Wednesday, Nov. 7
Those yuksters at The Daily Show are too cool for school! First they get a Peabody Award and huge lick-ups in The New York Times Magazine and Vanity Fair. Then they get some Emmy nominations. And when they finally win an award for writing, they don’t even show up to collect the freakin’ hardware! How rock-star can you get?
C’mon! Couldn’t Jon Stewart have sent Sasheen Littlefeather in his stead? (Come to think of it, doesn’t Craiggers live in L.A.?)
The D-Show ‘s big Emmy blowoff wasn’t actually as badass as it looked. Mr. Stewart’s gang planned to be in Los Angeles for the original Emmys, but canceled their trip after it was postponed the first time. Then there was that half-baked bicoastal Emmy thing, with shows in New York and L.A. After that got canceled because of the bombing in Afghanistan, the D-Show ers figured it was never going to happen. “It was like the boy who cried Emmys,” said Daily Show co-creator and executive producer Madeleine Smithberg.
So when Who’s Line Is It, Anyway? goofball Wayne Brady opened the envelope on Sunday, Nov. 4, and called out The Daily Show , Ms. Smithberg was plunked in her living room in her pajamas. “I felt myself physically propelled from my couch and I ran around my living room, screaming at the top of my lungs,” she said. A rowdy gang of staffers called from the Iguana on 54th Street and told the boss to come on down. “I put on pants, but I kept my pajama top on and celebrated with the troops.”
Roll video, s’il vous plaît ! Ms. Smithberg hopes the academy wasn’t insulted by the show’s absence; her staff is “absolutely thrilled, jumping for joy.
“If we have the honor of being nominated again, I’ve got my dress in my office,” said Ms. Smithberg. “I’m not going to take it out of the dry-cleaning wrap.” [COM, 45, 11 p.m.]
Thursday, Nov. 8
Good thing tough guy Geraldo Rivera has skipped away from CNBC to saddle up with Fox News; maybe now he’ll go over there, kick a little Al Qaeda butt and settle this Afghanistan thing in time for the rest of us to relax and enjoy the Lizzie Grubman trial.
Mr. Rivera, of course, was miffed that his G.E. bosses didn’t want to send him overseas to do a piece about suicide bombers-an idea he proposed before Sept. 11, he said. After the terrorist attacks occurred, MSNBC assigned another reporter to the suicide-bomber beat; then The New York Times Magazine (them again!) did it as a cover story. “To say I was annoyed and disappointed would be to understate,” Mr. Rivera said.
Thus the very, very annoyed and really, really disappointed Mr. Rivera called his old friend, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who had hired him at CNBC.
“I’ve always been a big fan of his energy, his insight, his competitive spirit,” Mr. Rivera said, piling on the praise. “He really has a sense of the popular pulse, and he’s a fine editor. The fact that he took that operation from start-up scratch-basically with people only moderately well-known-and made it such a huge success is just a testament to his business acumen.”
So Mr. Rivera wiggled out of an escape clause in his CNBC deal. He didn’t seem worried about how he’d fit into Mr. Ailes’ army. “Even though we seem like an odd couple because of perceived ideological differences, the fact of the matter is that we’re very similar.” How so? “In terms of patriotism, in terms of not being ashamed to viscerally react to something … high energy, a refusal to take no for an answer or get beaten by the competition.”
If only Mr. Ailes had a big mustache! Mr. Rivera will be off to the Afghan front with a hard-nosed crew that includes his brother, Craig. He thinks he has a chance to prop up Fox’s name in international news. “They are really still a start-up in many ways,” he said. “They have got two good people over there: Amy Kellogg in Islamabad and Steve Harrigan up north, but he’s with a videophone-by himself, basically.”
Mr. Rivera, who signed a three-year deal with Murdochland, said he’s committed to staying in the war zone as long as it takes. But when things settle back down, would he consider returning to do a studio show here in New York? “I think that as I get into my 60′s, that would look increasingly attractive,” he said.
