By Mark Lasswell -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/27/2005 7:00:00 PM
Monday, Nov. 28
Ted Koppel announces his new deal to make documentaries for HBO today—whoops! Meant to say: ABC’s new triple-the-anchors/triple-the-fun Nightline premieres (11:35 p.m. ET), with Cynthia McFadden in charge of storytellingish pieces, Terry Moran in charge of everything Washingtonian and Martin Bashir in charge of trying not to remind people that, in an outtake from his infamous Michael Jackson documentary, the cloying MB tells MJ: “Your relationship to your children is spectacular. It almost makes me weep.”
Tuesday, Nov. 29
Lunch with Marc Cherry at the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel in L.A.? Not only with the Desperate Housewivescreator but also with the Hollywunderkinds behind Everybody Hates Chris (Ali LeRoi), House (David Shore), Cold Case (Meredith Stiehm) and Rescue Me (Peter Tolan)? That’ll be $120 if you’re a non-member of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society, $85 for members. The theme for this HRTS Newsmaker Luncheon is “The Hitmakers.” Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting and furiously taking notes.
Wednesday, Nov. 30
Are you taking the Women in Cable & Telecommunications’ Acela Express Challenge? In the morning: WICT’s breakfast at Oxygen Media headquarters in New York with company founder and CEO Geraldine Laybourne ($35 WICT members, $45 non-WICT). In the evening: WICT Washington Baltimore Chapter’s Holiday Party at Chef Geoff’s restaurant in Washington, with a silent auction on behalf of Cable Positive and Metro Teen AIDS ($30 WICT and Cable Positive members; $40 civilians). Meanwhile, the networks’ weeks-long holiday programming party gets under way in earnest tonight. Megan Mullally and Al Roker host NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center (8 p.m. ET), with guests including Sheryl Crow, Rod Stewart and Brian Wilson (do any of these people say “Christmas” to you?). In the same hour, CBS shows Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the longest-running holiday special in television history, as the network likes to remind the world (psst: it first aired on NBC in 1964). And CBS is putting Rudolph to work: It’s on tonight (8 p.m. ET) and again Dec. 22—though we hear that, if you spray your TV set with a combination of garlic and grapefruit juice, the deer won’t come back.
Thursday, Dec. 1
The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (blessedly shortened by everyone to NAMIC) holds a 25th anniversary gala at the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York. Tonight’s honoree: Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts. As it happens, the Network Association for Multi-Pope-icity on Television (NAMPT) is also celebrating tonight. ABC airs Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II (8-10 p.m. ET), with Thomas Kretschmann as you-know-who, followed by the debut on Sunday of CBS’ miniseries Pope John Paul II, starring Jon Voight. Poll question: Which network promo department is most likely to have considered and reluctantly rejected the slogan: “Holy See it!”?
Friday, Dec. 2
Hey, 41 years ago, NBC launched Rudolph, which became an animated Christmas classic. Now the network’s sending another candidate into the holiday fray. Happy Elf is the CG-animated story of one of Santa’s helpers, Eubie the Elf, who “sets out to save Christmas for an entire town of naughty children in a sad little place called Bluesville,” according to the network flackogram. The narration and music is by Harry Connick Jr. Oh, NBC—you do so much for kids around the holidays. Your relationship to the nation’s children is spectacular. It almost makes us weep.
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