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Where to be and what to watch...

Monday, June 20

There has been so much branding going on among cable channels, you’d think it was Sizzle Night on the Ponderosa ranch. TBS: Very Funny. TNT: We Know Drama. Spike TV: The Network for Men. And now, USA Network: Characters Welcome. Which, we’re guessing, refers to the on-screen talent and not a colorful but nichey target audience. It should all become clear tonight—until the cocktails kick in—during USA’s rooftop launch party at the Hotel Gansevoort in New York. Meanwhile, CNN apparently has decided to brand its morning news unofficially as “Breakfast With the O’Briens.” Miles joins Soledad on American Morning starting today.

Tuesday, June 21

When someone a while back mentioned a TV show called “I Want To Be a Hilton,” we assumed it was a reference to the old working title of Kirstie Alley’s Fat Actress, as in “I Want To Be a Radisson.” We never dreamed that you could hang an entire reality show on the aspiration to live life in the manner of Paris Hilton & Co. How hard is that, anyway? Be very careless about your rodent-dog, your T-Mobile Sidekick and your homemade video erotica, and—voilà!—you’re a Hilton. But apparently NBC saw a series, and Paris’ mother, Kathy, saw…well, we’re not quite sure what she saw in agreeing to host I Want To Be a Hilton (9 p.m. ET), since the paycheck isn’t exactly an issue. Also tonight: Rescue Me returns to FX (10 p.m. ET). Now that Miller has discontinued its beer product-placement deal, given the tastes of Denis Leary’s character, it seems a chance for Smirnoff to step up.

Wednesday, June 22

CNN’s Paula “Not an O’Brien” Zahn hosts the Gracie Awards at the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York tonight. Winners of the American Women in Radio and Television award, named for comedian Gracie Allen, include Meryl Streep (for HBO’s Angels in America) and CBS News anchor Hannah Storm. Someone should do the young pups in the audience a favor and explain who the delightful Gracie A. was. The Marriott’s seeing a lot of media action this week: It’s also the site of the Promax & BDA promofest (Tues.-Thurs.). B&C promo: See our Promax coverage on pages 17 and 24.

Thursday, June 23

Don’t be fooled by the cushiness of the agenda for the Consumer Electronics Association’s annual CEO Summit at the luscious Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs (Wed.-Sat.). Yes, there are a lot of nice activities built into the schedule—”Hiking Tour in Garden of the Gods,” “Van Briggle Pottery Studio Tour and Shopping Excursion”—but don’t be fooled: This is a wartime summit. See page 26 for a dispatch from the front in the CEA’s battle with the National Association of Broadcasters over the transition to digital TV. Beats watching a potter’s wheel spin.

Friday, June 24

Latest lesson from The Learning Channel: “Wannabe” is noun and a verb. “Do you wannabe Stacy London, Clinton Kelly, Nick Arrojo or Carmindy?” So goes the casting call for an upcoming two-hour special, What Not To Wear: Wannabe. Deadline for applications is today. Not that it wouldn’t be fun, but we don’t wannabe those folks, and we don’t wannabe a Hilton. We just wannabe going. Say goodnight, Gracie, wherever you are.

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