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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Carter’

Heeeere’s Eugene Lee’s Wood-Carved Manhattan Skyline

When the curtain raises this evening on Jimmy Fallon‘s version of The Tonight Show, viewers will be greeted out of the 30 Rock gate by a new musical theme, an opening title-sequence directed by Spike Lee and, of course, a brand new set.

From Bill Carter‘s NYT preview:

Doing it right included bringing in Eugene Lee, the renowned theatrical set designer, to create a new look for the studio, dominated by a wood-carved skyline of Manhattan. “I think it’s Eugene Lee’s masterpiece,” said Lorne Michaels, the show’s executive producer, who has made use of Mr. Lee’s services in the past on Saturday Night Live.

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Tonight Show Chatter Has LA TV Producer Remembering Carson’s Killer Extra 15 Minutes

David Steinberg, whose many appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson during the show’s New York heyday were surpassed only by those of the late Bob Hope, was recently reminiscing with Jimmy Fallon (in the very same 30 Rock studio) about some of his 140 guest spots. Clips like this take on added resonance in the wake of Wednesday’s bombshell NYT report by Bill Carter that NBC is planning to move the program back to Manhattan in 2014 with Fallon as host.

Three thousand miles away from Studio 6B, our pal Michael Horowicz also couldn’t help but reminisce about some Carson lore anchored to Fallon’s studio. During a trip to New York in the mid-90s, Horowicz and Late Late Show colleague Tom Snyder had dinner with former WNBC weatherman Dr. Frank Field at Bello on Ninth Avenue. Field, to the amazement of his dinner companions, explained that when The Tonight Show was done in New York, it actually started around 11:15 p.m. At the time, NBC affiliates aired only 15 minutes of evening news and so, from 11:15 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. – or so Field claimed – it was him, Johnny, Doc and the gathering band, hanging out on-air to fill the nightly gap.

“Tom and I didn’t believe him,” Horowicz tells FishbowlLA. “We both considered ourselves great students of late night TV, and we’d never heard about this extra 15 minutes. Furthermore, we’d never heard of any NBC affiliate that didn’t do a full 30-minute late news. We honestly thought Frank was full of sh*t, or at least full of sherry.”

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Calvin Klein, Piers Morgan and The Newsroom‘s Emily Mortimer

1003_mockup.gifIt was a dizzying scene at Michael’s today.  Fashion A-listers (Calvin Klein, Grace Coddington), talking heads (Piers Morgan) and the random television star (The Newsroom‘s Emily Mortimer) provided some serious people watching for the mere mortals in the dining room.

Before the crowd rushed in, I caught up with Bravolebrity Lori Zaslow in the ladies room (What can I say? I go where the news takes me ) who just wrapped her first season of Love Broker. Lori, who was with her business partner Jenn Zucher, tells me the show brought plenty of new clients looking for their soul mates and some great new business opportunities, including her new ‘love oil’ called Gravitate which is sold at Exhale Spa and a few select boutiques around town. “The show was a great experience and some great new things came our way as a result of the exposure,” Lori told me. She’ll be Katie Couric‘s guest on her new talk show on October 5. Will there be a season two of Love Broker? As they
say, stay tuned.

Diane Clehane and Andy Amill

I was joined today by publishing powerhouse Andrew Amill, vice president of Weight Watchers Media Group. As a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, I’ve always found the plan works when you work it, and I love the weekly meetings which always have such an empowering, fun vibe. While their campaign with Jennifer Hudson (one of the greatest transformations ever!) has been a resounding success, Andy tells me that despite all the snipping in the tabloids about the company’s newest spokeswoman Jessica Simpson (who was Katie Couric‘s guest on her show’s premiere) is also doing great on the plan. Her first commercial touting her shedding her post-baby weight just hit the airwaves and her big ‘reveal’ will come in December. She’ll also be the cover girl for WeightWatchers Magazine‘s January/February issue. ”Both Jennifer and Jessica resonate with our members,” says Andy. Charles Barkley, who is the face and (newly slimmed down) body for the men’s program has given the company’s a “100 percent bump” on the men’s site.

Andy tells me weightwatchers.com is the fastest growing part of the company (6.2 million monthly uniques and 250 million page views) as the powers that be add more and more interactive features that keep members plugged into the program whereever they go. Later this year, a bar code scanner for smart phones will be introduced that will allow users to scan the UPC code of any supermarket food item and immediately get its point value. The perfect antidote to temptation, no doubt. “The technology the company has created that allows members to stay connected and motivated is outstanding,” says Andy.  Read more

CNN’s Don Lemon and Rick Welts Lead Weekend Coming Out Party

It was a good weekend for open and honest discussions of sexuality in the media–aided by the public coming out of two major public figures. Getting a lot of chatter today is CNN anchor Don Lemon’s decision to come out as a gay man. Lemon was profiled by The New York TimesBill Carter in yesterday’s paper. Lemon’s decision to discuss his sexuality comes about a month before the release of his book on the same subject, “Transparent.”

Lemon argues in the Times that his decision to come out was especially difficult because of his race.

“It’s quite different for an African-American male. It’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.”

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Late Night Author: Leno Not the Villain

On today’s edition of KCRW’s The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell, New York Times reporter and author Bill Carter expounded with trademark expertise on a subject he knows so well: the behind-the-scenes machinations of late night talk show hosts.

