Idol/Spec: Top 10 Performance Show – 3/30/2010

03/31/2010 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Net/Spec | 1 Comment
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Last night was American Idol –  The Top 10.

Ok, my new job description is still going nuts, so I don’t have much time to put in my two cents.  You know what that means –  Sidebar style (not to be confused with Cajun style):

Siobhan – Horrible.  Simply, horrible.  Everything from her pitchy singing & played-out screaming, to her flustercuck outfit.  It was downright horrible.  And does anybody still believe that her weird outfits aren’t as fake as Big Mike’s actions?  It looks like she is dressed by Rip Torn, who is mis-matching outfits straight out of Lady Gaga’s closet! 

The judges seemed very worried; so where they SHOULD have ripped her apart for destroying an amazing song (which became more amazing with Kanye’s version), instead they were basically pleaded to the viewers to still vote for her.  VERY unethical.  The only voice of reason was Simon, who was the only honest one.  He hated it, and seemed out of love with her – even telling her to ditch the played-out scream.  Weird thing is, she knew that she was terrible (you could tell by her face before the judges said anything), yet insisted on arguing with Simon about it. 

Casey James – Meh.  It’s the same this week as last week.  He’s leaning on what he knows.  His voice isn’t strong, so he will always have that guitar to hide behind.  Plus, women love him.  He’s safe.  I really don’t know what else you can say.

Michael Lynche – Here’s the thing:  He didn’t at all do what Usher told him to do by making eye contact with the person in the way back.  he kept his eyes closed for about 75% of the song.  That said, it doesn’t matter.  Vocally, he’s been amazing, this week included.  Loved it.  Still don’t believe his personality is genuine, but that’s just me.

Didi Benami – She needs to keep it together.  She’s an amazing talent.  Other than Crystal, I wouldn’t buy anyone else’s album but Didi’s.  She’s doing herself no favors with these songs that are downers.  She’s way better than them, and the judges hate them.  I hope she’s safe, but I can see her in the bottom 3 this week.

Tim Urban – High School Musical fits him perfectly.  He really seems like an awesome guy, but he’s out of his league.  I think that’s why he’s so happy-go-lucky when the judges tear him a new a-hole:  He’s just happy to be there.  That said, he did ok.  Struggled with those low notes, but it wasn’t terrible (coughUnderMyThumbcough).

Andrew Garcia – Weird that the judges loved this.  I thought it was ok, but the laid back acoustic style doesn’t fit the lyrics to this song.  He’s still so boring.  what’s with him trying to add acoustic to everything?  Last week, he was going to do an acoustic version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”, and the thought of how he believed he could pull that off about made my head explode.  Same this week with “Forever” by Chris Brown.  Anyways, the judges all loved it – except Simon said he was bored with him.

Katie Stevens – Go home, please.  What’s with this new style of short-pants?  Paige wore a similar pair last week.  Who thinks this style is flattering?  What are they even called – Levi’s Camel Toes?  Anyways, she continues to be the succubus of song by killing any life left in them.  I think your grandma needs you to come and sing for her now, please.

Lee Dewyze – He did alright.  Still don’t see what others do in him.  Seems like a nice, humble guy – but he also seems like an abused pet by the way he cowers even with compliments. 

Crystal Bowersox – Amazing.  Loved it, love her.  “Midnight Train to Georgia” is fun, but kinda corny.  Either way, it worked for her.

Aaron Kelly – I don’t think this will put him in the bottom 3, but he deserves to be there after last night’s performance of “Ain’t No Sunshine”.  It was all over the place in pitch, and he’s just out of his league.  Aaron, maybe you could carpool with Katie when she goes back to her grandma, and you go back to your showchoir.  However, I know I know I know I know I know he won’t be going home tonight.

Bottom 3:

Tim, Katie, & Didi

Alternate: Aaron

Going home:  Tim

What did you think?

Peabody Award Winners Announced!

03/31/2010 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Net/Spec | Leave a comment
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March 31, 2010

69th Annual Peabody Awards Winners Announced

ATHENS, Georgia – Thirty-six recipients of the 69h Annual Peabody Awards were announced today by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for 2009, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the University of Georgia Campus.

