Mark's Media Spotlight

Mark's views on what's happening in the media.

LOGO TV’s New Direction

It was recently announced that LOGO TV was going to ditch it’s popular A-List series and according to a Facebook post from Reichen Lehmkuhl, one of the A-List NY stars, the network is seeking out a new direction which the A-List doesn’t fit into.

But what direction would that be?  I got together with LOGO’s hot new programming team to speculate based on LOGO’s short list of exciting new series they are looking into blessing their presence onto the airwaves.  Check them out below and let LOGO TV know which ones you’d like to see!

LOGO Programming Team

LOGO TV’s New Programming Team! “We hope you like our new direction!”

  • The D List– This fresh new series would use the popular A-List format, except with Drag Queens.

    5 Drag Queens and a Monkey

  • 5 Drags Queens and a Monkey – 5 drag queens discuss trendy topics with a monkey in drag.
  • RuPaul’s World – Little kids in drag compete for $ 500 in Cosmetics..and a chance to have their picture appear on RuPaul’s next CD.  RuPaul stars!
  • Senior Moment– Old Drag Queens take to the streets as they play tricks on unsuspecting people.  Wettie White

    Wettie White can’t wait to be back in the spotlight on LOGO

    provides commentary.

  • Big Sex– Latrice Royale and other popular plus sized drag queens talk about their favorite sexcapades with sex specialist, Chris Donaghue.

They’ve also picked up repeats of Toddlers and Tiarra’s.

So I think it’s now clear on what direction the LOGO TV network is looking to go…

Now just sit back and enjoy the ride folks!


June 21, 2012 Posted by | LGBT, LOGO, TV | , , | Leave a comment

More Shark Tank News!

Entertainment entrepreneur Mark Cuban is joining ABC’s “Shark Tank” for the show’s second season.

The owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and chairman of cable channel HDNet will be a guest venture capitalist for three episodes.

cuban Mark Cuban joining Shark TankThe pitch-perfect casting has the always-opinionated Cuban joining the regular panel of self-made multimillionaires judging business ventures pitched by enterprising small-business owners.

He joins the more unusual and previously announced casting of comedian Jeff Foxworthy, who also will appear in three episodes. Even before the second season was announced, producers received more than 20,000 inquires from entrepreneurs who wanted to pitch their ideas.

“Shark” is produced by Mark Burnett Prods. and Sony Pictures TV and will return next season.

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

More Shark Tank News!

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shark Tank Renewed By ABC!!!


Mark Burnett’s ingenious show (based on BBC’s Dragon’s Den) has finally been renewed!

ABC has renewed the Mark Burnett produced Shark Tank for a second season of 8 episodes. For three of the episodes, Jeff Foxworthy will join the five original sharks (real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, “infomercial” industry pioneer Kevin Harrington, technology innovator Robert Herjavec, fashion icon Daymond John, and financial expert Kevin O’Leary).

Production will begin this fall with the episodes scheduled to air sometime in 2011. What’s Jeff Foxworthy doing on the show though? Sounds like a miss match, but I never doubt Burnett’s ability to produce a good show. Foxworthy is an unusual addition, not being a name that leaps to mind when you think about business savvy. But ABC points out he has his own line of beef jerky and BBQ sauces, in addition to expanding his comedy career to albums, books and forays into TV (including hosting Burnett’s game show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader”).

August 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet The Contestants on Season 7 of Hell’s Kitchen

Welcome To Hell's Kitchen

The Season Seven Premiere Airs Tuesday, June 1, on FOX

Tuesday nights heat up this summer when Chef Gordon Ramsay serves up a seventh course of his cutthroat culinary competition as 16 new aspiring restaurateurs step through the doors of HELL’S KITCHEN on the season premiere airing Tuesday, June 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Each week, Ramsay puts the contestants through rigorous culinary challenges, asking them to create signature dishes, compete in blind taste tests and run a successful dinner service. In each episode, the losing team will put two contestants on the chopping block, and Ramsay will eliminate one chef. The remaining contestants must stay focused in order to win HELL’S KITCHEN.

Below are the 16 chefs of this season’s HELL’S KITCHEN.

