Dish Of Salt: Friday TV Round Up (February 4, 2010)

A report that Howard Stern is in talks to replace Simon Cowell on “American Idol” has me scratching my dead.

Plus, I have your guide to alternative Super Bowl Programming. And I have news on which Emmy winner has been cast as Emily Osment’s dad on “Hannah Montana.”

Is Howard Stern the new Simon?
I’m really puzzled by this story coming out of the New York Post today. According to Page Six, “American Idol” producers are eager to hire Howard Stern to replace snarky judge Simon Cowell for next season. I found the whole story a little preposterous but I checked with some regular listeners of Howard’s radio show and they say Stern has been talking about this on his show for over a month, ever since his name was thrown out there as a possibility to replace Simon. Howard has said on his show that he is not seriously thinking about it, but he loves chatting about it. He even spoke about being a judge, saying he would be totally honest to the singers. According to the Post, Howard is now in talks with FOX about the position. Howard’s $100 million-a-year contract with Sirius XM radio ends next January 2011 (right when ‘Idol’s’ tenth season would begin), which would leave him free to join the show.

This afternoon on Howard’s news channel 100 on Sirius XM, the news team said Howard was approached by “a” TV show, but after negotiations, Howard dropped everything and is not interested. He doesn’t know what he is going to do once his radio deal is up.

I thought the whole idea was ridiculous anyway. Howard is a NYC guy. I can’t imagine he would want to move his entire life to Los Angeles, where the show is filmed. Look how well that turned out for Conan O’Brien. I also think it’s way too early for the producers and executives at FOX to be making any sort of deals. Just a few weeks ago, when Simon’s departure was announced, Mike Darnell, head of alternative programming at FOX, told us they did not even have a short list of possibilities - so any names at this point would be pure speculation. I have a feeling we will be hearing lots more possible replacement names come up in the next six months.

Not surprisingly, FOX had no comment.

The whole thing is a little disheartening to me anyways. Adding Ellen DeGeneres to the panel was a little bit puzzling, considering she has zero music experience. However, since she’s on a panel with three music industry pioneers, I came around to the idea of having ‘the people’s voice’ from Ellen. Plus, she’s funny and sweet and I think will be a good replacement for the heartfelt side that Paula Abdul always showed the contestants. Kara DioGuardi is not warm and fuzzy, that’s for sure. What exactly would Howard Stern bring to the table, except for maybe some porn stars? I realize this man has an intense following of loyal, dedicated fans but I don’t believe “American Idol” watchers are his audience.

Once I read the news, I turned my Twitter feed on and searched ‘Howard Stern’ to see what everyone was saying about this interesting development. The Tweets are overwhelmingly negative with many people saying they won’t watch Idol anymore if he joins.

Do you think Howard Stern replacing Simon Cowell on ‘Idol’ is a good idea? Vote in our poll HERE.

Super Bowl Alternatives
More than likely, most of us will be tuning in for the Super Bowl on Sunday. However, should football and expensively produced commercials not be your thing, I have scoured the TV dial for alternatives.

Puppy Bowl VI - Animal Planet features a lineup of rambunctious, rescue puppies competing in an adorable game of fido football. Puppy Bowl cameras catch all of the action as the puppies pounce and play, mimicking the rough-and-tumble moves of professional ballers. It’s both adorable and hilarious. Plus, for the first time in Puppy Bowl history, all the action will be captured in panoramic view with aerial coverage provided by the Twizzler’s® blimp and its rogue hamster crew. In another fun first, the sidelines will also be hopping with the addition of spirited bunny rabbit cheerleaders. Animal Planet has also booked a bevy of frolicking felines for an all-new edition of their Kitty Half-time Show. OK, sure it’s just a bunch of dogs playing with chew toys and play fighting each other - but C’mon! It’s puppies - who doesn’t love puppies? Plus, this is year six of the event. If no one was watching, do you think they would continue to air it?

Marathon Mania - Many of the cable networks have decided to throw in the towel and swap their regular Sunday programming for marathons of TV shows. Here’s a list of where you can see back-to-back episodes of some of your favorite shows. All times are Eastern:

Bravo: “Millionaire Matchmaker” (1 PM - 7 PM) and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” (7 PM - 4 AM)
Oxygen: “America’s Next Top Model” (11 AM - 11 PM)
SyFy: “Ghost Hunters” (9 AM - 1 AM)
Spike: “CSI” (1 PM - 4 PM)
Style: “Supernanny” (6 AM - 3 AM)
TLC: “Cake Boss” (2 PM - 6 PM) and “What Not To Wear” (7 PM - 3 PM)
TNT: “Law & Order” (12 PM - 12 AM)
USA: “Law & Order: SVU” (11 AM - 11 PM)
Food Network: “Ace Of Cakes” (2 PM - 8 PM)

Network Fare - Of course ABC, NBC and FOX can’t just pretend the Super Bowl is not on. At least they are smart enough to air repeats of their most popular shows. NBC and ABC are also smart enough to put shows on that have large female viewership. ABC is filling up their schedule with airings of “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town.” NBC gives us back-to-back episodes of “Biggest Loser: Couples.” FOX sticks with repeats of its animated comedies “The Simpsons,” “The Cleveland Show,” “Family Guy” and “American Dad.” And they are really bold by airing two new episodes of “Til Death” at 7 PM.

Two and a Half “Montanas”
“Two and a Half Men” star (and Emmy winner) Jon Cryer will guest star on an upcoming episode of Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana.” Cryer will play Lilly’s (Emily Osment) dad in an episode titled “The Wheel Near My Bed (Keeps on Turnin’).” In the episode, Lilly’s mom (who was played by Heather Locklear) accepts a job in Atlanta. So, Robby invites Lilly to move into the Stewart home. But after Lilly overhears Miley complaining about their new living arrangement, she picks up and moves into her dad Kenneth’s cramped apartment, only to find his antics even more harebrained than Miley’s. The episode airs Sunday, February 21 (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel.

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