Where to be and what to watch…
By Mark Lasswell -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/10/2005 8:00:00 PM
Monday, April 11
Attention, TV execs pondering proposals to turn the homeless Miss America pageant into a reality show: Check out ratings for tonight's Fear Factor (NBC, 8 ET). This episode tries to make Miss USA 2005 contestants squeal—but in a poised kind of way—in the network lead-in to the actual Miss USA pageant. It's a toss-up what's scarier, the Fearsome tasks the young women face, or the stalkerish options on the beauty contest's Web site: “Follow Contestants Backstage”; “Buy Photos of the Contestants”; “Send Flowers to the Contestants.” Us, we'd rather send flowers to Loretta Lynn, who's being feted with the Johnny Cash Visionary Award on the 2005 CMT Music Awards (CMT, 8 p.m. ET), Viacom's effort to extend the labored informality of its MTV Video Music Awards to country music. But remember, boys, no cussin' allowed!
Tuesday, April 12
Discovery Channel or Rediscovery Channel? The one-time science'n'nature network that turned into the home of American Chopper and Monster Garage is trying to stem a ratings slide with a return to its docu-roots. New shows include Deadliest Catch, a 10-part series about the lucrative but deeply dangerous jobs of crab fishermen in the Bering Sea off Alaska (premiere, 9 p.m. ET). Did somebody say crab meat? Lunch today in the State Room of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington comes courtesy of the Federal Communications Commission Bar Association. The noshing lawyers will listen to House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, a man committed to making broadcasters go all-digital by Dec. 31, 2006.
Wednesday, April 13
First, Harvard University President Lawrence Summers causes a massive stink in January with his speculations about why there aren't more women at the top levels of math and science. Now, in the NBC miniseries Revelations (premiere, 9 p.m. ET), Bill Pullman plays a Harvard astrophysicist confronting the possibility that the end of the world is nigh. Coincidence? Ha. Tell it to Satan.
Thursday, April 14
“We get women” goes the Lifetime slogan. For entertaining advertisers at the channel's upfront today, the woman that Lifetime got is Chaka Khan. We've always suspected that Ms. Khan could wipe the floor with the today's divas-come-lately (not that she'd actually wipe a floor), but this Lifetime news is troubling. It's a breakfast event at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York City, with the presentation from 9 to 10:30 a.m., hours when the true diva at a hotel hasn't even ordered room service yet. Chaka, we feel for you.
Friday, April 15
Fear grips the Las Vegas Convention Center today at 1 p.m. as exhibitors prepping the National Association of Broadcasters' NAB2005 convention realize that on-site registration has now begun. Actual events don't start until tomorrow, and the 100,000 attendees can't start ogling the exhibits until Monday. It's not all gearhead jargon and tech demos you won't see at Circuit City for a loooong time. In addition to a bevy of technology bigwigs, featured talkers include NAB Prez Edward O. Fritts (naturally), FCC chief Kevin Martin, Jay Leno and Charles Osgood. All with riveting ideas, no doubt, but a beauty pageant it's not.
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