INSERT POLISH JOKE HERE: A day late and a dollar short, the Polish government has expressed its concern over the Teletubbies and the promotion of homosexual propaganda. According to a Reuters story, Ewa Sowinska, a government-appointed children’s rights watchdog, told a local magazine that she recently became concerned about the show.
“I noticed (Tinky Winky) has a lady's purse, but I didn't realize he's a boy," said Sowinska, "At first I thought the purse would be a burden for this Teletubby ... Later I learned that this may have a homosexual undertone."
She said she would be asking psychologists to advise on the case. In related news, the grave of the late evangelist Jerry Falwell was discovered to be empty except for a half-eaten link of kielbasa.
PEACOCK CHANGES FEATHERS: Because being fourth place means it’s time to put some fear in the troops, NBC confirmed the rumour that entertainment head Kevin Reilly, who has presided over the network’s steep drop in ratings since 2004, was fired from his job last week – a rumour given robust life by L.A. Weekly entertainment writer Nikki Finke. Reilly’s contract, signed just last March, has apparently been resolved with what one can only assume was a very big, bright golden parachute, and his job is being carved up between longtime NBC exec Marc Graboff, who will take care of the business end of things, while producer and former agent Ben Silverman, the man behind NBC’s The Office and The Biggest Loser, as well as Ugly Betty and the U.S. versions of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Big Brother, will take the reins of programming.
Silverman – whose new job title is supposed to be something like NBC Universal West Coast chairman – was brought aboard as part of a deal the Variety speculates involves NBC Universal buying Reveille, his production company, or compensating Silverman handsomely for dropping the reins of a successful company. The shake-up is being described as a rocky one, hardly a smooth move by NBC head Jeff Zucker, and Variety described some of the fall-out with its trademark jargon:
“The move has already alienated two of Zucker's top lieutenants -- NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly, who will ankle, and NBC development chief Katherine Pope, whose future with the conglom is murky.” I got everything but the bit about the ankle.
Finally, NBC has repudiated its most dubious bright idea – the “supersized” episodes of sitcoms that would sprawl all over the primetime schedule with 40-minute slots that annoyed viewers and confused their PVRs. “We're not only fooling people, we're fooling TiVos by being so far off on the times,” Vince Manze, NBC's president of program planning, scheduling and strategy, told TV Week. Expect a full apology for Joey by next week, followed by Jeff Zucker’s offer to steal Kevin Reilly’s lunch money.