1. “David Letterman to Retire from CBS in 2015.” Tells studio audience, “It’s been great…but I’m retiring.”
“Last year, Letterman re-upped his contract with the Eye network in a two-year deal that was expected to be his last. But sources close to the situation advised that Letterman may stick around a little bit longer past the August expiration of his current contract. As of next year, Letterman will have hosted ’Late Show’ on CBS for 22 years. He logged 11 years as host of NBC’s ’Late Night’ before famously being passed over at NBC for Johnny Carson’s throne on ’The Tonight Show’—over Carson’s objection. Letterman has logged more than 6,000 episodes during his long career.”
2. “Drinking and Dancing the Late Night Away.” Phillip Maciak on why Ellen is the perfect replacement for Dave.
“Ellen begins every episode of her show with a carnivalesque dance party. When the show premiered, this seemed an awkward ritual. The audience stood and clapped as they were told, and Ellen, determination in her eyes, would sashay through the crowd, fishing. But, as Ellen grew into her show, as the audience learned the shorthand, the dancing became the focal point. The audience now waits impatiently through Ellen’s nightclub-lite monologue, the butts in the seats prepare to spring into action at the least thump of an 808, the room already taut with anticipation by the time the DJ drops the beat. She swivels her oxford-shirted arms at an easy middle distance between waist and shoulders, she engages in short dance-offs with women in the audience, gleefully hip-checking the limits of representable female desire. The soul train of dips, dance-offs, and faux desire that unfolds structures the rest of the program—guests dance to the interview area, Ellen frequently invites professional dancers to perform—and another midafternoon is consecrated. The dance party calls Ellen’s audience into being. Watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show, we are all a glowing, revolutionary, dancing demographic.”
3. “For the Love of It.” Matt Zoller Seitz on the decline of EW, the firing of Owen Gleiberman, and the ongoing end of an era.
“There are, I’m sure, many complex, overlapping and perhaps contradictory reasons why media companies have no interest in publishing properly compensated criticism by informed and seasoned writers. I don’t pretend to understand all of them, although I suspect the die was cast in the late ’90s, when newspapers and magazines bowed to tech gurus and prognosticators and started giving away their content. This made everyone—but particularly the younger generation—get used to thinking that writing was something they were entitled to have, like air or water; that it was not really valuable, indeed that it was not really work; that it was not really something that was ’made’; that was not creative, and that for all these reasons it was not supposed to be compensated by anyone, not in any real sense—that it was, instead, a combination of entertainment and personal indulgence, something along the lines of an open mic night in print form, with people trying out ’material,’ basking in the applause (’exposure’), and maybe picking up a little walking-around money. Like a violin player at a bus stop.”
4. “Six-Year Legal Battle Over Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret Finally Ends (Exclusive).” After a heated fight that included Martin Scorsese’s interjection and an attempted Twitter campaign by many film critics, a lawsuit over a film “masterpiece” is settled after film financier Gary Gilbert takes the witness stand at trial.
“On Wednesday, the dismissal request filing came from Michael Plonsker representing Gilbert’s Camelot Pictures, which told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement, ’After supporting Mr. Lonergan for years, Camelot finally had enough. Mr. Lonergan finally agreed to pay some money to Camelot in settlement and now the parties can put their dispute behind them.’ As for Lonergan, he credits Matt Rosengart, his attorney at Greenberg Traurig for the outcome, expressing relief at how the long battle turned out. He says, ’After five years of expensive and highly contentious litigation, the plaintiff suddenly dropped all of his claims in the middle of the trial, without any guarantee of ever receiving a dime.’”
5. “Who’s Alan Partridge?” Matt Prigge offers a primer on a British comedy great.
“There are many reasons why Partridge has endured, and why he may, with this movie, even find a new life in America. He’s not just a guy who obliviously blurts out inappropriate and unpopular beliefs, or makes an ass of himself for our amusement. Parts of all of us are in Alan Partridge. Coogan himself has called him a dumping site for his worst qualities. We all have at least moments, if not more, of acting out of venal self-interest. We all have those times when we prattle on endlessly about topics that interest no one but ourselves. We can all be boring or boorish, or try to play cool about our failures or blurt out terrible ideas, as Partridge’s famous pitch for a show called ’Monkey Tennis.’ We’re all Alan Partridge—hopefully to lesser extents than most.”
Video of the Day: Woody Allen in a clip from Fading Gigolo:
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