Edited By Joel Topcik -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/30/2008 8:00:00 PM
Hold the Nuts: 'Jericho’ Fan Vows to Fight On
Shaun Daily may have lost the battle for Jericho, CBS’ twice-canceled post-nuclear-war drama, but he hasn’t conceded the larger war for quality TV.
Daily, you may recall, is the talk-radio host who inspired legions of Jericho fans to protest the show’s first cancellation, in May 2007, by deluging CBS with shipments of nuts. The network agreed to resurrect it for a seven-episode run that ended last week, but dismal ratings sealed its fate.
Reached Wednesday in Las Vegas, where he hosts Shaun OMac Radio on Web radio network BlogTalkRadio, Daily says he’ll fight on for his favorite show. But this time, he’s called for a less-aggressive campaign of sending postcards to CBS Paramount Network Television to urge the studio to find a new home for the series.
(Jericho Co-Executive Producer Carol Barbee is hopeful: Last week on Daily’s program, she told a caller that a cost-sharing deal with cable giant Comcast has been floated, as well as the possibility of a feature or TV film.)
But Daily says “the Jericho battle was not just for the show but for all scripted television,” a rejection of “more Law & Order spinoffs and bug-eating reality shows.”
Obviously he’s not alone, he adds. His audience has quintupled, to 5,000 listeners a day (live and download), since launching in October 2006. And to his amazement, he was recently contacted by an Iranian news service to talk about Jericho.
Says Daily: “I guess they like the idea of nuking the U.S.”
Mock The Vote
Howard Stern is angling to be Paris Hilton’s new best friend—once removed.
The radio host has started a campaign to get Benjamin Ron Bronk, a producer and head writer for Sirius’ Howard Stern Show, onto MTV’s upcoming series My New BFF (working title), in which 20 cohabitating contestants will compete to be Hilton’s new best bud. And it appears to be working.
Since the network launched Parisbff.com, where visitors can vote for aspiring “besties,” “BenjyBenjy” has emerged as the top candidate, with 341,691 votes as of March 28.
In the No. 3 slot, with 98,061 votes, is a familiar face to YouTube fans: Tay Zonday (a.k.a. Adam Nyerere Bahner), whose grandiose keyboard-and-vocal composition “Chocolate Rain” won the second annual YouTube awards and ran incessantly on VH1’s Best Week Ever.
Both are legit candidates, says MTV, which has done background checks on both and is happy to have them in the running. “These casting sites are a democratic medium and sometimes democracy can be messy,” said a spokesperson. “Move over Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian!”
PBS’ long-running series Nature is taking a close look at the animal singles scene with “What Females Want and Males Will Do,” a two-part special in early April.
According to executive producer Fred Kaufman, the idea started when he saw video of a manikin, a South American bird, doing “a Michael Jackson moonwalk on a branch” to attract females: “When I saw this, I realized we need to investigate the lengths animals would go to impress a potential mate.”
To promote the special, Nature sent out cheeky faux personal ads, such as “SM Gelada Baboon W/Strong Hot Red Chest—Seeks Partner to Cool Me Down.”
“This all is really a look at the animal side of the singles scene, trying to get the female’s attention,” Kaufman says. “If animals could take out ads, they would. But they don’t.”
While peacock feathers and rams butting heads are common sights on nature shows, the series deals frankly with even more explicit displays of sexuality.
Says Kaufman: “The duck phallus, for example, is very mature, but it is all in the name of science.”
With Anne Becker and Alex Weprin
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