On Idle, or 'Idol'
A big ol' blank spot in my TV Eye calendar: the perfect time to catch readers up on the B-roll and share a rundown of TV-related happenings.
'American Idol' Returns to Austin
Austin is one of the audition cities for the 10th season of American Idol, the reality-competition series which airs on Fox. Auditions will be held Aug. 11 at the Frank Erwin Center (1701 Red River). Preregistration for auditions and the distribution of mandatory wristbands begins at 7am on Aug. 9 and continues until 8am on Aug. 11. Wristband holders must report to the Erwin Center by 5am on Aug. 11 to begin lining up. No word on which judges, if any, will be on hand. All times are subject to change.
Geeks Who Drink Toast 'The Simpsons'
Gather your teammates for the second annual Geeks Who Drink All-Simpsons Quiz. Last year's fête featured 36 teams battling it out over who knew the most useless information about the most popular animated series in TV history. Teams will go head-to-head in an eight-round competition testing their knowledge of The Simpsons' minor characters, catchphrases, holiday episodes, and more in a convivial atmosphere.
Teams of six (or fewer) may register on-site at Opal Divine's (700 W. Sixth) on Aug. 17. The event starts at 8pm. This year a $5 per person registration is required, but it all goes to the cash prize awarded at the end of the evening. Costumes are highly recommended. For more information, go to www.geekswhodrink.com or contact John Dicker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 'Lost' Auction
Lost without Lost? Maybe a souvenir will balm your longing. Lost: The Official Show Auction takes place Aug. 21-22 in Santa Monica, Calif., featuring props, costumes, and set-pieces from all six seasons of the series. Among the auction items: Kate's toy plane, Hurley's winning lottery ticket, Locke's Master Bowie hunting knife, Sawyer's letter, Charlie's Drive Shaft ring and guitar, the hatch, a Swan Station computer, Desmond's fail-safe key, Faraday's journal, Hurley's Camaro, a Dharma van, and Dharma-branded food and supplies.
Bidding begins at 1pm PST on both days and can be made in person, by mail, fax, or live on the Internet at www.profilesinhistory.com or www.liveauctioneers.com. The first 100 auction items are now available for viewing at www.profilesinhistory.com/lost-the-auction.html, with items added as auction dates draw closer.
For more information, visit the links listed above.
'Burn Notice' Spin-Off
A TV movie prequel is in the works featuring Sam Axe, the character played by Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) in USA's Burn Notice. The popular series stars Jeffrey Donovan as iconoclastic former spy Michael Westen, who was left out in the cold and dumped in Florida, where he now picks up private-eye business with former Navy SEAL and espionage agent Axe. Not wanting to work too hard and happy to take up with lonely women of means, Axe is part lothario, part drunk, and full-time wingman to Donovan's Westen. Campbell's a scene-stealer at every turn, and this is one TV movie I would not want to miss.
The Last Word: Thank You, Daniel Schorr
The distinguished journalist Daniel Schorr died last week at the age of 93. I remember when he was still on TV. After starting his career in 1953 at CBS News, he left under fire in 1976 for refusing to reveal his sources or to testify before Congress after reporting on wrongdoing by the FBI and the CIA. He later moved on to CNN for a brief and unhappy stint and finally settled at National Public Radio as a senior news analyst. He covered some of the most pressing news of the day, including the Watergate scandal, earning him a place on President Richard Nixon's enemies list. Feisty, thorough, tough, and thoughtful, Schorr was part of the old guard of journalist muckrakers who, I'm afraid, are a dying breed, at least in broadcast TV news. In a world saturated with information, his careful analysis of present day issues will be sorely missed.
As always, stay tuned.