A. Oprah says she owes her nationwide success to a date she had two decades ago with (drum roll, please) Roger Ebert. The film critic took the rising Chicago talk hostess out to the movies, then offered to put her in touch with the syndicators behind his dueling-thumbs review show.
B. Dominic ”Uncle Junior” Chianese is shopping a variety/talk show, where the Sopranos star would interview guests and sing with his band.
C. Lisa Loeb (left), having split from Dweezil Zappa after six years, is looking for love via her own celebriality show, #1 Single, which premieres on E! in January
D. CSI: Miami producers are saving a ”dramatic revelation” that ”will lead to a shocking conclusion at the end of our season” for a scene that only visitors to CBS.com will be able to see, starting after the broadcast of next Monday’s episode.
E. NBC is developing a sitcom based on the life of sex therapist Ian Kerner, author of She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman.
Okay, B. isn’t that weird; I’ve seen Chianese sing live with his band(and Sopranos fans have seen him sing on the show), and you can’t blamethe guy for wanting something to do during all that downtime between seasons of the slow-gestating HBO drama. D.’s not that weird either; ABChas made a practice out of showing ”deleted scenes” from its popularseries the next morning on Good Morning America. Not sure if C.and E. are weird or just desperate. That leaves A., which is not justweird but terrifically fascinating. What could the encounter betweenthese two Chicago media heavyweights have been like? What movie didthey see? (And did Roger give it a thumbs up?) Where did they go toeat? What did America’s most powerful movie critic and the woman who’dbecome America’s most powerful book critic talk about, besides TVsyndication deals? How might history have changed had they hit it off?Did she ever thank him with a gift (say, a nice new Pontiac)? Wouldtheir kid have his or her own syndicated show by now? The mind reels…