Where to be and what to watch...5/29/2005 08:00:00 PM Eastern
Monday, May 30
For almost everyone else, it’s still the great Memorial Day weekend slack-off, but tonight, the hardest-working beauty cham-peen in the pageant business is on the job: Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley challenges all known galaxies in the 54th annual Miss Universe contest, broadcast live from Bangkok, Thailand (NBC and Telemundo, 9 p.m. ET). The flacks are touting “a potential audience of close to a billion viewers” around the world. Of course, the “potential audience” in this country is “close to” 300 million; last year, alas, just 10.4 mil watched the show, down from 12 mil in 2003. Bonus Olde Timey Stat: In 1975, 32.7 million Americans (a 50 share!) watched the strut-off on CBS.
Tuesday, May 31
The networks may have been wrong-footed over and over again by technology, but they aren’t going to lag behind the curve this time. Dammit, they’re getting into podcasting right now! Today not only closes out the last week of May, it also ends that period of human history when the world knew not John Stossel, podcaster. In the first week of June, ABC—building its just-launched news and entertainment podcast site—is offering four one-hour “audio specials,” including “Real Life Desperate Housewives with ABC’s John Stossel.” You can listen to the files on your computer, iPod or a less thief-tempting MP3 player.
Wednesday, June 1
Had to happen. First Bob Schieffer takes over the CBS Evening News, and now he’s playing the Bellagio in Vegas. The 51st annual general conference of CBS affiliates invades the hotel today and tomorrow. The agenda includes a presentation of the fall schedule by Viacom co-COO Leslie Moonves and CBS Entertainment prez Nina Tassler; a bit of music appreciation at the Celine Dion show at Caesars Palace tonight; and a lunchtime address by Mr. Schieffer tomorrow. The Bellagio sports book may want to offer over-and-under betting on how many times Moonves is asked by affiliate reps whether he’ll consider moving Everybody Hates Chris to CBS from UPN if the Chris Rock comedy is the gargantunormous hit everyone predicts.
Thursday, June 2
Good-guy journo John McWethy takes a break from working the ABC News coal face today to moderate a workshop in Denver called “News and Terrorism: Communicating in a Crisis.” The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation is sponsoring the workshops in 10 cities to help improve coordination between news organizations, first responders and others in the event of a disaster. A great idea, but it’s not as if local news stations are novices on the subject: They conduct catastrophe-coverage drills whenever there’s a little snow or a really bad thunderstorm.
Friday, June 3
If you live in the eastern United States and have a choice pop-culture tchotchke—like, say, a vintage Beatles lunchbox or a Charlie’s Angels game-used tube top—that you’d like to convert into some cash on TV, start packing for Baltimore. Discovery Channel’s Pop Nation: America’s Coolest Stuff is taping at the city’s convention center tomorrow, before moving on to Austin, Texas, Long Beach, Calif., and Portland, Ore. Premise of the show, which premieres in October: Schlep your beloved pop memorabilia in for an expert appraisal, then sell it on the spot, submit it to an online auction or hang onto it in the hope that one day you’ll be interviewed about your collecting habits on a TV network’s podcast.
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