The latest Peabody winners reflect great diversity in genre, sources of origination and content. The recipients included “Modern Family,” ABC’s droll, perceptive comedy about a multicultural extended family; HBO’s “Thrilla in Manila,” a documentary that probes the hype, mythology and meaning of the politically charged Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fights in the early 1970s; and “The Great Textbook War,” a fair, balanced radio documentary from West Virginia Public Broadcasting about a 1974 skirmish that presaged “cultural wars” still raging in America. “Jerome Robbins – Something to Dance About,” a richly insightful portrait of the director-choreographer from Thirteen/WNET’s “American Masters,” received a Peabody Award, as did the Desmond Tutu installment of CBS’s consistently surprising “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” a talk show without borders.

Peabodys went to “Sichuan Earthquake: One Year On,” a thorough assessment of the damage, grief and anger in the quake ravaged Chinese province by Hong Kong’s Now-TV News, and “A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains,” ABC News’ illumination of the abiding poverty of our most forgotten region, Central Appalachia. Peabodys also were awarded to “The Madoff Affair,” a comprehensive examination by WGBH’s “FRONTLINE” of the Ponzi scheme that cost investors $65 billion, and “Hard Times,” Oregon Public Broadcasting’s smart, compassionate radio coverage of the impact of the financial crisis on ordinary folks

Other entertainment programming recognized by the Peabody Board included “Glee,” Fox’s invigorating musical dramedy about the diverse members of a high-school choral club; “In Treatment,” HBO’s mesmerizing therapy-session drama; “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency,” HBO’s charming series about a female private eye in Botswana; and “Endgame,” a PBS/Masterpiece film about secret negotiations that facilitated the end of apartheid in South Africa. A Peabody also went to “The Day That Lehman Died,” a riveting radio docudrama from the BBC World Service that reconstructed the frantic negotiations that preceded the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy filing that shook the financial world.

In the realm of arts and culture, Peabodys were awarded to “Noodle Road,” a visually scrumptious survey of the Asian culinary staple by South Korea’s KBS 1TV; PBS’ “Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times,” a portrait of a family newspaper dynasty that pursued civic goals and personal agendas with equal zeal; and two “Independent Lens” documentaries: “The Order of Myths,” a look at  race relations through the prism of the Mardi Gras of Mobile, Ala., and “Between the Folds,” an exhilarating, awe-inspiring study of the art of origami and paper folding.

A Personal Peabody was awarded to Diane Rehm, whose eponymously titled show on Washington, D.C.’s WAMU-FM and National Public Radio epitomizes vigorous, courteous political discourse. Peabodys also went to “BBC World News America: Unique Broadcast, Unique Perspective,” a model “world” newscast  crafted for U.S. cable subscribers by BBC America; National Public Radio’s topically boundless web counterpart,; and, the celebrated children’s television series’ cheery, interactively educational web site.

“Every year the Peabody Board faces the daunting task of selecting examples of the most outstanding work in electronic media,” said Horace Newcomb, Director of the Peabody Awards.  “Our work is made more difficult because every entry is selected by a producer, a studio, a network or cable channel as their best work of the previous year.  We begin at the top and have to go even higher.”

The Peabody Board recognized the meritorious efforts of several local news organizations. Awards went to “Under Fire: Discrimination and Corruption in the Texas National Guard,” a startling investigative series by Houston’s KHOU-TV that led to the firing of three Texas Guard generals; “Derrion Albert Beating,” a series of reports by Chicago’s WFLD-TV  about the sidewalk murder of an honor student that had national repercussions; and “BART Shooting,” a series of reports in which KTVU-TV in Oakland, Calif., doggedly pursued the facts of a deadly, train-station confrontation.

In the Peabody-honored “Up in Smoke,” Los Angeles’ KCET-TV explored the state’s cannabis culture and found, among other surprises, that medicinal marijuana clinics, thanks to an inadvertent regulatory loophole, outnumbered Starbucks shops in the city. In “Chronicle: The Gift,” WYFF 4 in Greenville, S.C., made a man’s tragic, accidental death the impetus of a public-service campaign on behalf of organ donation, showcasing the stories of the recipients his generosity saved.

Other radio winners included “Mind the Gap: Why Good Schools Are Failing Black Students,” a documentary in which independent producer Nancy Solomon focused on a suburban New Jersey high school, asking difficult questions of teachers and students alike, and “Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson: Covering Afghanistan,” a collection of uniquely insightful reports about everyday life as well as the ongoing warfare by the chief of National Public Radio’s Afghan bureau.

“To those who say all media content is the same, or presented from a single perspective, we offer this great range of material as a response,” said Newcomb.  “Our selections demonstrate that great work available in 2009 varied widely and appealed to viewers and listeners with very different tastes interests, and concerns.”

