A Closer Look At Music On Television This Week (Jan. 24-30, 2005).
Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV (Jan. 24-30, 2005).LICK IT UP: A guest judge appearance during last week's "American Idol" premiere caused contestant Mary Roach to proclaim "Mark McGrath is hot." Even after her audition ultimately left her without a pass onto the next round, she made sure to note on her way out the door that "Mark McGrath is still hot."
Be that as it may, it was the first time "Idol" welcomed a guest at the table with Randy, Paula and Simon in the audition rounds. The trend will continue through the coming weeks with Kiss bassist/singer Gene Simmons appearing during Tuesday's New Orleans audition episode. If you were a star waiting to be discovered, would you take career advice from this man (see photo at right)?
Of course you would. Kiss is only one of the most successful rock groups in existence, with more than three decades of sold-out arenas and gold records to prove the point. I only wonder if he'll favor "Idol" contestants with a gimmick.
Auditions continue Wednesday with a guestless look at Las Vegas hopefuls.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: With Michael Jackson's trial due to get underway next week, the one-time King of Pop's life is being picked apart and studied from many angles. On Monday, it will be a lighthearted look at his clan on "VH1 All Access: Awesomely Wacky Families," which will also offer a glimpse at the Osbournes, the Bushes, the Clintons, the Arquettes, the Simpsons and the Stallones, among others.
On Saturday, "VH1 News Presents: Michael Jackson's Secret Childhood" will take a more serious tone. The network says it looked "at the singer's upbringing and found a life filled with abuse, hard labor, relentless ambition, and conflict between his religious upbringing and growing fame." Interviews with former associates and childhood friends will be coupled with home movies and other footage.
And don't forget, once the trial gets underway, a partnership between E! Entertainment Television and U.K.-based satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting (BSB) will bring daily half-hour courtroom re-enactments of the trial. Because cameras will not be allowed in the court room, actors will rely on verbatim court transcripts to recreate highlights of the previous day's events, while legal experts will provide commentary.
FORE!: Videos? Sure. Concert footage? Absolutely. But something you generally don't expect to see on your television is Alice Cooper or Michael Bolton teeing up a golf ball and whacking it down the fairway. But that's exactly what you'll take in if you watch USA Network's coverage of the 2005 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Wednesday through Friday.
Bolton (an 11 handicap) and Cooper (a 7 handicap) will shoot the links at California's Bermuda Dunes Country Club Along with a host of pros and amateurs. Among the others on the course will be baseball greats Yogi Berra and Roger Clemens, football stars Marcus Allen and Marshall Faulk and actors Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew Lillard, George Lopez and Cheech Martin. Even Carson Daly will be there. But don't expect the TRL host's shots to go into the woods -- he was considering going pro before an MTV life came calling.
CHANNEL SURFING: Here are some of the more interesting things your button pushing wave might crash into as it sails through all that TV has to offer this week:
Monday: Vanessa Williams will stage a private performance for a prospective coupling on "The Bachelorette" (ABC).
Tuesday: Kenny Wayne Shepherd on TLC's "Rides," where he'll get his hands on a recreation of famed "Dukes of Hazzard" vehicle, the General Lee.
Wednesday: Emma, who used to be a Spice Girl, babying herself with a stop by "Live With Regis & Kelly," although the syndicated show won't star Regis, but NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.
Thursday: Los Lonely Boys will make your morning a tad less lonely with a peformance on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Friday: Billy Idol's embarking on a comeback and he'll be talking about it on "The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch" (CNBC).
Saturday: The Pixies will have the whole hour of PBS' "Austin City Limits" to themselves. And they deserve it.
Sunday: "Kenny Chesney: Songs From an Old Blue Chair" on CMT will find the country star performing songs from his upcoming island-themed album "Be As You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair."