By ED BARK
Barack Obama will be a guest on the Thursday, July 29th edition of ABC's The View, marking the first time a sitting president has visited a daytime talk show, says ABC.
It's such a big deal that co-host and executive producer Barbara Walters also will join the panel while still recovering from May's heart valve replacement surgery. Walters noted that Obama previously appeared on The View while still a senator while future First Lady Michelle Obama co-hosted the program in June 2008.
"This shows that both the President and First Lady feel that our show is an influential and important source of information and news," Walters crowed in a publicity release, while also announcing that she'll return to The View full-time in September.
Obama's appearance, to be taped on Wednesday, July 28th, is part of the show's ongoing "Red, White & View" initiative.
***Ostensibly a news magazine program, ABC's 20/20 will sell out to the entertainment division on Monday, July 26th when it presents a special "The Stories Behind the Rose" hour tied to The Bachelor. Deborah Roberts and Chris Connelly co-anchor, with former Bachelor/Dancing with the Stars contestant Melissa Rycroft popping in as a "special correspondent." Maybe 20/20 next can do a special hour on all that mud-slinging during ABC's Wipeout.
***Martin Bashir, a charter Nightline anchor since October 2005 after the Ted Koppel era ended, has jumped to rival NBC/MSNBC. He'll be a regular contributor to NBC's Dateline and also host a weekday afternoon program on NBC. Bashir calls it "an enormous privilege" in a publicity release. ABC is replacing Bashir on Nightline with one of its in-house anchor/correspondents, Bill Weir.
***Finally, Sunday, Aug. 1st will be Christiane Amanpour's debut as the new host of ABC's Sunday morning This Week. The longtime CNN international correspondent is succeeding interim host Jake Tapper, who frankly is a better fit for the inside-the-Beltway nature of the program.
By ED BARK
CBS clearly wants its own version of The View.
The network announced Wednesday that a new daytime talk show with six recurring co-hosts will launch in fall 2010. Its panel of "well-known news and entertainment personalities" will "examine topical events and contemporary issues through the eyes of mothers," CBS says. Sound familiar?
The personalities include Julie Chen, wife of CBS chieftain Leslie Moonves and co-host of the network's Big Brother and The Early Show. Also in the mix are Sharon Osbourne (currently a judge on NBC's America's Got Talent); Sara Gilbert (the openly gay former Roseanne co-star who developed the as yet unnamed show); Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini and Marissa Jaret Winokur.
Peete and Winokur have been contestants on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, as has Osbourne's daughter, Kelly.
"This panel is not a bashful bunch," CBS daytime programming head Barbara Bloom said in a statement. "They are outspoken on any issue you put on the table."
Sounds just like those women on that ABC show.
By ED BARK
Deadwood creator David Milch, who's also a fixture at horse race tracks, will be combining business with a deep-seated knowledge of the subject in HBO's new Luck series.
He's landed a thoroughbred in the starring role. HBO announced Wednesday that Dustin Hoffman will play the lead in Milch's "provocative look at horse racing -- the owners, gamblers, jockeys and diverse gaming industry players."
Productions begins this fall, with Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina and Jason Gedrick also in the cast.
***It's looking very likely that America's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan will be CNN's successor to Larry King. On MSNBC's Wednesday edition of Morning Joe, NBC Universal chieftain Jeff Zucker said that Morgan has received permission to engage in talks with a rival network in return for his continued services on Talent for at least the next three summers. In other words, he'd somehow be doing both shows, although on live editions of Talent that could be a bit tricky.
The New York Times also reported extensively Wednesday on CNN's apparent decision to go with Morgan, who has an interview show in the United Kingdom called Piers Morgan Life Stories.
*** She's everywhere. Betty White will be guesting on NBC's Season 2 premiere of Community as "an esteemed, but slightly unhinged anthropology professor," the network announced Wednesday. White, an Emmy nominee for her recent hosting of the Peacock's Saturday Night Live, also co-stars in TV Land's Hot In Cleveland, which has been picked up for a second season.
***Larry Hagman, in J.R. Ewing guise, has a new spot for SolarWorld, in which he comes clean about green.
"In the past it was always about the oil . . . Too dirty. I quit years ago," Hagman says.
His "Shine, baby, shine" tagline precedes a somewhat self-conscious J.R. cackle at ad's end. You can see it here.
By ED BARK
Veteran TV thespian Sela Ward (Sisters, Once and Again) is joining CBS' CSI: NY in place of Melina Kanakaredes, the network announced Tuesday.
Kanakarades, who co-starred with Gary Sinise for the first six seasons of the series, reportedly left over a salary dispute. Her character, detective Stella Bonasera, will be written out immediately, with Ward in place for this fall's season premiere on a new night and time (8 p.m. central on Fridays).
CBS says Ward will play "an experienced investigator from Washington, D.C. whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim."
***ABC has renewed its summertime police series, Rookie Blue, for a second season after solid ratings for its first three episodes.
"We're very pleased that the show has connected with viewers, especially considering the challenge of finding an audience in the summer," ABC programming executive Quinn Taylor said in a publicity release.
Rookie Blue, which received mixed reviews from critics and a grade of D from this one, airs on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. central. The series is filmed entirely in Toronto.
By ED BARK
Barbara Walters will appear live on The View, but via Skype, during the Monday, July 12th edition.
It will be the 80-year-old TV pathfinder's first appearance on ABC since undergoing heart valve replacement surgery in May. Walters had announced her impending surgery on the May 10th edition of the program.
***TV Land has renewed its first original scripted comedy series, Hot In Cleveland, for a second season of 20 episodes.
Production will resume in October with a tentative Season 2 premiere in January 2011, the network says in a publicity release. The series premiered on June 16th, with the red hot Betty White teamed with former sitcom stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. Hot In Cleveland's first episode was cable's most-watched program on that day and is averaging 4.7 million viewers per episode, says TV Land.
***Richard Dreyfuss will be guest-starring in "at least four episodes" of Showtimes Weeds, which will return for a sixth season on Aug. 16th. The network says he'll play "an unexpected character from Nancy Botwin's past." Botwin is played by series star Mary-Louise Parker.