Showing posts with label TELEVISION. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TELEVISION. Show all posts

Friday, April 17, 2015


Jaclyn Smith With Home & Family Stars

Actress Jaclyn Smith stopped by Home & Family today and was joined by Cristina Ferrare (wearing Kate Jackson wig), Debbie Matenopoulos (wearing Farrah Fawcett wig) and Kym Douglas wearing a (Cheryl Ladd wig) for the perfect "Angel's" photo.

Home & Family airs weekdays at 10 am ET/PT on Hallmark Channel.

Photo Courtesy Of: Mark Steines

Sunday, January 25, 2015



Story By:James Edstrom

Joe Franklin And Producer Steve Garrin

New York City Legend Joe Franklin has taken his final "Walk Down Memory Lane".

New York City legend Joe Franklin, was the pioneering Radio and TV personality nicknamed King of Nostalgia and credited with creating the modern-day talk show, died Saturday. The star was 88.

I am going to miss Joe. I grew up watching him on late night television on WOR. Very early in my career, he would show up to my parties at Limelight, Roxy, Webster Hall and so many other NYC hotspots. Joe loved to go out. One minute he would be at some fancy high class event, then a hour later he would be at a dingy club, and no matter where the event was, Joe was there to talk. That's what Joe did, he talked.

For some reason, Joe never remembered my name. He knew my face right away, would come over and kiss me, but he always forgot my name.  We were neighbors for years in Times Square. His office was 200 feet away from me across the street. I would run into him almost every day and it was always "what was your name again, you got a card?". It was funny. Don't know if he did it to keep me on my toes, but every time this was the first conversation we had. Then we would chat away.

When I would call Joe at his west 43rd street offices to invite him to a party, he would say, "Oh Yeah, I have a bunch of your cards. It's was funny and we went through this for years. You never knew where Joe would show up next. I went to Hooters parties and there was Joe. I would show up to photograph Marilyn Monroe's dress and shoes for Pat Cooper and there was Joe. Lunch with Cindy Adams, parties at the Friers Club and late night nightclubs, there was Joe Franklin, talking away, because this is what Joe loved and did. He loved people. He loved talk.

In the old days when all the legends hung out at Sardi's Restaurant on 44th street, Joe would walk in and chat with everyone in the front bar. I was usually there with Joyce Randolph and her husband Dick Charles. Joyce played Trixie on the Honeymooners television show. Joe loved Joyce. Funny thing, in all my years, I never saw Joe have a drop of alcohol.

I loved having Joe as a neighbor. Our many conversations on the street were classic. His memories of the old days of television made me wish to go back to the old days. I love the story on how some photographer from my building asked Joe if he could photograph him in his office. Joe thought he was doing the guy a favor, then the guy sent him a bill. Joe was like, " This guy is crazy."

Joe Franklin friend and producer Steve Garrin said, " With Joe's passing, it's the end of a era." Late night talk show queen Robyn Byrd said on her facebook Page, "RIP Joe Franklin... Sweet man, I was on his show a few times. He said I changed the look of television."

Rest in peace Joe Franklin, enjoy your trip down memory lane with all your old friends in the sky.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Mark Rogers With Steve Tickle And Jim Tom Hedrick

Sugarlands Distilling Company has joined forces with master moonshine distillers Steve “Tickle” and Mark Rogers, two of the most popular personalities from the hit TV show “Moonshiners.”

Tickle and Rogers are the latest moonshine legends to be included among the best-selling Sugarlands Shine Legends series. Jim Tom Hedrick helped launch the Legends Series in March 2014 with his 100-proof “Jim Tom’s Unaged Rye” when the distillery opened its doors to the public this spring.

“The Legends Series is a product line that celebrates authentic moonshine craftsmen like Mark and Tickle,” said Brent Thompson, director of marketing for Sugarlands Distilling Company. “We’ve been working with them for months now crafting their secret recipes which we’ll announce later this year.”

Tickle is a native of Southwest Virginia who loves to spend time cooking and developing new moonshine recipes.

Thursday, October 16, 2014



Bradley Powell, 30, of Winter Haven, Fla., was in complete disbelief when he received news of winning DIY Network’s BlogCabin 2014, a fully renovated 1920s bungalow stationed on five acres of land that is a short drive from his current home. The furnished approximately 2,500 sq. ft. home is the centerpiece of the grand prize package valued at almost $900,000, which also includes a 2015 MasterCraft NXT20 Wake/Surf Boat and $50,000 provided by national mortgage lender Quicken Loans. Brad, who says he entered the giveaway twice per day as soon as he heard the sweepstakes started, was randomly selected from more than 24 million entries.

“My wife and I were watching the local news and saw that this year’s Blog Cabin would be located in Winter Haven, Fla.,” said Brad. “We decided to start entering every morning after that—but never dreamed of winning the grand prize! It still hasn’t fully sunk in yet.”

