty world of politics.

Did you know Abraham Lincoln was a butcher? Or that life for James Garfield was the shits when he worked as a janitor?

“With past presidents up to their eyeballs in dirt and poop, we’re helping to show that politics isn’t the only dirty job out there,” said Brad Roth, who is co-president with Mark Feldstein of Stun Creative, the agency whose graphics division, Buster, was behind the segments.

Check out video of the segments here.

But please do remember to get off the couch and vote for real.

—Vlada Gelman

(Edited to add link.)

TheWB.com Plays Along With Schwartz’s ‘Rockville’

October 29, 2008 3:22 PM

It’s like Seth Cohen’s wet dream come true.

The latest project from Josh Schwartz (“The OC,” “Gossip Girl,” “Chuck”) is all about music.


ROCK IT Liela Moss from The Duke Spirit performs on “Rockville, CA.”

“Rockville, CA,” a music-themed scripted Web series for TheWB.com debuting in 2009, began production today at Los Angeles music venue the Echo. Each episode of the weekly drama will feature a set by an indie band at the show’s fictional Rockville club.

Executive producer and music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas, who’s had a hand in picking out music for everything from “Grey’s Anatomy” to “Mad Men,” has already tapped the Duke Spirit, Eagles of Death Metal, Earlimart, Frightened Rabbit, the Kooks, the Little Ones, Lykke Li, Nico Stai, Passion Pit, White Lies and “The OC” theme song crooners Phantom Planet to perform on the show.

Because this is the Internet, TheWB.com will attempt to simultaneously thwart illegal downloaders and lure music lovers by offering downloads and streaming of exclusive tracks from the show.

Something tells the Daily Blink viewers of this series aren’t going to be in it for the storylines. But for those who care about fictional drama, “Rockville, CA” will star Andrew West, Alexandra Chando, former “Veronica Mars” “Dick” (not being mean—that was his name!) Ryan Hansen, Mighty Rasta and, of course, a bunch of hipster musicians.

—Vlada Gelman

Web-to-TV Transfer

October 26, 2008 8:40 PM

Calling all television writers!

The online community First WivesWorld.com is aiming to develop your work into pilots, but with a twist. Its approach is to first launch an idea as a blog, see how it works, then migrate it to another medium, such as a TV show, book or film.


One of the first such projects under the First Wives World umbrella is “Hot Flashes,” a fictional blog from the “Grey’s Anatomy” writer Mimi Schmir that’s now being turned into a novel to be published by Amy Einhorn Books, a division of Putnam.

“We are focused on working with TV writers, taking their projects and developing them to take them to the next level,” said Danielle Montalbano, head of entertainment at First Wives World.

Another TV scribe who has brought her pen to First Wives World is “Medium’s” Melinda Hsu, who will write the “Sweet and Sour Chronicles,” a fictional blog, for the site next year.

“We want to build an audience and take them to the networks,” Ms. Montalbano said.

Hmm, sounds like this is just the sort of pilot development “testing process” that a certain Jeff Zucker talked about way back at NATPE. Perhaps it won’t be long before we’ll all be following the First Wives World model?

--Daisy Whitney

November's Pet Project for Judge David Young

October 26, 2008 8:40 PM

Sony Pictures Television’s “Judge David Young” is going to the dogs on Fridays during November sweeps.

Judge David Young

Starting Friday, “Young” will air special pet-themed episodes under the banner of “Thank Dog It’s Friday!” The shows will feature cases involving animals, along with segments about how to get pet-rearing information from the Humane Society of the United States, which is collaborating with the syndicated strip.

“Our partnership with the HSUS is an exciting opportunity to raise awareness of proper animal care on a national level,” executive producer Rich Goldman said. “Animal protection and pet owners’ rights are great causes that Judge David Young holds close to his heart.”

Some of the cases sniffed out for the pet episodes include a dog owner who is sued when his pit bull attacks a goat and a client claiming negligence against her dog’s groomer.

“As a long-serving board member of my local Miami-Dade Humane Society, I feel truly honored to be working with the HSUS,” Judge Young said. “I am passionate about proper treatment for animals and I’m sure that audiences will be able to see as much when they tune in to the pet-centric episodes that we taped for ‘Thank Dog It’s Friday!’”

Judge Young lives in Miami with his partner of 12 years, Judge Scott Bernstein, and Maggie, his cairn terrier-poodle mix.

--Andrew Krukowski

Looking Forward to ‘Lost’? Check This Out!

