Where to be and what to watch...
By Mark Lasswell -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/5/2005 8:00:00 PM
Monday, June 6
Summer's here, and the time is right for…two reality series about going to college? ABC's The Scholar (premiere, 8 p.m. ET), which dangles a full scholarship at a top-rated school in front of 10 high school brainiacs, “will be the first show ever to celebrate higher education as the ultimate American prize,” according to the flackography. The six-part show is not to be confused with NBC's Tommy Lee Goes Back to College, which premieres in August and is the first show ever to celebrate higher education as the ultimate American playground for an ex-con Mötley Crüe drummer. Not that spoilsports like you were planning on attending, but the Association for International Broadcasting's two-day Global Media Business Conference in Montreal, scheduled to begin today, ain't happening. The event “has not attracted sufficient delegates,” said the weepy announcement.
Tuesday, June 7
Attention, attendees of the Supercomm convention in Chicago: Please take a bathroom break before this afternoon's keynote speech and bring a snack: FCC Chairman Kevin Martin addresses the throng at McCormick Place at 3:15, and, if his debut performance at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention in April was any indication, this stem-winder could easily last until nearly half past three. Since it's only day two of the four-day telecommunal gathering, there will be lots of time to chew over Martin's remarks. Tonight: The premiere (9 p.m. ET) of a CBS hidden-cam reality series about newly hired employees trying to get themselves canned, called Fire Me...Please!—which, oddly enough, was the working title of Mary Mapes' project on President Bush's National Guard service.
Wednesday, June 8
TBS thought it would be “Very Funny,” as the network's deadly slogan goes, to do a sort of Survivor parody last winter called The Real Gilligan's Island, casting two competing teams of people who “personify,” or at least dress like, characters from the 1960s comedy. The show performed very nicely—averaging 1.98 million in adults 18-49—so TBS is launching a second round of Real Gilligan's Island (9 p.m. ET). We hear that one of the faux Mary Anns will become involved in a love triangle. Here's hoping that, if Tommy Lee gets his degree from the University of Nebraska (for that's where NBC is sending him) and does some post-grad work, maybe one day he'll play The Professor on The Real Gilligan's Island VII or VIII and shoot a home movie with one of the Gingers.
Thursday, June 9
Reality television is awash in product placement, but we've always thought it was a terrible oversight not to give a show to someone who actually moves a lot of product. Solved! Tonight, CBS launches the designer-elimination reality series The Cut (8 ET), hosted by Tommy Hilfiger. Or “iconic design mogul Tommy Hilfiger,” in network­-flack parlance.
Friday, June 10
On Monday, TNT hosted a screening party at the American Museum of Natural History in New York; tonight, those deprived of New York media-fete invitations get a look at Into the West (premiere, 8 p.m. ET), a 12-hour miniseries about the opening of the American frontier, executive-produced by Steven Spielberg for DreamWorks Television. We'd recommend the series to college student Tommy Lee as a primer in U.S. history, but Lee already has a tutor. NBC describes her as “hot.”
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