‘American Inventor’ returns for its second season tonight. The show has contestants bring in there invention in front of a panel to try to secure $1,000,000 to help launch their product. Judging this years show will be footless pantyhose inventor Sara Blakely, U.K. television personality Peter Jones and sports entrepreneur Pat Croce, and boxing legend/grill maker George Foreman.
The show is brought to you by non other than Simon Cowell of ‘American Idol’ fame. I watched about half of the episodes last season and found the show to be mildly entertaining. It will all depend on the judges to see if the mesh well with each other. If you want to catch the opening episode it airs tonight at 9.
Looks like the fans have won one for a change. CBS officials, who were land slided with phone calls and people sending packaged nuts to their offices, are rethinking their decision to cancel the cult show ‘Jericho’. The show looks like it will get at least seven more episodes of the show although the negations have not been finalized. Although the cast has gone its separate ways, they remain under contract and can be called in anytime to begin shooting new episodes.
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Those Televisions Critics are a strange breed. Today the Television Critics announced their nominations for their annual awards. The Television Critics Association Awards, or the more simply stated TCA’s, have shut out top ranked network CBS for their awards while giving heaps of praise upon ratings challenged NBC. FX was also a network that got slighted by the nations critics despite having a number of original shows.
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Dennis Miller, the Saturday Night Live Comic who also had a well publicized stint on Monday Night Football, will be hosting the new show “Grand Slam” on GSN. “Grand Slam” is a battle of former champions from all sorts of of different game shows. 16 contestants, including Jeopardy’ Champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter Plus ‘Millionaire Winners’ Dr. Kevin Olmstead and John Carpenter, will battle to see who is the smartest out the bunch. The show will debut on August 7 at 8 PM ET on the Game Show Network.
Executive produced by Michael Davies is pleased as he stated, “GRAND SLAM is the best game show format I’ve seen come out of the UK since ‘Millionaire,’ and Dennis Miller is someone I’ve wanted to work with my entire career.”
So, what are they playing for? $100,000 will go to the winner and the skills they will need is to answer questions ranging math and logic skills, their ways with words and letters, and their grasp of pop culture and current events to win. The shows format matches one on one tournament play until a winner is reached. Just a guess, but I think Ken Jennings is a lock. The guy has a Encyclopedic knowledge and he will be hard to beat.
The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations Los Angeles and New York, has decided to change its name. The Museum of Television & Radio will now be know as Paley Center for Media. The new name is a tribute to founder William S. Paley and a better reflection of the changing dynamics of today’s world.
“The media world has changed dramatically since our founder, William Paley, created the Museum as a way to preserve our cultural heritage as expressed through television and radio,” said Frank A. Bennack, Jr. “Today, while these media remain hugely important, media as a whole, across all platforms and national boundaries, has changed how we receive news and entertainment, and in the process, how we think about ourselves, our culture, and other societies. The new name reflects the reality of a more fully converged world.”
The center holds 100 years of television and radio history so any true “screenhead” should probably visit if given the opportunity. The name change seems like a good idea, being that things like the Internet are changing the way people are entertained, do research, and also get their news.
“In this digital era,” Peter Chernin, a board member and the president and COO of News Corporation, said, “The Paley Center for Media is challenged — just as the major media companies are — to use digital technologies to expand and engage audiences in new ways. The new name reflects a shift in direction that increasingly will take the institution beyond its eight walls and keep it on the cutting edge of where media is going. No one would have appreciated the need to adapt and expand better than Bill Paley — one of the most innovative media pioneers of the last century.”
Cult favorite “Madea”, Tyler Perry’s popular character, is heading to TBS as part of the new show ‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’. The new show will see its debut on Wednesday at 9. If you are unaware of Perry, he is an ultra popular black playwright who is a true rags to riches story. Growing up poor and in an abusive household, he head to Los Angeles to become an actor. He was homeless for a time. Now he is an icon of the African American culture who love his no holds barred style.
Perry bankrolled the first 10 shows of the new show and caught the attention of the Superstation. Now TBS has ordered 100 shows of the that will focus on the character of Curtis “Pops” Payne who is modeled as a sort of Archie Bunker of black people. “Madea”, made popular in Perry’s plays about the hilarious Grandma, will make some cameo appearances in the show but will not be a regular cast member.
