B&C week

Where to be and what to watch...

Monday, July 25

CTAM (known only to its mother as Cable
& Telecommunications Association for Marketing) has adopted a boxing theme
for its 2005 summer summit Philadelphia, or
“World Cable Heavyweight Conference.” They're also calling it The
Thrilla' in Phila'. But Round One of the gathering yesterday turned out to
be one round … of golf. Today at the Pennsylvania
Convention Center
, keynote speaker Jon Bon
(“Musician, Actor, Sports Owner”) chats, presumably, about
sports on TV and his co-ownership of the Philadelphia
in the Arena Football League.
The athletic motif continues tonight with the Disney/ESPN party at
the Electric Factory. A CTAM badge will get you in. You don't need no
stinkin' badge to watch the premiere of Laguna Beach's second season on
MTV (10 p.m. ET). We don't care if you call
it a dramality or realama, we can't wait to find out how the pampered
LC handles the course load in her first year
of college. Oh, wait, we meant: how she handles her romantic entanglement with

Tuesday, July 26

It's ABC's turn, today and
tomorrow, at the Television Critics
's summer tour at the Beverly
in Los Angeles. The buzz is
good about the network's new fall show Commander-in-Chief, with
Geena Davis as the CIC, so the panel session
should be reasonably chummy. But five bucks says some crank brings up
The Geena Davis Show and
a puff of frost wafts across the room.

Wednesday, July 27

FX launches the first-ever drama about
a U.S. military conflict while it's still in progress:
Over There
(10 p.m. ET) focuses on a unit of American soldiers in Iraq and on their families back home. Producer
Steven Bochco's NYPD Blue might have been filmed on
the streets of New York, but he's not nuts:
Over There is made over here—around L.A. and the
explosives-free desert terrain near Lancaster,

Thursday, July 28

Here's how tightly reality TV has wrapped its scaly claws around the
throat of contemporary programming: David E.
, once a fantastically productive storyteller (L.A. Law, Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal, etc.) is
executive-producing NBC's
The Law Firm (premiere, 8
p.m. ET). The flackography: “Trial attorney and legal analyst Roy Black will
manage 12 actual lawyers competing against each other while trying real court
cases with judges and juries, resulting in outcomes that will be final, legal
and binding. Each week, one legal eagle is eliminated, and the top attorney
will receive a prize of $250,000.” Which comes out to about 500 billable

Friday, July 29

After three weeks, the TCA summer tour finally draws to a close. Sure,
attendees are notoriously testy by the end of it all—and scheduling
Pamela Anderson's Fox show Stacked as one of the last panels probably
sloshed some gasoline on the fire—but as they pack up, the critics no doubt
will already be thinking fondly of the gathering. One luscious buffet after
another, endless schmoozing with network talent in the Hilton's Stardust
Lounge, dinner by the pool, the CBS Stars Party at the Hammer Museumand dining with
Les Moonves at Il
—ah, the memories. On the plane home, newspaper writers from
midsize cities calculate how many more three-week trips to L.A. they can score
before their publications finally shuffle off into media
obsolescence.—Mark Lasswell

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