October 24, 2008 3:58 PM

A leaked version of a new ABC promo touting the upcoming return of “Lost” hit the Internet a few days ago. But why watch a grainy, bootlegged bit of video when you can watch an officially sanctioned copy? Be on the lookout for some hidden text and lots of guns. Only three more months, “Lost”-ies….

—Josef Adalian

Does Silverman Sit-Down With Kimmel Mean They’re Together Again?

October 23, 2008 4:12 PM

Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman haven’t publicly commented on reports that they’re back together as a couple. But fans might get a definite answer next week.


That’s because ABC today confirmed that Ms. Silverman has been booked to appear on the Oct. 30 edition of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

It will mark the first time Ms. Silverman has appeared on Mr. Kimmel’s show since the couple confirmed they had broken up in July. A few weeks ago, People magazine reported that the comedians had rekindled their romance—but representatives for Mr. Kimmel and Ms. Silverman declined comment.

The big question: Will Mr. Kimmel the talk show host feel compelled to ask Ms. Silverman the guest about the status of her relationship with Mr. Kimmel the boyfriend?

ABC announced Ms. Silverman’s booking in a November sweeps press release noting a slew of upcoming guests on Kimmel’s show. The Jonas Brothers and “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno also are slated to appear on the talk show, while plans are in the works for a special episode tied to the premiere of the new James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace.”

—Josef Adalian

Howard Will Do Whatever It Takes to Support Obama

October 23, 2008 2:12 PM

OK this election has seen some strange sights before but the return of Ron Howard as Opie and Richie Cunningham … complete with Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler?

Ladies and gentlemen, the latest video from supporters of Barack Obama …

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

—Ira Teinowitz

'Mars' Music

October 21, 2008 1:47 PM

ABC continues to pump up the marketing for new drama “Life on Mars.”

For weeks now, the network has been using the new Chris Cornell single “Ground Zero” as the main promotional music in its campaign for “Mars.” Today, the network takes things a step further with a full-length video for the song that features scenes from the show spliced with footage of Cornell walking the streets of Manhattan.

—Josef Adalian

'ET': Fun With Self Exposure

October 17, 2008 10:56 AM

Stars Flip Out For ET

“Entertainment Tonight,” in a just-inked deal with Pure Digital Technologies, is outfitting celebrities such as Zac Efron, Jerry O’Connell and Lauren Conrad with Pure’s pocket-sized Flip Mino camcorders to shoot behind-the-scenes video footage of their daily lives. The video will then be integrated into segments of the CBS Television Distribution syndicated strip and loaded onto the show’s Web site, ETOnline.com, which will devote a special “Stars Flip Out for ET” section to the clips. While Daily Blink’s not counting on seeing footage supplied by Brangelina or LiLo and SamRo, it’s sure many of the more attention-deficient celebrities will be onboard this new venture before you can say “TMZ." Or make that "TMI."
—Tom Gilbert

‘Simpsons’ Scares Up ‘Treehouse’ Promo

October 16, 2008 12:06 PM

“The Simpsons’” annual “Treehouse of Horror” episode is as time-honored a Halloween tradition as slutty costumes and eating too much candy. Simpson's Treehouse of Horror Retrospective

This year’s episode, airing Nov. 2 at 8 p.m., will no doubt feature the usual mayhem and gore, so Marge Simpson begs you to “please tuck in your children instead of writing us angry letters tomorrow.”

Somebody should tell Marge about a little something her network’s parent company likes to call Hulu.

Check out a promotional video for the episode featuring “Treehouses” of past behind the cut.

—Vlada Gelman

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McFarlane Series Spins the Web

October 12, 2008 8:47 PM

Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy

When Former Disney chief and current Web show producer Michael Eisner heralded the coming of the online video age last week at a Veoh-sponsored forum in New York, he spoke not only from personal experience, but most likely with knowledge of the recent success of TV writer Seth MacFarlane’s Web series “Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy.” According to its backer, Media Rights Capital, “Cavalcade”—a collection of animated shorts sponsored by Burger King—pulled in more than 14 million views during its first three weeks online, following the impressive trail blazed by Mr. Eisner’s own “Prom Queen,” the 80-episode online series that earned more than 20 million views in its run last year. MRC cut deals for the show to run on YouTube, Sethcomedy.com and across Google’s content network. Mr. MacFarlane’s celebrity status as creator of “Family Guy” has no doubt contributed to “Cavalcade’s” popularity on the Web, and the numbers underline the growing importance of attaching established Hollywood talent to Internet projects.

