Posts about tv

Media mogul moment

John Bracken says I may have made it onto South Park:

Tonight’s South Park episode, Stanley’s Cup, opens with Stan applying with the South Park Gazette’s grey haired “Mr. Jarvis” for a job as a delivery boy. There is no indication that the South Park Jarvis “gets it” or if he is as concerned with the future of newspapers as is the real life Jersey version.

If it’s me, I’m honored. I hope they have me laying off Stan soon. Cutbacks, you know. Market realities.

My previous brush with prime-time infamy: The network executive on Murphy Brown warned her away from that critic Jeff Jarvis, when I was one on TV Guide: “That Jeff Jarvis,” he said, “he’s a bottomless pit of hate.”

I’m so proud.

Al Jazeera TV

I’m watching the new Al Jazeera English channel but it’s not easy. Go here and keep refreshing the 15-minute free sample.

It’s foolish that they try to charge a monthly fee for watching the stream and even more foolish that they based the business on getting cable carriage. If they’d just put the channel up online, they’d be getting a huge audience today.

The channel is quite slick and certainly comes from a different perspective. And, oh, they’re trying so hard to go against stereotype — in the first few minutes I watched, I saw some travel piece going through a Jewish neighborhood in Israel/Palestine, I think, and a promotion flashing images of Katz’s Deli in New York. I’ll have to watch a lot more to parse the political and cultural references and news coverage. But they’re not making that easy.

Pakistan for laughs

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is appearing on Jon Stewart’s show Tuesday night. Even Stewart seems amazed. Is it because Stewart is a worldwide media kingmaker? Is it because Musharraf plans to announce where bin Laden has been hiding. Is it because even sympathetic dictators have a sense of humor? No, it’s because he’s plugging a book.

What could possibly go wrong?

On the day of the worst air crash in years, the Emmys begin tonight with Conan O’Brien crashing on an airplane and ending up on Lost. “What could possibly go wrong?” he asks. That. Otherwise a cute gag: dropping in on Office, House, South Park — where Tom Cruise is in the closet — and Dateline catching predators (proving that Dateline is nothing but entertainment). Bad timing, nonetheless.

: LATER: LostRemote says the GM of the NBC station in Lexington was horrified. They should have at least warned him.

: Also on Lost Remote, Steve Safran wonders whether the FCC will go after the Emmys for being “ass over tit.”

U.S. class, U.K. crass

Ain’t this just a loverly turn:

This year’s Emmy Awards, to be held on August 27 in Los Angeles, prove that British television executives have become astonishingly good at selling Americans the shamelessly downmarket fare that we once imported from the US.

In the reality competitions category, three of the five nominations are of British origin: American Idol, the creation of Simon Fuller, with Simon Cowell on the panel of judges; Dancing With The Stars, an overhauled version of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing; and Survivor, the brainchild of British expat Mark Burnett.

In contrast, the highbrow categories are full of American shows popular in Britain, such as The Sopranos, 24 and The West Wing. . . .

We’ve outclassed the cousins.