Where to be and what to watch…

Monday, April 11

Attention, TV execs pondering proposals to turn the homeless
Miss America pageant into a reality show:
Check out ratings for tonight's Fear Factor (NBC, 8 ET). This episode tries to make
Miss USA 2005 contestants squeal—but in a
poised kind of way—in the network lead-in
to the actual Miss USA pageant. It's a toss-up what's scarier, the
Fearsome tasks the young women face, or the
stalkerish options on the beauty contest's Web site: “Follow Contestants
Backstage”; “Buy Photos of the Contestants”; “Send Flowers to the
Contestants.” Us, we'd rather send flowers to Loretta
, who's being feted with the Johnny Cash Visionary Award on
the 2005 CMT Music
(CMT, 8 p.m. ET),
Viacom's effort to extend the labored
informality of its MTV Video Music Awards to
country music. But remember, boys, no cussin' allowed!

Tuesday, April 12

Discovery Channel or Rediscovery
Channel? The one-time science'n'nature network that turned into the home of
and Monster Garage is trying to stem a ratings
slide with a return to its docu-roots. New shows include
, a 10-part series about the lucrative but deeply
dangerous jobs of crab fishermen in the Bering
off Alaska (premiere, 9 p.m.
ET). Did somebody say crab meat? Lunch today
in the State Room of the Mayflower Hotel in
Washington comes courtesy of the
Federal Communications Commission Bar
. The noshing lawyers will listen to
House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton,
a man committed to making broadcasters go
all-digital by Dec. 31, 2006.

Wednesday, April 13

First, Harvard University President
Lawrence Summers causes a massive stink in
January with his speculations about why there aren't more women at the top
levels of math and science. Now, in the NBC miniseries Revelations
(premiere, 9 p.m. ET), Bill Pullman plays a
Harvard astrophysicist confronting the possibility that the end of the world is
nigh. Coincidence? Ha. Tell it to

Thursday, April 14

“We get women” goes the Lifetime
slogan. For entertaining advertisers at the channel's upfront today, the
woman that Lifetime got is Chaka Khan. We've
always suspected that Ms. Khan could wipe the floor with the today's
divas-come-lately (not that she'd actually wipe a floor), but this Lifetime
news is troubling. It's a breakfast event at the Grand
hotel in New York City, with
the presentation from 9 to 10:30 a.m., hours when the true diva at a hotel
hasn't even ordered room service yet. Chaka, we feel for you.

Friday, April 15

Fear grips the Las Vegas Convention
today at 1 p.m. as exhibitors prepping the
National Association of Broadcasters'
NAB2005 convention realize that on-site
registration has now begun. Actual events
don't start until tomorrow, and the 100,000 attendees can't start ogling
the exhibits until Monday. It's not all gearhead jargon and tech demos you
won't see at Circuit City for a loooong time. In addition to a bevy of
technology bigwigs, featured talkers include NAB Prez Edward O. Fritts (naturally), FCC chief Kevin Martin,
Jay Leno and Charles
. All with riveting ideas,
no doubt, but a beauty pageant it's not.

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