Thursday, October 02, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Whoopi Goldberg

IDES OF JIM --- I had quite the magical evening the other night; the kind that could never happen again. It was the New York-book launch of the new memoir from Jim Petereik (Ides of March; Survivor) titled Through The Eye Of The Tiger (BenBella Books). First off, it was held at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room which is the perfect venue for an event like this; and, it was a glittering crowd, including Vanilla Fudge-drummer Carmine Appice; Gene Cornish from The Rascals and Peppy Castro from the Blue Magoos.

I had just that afternoon finished reading Jim’s book and found it to be one of the best rock-books like this ever written … and, he wrote every word himself. As he said from the stage, during just a stupendous solo performance, he didn’t think he could write a book like this because there was no major re-hab or career-adjustment drama … just a pretty pristine solo career marked by the formation of the Ides, and their huge hit “Vehicle,” (which he modeled his vocal after Blood, Sweat & Tears’ David Clayton-Thomas who famously snubbed him at a show) and, then disbanding the group and segueing fairly seamlessly to Survivor (1983), where they hit big with “Eye Of The Tiger” for Rocky III. Peterik recounts in amazingly vivid detail how the song came together and his first call from Sylvester Stallone. He thought it was a prank and called his friends who did a pretty good Sly-impersonation to check.

Says Petrik, “At first, we wondered if calling it 'Eye of the Tiger' was too obvious. The initial draft of the song, we started with 'It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight, rising up to the spirit of our rival, and the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night, and it all comes down to survival.' We were going to call the song 'Survival'. In the rhyme scheme, you can tell we had set up 'rival' to rhyme with 'survival'. At the end of the day, we said, 'Are we nuts?' That hook is so strong, and 'rival' doesn't have to be a perfect rhyme with the word 'tiger'. We made the right choice and went with 'Eye of the Tiger'.”

The book tracks his growing up in Chicago to meeting the power players in L. A. and is a truly riveting read. I shared a few quick moments with him (remember, I’ve been a fan since 1970) and found him to be funny, smart and, quite the conversationalist. I think he’d be a great hang for an afternoon.

“Tiger” was certified platinum in August 1982, signifying sales of 2 million vinyl copies. The song had sold over 3.8 million in digital downloads in the United States alone by February 2014. It was voted VH-1’s's 63rd greatest hard rock song. Combined sales of original vinyl release and digital downloads total over 9 million copies, making "Eye of the Tiger" one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Also in the mix there, were radio-chick Leslie Gold; Mike McCann from Premiere Radio; PR-pashas David Salidor and Carol Kaye (who put the magical event together); Long Island-musician Victor Kastel, and the club’s Lincoln Foley. Great night.

Rosie O'Donnell

VIEW WARS --- A nasty showdown erupted on the set of The View last week when the show's moderator Whoopi Goldberg and co-host Rosie O'Donnell got into a heated spat in front of the studio audience.

Rosie was upset because Whoopi cut her off on a Hot Topic subject that O'Donnell indicated she was passionate about backstage before the show. The segment ran out of time and Whoopi had to cut to a commercial.

The Hot Topic was on spanking and the segment was running long, so producers told Whoopi it was time to go to commercial break in her ear. Rosie refuses to wear an ISD monitor in her ear so the control room was unable to speak to her.

Whoopi told her that if she had an ear monitor, she would have known what was going on. When Whoopi did the abrupt cut to commercial, Rosie let loose, the insider said.

“As soon as they went to commercial break, Rosie took the handheld microphone that they use to engage the audience,” explains our source.

“Instead of talking to the crowd, Rosie spoke directly to Whoopi in the mic that she hurt her feelings, and that she was very upset by it and didn't appreciate what Whoopi had done.”

Standing to the side without a microphone, Whoopi responded by saying: “This isn't the time for this, Rosie.”

Instead of moving on, O'Donnell continued to gripe openly in front of the audience in the microphone about what she perceived as an on-air snub.

“Well I just don't appreciate you saying that you were going to do something and not doing it. It makes me upset and I just don't want to have to go through this,” O'Donnell continued.

Goldberg, looking annoyed, shot back: “I said this was not the time Rosie.”

Not fazed by the Oscar winner's petition to leave matters alone until after the show, the 52-year-old comedienne continued to vent about Whoopi's actions.

The View moderator then fired back to Rosie: 'F*** it, I told you to leave it alone and you just don't want to listen. If you want to go there Rosie, I will dammit. I'm really sick of your s***!”

“At this point, you could've heard a pin drop. It was like everything came to a standstill and Rosie finally backed down,” our tipster explained.

New co-host Rosie Perez then jumped up and made light of the moment, ending the quiet that had fallen over the room.

“Oh s***, Twitter is going to be off the hook now,” Perez quipped, causing the crowd to laugh. “They're about to get it,” she continued.

Producers hurried over to the two ladies with notes and information regarding the next segment and when the show returned live, it was as though nothing had gone wrong.

