Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 31…

Screwed Is The Word According To Leno - In an interview – Jay Leno summed up the recent NBC debacle -  “Conan got screwed. I got screwed,” Leno said. “This is TV. The reason show business pays a lot of money is so when you get screwed you’ve got something left over.” I think Conan will come back and he’ll be strong,” Leno said. “And we’ll all compete against one another. It should be me against Letterman, against Conan, against, and then you see who wins,” he said.

Miley slammed by critics in her first movie made outside her “Hannah Montana” character as it opened in U.S. theaters on Wednesday, but “The Last Song” was still expected to perform well at box offices. The weepy romantic drama, written by best-selling author Nicholas Sparks, was deemed melodramatic and formulaic and claimed only a seven percent approval rating on reviews aggregator rotten tomatoes. Cyrus, 17, who has said she wants to make a career in movies after five years playing Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana”, was widely savaged for her performance as a surly teen sent to spend the summer with her estranged father.

Last week, Wikipedia crashed and if you’ve tried to visit YouTube this evening, chances are good you were served with an error page. This comes a week after another “Tube” outage – but not to worry  A  redesigned YouTube is on its way, according to a post on YouTube’s official weblog. The site is changing its video pages to introduce several new features, including a playlist interface and revamped rating system, which favors a “like/dislike” rating system over a star ranking. It’s a change they first introduced two months ago to some users, and are now rolling out to all users worldwide.

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 2000 -

Al Gore and George W. Bush win in the Illinois primary.

On his own – Vladimir V. Putin defeats 10 other candidates and is elected as President of Russia.

Pepsi-Cola is teaming up with Yahoo. In the deal – Pepsi will place Yahoo’s logo on 1.5 billion bottles of Pepsi soft drinks as well as on television and radio spots and on in-store displays. Yahoo will provide computerized systems that enable consumers who buy 20-ounce Pepsi and Mountain dew bottles to instantly redeem points printed inside bottle tops.

At the movies –

Erin Brockovich

Final Destination

Romeo Must Die

Here on Earth

American Beauty

The Cider House Rules

The Whole Nine Yards

Mission to Mars

My Dog Skip

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 30…

Sour Strawberry – Four-time World Series champion Darryl Strawberry quit Celebrity Apprentice , becoming the third person in Apprentice‘s nine-season history to quit the competition.  The retired MLB player, 48, says he only quit because of exhaustion due to a long year and a busy schedule. “I just hit a point where I was totally exhausted. I was running around and I just had nothing left in the tank,” Strawberry said. “It wasn’t anything personal. It wasn’t about quitting.”

More Facebook Changes - Facebook is about to change the way it asks its users to connect to brands and celebrities on the site. Rather than ask people to “become a fan” of say, Starbucks or Lady Gaga, Facebook will instead let users click that they “like” the subject.  Facebook already lets people show that they like comments or pictures posted on the site, and it says users click that term almost twice as much as they click “become a fan.” Facebook says changing the button will make users more comfortable with linking up with a brand and will streamline the site.

A Smashing Record - The world’s largest atom smasher set a record for high-energy collisions  by crashing proton beams into each other at three times more force than ever before. In a milestone in the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider’s ambitious bid to reveal details about theoretical particles and microforces, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, collided the beams and took measurements at a combined energy level of 7 trillion electron volts.

No Postal - The U.S. Postal Service would cut Saturday mail delivery starting in the first half of 2011 under a plan the agency will give its regulator tomorrow. The Postal Service, which forecasts a $238 billion budget deficit by 2020, says it would save about $3.3 billion in the first year from eliminating deliveries on one day and $5.1 billion a year by 2020.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 29…

I Want My iPad – The demand curve for Apple’s new tablet computer crossed the supply curve sometime overnight Friday. By Saturday morning, the ship date for iPad pre-orders, originally set to guarantee delivery by April 3, had been pushed back to Tuesday April 12. Customers who had already pre-ordered are still scheduled to get their iPads next Saturday.

An Expensive Comic - The record price for a comic book, already broken twice this year, has fallen again. A copy of the 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1 sold Monday for $1.5 million on the auction Web site ComicConnect.com. The issue features Superman’s debut and is widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books. The same issue sold in February for $1 million. That number was quickly bested when a 1939 comic book featuring Batman’s debut sold for $1 million and change.

