Two Cents


"The TV women who succeed in Boston usually have had an assertive edge. Frilly frou-frou bimboism has not captured viewers. The female anchor always has worn the pants. The reasons for viewers' attraction to strong women could be rooted deeply in our parochial culture of mothers and nuns as authority figures. Or it may be this simple: On TV, as in life, a good man is hard to find."

Monica Collins, The Boston Globe, noodling on the dominating presence of women in the local TV business.

"Ricki Lake laughed. The rowdy audience laughed. The pregnant woman laughed, the fetus in her belly becoming a punch line without anyone asking what would become of it … Soon after the seed within her was mentioned, it became an abstraction, its purpose on Ricki Lake having been achieved, its fate trivial compared with what it delivered—laughter and hoots crescendoing en route to the commercial break. On television just about everything is fodder for entertainment, the gap separating low brow and no brow not all that large."

Howard Rosenberg of The Los Angeles Times decrying the level to which TV entertainment sometimes sinks.

"Mind you, it wouldn't be difficult to have more energy than what's-his-face."

Anne Robinson, host of British game show import The Weakest Link, referring to Regis Philbin, as reported by Sarah Kickler Kelber, of The Baltimore Sun.

"You throw the whole question of credibility in the air. The more you put somebody else's logo on your newscast, the more people have the right to question what you're putting on the air."

Carl Gottlieb, deputy director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, on the practice at WBFF(TV) Baltimore using physicians affiliated with hospitals that advertise with them as authorities on its morning show, as reported in The Baltimore Sun.

"Every episode of UPN's Chains of Love is 45 minutes long, plus commercials, but it took me close to six hours to finish watching the first one. Every 10 minutes or so, I had to stop the tape, wash my hands, splash some cold water on my face, look at the mirror and ask myself two questions: 'Did I just see what I think I just saw?' and 'Do I really have to keep watching?'"

lan Sepinwall, the New Jersey Star Ledger.

"I would expect most everyone to be up and walking around and NOT just watching the concert the day of the event."

From a memo by Justin Case, program director at Chicago's country WUSN-FM, explaining to all staff that they were required to attend a station-sponsored concert) and pay for their tickets (lawn seats: $29.50) themselves, as quoted in Robert Feder's column in the Chicago Sun-Times. The Infinity Broadcasting station billed $46.1 million in ad revenues last year, tops in the market.

"My Wife and Kids is possibly the most generic title ever given a TV show."

—Richmond Times-Dispatch critic Douglas Durden, who praised ABC's new sitcom.

"I believe women belong in two places—in the kitchen and in the bedroom."

Ron Silver playing Bobby Riggs on ABC's quasi-documentary, When Billie Beat Bobby.

"I think he did a pretty marginal job of running the company."

Ted Turner, in the April 23 and 30 issue of The New Yorker, assessing Gerald Levin performance at Time Warner after the merger with Turner Broadcasting.

"I say this with all the love in the world ... He has been severely, hauntingly traumatized. He always thinks something is about to be pulled out from him. He has no belief in permanency and stability. It's one reason I'm not with him. Older age is about slowing down and growing vertically, not horizontally. That's not Ted."

Jane Fonda, former wife of Ted Turner, describing his restless mood and alluding to Turner's strained relationship with his father. From the same article in The New Yorker.