Relations between Rosie and Whoopi behind the scenes at the show have been tense since the beginning of the season, as sources believe that O'Donnell really wants to be in her old moderator role and is having a hard time playing second fiddle to Goldberg.

Additionally, Goldberg has begged ABC to terminate her contract with the network and pay her the remaining $10 million on her deal to go home, as she hates working on the show now, particularly with all of the changes.

Our tipster goes on to say, “Rosie has been a terror from the get-go, only allowing the three new executive producers and co-hosts; Whoopi and newcomers Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace, to communicate with her and making it clear to everyone in earshot, she's literally running the show.”

“She has a definitive view of how she would like the show to go and wants everyone else to fall in line.”

It’s been widely reported that when Rosie O and new co-host Nicole Wallace did a test show with two fill-in hosts in an effort to build chemistry. Neither Rosie Perez nor Whoopi were present.

Despite the fact that Whoopi is the regular moderator for the show, leading the discussion, Rosie O took charge of the test show with Nicole.

“It was almost as though she was rehearsing for when she eventually takes over as moderator. It's clear that she would have preferred being in that capacity as she was before.”

YES INDEED --- Eagle Rock has announced the simultaneous release of Yes’ Songs From Tsongas - The 35th Anniversary Concert - Special Edition on 2DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Formats, and the first-ever release of Songs From Tsongas as a 3CD set.

The Special Edition of Songs From Tsongas contains two different concerts from Yes’ 35th Anniversary Tour in 2004, the last tour to feature the classic line-up of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.

In addition to the Tsongas show, the DVD is packed with an additional 70 minutes of never-before-released highlights from Lugarno, which we actually preferred.

The Lugano disc features the group in a somewhat different setting: first, it’s an outdoor show that has a stripped-down stage and full on rock versions of the acoustic tracks from Tsongas while the crowd wields a multitude of umbrellas against the pouring rain, which is clearly not preventing them having a great time! It’s a terrific visual and the group is awesome.

All their hits are here, including “Going For The One,” “Roundabout,” “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” “And You And I,” “Starship Trooper,” “Wondrous Stories,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Yours Is No Disgrace,” “Ritual,” “Turn Of The Century,” and many more captured here in all their glory. Yes, they've aged somewhat … but, the music is as strong as ever. Our favorite? Chris Squire’s inspired bass-solo on “The Fish.” Remarkable!

CLOSING NOTES --- Monday’s The Blacklist (Monarch Douglas Bank) –their second ep this season- was even better than the first. In a funny aside, Entertainment Weekly referred to the show’s pacing as having the viewer flying blind for 48 of the show's 60 minutes; storing away information that might be useful later on … funny and also true. This is one show you must pay attention too. Also, the show’s use of programming music is just off the charts. Monday’s episode concluded with Tom Odell’s “Heal.” Just exquisite and spot on. This show’s Class A all the way …

Guitarworld has a sensational interview with Jim Peterik; check it out.

Gone Girl with Ben Affleck is out Friday. I don’t recall seeing so much positive press on a movie since I don’t know when. The reviews for this David Fincher-directed epic have been, well epic. Looking forward to it.

SIGHTINGS: How Alfo learned to Love Women playwright Vincent Amelio huddling with his director Robert Funaro on Seventh Avenue and 29th street in NYC; Rockers On Broadway’s Donnie Kehr at the Cutting Room.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014



Larry King's Tribute To Joan Rivers

Hollywood has been mourning the death of comedic legend Joan Rivers. There's no one like her. In a special episode of the Emmy nominated series “Larry King Now”, Larry welcomes Jane Lynch, Lily Tomlin, Regis Philbin, Ryan Seacrest, Margaret Cho and Don Rickles to pay tribute to their friend: the beloved, iconic, indefatigable Joan Rivers. The episode just premiered on and

We’ve all heard about Joan’s personal wishes for her star-studded funeral where she said “ I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents…[and] I want to be buried in a Valentino gown.” Margaret Cho opened up to Larry King about Joan Rivers’ funeral, including Howard Stern’s hilarious eulogy and Hugh Jackman’s emotional performance. Cho explained “Joan Rivers Would Have Loved Her Funeral.” The special episode also features Regis Philbin sharing one of his favorite memories of Joan, about her grand entrance at her daughter Melissa’s wedding. Also Jane Lynch on the battle Joan fought to pave the way for female comedians, and how her work inspired Jane to follow in her footsteps. Plus her gratitude for the laughter Joan and Robin provided the world, and her thoughts on their energy living on “She may not be in that gorgeous package anymore but she’s right here.”

Joan Rivers Would Have Loved Her Funeral

Margaret Cho opens up about Joan Rivers’ funeral, including Howard Stern’s hilarious eulogy and Hugh Jackman’s emotional performance.

Regis Philbin Remembers Joan Rivers

Regis Philbin shares one of his favorite memories of Joan, about her grand entrance at her daughter Melissa’s wedding.

