Davy Jones -- forever young and forever beloved by fans the last 50 years -- has died, according to Reuters. Age: 66. The cause of death was apparently a heart attack.
Jones and his band the Monkees were in a brief moment and time very nearly as popular as the Beatles -- whom they so gently satirized and idolized in that long ago NBC hit. ("The Monkees," by the way, bowed Sept. 13, 1966 -- five days after "Star Trek" launched.)
Critics of course slammed 'em -- a Don Kirshner "Pre-Fab Four" gimmick whose four members couldn't sing or write their own songs or really even act. And of course critics totally missed the point: They certainly could sing (and had music careers before this came along) and in time learned to act pretty well, too. Jones was the impish, irrepressible "cute one" with the flop mop and "Manc" accent (he was from Manchester) that evoked the real Fab Four.
He was also -- even more than Peter Tork -- the one a generation of pre-teen girls fell deeply and irreversibly in love with (and one Marcia Brady, in particular).
The Monkees didn't survive television -- they WERE a television stunt after all -- but there are few sweeter or more utterly indelible memories of '60s TV than this show, and the wonderful sweet guy who banged away on the tambourine and sang "Daydream Believer" -- his signature all these long years (in the video below, Micky D does the tambourine.)
Here it is! Whoopee!! The first of what should be many Lindsay Lohan promos for this weekend's "Saturday Night Live" appearance. I am so excited. But enough about me. The promo:
Stunning news and maybe not unexpected either -- James Murdoch has been forced out at News International -- the News Corp. unit that oversees the troubled newspaper empire in the United Kingdom. The announcement just came down, and has repercussions all the way down the line, and maybe right even to you, the viewer of Fox's many, many shows. For a good overview of what this means, check... » more
A preview of Matt Lauer's Lindsay Lohan interview aired on "Today" this morning, and here it is. Her first TV interview in quite some time and while difficult to judge her state of mind during this, there does seem to be a certain sobriety -- word deliberately chosen -- about her.
Matt comes right out with the observation that her wounds have so often been self-inflicted, and she doesn't beg to differ. Who knows: This may be the beginning of a new beginning for her. We'll see where it goes from here, won't we?
Yes, we have outtakes from Lindsay Lohan's interview with Matt Lauer. Nothing too shocking here (she claims she is now a "homebody." Noted.) And confirmation of that Lifetime movie role to play Elizabeth Taylor. Interview airs on "Today" Thursday. Read on!
***** MATT LAUER: There was a time when we talked last time, where I think you didn't want to talk about... » more
We do indeed finally have a launch date for Charlie Sheen's second act, "Anger Management."
The first two half-hours will air June 28 at 9. That's a Thursday, by the way. "Louie" is also back that night, at 10:30, as is "Wilfred," at 10. So, yup, a big night indeed for FX.
But here is the most intriguing part of the summer schedule announcement: That Russell Brand late night show that I know next to nothing about also arrives then. Here's what FX has to say about "Strangely Uplifting":
"The series features Brand’s unvarnished, unfiltered take on current events, politics and pop culture. The network has ordered six half-hour installments of the series that will be shot in front of a live audience. The format will draw heavily on Brand's interaction with that audience. The series is produced by FX Productions in association with Branded Films and Dakota Films."
The 14th season of "Dancing with the Stars" arrives March 19, and the cast announcement arrives . . . right now. Here are the names, and some quick observations. Naturally, the football star is favored.
-- Jack Wagner/Anna Trebunskaya: Durable and well-liked TV star, but not the superstar that would ensure the desire of ABC to keep him in the running for the entire season. But could still surprise.
-- Melissa Gilbert/Maksim Chmerkovskiy: At age 47, she's right in the sweet spot of "DWTS" demo; plus she has Maks as her partner, which means she'll get plenty of attention throughout her run.
-- William Levy/Cheryl Burke: A major telenovela star, but not a major star here; he's paired with J.Lo in one of her recent music videos, "I'm Into You."
