Last week, ABC planted stories in various locales about how "The View" was booming with Whoopi Goldberg replacing Rosie O’Donnell.
It’s not true, though. The numbers were just spun to make it look that way.
Don’t get me wrong: I am a huge fan of Whoopi’s and want to see her succeed more than anything. But ABC is doing her a disservice if they want to say that the show is doing better now that O’Donnell is gone.
ABC sent out the word that the total number of viewers was up 16 percent compared to the same week last year. They are only up a little less than half of that.
Truth is, Nielsen does report that year to date, the total number of viewers for "The View" is up 7.8 percent. And the head of household number is up as well, 5.3 percent.
But the key numbers are in demographics and in young female viewers with buying power. In those stats, "The View" has lost the audience that advertisers adore and has picked up steam among an older crowd.
Among women 18 to 49, the show is down 8.8 percent. Among those 24-54, the decline was 8.5 percent. And for women 18-34, the change is a staggering 19.4 percent.
But look: "The View" has its fans. Since it added Whoopi and Sherri Shepherd, female viewers age 50 years old and up have increased by 8 percent. That’s not good news for advertisers.
Whoopi has no doubt brought stability to the desk where those women sit and bicker, and I love her take on many subjects. But Whoopi is also a grandmother, long removed from audience identification if the viewer is a 35-year-old mom.
Ironically, what Rosie brought to the table was the background of a home life with young kids and their foibles. With O’Donnell gone, "The View" — with near-octogenarian Barbara Walters and “mature” (and always hilarious) Joy Behar — now skews to an older age bracket. Instead of Pampers, advertisers may have to start selling Depends.
Kevin Spacey's already had a meeting with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. What could be next?
Wednesday afternoon, actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were to appear on panels at the Clinton Global Initiative. Neither of them has a college diploma or a degree in anything, but Jolie at least has an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Pitt's panel, which was to start at 1:30 p.m., is called “Redefining Business as Usual.” It's described as a discussion on climate change and how companies are rethinking "their interactions with employees, customers and the public."
Pitt was to offer remarks to a panel composed of: Daniel Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University; Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company; Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres; Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy Corporation; and — just to add to the lunacy — Ted Turner.
Later in the afternoon at 5:30 p.m., Jolie was to appear on a panel called "Promise of Education in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations."
Her colleagues were to include New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof; Mohammad Haneef Atmar, the education minister for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Sudanese activist Valentino Achak Deng and Colombian President Álvaro Uribe.
Both Pitt and Jolie list as their reference their Jolie-Pitt Foundation, a recently registered private foundation. The couple sells staged pictures of their children to tabloid magazines and then donates the money to worthy causes.
Joe Anderson. Remember that name. He’s currently on screen playing Max in Julie Taymor’s Beatles movie, "Across the Universe."
In a couple of weeks, he turns up as a member of 1980 New Wave rock group, Joy Division. He was just seen as Ann Hathaway’s brother in “Becoming Jane.” Next year he has three more films ready for release.
The blond-haired, blue-eyed Brit is also a double threat because he sings. His songs from “Across the Universe” have already taken off on iTunes among the downloaders.
And he’s not the only name who will be launched from the mesmerizing Joy Division movie, called “Control” and brilliantly directed by Anton Corbijn.
Sam Riley is already getting talked up as the Breakthrough Actor of the year as Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division. Toby Kebbell, amusingly spot-on as the group’s late manager, Rob Gretton, is already in the cast of Guy Ritchie’s new Joel Silver-produced thug film for Warner Bros., "RocknRolla."
And then of course there’s Samantha Morton, who radiates off the screen in “Control” as Deborah Curtis, Ian’s put-upon wife. “Control” is based on her memoir, and her memories of the short, meteoric career of Curtis as the leader of Joy Division before his suicide in 1980.
You may never have heard of this watershed rock group whose biggest hit in the U.S. was called “Love Will Tear Us Apart Again.” They later morphed into the group New Order.
Their story was touched on in an indie movie a few years ago called “24 Hour Party People.” That film was more about their guru, a man named Tony Wilson (played by Steve Coogan) who was Gretton’s partner in turning Manchester, England, into a buzzing center of New Wave rock activity.
Now comes along Corbijn, famous for his music videos. He’s made “Control” the hippest, coolest movie of 2007. It was quite literally the talk of the Cannes Film Festival where it played in the Directors Fortnight to much acclaim. Riley’s performance as Curtis has been hailed over and over.
With Tuesday night’s screening, we finally saw what all the fuss was about. An audience that included Steve Buscemi, David Cross and lots of musicians turned out to see Corbijn’s precise rendering of Curtis’s story down to using the couple’s original Manchester home as a set.
The movie reeks of authenticity, which adds to the director’s vision as he tells of Curtis’ rise and fall.
Riley is really disarming as Curtis, who suffered from epilepsy and depression but got inadequate medical care. His rapid rise as a rock star is juxtaposed with his health problems and his much-too-young marriage to Deborah.
Unable to cope with enormous fame, Curtis begins to spiral into a familiar decline. He writes the song “She’s Lost Control” about his wife as he slips into an affair, but really it’s the writer who’s lost control.
Corbijn made his movie in a stark black and white, but fills it with poetic imagery and quite a bit of humor. Even if you know nothing about Joy Division, “Control” is readily accessibly on other levels.
It helps that the cast is so very good. Riley, Anderson and Kebbel reminded me of the guys from “Trainspotting” — Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller — all of whom made careers from that one movie.
“Control” should prove just such a launching pad. It’s also one heck of a good film.
Wednesday morning in Toronto at the Windsor Arms Hotel, YouTube will announce something new: a music video launch.
The video in question is a song called “Cars,” by Canadian star Naomi Striemer featuring a major solo performance by Carlos Santana.
Steven Nowack’s S Records is releasing the video and Striemer’s album, produced by Narada Michael Walden. Jordan Hoffner, YouTube exec in charge of partnerships, is said to be thrilled.
Why not? The millionth viewer of “Cars” gets quite a prize: a personal concert by knockout Naomi. Now if only American radio stations will start playing “Cars.” It’s a no-brainer. …
Congrats to our old pal Larry Jenkins, once the head of Sony/Columbia Records publicity when they had a real PR department. He’s just been made head of CBS Records, a label connected to the TV network of the same name but with no affiliation to Sony. …
Bruce Springsteen — who’s said to have a new CD coming out next week — plays the “Today" show on the Plaza this Friday at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m. This is thanks to Melissa Lonner of "Today," who arranges these concerts with aplomb. …
Michael Moore returns to “Oprah” next week for a town meeting on health care. …
Contrary to reports, Whitney Houston has no new $100 million record deal. She has an existing deal with Sony BMG for millions signed by L.A. Reid in 2001.
Currently, she’s only getting just enough money to make her record, sources tell me. It’s funny how these stories get started and take on a life of their own. …
And condolences to the family of famed art dealer, Andre Emmerich. He died Tuesday at age 82 after suffering a stroke earlier this month.
Emmerich was one of the most important players in the modern art world. A seminal figure. His loss is tremendous.
Among his survivors are sons Toby, who runs New Line Cinema, and Noah, the actor. ...