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After a 50 year absence -- or specifically, 51 year absence -- from "The Tonight Show," Barbra Streisand returned Monday night in a way that would only be logical for the current host, Jimmy Fallon: to sing a medley duet with him.
And it worked for the most part.
The interview itself? Both disappointing and fascinating. Fascinating, as a unique thing in an of itself, which is to say:...Read more »
Michael Che was named "Saturday Night Live" "Weekend Update" on Thursday, and -- just like that -- he's about to become one of the most famous comics in the world.
But who is he? Where did he come from? And how did this happen so suddenly?
Che replaces Cecily Strong, in the role only one season, who, according to The New York Times (through which the appointment was announced late Thursday),...Read more »
Barbra Streisand will conduct her first interview on "The Tonight Show" in 51 years -- that's right, 51 -- on Monday, NBC said Thursday.
The entire edition of "Tonight" with Jimmy Fallon will be devoted to Streisand, who last appeared on the show on March 3, 1963. She is also promoting her new album, "Partners," which arrives on Tuesday. On the album, she performs duets with a wide range of artists, including Billy Joel, Blake Shelton and Stevie Wonder.
Streisand is hardly averse to talk shows (she was on "Today" earlier this year). She has made rare, and extremely brief, appearances on other late-night shows, too -- including a cameo on "Saturday Night Live" in 1992, and "Late Show with David Letterman" in 1994.
She also appeared on a 1993 New Year's Eve edition of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," which commemorated her first paid concert in 22 years, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. She was not interviewed on that particular edition, however.
So what's kept Streisand away from the "Tonight" couch for more than half a century?
"There is no reason," Ken Sunshine, her longtime spokesman, said Thursday. "She does precious little media to promote her projects," adding "she hasn't done much print, hasn't done TV overall, but when she does, it's pretty special. As I've said before, less is more has worked really well. But Monday is exciting because of how long it's been."
Tim Tebow, who was a New York Jet for a New York minute, is joining "Good Morning America," the show announced Thursday.
Tebow, already an analyst on ESPN, will "help launch GMA's 'Motivate Me Monday' series, featuring individuals and their amazing stories of triumph. Tebow will appear in studio and live on location in towns across America with a wide-range of reports that motivate and inspire."
On Thursday, Discovery Channel announced a novel and gloriously nutty new show, "Rival Survival," in which a Senate Democrat and a Senate Republican are abandoned on a remote island where they proceed to... fight it out, then hug it out, then get out.
Who knows, maybe "Rival Survival" is on to something. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Az.) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) will be stranded for a week on the island, Eru. The show launches Oct. 29 at 10.
Here are the details:
In RIVAL SURVIVAL, our senatorial adversaries turned survival teammates are given a modest choice of items from which they can select only three. Using only these limited resources and their wits, the pair must work together as they attempt to spear fish, build shelter and find enough water to survive for one week. There is no natural source for fresh water on Eru, and what lives in the ocean will be their major food source. This unusual pairing will leave behind the daily life of congressional staff, senate hearings and committee meetings to navigate the rigors of surviving on an isolated island with no contact with the outside world to call upon for help.
"TNF" stands for "Thursday Night Football" and "CBS" stands for the most successful broadcast network in the United States (It actually stands for the "Columbia Broadcasting System" ... but who remembers that?). Thursday night, the acronyms get together to form a unique, potentially groundbreaking -- or air-breaking -- TV experiment that could change television, viewer habits, future network/cable rights fee negotiations, the NFL and (what the heck) life as we know it on Earth, too.
Or it could be a bust.
Highly unlikely that it will be a "bust" even if Thursday evening arrives at a karmically weird moment, with NFL commish Roger Goodell under fire for the Ray Rice video and the Ravens up first.
But do know this -- Thursday night's huge move is indeed an experiment, the outcome of which remains very much unknown. Will the NFL agree to hand this over to CBS after one year -- and this is just a one year deal, or in fact essentially a six-week deal? Or will it send Thursday games back to its NFL Network after getting a massive awareness boost from CBS? "TNF" will go back exclusively to the NFL Network on Oct. 30 -- that's when "The Big Bang Theory" comes back. Will people in fact, OK, not people, but guys, get used to football on Thursday?
And how will this impact the network's reliance on hugely expensive shows like "The Big Bang Theory" (back late October) -- which just got more expensive?
