Where to be and what to watch... Monday, Feb. 21
Long, long ago in another century, when the huddled masses ached for frequent news updates, CNN launched a channel that refreshed the day's headlines every half-hour. Headline News was a gift from the media gods. But that was in 1981. These info-saturated days, the only news that most people associate with Headline News is the announcement of yet another attempt to keep the channel afloat. The latest strategy: abandon the whole all-headlines concept during prime time. A block of three one-hour shows launches tonight at 7 p.m. ET. First up: Showbiz Tonight hosted by A.J. Hammer and Karyn Bryant—which will, bless 'em, fill a terrible void in a culture that pays scandalously little attention to the good people who provide our entertainment; then Nancy Grace, a legal-affairs talk show featuring guess who; and Prime News Tonight, about the, uh, news.
Tuesday, Feb. 22
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences corrals the Desperate Housewives gang, including creator Marc Cherry and actress Teri Hatcher, for “An Evening With...” The drolleries start flying at 7:30 p.m. in the academy's Leonard H. Goldenson Theater in North Hollywood. You can catch the two-hour live Webcast at www.emmys.tv. Memo to ABC execs: See if you can get Nielsen to count the Webcast viewers in tonight's ratings for My Wife and Kids. Meanwhile, CBS is hoping that the magic of TV nostalgia kisses the One Day at a Time Reunion Special (9 p.m. ET). Even Pat Harrington, who played Schneider, the building super, is showing up.
Now re-imagine this comedy about a feisty mom and her two teenage daughters in the age of Desperate Housewives: Who'd be the first to hit on Schneider?
Wednesday, Feb. 23
Only a few days remain before Dennis Miller ends his sly, month-long variation on Jay Leno's autograph-a-Harley-for- tsunami-relief project. The comic devil-man host of Dennis Miller (CNBC, 9 p.m. ET) is encouraging guests to sign a teensy Razor “Pocket Rocket” bike that will be auctioned on eBay. The good cause? Patrick Lawler, the hapless construction worker in Colorado who fired a nail into his skull with a nail gun but didn't find out about it until he went to the dentist complaining of a toothache. Lawler needs help with his medical bills. And his aim.
Thursday, Feb. 24
This morning in Washington, National Geographic Channel President Laureen Ong hosts the NAMIC Mid-Atlantic Mentoring Breakfast. Lest she find herself talking to a roomful of perplexed insurance agents and technology geeks, that's NAMIC, the National Association for Multi- ethnicity in Communications, not NAMIC, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies or NAMIC, the National Alliance for Medical Imaging Computing.
Friday, Feb. 25
The professional org American Women in Radio and Television enters day two of its three-day summit in Arlington, Va., at the Marriott Key Bridge hotel. Our own Washington-based Senior Writer Bill McConnell takes part in a morning panel discussion of “Regulatory Hot Buttons” for the FCC. One of those hot buttons is indecency, of course. Like just the sort of naughty material some folks fear Chris Rock might trot out Sunday at the Academy Awards (ABC, 8 p.m. ET). And if he does launch some f-bomb daisy-cutters, you can bet Showbiz Tonight on Headline News will be all over that story.
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