CBS News’s “60 Minutes” added another pair of Peabodys to its collection: “Sabotaging the System” looked at the clear and present danger of cyber attacks from Russia and China on our computer-dependent infrastructure and what we doing to thwart them. Even as airwaves and town halls were buzzing with talk of health-care “death panels,” “The Cost of Dying” took a courageous, objective look at the actual monetary cost of end-of-life care. A Peabody also went to “Where Giving Life Is a Death Sentence,” a BBC America news report by Lyse Doucet about a remote Afghan province that has the world’s worst recorded rate of maternal mortality.

The notable documentaries honored also included “Iran and the West,” BBC2’s comprehensive, three-hour explanation, complete with exclusive new interviews with key leaders, of how the current nuclear impasse evolved, and “The OxyContin Express,” a shocking documentation by Current TV of the extent of prescription-drug abuse in America. “Brick City,” a gritty documentary series shown on Sundance Channel, paints an unvarnished picture of life, politics and hopes for revival in gang-banged and impoverished Newark, N.J. “I-Witness: Ambulansiyang de Paa,” from the Philippines’ GMA Network Inc., memorably chronicled how residents of a poor, remote town can only get their sick and injured to medical care using the “ambulance on foot,” woven hammocks that they carry over dangerous terrain.

The Peabody Awards, the oldest honor in electronic media, do not recognize categories nor are there a set number of awards given each year. Today the Peabody recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by TV and radio stations, networks, cablecasters, Webcasters, producing organizations and individuals.

The Peabody Board is a 16-member group, comprised of television critics, broadcast and cable industry executives, academics and experts in culture and the arts. They make their annual selections with input  from special screening committees of UGA faculty, students and staff.

All entries become a permanent part of the Peabody Archive in the University of Georgia Libraries. The collection is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most respected moving-image archives. For more information about the Peabody Archive or the Peabody Awards, visit



March 31, 2010



Modern Family (ABC)

Twentieth Century Fox Television in association with Levitan Lloyd Productions

This wily, witty comedy puts quirky, contemporary twists in family ties but maintains an old-fashioned heart.


The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: An Evening with Archbishop Desmond Tutu (CBS)

Worldwide Pants, Inc.

As this fascinating, often funny interview attests, the Scottish-born Ferguson has made late-night television safe again for ideas.

Noodle Road: Connecting Asia’s Kitchens (KBS1 TV)

Korean Broadcasting System

The who, where, what, why and how of Asia’s culinary staple, rolled into one visually delicious hour.

A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains (ABC)

ABC News

A powerful documentary shot in the hollows and house trailers of Appalachia reminds us that not all critical problems lie in “developing” nations.

Sesame Workshop

Big Bird and company display prodigious adaptability on this delightfully educational, interactive site.

BBC World News America: Unique Broadcast, Unique Perspective (BBC America)

BBC World News America, BBC America

A nightly newscast like none the United States has ever had, it places our actions and concerns in a global context.

The Cost of Dying (CBS)

CBS News 60 Minutes

Steve Kroft’s report addressed inconvenient truths about the cost of end-of-life medical care with courage and compassion.


Independent Lens: Between the Folds (PBS)

Green Fuse Films, ITVS

A beautiful documentary about the art of paper folding, it makes you gasp at the possibilities – of paper and of human creativity.


Glee (FOX)

Twentieth Century Fox Television

Dependably tuneful and entertaining, the musical dramedy that revolves around the motley members of a high-school choral club hit especially high notes with episodes such as “Wheels,” about the daily struggles of a wheelchair-bound singer.

The OxyContin Express (Current TV)

Vanguard on Current TV

With tales of drug-dealing MDs in Florida and Appalachian “pill-billies,” the documentary makes clear the enormity of the prescription-drug epidemic.

National Public Radio

A whole lot of things considered, from “South Park” to North Korea, make this one of the great one-stop websites. And there’s music you can dance to.

Diane Rehm Personal Award

Now available to National Public Radio listeners after decades on Washington’s WAMU-FM,  Rehm’s talk show is the gold standard for civil, civic discourse.

The Day that Lehman Died (BBC World Service)

A Goldhawk Essential Production/BBC World Service Production

Merging news with dramatic reconstruction based on exhaustive interviews, this rare docudrama for radio put listeners in the boardroom and halls of Lehman Brothers as the financial giant collapsed.