—Daisy Whitney

Disney Legends in Burbank

October 12, 2008 8:40 PM

Disney Legends

Forget Grauman’s Chinese. Barbara Walters and Frank Gifford are taking their famous hands to … um, Burbank. The ABC News and ABC Sports icons are two of 11 people scheduled to be honored Oct. 13 as Disney Legends, the company’s annual salute to folks whose work has made a significant and lasting impact on the legacy of the Walt Disney Co. Ms. Walters, Mr. Gifford and the other honorees will take part in a handprint ceremony, with their prints displayed in bronze at the Disney Legends Plaza at the company’s Burbank HQ. Disney honorees also get a unique present to take home with them: a two-foot bronze Disney Legends Awards sculpture. “Collectively, this group has enchanted millions, young and old, around the world, and it is a privilege to pay tribute to them,” said Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. Others being honored as Disney Legends this week include voice actors Wayne Allwine (Mickey Mouse) and Russi Taylor (Minnie Mouse).

—Josef Adalian

‘Verdict’ for Adelstein, Drama for Scheuring

October 12, 2008 8:40 PM

The Verdict

“Prison Break” producers Marty Adelstein and Paul Scheuring are readying separate projects at 20th Century Fox Television. With Mr. Adelstein’s help, CBS and 20th Century Fox Television are looking to reinvent “The Verdict,” the Oscar-nominated 1982 legal thriller that starred the late Paul Newman. John Gray, creator of the Eye Network’s hit “Ghost Whisperer,” is writing the small-screen version of the movie, which featured Mr. Newman as a struggling lawyer trying to revive his career and restore his faded reputation. Mr. Gray is teaming with Mr. Adelstein (“Prison Break”) to executive produce the project. CBS has given a premium script order to “The Verdict,” attaching a penalty to the project if it doesn’t move forward to pilot. Mr. Gray has a long history with CBS, writing and directing the network’s 2004 miniseries remake of “Helter Skelter” and the 2002 telepic “Martin and Lewis.” This isn’t the first time CBS has turned to the big screen for a legal franchise. In 1995, the network reworked the 1994 feature “The Client.” Meanwhile, Mr. Scheuring—the creator of “Prison Break”—is once again showing his fondness for conspiracy theories. The writer-producer is preparing an untitled drama for the Fox Network that studio insiders describe as “a big, international adventure” that combines elements of “The Da Vinci Code” and “National Treasure.” Fox has ordered a script of Mr. Scheuring’s drama and attached a penalty to the project if it doesn’t move forward.

—Josef Adalian

Farce vs. Fact

October 12, 2008 8:40 PM

Most of the people who saw Tina Fey mimic Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s performance in the Oct. 2 vice-presidential debate never saw the real thing, according to data from Integrated Media Measurement Inc. IMMI uses a panel of thousands of individuals to monitor viewing of content on three screens—TV, online and mobile—and found several ways in which the “Saturday Night Live” sketch was remarkable besides for Republican nominee Gov. Palin’s “Fargo” accent. For one thing, 56% of those who saw the “Saturday Night Live” sketch were not among the 70 million people who tuned in for Ms. Palin’s debate with Democratic VP candidate Sen. Joe Biden. For another thing, an overwhelming number of them did not see it on live TV; Instead 67% watched either online or via a digital video recorder. “This is the first time we’ve seen delayed viewing numbers this big,” said Amanda Welsh, head of research for IMMI.

—Jon lafayette

ABC: Let’s Do the Time Warp!

October 6, 2008 3:00 PM

Life On MarsABC is cranking up the wayback machine on behalf of its new retro drama “Life on Mars.”

—Readers of the Oct. 16 issue of Rolling Stone (on sale now) will find the music mag wrapped with a vintage cover from March 29, 1973, featuring Dr. Hook, with a banner at the bottom noting “‘Life on Mars’ Premieres Years Ahead of its Time.”

—The current issue of TV Guide boasts a back-page ad that cannily re-creates what a 1973 cover might have looked like with the cast of “Mars.”

—On Oct. 8-9, the New York Daily News will feature a four-page wraparound re-creating two 1973 front pages from the Gotham tabloid.

—On Oct. 9, the day “Mars” premieres, ABC.com will ditch its current home-page design in favor of a scaled-down design meant to evoke what the Web might have looked like during the Nixon administration.

“With the style of promos to the types of things we’re doing (with the covers), we’re trying to set the stage for 1973,” said Mike Benson, ABC’s co-head of marketing.