Joan Rivers Was So Pretty, So Alive, So Bright

Jane Lynch on the battles Joan fought to pave the way for female comedians, and how her work inspired Jane to follow in her footsteps.

Robin Williams and Joan Rivers Are The Greatest Gifts We Have

Jane Lynch shares her gratitude for the laughter Joan and Robin provided the world, and her thoughts on their energy living on.



“In order for a woman to have a seat at the table, they had to knock themselves down as sex objects.” — Jane Lynch on what Joan’s generation of comics did to succeed.

“That’s kind of where her comedy started, was this severe self-deprecation. And I was always, as a kid, thinking ‘why is she saying she’s so ugly?’ I thought she was so pretty. She was so pretty, and she was so alive and so bright. You could see Johnny Carson just loved her.” — On Joan’s comedic past.

“You hope their energies met as she left this planet.” — Jane Lynch on Joan Rivers and Johnny Carson.

“She was an ally before many people were.” — Jane Lynch on Joan Rivers’ longtime support of the LGBT community.

“She might not be in that gorgeous package anymore but she’s right here.” 

“She always felt that she had to fight to get to the next level.”

“I think that Robin Williams and Joan Rivers, they’re the greatest gifts we have here on earth. And dogs. People who make us laugh and love us unconditionally.”

“She did pave the way. She took the machete and [makes chopping sound effects] so we could all skip along behind her.” — Jane Lynch on what Joan did for women in comedy.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


Anthony Anderson

In the September issue, JET presents two covers – one with Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross as they prepare to launch their new program, black-ish, and their second annual “40 Under 40 list,” featuring none other than the Jackie Robinson West Little League national champions as the iconic image.

Shows such as The Cosby Show, Family Matters, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and My Wife and Kids were programs that depicted the African-American family on mainstream television in a positive light. However, the presence of the Black family on network television as been largely missing, other than on reality shows, since these programs went off air. This fall, the show black-ish is set to premiere on ABC on September 24, quenching the desire of those looking for diversity in their television programming.

“Around the time of President Obama’s presidency, it seems like there was a switch toward the reality representation of Black families, “said the show creator Kenya Harris. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


William Shatner

For fans who want a range of home-related television programming that they won’t find anywhere else this fall, especially if they like to peek inside the personal spaces of celebrities, HGTV and DIY Network will premiere six new series and two one-hour specials. Taking home improvement where it has never gone before, DIY Network will highlight the unique highs and lows of one celebrity icon’s home renovation in The William Shatner Project premiering on Thursday, October 23, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. And, coming in November, talented and charismatic twins Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott will showcase their newly renovated family residence in The Property Brothers at Home.

Friday, August 22, 2014



Hot In Cleveland 100th Show



Starring: Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick

Guest stars: Georgia Engel, Debra Monk

Tensions are high in Cleveland: Elka (Betty White) is up for City Council election, Victoria (Wendie Malick) is up for an Academy Award and Melanie (Valerie Bertinelli) gets a visit from her mother (Debra Monk).

Photo Courtesy Of: TV Land

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Shark Cam From National Aquarium in Baltimore

Volkswagen of America (VWoA) announced its renewed collaboration with Discovery Channel for television’s longest running must-see summer event, SHARK WEEK, which kicks off on Sunday, August 10th at 8PM ET/PT.

This is Volkswagen’s third consecutive year as presenting sponsor for SHARK WEEK. Coming off of another successful integration last year, featuring the 2013 Beetle Convertible Shark Cage, VW is excited to take an even bigger bite into the 2014 campaign. On-air elements revolve around three: 60 short form videos featuring the cast from Discovery Channel’s popular series, DUDE, YOU’RE SCREWED and the all-new, fuel efficient 2015 Golf TDI® Clean Diesel. Achieving up to 567 highway miles per tank with an automatic transmission, the Golf TDI is one of the only cars to practically match the shark’s non-stop way of life.

“With last year’s SHARK WEEK turning out to be the most watched ever, Volkswagen is thrilled to continue working with this beloved television event that shows no signs of slowing,” said Vinay Shahani, Vice President, Brand Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “SHARK WEEK is an incredible opportunity for Volkswagen to introduce millions of consumers to the Golf TDI through an event that speaks to VW’s famed, bold marketing style.”

Thursday, August 07, 2014


Bear Grylls

Survival expert and professional adventurer Bear Grylls is pioneering a new genre of adventure and 'outdoorsmanship' with his latest television ventures and Bear Grylls Survival Academy. Having survived alone in the harshest of conditions, this time Bear is bringing company in the form of celebrities and the general public for a demanding and empowering survival experience.

