TV Bites: Networks Brace For Tiger Woods Sabbatical
It looks like the skittish television networks that quickly pulled ads featuring Tiger Woods will suffer along with the embattled golfer when they start airing tournament coverage nearly every weekend next month. Woods announced on Friday that he will be taking an indefinite break from the sport. Bill Carroll, VP and Director of Programming at Katz TV Group equated his absence to a movie without a box office superstar: "Without Woods, televised tournaments are like a major motion picture without a star's name above the title -- rarely do people go to see the flick." Proving just that, last weekend's Tiger-less Chevron World Challenge lost over half of its viewers from 2007. Maybe it's time for golf to consider adding a vocal talent element to its tournament, at least for the televised broadcast. [THR]
Sarah Palin takes on William Shatner, Bill O'Reilly feuds with Law & Order, and more TV Bites after the jump.
· Here's one Christmas present that Jack Donaghy might not be able to give. 30 Rock's Grizzwald Chapman, better known as Grizz, half of Tracy Jordan's ever-present entourage, announced during a taping of The Dr. Oz Show that he desperately needs a new kidney after ignoring his hypertension for years. [Popeater]
· Syfy has ordered new seasons for Stargate: Universe and Sanctuary. [THR]
· Bill O'Reilly took offense with last week's episode Law & Order: SVU, in which a character played by John Larroquette said, "Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, all of 'em, they are like a cancer spreading ignorance and hate...They've convinced folks that immigrants are the problem, not corporations that fail to pay a living wage or a broken health care system..." The latter Fox News host aired his grievances on The O'Reilly Factor last week, calling Law & Order franchise creator Dick Wolf a "coward" and a "despicable human being" for pushing his "leftist agenda" on NBC. [THR]
· Sarah Palin may never "help" David Letterman's ratings by appearing on the Late Show, but last Friday, the former Alaskan governor made a last minute decision to appear on Letterman's NBC competitor, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. After William Shatner read an excerpt from Palin's memoir, Going Rogue, Palin surprised audience members by reading a few selections from Shatner's own biography. [NBC]