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Posts Tagged ‘Lorne Michaels’

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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Live, from Everywhere: It’s Lorne Michaels

TIMECover_SethMeyersIs it too early to consider Lorne Michaels for Time‘s 2014 “Person of the Year”? At the very least, he would seem to have New York’s “Person of the Winter” pretty much locked up.

Michaels is largely responsible for the ascension of Seth Meyers, on the cover of Time currently. And of course, he helped Jimmy Fallon wrangle The Tonight Show back to New York City for what will, if not ratings-wise, at least vibe-wise be a complete re-invigoration of the Burbank, CA talk staple.

And let’s not forget Sunday January 12, when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler – stars of NBC sitcoms past and present – return to the Beverly Hilton to host another Golden Globes ceremony.

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Saturday Night Live Expands to China

It was anything but your typical Beijing press conference. Joining sohu.com chairman and CEO Charles Zhang today were American stand-up comic Joe Wong and Beijing TV host Kelly Cha to celebrate the site’s exclusive deal with NBC for SNL Internet broadcast rights.

SohuSNLBanner

From the AP report:

Ten episodes from the current 39th season of SNL are available now. Future episodes will be available online without subtitles the Monday after airing in the United States, and a version with Chinese subtitles and explanations of cultural references will be available at 10 p.m. the following Saturday, Sohu said in its announcement Thursday.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Martha Stewart Axes 100 | Twitter Faces Backlash | SNL Seeks Black Comic

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Martha Stewart Axed 100 Staffers (NY Post)
The ax started swinging early Thursday morning as home-entertainment diva Martha Stewart fired about 100 people from her namesake company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. It is the first major move since scrap-metal executive Daniel Dienst was tapped to be the new CEO in late October, sparking speculation — now realized — about major cutbacks. NY Post / Media Ink The layoffs, coming only a week and a half before Christmas, unnerved employees, many of whom left in tears, carrying their belongings in Martha Stewart bags. Stewart spent last week in Miami at Art Basel, the winter playground of the beautiful people, where dozens of private jets landed to party and peruse the international art market. FishbowlNY The downsizing will impact about 25 percent of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s workforce. So if you work there, and were planning on getting Dienst or Stewart a present, perhaps a better idea would be donating money in their names to The Human Fund. WSJ The job cuts follow years of weak financial performance at the company, which has lost money in all but one year of the past 10 due to declines in its TV business and print magazine ad revenue. One person familiar with the layoffs said they were made to bring the company more in line with its current revenues, which have declined sharply in recent years. Adweek One Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia staffer described the current office atmosphere as “really awful,” adding, “It’s really scary and terrible right before the holidays.”

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Kate Upton Graces Cover of Vanity Fair’s 100th Anniversary Issue

Here’s a 180 degree turn from this morning’s tale of PTSD via modeling: Kate Upton gracing the cover of Vanity Fair’s 100th anniversary issue. Upton was photographed by Annie Leibovitz.

Vanity Fair as we know it has only been published since 1983, but that’s just semantics. If the glossy wants to consider its starting point the same as Dress & Vanity Fair’s (1913), then so be it. Who are we to argue? Plus, Kate Upton.

In addition to Upton, Vanity Fair pulled out all the stops for its 100th birthday. Starting tomorrow a slew of features will be available at vanityfair.com, and inside the issue are pieces penned by Laura HillenbrandBill Maher, Dave Eggers, Kurt Andersen, Lorne Michaels, Robert Stone, Jan Morris and more.

Vanity Fair’s 100th anniversary issue hits newsstands September 5.

Chasing New Jersey Promo Spoofs SNL Opening

When the WWOR-TV Secaucus, NJ evening news program Chasing New Jersey launched July 8, replacing the station’s traditional 10 p.m. weekday newscast, the comparisons were all about TMZ. But based on a new YouTube goof posted by a show staffer, it looks like the program is hoping to be lumped with Lorne Michaels as well as Harvey Levin.

These MyFox9 news chasers obviously don’t take themselves too seriously. Still, even within that loose framework, is it really a good idea to start emulating a sketch comedy show as other parties continue to debate your platform?

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Lorne Michaels Admits Infamous SNL Eddie Murphy Crack Was a Mistake

On Tuesday, Martin Short interviewed Lorne Michaels. It happened right here in Lalaland at the Beverly Hilton, as part of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s ongoing “newsmakers” luncheon series.

Since FishbowlLA will go to its grave wondering how spectacular the 2011 Oscars might have been if Eddie Murphy had remained at the host-helm, we couldn’t help but zero in on the last paragraph of a report by senior Hollywood Reporter TV writer Lacey Rose:

Michaels confessed that he had made that mistake [making fun of one of "his own"] years earlier with former cast member Eddie Murphy, who at that time had had a string of box office disappointments. Though SNL had stayed away from some of Murphy’s more personal stumbles, he and his writers had David Spade take a ["Hollywood Minute"] jab at his professional fumble. “I figured it was kind of a clean hit. I didn’t really think about it; but Eddie did,” he said to big laughs…

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The End of a Long, Glorious Tonight Show Run for ‘Beautiful Downtown Burbank’

Sorry, Gary Owens, but one of very best things to ever happen to “beautiful downtown Burbank” is now officially ear-marked for February 2014 east coast relocation. The Tonight Show will soon be Jimmy Fallon‘s to re-invent, within Lorne Michaels walking distance.

As LA Times reporter Joe Flint recently reminded, it was Owens who first coined the phrase as a radio announcer and then made it famous on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Although NBC may well  find a worthy TV ratings successor to occupy the main studio at Alameda and Olive, it will never quite be the same:

Carson, who moved The Tonight Show from New York to Los Angeles in 1972, also used the “beautiful downtown Burbank” line but never tried to take credit for it.

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Oprah on OWN: ‘I’m Not Doing the Hula Yet…’

Oprah Winfrey adorns one of four different covers for The Hollywood Reporter‘s special year-end double issue hitting newsstands today. She’s part of a compilation of 2012 “Rule Breakers,” the kind of framing and terminology that editorial director Janice Min is an expert at. The content seems just that much more compelling than if it were sitting under a “Top 11″ headline, which is the total number of profiled entities.

A year ago, media critics were writing Oprah Winfrey’s OWN obituary. But with Tyler Perry on the exclusive horizon and Rihanna in the rear-view mirror, the 58-year-old mogul’s conversation with reporters Lacey Rose and Stacey Wilson suggests this holiday season’s New Year’s resolutions will be a little less panicked:

“I’m not doing the hula yet… but compared to a year ago, it feels like a sigh of relief,” says Winfrey between sips of iced tea on her sprawling estate…

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The New York Times Granted Access to SNL, Big Bird

It’s a rarity to be sure– getting media access to Saturday Night Live as it prepares for its next show.

But The New York Times and Bill Carter got the special credential leading up to Saturday night. And what timing the newspaper walked into. SNL performs at its highest level during election season, and the folks at 30 Rock (the address, not the show) didn’t miss a beat.

Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers welcomed Big Bird, who feathers were caught in controversy when Mitt Romney said at the debate that he’d end PBS funding.

As Carter writes, it was no simple walk-on appearance for the famous yellow bird from creator Jim Henson. Executives from Sesame Workshop were not fond of having their beloved children’s character used for any political commentary.

But executive producer Lorne Michaels made an direct appeal, letting them check the script. They acquiesced. There was Carroll Spinney, the only person to play Big Bird, trading one liners with Meyers.

The Sesame Street icon told Meyers how he learned his name was in the news.

“I got a million tweets…I’m a bird, tweeting is how we talk.”

Photo credit: usatoday.com

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