In Treatment (HBO)

Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions and Sheleg in association with HBO Entertainment
Giving new meaning to the phrase “theater of the mind,” this fictional series of psychiatrist-patient one-on-one’s is the very essence of drama.

Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times (PBS)

Peter Jones Productions

Digging into the lives and machinations of the first family of Los Angeles newspapers, documentary filmmaker Peter Jones finds drama enough for several feature films.

No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (HBO)

Mirage Enterprises and Cinechicks in association with The Weinstein Company, BBC and HBO Entertainment

Alexander McCall Smith’s best-selling novels about Precious Ramotswe, an African detective, come vividly to life in this groundbreaking series, shot on location in Botswana.

Sabotaging the System (CBS)

CBS News 60 Minutes

Alarming and then some, Steve Kroft’s survey of cyber-threats to America’s infrastructure made it clear the siege is on and questioned our readiness to defend.

Brick City (Sundance Channel)

Sundance Channel, Brick City TV LLC

In this five-hour documentary series, the struggles of Newark’s young mayor and other citizens trying to resurrect their blighted communities are sociologically instructive and dramatically compelling.


Thrilla in Manila (HBO)

Darlow Smithson Production, HBO Sports, HBO Documentary Films

Taking its title from the last of three legendary heavyweight bouts between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, the documentary pulls no punches and lays bare misconceptions about their rivalry.

FRONTLINE: The Madoff Affair (PBS)


The documentary takes viewers into the very heart of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, explaining how and why it worked for so long.


I-Witness: Ambulansiyang de Paa  (GMA Network)

GMA Network, Inc., Philippines

Condemning deplorable conditions while celebrating neighborly valor and ingenuity, the report shows how people in a poor village carry their sick and injured over dangerous terrain to distant medical care using “ambulances on foot.”


Independent Lens: The Order of Myths (PBS)

Folly River, Inc., Netpoint Productions, Lucky Hat Entertainment, ITVS

Margaret Brown’s exploration of two Mardi Gras traditions in Mobile, Ala., one white, one black, is highly original, moving and insightful.


Hard Times (OPB Radio)

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Main Street repercussions of Wall Street’s reckless ways were nowhere in the media more humanly and thoughtfully documented than in this series of radio reports.


Iran & the West

Brook Lapping Productions for the BBC in association with National Geographic Channel, France 3, NHK, VPRO, SVT, RTBF, VRT, NRK, SRC/CBC, DRTV SBS, YLE, TVP and Press TV

A spectacular, epic documentary that explains in fascinating, sometimes startling detail how the West and Iran arrived at the present standoff, it’s imminently watchable and historically invaluable.


Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson: Covering Afghanistan (NPR)

National Public Radio

No reporter in any medium gives us a better sense of the variety of life inside Afghanistan than the multi-lingual chief of NPR’s Kabul bureau.


The Great Textbook War (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

Terry Kay Productions

This thoughtful, balanced and gripping radio documentary shows how a 1974 battle over textbook content in rural West Virginia foreshadows  the “culture wars” still raging.

Mind the Gap: Why Good Schools Are Failing Black Students (KLCC Radio)

Nancy Solomon

Independent producer Solomon exhibited great empathy for the students and teachers at the suburban New Jersey high school she studied, meanwhile asking tough, necessary questions.

Endgame (PBS)

Daybreak/Channel 4/Target Entertainment, Presented on PBS/MASTERPIECE by WGBH Boston

This intensely dramatic film, focused on secret negotiations at an English country estate – talks that helped to end apartheid in South Africa – offers a lesson in the possibilities of peaceful conflict resolution.


Sichuan Earthquake: One Year On (Now-Broadband TV News Channel)

Now-TV News, Hong Kong

The Hong Kong-based news organization noted the anniversary of the terrible
Sichuan quake with respect for the victims and their families and hard questions about the substandard construction that worsened the death toll.


BART Shooting (KTVU-TV)

KTVU, Oakland, Calif.

KTVU’s quick response to a train-station altercation that ended in a fatal shooting gave its reporters an edge, but it was their persistent digging afterwards that revealed serious, systematic problems in the Bay Area Rapid Transit police’s tactics.


American Masters: Jerome Robbins – Something to Dance About (PBS)


A retrospective of Robbins’ life and work illustrated with dazzling performance clips and annotated with comments from noted ballet and Broadway colleagues, this brilliant documentary captured the legendary director/choreographer’s “dark genius.”

