Edie Falco Lets Hair DownFor ‘Nurse Jackie’ Return

When Nurse Jackie returns for a fourth
season on Showtime this Sunday (April 8), fans will notice
star Edie Falco sporting longer locks than when she was
last seen. Almost down to her collar.

Her initial short cut was a lifestyle response to her
years as the long-nailed, richly coiffed Carmela Soprano
on HBO’s The Sopranos.

Falco; castmates
Anna Deavere
Smith (Mrs. Akalitus),
Merritt Wever
(Zoey Barkow) and
Bobby Cannavale
(new character
Miguel Cruz); and
executive producer
Linda Wallem did
a panel session last
Thursday at New
York’s 92d Street Y,
led by Caryn James
of The New York

Wallem told the
audience that Falco
declared when
they first met, “she
wanted short hair. And I was like, great, hair and makeup,
in and out less than five minutes every day.”

“That was years ago,” Falco said. “I want my hair back.”

Falco’s Jackie is a married RN who “has a little drug problem,”
as Wallem noted. She’s cut many a corner in her personal
life (including sleeping with the hospital pharmacist,
who supplies her painkillers) and on the job.

At All Saints Hospital,
she breaks
rules mostly to benefit
her patients.
“Overall, I think she’s
looking out for people,”
Falco said.

James asked: Do
her flaws and good
intentions make
Jackie loveable?

“I think we’re in
a time, certainly in
American television,
when people have
an appetite for characters
who are more
complicated,” Falco
said. “Who may look
very much like themselves
or family members or friends, who try really hard
and screw up. And they’ve got good things about them
and less good things about them. … And what a lucky time
to be working in this business for us guys, it certainly is a
lot more fun to play that.”

As for life after season 4, Wallem said as far as she
was concerned the show could go on for years. “I would
watch any of these people do anything,” she said.

Waiver ‘Burden’ Used
To Bother NAB’s Smith

Turns out National Association of Broadcasters chief Gordon
was against giving small cable operators only a
waiver, rather than a blanket exemption, from required dual
analog-digital TV station carriage before he was for it.

In a 2007 letter to then-FCC chairman Kevin Martin,
Smith (then a Republican senator from Oregon) and some
colleagues called the dual-carriage obligation “extremely
burdensome” to smaller operators.

The letter pointed out that “rather than issuing an outright
exemption,” the FCC was requiring smaller systems
to file waivers. “They should not have to bear the cost of
hiring attorneys to navigate through the waiver process,”
Smith wrote.

Now, as the FCC ponders a proposal to renew the waiver,
the NAB says the waiver policy should not only be continued,
it should be narrowed even further, to mandate that
smaller operators carry all TV-station HD signals if they provide
any HD channels at all.

The NAB “respectfully” declined comment.

Cable Beaned Again
By Boston Mayor Ahead
Of Cable Show

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino placed another big tack,
face up, in the red carpet he plans to roll out for cable operators
in June when the National Cable & Telecommunications
’s annual Cable Show convenes.

Menino last week publicly stated his opposition to
Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications
and Bright House Networks‘ sale of spectrum to Verizon

His opposition
was used as
by those trying
to kill the

Only two
months ago,
Menino hammered
Comcast, the nation’s largest operator and the NCTA’s
largest member, over rate increases in an effort to get
the FCC to recertify the city as a rate regulator (Through
the Wire, Jan. 23).

At that time, he told The Wire the cable industry had
been “a committed community partner” in Boston and
that he was hoping to personally welcome those operators
to town.

But there he goes again.

In comments to the FCC last week, the mayor reiterated
criticisms of Comcast and a desire to re-regulate
locally. “The future harmful effects of the proposed alliance
of Verizon and Comcast are not a matter of idle
speculation; they are the logical consequence of the
continuation of the existing harms that have already
been documented and provided to the commission by
the city in its Emergency Petition for Recertifi cation of
the City of Boston to Regulate Basic Subscriber Rates.”

Asked last week if hizzoner still hoped to personally
greet execs of Comcast, Cox, TWC and Bright House,
whose multibillion dollar deal he wanted blocked, the
mayor’s office said: “His plans have not changed. The
city is excited about and planning to participate in the
Cable Show in Boston.”

Univision Bids Adiós
To Don Francisco’s
‘Presenta’ Show

Mario Kreutzberger — better known in the Spanish-speaking
world as Don Francisco — is bidding adiós to one of
his two longtime gigs. Univision confirmed it has pulled
the plug on Don Francisco Presenta after about 10 years.
The weekly show, which first aired on Wednesday nights
and then moved to Mondays, was a one-hour, interviewonly
show, featuring celebrities alongside regular people
doing extraordinary

The show would
bring together celebrities,
writers, dancers
and even doctors. In
a recent episode, Don
Francisco stunned
millions by doing a oneon-
one with Mexico’s
tattoo diva, María
José Cristerna
, who
explained why she decided to go through body modification
after years of domestic abuse.

The news doesn’t mean the end is near for Don Francisco’s
TV run — yet. Kreutzberger, who turned 71 in December,
this year celebrates his 50th year in television and in
March was honored by the Academy of Television Arts &
with induction into its Hall of Fame. Asked if he’d
retire in a recent interview, Kreutzberger answered with
what he calls an old and tired cliché of his: “I don’t think
you retire yourself; you get yourself retired ... In my case,
I’ll be retired by the ratings, or by my own physical — and
intellectual — endurance.” Sábado Gigante, the weekly variety
show turning 50 this year, is expected to go on.


GSN sent The Wire this shot of happy Charter subscriber
Charlyne Crucitt (third from l.) of Stockbridge, Ga., who
won a $43,000 jackpot playing GSN’s Bingo Blitz, the
highest-ever jackpot in the network’s on-screen, online
game. “We’re going to buy a new car and maybe put the
rest into savings — who knows, it hasn’t sunk in yet,”
she told the network. Alsp pictured (l. to r.): Caryn Borresen,
account executive, GSN; Matt Favre, VP/GM in
Charter’s Georgia-Alabama market; Jim Crucitt; Michelle
Ramler, director of sales and marketing, Charter; and Chris
Bolton, sales and marketing manager, Charter.