Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Will New Apprentice End with 'You're Terminated? Schwarzenegger Named New Host

This won't happen until sometime during the 2016-17 season, according to NBC, but former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been named to fill Donald Trump's shoes on "The Celebrity Apprentice."
NBC announced Monday that the movie star and two-term governor will be the new host of the competition show.

There can be little argument that Trump and his ego made the show a success, first regular folks and then celebrities competing in business-related tasks. In seven seasons, NBC said "The Celebrity Apprentice" has helped raise more than $15 million for charity.

Schwarzenegger, who has long had a range of business holdings, from restaurants to real estate development to sports franchises, told Variety he is eager to begin filming the series.
Image: Gov. Brown Unveils Offical Gubernatorial Portrait Of Former Governor Schwarzenegger
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stands in front of his gubernatorial portrait at the unveiling in the Rotunda of the State Capitol on Sept. 8, 2014, in Sacramento. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

"I have always been a huge fan of 'The Celebrity Apprentice' and the way it showcases the challenges and triumphs of business and teamwork," Schwarzenegger said. "I am thrilled to bring my experience to the boardroom and to continue to raise millions for charity. Let's get started!"

Trump left the show that originated as "The Apprentice" following his decision to run for the GOP nomination for president.

"After leaving the show to run for political office, Donald made it clear that he wanted 'The Celebrity Apprentice' to be able to continue to raise millions of dollars annually for worthy causes, and now NBC and I have found an amazing new leader to do just that," the show's executive producer, Mark Burnett, told Variety. "Gov. Schwarzenegger will use his vast and highly successful business, political and media experience to drive this hit franchise to new heights."

NBC said there's no word on whether Schwarzenegger will replace Trump's "you're fired" catchphrase with his own "you're terminated."

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Brian Williams' return timed to Pope's U.S. Visit

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will return from his suspension on September 22nd, which happens to be the day Pope Francis arrives on U.S. soil for his first official visit.

Williams will anchor live breaking news on MSNBC that day.

It is also being reported that MSNBC's new daytime line-up will include Chuck Todd as host of a daily program, along with Kate Snow.  Others who will figure into the new roster at the recently shaken-up network are MSNBC's newest star, Thomas Roberts, Andrea Mitchell and an expanded "Morning Joe."

A number of recent MSNBC anchors are losing (or have lost) their shows: Jose Diaz-Balart, Tamron Hall, Joy Reid the group on The Cycle (Ari Melber, Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman), Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton.

Great addition to Mysteries of Laura on NBC: Calliie Thorne Joins Cast

This is good news.  A show that I already liked promises to get better with the addition of actress Callie Thorne, known to many as Dr. Santini on Necessary Roughness (USA) and as Denis Leary's sometime love interest on Rescue Me.

NBC announced today that Thorne will appear as Captain Nancy Santiani,whom Debra Messing's
Pictured: (l-r) Debra Messing as Laura Diamond, Josh Lucas as Jake Broderick, Callie Thorne as Captain Nancy Santiani.
character, Detective Laura Diamond, will refer to as "Santini".  She'll play Messing's all-business new boss at the 2nd Precinct.  According to NBC Publicity, "despite her youth and her petite size, Santiani runs a tight ship and refuses to take any crap from Laura, who doles out plenty of it.  But despite their constant clash, these two strong women - both single moms - will find common ground and come to understand each other, even if they can't stand to be in the same room with each other."

Season 2 of "The Mysteries of Laura" premieres Wednesday, Sept. 23 on NBC (8 p.m. ET/PT).

Colbert's Debut Ho Hum: Not up to the Fanfare

I admit I was not a regular viewer of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central, but I did like Stephen Colbert's humor and I know he could be very funny almost every night.

So when I tuned in to his debut of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on CBS, I was expecting a lot, at least one laugh out loud moment.

I'm sure I wasn't the only viewer who was disappointed.  Clearly, a lot of
work went into the first program.  The intro featured a produced piece of Colbert singing the Star Spangled Banner (in very good voice) with different groups from around the country in various settings.  It was great. Nice, amusing and had a kicker at the end - a cameo from Colbert's former colleague Jon Stewart.  The music from Jon Batiste and the Stay Human band was great.  The production had energy and the new set and renovated Ed Sullivan Theater are terrific.

But maybe the intro and the setting were the best parts of the show.

After that, there was a monologue (nothing special), host chat with two silly product placement gags (Oreo and Sabra hummus) that went nowhere, and two interviews.

The first, with George Clooney, was fine, but not incredibly entertaining.  Colbert went out of his way to say (more than once) that the movie star was appearing as a courtesy, not to plug a project.  He then went on to help Clooney speak at length about his work in Darfur.  No doubt Clooney is doing a great thing there in the western Sudan, but let's not say he wasn't plugging anything.

The second interview, with Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was a little more fun and somewhat revealing of the former Florida governor's personality, but it wasn't exceptional.

Viewership for the debut Colbert "Late Show" was astounding.  The AP reported that 6.6 million people tuned in, which was double what David Letterman drew a year ago.  So that's good.  And I'm sure Colbert will hone his presentation and content as he becomes familiar with the new venue and audience.

I won't, therefore, say he's a fail, just that he has a way to go before he becomes must-see TV on a nightly basis.  We know he has the ability to be very funny.  There's little chance he won't get there.