Chronicle: Paul’s Gift (WYFF-TV)

WYFF 4, Greenville, S.C.

Simple, ingenious and effective, this public-service special followed the donated organs of an accident victim to a variety of recipients, showing their joy and gratitude, thus boosting a most worthy cause.

Under Fire: Discrimination and Corruption in the Texas National Guard (KHOU-TV)

KHOU-TV, Houston, Tex., Belo, Inc.

Dogged work by the Houston station’s investigative reporters found such blatant discriminatory treatment of female soldiers that three top Texas Guard generals were fired and a new commanding officer was appointed.


Derrion Albert Beating (WFLD-TV)

FOX Chicago News: WFLD-TV and

WFLD got national attention with horrifying video it obtained of the beating death of an honor student just blocks from his Chicago high school, but the greater feat was its comprehensive follow-up coverage of the suspects, the legal process and prevalence of similar violence.


Where Giving Life Is a Death Sentence (BBC America)

BBC World News America, BBC America, BBC World News

Correspondent Lyse Doucet trekked deep into Afghanistan’s rugged Badakshan province to document conditions that give it the worst recorded rate of maternal mortality in the world.

Up in Smoke (KCET-TV)

KCET, Los Angeles

Lively, eye-opening coverage by  KCET’s “SoCal Connected” included a revelation that there are now more legal, medical-marijuana dispensaries in the city than Starbucks franchises, and a rare look at the “Cannabis Cowboys,” an elite police team of pot-farm eradicators.

No More Stops At the Movies

03/31/2010 at 12:09 pm | Posted in Net/Spec | Leave a comment
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At the Movies, a movie review show that lasted 24 seasons – was cancelled last week.

Disney-ABC Domestic Television and ABC Media Productions announced that it just didn’t make sense anymore as a business model.

I would go more into the details, but does SUCH a great job that it would be best to read their assessment.

The show that made Siskel & Ebert household names will close it’s doors for good in August.

Simpsons Want You to “Get Your Prank On”

03/31/2010 at 11:52 am | Posted in Net/Spec | Leave a comment
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Simpsons are releasing an interesting desktop application.

Here’s the press release:




Application Offers SIMPSONS Fans Chance to Channel Their Inner “El Barto”

and Prank Their Facebook Friends


Beginning tomorrow and just in time for April Fool’s Day, SIMPSONS fans have the chance to pull the ultimate Bart-worthy pranks on their friends through THE SIMPSONS Unleashed! desktop application available for download at This free desktop app allows THE SIMPSONS to invade your computer screen with irreverent humor and high jinks, as well as the latest news and updates on all things SIMPSONS.

Powered by Adobe® AIR®, THE SIMPSONS Unleashed! gives fans the chance to engage with THE SIMPSONS like never before while interacting with their Facebook friends. After downloading the app, fans can compete against each other to see who can send the most pranks to score the most points and gain all-important bragging rights! Armed with an arsenal of virtual pranks, the app allows fans to bombard their friends’ computers by tossing virtual exploding cans of Duff Beer, radioactive nuclear rods, Itchy & Scratchy bombs and more onto their screens. The app also offers fans daily or hourly doses of Homer as his exclusive avatar fumbles, stumbles and do-si-D’ohs! his way across their computer screens.

THE SIMPSONS airs Sundays (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Adobe AIR, a core component of the Adobe Flash Platform, offers an exciting way to engage users, customers and fans with innovative Web applications that are available outside the browser. Applications built using Adobe AIR provide all the convenience of a desktop application, and they work on all major operating systems – Windows, Mac and Linux.  Adobe AIR has been installed on more than 300 million desktop computers and adopted across industries by leading companies. With Adobe AIR, companies and developers can use Web technologies to build mobile and desktop standalone applications that run outside the constraints of a Web browser. Additional information on Adobe AIR can be found at

Now the longest-running comedy in television history, THE SIMPSONS immediately struck a chord with viewers across the country as it poked fun of itself and everything in its wake. With its subversive humor and delightful wit, the series has made an indelible imprint on American pop culture, and the family members have become television icons.

THE SIMPSONS is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Al Jean are the executive producers. Film Roman, a Starz Media Company, is the animation house.

Lights Postponed

03/30/2010 at 3:41 pm | Posted in Net/Spec | Leave a comment
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NBC has decided to push back the premiere of the final season of Friday Night Lights to May 7th at 8p (EST), instead of April 30th.

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