History’s “American Pickers” – Mondays…

Mr. Pop Culture -  “American Pickers.” Like you – the title led me to believe it had something to do with farming or food? Little did I know – it was a fun look at two guys searching the back highways for antiques.

It’s sort of an “Antiques Roadshow” – but these guys are really on the road – searching through treasures of junk/collectibles stacked in dusty old backyards, and storage areas: that is, the property of everyday Americans (with permission of course). It’s fascinating to see what’s out there collecting dust and rust.

Sometimes the Pickers know what something’s worth – at least if it has any value – but many times they don’t This is where spec skills and guts come into play. Always with cash on hand as money talks and nobody walks. Well, most of the time. As “American Pickers” shows us – sometimes it takes more than a single visit, after all – convincing someone to sell their junk is an art by itself.
And, we witness the elusive art of haggling. For example, we learn that Pickers rule 101 says – “Let them suggest the price.”

Part of its charm is getting to know the people with their so-called junk – well – maybe its not. And we get to see what’s purchased on the spot – and (later) what that junk is really worth. One of them – a guy called “Bear” we learn, collects old amusement/carnival rides. The stuff is just sitting on his property. Our two antique Pickers wind-up making an interesting deal.

Look for “American Pickers” on History.
Gary West – www.mrpopculture.com

Top Pop Culture Stories – Febuary 16… Mr. Pop Culture

Jay-Z Not Crazy – Rap superstar Jay-Z turned down the opportunity to join Quincy Jones’’ star-studded remake of “We Are the World” — because he didn’t want to touch the classic. Jay-Z tells MTV.com, “‘We Are the World’ is like ‘Thriller’ to me. I don’t ever wanna see it touched. “I’m a fan of music. I know the plight and everything that’s going on in Haiti. I applaud the efforts: (Millions have been raised) through text (donations) to Haiti. So I appreciate the efforts and everything, but ‘We Are the World’ is (musically) untouchable like ‘Thriller’ is untouchable. Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it’s gonna be untouchable.”

Dear Abbey – Cash-strapped music company EMI Group Ltd. is seeking a buyer for Abbey Road studios, where The Beatles recorded some of their most famous songs, a person familiar with the situation. The person said talks had been going on for several months, but a buyer had not yet been found. The individual spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. A spokesman for EMI refused to comment on the sale bid, which could raise tens of millions of dollars for the label.

Idol revving up – It’s an “American Idol” first — some of the Top 24 members will be officially revealed early. According to the FOX, some of the Top 24 semifinalists will be revealed in a special two-hour event airing Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. on FOX. During Tuesday’s episode, the remaining contestants will take the stage to perform their final solo numbers in front of Simon, Ellen, Kara and Randy. Following these performances, the judges will deliberate and will announce some of the Top 24 semifinalists. Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 9 p.m., the judges will reveal the remaining contestants who will round out the Top 24.

Tiger Would? -Tiger Woods allegedly impregnated his porn star mistress twice, both times when his wife was also pregnant, according to an interview with the woman set to air Monday. Joslyn James said her lengthy and steamy affair with Woods always involved unprotected sex. Using protection “was never talked about,” the actress told U.S. television show “Inside Edition.” “It was never protected.” James, 32, who claimed she carried on an affair with Woods from 2006 to 2009, said she miscarried in her first pregnancy at about the same time his wife, Elin Nordegren, gave birth to daughter Sam Alexis on June 18, 2007

They’ll Be More To Worship On American Idol

Changes for “American Idol” season 8 – Thirty-six hopefuls, up from 24, will be chosen for February’s semifinals, and wild-card picks — back for the first time since Season 3 — will let the judges put three singers into the top 12. Those changes, along with the addition of fourth judge, songwriter Kara DioGuardi (picture) and a second week of the Hollywood round, constitute Season 8 “tweaks” for Fox’s top-rated Idol, executive producer Ken Warwick says. “They’re not mega-changes. They are just little things to keep the whole format fresh and interesting.”

Jay Leno Staying At NBC And His Time Will Be Prime

Everyone thought Leno was leaving NBC in May. Split. Gone. NBC says no, not only is he staying, he’s getting a prime time talkshow slot. No more timeshifting TiVo to see Leno.

The show, to premiere next fall, is expected to be announced today after the network closed a deal with the host late Monday, according to two NBC executives with knowledge of the agreement.

It achieves two objectives: preventing Leno from landing at ABC, Fox or Sony, which were expected to woo the host when his contract expires next year, and patching the network’s woeful prime-time schedule, down 13% this fall to a distant fourth place.

The new show will be similar to the Tonight Show format but with more elaborate sketches and taped segments. And though giving Leno a prime-time slot protects O’Brien from competing directly with him on another network, it risks draining audience and top-notch guest bookings from the future Tonight host.

“Lost” Season Premiere Found

ABC says “Lost” will return in January!

The show will open its fifth season with a two-hour premiere starting at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, Jan. 21. It marks a return to Wednesdays for the show, which aired after “Grey’s Anatomy” on Thursday nights at the end of last season.

“Lost” ended its fourth season by showing how the Oceanic Six got off the island and formed their cover story, with flash-forwards showing all six people decidedly unhappy with their post-rescue lives and realizing they have to go back. Which could be a problem, as the finale also showed Ben (played by Michael Emerson moving the island to points unknown. And then there’s the matter of Locke (Terry O’Quinn) being revealed as the man in the coffin.

