The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Danville will be the place to be for political media junkies over the next few days for Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate between incumbent Joe Biden and his challenger, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Several network and cable news outlets have announced lineups that will put a who’s who of high-profile journalists on the ground in Kentucky, although a few talking heads will remain at anchor desks in New York and Washington.
Fox News has one of the larger contingents coming to Danville, including Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly, who will anchor the network’s debate coverage Thursday night and their own shows, Kelly’s America Live at 1 p.m. and Baier’s Special Report at 6 p.m. Also originating for Danville will be Studio B with Shepard Smith at 3 p.m., Your World with Neil Cavuto at 4 p.m. and The Five at – ha! – 5 p.m. Also reporting from Danville will be Fox News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry, chief political correspondent Carl Cameron and general assignment reporter Steve Brown.
The NBC/MSNBC contingent will be led by Hardball host Chris Matthews, who will originate his Thursday broadcast from Danville, along with Andrea Mitchell and Chief White House correspondent and poll guru Chuck Todd, who has already tweeted, “Danville, KY, an hour from everywhere?”
CNN has not responded to requests for information or posted coverage information.
ABC News senior foreign affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz will moderate the debate. ABC News will have David Muir covering the Republican campaign of Mitt Romney and Ryan, and senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper covering the Barack Obama and Biden campaign.
CBS News will have two correspondents in Danville: congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes covering the Obama-Biden ticket and chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford covering Romney-Ryan.
Those into the voices of NPR can listen for national desk correspondent Debbie Elliott and Washington desk correspondent Brian Naylor in Danville, and correspondent Don Gonyea, who will participate in a vice-presidential debate round table produced by WEKU-FM and broadcast at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday.
We’ll update as we hear about more news personalities in Danville.
According to preview reports, Laura Bell Bundy’s character of Becky will make her second appearance on How I Met Your Mother tonight and play a prominent role in the episode. Bundy plays the new co-anchor for Robin (Cobie Smulders) on the early morning show, Come On, Get Up New York! According to a CBS release, she will be a big focus of tonight’s episode at 8 p.m. as, “Robin is growing more and more irritated by her perky new co-anchor.”
The role is a recurring part for Bundy, a Lexington native, who was also nominated for an American Country Award in the music video: breakthrough artist category for her Giddy On Up clip. This is a new country music awards show that will air Dec. 6 on Fox. It is a fan voted competition, so you can make your voice heard by clicking here.
May14Filed under: Country music, Music, Television, Theater; Tagged as: Add new tag, Archie Campbell, Berea Arena Theatre, Berea Community School, Buck Owens, CBS, Culhanes of Kornfield Kounty, Eddie Kennedy, Erikke Meadows, Grandpa Jones, Hee Haw, Junior Samples, Kristi Miller, Linda Hays, Mary Ruth Isaacs, Minnie Pearl, Neil Simon, Norman Rockwell, Paul Loomis, Pfft! You Were Gone, Pure as the Driven Snow, Richard Bellando, Rocky Top, Roy Clark, rumor girls, The Sunshine Boys, Yogi Brown
BEREA — Some of the cast of Berea Arena Theatre‘s production of Hee Haw are sitting around talking about their favorite parts of the classic television variety show when Linda Hays shouts, “Grandpa! What’s for supper?!”
They had stumbled on yet another iconic bit from the TV series that ran 25 years on CBS and in syndication. In this one, Grandpa Jones, a native of Niagra, in Western Kentucky, would deliver mouth-watering menu descriptions while cleaning a window that wasn’t there.
“We have to do ‘Grandpa, what’s for supper?’” Hays says to her castmates, taking a break after their first rehearsal featuring the full company.
Hee Haw is a “special event” performance for the theater company that also presents a regular season of shows, which included Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys in March and will feature Paul Loomis’ Pure as the Driven Snow from July 22 to Aug. 1.
The idea behind special events, theater director Eddie Kennedy says, is to put up interesting, offbeat shows that don’t require quite the heavy lifting of mounting a play.
“I can tell someone, ‘You’re playing Minnie Pearl,’ and they can go home and practice it in front of their mirror,” Kennedy said. “Then we come in the week of the production and put it all together.”
