Open Mic

‘Put Another Candle on My Birthday Cake, I’m Another Year Old Today.’ Actually, It Was This Past Monday That the First Lady of TV, Betty White, Turned 89. And Here’s Part of the Celebration That Took Place in Kansas City

Brad Moore, president of Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, gave the cue. As America’s favorite octogenarian turned around, the Hallmark Gospel Choir, a volunteer group of employee serenaders, tore into their version of “Birthday” by the Beatles. We know it’s…

Jan 21, 2011

Just Where Did Ricky Gervais Go Wrong in His Stinging Golden Globes Performance?

Why are people so surprised that Ricky Gervais made a series of (not particularly funny) jokes at a lot of people’s expense during his second outing as host of the Golden Globes telecast? It’s the Globes, folks, the awards show…

Jan 17, 2011

The Folks Behind ‘American Idol’ Have Become Tone-Deaf. Season 10 Is About to Premiere. Why It’s Going to Be Like Jay Leno at 10 p.m. All Over Again

“American Idol” is in trouble. I know this because I asked some of the key executives about the show yesterday, and I didn’t find their answers encouraging. The problem is that, fundamentally, they don’t understand why most of us watch…

Jan 12, 2011

Oprah, Part 2: We Get Some Unexpected Support for Our Position That Oprah Is Wrong About TV Programming Today. Plus Some Ideas About Where OWN Must Go

Las Vegas–Greetings from Las Vegas and the annual Consumer Electronics Show. I went to a keynote session this morning (I’m writing this on Thursday night, Jan. 6, 2011) and watched Ivan Seidenberg, the chairman and CEO of Verizon, interview Jeff…

Jan 7, 2011

Memo to Oprah: Your OWNerous Assessment of TV Today Is Just Plain Wrong. But Here’s What You’re Getting Right, as Well

Here’s a truism about TV that bears repeating: At every moment in its commercial history, TV has been accused of being a vast wasteland. Yes, the exact phrase referring to TV as a “vast wasteland” wasn’t coined until FCC Chairman…

Jan 3, 2011