SAG: THE LATEST ACT
In the latest round of chess-like maneuvering, the Screen Actors Guild's board voted for a second time to fire former national executive director Doug Allen and replace its negotiating committee with a task force. The board had performed the same act by "written assent" last month, prompting SAG President Alan Rosenberg, a longtime booster of Allen, to file a lawsuit in an attempt to nullify the action. Sunday's board action, however, makes Rosenberg's appeal moot since it occurred during an open board meeting -- and was supported by 59 percent of the board members -- up from the 53 percent who signed the written assent. Several reports suggested that talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers could resume as early as February 17, but the AMPTP is saying that no talks have yet been set.
DANCING WITH THE NERD
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who reportedly lost $20 million of his own money when he staged two huge open-air rock concerts -- the Us Festivals -- in 1982 and 1983 in Southern California, will try to get some of that money back by attempting to dance to a different beat -- as a contestant on the next edition of Dancing With the Stars. Wozniak is among the 13 celebrities who will compete on the ABC series beginning March 9, ABC said Sunday. The selection was immediately hailed by Chicago Sun-Times technology columnist Andy Ihnatko, who predicted that with "The Woz" on board, the DWTS season will become a huge success. "Let me explain," he wrote, "1) Woz is a big nerd. 2) His fans are themselves big nerds. 3) Nerds have the blogs and the Twitters and the MySpaces and the Blogspots. 4) So the moment that Woz was named to the cast on Sunday night, all of the aforementioned nerds started with the blogging and the Twittering and with the MySpaces and the blogs and such." Ihnatko went on to compare the choice of Woz to some of the other celebrities who have competed on the show. "Marie Osmond? Her fans don't own computers; they spend all their money on collectible dolls. Jane Seymour? They're still too upset about the cancellation of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" and aren't ready to watch TV again. ... Fans of former defensive tackle ... Warren Sapp ... tend to express their enthusiasm by slamming empty beer cans into their skulls. How does that translate into clickthroughs on ABC.com, I ask you?"
NBA FINALS TELECAST DRAWS HUGE CROWD FOR TNT
Thursday night's NBA finals contest between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers drew the biggest audience TNT has seen since a February 2, 1996 match between the Chicago Bulls, then led by Michael Jordan, and the Lakers, then led by Magic Johnson. Some 4.3 million viewers tuned in to see the Lakers win in overtime 110-109.
TV IN THE FUTURE: IT WILL BE "IMMERSIBLE"
Consumer electronics technicians are working on ways to make television and movie viewing more "immersible," the London Daily Mail reported today (Monday). Miriam Rayman, of the Future Laboratory consultancy, told the newspaper that basic technology already exists for developing a contact lens that would give TV viewers a natural, unobstructed 3-D vision. Rayman, who headed a study for British technology retailer Comet, said that it would also be possible someday to transmit emotions to the viewer. "We could even get to the point where we'll be able to immerse ourselves in a football game, making it feel like you're running alongside your favorite player or berating the ref," Rayman's report said.