Carter suggested that the real culprit with regards to the Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien debacle is the way all comedians are addicted to the cocaine-like rush of performing in front of daily live audiences. He paints this picture of Jay:

“Leno has done this 46, 48 weeks a year, and then he does 180 stand-up dates on top of that. Who does that? And that’s why it’s kind of interesting when people say, ‘Jay manipulated this situation’, or, ‘He’s the villain.’ I don’t see it that way. He’s just a mono-maniac. He has one thing he wants to do in life, which is appear on television and tell jokes, every single night. And he will do anything to do that.”

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Conan vs. Jay: The Book

Wow, that sure was fast. It’s only been ten months since Conan O’Brien was forced off the Tonight Show by Jay Leno, but already the late-night drama is being immortalized in book form. New York Times television writer Bill Carter has a new book coming out about the battle from Viking Press called “The War for Late Night.”

Vanity Fair has an excerpt online. Worth reading the whole thing, but this is a juicy little bit:

Leno had hosted The Tonight Show for 17 years. He had handed it over and immediately shifted to 10 o’clock, voluntarily. How, Conan asked himself, could any of this be construed as unfair to Jay?

“I know how hard I worked for this,” Conan told the NBC executives. “It was promised to me. I had a shitty lead-in.” His tone was soft, but the words were clipped. Graboff knew this was Conan in the raw, speaking from the heart.

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Bill Nye The MSNBC Guy | Bill Clinton Hospitalized | The Late Book | Rip-Off Coke

• Mediaite: Bill Nye the Science Guy has gone from kids tv to Rachel Maddow pundit. Hey, if Ben Stein can go from being the guy from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to some right-wing crackpot…

TVNewser: Former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized today in New York City.

Gawker: Bill Carter of The New York Times is working on a story for Viking about the late night wars (part deux).

AgencySpy: Coca-Cola’s Superbowl commercial was very much like an 8-year old Yotvata spot, but execs claim it’s just a coincidink.

Will Leno Return To 11:30?

Rumors swirled yesterday that NBC was considering moving Jay Leno from his convention-breaking primetime 10 p.m. slot back to his old home at 11:30 — effectively pushing current late-night host Conan O’Brien out.

In response to the rumors, which ranged from Leno’s 10 p.m. show being suspended or canceled to O’Brien getting the boot altogether, NBC issued statements in support of both hosts, but refused to deny the rumors. But as the night wore on, The New York TimesBill Carter had the scoop: discussions are in the works to shuffle NBC’s late-night line up while the network tries to hold on to all its current hosts:

“The network has a plan in the works to restore Jay Leno to his old spot at 11:35 each weeknight for a half-hour, while pushing the man who replaced him, Conan O’Brien, to a starting time of 12:05 a.m. Mr. O’Brien would then have a full hour.”

The change, which would take place after NBC’s Olympic coverage wraps up in February, comes in response to complaints from NBC’s local affiliates, who have seen local news ratings dip following Leno’s primetime debut in September, Carter added.

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What is Funny?: Fallout from the New Yorker Obama Cover

stogry.jpgIt’s been 24 hours since The New Yorker‘s Barack Obama “Politics of Fear” cover hit newsstands, which means the print world has had time to weigh in. Also, FBNY readers!: 55% percent of the couple of hundred of you who voted found it more offensive than not, which may mirror the response The New Yorker got from its own readers. Says WWD: “readers have sent in a flood of e-mails weighted heavily toward angry complaint, save for a few who praise the cover” leading some inside the Conde halls to worry there may be some long-term advertising fallout as a result. Meanwhile, editor David Remnick spent the better part of yesterday defending the cover against what Jack Shafer refers to as the “alleged umbrage umbrage of the chattering classes.

Overall, the general concern seems to be that outside the presumably sophisticated readership of The New Yorker the unwashed masses won’t get the joke and perhaps use the image to their own evil ends. Which, after some consideration, is maybe a valid point only in so far as one wonders whether the satire factor of this image is too dependent on the fact that it’s running on the cover of The New Yorker, i.e. “The New Yorker” blazoned across the top of the image is actually the caption it requires to serve as satire, meaning one has to understand what The New Yorker represents to get the joke. (Over at the LAT Andrew Malcolm expressed concern over the lack of caption). Or maybe, as the NYT suggests, it’s just that Obama isn’t funny.

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NYT’s Bill Carter and Ben Silverman: Too Close for Comfort?

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Radar’s busting NY Times show-biz reporter Bill Carter on his sleeping with friendship with those he covers, like Ben Silverman:

Carter has mentioned Silverman in no fewer than 25 stories since 2000, including two lengthy profiles in the last 10 months.

Carter’s been named in the lawsuit brought by Maurice Fraser against NBC and Reveille Productions. Fraser had an idea for an Idol-esque show, Carter set up a meeting for Fraser with Silverman. Silverman pitched the idea to NBC executive Jeff Gaspin, and legal action ensued. Fraser’s suit charges that NBC and Reveille tried to steal his idea before bagging the show altogether.

Carter denied to Radar that he and Silverman were really friend-friends. Show-biz friends: completely different.

NBC’s TCA presentation is set for Monday morning, with Silverman should put on quite a show.

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