Tuesday, October 26, 1999

Pops planning July 4 PBS event

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Shhh! It's a secret! I'm not supposed to know that Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops are planning a live July 4 telecast from Riverbend for PBS.

        Three Clooneys — George, Rosemary and Nick — are the anticipated guest artists. A camera crew also was in town for Tall Stacks, shooting pictures of the boats to be used during the patriotic program.

        No word on how this would fit into the PBS schedule, which traditionally broadcasts A Capitol Fourth live from Washington, D.C., on Independence Day.

        The July 4 concert would be the sixth in the Cincinnati Pops Holiday concert series for PBS.

        A Thanksgiving special will be taped this weekend in Music Hall with vocalist Sandi Patty, singer/actor John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard), Richard Thomas (The Waltons), the May Festival Chorus, Cincinnati Ballet, School of Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Studio Cloggers, the University of Cincinnati cheerleaders and School for the Creative and Performing Arts students.

        Cincinnati Pops Holiday: A Family Thanksgiving will debut Nov. 18 (8 p.m., Channel 48). It airs nationally at 9 p.m. the next day, and repeats at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

        The Cincinnati Pops Holiday series started with a Mel Torme Christmas concert in 1995. Next came the “Halloween Spooktacular” with Robert Guillaume (1996); a “Big Band New Year's Eve” with Doc Severinsen, Patti Page, Eddie Daniels and Ed Shaughnessy (1997); and a “Love is in the Air” Valentine's Day concert (February).

        Earlier this year, Mr. Kunzel said he'd like to make at least six holiday TV concerts to sell “a six-pack of videos.” The home videos would be twice as long as the one-hour PBS broadcast, he said.

        “We tape the entire show. So people wouldn't just see what's been on TV, but the whole show,” he said.

        LIVE FROM VEGAS: Jay Gilbert will be broadcasting live from Las Vegas 3-7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday on WEBN-FM (102.7). He will interview folks in town for the live WB Radio Music Awards show (8-10 p.m. Thursday, Channel 64).

        Performers include David Bowie, Garth Brooks, Kid Rock, Sugar Ray, 'N Sync, Smash Mouth, Faith Hill and Naughty by Nature. Presenters include Cincinnati's 98`, Christina Aguilera, Lou Bega, David Boreanaz, B*Witched, Kenny Chesney, Ginuwine, Luscious Jackson, Jo Dee Messina, Julio Iglesias Jr., Joshua Jackson, Carly Pope, Vitamin C, Robbie Williams and MTV's Tom Green.

        Von Freeman, the former WKRQ-FM (101.9) marketing director at Clear Channel's Los Angeles station, is executive producer of the event with Paul Joseph (Rick Dees Weekly Top 40). Tom Owens, a Covington-based Clear Channel executive, is on the awards' advisory board.

        While in Las Vegas, Mr. Gilbert should try his luck at the slots. Last week he won a Cincinnati radio trifecta, winning the 3-7 p.m. ratings in three demographics: listeners ages 25-54; ages 18-34; and all listeners 12 and older.

        BLUE NOTE: The good thing about the delay of NYPD Blue's season premiere to Tuesday, Jan. 11, is that ABC will air 22 straight new episodes without a rerun.

        ABC's Once and Again, the Sela Ward-Billy Campbell divorce drama, will air at 10 p.m. Tuesday through Dec. 28. Then it moves to 10 p.m. Monday on Jan. 24, after the Monday Night Football season.

        Once and Again has been steadily losing viewers since its debut, while CBS's Judging Amy in the same time slot has been adding them. Ratings for Once and Again last week were down nearly 40 percent from its Sept. 21 premiere (from 16.8 million viewers to 10.3 million). Judging Amy drew 15.6 million viewers last week.

        NYPD Blue averaged 14.5 million viewers last season to rank No. 15 for the season. But if you take out in-season reruns, NYPD Blue averaged 16 million viewers and was a Top 10 show, says the Washington Post.

        It also didn't help that ABC pre-empted the Emmy-winning cop drama for Strange World in March — and then threw in NYPD reruns after canceling the sci-fi flop later that month.

        DIDN'T WORK: CBS has canceled its first fall show, Work With Me, starring Nancy Travis and Kevin Pollak. It will air reruns of other shows and holiday specials at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday until January.

        AROUND THE DIAL: Some great alternatives to baseball's World Series games:

        • Cinemax uses photographs and audio tapes for its history of the Friars Club in Let Me In, I Hear Laughter — A Salute to the Friars (7 p.m. today). Jerry Stiller (Seinfeld, King of Queens) is roasted by the Friars Club at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on Comedy Central.

        • Catherine Crier interviews teen-agers on Court TV's Opening the Door to Diversity: Voices From the Middle School. It airs live at noon today, with repeats at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

        • Spin City repeats Christopher Lloyd's guest shot as Mike's (Michael J. Fox) mentor (8 p.m., Channels 9, 2).

        • CBS pre-empts Judging Amy with a 48 Hours on gambling in America (10 p.m., Channels 12, 7).

        • Where Are They Now? (10 p.m. today, VH1) updates Gary Wright (“Dreamweaver”), Eric Carmen (“All by Myself”) and Johnny Lee (“Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places”).


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