News and Quick Comments

Country special has … well, almost everyone

When CBS said it would have some country stars for an April 5 special, it wasn’t kidding.
The list, announced this morning (March 26), seems to include most of Nashville and beyond. It has top country stars – Luke Bryan (shown here), Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton and more – and even adds pop stars, including John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlisle and Gwen Stefani.
That will be 8 p.m. on April 5. The Academy of Country Music awards were originally scheduled then, but they’ve been pushed back to Sept. 16, with Keith Urban hosting. Read more…

Another postponement: The Tonys

For years, TV has depended on award shows to provide fresh musical energy … and strong ratings.
Not any more. The Tonys (shown here last year, with host James Corden) are the latest to be potponed. They weren’t scheduled until June 7 and follow the postponements of  the Billboard, iHeartRadio, Academy of Country Music and Kids Choice awards.
Two of those will compensate by having specials in which people perform at home. It will be pop music this Sunday (March 29) on Fox, then country music a week later on CBS. Read more…

Elton hosts a music-from-home special Sunday

Another music-from-home special has been set up, entertaining TV viewers during the coronavirus shutdown.
This one will be be 9 p.m. Sunday (March 29) on Fox, with top pop stars. “The iHeart Living Room Concert For America” will be hosted by Elton John (shown here), with at-home music by Billie Eilish, Tim McGraw, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Billie Joe Armstrong and the Backstreet Boys. Read more…

Yes, TV still has spurts of music

Television still has an occasional dab of music – just not as much of it.The good news comes in small bits – a new date (Sept. 16) for the Academy of Country Music awards … some music guests via video chat … and a flood of concert reruns (including Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, show here) on the AXS cable channel.
The coronavirus has led to the postponement of the ACM and Billboard awards and jeopardizes “American Idol,” which was supposed to begin live broadcasts on March 30. In addition, the latenight shows that usually have music have switched to full or partial reruns (see spearate satory under “News and Quick Comments”). Dua Lipa was scheduled to be on “Saturday Night Live” March 28, but that’s been switched to a rerun, with Scarlett Johanneson and Niall Horan as music guest.
The new developments are Read more…

Statlers’ song said it all

Who would have guessed that a Statler Brothers song, recorded 55 years ago, would neatly reflect our virus-shutdown lives?
But there it is, complete with a reference to Captain Kangaroo. In 1965, the Statlers sang these immortal words, written by their tenor, Lew DeWitt; approximately:
“Counting flowers on the wall, that don’t bother me at all; Read more…

“Daily Show” revises; latenight adjusts

A fresh version of “The Daily Show” will debut Monday (March 23), with a catchy title.
“The Daily Social Distancing Show” will be 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays on Comedy Central. It’s the latest answer to latenight’s effort to stay topical, yet stay safe.
As the coronavirus shutdown set in, latenight shows retreated to reruns. ABC even nudged Jimmy Kimmel back an hour, at least temporarily, to 12:35 a.m. weekdays; “Nightline,” with its virus reports, moved up to 11:35 p.m. Read more…

Virus puts TV music in limbo

The coronavirus has put TV’s music shows in limbo.
The latest news is that “American Idol” (shown here with Grace Leer) has sent its contestants home, at least for now. It had already taped episodes through March 29, but had planned to go live on March 30.
That joins other music-related changes, including: Read more…

Country-music finds a socially-distant show

Here’s a fresh approach to the entertainment void created by the coronavirus:
On April 5,  musicians will offer intimate performances from their homes. That replaces the Academy of Country Music awards show (shown here last year, with George Strait and Miranda Lambert), usually a big Las Vegas spectacle; the awards had already been postponed until September. Read more…

Virus specials pack together

As coronavirus dominates TV news, that reaches a new peak: Two virus specials – one on CNN, the other on PBS – will air at the same time (in some time zones), 8 p.m. Thursday (March 19).
In addition, Fox News Channel will have a special at 10 p.m. Sunday. The details are:
– “Coronavirus: Fact and Fears” will be 8-10 p.m. ET Thursday. That’s the second CNN special, hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta (shown here), to use a “town hall” approach on the subject. It will include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Celine Grounder and an interview with a patient in the vaccine clinical trial. Read more…