The members of the Red Team (Women) include:

Name: Autumn LewisChef Autumn

Age: 29

Occupation: Personal Chef

Currently Resides: North Hollywood , CA

Hometown: Chicago , IL

Name: Fran Klier

Age: 44

Occupation: Catering Chef

Currently Resides: Rockville Centre , NY

Hometown: Rockville Centre , NY

Name: Holli Ugalde

Age: 24

Occupation: Banquet Chef

Currently Resides: San Bernardino , CA

Hometown: San Bernardino , CA

Name: Jamie BisoulisJamie

Age: 26

Occupation: Sous Chef

Currently Resides: Chicago , IL

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Name: Maria Torrisi

Age: 24

Occupation: Kitchen Supervisor

Currently Resides: Scranton , PA

Hometown: Scranton , PA

Name: Nilka Hendricks

Age: 28

Occupation: Line Cook

Currently Resides: West Hempstead , NY

Hometown: Glen Cove , NY

Name: Siobhan Allgood

Age: 25

Occupation: Pub Executive Chef

Currently Resides: Philadelphia , PA

Hometown: Rockledge , PA

Name: Stacey Slichta

Age: 38

Occupation: Private Chef

Currently Resides: Studio City , CA

Hometown: Buffalo , NY

The members of the Blue Team (Men) include:

Name: Andrew Forester

Age: 28

Occupation: Farmer

Currently Resides: Wake Forest , NC

Hometown: West Babylon , NY

Name: Benjamin KnackChef Benjamin

Age: 33

Occupation: Culinary Instructor

Currently Resides: Malden , MA

Hometown: Elmont , NY

Name: Ed BattagliaChef Ed

Age: 28

Occupation: High School Cooking Teacher

Currently Resides: Edgewater Park , NJ

Hometown: Burlington , NJ

Name: Jason Ellis

Age: 37

Occupation: Personal Chef

Currently Resides: Suwanee , GA

Hometown: Greenville , SC

Name: Jay Santos

Age: 32

Occupation: Executive Chef

Currently Resides: Medford , MA

Hometown: Melrose , MA

Name: Mikey Termini

Age: 29

Occupation: Line Cook

Currently Resides: Kihei, Maui , HI

Hometown: Santa Cruz , CA

Name: Salvatore Coppola

Age: 35

Occupation: Pizzeria Chef

Currently Resides: Laurel Springs , NJ

Hometown: Monte Di Procida , Italy

Name: Scott Hawley

Age: 32

Occupation: Executive Chef

Currently Resides: New York , NY

Hometown: Modesto , CA

Based on the descriptions above, I’m most looking forward to seeing what Andrew the farmer dishes up!

May 6, 2010 Posted by | Hell's Kitchen, TV | 3 Comments

The Good Guys – A First Look

Colin Hanks, Jenny Wade, Diana Maria Riva and Bradley Whitford in The Good Guys

From the guy who gave you Burn Notice, Matt Nix, comes The Good Guys starring West Wing alumni Bradley Whitford.  I still remember Bradley most from his days as a High School Football player on All My Children, but that’s just me.  He’s a bit less appealing these days as an alcoholic cop who seems to have a pretty sordid past.

As typical with FOX shows, there is nothing routine about the show or its characters, with the exception of the Police Captain who constantly butts heads with our stars as we’ve seen before countless other times. But you have to ask yourself if the stuff you haven’t seen before, you actually want to see.  As much effort as is put into this show with its guns blazing action packed premiere, one senses that they are just trying too hard to be quirky for the sake of it.  I have nothing against originality.  In fact, I’m the first to jump aboard shows that perhaps have a cult appeal (see Happy Town review).  But The Good Guys is really a bit of a mess.  An idea that perhaps could have turned into something, but just never evolved.

Anyhow, for those willing to subject themselves to this one, there is some convoluted plot revolving around Drug Smugglers, a Hired Assassin and special guest star Nia Vardalos.   As for the “subtle bits of humor”, it’s almost as if someone just stuck in a few gags in their after the fact that came out surprisingly forced.  I’m thinking that there may be an audience here of under 25 year old males, but not enough to make a dent in the coveted 18 – 49 demo that the FOX network craves.  This probably would have been a good series for the SPIKE cable network. I’ll be surprised if this one lasts.

THE GOOD GUYS is produced by Fox Television Studios. Matt Nix and Mikkel Bondesen serve as executive producers. Tim Matheson will direct the pilot episode.

May 5, 2010 Posted by | The Good Guys | 1 Comment

Romantically Challenged – A First Look

"Romantically Challenged" stars Alyssa Milano as Rebecca Thomas, Kyle Bornheimer as Perry Gill, Josh Lawson as Shawn Goldwater and Kelly Stables as Lisa Thomas. Premieres April 19th following Dancing With The Stars.