The most recent reality television offering, NBC's Running Wild with Bear Grylls, sees Bear partnered one-on-one with celebrities in some of the wildest and most remote locations in the U.S. and around the world. The format aims to test their minds and bodies in a 48-hour journey of a lifetime. Participating celebrities include actor-director Ben Stiller, actor Channing Tatum, NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, actor Tom Arnold, MSNBC and "Today' anchor Tamron Hall and actor Zac Efron. Bear and Zac lead the series in an action-based journey through the harsh wilderness of the Catskill Mountains in New York State.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Paris Hilton At Hollywood Today

Direct from Hollywood - Paris Hilton Exclusively Talks to HTL About Madonna Inspiring her to get Sexual, Unicorns, DJ AM and her boys Lil Wayne and Birdman.

On Madonna being her inspiration for Come Alive: “Madonna has been an inspiration, ever since I was a little girl. Justify My Love is very sexy, and a very sexy song, and I wanted to be sexual and who better than Madonna to inspire me.”

On her new video single Come Alive: “The song is about love and magical creation. I wanted the video to be a fairytale, an ethereal fantasy world, I have a unicorn, rainbows and pink clouds. I was obsessed with Lisa Frank when growing up, so it’s kinda like Lisa Frank grew up and went to Ibiza.”

When asked where she got the unicorn: She said she had one, to which HTL host AJ responded, “Of course you do. You’ve heard here first. Paris owns her own unicorn.”

On a fan responding to her new video: “It’s exotic, tempting and diabolical.” “I love being called diabolical, never been called that before.”

On her working with Lil Wayne and Birdman: “They are my boys.”

Saturday, July 19, 2014



Hot In Cleveland

"Straight Outta Cleveland"

Rating: TV-PG

Starring: Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick

Guest stars: Chris Colfer, Tim Daly, Sam Daly and Dan Castellaneta

Victoria (Wendie Malick) gets a visit from her son who happens to be hiding a secret (Chris Colfer). Meanwhile, Joy (Jane Leeves) and Mitch (Tim Daly) debate their compatibility after visiting a quiz-loving therapist (Dan Castellaneta).

Wednesday, July 23rd at 10pm ET/PT followed by an all-new episode of “Jennifer Falls” at 10:30pm ET/PT

Photo Courtesy Of: TV Land

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Animated Hot In Cleveland

The women of TV Land’s "Hot in Cleveland" are officially animated! Melanie Moretti (Valerie Bertinelli), Joy Scroggs (Jane Leeves), Victoria Chase (Wendie Malick) and Elka Ostrovsky (Betty White) have come to life in cartoon form with the help of animation studio Titmouse, Inc. – and they’re bringing along Steven Tyler. Tyler will guest star in the episode as himself, serving as a guide through their magical, animated adventure.

"The Animated Episode," the first-ever for TV Land, is set to air Wednesday, July 30th at 10pm ET/PT. The episode starts with the women at Elka’s apartment, which before now has been a mystery to them…and they soon find out why. From there, they will meet up with Steven Tyler (and some other special friends) and go on a psychedelic romp through pop culture hits, including scenes with homages to “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” “The Walking Dead” and “Frankenstein.” Plus, they’ll also see what life in Cleveland would have been like if LeBron James had never left.


Larry King

The Internet sensation "Larry King Now" just received its first Emmy nomination for Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis in the prominent 35th News & Documentary Emmy Awards. “Larry King Now” stands out as the only digital show to be nominated in this category.

"I started the first national radio talk show, I started the first world-wide cable show, and the thought of breaking new ground on the internet appealed to me," said Larry King. "I'm curious and I like to try new things. This new venue completely interested me, especially the chance to partner with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim [who owns, the parent company that produces Larry King Now]."

Larry King is a pioneer in the media industry. Now starting its third season, the digital "Larry King Now" is the latest example of the legendary talk show host's innovative approach to embracing the future of broadcasting. 

Monday, June 16, 2014



Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe Speaks to Cigar Aficionado about Good Looks, Cubans And Charlie Sheen. The star is featured on the cover of the July 2014 issue of Cigar Aficionado, on newsstands June 24th.

On whether he’s had plastic surgery to retain his good looks: “I’d like to think that, if I had work done—which I haven’t—I wouldn’t be coy about it. I’m just a product of good genetics and taking care of myself.”

On his relationship with Charlie Sheen: “I love him, even though he hates sobriety. We spar over all kinds of things. There’s no funnier, smarter, more enjoyable raconteur than Charlie. I love him when he rants about why people in AA are idiots. I admire him living the life of his choosing.”

On getting sober and turning to cigars: “When I got sober. That was 1990. One of the things you have to do when you stop [drinking] is you have to find other ways to have fun. You’re looking for new ways to bond, to be social, to be out amongst people. For me, in the early days, that meant playing golf and smoking cigars.”


Off The Grid

Hillary Clinton & Jesse Ventura agree with the majority of Americans - it's been 52 years and it's time to lift the embargo.

52 years and ten U.S. presidents later, our embargo on Cuba is still being enforced, but Jesse Ventura would like to see that changed. And fast! On his online-only show, "Off The Grid," the Governor recounts his trip to Cuba, his meeting with Fidel Castro, and provides his firsthand insight on how improving trade relations with our neighbor to the south would be a win-win for both of our countries.

