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Entertainment behind the scenes

UDPATE – Sheen’s “Torpedo” is a dud. What will he shoot now?


Conan1He’s no Conan O’Brien, Charlie Sheen.

But he did stage a comeback in Chicago.

Update — Following his Detroit  bomb, Charlie Sheen did what any respectable entertainer would do. He lived by the credo “the show must go on, ” and revamped his “Violent Torpedo of Truth” with a talk show format. Fans evidently liked it.

Charlie Sheen come’s back.

What Happened in Detroit? We covered here: Fans of the man with self-diagnosed “tiger’s blood” came to Detroit to cheer their hero in his one-man redemption show “My Violent Torpedo of Truth: Defeat is Not An Option”. They wanted him to prove his “Adonis DNA” and take on the corporate entertainment titans who fired him. They wanted to see if he had kicked his drugs and drinks-fueled lifestyle at his in-home rehab clinic he calls “The Sober Valley Lodge.” They wanted comedy, perhaps a few songs. They wanted the real story behind Sheen’s Hollywood veil.

His show bombed. Read The Hollywood Reporter Review.

At Detroit’s Fox Theater, they got a water-sipping actor at a loss for how to perform live, riffing incoherent lines that must have played well with his entourage but failed to win fans. They got Sheen’s ramblings of how the TV star could lead them to all to personal salvation against the corporate “evil trolls.” His attempt to sound like a philosopher poet with verse such as “The kidnapped fingers of tiny child lose fast the grip of Thorian hammer” stirred only boredom in an audience that had come for a good time.

“They took my awesome children,” Sheen ranted on Saturday night. “They took my sometimes groovy job. They took my bitchin’ extra-galactic words inverted and then perverted them.”

from MediaFile:

Laugh graph: Conan and the ratings race

The debut of Conan on TBS won its time slot against more established late-night comedy shows. But can the former Tonight Show host keep up the momentum? Reuters is keeping daily track of how O'Brien performs against his rivals; tune in every day for an update.

Related stories:
Conan O'Brien's new show draws fans, not critics
Conan O'Brien returns to TV in downsized role
"War for Late Night" lifts lid on NBC turmoil

UK’s X Factor gets off to rocky start


cowell3The X Factor, one of Britain’s most-watched television programmes, has got off to a rocky start this year with its integrity called into question after it came to light that some contestants’ performances had been enhanced using computer software. A spokesman for the show, a pillar of ITV1′s annual scheduling, admitted that post-production work was sometimes necessary due to the number of microphones used during filming. But he also told British media that judges make their decisions during the audition stages based on what they hear live, and that later shows are all genuinely live.

The revelations have prompted negative media comment and online complaints from some fans, although few people expect them to have too much of an impact on viewing figures. The first episode of this year’s series was watched by 11.1 million people, up from last year’s figure of 9.9 million.

Coco in, Charlie out, “Anarchy” ignored at Emmys!?


Revenge, as the saying goes, is a dish best served cold.conanpleased

And Conan O’Brien must surely be licking his lips with glee at winning an Emmy nomination for his short-lived version of “The Tonight Show,”  six months after NBC  handed the late night talk program back to frenemy Jay Leno.

O’Brien’s nomination in the variety show category even drew an audible gasp from the group of bleary-eyed journalists and publicists gathered at the Television Academy for the dawn announcement on Thursday.

Daytime therapist, nighttime filmmaker captures Soviet life


Photo by Daniel Bases

He’s a physiotherapist by day and a filmmaker by nights, weekends and everything in between. Semyon Pinkhasov has captured facets of Soviet life that rarely get shared beyond Russia’s borders, even after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

(For story, click on

The self-taught, self-financed, award-winning amateur documentary filmmaker has seen his films shown worldwide at festivals and on Russian and English-language television channels. Focused on the arts and the sport of fencing (U.S. Olympic Team Coach in 1984), he tells stories about Grigory Fried, who has run a music appreciation club in Moscow for 45 years without taking a kopeck; Tikhon Khrennikov, the first and last secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers; and Boris Efimov, perhaps Stalin’s favorite cartoonist.

from UK News:

Do you have a favourite Monty Python sketch?

Monty Python membersNothing was sacred to "Monty Python's Flying Circus" -- and that is probably why the comedy troupe's television show became so popular.

The irreverent programme starring  John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman first aired 40 years ago in 1969.

Emmy winners line-up looking like a repeat


They’re rolling out the red carpet in Los Angeles for television’s prime time Emmy Awards onmadmen Sunday but some experts are already predicting a winner’s line-up  in the main categories that looks much the same as last year.

That means that popular favorites like hospital drama “House”, animated comedy “Family Guy” and the “Law&Order” actress Mariska Hargitay could again lose out to shows like “Mad Men”, “Damages” star Glenn Close and the Tina Fey comedy “30 Rock”.tina-fey

from MediaFile:

The fall TV season, beyond Jay Leno

What's that? Jay Leno is moving to prime-time? You don't say!

Frankly, it's hard to remember the last time there was such hubbub about a TV show. It was, after all, the cover story in Time magazine. Not to be outdone, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, AP, and probably every local news outlet between New York and Hollywood had a story about the talk show host -- more often than not raising the question of whether he's going to save network TV.

(You've got to give it to the public-relations machine on this one. They really worked the story. Of course, their spinning was augmented by a huge marketing effort. Stuart Elliott of the New York Times today estimated that NBC put out more than $10 million in promoting the show).

Michael Jackson “alive” hoax video came from German TV station


German television station RTL has admitted to producing that video that emerged last month and appeared to show Michael Jackson alive and getting out of a Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office van, whichmichael-jackson spread quickly after it was posted on the Internet.

The station told U.S. news outlet CNN on Tuesday that the video was produced to show how easily rumors can spread online, such as the rumor that Jackson faked his death, used a coroner’s van as his private, incognito “taxi” service and then emerged in the bowels of a building, where he no doubt is hard at work cutting another album for later sale, Tupac-style.

Watch TV’s Emmy Awards live instead of on TV


American TV fans are being offered the chance of a seat “next to some of the biggest stars inTELEVISION-EMMYS/ Hollywood” at the annual prime time Emmy television awards next month.

CBS, which will broadcast the Emmy ceremony live from Los Angeles on Sept. 20,  has invited fans to enter a “best seat in the house” contest by submitting a 30-second video explaining why they are “TV’s Number One Fan.”