Monday, March 7
They’ve been leading parallel lives in the hype lane for the past couple of months. Now it’s time for the dueling premieres: the Sylvester Stallone/Mark Burnett-produced boxing reality series The Contender (NBC, 9:30 p.m. ET) versus Kirstie Alley’s self-mocking comedy Fat Actress (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET). Alas, the buzz for the latter is as mixed as a box of Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Butter Recipe Fudge Cake. Trendspotter alert: Yahoo! is Webcasting the Fat Actress debut tonight.
Tuesday, March 8
Webcasting on Yahoo!? That’s so yesterday. The future of TV delivery is a major topic at the Digital Living Room conference sponsored by the iHollywood Forum at the San Mateo Crown Plaza hotel, conveniently located for Silicon Valleyites (today is Day 2 of the two-day affair). “Visionary Speakers” include RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser. Tonight: Steven Bochco Productions’ Blind Justice premieres (ABC, 10 p.m. ET), with Ron Eldard as New York police detective Jim Dunbar (marketing slogan: “He lost his sight…not his vision”). Thus continues the tradition of impaired crimefighters, from Ironside (“He lost his ability to walk…not his mobility”) to Monk (“He lost his calm…not his cool”).
Wednesday, March 9
Nickelodeon recently poured another $1.5 million into its Let’s Just Play campaign, which encourages “healthy, physical play” for kids. Nice, no? Still, you can almost hear the advertisers at the network’s upfront this morning at the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan muttering, “Don’t get carried away, Nicko.” After all, if the kids are outside monkeying around, they’re not on the couch staring raptly at SpongeBob SquarePants and his lovely sponsors. Tonight: CBS turns the 60 Minutes Wednesday slot over to the special “Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers.” See The Robins Report on this page for more about the exiting anchor. We’re more interested in the ongoing agita over the bogus National Guard docs scandal. Apparently, Josh “I Still Won’t Resign!” Howard and his lawyers are dead-set on trying to clear the executive producer’s name by demanding his bosses’ paperwork and e-mails. One question: How does Howard intend to authenticate those CBS documents? We hear it’s kind of tricky.
Thursday, March 10
“The life of a PoweR Girl at Lizzie Grubman’s New York City PR firm is sometimes glamorous, sometimes stressful but always exciting. Don’t miss the drama on PoweR Girls.” We used to be among the whiners who complained that MTV doesn’t show music videos anymore, but all’s forgiven! A reality TV show about publicists? At last, someone is finally striking a blow against the trivialization of American culture. PoweR Girls (premiere, 10:30 p.m. ET) is pronounced “power girls,” but it also looks like some kind of IOU: “P owe R.” Hey, MTV, we owe U!
Friday, March 11
The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters holds its 21st annual Communications Awards dinner at the WardmanPark Marriott hotel in Washington tonight. The “Mistress of Ceremonies” is actress Kim Coles, who can be found on VH1 (4 p.m. ET) every Sunday in Celebrity Fit Club, a reality show that features eight overweight entertainers, including Mia Tyler and a Baldwin Brother (Daniel), all battling to figure out why Showtime didn’t give them their own comedy.
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