Smart and beautiful Rebecca (Alyssa Milano) is recently divorced after 15 years of marriage. Having never really dated before she was married – and not having been on a date since Clinton was in office — she finds it scary to start over now. Although a gifted mom and lawyer, she is clueless about dating and hopes to get some help from her equally romantically challenged friends.   That’s basically the show in a nutshell.  As you can see for yourself, the premise is pretty thin, even for a sitcom, but then again, the best sitcoms like Friends and Seinfeld really didn’t rely on premises for them to work.

You basically have to rely on the core characters and while after the first scene, you may want to run for your remote (and I believe many will), if you stick with this show for a while, you might find the pilot worthwhile enough to tune in again.  First of all, each of the characters had enough likability in them to warrant interest, although most of them were in definite need of some additional development, which is typical, even for the sitcom success stories.  (After all, Cheers, Seinfeld and Friends all debuted to very low numbers for a reason.)  The pilot story premise promoting a one night stand is bound to turn off a lot of the Dancing With The Stars audience that precedes this show, but then again, ABC has no interest in pleasing anyone over the age of 49 with their new sitcoms.

What was impressive about the show is that while Alyssa Milano was the star, the show did not rely on her to carry out each scene.  Kyle Bornheimer, (Worst Week),  Rebecca Thomas and Josh Lawson also have their share of funny moments.  What was not impressive is that we’ve seen this all before.  Josh Lawson’s character in particular seemed to channel “Chandler Bing” from Friends a bit too much, while Rebecca Thomas had a bit too much “Karen Walker” going on in her character for my taste.  The show is directed by James Burrows, who has been responsible for writing and directing classics like Taxi, Cheers and Will & Grace as well.  But for every one of those series, there are 10 others he had a hand in like Men Behaving Badly, Out of Practice, Hank and The Class which were quickly forgotten.

So the question is, will I watch again?  Yes.  It’s not brilliant TV, but it has some potential to eventually become that.  The biggest thing going for Romantically Challenged and the only reason to tune in again is for the chemistry of the cast, which seems to be off to a good start.  (Note, the below promo is incorrect as to the Premiere date, which is now April 19th instead of April 12th)

Will these four romantically challenged friends ever find lasting love? Or even someone who lasts until next Monday?

A bit more character development all the way around and perhaps this show will click.  Right now, I’ll give this show 5 -1 odds in surviving past spring.

The series is created by Ricky Blitt and executive produced by Blitt and James Burrows. Burrows also serves as the show’s director. The series is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. and Candy Bar Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

April 6, 2010 Posted by | Romantically Challenged | Leave a comment

Masterchef – Coming Soon To FOX!

Gordon Ramsay Coming To Masterchef

Look out Top Chef, The Next Food Network Star and all of the other Cable Culinary Competitions.  FOX has its own ripoff cooking competition, featuring Gordon Ramsay, coming soon to Network TV!!


Gordon Ramsay Reveals Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot Bowles

as Fellow Judges on New Culinary Competition Series

Gordon Ramsay announced today that restaurateur wine maker Joe Bastianich and four-star chef Graham Elliot Bowles will join him as judges on MASTERCHEF, premiering Thursday, July 29 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Bastianich is a partner of Mario Batali and has established some of New York ’s most-celebrated restaurants, including Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, Lupa Osteria Romana and Del Posto. Bowles is the youngest four-star chef in the U.S. and the mastermind behind Chicago ’s first “bistronomic” restaurant, Graham Elliot. With Ramsay at the helm of the competition, Bastianich and Bowles will coach and judge the contestants along the way.

MASTERCHEF is the new series that takes amateur chefs – many of whom simply cook as a hobby – and attempt to turn one of them into a culinary master. Contestants on MASTERCHEF will be put through the paces with various challenges as they compete head-to-head to create delicious dishes. The series will serve as a unique platform for people from all walks of life who want to follow their dream of working as a professional chef. These contestants will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show their passion and excitement for food as their skills and palate are tested with the hopes of becoming the winner of MASTERCHEF.

“I’m hugely excited to have Joe and Graham join me as judges on MASTERCHEF,” said Ramsay. ”Both bring a phenomenal wealth of expertise and professional experience to the show.”

