DAYTIME AWARDS NO NIGHTTIME HIT
ABC's coverage of the Daytime Emmy Awards may have moved to Hollywood from New York and tacked on an additional hour, but it failed to improve its ratings, which sank to a record low last year and was 8 percent lower this year. The 33rd annual affair averaged only a 4.7 rating and an 8 share to place third for the night, behind CBS (7.5/13), and NBC (5.5/10). The awards telecast, which saw Ellen DeGeneres receiving the Emmy for best talk show and best talk-show host for the second straight year, received good reviews from critics, who praised its overall production. The Los Angeles Times commented on its GoldDerby.com blog, "ABC put on a helluva show full of excitement and brio."
IT'S OFFICIAL: ROSIE TO JOIN THE VIEW
Barbara Walters and Rosie O'Donnell have confirmed that O'Donnell will join Walters's syndicated The View, replacing Meredith Vieira, who in turn is replacing Katie Couric on NBC's Today show. According to the New York Times, O'Donnell's one-year contract calls for her to become not only a co-host but also the talk show's moderator. In reporting the deal, the Times commented, "Just as Ms. Couric and Ms. Vieira are likely to make a profound impact on their new programs by virtue of their mere presence, so too is Ms. O'Donnell expected to alter the tone and chemistry of The View. .... Ms. Vieira is a veteran broadcast journalist who tends to deliver her views ... with a hammer sheathed in velvet. Ms. O'Donnell ... is more likely to wield a sledgehammer."
REALITY SHOW HOST JUMPS OUT OF A JOB
The Discovery Channel has dumped Jeb Ray Corliss IV, host of its Stunt Junkies, after he attempted to parachute from the Empire State Building. Earlier in the day he was arrested on the observation deck of the building after wearing a "fat suit" in which he had hidden the parachute, according to police. Following his release on bail, he told reporters that he felt "there was absolutely nothing wrong" with what he tried to do, according to the Associated Press account. Discovery Channel disagreed, saying in a statement: "We are beyond disappointment at his serious lack of judgment and his reckless behavior. ... As such, Mr. Corliss will not be associated with any future Discovery Networks projects, including future episodes of Stunt Junkies."
FORD TO EXPLORE REALITY SHOW PRODUCTION
Ford is planning to produce an Apprentice-like TV series in which the auto manufacturer itself would play the role of Donald Trump. As described by today's (Monday) New York Times, contestants would present their ideas for the next Ford vehicle, with Ford building a concept version of the winning designer's car. According to the newspaper, the TV show is part of a larger marketing campaign, which Ford calls "Bold Moves," details of which are expected to be announced on Tuesday.
MSNBC SHOW THE MOST TO GO MULTIMEDIA
In what amounts to an extension of the Internet, cable news channel MSNBC is set to debut The Most at 3:00 p.m. today (Monday), presenting stories that are searched "the most" online, those that get emailed the most, and those that are the most blogged-about. the show will also show the most emailed photos and report on the most downloaded music and TV shows. In a statement, MSNBC President Rick Kaplan said, "The Most will be a multimedia pursuit of information that is relevant to people's lives and it is the perfect afternoon program for our news-hungry viewers."
REPORT: ANDERSON COOPER TO JOIN 60 MINUTES
The Philadelphia Inquirer has added to the speculation that CNN's Anderson Cooper will be joining CBS's 60 Minutes by reporting that Cooper is expected to replay his CBS features on his own CNN show, Anderson Cooper 360. Inquirer TV columnist Gail Shister reported today (Monday) that the official announcement is expected to be made by CBS Chairman Les Moonves on May 17 at the network's upfront presentation of its fall schedule to advertisers. Shister cited an unnamed source as saying that Cooper will present 5-10 features a year for 60 Minutes.
THEY TURNED OUT, AFTER ALL
Moviegoers turned out to see United 93 over the weekend in respectable, if not overwhelming, numbers. The film, which cost about $15 million to make, brought in an estimated $11.6 million, placing second to the Robin Williams comedy RV, which earned about $16.4 million. However, United 93 opened in only about half the number of theaters showing RV. As a result its average per-theater take was far higher: $6,465 to RV's $4,506. Prior to United's release, studio tracking surveys showed a high percentage of movie patrons were "definitely not interested" in seeing it. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Universal's marketing chief, Nikki Rocco, commented. "The American public spoke out this weekend, and clearly what it was saying was that it was not too soon for this film. People understand that it was well made and respectful, that it honors these heroes." She said that she expected the audience for the film to build on word-of-mouth. Some analysts were unimpressed, however, pointing out that the film had received a ton of free publicity and positive reviews and as a result ought to have performed better than it did. Overall, the top 12 films grossed $90.7 million, up 12 percent over the comparable weekend a year ago, according to Exhibitor Relations. The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. RV, $16.4 million; 2. United 93, $11.6 million; 3. Stick It, $11.3 million; 4. Silent Hill, $9.3 million; 5. Scary Movie 4, $7.8 million; 6. The Sentinel, $7.6 million; 7. Ice Age: The Meltdown, $7.05 million; 8. Akeelah and the Bee, $6.25 million; 9. The Wild, $4.7 million; 10. The Benchwarmers, $4.4 million.
REVOLUTION WINDING DOWN
Revolution Studios chief Joe Roth has acknowledged that "the time for the company is up." In an interview with today's (Monday) New York Times, Roth indicated that Sony had concluded that Revolution was no longer necessary for it to produce successful box office movies. "And I don't like feeling as if I'm not necessary anymore. I've made enough money. Why do I want to keep walking up that hill?" In an extended article, the Times concluded that Revolution was never able to recover from the debacle of Gigli in 2003, a $60-million movie that earned only $5.6 million domestically. The same year, Revolution produced additional big money-losers, including Tears of the Sun and Hollywood Homicide. By the following year, Roth acknowledged to the Times, I was trying to get control over events I couldn't get control over."
NEWS RACK PLAYING MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE THEME BLOWN UP
A news rack in Santa Clarita, CA was blown up by a Los Angeles County arson squad Friday when a device on the rack, intended to play the theme from Mission: Impossible when the door was opened, dislodged and fell onto the pile of newspapers, leading a passerby to suspect that it was a bomb and call police. The Times said that about 4,500 news racks had been outfitted with the musical devices as part of a marketing campaign between the newspaper and Paramount. However, the Associated Press reported Sunday that some of the red devices, exposing protruding wires, had become dislodged and had alarmed customers.
VANITY FAIR EDITOR SAID TO BE LATEST WRITER THREATENED BY PELLICANO
John Connolly, the Vanity Fair contributing editor who has written several articles for the magazine about Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano, has been informed by the U.S. Attorney's office that Pellicano has threatened his safety, according to L.A. Weekly writer Nikki Finke. Finke, who said that her source was Vanity Fair, reported that the U.S. Attorney's office had declined, in its words, to "comment on private communications that come from or come into the office."
STARDUST TO STEP UP FILM PRODUCTIONS
Days after its first film, Akeelah and the Bee, hit the box office -- with a thud, according to studio reports -- Starbucks is reported to be "moving aggressively" to expand its role in the entertainment industry, the New York Times reported today (Monday). The newspaper said that the coffee giant is expected to announce today that it has signed an agreement with the William Morris Agency to find additional movie and book projects in the hope of being able to sell at least two or three movies on DVD in its outlets next year.