—Josef Adalian

A Stranglehold on New Media

October 5, 2008 8:40 PM

Stevie Richards

How’s this for a second act? Former nine-year World Wrestling Entertainment star Stevie Richards is now a blogger, podcaster and new-media guru who reviews electronics and technology products at T4show.com. Last week, for instance, he penned a short item on the Starz deal to add movies to Netflix’s Instant Watch option. “I have, always, been a tech enthusiast and decided in May 2007 to start the T4 Show,” said Michael Manna–that’s his real name–in an e-mail exchange with Blink.

—Daisy Whitney

Check the Terms of Your Restraining Order

October 5, 2008 8:40 PM

Elizabeth Reaser

Elizabeth Reaser

Your ex-girlfriend might be looking for you on Oct. 16. Even worse, she might want some cuddle time in front of the TV watching CBS’ chick-flickish “The Ex List.” The network is drumming up support for “Ex Day” as part of its marketing effort supporting the show, which stars Elizabeth Reaser as a woman who learns from a psychic that she has already dated the man she should marry. As a positive New York Times review notes, “No man in your house is going to watch with you.” On Ex Day, CBS is urging people to send a special Ex Bouquet arranged by 1-800-Flowers.com to a former squeeze. CBS also has created a Facebook application where members can build a “Mr. Right” and begin a virtual relationship. The promotions are designed “to help young women have more fun on the dating scene while growing awareness of the show,” says Anne O’Grady, executive VP of CBS marketing.

—Jon Lafayette

Sunny Days for The CW in San Diego

October 5, 2008 8:40 PM

The August station-affiliation switch in San Diego is giving The CW a prime-time boost in the market, while Fox has lost a little ground.

For the month of September, the CW lineup now appearing on Grupo Televisa-owned XETV-TV averaged a 2.1 rating/4 share, up 23.5% from what the network’s programming averaged in November 2007, when it was appearing on Tribune-owned KSWB-TV.

Meanwhile, the Fox lineup appearing on KSWB, which kicked off the affiliation switch when it dropped The CW and signed on with Fox, averaged a 2.7 rating/5 share in September. That was down 13% from November 2007, when XETV was the Fox affiliate.

“I’ve been very pleased,” said Richard Doutre Jones, XETV VP and general manager, who said that since the switch, his 10 o’clock newscast’s ratings have remained stable—“which is outstanding, to be perfectly frank,” he said. His morning program has gained audience share.

—Michele Greppi

Do You Digg Houseguests?

October 5, 2008 8:40 PM


Your butt has made a permanent dent in your couch with endless hours of television viewing and Xbox playing. Why not let Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht, stars of the Web series “Diggnation,” make their own marks on your favorite piece of furniture? Web studio Revision3 is conducting a contest that will have Mssrs. Rose and Albrecht broadcast from your living room. The Revision3 contest is in partnership with its longtime advertiser, Go Daddy.

—Daisy Whitney

Hasselbeck Still Riles New Variety Show Host O'Donnell

October 2, 2008 8:11 AM

Even as Rosie O’Donnell prepares for a possible new career as variety show host, she hasn’t totally given up on her feud with former co-worker Elisabeth Hasselbeck.


In recent posts on her Rosie.com Web site, Ms. O’Donnell—who left ABC’s “The View” last year after a series of on-air spats with Ms. Hasselbeck—has left little doubt that she still has misgivings about "The View's" conservative voice.

Among the recent references to the strained relationship:

—On the “Ask Ro” section of Ms. O’Donnell’s Web site, a reader asked who might be a good replacement for Ms. Hasselbeck. Replied Ms. O’Donnell: “Anyone.”

—Another reader mentioned Internet gossip regarding Ms. Hasselbeck’s possibly leaving “The View” and asked Ms. O’Donnell if it was “hard going to work every day” when she was moderator of the show. Ms. O’Donnell replied with a poem.

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‘Supernatural’ Does the Monster Mash

October 1, 2008 1:53 PM

“Supernatural” is going retro.


Creator Eric Kripke was recently picked by TVWeek for its Masters of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror list for putting his stamp on the horror genre with “Supernatural.” In its upcoming fifth episode, The CW series will tip its hat to the horror classics.

The episode, titled “Monster Movie,” will feature a trio of classic horror monsters—Dracula, a werewolf and a mummy—and, fittingly, will air entirely in black-and-white.

Check out some rather atmospheric, flattering photos—not that the Winchester brothers need any help in the looks department—from the episode behind the cut.

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