May 19, 2013 |
Any way you look at it, it was a tough year for the networks. Broadcast ratings dropped by an average of 7.5 percent, the steepest decline in six years. NBC's Do No Harm notched the smallest audience for a series debut in broadcast history and was canceled after two episodes. Fox's old warhorse, American Idol , tumbled to new lows. Even the ragged Robertsons of Duck Dynasty have been beating the previously unassailable singing competition. And Wednesday's showdown between Kree Harrison and Candice Glover didn't even top the night among viewers 18 to 49, the first time that's ever happened to an Idol finale episode.
May 18, 2013 |
Thursday night saw both the season finale of Fox's American Idol and the final episode of the long-running NBC comedy The Office. One was sedate; the other was a tearjerker. Candice Glover was crowned the 12th winner of Idol . The 23-year-old from St. Helena Island, S.C., may have cinched the win with her final competitive performance, a stirring reprise of Ben E. King's "I (Who Have Nothing). " Glover's win over Texas country singer Kree Harrison was one of the most subdued in the history of the Fox series.
May 17, 2013 |
Everybody wants to date Kate. Well, maybe not everybody, but a lot of guys working on Katie Holmes ' new flick Mania Days apparently have warm feelings for the fair Kate, the New York Post reports. A source tells the Post that Katie, 34, has received seven offers to step out: "They were crew members and extras just chancing it. It really got on the nerves of director Paul Dalio . Needless to say, she said no to everyone," the source said. Holmes has been unattached since sundering last year from Tom Cruise . The only mushy stuff for Kate has been strictly business, with costar Luke Kirby . They play manic depressives who fall in love in a psychiatric hospital.
May 13, 2013
Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City (XL ***1/2 Good songs win out in the end, and Vampire Weekend has plenty of those. The New York foursome fronted by Ezra Koenig has been simultaneously celebrated and denigrated since even before the release of their self-titled debut album, which generated loads of blog buzz - and just about as much backlash - in 2008. Sure, these guys had lots of catchy tunes that cleverly used Graceland - era Paul Simon as a point of departure, but weren't they just a bunch of spoiled Upper West Side kids who went to Columbia and sang about their vacations on Cape Cod?
May 10, 2013 |
LET'S FACE FACTS, the judges on "American Idol" do less actual judging than the "judges" at Philadelphia Traffic Court. Their purpose is to cheerlead and create drama and give viewers some name recognition to latch on to while they learn the names of the new batch of karaoke singers. Judging chemistry is hard to duplicate, and "American Idol" has been floundering around since the original trio of Simon Cowell , Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson , mixing in Kara DioGuardi , Ellen DeGeneres , Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler before adding this year's newbies.
April 26, 2013 |
ABC's sultry prime-time hit Scandal is a quick-paced drama starring Kerry Washington as high-powered crisis manager Olivia Pope. Pope, a no-nonsense-yet-emotionally vulnerable black woman, is having a steamy affair with the white Republican president of the United States, Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant, played by the guy you'll remember as the baddie from Ghost, Tony Goldwyn. It's crazy, it's dizzying, and we love it. Scandal's success this season - it ranks a strong second in its 10 p.m. time slot in total viewers ages 18 to 49 - is more than confirmation that America loves a good nighttime soap.
February 16, 2013 |
American Idol announced its Top 40 Thursday night, and, alas, none is from the immediate Philadelphia area. The most local performer left is Chris Watson, a head-scarf-sporting dude who grew up in Dover, Del., and lives in Central Jersey, near the nexus of the turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. No one else remains from Pennsylvania or those adjacent states. Gone are Taylor Ivy Rand, the Chickie's & Pete's hostess who graduated from Girls High; Courtney Calle, a student at Council Rock North; and Zach Birnbaum, a student at Cherry Hill High School West.
February 14, 2013 |
At 8 tonight on Fox's American Idol , a Girls High grad who works as a hostess at the South Philly Chickie's & Pete's, will try to outsing 163 other young women struggling for stardom, including two from Southeastern Pennsylvania and another from South Jersey. Word is that Taylor Ivy Rand, 19, who also tends bar at Connie's Ric Rac, a South Philly performing space, will get some face time, as well as Courtney Calle, 16, a Council Rock North junior from Newtown, Bucks County. Also in the mix: Sarah Restuccio, 18, of Camden County, and Emily Fritz, 27, of Lancaster.
February 8, 2013 |
At least five young singers from the Philadelphia area are still alive on Fox's American Idol . The fate of two more might become clear from 8 to 9 tonight, when more showdowns air with guys who passed their original auditions and made it to Hollywood. Last night, two guys-only rounds were shown, and Zach Birnbaum , a student at Cherry Hill High School West, was among those getting the go-ahead. The bangs of his shaggy hair covered his eyes as he performed "Some Kind of Wonderful" with three other guys.
January 20, 2013 |
The story line for the new season of American Idol was established almost immediately. Nicki Minaj was the last of the judges to make an appearance, emerging from her limo in a stunning drum majorette hat. Pecking order established. Ain't no party until Ms. Nicki arrives. She then set about dominating the program, mugging endlessly for the camera, spewing nonsense phrases, monopolizing the conversation, drifting into a bizarrely posh English accent, making up crazy nicknames for everyone on the set, and visually fondling every good-looking male contestant.