Monday, May 23
Quinnipiac University has only handed out 12 Fred Friendly First Amendment Awards, so the list of recipients reads like a news Who’s Who (Rather, Jennings, Brokaw, Wallace, et al). It’ll be a while before they get around to Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith. Today, the accolades for FFFAA-winner No. 13 rain down on NBC’s Tim Russert—at the Metropolitan Club in New York City, which makes the RSVPs pop a bit more quickly than a gracious invitation to attend a fete at QU’s School of Communications in Hamden, Conn.
Tuesday, May 24
Despite the fact that his show ain’t on right now, David Chase has been busily waving the Sopranos flag lately, from the producer’s interview on 60 Minutes Wednesday last week to his breakfast debriefing by New Yorker journo Ken Auletta today at the Condé Nast Building in New York (sponsored by Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications). “One of the things I like about doing this show,” Chase said on CBS about his baby, “is that you can kill people off, and it helps with my problem, which is I get bored with things really easily.” Which means Auletta better keep the questions fascinating, if he knows what’s good for him. Despite the fact that his show ain’t on right now—Part II: The second-season DVD collection of Chappelle’s Show on Comedy Central hits the marketplace today. Unlike The Sopranos, which is scheduled to return to HBO in a year’s time, Dave Chappelle isn’t even penciled-in at his network anymore. Here’s a job for the Newhouse School’s cub reporters: Find out if the source who fed Newsweek the bogus Koran-in-the-can story also told Entertainment Weekly that Dave was in a South African mental hospital. Flush!
Wednesday, May 25
CBS was originally going to send its Martha Stewart TV movie, Martha: Behind Bars, into battle tonight against the clash-of-the-titans two-hour finales of Fox’s American Idol and ABC’s Lost (8 p.m. ET). But then Les Moonves & Co. must have realized that Cybill Shepherd doing her shtick as the savvy blonde businesswoman in jail just might work nicely in the fall, when Ms. Stewart is launching two TV projects. And so they found a sacrificial lamb for the 9 p.m. slot: Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution, a TV movie about a not-so-savvy blonde who helped send Scott Peterson to jail but who would certainly never be mistaken for the Martha Stewart of the massage-therapy industry.
Thursday, May 26
To some folks, “NAB” means an annual Vegas-based schmooze’n’booze-fest, but we are here to tell you that the National Association of Broadcasters is the epitome of the responsible, well-run trade association. Witness its Satellite Uplink Operators Training Seminar, which today winds up a three-day stay in Washington. We’re pretty certain that it will be a schmoozeless, boozeless affair. And, besides, it’s those NCTA guys who are the real conventioneering animals.
Friday, May 27
Let’s see: Network upfronts over? Check. May sweeps over? Check. Memorial Day weekend here? Checkmate.
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