Michael Ausiello is a TV guru I’ve been following for a long time. I read his stuff when he was at TV Guide. I followed him to Entertainment Weekly. I’ve gone through withdrawal as he left to start his new venture.
Fortunately, Ausiello is back as editor and chief of TVLine.com. It’s a new website that’s a must for TV lovers.
With the website comes the return of two popular Ausiello items, the “blind item” and “Ask.”
Here’s a sampling: “Blind Item: Popular soap abruptly fires actor, rewrites mystery arc”: A seasoned and extremely well-known actor who had a recurring role on a popular primetime soap was canned after several show staffers — both the on-camera kind and off — voiced complaints about the star’s unprofessional behavior while at work. Apparently, the onetime big-screen A-lister (who over the past decade carved a niche for himself on the small screen) was making inappropriate comments to a number of women. At the risk of having the situation escalate, producers abruptly wrote out the actor, which forced them to tweak a major crime story/mystery in which his character was revealed to be the culprit. Now word is, the bad boy has been forever banned from appearing on any of this network’s shows.”
A lot of readers are speculating about who this is. Read the comments at his site. Good luck, Mr. Ausiello. May the Smurf be with you.
Meester meets Leno
Actress Leighton Meester, who co-stars with Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw in the new movie “Country Strong,” told Jay Leno about her hometown of Marco Island during her Wednesday night appearance on the “Tonight” Show. Meester identified the island as where she grew up and talked about spending the holidays with family. Leno, who said he had heard of the island but was unfamiliar with it, got into a discussion that mentions the Everglades, dolphins and alligators.
Here’s a link to that interview: bit.ly/fZfeLe
WINK, NBC 2 continue to lead
Results are in for the November sweeps, and according to Nielsen, WINK and NBC 2 remain the leaders in our market.
At 6 p.m., NBC 2 (9.2) edges out WINK (9) — each ratings point equals 5,000 viewing households. ABC 7 (2.8) is in third place; followed by Fox 4’s newly launched 6 p.m. effort at 1.3.
At 7 p.m., WINK earns at 6.1. Its only local news competition is the ABC 7 newscast at 2.2.
In the 10 p.m. hour, the WINK-produced newscast on CW 6 (2.5) is gaining on Fox 4 (2.7).
At 11 p.m., WINK (7.3) is the clear victor. NBC 2 (5.4) is second; followed by ABC 7 (2.9) and Fox 4 (1.7).
Looking at daytime, NBC 2 (5.0) leads mornings; followed by WINK (2.9), ABC 7 (1.4) and Fox 4 (0.7).
WINK (4.9) and NBC 2 (4) are neck and neck at noon. WINK (5.9) leads at 5 p.m., followed by NBC 2 (5.6). At 5:30, NBC 2 (6.4) shortens the gap with WINK (6.6).
News and notes
Valarie Edwards has been named as the new host of “Gulf Coast Live!” a call-in radio program on WGCU.
Previously, Edwards was a TV and radio reporter, host/producer at Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta for several years prior to coming to WGCU.
“Gulf Coast Live!” airs from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Wednesday on FM 90.1 or 91.7. Call in at (877)-428-8255 or e-mail email@example.com.
OWN well received by viewers: During the cable channel’s debut, the three-hour block beginning at 8 p.m., Saturday, averaged 1 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures.
Are you a Coke or a Pepsi lover? Simon Cowell is switching teams, at least when it comes to sponsorships. Cowell will trade the Coke he drank on “American Idol” for a Pepsi on his new show “The X Factor.”
Pepsi is the sole season-long sponsor for “The X Factor,” a singing competition that Cowell is bringing to the United States in the fall. Pepsi will have commercial time and integrations within “X Factor,” and the two brands will support each other on the Web and in stores.
With the sponsorship deal, the Fox network obviously loves both. It has Coca-Cola locked up on “Idol” in the winter and spring, and now it will have Pepsi on “X Factor” in the fall.
Patty Malaspina writes: “Where did Michelle Burdo go? We haven’t seen on doing the NBC news in a while. She is the cute redheaded gal that started doing the weekend news and then was seen on the morning and noon news on channel 2. I hope she did not leave us, too.”
Burdo joined Fox 35 in Orlando in October. But she’s still on the morning shift, so look out for her the next time you visit the land of the mouse.
Have a question, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time … stay tuned.
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist with a secret life as a couch potato. Contact him at email@example.com.