Having vowed no repeat of last year's halftime show featuring a singing, gyrating Jackson, the National Football League has selected the producer of the 2005 show, whose previous experience includes, well, producing a Super Bowl halftime show featuring a singing, gyrating Jackson.
The NFL sought out Don Mischer Productions to produce the halftime show on Fox, but not to worry. Mischer produced the 2003 show, featuring a fully-clothed Michael Jackson, and the NFL will have sign-off on all elements of the new production, including talent "and wardrobe," adds NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, who says that it will be an entirely collaborative process, with Mischer "executing the NFL's vision."
Last year's Super Bowl Janet Jackson show was produced by MTV and aired on co-owned CBS. The NFL became increasingly worried throughout the MTV production run-up, says McCarthy, because the NFL was not getting enough information about the show. The result was the Jackson/Timberlake wardrobe malfunction.
It was certainly the most talked-about half-time show in history. But that kind of publicity, and embarasment, the NFL is not looking for again.
In fact, following last year's Super Bowl, the NFL scrapped a Pro Bowl halftime performance by JC Chasez, like Jackson's co-hort Justin Timberlake a former member of 'N Sync, in favor of a hula demonstration and well-clothed singers.
Don Mischer is a highly decorated veteran awards show producer--13 Emmys--though, ironically, awards shows are the other live programming genre to draw heavy indecency fire. The other side of that coin is that now that all the networks are putting delays on award shows, Mischer also has experience producing with a delay and a weather eye out for the unexpected--that included at least one bleep of an offending phrase on the most recent Emmy telecast.
Mischer's credits include the Emmy awards Sept. 19, his eighth Emmy show, the Democratic National Convention from Boston, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and Salt Lake City in 2002.
Mischer will also produce the pregame show.