Where to be and what to watch...
By Mark Laswell -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/3/2005 8:00:00 PM
Monday, April 4
Yes, the 17,000 people attending the National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention at the Moscone Center in San Francisco are fascinated by panel discussions such as today’s “Attack of the Empowered Customer: Understanding New Media Markets,” moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and featuring the cerebral stylings of Comcast CEO Brain Roberts. But let’s face it, the three-day gathering of the cable tribe, which began yesterday, is all about networking. And we don’t mean this morning session: “Wide-Area Networking Efficient Transport over Converging Networks.”
Tuesday, April 5
Security guards in the Moscone Center briefly consider detaining a teenager trying to slip into the West Hall this morning. Then they realize it’s FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, arriving for the NCTA General Session, his first encounter with the massed cable industry since becoming chairman. Tonight: Remember when A&E started out as a sort of high-gloss PBS without the pledge drives? Ha! Daredevil Robbie Knievel (son of Evel) makes his A&E debut at 10 p.m. (ET) in Knievel’s Wild Ride. In the premiere, “The Jersey Curse,” Knievel revs up his motorcycle and jumps over 25 corrupt politicians. Oops, make that 25 police cruisers. Vrrroom!
Wednesday, April 6
Major League Baseball got started Sunday night on ESPN2 with the renewal of hostilities between the New York Yankees and World Champion Boston Red Sox. Their series ends today, and with it pretty much any reason to pay attention to baseball until June (Fox doesn’t bother broadcasting games until May 21). Question: How big a dent will the ’Roids of Summer scandal put in attendance numbers and TV ratings?
Thursday, April 7
The upfronts continue:Discovery Networks cozies up to advertisers in New York with a shindig at Jazz at Lincoln Center—which is only appropriate, given that the host will have to do some crazy improvisation to put the best face on double-digit drops in first-quarter ratings. Meanwhile: Is Bravo turning into the Family Channel of bizarro world? Last year, it brought us the docu-series Showbiz Moms & Dads. Last week came the debut of Showdog Moms & Dads. And now: Forty Deuce (premiere, 11 p.m. ET), a four-part series about the retro-chic L.A. “burlesque” club that peers into the lives of owner Ivan Kane, his wife and business partner, Champagne Suzy, and their dancers. “It’s far from what one might expect,” the press release says, “as all are passionate dancers, artists and, in true sense, family.” Family? In true sense? Mazing!
Friday, April 8
When we heard about a project called “So the Drama” involving Disney, we assumed it was about either (A) finger-pointing over whose idea it was to cooperate with James B. Stewart when he came calling with a book idea, (B) melt-the-receiver phone calls from Harvey Weinstein, or possibly (C) reaction to $188 million in fiscal 2004 losses at Euro Disney, the name of which has taken on a certain poignancy, given that so few euros are actually spent there. But no, the title refers to Disney’s Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama (Disney Channel, 8 p.m. ET). It’s the channel’s first animated movie, spinning off from the action-comedy series for tweenies, and involves Miss Possible saving the world and developing what the press release calls a case of “puppy love” with the new guy at Middleton High School. Careful, li’l Kim. It may be cable, but Kevin Martin’s running the FCC now.
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