Federal budget report may warrant watching
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UNREAL: There is, apparently, no aspect of American Idol that can’t — and won’t — remain unexploited, and now we have the news that the hit reality show is being turned into a drama by the creator of Footballers’ Wives, collaborating with Idol judge Simon Cowell. According to a Variety story, Rock Rivals will be the story of two married celebrity judges on a TV talent show whose marriage unravels, in what the head of Shed Productions, Brian Park, describes rather breathlessly as “a blitzy combination of wild characters and pacey plots set against a world of ruthless ambition.”
According to a story in the U.K. tabloid The Sun, the Cowell character is apparently being played by Steve Coogan, star of the Alan Partridge movies and movies like 24 Hour Party People and Disney’s recent Around The World In 80 Days. The still-unnamed female lead is apparently being based on Sharon Osbourne.
Park says that Cowell’s participation is essential to the show’s success. “Only Simon Cowell can provide that unique insight of what it is like to be at the epicenter of a worldwide phenomenon.” His production house also hopes that Cowell’s participation will eventually lead to an Office-like production deal for a U.S. version of the show. Never has George Bernard Shaw’s quip that the British and the Americans are “two countries divided by a common language” been more apt.
TAX TV: The announcement of the federal budget today will be covered by a live one-hour special on CTV, CTV Newsnet and The CTV Broadband Network hosted by anchor Lloyd Robertson today at 4 p.m. EST. Newsnet will also feature pre- and post-budget coverage — starring Jim Flaherty’s new shoes, no doubt — and Canada AM will wrap up the budget reactions tomorrow morning. If you want to let you inner policy wonk roam free, CTV.ca will have a special “micro-site” devoted to budget analysis.
For most people, this sounds about as gripping as the Rock, Paper, Scissors championships that ESPN will air this May, but if you pay taxes or vote I’d kinda suggest you tune in, at least for a few minutes, since what happens in Ottawa today will have the usual effects on your wallet, and will likely be the first domino toppled on the way to a new federal election. Will military spending get increased? What of childcare tax credits? And the nifty new environmental programs the ever-greener Conservatives have suddenly embraced? And how will we pay for it all?
I won’t bother asking who’ll pay for it all — you already know that’s you, which is why you might want to stray over from Ellen and Oprah and American Justice and check it all out. You might learn something; it might make you weep, but it’s a lot more real than anything you’ll see on prime time.