Where to be and what to watch…
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/19/2007 8:00:00 PM
Monday, Aug. 20
It could just be the strangest program you—or your thigh-high spawn—see all year. Yo Gabba Gabba! features a gaggle of fuzzy robots shimmy-shaking to hip-hop, DJ Lance Rock, and that guy from Devo thrown in for good measure. This bit of H.R. Pufnstuf-on-opium theater tends to give us anxiety attacks, but as Gabba star Foofa the pink flower bubble might say, try it, you'll like it. On a more serious note, the New England chapter of the National Association For Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) gets together for some wicked-fun networking, noshing and a little batting practice at EMC Club in Boston's Fenway Park. NAMIC President Kathy Johnson and NESN prez Sean McGrail will be there.
Tuesday, Aug. 21
Christiane Amanpour debuts a six-hour documentary “on the impact of religious fundamentalism as a powerful political force around the world.” God's Warriors premieres on CNN at 9 p.m. ET. And with everyone trying to find that elusive pot of gold online, the Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference is on at the San Jose Convention Center in California. Today's keynote comes from Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone. Speaking of searching for gold, Tribune holds a “special shareholder meeting” in Chicago to consider approval of the merger agreement. Finally, on the topic of controversial mergers, it was 20 years ago that Baby and Johnny first did their wanton Watusi in the Catskills. EncoreLove celebrates 20 years of Dirty Dancing with a 24-hour marathon.
Wednesday, Aug. 22
An 18-wheel Slime Mobile is lugging 1,200 gallons of goop across America on behalf of Nickelodeon (uh, what would Al Gore say about that use of fossil fuels?). Nick's Slime Across America tour stops in Detroit, and “newly added virtual sliming pods will allow for up to five kids to be slimed at once.” Hopefully more newsy than oozy, the Turner Research End of Summer Press Briefing goes down at the Time Warner Center in New York. TBS Chief Research Officer Jack Wakshlag analyzes programming performances for broadcast and cable alike. Meanwhile, back at the search conference, Google VP of search products Marissa Mayer keynotes.
Thursday, Aug. 23
Fifty years ago, nine black students walked into an all-white school in Arkansas and changed the course of history. The Newseum hosts 50 Years After Little Rock: The Media and the Movement at the William G. McGowan Theater in Washington. Former WUSA Washington anchor Frank Bond moderates the discussion. Out west, the Big Sky Venture Capital Conference is on at the Summit Hotel in Montana. Pairing up venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, the confab features companies such as Cable Technology of Montana and children's entertainment firm Braincandy. Speakers include Brad Feld, managing director of VC firm Foundry Group. Further west, the Media Research Council holds its Fall Television Preview at the Olympic Collection in Los Angeles. Initiative Media V.P. Eric Neel presides.
Friday, Aug. 24
Instigator extraordinaire Bill Maher is back with another batch of socio-political critiques, as the fifth season of Real Time With Bill Maher kicks off on HBO at 11. And the Edinburgh Television Festival is under way over in Scotland. Today features a screening of upcoming Fox laffer Back to You, starring Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer as a pair of uptight news anchors. Later on, there's a session about TV trying to change the world. It's called “F--- off, I'm a TV God”—which, come to think of it, sounds like something Grammer's new character might utter.
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