We start this week
with the major news that Paula Abdul has quit American Idol. She
broke the news on her Twitter account by saying, "With sadness in my
heart, Iíve decided not to return to #IDOL. Iíll miss nurturing all
the new talent, but most of all...Iíll miss nurturing all the new
talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from
day1 become an international phenomenon. What I want to say most, is
how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you
have showered upon me. It truly has been breathtaking, especially
over the past month. I do without any doubt have the BEST fans in
the entire world and I love you all."
Fox confirmed the departure by saying, "Paula Abdul has been an
important part of the American Idol family over the last eight
seasons, and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to
the show. While Paula will not be continuing with us, she's a
tremendous talent and we wish her the best."
This decision comes back to her new manager, David Sonenberg. He
tried to play hardball with Fox and 19 Management. He said that
Paula was worth up to $20 Million Dollars a year over a multi-year
period, if the reports are to be believed. She also was reportedly
jealous of the 3 year/$45 Million Dollar Ryan Seacrest deal that he
recently signed with 19 Entertainment. And the re-signing of judge
Kara Dioguardi didn't help matters either.
But this being American Idol and Paula Abdul, I won't bet this being
over. As of this writing, it is early August and the season doesn't
begin until January. Someone is going to blink. For what it is
worth, the people want to see Paula on Idol. And I do too, because
her criticism was the 2nd best critic on the show for the past 2
years. If we do not see Paula on Idol in January 2010, this could be
the beginning of the end for the venerable Fox franchise.
The 2nd big piece
of news was the fact that an hour-long version of "Let's Make A
Deal" has been picked up to replace Guiding Light. The host will be
Wayne Brady, most recently of "Don't Forget the Lyrics". It will
debut on October 5th. The big news was that even with the casting
notices on Craigslist, "The $1,000,000 Pyramid" did not get picked
Some interesting details about the show: Firstly, the show will not
be taped in New York or Los Angeles. It will be taped in Las Vegas
at a hotel to be determined. This is not unprecedented, as LMAD
taped at the Las Vegas Hilton in the late 1970's.
Secondly, Monty Hall is on staff as creative consultant.
Lastly, Wayne Brady is very honored to be host. 'I think that I'm
one of the only guys on TV that can pull off this particular show
because of the skill set," Brady, 38, told a crowded Televison
Critics Association audience. "The fact that I happen to be a
21-year-old black man makes it even better in the sense that other
kids sitting at home can see me doing that job and go, 'I can either
be president or I can be the host of a game show.' God bless
This is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that Deal
got picked up. This was a no brainer for CBS and this will work. But
the bad news is that Deal is an hour long. Michael Davies got
royally screwed. "Pyramid" should be on the schedule and Nina
Tassler and the people at CBS are making a huge mistake. If you
paired these two off, this would have been gold. Now, you have
Tassler and company choosing product placement and economics over a
fantastic game show combination.
We shall see what happens on October 5, but I legitimately feel
sorry for Michael Davies. The pilot was as perfect as a pilot could
be. I don't understand CBS's decision.
Another decision I
donít understand is the Next Food Network Star choosing Melissa
D'Arabian over Jeffrey Saad this past weekend in the finals. Her new
show "Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian" premiered Sunday,
Her show promises that she can make a dinner for four for under 10
dollars. But honestly, this was yet another disappointing season for
me. The show has been dealing with a creative funk since Guy Fieri
won Season 2. Amy Finley, Aaron McCargo Jr, Adam Gertler have not
had the success of Fieri.
And the selection committee/production staff have been more
concerned with reality show drama then cooking show smarts. Jeffrey
should have been the winner, but Melissa was "more marketable".
I have to admit that even though the show is a ratings success and
will be back in 2010, the show has lost a lot of its luster. The
balance has really shifted in a direction I don't like.
Finally we have
America's Got Talent to deal with. First of all, the first semi
finalists have been announced and they are country singer Kevin
Skinner, comedian Grandma Lee, Acrodunk, Drew Thomas Magic and
judges choice Arcadian Broad.
But we have a problem with the Top 40/48. First of all when you have
Simon Cowell call the judges and tell them they screwed up you know
you have a problem.
Second of all when 50% of the Top 40 (or top 48) are
musicians/singers you have the perception that is going to be the
minor league American Idol. All three of the AGT winners are
musician/musically based. You saw Terry Fator sing, Bianca Ryan is a
singer, and Neal E. Boyd is an opera singer.
And how in the blue heck can Kelli Glover be cut from the
competition and you put in the Yodeling Dominatrix, or Thia Megia,
or any number of acts. It's mindblowing.
This show is suffering from the same problem that Next Food Network
Star has...style over real talent. The ratings will only be good for
so long...if they don't fix this.
Block Party Quick
--Guest Celebrities have been announced for the "celebrity question"
on Millionaire. They are: Lauren Conrad ("The Hills), Snoop Dogg,
Patricia Heaton, Shawn Johnson, Steeve Nash, Katy Perry,Rachael Ray,
Sherri Shepherd, Vanessa Williams ,Wynonna and a special surprise
--Also, Guest Judges for Cycle 13 of America's Next Top Model have
been announced. All the models are under 5'7. They are Chanel Iman,
Lauren Conrad, Jamie Rishar, China Chow, Josie Maran, Jessica White,
Kim Kardashian, Jessica Lowndes, Kristy Hume, Marisa Miller, and Ann
--Mark Burnett smartly partners with CMT for same day reruns of the
syndicated 5th Grader.
--Cherokee Leaders say that Bob Barker's visit will not change the
treatment of bears or shutting of bear zoos.
--Catch 21 is casting for Season 3. Send your name, phone number and
a recent photo to email@example.com
--Tom Colicchio of Top Chef is a new father of a baby boy, Luka.
Also, Rob and Amber from Survivor and the Amazing Race are parents
of Lucia Rose.
--Aaron Buerge of the Bachelor gets married.
--Kim Coles is hosting "Pay It Off" for BET. It is for a shot at
$25,000 to pay off your debts.
--The cast for Next Iron Chef 2 is announced in front its premiere
--The Bachelor turns into a game over multiple platforms.
Jason Block is on the Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.