"The embargo was put in place [in 1962].They felt hopefully the citizens of Cuba would rise up and overthrow Fidel and his dictatorship," said Ventura. "Well, clearly it hasn't happened. It's been 50 years. All we are doing is hurting the Cuban people through this whole ordeal. Do you think Fidel has missed one sandwich? I don't think so."

Hillary Clinton reveals in her new book "Hard Choices" that she urged President Obama to end the embargo. "Since 1960, the United States had maintained an embargo against the island in hopes of squeezing Castro from power, but it only succeeded in giving him a foil to blame for Cuba's economic woes," Clinton writes. "I would support normalizing relations, which could very well lead to lifting the embargo," she told NPR.

Monday, June 02, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Arsenio Hall

CABARET AGAIN --- We went to see the latest revival of Cabaret Saturday night with the incomparable Alan Cumming in the lead role as the emcee of the veritable Kit Kat Klub in Berlin. Michelle Williams stars as the club’s requisite chanteuse Sally Bowles and is positively amazing; I didn't know she could sing, let alone this well. She comes very close to stealing the show, especially with the character’s stellar signature song “Maybe This Time.”

Cabaret is a musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1966 Broadway production became a hit, inspiring numerous subsequent productions in London and New York, as well as the 1972 film by the same name.

It is based on John Van Druten's 1951 play I Am a Camera, which was adapted from the short novel Goodbye to Berlin (1939) by Isherwood. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it is based in nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with the young American writer Cliff Bradshaw.

A sub-plot involves the doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Narrating the action is the Master of Ceremonies (Cumming) at the Kit Kat. The club serves as a metaphor for the threatening state of late, decadent Weimar Germany.

Cunming, who’s celebrating his 30th year as an actor, is positively stunning; you cannot take your eyes of him when’s he onstage or moving about the theater. For me, his rendition of “I Don’t Care Much,” is amazing. We saw him earlier this year in a one man version of King Lear, and he again, was outstanding. Kudos also to Linda Emond (Schneider) and Danny Burtsein (Schultz). Directed by the always visionary Sam Mendes, this is a must-see production. We loved it!

HALL FLATLINED --- The Arsenio Hall Show has been canceled because of low ratings, ending Hall's late-night comeback bid after a single season.

His bid to recreate the success he enjoyed 20 years ago failed to find a big enough audience in the myriad late-night TV market.

CBS Television Production had previously announced Hall's syndicated show would be back for a second season (with no less than then-TV night-time king Jay Leno making the on-air announcement), but faced the prospect of stations moving it to lesser time slots as ratings fell.

In a statement, Hall said he knew launching the show would be a challenge. "I'm gratified for the year we've had and proud of the show we created," the actor and comedian added.

The show is in reruns and won't resume production, a show spokesman said. The last original episode aired May 21.

When Hall began his original series in 1989, he was seen as the cool alternative to Johnny Carson and hisTonight Show on NBC. Guests including sax playing-presidential candidate Bill Clinton helped push Hall into the spotlight.

By 1994, with increased competition from new Tonight host Jay Leno and CBS' David Letterman, Hall's ratings had slipped and the show ended.

When Hall returned last year, he was fighting for attention with even more programs, including ABC's Jimmy Kimmel and the Comedy Central lineup.

I liked Hall immensely when he first appeared and he certainly cut his own path with his innovative guest choices. When he returned, it seemed oddly dated and he never quite fit in with his new-millennial competition.

JESUS CANCELED – The upcoming North American arena touring production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar has been canceled. A statement on the show’s web site confirmed the news that the production, which was to have started performances June 9 at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, was no longer going forward and that all ticket sales would be refunded.

The tour was announced back in April and was to have starred Ben Forster as Jesus, after he won a British reality-TV competition for the role, as well as American music stars Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams, ‘NSYNC’s J.C. Chasez, and the Sex Pistols’ John Lydon. The cast was still in rehearsals under the direction of Laurence Connor, currently represented on Broadway with the revival of Les Misérables, as recently as Thursday in New Orleans without any knowledge or awareness of the show’s impending doom. New Orleans was the first scheduled stop in a 54-city tour that would have also played big venues like the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York City.

A shame as the play is chock full of terrific songs and performances. Maybe another time.

LIFETIME MELLENCAMP --- John Mellencamp won't have to worry about negotiating a record contract for the rest of his life. Republic Records has signed him to an unprecedented lifetime contract.

Mellencamp has done some bouncing around between labels over the length of his career, recording for Mercury (1976's Chestnut Street Incident, 1987's Lonesome Jubilee through 1996's Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky), Riva (1978's A Biography through 1985's Scarecrow), Columbia (1998's John Mellencamp through 2003's Trouble No More), Universal Republic (2007's Freedom's Road), Hear Music (2008's Live, Death, Love and Freedom) and Rounder (2010's No Better Than This).

