Here's how you get to Carnegie Hall

MEDIA MONITOR

May 19, 1992|By Steve McKerrow

ON AND OFF THE AIR:

* Here's another blurring of the line between television and reality, illustrating how TV sometimes exists within its own world in which the rest of us can participate only vicariously.

On yesterday's edition of "CBS This Morning" (7 a.m. weekdays, WBAL-Channel 11), a significant segment was devoted to co-host Paula Zahn's pending cello performance with the New York Pops Orchestra last night at Carnegie Hall.

We saw tape of her rehearsing with conductor Skitch Henderson (once the bandleader on "The Tonight Show"), and she talked about her nervousness with colleagues Harry Smith and Mark McKewen. And yes, the usual joke was made about how to get to Carnegie Hall.

But the punch line -- practice, practice, practice -- does not really apply here. In this case, the point is just TV's primary need: promotion, promotion, promotion!

In her concert appearance, Zahn (who has a musical training background) was scheduled to play a medley of tunes from "Oklahoma," including a few bars of "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning." What a surprise! That's the theme song for the TV show, too.

McKewen was also the co-host for the benefit concert, which raises funds for the orchestra, and in an earlier year recited the narration of Copland's "A Lincoln Portrait."

Was any of this news? Hardly. But the morning network shows increasingly push news aside for such personality TV, and no longer just for weather guys Willard Scott, Spencer Christian and McKewen.

The motivation seems clear: We viewers may never be able to realistically dream of performing at Carnegie Hall. But we can vicariously experience it through a TV personality who has a daily presence in our homes.

* Where's Barbara? Tonight's edition of "Listening to America With Bill Moyers" (at 10 on Maryland Public Television) explores the rise of "Women in Politics." But leaving out Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski from the guest list seems a glaring oversight.

* The canceled ABC series "Anything But Love" will live on in cable repeats.

The Lifetime network, the female-oriented basic cable service, has announced it has acquired all 56 episodes of the Richard Lewis/Jamie Lee Curtis comedy for telecast beginning in the fall.

* Talk about cable's ability to do "narrowcasting!" A new show due out next week on Channel 17 of Baltimore County's Comcast Cablevision system targets the audience of Indian and Pakistani residents of the county, estimated at up to 30,000.

"Punjab Millan" is a half-hour cultural show produced in the Punjab language, and will be seen at 11 a.m. Saturdays in June on the station of Essex Community College.

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