Ricky Martin Comes Out, revealing that he is gay. Ricky spoke about his fears, writing: “Many people told me: ‘Ricky it’s not important,’ ‘it’s not worth it,’ ‘all the years you’ve worked and everything you’ve built will collapse,’ ‘many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature.’ Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth…”

Left A Good Job In The Citi – The Treasury Department said it will begin selling the stake it owns in Citigroup Inc., which could result in a profit to the government of more than $8 billion. The government received 7.7 billion shares of Citigroup in exchange for $25 billion it gave the bank during the 2008 credit crisis. It said it will sell the shares over the course of this year, depending on market conditions. Like any investor, the government will likely hold on to its shares if prices fall steeply. However, Citi shares have steadily been rising with the broader market in recent months, which means the Treasury Department stands to pocket a hefty profit.

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1991 -

Gulf commander H. Norman Schwarzkopf says he wanted to annihilate Iraq’s armies as Hannibal once crushed the Romans, but President Bush pulled him up short. In an interview with David Frost, Schwarzkopf also said Baghdad’s cease-fire negotiators “suckered me” into letting Iraq keep flying the helicopters it is now using against Shiite and Kurdish rebels.

HBO presents “Welcome Home Heroes” – a special Whitney Houston concert for the men and women of Operation Desert Storm. Simulcast on Westwood One Radio.

The Black Crowes are dropped as the opening act for ZZ Top for criticizing the tour affiliation with the corporate sponsor, Miller Beer. Actually, the criticism came from lead singer Chris Robinson.

Top albums –

Wilson Phillips – Wilson Phillips

The Soul Cages – Sting

Gonna Make You Sweat – C+C Music Factory

Shake Your Money Maker – Black Crowes

Television news –

A recent photo spread in “People” magazine shows the “Today” show’s Deborah Norville breast-feeding her new baby, causing much criticism.

ABC renews Rick Dees’ “Into the Night” – encouraged by a ratings uptick.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 27

Likely His Final Public Appearance - Dennis Hopper was on hand as his star was dedicated on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. His lawyer and doctor told the judge overseeing his divorce this week that Hopper is dying of prostate cancer, but the 73-year-old actor was smiling broadly during the ceremony. “I just want to thank you,” Hopper told the crowd surrounding him. “That’s all I can do.” “Easy Rider” co-star Jack Nicholson stood behind Hopper as Hollywood star number 2,403 was revealed with Hopper’s name in front of the Egyptian Theater. Other stars on hand included director David Lynch and singers Johnny Mathis and Dwight Yoakam.

8 Is Enough For 24 - Fox confirmed today that after eight seasons, 24 will air its series finale on May 24. Star Kiefer Sutherland said that producing a ninth season for another network like NBC was not an option because he and executive producer Howard Gordon were ready to call it quits.

Hot Hits This Week In 2010 –

Rude Boy – Rihanna, Need You Now – Lady Antebellum,Nothin’ On You – B.o.B. fea. Bruno Mars,Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz fea. Ludacris; Imma Be – The Black Eyed Peas, Telephone – Lady Gaga fea. Beyonce, BedRock – Young Money fea. Lloyd and Hey, Soul Sister -  Train

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1977 -

Two Boeing 747 jumbo jets flown by KLM and Pan Am collide and burn on a foggy airport runway in the Canary Islands, killing as many as 583 persons. It’s the worst disaster ever in aviation history.

Margaret Trudeau – 28-year-old wife of Canada’s prime minister is working on a free-lance basis for People magazine as a photographer.

Music news –

Andrew Gold, the foremost member of Linda Ronstad’s band, playing guitar and keyboards, is now a solo artist and is working on his second album. He says he’ll miss being part of the Ronstadt band. “I’ve had a great time with her and the guys. I’m sorry to see that end. I’m also sorry to see that financial security end. Being on my own is a bit scar financially.” Will Gold have a hit in his future?

Actress Diana Hyland, who stars in the brand new “Eight is Enough” series, dies after a brief illness. The show just premiered on ABC-TV. Here she is with co-star Dick Van Patten.

Muhammad Ali will provide the voice for a cartoon character based on him in “I Am The Greatest” – a new NBC Saturday morning cartoon to debut in September.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 25

YouTube Outage - Google Inc., owner of YouTube, said an outage of the popular video-sharing site Thursday was technical and not caused by outside tampering. “YouTube is up again following a technical issue which has now been resolved,” a spokeswoman for Google said in a written statement. “We know how important You Tube is for people and apologize for any inconvenience the downtime may have caused.”