Republic’s Monte Lipman said "Not only has he served as an ambassador of social consciousness in America, but he has also provided the soundtrack of a generation. We're thrilled to be working with John Mellencamp as part of this historic deal."

Up first will be the album Plain Spoken, his 22nd studio album, which is being called "a stunningly elegant and soul-searching gem." A release date has not been set.

CLOSING NOTES --- Caught Michael Mann’s 2004 film Collateral over the weekend with Tom Cruise and Jaime Foxx … what a great film! Besides Mann’s typical brilliant visuals, the script, acting and music made this a huge favorite. I really enjoyed it all over again …

From The Monkees show in Detroit at The Fox Theater: “It’s a pleasure to hear Micky Dolenz, one of the best male pop singers of the 60’s, hitting every note live, with incredible power and joy. “I’m a Believer,” “I’m Not Your (Steppin’ Stone),” “She,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Mary, Mary” -- so many of the Monkees’ hits featured his bright tenor, and it’s quite a feat to replicate vocals one did as a 22-year-old.” Nice! …

From the Carter/Matt TV blog: “Sing Your Face Off is completely ridiculous. The idea of the show is basically to watch celebrities impersonate and sing as other celebrities, and then be scored by a panel of people that includes the resurfaced Darrell Hammond and Debbie Gibson appearing in around her billionth reality TV show. Also, there’s David Alan Grier. In between the judges and the five contestants, you've got two former Dancing with the Stars contestants (Grier and Lisa Rinna), and also two former Celebrity Apprentice contestants (Rinna and Gibson). That’s a lot of I like being on reality TV thrown into here.

The show is just about what you thought: Incredibly cheesy, and at times you feel bad for some of the contestants that it’s come to this. Some of these people have done cool stuff! Why dress up for this silliness? But, we have to give them some credit for really going along with the gimmick of the show and having a good time when they really didn't have to. This sort of show requires no shame, and these people really commit to the impressions. Whoever thought basketball star Landry Fields would be better than Jon Lovitz at impersonations? Then again, we feel like Jon had the biggest challenge of the night trying to be Elton John. We could sit here and go through lengthy discussions about the fairness of every aspect of this competition, but there’s literally no point. We're watching a show here that tries to sell you on its contestants instantly transforming into other people.” Grade: D+ …

Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boy debuts in New York a week from today ...

Thursday, May 08, 2014



The Golden Girls

Trying to figure out how to spend your Mother’s Day? Well, TV Land has made that decision a little bit easier for you! TV Land’s “The Golden Girls” marathon pays tribute to the mother of all mothers, Sophia Petrillo (played by Estelle Getty), the very entertaining but tough-love mom to Dorothy (Bea Arthur). Tune in for the Mom-athon event this Sunday, May 11th from 7pm-10pm ET/PT.

TV Land kicks off “The Golden Girls” marathon with “Mother’s Day,” an episode where the girls reminisce about past Mother’s Days as they wait for phone calls from their children. In another episode entitled “Two Rode Together,” Dorothy (Bea Arthur) wants to spend some "quality" time with Sophia (Getty) so she takes her away for the weekend to Disney World. However, her attempts fail when a fed up Sophia storms out. Meanwhile, Rose (Betty White) and Blanche (Rue McClanahan) try their hand at writing children's stories. The marathon continues with “An Illegitimate Concern,” where Dorothy and Sophia enter a mother-daughter pageant at Shady Pines as Sonny & Cher.

Plus, stick around because there will be many more fan favorites that salute Sophia Petrillo. So, curl up on the couch with your mom and celebrate Mother’s day with TV Land!

Photo Courtesy Of: TV Land

Monday, May 05, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Lucy Liu

A Liu Of A Good Time --- It’s always interesting when the stars of the various TV-series finally get to direct an episode of their show; some excel, some fail miserably, some couldn't care less. Lucy Liu, of the terrific show Elementary (on CBS) said on Letterman last week that she asked to direct an episode on their first season last year and was promptly turned down. Even though she had already directed some smaller vehicles, she knew that there were so many things happening with the developing show, that the powers that be wanted only sure-fire directors on board.

However, with last week’s episode of the show, the ominously titled “Paint It Black,” which Liu did direct and in my opinion. she knocked it out of the park. She always said on the show that when those powers-that-be first saw the results, she was immediately offered another episode to direct next year.

As you may or may not show, the show features the exploits of a modern say Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson. As preposterous a premise as that may sound, the show (Starring Liu and the immensely intense Jonny Lee Miller) has emerged as one of the network’s strongest entries and the writing is just spot-on excellent. Aidan Quinn, always a favorite of mine, stars as well as is pretty terrific as well. In fact, it’s one of the best things he’s ever been in.

