Where to be and what to watch…


Monday, March 26

What happens when a couple of mavericks are dropped off in the middle of Cedar Falls, Iowa? It may sound like a new reality series on A&E, but it's the latest edition of the Cable Mavericks lecture series. Cox Comm. President Pat Esser and MTV NetworksEVPJessica Heacockshare insights at the University of Northern Iowa. Also dispersing a little intellectual capital, CTAM holds its Business Services Forum at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott, while the Consumer Electronics Association throws its Washington Forum in DC. The latter offers “The Transition to Digital Television—Who, What, Where….and What Next?” with commentary from NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow. And as if you needed a reason to visit YouTube, the Web video colossus announces its 2006 video award winners.

Tuesday, March 27

Henry Schleiff reveals the new Hallmark slate over breakfast at Michael's in midtown Manhattan. A few blocks south, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences CEO Peter Price moderates “Advancing Your Media in a Non-linear World” at the Museum of Television & Radio. Then it's up to the Hearst Tower for the New York premiere of The Tudors, hosted by Exec Producer Ben Silverman and Showtime CEO Matt Blank. And showing there is indeed stuff that happens outside midtown Manhattan, NAMIC holds its Vision Awards at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. Up for Best Drama are HBO's The Wire and Turner's Saved, among others.

Wednesday, March 28

OK, back to midtown Manhattan, as USA Network holds its upfront at the Modern. And with the new Sopranos season approaching, the Museum of Television & Radio hosts “The Whacked Sopranos.” Creator David Chase discusses “the fine art of whacking,” as Steve Buscemi, Vincent Pastore and Drea de Matteo debate whether it's better to be murdered on a boat, in an abandoned house, or in the forest by Silvio. On a less jocular note, bigwigs strut their stuff at various media conventions. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman keynotes at CTIA Wireless in Orlando, Fla., while Bank of America's confab features Time Warner Cable CFO John Martin and Nexstar CEO Perry Sook at the Palace Hotel in New York. If retransmission consent isn't discussed, Silvio can drive me to a forest and shoot me.

Thursday, March 29

Hard to believe, but Andy Dick was actually fired at some point in his life! He, Sarah Silverman and others show their pink slips in Showtime's Fired! at 8:30 p.m. ET. And how many more scribes get axed before newspapers figure out how to stop the red ink? The Newhouse School offers “Do Newspapers Have a Future?”, with notable newsman Dean Baquet, at the W in New York. Bill Clinton wasn't of course fired, but he came pretty darn close. He joins former Oval Officer George H.W. Bush at CTIA Wireless. And toiling for NBCU, where they give layoffs fancy branding like “NBC 2.0,” Cable President Jeff Gaspin joins Turner Prez Mark Lazarus, A&E CEO Abbe Raven and RainbowMedia CEO Joshua Sapan for the IRTS“Cable Network Chiefs” luncheon at the Crowne Plaza in New York.

Friday, March 30

CBS 2 newswoman Mary Calvi shares “Views From a Weekend Anchor” at the Huntington Hilton on Long Island. And for something equally animated, Cartoon Network unveils the movie Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure at 7. Look for “break-dancing monster pirates and time-traveling robots”…Or was that the USA Network upfront?