Survivor Spared By Disaster

The hit CBS reality show SURVIVOR was not affected by the Pacific earthquakes and tsunamis, a CBS spokesperson said.

SURV_SAMOA_LogoThe first of two quakes hit Tuesday in the South Pacific with a magnitude between 8.0 and 8.3 in the South Pacific and hurled a massive tsunami at the shores of Samoa and American Samoa, flattening villages and leaving at least 99 dead and dozens missing, live5news.com reported.

The second, of magnitude 7.6 struck today in western Indonesia, along the same fault line tht spawned that massive 2004 tsunami that killed more than 230,000.

Survivor’s 19th season was taped in Samoa.  Taping for the show’s 20th season was not underway at the time of the quakes.

CBS Scores Big in Premiere Week

The first week of the new fall television season was a banner week for CBS.

The network not only won the week overall, but claimed the top-rated program and premiered the most-watched new show, according to Nielsen ratings.

CBS_2008_09The highest-rated program of the week was the season premiere of NCIS last Tuesday. Its spinoff, NCIS: LOS ANGELES, took second place for the week, and THE GOOD WIFE ranked 15th for the week. Both ‘LA’ and ‘Wife’ are new shows.

CBS had 11 of its shows in the top 20 for the week, including CSI, CRIMINAL MINDS, and THE MENTALIST.

The venerable 60 MINUTES launched its 42 season ranking 13th for the week.

TWO AND A HALF MEN ranked 17th and BIG BANG THEORY ranked 19th for the week.

Thanks to everyone who watched LIVE 5 WCSC during premiere week and we hope you’re as excited about the new season as we are!

Madonna Visits Dave

Superstar Madonna visits THE LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN tonight on LIVE 5 WCSC.

LateShowLogoThis will mark the music icon’s eighth appearance on the CBS broadcast — she was last interviewed on the show on Jan. 11, 2007, with prior sit-down interviews on Oct. 20, 2005, Nov. 11, 2003, Nov. 3, 2000 and her memorable appearance on March 31, 1994.

She also made a brief cameo appearance Feb. 13, 1995, when she delivered Valentine’s candy and flowers to Letterman.

On Dec. 28, 1998, she appeared in a taped celebrity Top Ten List of the “Top Ten Things Beautiful Women Love About Dave.”

THE LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN airs tonight at 11:35pm, right after LIVE 5 NEWS AT 11.

Continuing the Gift of Life

Victor Newman is in desperate need of a new heart. The supervillian on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS was shot by the woman he transformed into someone else and turned loose on an unsuspecting Genoa City. Meanwhile, Colleen Carlton, an innocent victim in the plot, has just been declared brain dead after a boating accident at the lake where the shooting happened. Doctors have informed the family that Colleen had indicated that she wanted to be an organ donor.

On October 5th, the CBS show THREE RIVERS makes its debut. That show is set in a Pittsburgh hospital that specializes in organ transplants.

See the common theme here? Maybe Victor will wind up on THREE RIVERS!

Well, that doesn’t seem all that likely, but the two shows are definitely putting the topic of organ donation in the forefront.

Back in August, Live 5 News did a story about organ donation and revealed that anyone who registered for it throught the DMV prior to December of 2008 may not be officially registered in the system. Though the heart icon that appears on the driver’s license may be an indication of the donor’s intent, it could still be up to the family as to whether the potential donor’s organs are actually donated.

People who register at the DMV since then now receive an emblem of a heart with a circle around it with a ‘Y’ in it. This symbol indicates that they are on the donor registry, according to Mark Johnson, the media relations director for LifePoint, a state-based organ and tissue donation service.

Johnson says another way to register officially, without having to wait for your drivers license to be renewed, is by going to www.every11minutes.org. The name of the website references the fact that a new name is added to the organ transplant waiting list an average of every 11 minutes.

As we reported, there are about 900 people in South Carolina on the transplant list, and 700 of those are waiting for a kidney. There are more than 200,000 people in the state who are officially registered. If you want to be one of them, you now have two ways to sign up!

“How You Doin’”: The Videos

If you’ve been watching THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW weekdays at 10:00am on LIVE 5 WCSC, then you know that the show’s official greating is, “How You Doin’?”

Wendy is calling for videos from kids who can mimick her trademark hello. If your child does a cute immitation of Wendy’s trademark, capture it on a DVD or mini-DV tape, then go to this page at wendyshow.com. You’ll need to print and sign a release giving Wendy permission to use the tape of your child on the air, and there’s an address for you to mail the release and tape or DVD.

CBS News Wins 5 Emmy Awards

CBS News was honored with five Emmys at the 30th Annual News & Documentary Awards. THE CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING and 60 MINUTES were winners, with the three Emmys won by 60 MINUTES constituting the most for a network news magazine.

“It has been an extraordinary year of critical acclaim for CBS News and we are gratified to have won Emmys in five of the most distinguished categories,” said Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports. “The diversity of subject matter for which CBS News won awards is indicative of our strength and leadership in every area of journalism.”

The Emmy for Best Report in a News Magazine, won by Scott Pelley’s 60 MINUTES investigation “The Wasteland,” was the report’s sixth major award – a record for the news magazine. The investigation into the disposal of ’s electronic waste overseas has already won the Polk, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Sigma Delta Chi, Loeb Business and RTNDA Murrow awards since its broadcast on Nov. 9, 2008.

