Jun 29, 2009
It's Fourth of July week in America. To some folks, this means hot dogs, baseball and an extra day off from work.
For a small minority of us so afflicted, Independence Day also marks something else: The return of the annual summer malady known as "Big Brother" addiction.
It's a sickness I've battled for the better part of a decade. Actually, "battled" is the wrong word, as I've willingly submitted myself to the CBS reality show's addictive grip, letting it take hold of me like some teen tramp in "Twilight" falling under the spell of a vampire.
Last year, I got the chance to feed my habit as never before, injecting "Big Brother" right into my veins by living in the "Brother" house for a half-day. You can read about my experiences here.
This summer, my blogger bud Ben Mandelker, known to some as B-Side, got a chance to live The Big Brother Experience. His much more humorous journaling of said experiences is live in TVWeek's In Depth section, which you can find right here.
Both of our stories, by the way, feature appearances by People's Reagan Alexander. He's becoming known as the Bad Boy of Big Brother press day. One wonders when producers are going to wise up and just ask the man to be a contestant on the real "Big Brother."Meanwhile, until "Brother" returns July 9, let's relive another B-Side creation:
Jun 24, 2009
CBS has lost one of its behind-the-scenes icons.
Anne Roberts Nelson, who spent more than 60 years at the Eye network, has passed away. Nelson was a longtime business affairs executive who worked on contracts for classic shows such as "I Love Lucy," "All In the Family" and "The Young and the Restless." She was CBS's longest-tenured employee when she finally left the network earlier this year.
In 2005, CBS devoted an entire floor of its Television City building to Nelson.
A full obituary from CBS, including memorial plans, is after the jump.
Jun 13, 2009
It's around 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday. A quick check of the Twitter shows that among the top ten trending topics on the microblogging service are Tehran (things are tense in Iran right now), Six Flags (it's summer...and the company just filed for Chapter 11) and... HBO.
HBO? What could cause the Twiterrati to be talking about HBO on a Satuday night?
Well, the network's got a big fight tonight. But, there's this: "True Blood" returns for its second season tomorrow night. And the faithful are clearly getting excited.
Nobody's proven a link between Twitter activity and Nielsen numbers just yet. But it's worth noting that variations of "Jon and Kate" accounted for several trending topics the night of that show's recent season premiere. You know, the episode that attracted 10 million viewers and smashed records.
Just a hunch, but I think there will be some happy faces at HBO HQs in both LA and New York come Monday.
Jun 9, 2009
Talk about your cheap laughs.
Apple's iTunes Store has launched a summertime comedy promotion giving away five full-length episodes of some popular TV comedies... for free. Dozens more episodes are being virtually given away at just 99 cents a pop.
Getting the gratis treatment are some ensemble half-hours with strong cult followings, including "Arrested Development," "Human Giant," "Reno 911!," "The State" and "The IT Crowd." Users can only download one free episode of each series, but other episodes of those shows are available for under one buck.
That's also the price point for a number of other major series taking part in the iTunes yuks giveaway. Those shows include "The Office," "30 Rock," "The Larry Sanders Show," "Barney Miller," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Good Times."
One of the best values of the sale: All 24 episodes of the landmark first season of "Saturday Night Live" are available for just 99 cents. The episodes run over an hour in length, without commericals (natch) and include the musical performances (Carly Simon! Martha Reeves! ABBA!)
Don't say MoJoe never did anything for you.
May 17, 2009
With little fanfare, CBS Corp. has decided to change the name of its domestic and international production units.
CBS Paramount Network Television is now simply CBS Television Studios. And the Eye's international unit now goes by the moniker CBS Studios International (or CSI, if you're feeling cheeky).
The change first surfaced last week, when Daily Variety reported the studio's new overall deal with "Numb3rs" producer Ken Sanzel. CBS Television Studios didn't put out a release on the makeover.
So why the change?
May 7, 2009
With just a few hours before the new J.J. Abrams version of "Star Trek" opens, we at TV MoJoe were feeling a little left out. Everyone else in the media universe has been talking up how awesome the movie is, but we hadn't found an angle.
Thankfully, CBS came through with some clips from tonight's edition of "Late Show with David Letterman" top 10 list. Special guest: Leonard Nimoy. Have a gander:
May 1, 2009
Wrapping up the first week of TV MoJoe on a quiet note. Team TVWeek is busily putting together Monday's print issue. Look for some timely stories about the upfront marketplace.
My latest column also will be in the issue, but you can read it right here, right now.
Meanwhile, in honor of May Day, enjoy this bit of Soviet-era propaganda!