The show will be a no holds barred type of show. It will center on Payne’s nephew having to move in because his crack addicted wife has burnt down the house. If you think that is ‘risque’ other shows will talk about HIV, child predators and drug addiction.
It’s time for another great Screenhead contest! This time we’re giving away one copy of the Days of Glory DVD, which hits retail outlets June 12. Nominated for an Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film (2006), Days of Glory tells the tale of a band of World War II soldiers who fought their way across Europe while fighting discrimination within their own ranks.
To enter your name into the drawing for this DVD giveaway, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Days of Glory” in the subject line. Within the email please include your name and city/state/province. To be eligible to win you must reside within the US or Canada.
Once again, there are plans to make a movie, but at least one other studio has a similar film planned. Sometimes both films are made and released, such as the two films about Truman Capote. Sometimes, there is only one film, such as when two studios planned to make a big budget film about Robin Hood, or when Oliver Stone made his film about Alexander the Great. That we get news about studios competing to be the first with a certain film project, one could say that it sounds like deja vu all over again.
And speaking of Deja Vu, Denzel Washington is one of the people planning a film about Sammy Davis, Jr. Andre 3000 of OutKast is also planning a biopic that is about Davis’ relationship with Fifties blonde bombshell Kim Novak. The guys who produced Chicago also have a film in the works, based on Davis’ two autobiographies, and the only production endorsed by Davis’ widow who controls the late star’s estate. There is also a documentary on Davis in the works.
Certainly there is a lot to Davis’ life than being part of Frank Sinatra’s “Rat Pack”. The multi-talented star had a very troubled private life that was often controversial. As far as actors playing Davis, I’m not sure if anyone can be as good as Don Cheadle. His impersonation of Sammy Davis, Jr. was in the HBO film, The Rat Pack. That film is on DVD. In the meantime, we will see which of these projects actually comes to fruition.
Quentin Tarantino’s love of older Italian films, particularly spaghetti westerns and horror films, is well known. In a recent interview with a leading Italian television magazine, Tarantino dissed the current state of Italian cinema. “New Italian cinema is just depressing. Recent films I’ve seen are all the same. They talk about boys growing up, or girls growing up, or couples having a crisis, or vacations of the mentally impaired.”
I have no idea what film Tarantino may have referred to with that last bit about mentally impaired vacationers. Some of the greats of Italian film have responded bluntly. From Sophia Loren: “How dare he talk about Italian cinema when he doesn’t know anything about American cinema?” Filmmaker Marco Bellochio was quoted as stating, “Tarantino is a brute.”
While I don’t agree with Tarantino, I can see his point to a limited degree. Italian film has not had the kind of excitement it generated back in the Sixties when Antonioni, Fellini and Visconti made their best films. Of the genre filmmakers that Tarantino loves, only Dario Argento is still alive and active, making theatrical films.
Of recent Italian films, two of the best that I’ve seen were made for television. One is the epic film about, yes, boys and girls growing up – The Best of Youth. It is long, six hours, but it is a film that actually got better as it progressed. Another terrific film made for television is Uno Bianca, a crime thriller directed by Michele Soavi, best known for his horror comedy, Cemetary Man. Both of these films are on DVD should you wish to check them out. It should be noted that as Italian films don’t get the kind of distribution in the US that they had in the past, one has to actively seek out some of the better films.
I used to love Tony Soprano and the gang. The first few seasons were purely magical and were some of the best television that had ever been made. The next few seasons, the series was above the cut and seemed to be a franchise that would that could live forever if David Chase, the creator, wanted it too.
About halfway through last season, however, the wheels seemed to have come off. Storylines that make little to no sense have almost left the show unwatchable. Case and point, Carmella Soprano is somehow shocked that Tony has to go on the lam because he is a gangster. Or how about last night when Bobby Bacala, in the midst of a mob war that they are trying to gun down the head of the New York family, decides its a good idea to go shopping for a model train (although I do admit that the direction of that particular scene was fantastic). And lastly, does it make any sense, that Jennifer Melfi would “fire” Tony as a patient after years of friendship and his son A.J. had just tried to commit suicide? And these are just a few that are coming off the top of my head.
I am a Soprano’s loyalist, but David Chase got very lazy in the final season. It is a real shame that it has to end where he makes Tony and his crew look so silly this season. It is almost like he is trying to implode the character because he feels it got too big. It is too bad because the franchise probably could have lasted a number of years on the big screen if they would not have let the show go downhill so fast.