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March Sadness

In Roundups on March 25, 2011 at 6:00 am

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, seen last Saturday in Sendai. (Photo by David Hogsholt/Getty Images, via The New York Times)

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

CNN: We’re Number 2! As usual, when big stories break, CNN zooms past MSNBC in the cable news race. I’m torn: As much as I want CNN to keep climbing and knock longtime champ Fox News off its perch, I’m ready for a break from the disasters, meltdowns and “limited military actions.”

Glenn Beck, leaving Fox? He may move his show online, where viewers would have to pay to see it, the New York Times reports. This is one outlandish Beck-inspired theory that I hope is true.

Chris Brown on Good Morning America. Enough already with abusive men on the morning shows.

Julian Fellowes comes stateside. The Downton Abbey scribe will pen an ABC miniseries about the Titanic. Might Lord Grantham’s doomed cousin be a character?

Ed Harris to play John McCain in HBO’s Game Change. Well, OK. That will work, too.

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Abbey Fabulous!

In Tidbits on March 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Lady Grantham (Kim Cattrall) and the Countess (Jennifer Saunders) in “Uptown Downstairs Abbey.” (Photo by BBC, courtesy The Daily Telegraph)

If you’re suffering from Downton Abbey separation anxiety – and who isn’t these days? – then hopefully this will tide you over until the addictive Edwardian era soap opera returns to PBS next year.

Uptown Downstairs Abbey, a biting two-part spoof that the BBC broadcast last week as part of Britain’s annual Comic Relief charity drive, is now on YouTube.

The 15-minute production features a cast of British comedy superstars, including Absolutely Fabulous’s Jennifer Saunders as the Countess, Dame Maggie Smith’s Downton Abbey role, and Joanna Lumley as the housekeeper, originally played by Phyllis Logan.

The show-stealer is Kim Cattrall, whose impersonation of Elizabeth McGovern, a.k.a. Lady Grantham, is flawless.

The Brits loved the spoof: The Daily Telegraph newspaper ranked Uptown Downstairs Abbey second on its list of this year’s 10 funniest Comic Relief moments.

Moving Pictures: Print Still Outshining Video in Japan

In Roundups on March 18, 2011 at 6:00 am

On March 14, a mother tried to talk to her daughter, who was isolated after leaving the vicinity of Fukushima’s nuclear plants. (Photo by Yuriko Nakao/Reuters)

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

Japan. Sorry to be a broken record, but the television news coverage of this disaster remains surprisingly – and frustratingly – lacking. I’ve seen no video that illustrates the horror as well as photographs like the one above.

Representative Anthony Weiner. The New York Democrat mocked the House Republicans’ efforts to defund NPR with a brilliant floor speech. Weiner’s college roommate would be proud.

Kurt and Blaine. Surprise! They finally kissed. Some are surprised Fox didn’t hype it beforehand to goose the ratings; I prefer to think we’ve reached a point where same-sex PDAs in prime time are no longer a big deal.

Sue Sylvester. Speaking of Glee: Was anyone else disturbed when the show’s villainess responded to her club’s loss at regionals by slugging the mistress of ceremonies?