That’s right: Geraldo’s closing in on 60. Who knew? Tonight on Fox News, Hannity & Colmes , who are a combined 37. [FNC, 46, 9 p.m.]
Friday, Nov. 9
Tonight, TNT dips its toe back into pre–Sept. 11 obliviousness with a well-timed showing of Murder at 1600 . Oh, man. Remember the good old days, when all you needed to do was get Wesley Snipes to straighten everything out? [TNT, 3, 8 p.m.]
Saturday, Nov. 10
Tonight, Gwyneth Paltrow, a hot young actress you’ll be reading a lot about soon, hosts Saturday Night Live . [WNBC, 4, 11:30 p.m.]
Sunday, Nov. 11
Man, there’s nothing like the exciting action of American League Champion New York Yankees baseball. Say it with us: American League Champion New York Yankees baseball! O.K., you can go cry now.
Some people still have Yankee fever, though. WCBS just forked over about $10 million to the YES network for the rights to broadcast at least 20 Yankee games per year through 2004. If WCBS gets the minimum number of games over that period, that’s approximately $166,666 for every chance to see Dave Justice go 0 for 4 with an error.
But WCBS general manager and bona fide sports nut Tony Petitti was thrilled about the deal. In the local TV business, sports contracts are attractive for two reasons: 1) advertising dough, and 2) bringing new viewers to the station, where they can be bombarded with promotional materials about other programming.
“They are just a beloved franchise,” Mr. Petitti said. “They bring a tremendous amount of good will, and we get to be associated with that.”
YES network chairman and chief executive Leo Hindery said there were other competitors for the Yankee deal, though he declined to name them. He also declined to say if announcers Bobby Mercer and Tim McCarver will be back next season. (Perhaps Mr. McCarver will just yammer on about Bob Brenly’s pitching changes all winter; ay caramba , our ears are still sore.)
Tonight on WCBS, The Education of Max Bickford. Of course, last Sunday most of you watched The Education of Scott Brosius With the Bases Loaded and Less Than Two Outs. [WCBS, 2, 8 p.m.]
Monday, Nov. 12
As omnipresent as his copper-topped dome may be these days, CNN’s Aaron Brown is not the hardest-working anchor in TV-land. That title goes to Alison Stewart, the former MTV queen who now anchors two different news programs on two different networks. When not hustling between ABC and VH1, she sleeps, we estimate, a total of 18 minutes a day.
Every good insomniac knows that Ms. Stewart is the host of the ABC overnight infofest World News Now (weeknights from 3 to 5 a.m.), but now she’s also hosting a morning news show on VH1 called Jump Start , which sounds suspiciously like an ESPN2 aerobics show but is actually a pet of VH1 news guru Michael Hirschorn, ex of Inside.com and Spin .
So how does Ms. Stewart do it? Well, she does her ABC News gig, maybe goes to the gym for a little bit, goes home, gets a little shut-eye, and then schleps off to Chelsea Market to tape Jump Start for VH1. Afterwards, she tries to have a little bit of a life, maybe catch some additional Z’s … and then it’s back to ABC.
But Ms. Stewart’s jazzed about the weirdo schedule, even if her internal clock is completely bonkers and she’s best friends with the cleaning crew at Crunch on Lafayette Street. Of her hours, she said: “I’m about as used to it as I can be.”
How long can she keep it up? Ms. Stewart’s been doing World News Now (where Mr. Brown and silver-maned reality-TV guy Anderson Cooper once toiled) for two years, which she thinks might be some kind of record. “I don’t think I’ll be doing it for another two years,” she said. Though the ABC News show has been a “wonderful opportunity,” it does have its work hazards: “Try saying ‘Jalalabad’ at 3 a.m.-it’s not easy,” she said.
Jeez, we can’t say it at noon. Tonight, in the wee hours, catch Ms. Stewart as she inhales an entire package of Lik-M-Aid to stay awake on World News Now . [WABC, 7, 3 a.m.]
Tuesday, Nov. 13
Tonight on CBS, Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration . Run. [WCBS, 2, 9 p.m.]