First Lady To Be  Honored By Nick -  At Nickelodeon’s 23rd Annual Kids’ Choice Awards this Saturday, First Lady Michelle will also be honored for her “Let’s Move” campaign to help cut down on childhood obesity. Also appearing -  Robert Downey Jr., Katy Perry and Tina Fey.

Pop Music Maestro Passes – Johnny Maestro, lead singer of “The Crests” and later, “The Brooklyn Bridge.” Johnny died from liver cancer at the age of 70.

June 18 is the debut day  for “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” the much-anticipated new attraction inside Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure park in Orlando.

More Allred Sleeze If You Please — Gloria Allred is representing a woman she claims conducted a “3 year relationship” with Sandra Bullock’s’s husband, Jesse James, the attorney said in a release. “I represent a beautiful model and business woman. She had an intimate 3 year relationship with Jesse James.”  “He pursued her and he had strong feelings for her. She is in the process of trying to decide if she will come forward.”

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 24

Passing – TV actor Robert Culp who teamed with Robert Culp in the racially groundbreaking TV series I Spy and was Bob in the critically acclaimed sex comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, died Wednesday after collapsing outside his Hollywood home, his agent said. Culp was 79. The actor was a on series television during the 1960′s through the 1970′s and into the 1980′s. Check out his guest-starring “bad-guy” roles Columbo.

Simon Cowell Wears Bowersox – Simon Cowell no doubt – likes contender Crystal Bowersox. The  singer, who has thus far had a penchant for performing barefoot on a rug with her guitar, tackled a Janis Joplin standard – “Me & Bobby McGee”  — for an “American Idol” week made up of Billboard #1 hits, mentored by teen pop star Miley Cyrus. Cowell quipped, “You’re doing your own thing, you’re not sliding all over the stage, jumping into the crowd like we’ve seen before, gimmicky,” Simon said, referencing Tim Urban’s performance earlier in the night. “You’ve just took a song, nailed it and you’re only gimmick is a carpet.”

His Manager Needs A’Justin – NY – Scott “Scooter” Braun, manager for pop sensation Justin Bieber, awaits arraignment on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance. His lawyer said he will plead not guilty. His arrest stems from a planned appearance in November by the 16-year-old Bieber at Roosevelt Field Mall. When the crowd of 3,000 became unruly, Nassau County police canceled the event. But some fans refused to leave, crowding the narrow area outside the clothing store where Bieber was scheduled to sign autographs. Five people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.

Mr. Pop Archives – One Year Ago – Week of March 22, 2009…

Bruce Willis and model/actress Emma Heming were officially married in a private civil ceremony today at a friend’s home in Beverly Hills.

Out in Los Angeles -  Ryan Seacrest announces the performance line-up for Wango Tango set for Saturday, May 9: Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, All American Rejects, Soulja Boy Tellum, Kevin Rudolf, Pitbull and Jamie Foxx. Ryan will host the show which is in association with KIIS-FM Los Angeles.

Former WABC Radio (NY) newsman George Weber was found murdered in his Brooklyn apartment after failing to report to work for two days, sources told The Post. Weber, who would have turned 48 today, was discovered half-naked in his bed shortly before 10 a.m. inside his apartment with his throat slashed and more than a dozen stab wounds to his neck.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 23

Polaroid Instant Pictures Are Back - A group of engineers and enthusiasts say they have managed to make new  Polaroid instant film and will start selling it this week. The company, called The Impossible Project, leased an old Polaroid film factory in the Netherlands to try to recreate the film, two years after Polaroid stopped making it.. The Impossible Project will sell film for SX-70 cameras as well as more recent cameras that take 600-series film.

3D is the word -  Nintendo announces it will introduce a handheld console that plays games in 3-D without the use of special glasses. The handheld device will be called the 3DS, succeeding Nintendo’s DS series of portable gaming consoles. A brief press release issued by Nintendo did not specifically state how the 3-D effect would work on the device.

Springing Back Into Action - Jerry Springer sings to conduct a new gameshow – this one on GSN called “Baggage.” It’s described as “an non-dating dating show for non-single singles.”