Joe Bastianich opened his first restaurant, Becco, with his mother, Lidia, in 1993. Soon after, he partnered with Mario Batali, and together they have established some of New York ’s most-celebrated restaurants, including Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, Lupa Osteria Romana, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamόn, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria and Del Posto. Expanding their horizons beyond Manhattan , Bastianich and Batali opened Enoteca San Marco, B&B Ristorante and Carnevino in Las Vegas and Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles . The duo also purchased a vineyard in Italy with the goal of creating the world’s finest wines and olive oils. Their latest venture, a revolutionary retail food concept called Eataly, will be debuting this summer in New York . Eataly will be a resto-market featuring the best of Italy – from Italian products to Italian dining. Bastianich is an accomplished author whose passion for the culinary arts has been recognized with professional awards from Bon Appétit magazine and the James Beard Foundation.

Chef Graham Elliot Bowles is the culinary mastermind behind Chicago ’s first “bistronomic” restaurant, Graham Elliot, which tempers four-star cuisine with humor and accessibility. In a very short time, the 33-year-old chef has accrued accolades, including Best New Chef in 2004 from Food & Wine magazine and three James Beard Nominations. At age 27, Bowles was the youngest four-star chef in America . In May 2008, he opened the aptly named Graham Elliot, a restaurant that would not only bear his name, but become an extension of his passionate personality embodying his core principles of humility, courage, vision, respect and focus. He is also the chef/culinary ambassador for Lollapalooza, a three-day music festival, in which he cooks for bands backstage as well as oversees all of the restaurants at the Lollapalooza Chow Town .

MASTERCHEF is produced by Reveille, Shine TV and One Potato Two Potato and is based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Shine TV. Shine International handles distribution for the MASTERCHEF format. Elisabeth Murdoch, Franc Roddam, Mark Koops , Howard T. Owens, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Pat Llewellyn , J.D. Roth and Todd Nelson serve as executive producers.

March 25, 2010 Posted by | Masterchef | | Leave a comment

In The News – Kitchen Nightmares Renewed

Kitchen Nightmares Renewed For Season 3

I’m excited and a little surprised to hear that FOX is going with another Season of the superb Kitchen Nightmares.  While each situation seems suspiciously similar, Ramsey visits restaurant, Ramsey samples and hates the food, Ramsey fights with either the owner, the cook or both, (optional, Ramsey finds the kitchen to be a pigsty and has the staff clean kitchen),  Ramsey changes the menu, Ramsey sees business make a comeback and owner thanks Ramsey, yet, I still am addicted to each situation.  This show could easily be put onto a Visio flowchart.

Also, with the show airing on Friday nights, no show has ever been renewed in years after airing in that death slot.  I am thrilled to see that Kitchen Nightmares has beat the odds.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, do yourself a favor and sample this classic reality fare.  (Press Release Follows Below)


FOX has ordered a third season of KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, the ultimate restaurant revival show, it was announced today by Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.

During the third season, Michelin-starred Chef Gordon Ramsay will travel the country visiting restaurants that are in desperate need of his help. With Ramsay’s reputation on the line, he will demand absolute excellence and perfection from the owners as he gives them advice on everything from food and décor to customer service and staff changes. With some training and reinforcement, Ramsay hopes to help breathe new life into these failing eateries or else many will be forced to close their doors forever.

In the next all-new episode of this season’s KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, airing Friday, March 19 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, Chef Ramsay visits Mama Rita’s, a struggling Mexican restaurant in Newbury Park, CA. Owner Laura dreams of honoring her grandmother’s cooking legacy, but finds the transition from a successful catering business to restaurant ownership challenging. With a chaotic atmosphere in the kitchen and a lack of leadership from management, this restaurant faces foreclosure if Gordon is unable to help Laura’s cooking staff add some spice back into their business.

Founded by Arthur Smith and Kent Weed in 2000, A. Smith & Co. Productions generates some of the most innovative, highest-rated and highest-quality unscripted programming for the domestic and international television marketplace. Since its launch, the company has created over 1,000 hours of programming and has developed and produced the No. 1 show in America an astonishing 12 times and a top-five show more than 50 times. The company’s current production slate with world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay includes KITCHEN NIGHTMARES and the Emmy® Award-nominated HELL’S KITCHEN.

KITCHEN NIGHTMARES is a co-production of ITV Studios (formerly Granada America ) and Optomen in association with A. Smith & Co. Productions. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Patricia Llewellyn serve as executive producers.

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Kitchen Nightmares | Leave a comment