-- Donald Driver/Peta Murgatroyd: Packers' wide receiver, and already favored to win the whole thing (rule of "DWTS:" Great athletes always always always have the edge.)
-- Sherri Shepherd/Val Chmerkovskiy: "The View"-ster. Should do well here.
-- Katherine Jenkins/Mark Ballas: Katherine who? That's the problem right off the bat. In fact, she's an accomplished crossover singer -- well known in the UK, much less so here.
-- Gavin DeGraw/Karina Smirnoff: Fairly major singing star who could play well across the spectrum of viewers - so-called "C & D country" crowd, a TV term, meaning smaller markets, where "DWTS" has an especially big draw - and maybe even big cities too. (I always figured DeGraw had a biggish country appeal, too, even he's from NYC.) Check out his big hit -- or one of 'em -- below -- and try to guess which show this tracks on. Oh you know! "One Tree Hill."
-- Martina Navratilova/Tony Dovolani: Tennis superstar who should go reasonably far, but all the way to the end?
-- Roshon Fegan/Chelsie Hightower: The requisite in-house ABC star -- from the Disney Channel, and unknown to the largely older "DWTS" But not to be discounted -- youth can sometimes be a nice advantage here.
- Maria Menounos/Derek Hough: Look quickly and you could almost confuse Menounos with Brooke Burke. She's another reasonably well-known name who should go pretty far. Like her chances here quite a bit, in fact - especially with Derek.
-- Jaleel White/ Kym Johnson: Urkel, of course, and in some ways the very best known name of this entire cast ('nother rule of thumb -- fame, even if it arrived on an old ABC sitcom a couple of decades ago, never hurts.) He comes in almost certainly with a big "I Like this Guy" sticker on his back; viewers should warm to him, but will the judges?
-- Gladys Knight/Tristan McManus: Maybe the most intriguing addition to this season's cast. Gladys Knight!? What is she doing here? Distinguished. Beloved singer. Still very, very active. But age -- 67 -- is a massive issue. This show can physically be a killer.
Intriguing booking on "The View," which doesn't often get heads of state: Israeli president Shimon Peres will appear on the show tomorrow. The timing is certainly noteworthy for reasons that the show explains in this news release:
Peres’ visit comes at a time of Israel’s heightened tensions with Iran over their nuclear capabilities and troubling questions about how involved America will be if there is any military action. Peres twice served as the Prime Minister of Israel in a political career that spans over 66 years. Peres is the oldest head of state. In 1994 Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize together with Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin for the peace talks he participated in as Israeli foreign minister that produced the Oslo Accords. He is an acclaimed author and has written hundreds of essays and articles.
This year's 84th Academy Awards telecast boosted viewership 1.4 million from the 83rd -- to 39.3 million -- and one reason may well be Billy Crystal. Billy got mixed reviews from the press -- "mixed" usually a euphemism for "not all that great" -- but who cares!
The vox populi spoke via Twitter, and per Topsy Labs, a social media analytics firm based in San Francisco, Crystal got a mostly positive reaction, and so did the telecast. You can check it out here.
The analytics company didn't, however, break out twitter reaction to the blackface impression he did of Sammy Davis Jr. during the medley (an old impression, by the way, from his "SNL," HBO and standup days) which sparked a fairly negative reaction from viewers, per reports, or at least from viewers unfamiliar with the old Crystal routine.
James Spader -- aka "The Transition Guy," aka "The Guy Named after a State" in "The Office" -- is leaving the series.
A surprise? Spader's character -- dry, odd, strange, weird, and not always particularly funny -- has divided "Office" fans. I think he's fine and has worked in the few instances he's appeared. But "I" am probably in the minority here. Executive producer Paul Lieberstein said in a statement:
“James always wanted this to be a one year arc, and he now leaves us having created one of the most enigmatic and dynamic characters in television. He’s been a great friend to me and the show, helping us successfully transition into the post-Michael Scott years, and I’m grateful for that.”