Saturday, September 18, 2010

American Idol New Judges, A Freddie Mercury Bio-Pic and What's Jon Stewart Doing?

American Idol Scheduled To Idle Up The Judges Bench

Mark your calendars -- Wednesday, September 22 – is the date when Fox Broadcasting and the producers of “American Idol” will finally and officially announce who will be filling the judge’s chairs on the upcoming season of the most popular show in America today. The safe bet is that the new judges will be Arrowsmith’s lead singer Steven Tyler and actress/singer Jennifer Lopez, but they just might throw a curve ball and announce someone who know one knew of or someone not even on the list of prospective judges -- it could happen -- but mostly likely won’t.

Once the names of the new judges are announced – the next big question is how they might affect the show and will the audience feel comfortable with their choices. Who knows how to addition of Tyler and Lopez will be to the show and what they can add to mix. Personally, I’m comfortable with someone like Jennifer Lopez as a judge -- she’s actually someone who has had a hit record or two in this decade and can really give some input to the contestants on the show, but Tyler is another story.

In my opinion, Steven Tyler is too much of a rock n’ roll icon to muck it up as a judge on a televised singing competition every week. I can just imagine some contestant from some small farm town in Iowa belting out another lame version of Neil Diamond classic and Tyler -- who sings songs like “Love In A Elevator” and “Jenny’s Got A Gun” having to give this contestant some constructive criticism – it just doesn’t feel right to me. I’m sure he’s capable of giving this person some criticism, but just appearing on this show as a judge has got to do some serious damage to his rock n’ roll credibility in the future. Is it really worth destroying your rock n’ roll icon status just to get a weekly check from a television program?

Bohemian Borat

Robert DeNiro’s Tribecta company is part of the production team that will be putting the life of Queen’s rock n’ roll frontman, Freddie Mercury, on the silver screen soon and you will never believe you they have hired to protray him. Sacha Baron Cohen. If his nsame doesn’t ring a bell – maybe the names of two of the characters that he has protrayed on film will – Borat and Bruno.

The production company has secured the rights to the music of Queen and members of the band will be participating in the production – what is not known right now is whether or not they will be using the actual recording of Freddie Mercury in the soundtrack.

Mercury, along with Queen, were responsible for a string of hits – such as “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions”, “Radio Goo-Goo”, and “Best Friend”.

Mercury died in 1985 of complications from AIDS.

On a personal note – I got to see Queen perform at the Civic Center in Saginaw, Michigan in the late 70s. Believe it or not – they were the opening act for Bob Seger and it was one of those concerts where the opening act made you forget who the headliner of the show was and one of the reasons for that was the showmanship of Freddie Mercury – who with some fancy trickery from the people working the sound board – allowed Mercury to harmonize with himself on “Bohemian Rhaposdy”. I have seldom been blown away by a live performance like I was that night at the Saginaw Civc Center.

What A Difference A Year Makes

The new television season has begun and the ratings are slowly begining to trickle in. This Tuesday was the season premiere of my favorite show “Parenthood” and with it’s premiere comes some good and bad news. The good news is that they won the 10pm time period – the bad news is that their ratings were down from last season and even 17% down from Jay Leno’s first Tuesday night in the 10pm time slot last year.

And...then there’s the story of Donald Trump and the new season of “The Apprentice” – filled with real people who have no job fighting to be hired to be Donald Trump’s apprentice. Airing against repeats on the other networks – the two hour premiere episode was the lowest rated episode of “The Apprentice” ever – with the ratings 53% down from the last celebrity edision of the show and 63% down from the last time that “The Donald” did a non-celebrity verison of the program. To add insult to injury – Thursday night’s premiere of “The Apprentice” was down 44% from the Thursday debut of the Jay Leno Show at 10 last season.

And here’s more ratings news. This week Jay Leno’s ratings were the highest that they have been since he has returned to the 11:35pm time slot. I don’t know the ratings breakdown in age – but I do know that he is attracting an older audience that what Conan was getting.

And a couple of more things before I leave....

If you are one of those people who wondered when the NFL would hire an act for the Super Bowl half-time show that has had a hit in the last decade – you can quit wondering. After a string of evergreen rock n’ roll acts – the NFL has hired Black Eyes Peas as the half-time entertainment for the 2011 Super Bowl.

Fans of Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” – mark this date in your calendar – September 22, 2010. On that date – Jon Stewart will enter the “no spin zone” of Bill O’Reilly to promote “Earth (The Book)” written by Stewart and the writing staff of “The Daily Show”. O’Reilly will return Stewart’s visit to his Fox show by appearing on “The Daily Show” on September 27th. I don’t know if Stewart will be able to convince Papa Bear Bill O’Reilly to make an appearance at the Daily Show’s upcoming “Rally To Restore Sanity” in Washington, D.C. on October 30th..

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