Pilot Chesley Sullenberger may have been hailed for safely landing his Airbus A320 in the Hudson River on January 15, but it is Katie Couric, not her former Today show host Matt Lauer, who is receiving kudos for landing the first interview with the pilot. Days after the event, Today claimed that it had scored an interview with Sullenberger to air live on January 19, But on that date, Lauer said that the interview with Sullenberger had been postponed until after the National Transportation Safety Board investigated the incident. However, he said, Today had been promised the first interview when Sullenberger was free to speak. But on Sunday, CBS News said that Sullenberger will tell his story first during an interview with Couric set to air on February 8. NBC was clearly miffed at being passed over. It said in a statement, "What Captain Sullenberger did in the cockpit on Flight 1549 was heroic and admirable. Unfortunately, people close to him have not acted nearly as admirably over the past few days. ... They gave us their word and then broke their commitment. We wish Captain Sullenberger the best."


Hawaii, which on January 17 became the first state in the nation to switch from analog to digital television, encountered virtually no difficulties in making the transition, TVWeek reported today (Monday). The trade publication quoted Mike Rosenberg, general manager of KITV-TV as saying that the transition "went very well" as a result of an effective campaign to educate the population about the switch. Rick Blangiardi, general manager of KGMB-TV, echoed those remarks, saying that the transition had gone "better than planned." The primary problems encountered have had little to do with the actual analog-to-digital switch, station executives told TVWeek but with such things as reception from new digital transmitters.


Those 3-D commercials set to air during the Super Bowl will be useful in determining whether individuals are suffering from vision problems, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development said today (Monday). In a statement, the Aurora, OH-based organization said, "Many viewers may be disappointed when they don't see the dazzling 3-D effects." The group estimates that as many as 56 percent of persons 18-38 years old have vision problems that would make it difficult for them to see the 3-D images. The group claims that many of these vision problems respond to optometric vision therapy.


At Sunday night's SAG awards, Tina Fey was the only performer who alluded to the stalemated dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers when she accepted the "best female actor" award in the TV comedy category. She remarked that one day her young daughter Alice will "be old enough to watch 30 Rock reruns on the Internet ... and she'll look up at me and say, 'What do you mean you don't get residuals for this.'" Chicago Sun-Times TV columnist Bill Zwecker quoted an unnamed SAG insider as saying that actors on both sides of the dispute had been urged to "put aside the union issues for the night." Even on the red carpet, Zwecker said, publicists and SAG officials "firmly discouraged" questions about a possible strike. The top TV awards -- for ensemble cast -- went to Mad Men for drama and 60 Rock for comedy. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney won the top individual acting awards in a miniseries or TV movie for their performances in HBO's John Adams; in the drama category, Hugh Laurie won for Fox's House and Sally Field for ABC's Brothers & Sisters; and in the comedy category Alec Baldwin joined Fey as he took the best male actor award for NBC's 60 Rock.