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Where to be and what to watch... - Broadcasting & Cable

Where to be and what to watch...

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Monday, Feb. 7

The terrible eruption of a volcano pulled in 4.6 million viewers for Discovery Channel on Jan. 30, but Pompeii: The Last Day’s top-five cable finish for the week couldn’t salvage the month for Discovery. The channel’s average prime time audience is down 27% from last January. Maybe a different sort of terrible eruption will help in February: the explosions of tackiness, along with hot, steaming rivers of kitsch, that are Monster House and Monster Garage (season premieres, 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET), hosted, respectively, by “monsterizerizing” specialists Steve Watson and Jesse James.

Tuesday, Feb. 8

What is it with reality-TV producers and dead singers? Last week, we told you about Mark Burnett’s The Next Great Rock Star, auditioning singers to fill the slot in INXS vacated in 1997 by suicide victim Michael Hutchence. Now it’s Fox Television Studios searching for a new partner for T-Boz and Chilli, the two remaining members of TLC after Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was killed in a car accident in 2002. The eight-week audition tour—which will provide grist for a UPN “dramality” series called U R the Girl With T-Boz and Chilli—pulls into the Renaissance Chicago Hotel today, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Rejects, take heart: There’ll always be another round of tryouts for American Idol, since it’s not predicated on a fatality.

Wednesday, Feb. 9

Viacom munism requires CBS to share some of its Grammy Awards glitz with sister network VH1, as the cable channel gets a jump on the Sunday night awards dump with 2005 Grammy Nomination Special (tonight, 8 p.m. ET). Sure, sure, nominees include Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Usher and Kanye West, but Hollywood is salivating over the noms for Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer. All dead! Just think of the reality-TV possibilities (please: don’t). Tonight at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 61st Congressional Dinner will be emceed by ABC News correspondent Linda Douglass, thus kicking off the Washington press corps’ annual two-month orgy of self-congratulation and feigned détente with the politicians who hate them.

Thursday, Feb. 10

Bernie Kerik may be speeding into oblivion in the wake of his self-detonating quest to become the Homeland Security chief, but the law-enforcement lothario’s legend hasn’t faded so fast that we didn’t pause over this invitation to the Lotus club in New York City tonight: Judith Regan and Lifetime Television Invite You…To a party for Dr. Ian Kerner to celebrate the launch of his new book, “Be Honest—You’re Not That Into Him Either” and the debut of his online show “Kiss + Tell” on LifetimeTV.com. Word to the wise: Don’t ask Ms. Regan, the publisher, for her thoughts on romantic breakups.

Friday, Feb. 11

Say amen, Anaheim! The National Religious Broadcasters convention hits town today for a six-day religio-techie blow-out. Accomplished keyboard noodler and former Entertainment Tonight host John Tesh will serenade the Anaheim Convention Center Ballroom on Sunday night. Skip the jokes about how at least Tesh has got somewhere to go on Grammy night. He copped a Best Pop Instrumental Album nomination in 2003, plus the guy’s got multiple Emmys, gold records and even an Associated Press award for investigative journalism. In other words, John Tesh is monsterized.

—Mark Lasswell

E-mail info for B&C Week to b&cweek@reedbusiness.com

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