The Insider

Nov 11, 2002  •  Post A Comment

When the network entertainment chiefs do their summit-in-New York appearance next year at the invitation of the International Radio & Television Society, it will be to answer questions posed by a moderator they’ve had the opportunity to approve. And that moderator is likely to be a more performance-tested celebrity inquisitor rather than a working journalist whose attempts at barbed humor are likely to bomb, as happened at IRTS’s October newsmaker breakfast.
“Members of the audience suggested that it makes more sense to have an on-air television professional moderate this particular panel,” Joyce Tudryn, IRTS Foundation president, told The Insider. “Jeff Greenfield, Bill Maher and Larry King received rave reviews when they moderated for HRTS [Hollywood Radio & Television Society] on the West Coast,” Ms. Tudryn said.
In a recent letter obtained by EM and addressed to each of the panelists, Ms. Tudryn and IRTS Foundation Chairman Tim McAuliff reminded the executives, “Your appearance generates funds for our academic programs” and “is considered our most valued tradition.”
“Our plan is to get you to approve a short list of potential moderators in advance and then commit an appropriate individual before we even ask you to confirm,” the letter said. “It would be one small step for IRTS, but one major step for an industry that looks forward to seeing you on the East Coast each year.”
Please don’t ask for more details, dear readers (or editors). The Insider is walking a very fine line here. And anyone who knows how wide she is knows how hard that is to do. But having tried her hand at moderating once or twice in the past, and knowing how difficult that is, she knows she lives in a glass house. Now you’ve got the news on this subject. You want the dish, buy a table at the next newsmaker breakfast.
NBC’s pet project producer
On any Saturday this fall, Ed Feibischoff has been wherever Notre Dame is playing. He’s the alpha producer of NBC Sports’ Notre Dame broadcasts, whose ratings are up 35 percent this season. But this weekend, while the Fighting Irish are resting their dogs (pardon the pun), Mr. Feibischoff will be in Philadelphia with NBC Sports director Jeff Simon for a dog show.
Some 2,500 pedigreed pooches representing some 140 breeds will be put through their competitive paces and take their bows (wows), and perhaps end up in “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina,” a two-hour special that’s a joint venture between NBC Entertainment and Carson International and that airs immediately after NBC’s broadcast of the popular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The Insider’s betting the family-friendly special will raise the ratings woof (that pun’s hard to forgive) and become an instant holiday tradition. “I think it’s a no-brainer,” said Mr. Feibischoff, a five-time Emmy winner.
Mr. Feibischoff is the perfect candidate to produce the show since he has one of the best man’s-best-friend stories ever. It starts with a toy Doberman pinscher who kept company with Mr. Feibischoff, who due to a degenerative hip disease was confined to a wheelchair until an operation finally enabled him to walk at age 8. The dog “would sit in my lap and protect me,” Mr. Feibischoff said.
The story includes a dachshund named Mustard whose hind legs were paralyzed and who got around in a wheeled contraption created by Mr. Feibischoff’s father, a pooch named Trixie whose adoption gave Mustard a second wind and finally an English springer spaniel named Replay who entered the picture the day Mr. Feibischoff, his wife and two kids moved into their new home and has been like his “shadow” ever since.
Mr. Feibischoff’s human stars include host John (“Seinfeld”) O’Hurley, well-known expert commentator David Frei and Andrea Joyce.
`The Bachelor’ line
All bets on “The Bachelor” are off at BetWWTS.com, an off-shore gaming company that last week announced it had suspended wagering on the ABC hit because since Oct. 31 there had been “a deluge of wagers on one of the remaining bachelorettes” from bachelor Aaron Buerge’s hometown of Springfield, Mo. By the time the betting was stopped, more than 60 percent of the money bet on “The Bachelor” was placed on one particular bachelorette, who was not identified.
BetWWTS.com spokesman Kyle Fratini said the woman was not last week’s rejectee, Gwen, which leaves either Brooke or Helene. Please don’t ask for more details, dear readers (or editors), lest The Insider be mistaken for someone who cares.
“It’s thrilling that so many people are interested in this program and its outcome. As for how the series will end, only time will tell. No matter what people might speculate, they’ll only know for sure on Wednesday, Nov. 20,” said an ABC spokesperson, whom The Insider asked whether it was possible that the cat was indeed out of the bag in Springfield. Ohmigawd, is it possible The Insider really does care?