Hee Haw is a proven commodity for Kennedy, who staged the show when he was teaching English, speech and theater at Berea Community School.
“I remember sitting on big old bales of hay singing Rocky Top,” recalled Angela Bailey, who, like several cast members, is a former student of Kennedy.
Hee Haw is, of course, a proven commodity itself, having been on TV for a quarter-century and establishing country stars and cultural icons during its run, including the song Pfft! You Were Gone and the “rumor girls” bit with the chorus, “No, you’ll never hear one of us repeating gossip, so you’d better be sure and listen close the first time.”
Jan16Filed under: American Idol, Television; Tagged as: 24, Ally McBeal, American Idol, America’s Most Wanted, Beverly Hills 90210, Big Brother, Bones, CBS, Conan O’Brien, COPS, Dateline NBC, Fear Factor, Glee, In Living Color, Jamie Foxx, Jay Leno, Jennifer Lopez, Jim Carrey, Lie to Me, Married ... with Children, Melrose Place, National Football League, News Corp., Nielsen ratings, second-rate Fox, Super Bowl, Temptation Island, The Simpsons, The Tracy Ullman Show, To Catch a Predator, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?, Wife Swap
The first time Jay Leno addressed the cancellation of his prime-time NBC talk show, he said, “I understand that Fox is beautiful this time of year.”
And all week, in the drama surrounding NBC’s boneheaded moves with its late-night programming, the Fox network has been mentioned as a primary suitor for Leno or Conan O’Brien, whichever one of its late-night stars ultimately leaves NBC.
Still, while two of the most powerful personalities in television cast longing glances toward Fox, there were references to “second-rate Fox” sprinkled around the Internet.
I thought about “second-rate Fox” last Sunday night while watching “The Simpsons’” 20th-anniversary specials.
The first family of Springfield emerged when Fox was indeed a second-rate network, programming just two hours of prime-time shows three nights a week. Homer and family, in fact, made history for Fox as its first show to break the top 30 in the Nielsen ratings.
As much as entertainment hounds like me loved “The Simpsons,” a spinoff of “The Tracy Ullman Show” and some of the network’s other options, the idea that it would compete with the Big Three networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — seemed far-fetched in the late 1980s.
How could you do that with only two hours of programming a few nights a week?
How could you do that with crazy stuff like a prime-time cartoon, that raunchy “Married … with Children” thing and that “reality show” COPS?
And where was the news, any news? Most of Fox’s stations were previously independent channels, and once 10 p.m. came, they went back to running syndicated shows, infomercials and other stuff. It seemed like a “network” only in the loosest sense of the term.
Then, things started happening.
When NBC announced early last year that it would retain Jay Leno for a primetime show after he left “The Tonight Show,” his successor, Conan O’Brien, did the only thing he could: congratulate his predecessor on his new deal.
But O’Brien had to sense trouble, and now he’s got it.
When Leno got “The Tonight Show” desk after Johnny Carson’s retirement in 1992, he had bigger shoes to fill than O’Brien, but he didn’t have the prospect of Carson still hanging around. Leno, on the other hand, was signed by NBC to start a 10 p.m. talk show that was supposed to revolutionize prime time network broadcasting.
In fact, its low ratings were driving the late evening newscasts of NBC affiliates around the country into a ditch. (Here in Lexington, NBC afflilate WLEX says it has not seen a “Leno effect,” but other NBC stations have seen audiences and, subsequently, revenue dive.)
So Sunday, NBC announced what was probably some form of O’Brien’s greatest fear: “The Jay Leno Show,” the 10 p.m. talker, has been canceled and Leno will get a half-hour show at 11:35, his old timeslot. Under this plan, O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” would start five-minutes into the next morning.
In an normal situation, the 10 p.m. show would be cancelled, Leno would have simply moved on to his next opportunity, and O’Brien would have the sort of time Leno had to make “The Tonight Show” his own.
But this situation is far from normal. NBC is running scared, trying to keep all the talent it has under contract while demonstrating it doesn’t have a clue what to do with it. And in the process, the Peacock network could be destroying one of the most enduring franchises in television, “The Tonight Show.”
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich