Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Monday Night Golf

"The NFL’s national TV partners - ESPN, Fox, CBS and NBC - are not saying much about what they’ll put on the air if there are no NFL games this fall. Maybe they don’t know."

- USA Today, March 14, 2011

It turns out that the networks do know what they’ll be broadcasting if the NFL lockout continues. Here’s a sneak preview of week one’s planned replacement programming:
Sunday, September 11th, 1 P.M. - FOX: "Let’s Call It Football"
For a fraction of the cost of NFL broadcast rights, FOX has chosen to televise English league soccer games. The five-hour time difference between England and the east coast makes a perfect fit with evening games from the old country. "Did you know they call soccer football in England?" said a FOX spokesperson. "We’re hoping many of our longtime fans won’t notice a big difference what with both games having an offsides rule and lots of kicking." The network is tentatively planning a series of pre-season shows to educate North American viewers about the beautiful game. First up is a one-hour instructional video entitled "The ball is round but the field’s still square."
Sunday, September 11th, 4 P.M. - CBS: "Football Movies"
The Tiffany Network is planning to raid Hollywood’s vaults and show every football movie ever made. Starting with the classic pigskin tearjerker "Knute Rockne All American", CBS hopes to hook as many male football fans as it can. Subsequent weeks will feature everything from "Rudy" to "Remember the Titans." With a decided emphasis on heart-tugging, feel-good stories, CBS’s selection is designed to also appeal to a female audience. With any luck, by season’s end, the broadcast of everyone’s favorite football movie "Brian’s Song" will yield buckets of tears and ratings equal to or greater than actual NFL games.
Sunday, September 11th, 8 P.M. - NBC: "Hockey Night In America"
The lockout may be the best thing that ever happened to NBC. For a mere pittance, the network will be able to replace one violent, hard-hitting sport with another, namely hockey. Just like football, it’s got offsides, helmets, padding, fights and concussions. American viewers have traditionally not been interested in hockey but NBC’s test marketing suggests a few minor changes may help turn the tide. Building on the popularity of recent NHL Winter Classics, Sunday night’s televised matches will all be held in outdoor football stadiums complete with a 100-yard ice surface, 20-feet high goal posts and a movable line of scrimmage for the start of each play.
Monday, September 12th, 8:30 P.M. - ESPN: "Monday Night Golf"
ESPN is taking a big gamble and substituting PGA match play for "Monday Night Football." But maybe it’s not such a big gamble when you consider the new twists they’ll be introducing. Every Monday night will feature 18 holes of head-to-head play between two top-20 professional golfers. With an ever-increasing number of aging baby boomers hitting the links, ESPN is hoping they have a winner, particularly with their new nighttime, no-lighting format. Infrared cameras will track the progress of the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as they blindly navigate some of America’s top golf courses. With errant shots and frequent injuries, no one will be calling golf on TV boring anymore.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Will and Kate Do Hollywood

TO: David Cameron, Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street, London, England
FROM: Swifty Emanuel, Public Relations Agent, Hollywood, California
RE: Proposed Will and Kate P. R. Campaign