Change On Grey’s Anatomy This Week.

Callie and Erica’s burgeoning romance on Grey’s Anatomy is coming to an abrupt end, and so is Brooke Smith’s role as Dr. Erica Hahn.

Smith’s final appearance as Dr. Callie Torres’ flame comes in this Thursday’s episode of ABC’s medical drama, the network said Monday.

Smith’s departure from Grey’s Anatomy was first reported by Entertainment Weekly.

The actress, who first appeared on the show in 2006, told the magazine she’d had high hopes for the fictional lesbian pair.

“I was very excited when they told me that Erica and Callie were going to have this relationship. And I really hoped we were going to show what happens when two women fall in love and that they were going to treat it like any heterosexual couple on TV,” she said.

“And so I was surprised and disappointed when they just suddenly told me that they couldn’t write for my character any more,” she said.

New Mom Amy Poehler – Off Saturday Night Live

The live show’s parody news anchor was missing from her spot alongside Seth Myers on “Weekend Update” because she gave birth earlier Saturday.

On behalf of Poehler and her husband, Will Arnett, “I can confirm that Amy gave birth to Archie Arnett on Saturday,” read a statement from Poehler’s spokeswoman, Kay Lewis.

Poehler, who has been on “SNL” since 2001, will not return to the show as a regular cast memeber, Lewis said in the statement.

The baby was born early Saturday evening in New York, weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce.

Mother and child were “healthy and resting comfortably,” according to the statement.

Poehler, who performed on Thursday night’s special edition of “SNL” and is known for playing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, was rehearsing the show until Friday. She also starred opposite Tina Fey in this year’s “Baby Mama” as a working class girl who agrees to be a surrogate mother for a single businesswoman.

AP.

Sarah Palin Kept Away From Comedian Fey On SNL

They might have been on the same live Saturday Night Live production, but clearly Sarah Palin and Tina Fey (Picture) were not meant for each other – in the live sense.

The Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, has made a much-anticipated appearance on NBC’s Live Saturday Night program with her chief mimic, Tina Fey.

Fey and Palin appeared together only fleetingly, to the disappointment of the Washington Post’s campaign diary, The Trail, which complained that she appeared as a “bystander” rather than a participant.

Palin was kept away from Fey, for all but a moment, and the producers also ensured she never met the show’s guest host, Josh Brolin, the star of Oliver Stone’s new movie about President Bush, W, according to the Trail.

Later in the show, Palin was seen dancing in her seat and waving her hands in the air to a rap song by Amy Poehler. The lyrics satirised both her and her home state of Alaska and featured a man in a moose suit and prancing Eskimos.

To some Huffington Post contributors it was the highlight of the show, even if it made Palin look like a “laughing stock.” “Sarah walked right into a den of thieves, her ego too large to back down,” said one post.

The New York Post loved her appearance.

The paper said she “raised the roof” on her SNL debut, “yukking it up with actor Alec Baldwin and executive producer Lorne Michaels as she watched dead-ringer Tina Fey lampoon her at a fake news conference”.

There was surprise on the blogs that Palin was up for going on the show. “I finally picked my jaw up off the floor and accepted the fact that this is what we do in America when times get tough,” said a blogger

Another blogger said Palin’s appearance showed her lack of judgement. “I hope this awful sight gets on YouTube and is shown everywhere, so people really see how dangerous someone like that with that lack of judgment is.”

A more typical response the TalkLeft blog – that Palin showed she could join in on the jokes at her own expense. “Can’t say she doesn’t have a sense of humour or is unwilling to laugh at herself,” said one.

What did you think of Palin’s appearance – was she a good sport or has she turned herself a laughing stock? Was it an error of judgement or has she boosted her ratings in the polls? Let us know what you think.

D-USA/Mr. Pop Culture

Desparate Houswives Actor Injured, Most Likley Absent Rest of the Season

We’ve learned Gale Harold, the actor who plays Teri Hatcher’s boyfriend on “Desperate Housewives,” was seriously injured yesterday in a motorcycle accident. And, contrary to what Harold’s rep says, a hospital spokesperson just told us the actor is in “critical condition” and is hoping the actor has a full recovery.

TMZ/Mr Pop Culture

TV Network Ratings – CBS And CW’s Gossip Girl Higher

ABC promoted premiere week as “National Stay-At-Home Week,” but viewers were more eager to stay home for CBS.

Even as rivals saw their returning shows decline — some sharply — during the first week of the TV season, CBS saw big growth for several series’ season premieres: NCIS, up 29% from last year’s opener, was helped by a big cliffhanger; Criminal Minds was up 34%; How I Met Your Mother rose 20%; and Two and a Half Men, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY all gained as well.

Also on the upswing: CW’s Gossip Girl, which hit record highs this month.

The gains were matched by declines for Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy from last fall (though both shows returned above their spring averages) amid bigger drops for Heroes, House, Law & Order: SVU, ER and Without a Trace.

And they eased fears that last winter’s three-month writers’ strike would have a lasting effect on the TV business as viewers fell out of the habit of watching their favorite shows.

USA Today/Mr Pop Culture

Photo – Gossip Girl Cast