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1990…

Music news –

Gloria Estefan is flown to a New York Estefan where doctors implant two metal rods near her spinal cord to repair 8 dislocated bones in her back.

Sam Goody Stores and another chain – MusicLand – ban 2 Live Crew’s “Nasty” album.

Television news –

The producers of the “Cosby” show ask NBC for a $100 million signing bonus to renew the hit sitcom.

After ABC’s coverage of the Academy Awards – a Barbara Walters special and interviews with Warren Beatty, Chevy Chase, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

On “Saturday Night Live” – Debra Winger hosts with musical guest Eric Clapton.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 22

It Just Didn’t Make Sense – Google announces it has stopped censoring search results in China. The announcement came amid speculation that the search giant would pull out of China entirely and sets up a showdown with the Communist leadership there. Google said it stopped running the censored Google.cn service on Monday and was routing its Chinese users to an uncensored version of Google based in Hong Kong.

They Were Expendable – Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend Liam Hemsworth is now dumped – from Sylvester Stallone’s new action movie “The Expendables” after writers decided they had too many characters. Also gone – the late Brittnay Murphy . Hemsworth told London’s Sunday Herald Sun newspaper that at least he got the chance to speak to Stallone over the role: “I was at my friend’s house and I got a phone call from my Australian agent who had sent my tape in a few days before and he said, ‘Stallone is going to call you in a few days,’; and I went back into my buddy’s house and said, ‘Rocky’s gonna give me a call, no big deal.’”

But – better news for Miley as she is now set to appear as a guest mentor on “American Idol” and help the Top 11 finalists prepare for their performances on a Billboard No.1 Hits-themed show airing Tuesday, March 23 on FOX. The Wednesday, March 24 results show will feature Cyrus performing her new hit “When I Look at You,” along with Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato singing their song “Make a Wave.”

Conan Can’t - “American Idol” producer 19 Entertainment, approached Conan O’Brien to participate in its “Idol Gives Back” special on Wednesday, April 21. Unfortunately, O’Brien won’t be able to participate because his agreement with NBC keeps him from making TV appearances until May 1, says The Hollywood Reporter. Word has it that O’Brien is talking to Fox about post May 1 opportunities.

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1976 –

Music news –

Don’t miss The Rutles “All You Need Is Cash” this week on NBC. It’s described as a well-constructed rendition of Beatlemania.  Included – a soundtrack that reminds you of Beatles music – sort of Beatles music turned inside-out.  Appearing – Eric Idol, Rikki Fataar, John Halsey and Neil Innes. Both Innes and Idol conceived the project.

Andre Previn leads the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra this week.

Peter Frampton takes a roll on NBC’s “Baa Baa Black Sheep” starring Robert Conrad. His new movie – “Sergeant Pepper” will be released in July.  In that film, he has no dialogue and this guest starring role gives him that opportunity.

Television news –

James Garner and Jack Kelly reprise their 1950’s roles in “The New Maverick” – a two-hour TV movie for ABC-TV.

Lorimar is launching a series about a family brimming with hate. Called “Dallas” – CBS is giving it a five week run beginning Sunday of this week. The first episode sees son Bobby, played by Patrick Duffy), bring home a bride played by Victoria Principal.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 19…

Password scam on Facebook – “There’s another spoofed email going around that claims to be from Facebook and asks you to open an attachment to receive a new password,” read a post on the Facebook Security page. “This email is fake. Delete it from your inbox, and warn your friends.” Facebook will never send users a new password in an attachment, the post says. The messages claim to be from Facebook, with a return address that looks legitimate.

The Lady Is A Gaga - Music producer Rob Fusari filed the $30.5 million lawsuit in Manhattan against Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanota) – the Grammy Award-winning performer. He said his protege and former girlfriend ditched him as her career soared. The suit says they co-wrote songs such as “Paparazzi” and “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich.” Fusari also says he came up with her stage name and helped get her record deal. Gaga won two Grammys in January: best dance recording, for “Poker Face,” and best electronic/dance album, for “The Fame.”

Gaga For Beyonce’s new perfume – After just one month on the shelves, the 28-year-old singer’s first fragrance, Heat, has earned $3 million in sales! Last year – the average celebrity fragrance earned roughly $2.5 million over the entire year according to a NY paper.

