December 18, 2009

TV TimeZ and Casting CallZ

After 23 years, Pepsi announced yesterday it will pull out of the Super Bowl as an advertiser. Since 1987, Pepsi has advertised its various soda beverages in the Super Bowl coverage, though Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo Inc. will continue to advertise. Pepsi cited it is launching a new online marketing campaign next month "Pepsi Refresh Project" with the goal to give an estimated $20 million to help thousands of community projects across the nation. FedEx also declared they will not be buying ad time in the Super Bowl, scheduled to air February 7 on CBS. FedEx said costs are the main factor for their decision. A 30-second ad in the 2009 Super Bowl came in at $3 million each.

Early in the New Year, HISTORY premieres a second season of Life After People on January 5 at 10p. Season two predicts a post-apocalyptic future, exploring what may happen to structures and what creatures would take the place of humans.

On January 11, VH1 debuts two new series back-to-back. First at 10p, VH1 opens Fantasia For Real, an eight-episode, 30m docu-series concentrating on the real life of recording artist/actress and American Idol winner, Fantasia. Following at 1030p, VH1 premieres Let's Talk About Pep, a real-life comedy featuring Sandra "Pepa" Denton in search of love and joined by her three best girlfriends.

MTV drives cross-country in its newest docu-series The Buried Life set to premiere January 18 at 10p. The series follows four guys, Duncan, Ben, Jonnie and Dave who travel in a purple bus dubbed Penelope pursuing their dream goals and at the same time making a difference in the lives of others.

Logo is bringing back a sophomore run of its reality competition series RuPaul's Drag Race beginning February 1 at 9p. RuPaul is joined each week by fashion journalist Merle Ginsberg and Project Runway star Santino Rice as judges in addition to a variety of guest judges throughout the season including Kathy Griffin, Cloris Leachman, Debbie Reynolds, Jackie Collins, Tatum O'Neal, Kathy Najimy, Tanya Tucker and Lisa Rinna among many others

HBO slated its 10-part miniseries The Pacific to premiere March 14, airing one-hour episodes each Sunday through May 16. The Pacific is HBO's follow up series to the successful Emmy Award-winning 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers. The Pacific, produced by Playtone and DreamWorks, is about a group of Marines battling through the Pacific Theater in WWII including Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. The series stars James Badge Dale, Joe Mazzello and Jon Seda and is executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman.

Yesterday, entertainment reporter Nancy O'Dell announced she is departing Access Hollywood this week after 13 years. O'Dell's publicist said she is leaving the NBC show to take on a new undisclosed opportunity. O'Dell did say she will continue to host NBC's Tournament of Roses parade on New Year's Day.

Casting Call: Chef Gordon Ramsay and the producers of NBC's The Biggest Loser are seeking amateur chefs to appear on the upcoming cooking competition series, MasterChef on FOX. The show will highlight people who are great cooks though have never had formal training. Auditions are scheduled in several cities across the US next month. To audition, send an email to and include your name, age, occupation, current photo, contact number and a brief description about your cooking experience and style. Also, please put the city and state where you reside in the subject line of the email. Auditions begin January 10 in Boston, Dallas, New York City and Seattle followed by auditions in Atlanta, Miami and Denver on January 16; more auditions take place in Kansas City on January 17; New Orleans on January 23; Chicago and San Francisco on January 24; and in Los Angeles on January 31. Full details on the auditions and the show can be found at

Casting Call: HGTV and Mark Burnett Productions are now casting for its design competition series HGTV's Design Star: Season 5. The show is seeking interior designers/decorators, design enthusiasts, architects and artists to compete in a series of design challenges to win their own HGTV show. Auditions for the fifth season will be January 9 in Los Angeles at The Beverly Garland Holiday Inn, 4222 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, California from 9a-3p. A second audition will be January 16 in New York City at Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54thSt, 12th floor from 10a-4p. Those interested in applying, can visit for more information.

ABC: Supernanny, 20/20, 20/20
CBS: Frosty the Snowman, Frosty Returns
FOX: Dollhouse
NBC: Law & Order, Dateline NBC, Jay Leno Show