By Mark Lasswell -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/21/2004 7:00:00 PM
Monday, Nov. 22
It will have all the trappings of that great American institution, the smoochy-smoochy celebrity awardsfest and love wallow. But the goings-on tonight at the New York Hilton Hotel will have a decidedly imported flavor. Nosy British scamp Graham Norton hosts the 2004 International Emmy Awards Gala, joined by presenters that include entertainer and UNICEF Ambassador Harry Belafonte and the cast of the French version of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (which, and we're working from memory of high school French here, translates as “Le Oeil Curieux pour le Homme Hetereau”).
Tuesday, Nov. 23
Ah, TiVo. Your users just adore you, but when your financials come up, investors continue to hit the fast-forward button. Sigh. The stock was still stuck at $6 the last we checked. Today, the company reports its third-quarter earnings. Good luck, little TiVo dude. Also weighing in, as the earnings-reports season peters out: SeaChange International, the video-on-demand specialist, whose 3Q report will provide a good glimpse at how aggressively cable companies are rolling out the service or upgrading already-launched VOD systems. Get this: Those numbers-crunching fiends at Jupiter Research tell us that 18% of people who receive digital television don't even know whether or not their system offers VOD. Sounds like the old public-awareness sector could use a bit of a sea change.
Wednesday, Nov. 24
And you thought Fox was mourning the fact that this sweeps month was passing without an injection of American Idolatry. Well, the show might not be returning until January, and Santa Claus won't be punching the clock until a month from now—but, what the heck, tonight brings an hour-long American Idol Yuletide triple threat, Kelly, Ruben & Fantasia: Home for Christmas (9 p.m. ET). Winners from the past three seasons (Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and guess who) belt out holiday classics in between plugs for songs from their upcoming CDs. Wouldn't the show be a lot more, uh, festive if it were called “Kelly, Ruben, Fantasia & Marilyn Manson”? Too bad, M&M—ha, ha, not Eminem—is booked for Late Show with David Letterman on CBS (11:35 p.m. ET).
Thursday, Nov. 25
A classic menu: Indianapolis Colts vs. Detroit Lions on CBS (12:30 p.m. ET); Chicago Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys (Fox, 4 p.m. ET); A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, the half-hour animated special from 1973 (ABC, 8 p.m. ET). Do you want cranberry sauce with that?
Friday, Nov. 26
It's just a guess, but with the whole country feeling stunned from caloric overload, distracted by unresolved familial friction, and overwhelmed by the impending month-long shopping orgy, what better time for CBS to dump the results of the investigation into the whole Dan Rather/60 Minutes/forged-documents mess? If Friday is the preferred day to admit bad news, then this post-holiday Friday is dyn-o-mite. An argument against: The network might worry that rival news operations would be so annoyed by its using a ploy favored by slippery bureaucrats that they'd make a point of keeping the story alive until…until Fantasia actually is home for Christmas.
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