Liu’s show, the second in a three-episode arc, found her character being held hostage and Holmes and his brother, portrayed by Rhys Ifans, attempting to find her. While the nuances of this episode are almost too numerous to mention, suffice to say that in the climactic scene, with both Liu and the brother about to be assassinated, the brother asks for a few final words, which he is granted. He pauses most dramatically and then says paint it black … and, all hell breaks loose.

The show was filled with numerous brilliant shots; and, several terrific crane shots. It was the mark of a excellent actor … behind the camera. It was so solid, so strong, that Liu should well consider directing as a major next step. She’s great, but the direction of this show was stellar. Bravo!

A MEAL TO DIE FOR --- Talking TV, this week’s episode of NBC’s Hannibal was very, very strong. With the show facing imminent cancellation (even though creator Bryan Fuller was quoted last week as saying he felt good about a third-season renewal); the show brought Hugh Dancy’s character (Will Graham) one step closing to Hannibal’s dark-side. As we've noted previously; the work from Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) is just exceptional plus, the tone set by Fuller is as ominous and dark as ever. There was also a three-minute scene where both characters were in bed with their significant others and at one point they found themselves in bed together sharing just one woman. It was startling yet so brilliantly done. I hope this show does get another season …. It’s just that good.

SALAD SURGERY --- Sony Music and Legacy Recordings will release deluxe editions of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's 1973 album Brain Salad Surgery in several different formats.

Originally announced on the 40th Anniversary of its original release, the Super Deluxe Edition of Brain Salad Surgery is the result of months of work delving into the archive with the full co-operation of Greg Lake, Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer. Packaged in a stunning hardcover 12” slipcase with inner gatefold and the original HR Giger artwork digitally restored and enhanced.

Fully remastered throughout, as well as the original album, the package also contains an alternate album featuring five rare alternate versions, a disc of new stereo mixes and a DVDA including High Resolution Original Mix Remastered, High Resolution Stereo Mix, MLP loss less surround mix, DTS 5.1 Surround Mix and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Mix.

The super deluxe edition also features a DVD of the 1973 feature length Manticore Special Documentary with highlights from the 1973 World Tour and a photo gallery of imagery from the Brain Salad Surgery era. The package is completed with 180-gm Vinyl, replica original release die-cut poster and a 20-page 12” booklet with photographs and new liner-notes.

Greg Lake said, “My memories about making this album and indeed about this whole period in the bands history are something that I will always cherish and be extremely proud of. I still perform songs from this album in my show to this day and know how much some of these songs mean to the audience who grew up with them.”

Carl Palmer said, “I think if you were to identify one album as being the masterwork of ELP it would have to be Brain Salad Surgery. For me it was our Sergeant Pepper moment. We were doing weird things to push the boundaries of experimentation and recording forward. We used every recording technique under the sun from recording percussion in the toilet to using custom designed electronic percussion. It’s my favorite album by far.”

Keith Emerson commented, “We were on a real creative roll when we wrote and recorded Brain Salad Surgery. That album saw us push boundaries further than we'd ever done before and I listen to that music now and I wonder how we did it!”

Closing Notes --- CBS’ Under The Dome (based on a Stephen King book) became something of a cult-hit last summer on TV. Now, its back and King himself wrote the first episode of this second season. I'm not a fan of the rather-chaotic King, but several of his TV-adaptions have been great. I'm looking forward to his Dome-debut next month …

I haven't watched the entire SNL with Andrew Garfield yet (from this weekend), but I did watch the two songs performed by Coldplay. Both tracks were decidedly downbeat. “Magic” and “A Sky Full of Stars”; and, and we preferred the latter. One pundit said that the performances will be loved by the group’s acolytes, but would do anything to change the minds of the naysayers. Well said. Their album is due this month …

We lost the terrific actor Bob Hoskins last week. We loved him in the movie Mona Lisa … where he played a gangster and was just superb. I remember when there was talk of him, musician Phil Collins and Danny DeVito in a live-action movie of the three bears. The three of them would have been superb. Strong, strong actor for sure. RIP Bob! ...

Strong, strong reaction for Micky Dolenz's show last Friday night in Chicago at the famed Arcada Theatre (The Cowsills opened for him). Promoter Ron Onesti said it was a great show, followed by a Q&A from the Monkee-man...

We never got a chance to see Ben Stiller’s Walter Mitty movie last year. We just watched it and now feel it is one of the strongest movies of last year. Stiller is just terrific (he directed it too) and with a very-modern-day approach, the movie is perhaps the best thing he’s yet done. I don't know why it wasn't bigger. A great movie to rent. Awesome! ...

As a New Yorker, a recent announcement in the subways, about how many fires in the subways were caused by garbage on the tracks is somewhat perplexing … especially when the MTA announced sometime last year they wouldn't have garbage cans anymore. If you don't have garbage cans, they will throw on tracks… of course, something is going to happen. What does the MTA expect to happen to the accumulated garbage?

With late-trains, poor service, and just a dire-atmosphere down under, it’s any wonder it works at all. Go figure!