Where to be and what to watch...


Monday, July 31

A big ol’ happy birthday to MSNBC.com, which celebrates its 10th anniversary with a bash at Top of the Rock in Manhattan. Look for NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and MSNBC GM Dan Abrams, and Hardball With Chris Matthews does a live report from the party. And the Windy City goes indie, as the likes of The Weather Channel, Turner Networks and Oxygen turn up for The Independent Show at the Sheraton Chicago. Hosted by the National Cable Television Cooperative and the American Cable Association, the confab sees ACA President Matthew Polka and CTAM President Char Beales show off their indie cred.

Tuesday, Aug. 1

While we’re dishing out the happy birthdays, we can’t forget Current TV, as Al Gore’s cable network turns 1 today. One of our trusty interns is live-blogging the historic event; check out his handiwork on the BCBeat blog. And IBM has something cooking regarding IPTV, although it’s being ultra-secretive about exactly what it is. Find out what’s going down at 9 a.m. at the St. Regis (uh, when was the Reege made a saint?) in New York. Back in Chicago, Insight Communications CEO Michael Willner is the lunchtime speaker at the Independent Show. And the always independent Danny Bonaduce hosts new game show Starface on GSN at 9:30 p.m., where knowledge about the latest celeb makeup or breakup can win you fabulous prizes.

Wednesday, Aug. 2

Wait, Time Warner has a plan for AOL? Richard Parsons and his band of merry men present AOL’s business strategy on a conference call at 11 a.m. And what’s the strategy for programming on iPods, cellphones and whatever the next Jetsonian gizmo might be? Learn all about it at WICON 2006. Held at the Boston Radisson, the Wireless Internet Conference promises nothing short of full-on “seamless connectivity.” And are you hard-pressed to find something for the kiddies to do these days? Ship 'em off to Kids Day 2006 at the Hollywood & Highland Complex in LA. Presented by the Hollywood Radio & Television Society, the gig is hosted by Hannah Montana co-stars Miley Cyrus and Jason Earles.

Thursday, Aug. 3

CBS Corp. has some news to share. Leslie Moonves and friends report second-quarter earnings at 8:30 a.m. And how many of us can put coach, author, TV personality, videogame magnate and turducken connoisseur on their résumé? We’re talking about the singular sensation known as John Madden, of course. With football just around the corner, NFL Network premieres John Madden: My Road to Canton at 9 p.m., with Pat Summerall doing narration. Speaking of loved ones with bulbous midsections, A Balanced, Natural Pregnancy debuts on broadband/cable/radio thingy Lime at 8 p.m. Dr. Andrea Pennington invites viewers to see pregnancy “as it truly is: a natural process that a woman’s body is inherently equipped to handle.” That’s right, folks, sans epidural. Or whiskey.

Friday, Aug. 4

There’s apparently life after ’80s sitcom Growing Pains. Tracey Gold, forever Carol Seaver in our hearts, is fronting Trapped in TV Guide, which debuts on TV Guide Channel at 8 p.m. With a tip of the cap to Candid Camera and Punk’d, Trapped sees someone unknowingly caught in the middle of an iconic television situation, such as a scene from I Love Lucy, Seinfeld or Desperate Housewives. You’ve been warned: If Housewives hottie Gabrielle’s husband punches us, we’re suing everyone involved.