Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Day Touring Downtown Los Angeles' Broadway Theatres

Broadway theaters

Los Angeles's Broadway -- the home to countless grand, old movie palaces -- is finally joining in the downtown renaissance, and on Saturday, hundreds of Angelenos toured the street ("Day on Broadway") to get an update on how Bringing Back Broadway is going.

Sadly, the Clifton's Cafeteria is still closed (that renovation is taking much longer to complete), but those great theaters are being made over, one-by-one. The biggest success story remains the Orpheum Theatre, but the Palace Theatre also has been given a nice update. The Globe, which had been somewhat gutted, is now also coming back, while the United Artists has now been renovated as part of the Ace Hotel makeover.

Some pics from the event, which was sponsored by the LA Conservancy and the office of City Councilman Jose Huizar:

Broadway theaters
The Palace screen

Broadway theaters
The Palace Theatre's auditorium

Broadway theaters
One of the Palace Theatre's two large murals

Broadway theaters
A fixture adorns one of the Palace Theatre's handrails.

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The Palace's "Gentlemen's" room.

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Outside the Palace

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The Tower Theatre wasn't open for tours, as filming was going on. But we did pass by the outside facade.

Broadway theaters
The curtain inside the Los Angeles Theatre

Broadway theaters
I know, we've posted pics of the inside of the glorious Los Angeles Theatre many times, but here's another.

Broadway theaters
Even after its run as a swap meet and later, as a nightclub, the Globe's theater curtain remains.

Broadway theaters
The Globe's ceiling

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The sloping theater floor was flattened, but much of the Globe's inside is still preserved.

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The upstairs balcony at the Globe Theatre

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The spruced-up United Artists marquee, now home to downtown's brand new Ace Hotel

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The Ace Hotel entrance

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Ace Hotel front desk

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New restaurant at the Ace Hotel

Broadway theaters
"Hello LA"

Saturday, January 25, 2014

L.A. Radio Notes: Changes for Madeleine Brand, Kennedy and El Mandril

Madeleine Brand

>> Our pals at KCRW take the wraps off their new daily Madeleine Brand show, "Press Play," this Monday at noon. The show "will explore the world through the lens of Los Angeles. It will combine Madeleine’s distinct voice, intelligence and warm sense of humor with an eclectic mix of guests to offer new ideas and unique perspectives on everything from politics and science to entertainment and art," says KCRW general manager Jennifer Ferro. Listen to the pilot episode below:



>> Kennedy is out and "The Woody Show" is in at KYSR-FM "Alt 98.7." Details from RadioInfo.com:

The change is set to take place on April 21 when “The Woody Show” featuring Woody, Ravey, Menace and Greg Gory takes over the 6:00 am to 10:00 am slot currently held down by Lisa Kennedy Montgomery’s “Music in the Morning with Kennedy” show.

The station says in a statement, “The foursome are real life friends, who are having fun, raw, honest conversations about things happening in the world – they will reunite on ALT 98.7 for the first time since 2009, when they were a top-rated morning show in San Francisco. Since then, Woody and Ravey have hosted the #1 morning show in St. Louis, while Menace and Gory each anchor separate successful shows in San Francisco."

CCM+E vice president of programming Los Angeles Andrew Jeffries says, "'The Woody Show' is here to wake the market up with their unique friendship, driven by a cast of characters coming from a diverse range of backgrounds all finding a common sense of humor, love of communicating with listeners and desire to entertain."




>> The Los Angeles Times reports that "El Mandril," a.k.a. Ricardo Sanchez, has switched radio stations. He's moving to KXOS-FM (93.9).

More from the newspaper:

The station KXOS is part-owned and managed by the Mexico City broadcasting company Grupo Radio Centro.

"First I achieved the American dream of having success in the United States, and now I can achieve the Mexican dream of triumphing with the strongest radio company in Mexico," Sanchez wrote in Spanish in his Facebook message.

Until this month, the former janitor whose "El Mandril" radio nickname means the Baboon, had been affiliated with Spanish Broadcasting System's KLAX 97.9 FM, which brands itself as "La Raza."

In November, amid contentious contract negotiations and allegations of ratings manipulation, Spanish Broadcasting yanked Sanchez from its airwaves.

The Miami-based company would not comment on the situation. However, several radio sources, including Sanchez's manager, confirmed that Nielsen was investigating allegations that someone associated with Sanchez's show had contacted members of the audience panel in Los Angeles that Nielsen used to generate its local ratings.

Friday, January 24, 2014

One Last Drink at MacLaren's: On The Set Of "How I Met Your Mother"

HIMYM

We've been fans and viewers of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" from the very beginning. So when the Television Critics Association press tour featured a last call visit to the show's set -- and one last panel with cast members Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders and newcomer Cristin Milioti ("the mom"). But yes, the real treat was actually having a beer on the show's MacLaren's bar set -- and sitting in the booth where the characters are normally parked. I joined my friend Leslie (above) as series creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays stood over us.

By the way, here's a quick trip down memory lane: The time I moderated a HIMYM panel in 2009.  Also: Here are Carter and Craig on the Writers Strike picket line in 2007.

"How I Met Your Mother" airs its final episode on Monday, March 31 at 8 p.m. with a one-hour series capper.

