News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
Amusing encounter between Lena Dunham and Seth Meyers last night on "Late Night With Seth Meyers." She had an incident at the airport...(doesn't everyone?)."This is like 'SVU' times a thousand...I cried and then I called my mom [and she] said, 'Oh my God, do you think anyone tweeted about it?'" She also talks here about her "Saturday Night Live" obsession; she hosts the show March 8.
Exactly two weeks in, how's the most important, pivotal and historic programming move of the year - of many years - going so far, referring here of course to "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"? On the most basic level of them all -- numbers -- almost amazingly well. Thanks to DVR, or time-shifted viewing -- which has essentially become the coin of the realm in late night, making late night TV essentially "watching-the-next-day-during-your-coffee-break" TV -- the show boosted total viewership by 2,000,000 viewers for the first week. That makes for a total of 10.4 million, or the most for one week since Johnny Carson's last week in May of 1992 (just under 20 million -- so, no contest, of course). And here's the clincher: The average age of that audience is just under 53 years of age, or a drop of around six to seven years in age from Jay's show. Keep in mind -- NBC engineered this whole business as a mean of reversing "Tonight's" graying audience.
But from a critical perspective, how is this show doing? There's nothing here that suggests I should change my initial impression -- a positive one -- except that maybe I might offer an even more positive spin at this point: This has been an excellent two weeks for Fallon on the air. Sure, the "interviews" often seem more like rolling kaffeeklatsches absent substance, but with plenty of laughs and non sequiturs (the rambling on about the "Rocky" franchise with Paul Rudd, for example). But get past those -- and they do tend to be amusing -- and you have yourself a revitalized, enjoyable, and surprisingly smart new "Tonight." Fallon's monologues -- of all things! -- have been one of the strong points: Effortless, funny, roll-with-the-punches and smart. Fans knew all along he could nail this show, but the new monologues-on-steroids strategy was certainly something to be concerned about. (Fallon is a fine performer, but he's not a joke machine.) But he's nailed that too.
Meanwhile, the embedded comedy -- for want of a better term -- has been a standout as well. Here is one example: Last night's "Wastepaper Basketball with LeBron James." Not quite comedy, but a catchy interlude nevertheless.
OWN's "Lindsay" is coming -- and sooner than you think: March 9, Sunday, 10 p.m. But it is beginning to look as though OWN plans on keeping the media in a fenced off area, so to speak, on this one: No "preview" screeners, no clips and maybe even no interviews (with Amy Rice, the director here; Linds doesn't "do" interviews.... except with Oprah who paid hard cash for this interview/docuseries package.)...Read more »
And speaking of one LIndsay Lohan - about to embark on an interesting new TV venture (see below) - she'll appear on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"next week - Thursday night, to be exact. And further speaking of interesting matters, snowboarder Shaun White's band, "Bad Things," appears the same night. Also next week - Tina Fey and Randy Newman (Monday); Chelsa Handler and Lea MIchele (Tuesday); Annette Benning, Norm Reedus (Wed.); and Stephen Colbert, Broken Bells (Friday.) ;
"Portlandia," IFC's very funny/odd/eccentric/loopy/Portlandcentric comedy starring Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, is back. The fourth season arrives Thursday night at 10, but there's no reason to wait for everything until then because... we have a longish clip from the new season, titled "The Celery Incident." It stars Steve Buscemi as a celery man with a problem.
The video is too explicit for our site, but, be warned, and watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRQ-HnSIY2s
An interesting first, and potentially helpful first for those away from a TV set Sunday - ABC will stream the Oscars ceremony and preshow this Sunday on "Watch ABC." And yes, one does need to be a subscriber to one of the participating cable providers (which include Optimum, Verizon FiOS, and AT&T U-Verse.) The news release:
The Oscars preshow and full awards telecast will stream...Read more »
Jay Leno is back in late night TV! For just a couple of minutes...those specifically tonight, on "Arsenio." In a fun, unusual, relaxed (Jay owns a pair of jeans? Who knew...) appearance, he announces the second season pickup of Arsenio Hall's late night show - yes, that show that certain major news organizations don't even know exists...
In a bizarre coincidence, Gary Melius - the owner of Oheka Castle in Huntington who was wounded in a daytime shooting while he was in his car Monday - had also appeared on "Treasures of New York: Gold Coast Mansions" on WNET/13 just a few days before. (The WLIW/21 series, which premiered Feb. 17 on Channel 21, repeated last Friday on Ch. 13.) Melius, suffice it to say, is not a regular presence...Read more »
It's not all that often that I post individual interviews, but because I'm a fan of Jon Stewart and of Michio Kaku - the brilliant thinker long associated with CUNY Graudate school - I'll make an exception. This was on last night...really interesting...
(Newsday app readers please go to Newsday.com/tvzone):
Alec Baldwin -- who has given up, hates New York, is fed up with TV, will never watch MSNBC again, certainly never watch Anderson Cooper again, and...what am I missing? -- has one last role to play, on "Law & Order: SVU," as a...
Ready for this...
Oh right. Alec hates them too.
Details on the March 19 must-watch episode (must-watch to see if Alec becomes a victim) as follows (and not to bury the other lead, Katie Couric has a cameo too):
"Jimmy MacArthur, a controversial New York newspaper columnist who questions the SVU squad’s motives during the investigation of a potential hate crime/rape case. The episode also marks the directorial debut of “SVU” star Mariska Hargitay, whose character, Sergeant Olivia Benson, goes head to head with MacArthur. Katie Couric also makes a cameo appearance, playing herself as a talk show host who quizzes MacArthur about the headline grabbing case.
Here's "SVU" boss Warren Leight on his unusual guest star: “New York City has had a long history of high profile and controversial newspaper columnists, whose influence extends beyond the newsroom. In our story, ‘Jimmy Mac’s’ reporting interferes with the investigation, which has a ripple effect when the case goes to trial. We couldn’t ask for a better actor for Mariska [Hargitay] to work with in her directorial debut. Their chemistry on screen is palpable.”