Was There Ever A Movie Called “Red Dragon: The Curse of Hannibal Lecter?” Pop Culture History.

Mr. Pop History -The answer is yes and no. NBC wanted to re-run an airing of “Manhunter; but, in order to capitalize on a new theatrical movie called, “Silence of the Lambs” – they changed the original name  from “Manhunter” – to “Red Dragon: The Curse of Hannibal Lecter.” The reason… you guessed it, was to capitalize on the character and the popularity of “Lamb.”

This was back in 1991. NBC had already run “Manhunter” in 1989 – with OK ratings – but this time – it didn’t want to take a chance. It’s amazing and the only time in pop history this was ever done.

Loud TV Commercials – Are They A Thing Of The Past? Pop. Culture. Trivia.

Mr. Pop History – What’s amazing is – this problem dates all the way back to the 1950′s. Broadcasters always, always denied the accusation. Just a few weeks ago – back in September – Congress finally did something about it. So – let’s see if it happens. It is quite annoying. Here’s an article from a radio/TV engineering authority:

“The United States Senate unanimously passed a bill late Wednesday, September 27th, to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, requires the FCC to adopt its recommendations as regulations within a year and begin enforcing them a year later. The House of Representatives had already passed similar legislation. Before it can become law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the November 2nd elections.”

David Letterman Question… Pop. Culture. History.

From Aaron Vic – David Letterman still holds up, but thought he was much better during his NBC years. Did he have a good team then?

Mr. Pop History – Then and now. But back during his NBC, “Late Night With David Letterman” days – he had at least three terrific writers that I know of… Steve O’Donnell, Jeremy Conway and Kathleen Ankers. Together, they came up with some wild bits for Letterman and interesting effects. Things such as his suit of magnets, a suit o’ sponges and so much more.

60 Minutes Question. This Week In History. Pop. Culture.

From James A – Before ABC’s 20/20, they had tried another news magazine-type show. What was it?

Mr. Pop History – NBC and ABC envied the ratings and financial success of CBS’ 60 Minutes. It took ABC a while. One was something called “Seven Days” – a sort of week-in-review program. The problem – you couldn’t rerun it – and the ratings weren’t that good.

Over at NBC? Some 10 magazine shows came and went before they hit the right formula and timing. More in another Q&A.

From Valerie P – Mr. Pop – When was “Seinfeld” first released on DVD? Wasn’t there a big hoopla with a TV special?

Mr. Pop History – There was indeed. Back on Thanksgiving, 2004 – NBC aired “The Seinfeld Story” where the cast members plus creator Larry David talked about how the series began with meager ratings – then morphing into its super sitcom status.

But really, it was a brilliant move to kick off the sitcom’s DVD debut – the first three seasons. seinfeld

From Jeanne E – “The Tonight Show” has always done well for NBC, but you said there was a time when it did not?

Mr. Pop History – That is correct. It made a little money with Steve Allen, but after he left – there was no real host – and it lost money. What’s interesting is – local stations were making money with their late night ads – but NBC was not! Then Jack Paar took over in July of 1957 and it began a turnaround. It was called “Tonight” but when Paar took over – the show was named after him. The Johnny Carson era ushered in “The Tonight Show” title. NBC logo

Jay Leno Staying At NBC And His Time Will Be Prime

Everyone thought Leno was leaving NBC in May. Split. Gone. NBC says no, not only is he staying, he’s getting a prime time talkshow slot. No more timeshifting TiVo to see Leno.

The show, to premiere next fall, is expected to be announced today after the network closed a deal with the host late Monday, according to two NBC executives with knowledge of the agreement.

It achieves two objectives: preventing Leno from landing at ABC, Fox or Sony, which were expected to woo the host when his contract expires next year, and patching the network’s woeful prime-time schedule, down 13% this fall to a distant fourth place.

The new show will be similar to the Tonight Show format but with more elaborate sketches and taped segments. And though giving Leno a prime-time slot protects O’Brien from competing directly with him on another network, it risks draining audience and top-notch guest bookings from the future Tonight host.

Sarah Palin Kept Away From Comedian Fey On SNL

They might have been on the same live Saturday Night Live production, but clearly Sarah Palin and Tina Fey (Picture) were not meant for each other – in the live sense.

The Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, has made a much-anticipated appearance on NBC’s Live Saturday Night program with her chief mimic, Tina Fey.

Fey and Palin appeared together only fleetingly, to the disappointment of the Washington Post’s campaign diary, The Trail, which complained that she appeared as a “bystander” rather than a participant.

Palin was kept away from Fey, for all but a moment, and the producers also ensured she never met the show’s guest host, Josh Brolin, the star of Oliver Stone’s new movie about President Bush, W, according to the Trail.

Later in the show, Palin was seen dancing in her seat and waving her hands in the air to a rap song by Amy Poehler. The lyrics satirised both her and her home state of Alaska and featured a man in a moose suit and prancing Eskimos.

To some Huffington Post contributors it was the highlight of the show, even if it made Palin look like a “laughing stock.” “Sarah walked right into a den of thieves, her ego too large to back down,” said one post.

The New York Post loved her appearance.

The paper said she “raised the roof” on her SNL debut, “yukking it up with actor Alec Baldwin and executive producer Lorne Michaels as she watched dead-ringer Tina Fey lampoon her at a fake news conference”.

There was surprise on the blogs that Palin was up for going on the show. “I finally picked my jaw up off the floor and accepted the fact that this is what we do in America when times get tough,” said a blogger

Another blogger said Palin’s appearance showed her lack of judgement. “I hope this awful sight gets on YouTube and is shown everywhere, so people really see how dangerous someone like that with that lack of judgment is.”

A more typical response the TalkLeft blog – that Palin showed she could join in on the jokes at her own expense. “Can’t say she doesn’t have a sense of humour or is unwilling to laugh at herself,” said one.

What did you think of Palin’s appearance – was she a good sport or has she turned herself a laughing stock? Was it an error of judgement or has she boosted her ratings in the polls? Let us know what you think.

D-USA/Mr. Pop Culture

Seacrest’s New Reality

Ryan Seacrest’s production company is launching yet another reality show. Momma’s Boys will debut on Wednesday, October 29 from 9 – 10 p.m. on NBC. The series centers on three possessive, yet loving mothers who must help their complacent sons choose the perfect woman – and ultimately poses the question: ‘Who is really the most important woman in every man’s life?’

According to a press release: “Over the course of six weeks, viewers will watch the intense, emotional showdowns and rivalries, as well as the raw, personal moments between mother and son. All of this will unfold as 32 single women – some classy and some brassy – vie for the attention of the three eligible bachelors and their mothers who live with them throughout the series. Momma’s Boys will uncover the conflicts between a mother’s wishes and a son’s desires and reveal the truth about who plays a more crucial role in a young man’s life – his mother or his significant other.”

LA Radio