A few more shots from the set:


HIMYM

HIMYM

HIMYM

HIMYM

HIMYM

HIMYM

HIMYM

HIMYM

HIMYM

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch Causes a Stir at TCA Press Tour

Benedict Twitter

I've been attending the Television Critics Assn. press tour since 1996, and I can't remember ever seeing so much frenzy over a PBS press conference as there was for Monday's Masterpiece panel on "Sherlock." The reason? An appearance by Benedict Cumberbatch. The actor has been here before, but his star has really taken off. So much so that a well-behaved and calm crowd of fans (mostly young girls, who happened to be out of school because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday) gathered outside the Langham Huntington Hotel to catch a glimpse -- and perhaps a photo and signature -- of Cumberbatch.

Shamelessly looking to stir Twitter into a frenzy, we all also Tweeted up a storm during the press conference and made sure to chronicle Cumberbatch's visit with the fans:

Benedict

Benedict

Benedict

Benedict

Benedict

Benedict

MIKE ON RADIO: On KCRW's The Business, Discussing TV Critics Press Tour



On this week's edition of KCRW's "The Business," I called in from the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena to give an update on the Television Critics Association press tour. Pilot season -- which we also discussed on this month's The Spin-Off -- was the hot topic. Listen to the "banter" segment that kicks off the show:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New "Late Night" Host Seth Meyers As a Northwestern Freshman (UPDATED!)

Seth Meyers

I save almost everything, and sometimes that comes in handy -- like when I realized that the copy of the Class of 1997 1996 Northwestern freshman facebook must include a pic of Young Seth Meyers. And here it is: Seth Meyers, the freshman from Manchester West High School in Bedford, N.H., whose hobbies include "baseball" and "film."

Meyers will be here at the Television Critics Assn. press tour later today to promote the launch of "Late Night with Seth Meyers," which starts on Monday, Feb. 24.

UPDATE: Thanks to my sister Melanie for combing her Northwestern 1996 Yearbook to find Seth's senior photo. Talk about a change, as Seth was in his long-hair, hippie-ish phase. (Melanie regularly saw him perform as a part of Northwestern's Mee-Ow comedy show; I had already graduated a year earlier.) Here you go:



In a weird way, I think freshman Seth looks a lot more like the Seth we know now!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Press Releases of the Day: What's a "Thut"?

Press Release of the Day

I don't know who Dr. William Bruno is, but the plastic surgeon's publicist is keeping busy. Not one, but two pitches landed in my email today. Here's the first (above):
I would like to introduce you to our new plastic surgeon, Dr. William Bruno from Beverly Hills, CA. This story came out today about a suspicious change in Kendall Jenner's nose and he is available to comment on the story. The link to the articles and some photos are below, and his bio is at the bottom. Please let me know ASAP if you would like to interview Dr. Bruno, thanks!

And here's the second:

Press Release of the Day

Baby Got Back!
Beverly Hills Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. William Bruno Introduces the “Thut Makeover”


January 17, 2014 (Beverly Hills, CA) – Celebrities like Jessica Alba and model Gisele Bundchen are used to being admired for their beauty and fashion style. But lately, it’s not their red carpet looks women are coveting - it’s their toned derrière.

“Women’s body image trends are always shifting and evolving,” says Beverly Hills board certified plastic surgeon Dr. William Bruno. “A few years ago, women wanted a more fuller, curvier backside like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashain. Today, women are asking for a bum like Pippa Middleton – a more sculpted and defined butt.”

Introducing the “Thut Makeover”

The newest buzz-worthy craze to hit popularity seems to focus on the area between your upper thigh and butt – aka “the thut.” According to Dr. Bruno, more women are losing definition in this area due to a sedentary desk-to-couch lifestyle. There are a few different ways to achieve a sought-after Thut Makeover, including specialized exercises that target the area, and a regulated, nutritional diet. However, there are options when exercise and diet don’t work. According to Dr. Bruno, procedures such as lipo and less invasive procedures such as the Cellulaze are effective ways for patients who are seeking to improve their backside.

“To achieve a toned and defined butt, I recommend a combination of liposuction of the posterior (back) of the thigh, with fat transfer to the buttock,” says Dr. Bruno. “To visually improve the appearance of cellulite on your butt or upper thigh, I also recommend Cellulaze. Clinical studies have shown that treatment with Cellulaze can increase skin elasticity and improve the appearance of cellulite."
Got it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fire Pics: The Orange Sky View from Pasadena

Fire

Today's Glendora fire is providing spectacular views of a smoky, orange sky for folks heading east on the 10 or the 134/210. Above, the sky as seen in Pasadena while I drive to the Television Critics Assn. press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel.

Fire

And below, as seen from the 134.

Fire

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

THE SPIN-OFF: Listen to the January Edition of KCRW's Monthly TV Podcast


Spin-Off

Joe, AJ and I are back -- live from the Television Critics Association press tour! -- with the January edition of KCRW's The Spin-Off! Topics this month:

What Are the TCAs?: The purpose of the TCA's, as they're known, is for broadcast and cable channels to promote their new shows. But do they really mean anything in the era of Twitter?

Wherefore Pilot Season?: What's the value of this business model -- something the cable channels reject-- as some networks (namely, Fox) start to change their approach?

Duck Dynasty Drama: Now that the dust has settled and the show returns to the air, what happened? Should AMC have handled it differently? Was the public backlash emblematic of the "outrage industry" in the media now?

Listen via streaming links below!



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Too Much TV? Here's Why Your DVR Is Clogged



Too much TV? Via FX: Basic cable aired 16 original scripted series in 2002. In 2013, it was 114. A gain of 613%!



You may remember I wrote about this "Too Much TV" question last year ("As More Networks Develop Series, Is There Too Much TV?").
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