Days Gets More Lives – “Days of Our Lives”  – has been renewed for a 45th season, which will run on NBC through 2011. “The producers, cast and crew have worked tirelessly to make Days the ratings success it is today,” Bruce Evans, NBC’s senior vice president of drama programming, said in a statement. “Today’s renewal is a true testament to all of their hard work. We could not be more delighted for them and for the multiple generations of fiercely loyal Days of Our Lives fans.” This in light of the recent CBS cancellation of “As The World Turns” – TV’s longest running soap opera.

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 2004 –

Music news –

Janet Jackson will give her first post breast-bearing TV interview – as she is set to appear on the David Letterman show March 29.

The FCC rules that rock star Bono’s use of a sexual expletive during the 2003 Golden Globe Awards was “indecent and profane.”

Also on Letterman (this week) – Courtney Love jumps up on Letterman’s desk and pulled up her skirt and exposed herself to him (back toward camera of course).

New trend – as Starbucks begins its “Hear Music” coffeehouse. You can make custom CD’s while sipping coffee. In selected areas.

Passing – J.J. Jackson – One of the original MTV VJ’s and a legendary album rock DJ in Los Angeles. He was 62.

Wow – Berklee College now offers “Turntable Technique” classes – for the hip-hop DJ in you.

Courtney Love is arrested on third-degree assault charges after throwing a microphone stand into the audience during a NY performance – and injuring a guy.

Don’t miss Prince’s Musicology Tour… School’s In!

Britney Spears – The Onyx Hotel Tour!

Britney Spears signs with Elizabeth Arden to develop and market her own line of perfume.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 18

McDonalds is set to roll out a $1 soft drink promotion. Its coffee effort is well known and coffee sales at McDonald’s have doubled since 2006 and now represent 5% of sales.

Pop music passing – Alex Chilton, the lead singer of late 1960’s hitmakers, “The Box Tops” has died of a heart attack at the age of 59. Alex Chilton provided the soulful lead vocals to such hits as “The Letter,” “Cry Like A Baby” and “Soul Deep.” Listening to Chilton on those hit records – it was hard to believe he was around 17-years-old. The band’s biggest song – “The Letter” was one of the shortest #1 records of all time Box Tops (Alex Chilton lead) perform “The Letter” from 1967(see video)

Another Bad Jesse James? -  According to People Mag, Sandra Bullock and hubby Jesse James are no longer living at the same residence. Why? Apparently he was cheating on her. James later offered an apology to his wife and three children, and says the allegations are not true.

Goodbye Mr. Crockett – Actor Fess Parker, who became every baby boomer’s idol in the 1950s and launched a craze for coonskin caps as television’s Davy Crockett, has died.  He was 85. Family spokeswoman Sao Anash said Parker, who was also TV’s Daniel Boone and later a major California winemaker and developer, died at his Santa Ynez Valley home. His death comes on the 84th birthday of his wife of 50 years, Marcella.

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1955 -

Buddy Ebsen is signed by Walt Disney Productions to along-term deal as an actor-singer-dancer. He’ll star in“Johnny Tremain,” a two-part historical drama slated for nextyear’s “Disneylands,” plus appearances in the daytime“Mickey Mouse Club” which begins this fall on ABC-TV. He
was featured in the three-part “Davey Crockett” story on thisseason’s “Disneyland,” currently slated for theatrical release.Speaking of the new “Mickey Mouse Club” -sponsors are signing-up. ABC-TV already hasCarnation Milk, American Dairy Assn. and MarsCandy. Another pending sponsor is Welch Grape Jelly, but it’s a sponsor of NBC competitor “HowdyDoody.”
More R&B – Bill Randle , who shuttles between WERE, Cleveland and WCBS, New York sees a tie-up between the rock and roll beat and juvenile delinquency but doesn’t believe that the new rhythm
causes delinquency – “it just reflects it.” Randle says rock-and-roll is part of the evolution of music and will become part of Americana. “Moondog,” the Broadway character who dresses in burlap, hits WINS rock ‘n’ roll DJ Alan Freed for a $5,950 judgement, which was made in Moondog’s favor last November. Freed has failed to pay and a supplementary proceeding has been launched by “Moondog” – whose real name is Louis Hardin. Freed has since dropped the Moondog tag and now his WINS show “Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
Music news – Appearing at Carneigie Hall – Dave Brubeck Quartet, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker’s combo and songstress Carmen McRae. NBC DJ Al (Jazzbo) Collins emceed the show.