Open Mic

With Black Friday Coming Up Next Week, Here’s Your First Must-Buy Holiday Gift (For a Small Fee, In America)

Last week, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the dazzling musical “West Side Story” was shown in selected movie theaters around the country for one night only. I’m going to assume that, like me, most of you missed this screening. If…

Nov 15, 2011

Twenty Years Ago, A Brutal Murder Shook The New York TV and Advertising Communities to Their Core. How These Communities Have Worked So Hard To Make Sure Some Good Has Come of This Tragedy. A Mother’s Tribute

July 30th, 1990. The fashionable West Village in Manhattan. It had hit 84 degrees in New York that day, but Larry Schatz remembers that Monday night as clear as a starkly cold, crystal clear darkness in the deadest of winter….

Nov 7, 2011

‘First Is First and Second Is Nobody’: A Must-See Movie Comes to TV. Upon Its Initial Release The New York Times Called It ‘Shrill and Clumsy.’ My Guess Is That The Times Was Put Off by the Film’s Sexuality and Violence

One of my favorite channels on TV, hands down, is TCM—Turner Classic Movies. I’ve been in love with the movies since I was a little boy, and so, for me, watching TCM is like giving a kid a chance to…

Oct 18, 2011

Oprah Knows the False Power of Ego. But Can She Recognize Its Latest Implication for Her Professional Life?

It’s the "CBS Evening News," and it’s eerily familiar. The lead story is about Mitt Romney and his run for the Republican nomination for President of the United States The newscaster then intones, “Also tonight, a wallet full of worries….

Oct 10, 2011

Attention Marketers: Ask Not What You Can Do for Your Customers, But What Your Customers Can Do for You. Secrets of Social Media Strategy from Harvard Square. ‘What Would Zynga Do?’

Where are your customers today? With more than 800 million users, Facebook is a good place to find a chunk of them. In fact, says Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, an associate professor of business administration at the Havard Business School, if…

Oct 6, 2011

Ding! Ding! Ding! We Have a Winner! We Have a Winner! Who’s the Company or Person Exhibiting the Most Insane, Self-Destructive Behavior in the Past 12 Months? No, It’s Not Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan or Anthony Weiner. It’s Reed Hastings and Netflix

Paging Dr. Drew. Paging Dr. Drew. Please, someone — anyone — do an intervention before our once beloved Netflix is gone forever. First, let us pray. Gather around all your co-workers or your family. Dear God, please stop whatever has…

Sep 20, 2011

Writers Share Insights, Laughs About Working in TV … and the Allure of a Certain Miss Emmy

In film, writers often don’t get much glory, as we’ve all heard many times in the silly but somewhat truthful joke about the naive starlet who slept with the screenwriter in order to get cast in the film, to no…

Sep 16, 2011

Creative Arts Emmys a Chance for Unsung Heroes to Roar — Even Without Tiger Blood

Even as Charlie Sheen was getting ready to be the brunt of barbs at Sony Pictures Studios during the taping of his Comedy Central roast, his nemesis, Chuck Lorre, and former “Two and a Half Men" co-star Jon Cryer were…

Sep 13, 2011

Don’t Know Much About Biology. Though, Like You, I Read About a Study Yesterday Saying ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Scrambles Toddlers’ Brains. Really?

So. It’s a Tuesday morning (last spring) and son No. 1, our 16-year-old, has overslept, which means he most likely will miss the bus, which is a big problem because he’s got a chem test period one and I’ve got…

Sep 13, 2011

A Call to Action: As the New List of Participants on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Illustrates, We Are in Grave Danger of Celebrating Celebrities Whose Level of Fame Is Unacceptable

When we posted our story earlier this week about who the new celebrities are for this fall’s edition of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” (“A Thespian, a Former Lesbian and a Kardashian. Plus a Stylist, a Jurist and a Songstress. And…

Sep 1, 2011