February 9, 2009 - 1:23 PM
During commercial breaks of Sunday night's Grammy Awards, I headed over to BBCAmerica to catch taped coverage of the British Academy Film Awards.
And guess who popped up at the end to announce the winner of the best picture?
None other than Mick Jagger, who got a kick out of being miscast. He joked that he was part of the movie star, rock star exchange program.
"Tonight," said the Rolling Stone legend, "Sir Ben Kingsley will be singing 'Brown Sugar' (a Stones song) at the Grammys.
He added that Dame Judy Dench was somewhere in the United States "trashing hotel rooms" and concluded by saying that he hoped "Sir Brad and all the Pitt family will be performing 'The Sound of Music' in Britain shortly.
Then he gave out the best picture award to "Slumdog Millionaire," which oddly enough had been beaten out earlier as best British film by a documentary, "Man on Wire."
One of the night's unscripted "highlights" came courtesy of Mickey Rourke after he won as best actor for "The Wrestler." He threw out a few joyous expletives, which were bleeped out. ABC should be prepared to have its censors ready in two weeks at the Academy Awards just in case Rourke wins again.
If you caught any of the British film show, what did you think of it?
-- Alan Pergament
February 5, 2009 - 1:20 PM
The Super Bowl edition of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” Wednesday night made some points that were missed in NBC’s coverage of Pittsburgh's 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Warren Sapp noted that the Cards’ Larry Fitzgerald was unable to catch up with the Steelers’ James Harrison on his 100-yard interception return for a touchdown until it was too late because he bumped into Cardinal teammate Antrel Rolle in a prohibited area on the sideline. If Rolle hadn’t been there, Sapp said Fitzgerald would have caught Harrison on the final play of the first half.
Cris Collinsworth said the Steelers would have gotten a free play anyway to kick a field goal if Harrison had been stopped short of the goal line because there was a Cardinal penalty on the play.
Phil Simms added that Fitzgerald was out of bounds for 15 yards anyway and it was illegal for him to make the tackle. However, according to a Bills spokesman, Fitzgerald was legally allowed to return from out of bounds to make a tackle.
The program also had great sound of Pittsburgh Coach Mike Tomlin and MVP Santonio Holmes on the sidelines and addressed the issue that NBC avoided during the game – the officiating that led to 18 penalties.
All in all, this episode alone proved why HBO was foolish to cancel the show after last season and Showtime was smart to pick it up.
What did you think of this year’s “Inside the NFL” after its move from HBO?
February 4, 2009 - 3:10 PM
Who is a better actor, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich or Academy Award nominee Richard Jenkins?
That's a good question, but there is no question who got more time on David Letterman's show Tuesday night.
The impeached governor got so much time with Letterman that Jenkins was lucky to get a few minutes to talk about his nominated role in "The Visitor."
Both guests were very funny, though sometimes Blagojevich's humor was unintentional.
Letterman is never easy on politicians, as Sen. John McCain found out during his run for the presidency. When Blagojevich said he had wanting to get on Letterman's show in the worst way, Letterman deadpanned "you're on in the worst way."
After noting now many Illinois governors have gotten into legal trouble, Letterman asked Blagojevich: "Is this just part of the oath of office?"
Though he allowed Blagojevich to defend himself, Letterman was very skeptical about the former governor's continuing talk show appearances.
"The more you talk and the more you repeated your innocence, I said to myself 'oh, 'this guy is guilty,'" said Letterman early in the interview.
Letterman repeated himself at the end of the interview, too.
That prompted Blagojevich to repeat he was telling the truth and add "I'm glad you're not going to sit on the jury in Illinois" once the criminal case comes to trial.
Do you agree with Letterman? And if you saw Tuesday's program, didn't you wish that Jenkins had gotten more time?
-- Alan Pergament
February 1, 2009 - 11:55 PM
I'm not sure if the 100-yard interception for a touchdown by the Pittsburgh's James Harrison on the final play of the first half of the Steelers' 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals hurt the Cards or NBC more Sunday night.
The play gave the Steelers a 17-7 lead and they seemed in control until early in the fourth quarter when Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner and receiver Larry Fitzgerald led an exciting comeback that the Steelers overcame with a touchdown drive of their own in the final minute.
By the time the Cards found their game, I suspect many viewers might not have stayed around. We'll find out when the ratings arrive today.
I rated NBC announcers Al Michaels and John Madden highly. They hit almost all the key points of the game. Madden was especially good at describing how the Steelers held Fitzgerald in check for three quarters. However, he didn't address the officiating, which I'm sure is getting attention in Arizona today.
The pre-game show was less than stirring and loaded with time fillers. But Bruce Springsteen lived up to expectations at halftime and Jennifer Hudson gave a terrific rendition of the national anthem.
What did you think of NBC's telecast and the game?
-- Alan Pergament