Let's go to the bullets to sort all this stuff out, if you don't mind:
* Will this succeed? Of course millions will tune in -- and a much larger number of humans will be tuning in to CBS tonight than tuning into NBC or ABC (combined.) But will that be enough? The real question is, what is the NFL's expectation? My hunch is that NBC has lifted that expectation dramatically and perhaps unreasonably -- 21 million on average watch the Sunday night games which indicated to the NFL that there's a massive amount of gold in them thar prime-time hills. But maybe not as much gold on Thursdays as on Sundays -- where Homes Using Television levels are higher than on Thursday. Plus this: the games will still be simulcast on the NFL Network. Maybe some viewers, the habit-bound ones, will stay with the NFL Network instead of CBS. That may have an impact, too.
* Why only a year? Plenty of guesswork on this question, but the NFL is clearly hedging its bets. CBS chief Les Moonves had this to say about the question during the summer TCA press tour: "We knew going in, this was a one-year deal. It is our job to show the NFL what we can do and how great it’s going to be and how great the partnership is going to be. And we’re confident that at the end of the year, they’re going to feel like CBS did a tremendous job. As Roger [Goodell] said, this is a building process. This is the first year. But we’re confident that after this year is over, they’ll sit down and, hopefully, give us a longer deal than that.
* Will this lesson CBS's reliance on those hugely expensive series that just get more and more expensive? I've got to believe that "TNF" is, to a certain extent, a hedge against inflation -- entertainment series inflation -- as well as a hedge against the hard, cold, brutal fact that getting people to watch entertainment fare is harder and harder and harder, even for CBS. Football essentially is a sure bet, so that if this does work, at the very least CBS has a massive promotional platform to push new shows later in the fall. (NBC had a successful launch for "The Blacklist" in part because of relentless football promotion.) CBS will still need to develop entertainment series of course -- but with an ace like this in its back pocket, maybe not so many.
* How will this impact ABC and Fox? You've heard the old line that the rich get richer ... what happens to everyone else? ABC gave up "Monday Night Football" years ago for what I am sure were wonderful business reasons -- but in hindsight were terrible ones. "MNF" was one of TV's singular franchises -- it not only taught people to watch football in prime-time, but taught them to enjoy football in prime-time. It was Roone Arledge's singular insight (one of them), and now, it's hidden, so to speak, on ESPN. (Hidden? I kid: "MNF" is a vast success for ESPN, but I do think ABC's franchise was a cultural institution, while ESPN's is a sports institution.) Ever since, ABC has struggled to fill the vacuum, and with football heading to CBS on Thursdays, that vacuum just grew. Same with Fox -- which is having a terrific time struggling to make up ground lost by a diminished "American Idol." And judging by the early numbers, "Utopia" is not the answer. That's right -- the poor get poorer.
"Nurse Jackie" -- the series that got Edie Falco her much-deserved Emmy for best actress in a comedy after scoring the top drama Emmy for "The Sopranos" -- will wrap after next season, Showtime just announced.
“Edie is one of our finest actresses,” said Showtime Networks chief David Nevins. “We are so honored to have had her on the network. She creates indelible characters and Nurse Jackie Peyton is no exception. I know this final season will bring her story to a close that will satisfy the ever-growing number of loyal viewers who have been entranced and, at times, appalled by Jackie through the years. I want to thank Edie, the incredible cast of NURSE JACKIE and Clyde Phillips and Richie Jackson who have led the show to the success that it is today.” Series begins production on the seventh -- and now final -- season this week.
If you can judge a book by its cover or a TV series by its trailer, then "Kourtney and Khloé Take The Hamptons" -- arriving in November -- appears to be as ferociously and unapologetically vacuous as even the worst of worst case scenarios might have imagined -- only worse.
Unless you are the biggest "K&K" fan on the planet in which case -- bravo! This is absolutely brilliant! But take...Read more »
Meredith Vieira is a loveable TV personality because she is essentially a loveable person -- no one that I'm aware of has ever challenged the basic truth of that equation over her 30-year run on the national TV stage.
But should a loveable personality like hers be showcased in a TV vehicle as conspicuously predicated on that lovability as the new "Meredith Vieira Show," which aired on...Read more »
The press release has finally arrived: James Corden has been named the new host of "The Late Late Show," to replace Craig Ferguson upon his departure this December.
“I can’t describe how thrilled and honoured I am to be taking over from the brilliant Craig Ferguson,” said Corden. “To be asked to host such a prestigious show on America’s #1 network is hugely exciting. I can’t wait to get started,...Read more »