Open Mic

Chasen Murder May Be Solved, But Questions–And Fears–Remain

It has only been a few days since the stunning announcement that the Beverly Hills Police Department had in essence solved the murder of Ronni Chasen, a case that has riveted Southern California and particularly the entertainment industry. Since she…

Dec 10, 2010

Season Finale of ‘Boardwalk Empire’: Now THAT’S a Cliffhanger

In HBO’s just-concluded first season of “Boardwalk Empire,” the characters and the milieu are haunting, an intermingled stew of real and fictional political and criminal personages–and innocents caught in their web–from a bygone era that still resonate today. If you…

Dec 6, 2010

The Ronni Chasen Tragedy: Why Did It Happen?

It’s still difficult to shake off the shock of seeing the headline "Ronni Chasen Gunned Down in Beverly Hills." Images of mobster Bugsy Siegel as portrayed by Warren Beatty in the film "Bugsy” come to mind when you think of…

Nov 18, 2010

With Conan Debuting on TBS, Here’s the Real Reason He’s No Longer on NBC Right After Stations’ Late News. And What Conan Should Really Be Doing

Conan O’Brien’s debut onTBS on Monday, Nov. 8, 2010, coincides with my just having finished New York Times national media correspondent Bill Carter’s book “The War For Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy,” which hit bookstores…

Nov 8, 2010

The Puzzling Failure of Obama and the Democrats: How We Suffered For Our Sanity. How We Tried To Set Them Free. They Would Not Listen. They Did Not Know How. Perhaps They’ll Listen Now. (But Don’t Count on It)

Now that the entire frickin’ nation has yelled and screamed through their ballot boxes—except for us loons here in California–perhaps Obama will get it, but I’m not optimistic. [Aside: How do I know we’re looney tunes out here? Well, how…

Nov 3, 2010

Reality Check: Life Is Not Fair. Nowhere Is That More True Than in Hollywood, Where Values Depend Upon Your Value to Hollywood

So let me get this straight. Charlie Sheen, model citizen that he is, threatens his wife with a knife one Christmas Day. On probation for that nicety, most recently he allegedly picks up a porn star after boozing and doing…

Oct 28, 2010

Leo Burnett, One of the Great Ad Men, Said, ‘Make It Simple. Make It Memorable. Make It Inviting to Look At. Make It Fun to Read.’ Burnett Would Have Been In Love With This Season’s Startling, Surprising ‘Mad Men.’ An Appreciation

The shock waves are still reverberating from the turn of events in the life of Don Draper that left viewers of “Mad Men" literally gasping during the stunning finale episode of Season 4. Fans of the highly-awarded show will have…

Oct 26, 2010

The Final Minutes of the 24-Hour LiveCocoCam…

After spending a day in front of the LiveCocoCam, the interns and other staff at Conan O’Brien’s latest world headquarters — conveniently located above Stage 15 on the Warner lot, where “Conan” begins taping Nov. 8 — must have realized…

Oct 25, 2010

Escaping the Competitive Herd: Why the CTAM Summit is the Best Conference in the TV Industry

The annual summit put on by Char Beales and her team at CTAM, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, is, year-in and year-out, the smartest event we attend. As regular readers of this blog know, I’m a big believer in…

Oct 20, 2010

Recalling June Cleaver: A Classic Mom, and a Little Boy’s Friend

A childhood friend’s mom died last month and when he called to tell me, I felt a real sense of loss because she had made such an indelible impression on me as a child. She was intelligent, caring and sincere, ever…

Oct 18, 2010