Where to be and what to watch...
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/7/2006 8:00:00 PM
Polka party! Yes, American Cable Association President Matthew Polka, no stranger to lame jokes about his musical surname, oversees the ACA’s Washington Summit. FCC Media Bureau chief Donna Gregg and Mediacom CEO Rocco Commisso discuss everything from retransmission consent to the digital transition. And with sweeps afoot, special guests are popping up like so many Morks on Happy Days. Kelsey Grammer turns up as a character named Death on Medium (NBC, 10 p.m. ET). Death also visits 7th Heaven (8 p.m.), which expires tonight after 11 years on The WB. It ain’t Kelsey Grammer this time, though prodigal daughter Jessica Biel does show her face.
Tuesday, May 9
USA Network holds its press upfront at Buddakan in New York, as network prez Bonnie Hammer unveils the new slate. And talk about viral video—ABC airs Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America at 8 p.m. Dubbed “the feel-good movie of 2006” by, well, no one, the pic stars Joely Richardson. Speaking of cutting a path of destruction through humankind, Bravo debuts Kathy Griffin: Strong Black Woman on Bravo (9 p.m.) And Griffin’s not the only vertically challenged agitator doing their thing tonight: Air America host Al Franken unleashes a few zingers at the 92nd Street Y in New York.
Wednesday, May 10
It’s all fun and games as E3—the Electronic Entertainment Expo—kicks off at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The videogame industry’s top creative types convene, with biz wisdom from MTV Networks Music Executive VP. Jeff Yapp and Buena Vista Games Senior VP/GM Graham Hopper. In D.C., former film- industry doyen Jack Valenti hosts a luncheon on TV indecency and the FCC at the Cato Institute. In New York, Susan and Robert Kravitz host a book party for Shelly Palmer’s Television Disrupted at hotspot The Plumm. And SopranoMichael Imperioli guests on Law & Order. His character finds the lady he took home the night before slashed to death. (With that in mind, Lauren Bacall got off easy). It’s on NBC at 10.
Thursday, May 11
New Yorker media reporter Ken Auletta is sharpening his knives (and pressing his fine, fine suits) for his latest “A Conversation With” breakfast, as he takes on Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel at the Bryant Park Grill in New York. Speaking of Terrys taking center stage in Gotham, Housewives hottie Hatcher (OK, technically a Teri) reads from her book Burnt Toast: And Other Philosophies of Life at Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan. And those who said cheesy metal band Ratt would never get its own Behind the Music special are just plain wrong. Behind the Music: Ratt, with “exclusive behind-the-scenes footage” (not even Ratt’s grandmothers have this kind of material), premieres on VH1 at 9 p.m.
Friday, May 12
Did you miss Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde 2 in the theaters, on DVD and cable, on the airplane, and the Greyhound bus? Not to worry. LB2: Red, White & Blonde makes its world broadcast premiere on Fox (8 p.m.). Speaking of legal blondes, Jessica Simpson gets face time on CBS, when “psychological illusionist” Keith Barry works his magic in Keith Barry: Extraordinary at 8 p.m. He tricks celebs like Elijah Wood, Matthew McConaughey, and, of course, Miss Simpson—who, as we all know, doesn’t fool easily. Abracadabra!
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