By Mark Lasswell -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/14/2005 8:00:00 PM
Monday, Aug. 15
“Kandid Kobe!” Is this fatuous, celebrity-flogging headline from (A) Us magazine, (B) OK!, (C)Star or (D) a commercial for ESPN Hollywood? The answer, not that we wouldn’t put the hed past (A), (B) or (C), is (D). ESPN2’s new half-hour show about the “intersection of sports and entertainment” airs on weeknights (premiere, 6 p.m. ET), co-hosted by Mario Lopez (ex-Saved by the Bell star on NBC) and Thea Andrews (formerly of ESPN2’s Cold Pizza). This could be considered the parting gift of ABC Sports/ESPN programming wizard Mark Shapiro if he jumps ship, as rumored, to help Six Flags magnate Daniel Snyder turn his theme-park empire into a micro-Disney that also produces entertainment projects. Kan’t wait!
Tuesday, Aug. 16
One of the great things about American higher education is the increasing number of adults who, having raised families and pursued careers, decide to expand their horizons by enrolling in college. These brave souls are willing to endure the snickering of teenagers amused by the old folks’ quaint ways—or, perhaps, by their homemade porn videos. Tommy Lee Goes to College premieres tonight on NBC (9 ET). Another great thing about American higher education is the opportunity it affords otherwise-engaged young people, like, say, Hilary Duff, to take Ivy League classes online without having to go to the trouble of showing up on campus. Earlier this year, Duff and her sister Haylie signed up for Harvard University’s Extension School. But, like any well-rounded student, Hilary is helping others during the summer. Tonight, she co-hosts the 2005 Teen Choice Awards with “funnyman” Rob Schneider (Fox, 8 ET).
Wednesday, Aug. 17
A third great thing about American higher education: When Bravo needed a site to stage Battle of the Network Reality Stars (premiere, 9 p.m. ET), complete with a tug-of-war, kayak race, secret alliances and elimination votes—all this and Omarosa, too!—Pepperdine University gladly made its facilities available. The school should count the project as a sort of community outreach to its neighbors in Malibu, Calif., since no doubt many stars from the classic 1970s show that inspired this reality takeoff live nearby. Memo to ESPN Hollywood: If you cover this intersection of sports and entertainment, please refer to the locale as Maliboo-ya.
Thursday, Aug. 18
Taking advantage of the lull before the September storm of broadcast-network premieres, Bravo is trotting out new stuff all over the place. The Battle of the Network thingy yesterday, now Celebrity Poker Showdown, tournament #6 (8 p.m. ET). The players in this Texas Hold ’Em-for-charity contest include Meat Loaf, Ricki Lake and Howie Mandel. And—what’s this?—Mr. Mandel’s own show on Bravo premieres tonight (11 ET). Hidden Howie: The Private Life of a Public Nuisance claims to be “the first series juxtaposing 'hidden-camera’ reality with scripted comedy,” an assertion we’re inclined to let go unchallenged.
Friday, Aug. 19
“Want to be CBS’s first podcaster? The network is searching for an amateur DJ to interview CBS stars and create a podcast about the new fall season.” Thus begins the network’s online request for MP3 or MPEG recordings of you interviewing someone else. Only one week remains; the contest ends at 8 p.m. (ET) next Friday, as the Tiffany network works overtime to create the wisp of a suggestion of a hint of a possibility in the minds of young ’uns that “Tiffany” just might be the name of the cool chick at CBS who will be evaluating the podcast entries.
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