Hi Dave,

Good talking to you the other day. Hope all is well in jolly old England.
As for our discussion, there are almost two months to go until the royal wedding. So far, Will and Kate have done their best to keep their names in the news. But recently, I think you’ll have to admit, they’ve grown a bit desperate in their attempts. For example, the best they could do last week was a return visit to their old alma mater St. Andrews University and the christening of a lifeboat somewhere in Wales.
Thankfully, I’ve assembled a crack team of our best public relations agents and will be flying them in from Hollywood to rescue the situation. Headed by me, the team has already scheduled a bunch of events this week to halt the unfolding disaster and is quickly working on an agenda to fill the gap until April 29th, the date of the royal wedding.
Tomorrow will be wall-to-wall Will and Kate as they appear on every breakfast TV show from London to L. A. to give their take on Sunday’s Oscar winners. Not only will this help demonstrate the couple’s "common touch", it will provide plenty of opportunities to mention the royal wedding and, in particular, the date.
Later this week, the royal-couple-to-be will be live blogging on preparations for their wedding date. The British duo will be available to online visitors to answer questions on everything from Kate’s dress to the wedding dinner menu to the couple’s favorite sexual positions. Those interested can log on to
We’re proposing a geographical approach for our clients for the month of March. Week one will center European visits, week two will feature the Orient and week three has the couple touring South America.
The end-of-March "Royal Tour America" will end with a flurry of late-night talk show guest appearances on April 1st. Kate plans to do the L. A. circuit including Leno and Ferguson while Will tackles the New York scene with spots on Letterman and Fallon. No word yet on whether the couple will join up later for a tag-team interview by Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer and, if we can swing it, Larry King but we’re definitely in the final stages of negotiations.
April presents a challenge as there is a real risk that public interest in the nuptials will begin to wane. To that end, I’ve taken the liberty of penciling in Prince William’s bachelor party for the second Saturday in April. Tentatively slated for Las Vegas, this grand bash will be hosted by none other than William’s party-savvy brother, Prince Harry. The party will be open to the public and is scheduled for the entire weekend. I’m going to assume that despite Harry’s past predilections, no hookers or recreational drugs will be included.
As April unfolds, the campaign is planning to ramp up the excitement even more. There will be daily radio phone-in giveaways of free tickets to the wedding and the reception. Some lucky folks will even win an all-expenses-paid trip to London to join in the wedding rehearsal and meet Will and Kate at the rehearsal dinner.
I think you’ll agree, Dave, that this campaign will be a winner and I have no doubt that your little country will be able to do "boffo box office" as we say here in California. Let me know what you think and I await final approval of our proposal to have Oprah officiate at the wedding. If she has to be temporarily appointed the Archbishop of Canterbury for the weekend, so be it.

Ta-ta and cheerio,
Your pal Swifty
Don't forget to check out my new book "Dare to be Average" at

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Dancing With The Pols

ABC has announced its contestant list for the upcoming season of "Dancing with the Stars." With B and C-list celebrities like Kirstie Alley, Ralph Macchio and Playboy bunny Kendra Wilkinson, the show promises once again to be a big ratings winner for the network.

Which is why ABC has decided to take the "Dancing with the Stars" concept to the next level. Having already had some success with former House Majority Leader and convicted money launderer Tom DeLay, plans are now underway to launch a new celebrity dance show with nothing but politicians.

Here are some of the possible contestants for the 2012 debut season of "Dancing with the Pols":

Barack Obama
Already practiced in the Washington two-step (two quick steps followed by two slow steps), the President is looking for all the national exposure he can get in the fall of 2012. He’ll be trying to turn his two-step expertise into a two-term waltz to The White House.

Hillary Clinton
The current Secretary of State is hoping to convince hubby Bill to join her on the show. Between the two of them, they should be able to both talk and dance the jive. If Hillary doesn’t take the crown in 2012, she apparently is ready to tough it out for four more years.

John Boehner
The current Speaker of the House is already known for his tan and his lachrymose manner. Now he wants to show off his fancy footwork, too. Given his predilection for jumping from one right wing political position to another, he should be a top contender in the swing competition.

Sarah Palin
She’s a big fan of country music and all those fancy western dance steps. But given her current television employment, she’s likely going to be a standout FOX-trot competitor as well. Look for her to dance around the Republican presidential nomination in the fall of 2012.

Mitt Romney
The merengue is described as a Caribbean ballroom dance in which feet are frequently dragged. Having extensive experience in foot dragging, look for Mr. Romney to walk away with this part of the competition. Sadly, since he favors the one-step, he won’t likely make it to the final round.

Rudy Giuliani
The former New York City mayor and perennial presidential candidate would like to join the competition but sadly his dance repertoire is probably too limited to qualify. Giuliani only performs something called the 9/11, a dance step that has long since gone out of fashion.

Rahm Emanuel
This newly minted mayor has a far better chance of landing a spot on the show. Not only is Mr. Emanuel skilled in moves like coattailing and carbetbagging, he has mastered a wealth of ethnic Chicago dance steps including the polka, the hora and the graft. If he doesn’t win next year’s competition, don’t count him out for 2016.

Scott Walker
Wisconsin’s new uber-governor has reportedly signed on for next year and will bring with him a surprising repertoire of fancy moves. Although Mr. Walker won’t reveal much at this time, it’s thought that his favorite dance is the hustle performed to the song "Tea for Two" in honor of his support base.
Don't forget to check out my new book "Dare to be Average" at