The other 60 MINUTES winning reports are for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a News Magazine, “The Bailout,” Pelley’s look at then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as he dealt with the economic crisis; and Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a News Magazine, CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper’s “War Against Women,” on the use of rape as a weapon in a civil war in The Democratic Republic of Congo.

THE CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC won in the Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast for Armen Keteyian’s “VA Suicides: Cover-up Exposed,” on how the Veterans Administration was hiding the true number of suicides among veterans.

CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING was awarded in the Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast category for “RFK,” Jeff Greenfield’s historic look at Robert F. Kennedy on the eve of the 40th anniversary of his death.

Letterman’s Late Night Milestone

David Letterman marks 5,000 broadcasts in his late night television career on the LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN with tonight’s broadcast.

lettermanBefore coming to CBS from NBC, he had broadcast 1,810 episodes of his “Late Night” series. As of tonight, he will have had 3,186 episodes and four prime time specials, bringing him to the 5,000 mark.

In tonight’s monologue, Letterman says, “[People] say to me, ‘Dave, what keeps you working night after night, week after week, month after month, year after year after year? Seriously, why do you keep working?’ And I just tell them, ‘Well, Foxwoods gambling resort.’”

Friday’s guests include Bruce Willis, star of the new film “Surrogates.” Willis talks about his provocative photo shoot in W magazine with his wife, Emma, in which he reveals his special tattoo homage to the women of “The View,” and recounts a harrowing encounter on his ranch with a moose.

Also featured on Friday’s 5000th show are actor LL COOL J, star of the new hit CBS drama series “NCIS: Los Angeles,” who also this week was nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a performance by musical guests Noisettes.

THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN airs weeknights at 11:35pm, right after LIVE 5 NEWS AT 11.

Hugo’s TV Havoc

The monster storm that was Hurricane Hugo, which made landfall 20 years ago this week and caused unimaged devastation, wreaked behind-the-scenes havoc at LIVE 5 WCSC as well.

hugomapWith today’s technology, there would have been even more notice and more precise projections of where Hugo was headed. But twenty years ago, despite more primitive forecast technology, LIVE 5′s legendary Charlie Hall remained at the forefront of covering Hugo’s approach and the possibility of a direct hit.

But when it became more and more clear that the storm was headed for the Lowcountry, LIVE 5′s legendary Charlie Hall became more and more determined to stay at his post to report critical information to his audience.

hugo89When engineers, and then the station’s management, pushed him to evacuate, tensions ran high.

“When he came and gave me the order, ‘We have to leave this building,’ not once, not twice but on three occasions, and the third occasion was a shouting match, [I said], ‘No, I don’t want to go, I want to stay here another two or three hours and he wouldn’t allow it,” Hall would later recall.

But in the months to come, Hall would be in for a surprise about the magnitude of his own evacuation.

Meanwhile, as the storm continued to move our way, the remaining personnel at the station evacuated and engineers attempted to pull as much equipment out of the building as possible, certain that what was left behind would almost certainly be destroyed by rising flood waters. A moving van was rented, loaded up with equipment and sent towards Orangeburg County.

From there, live broadcasts originated from the Emergency Operations Center in North Charleston, until high winds knocked that broadcast off the air.

hugo89bAfter Hugo hit, the station’s anchors were forced to broadcast from the transmitter site in Awendaw, a small facility hardly outfitted to look like a television studio. The technical crew raced to get a camera connected so that anchors could go on to continue to cover the aftermath.

Then they realized that no one had brought along a tripod for the camera,” recalls executive producer Jim DeMauro. “So they got duct tape and taped a camera down to a camera shipping box on wheels.” That was how they were able to shoot anchors like Bill Sharpe who appeared in street clothes, unshaven, relaying information as it came in to the makeshift newsgathering center.

A satellite truck that had been used to broadcast images as Hugo first approached landfall was taken to the transmitter site so that directors could switch from camera to camera and get information on the air faster.

And of course, Charlie Hall was there, always the voice of calm, reassuring local viewers that it was going to be all right.

Hall later recalled that after the danger was over, he had pulled in to a gas station and noticed someone following him, desperately trying to flag him down.

“He grabbed my hand while I was still putting gas in the car, and he said, ‘I told my wife if I ever saw you, I was going to stop you and shake your hand.’ And I said, ‘For what?’ And he said, ‘For saving our lives.’ He pointed out that his house on Sullivan’s Island was totally demolished. And he said he and his wife had discussed it, and said they planned to stay there until they saw Charlie Hall leave. And this guy was dead serious,” Hall said.

“To me, knowing that what I did or didn’t do…and somebody reacted to that, that they left the low-lying beaches, and he came back to a totally-demolished house, and they would have likely lost their lives” was a profound moment that Hall said he’d never forget.

Beloved ‘Geek’ to Make ‘Big Bang’

His early role as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation made actor Wil Wheaton a favorite among science fiction fans and some self-proclaimed “geeks.”  And that latter group will be thrilled by the news Wheaton posted in a recent tweet from his Twitter account:

“An announcement of extraordinary magnitude: I will be on an episode of #thebigbangtheory this season. That’s all I’m allowed to say. GLEE!”

There’s no official word — “official,” that is, from CBS or producers at BIG BANG THEORY — on when the appearance will air.  But then when the actor himself says he’s going to be on, that sounds pretty official to us.

BIG BANG THEORY airs Mondays at 9:30pm on LIVE 5 WCSC.

Life Immitating Art

On the brand new CBS show, ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, actress Jenna Elfman portrays a woman in her late thirties who’s having a baby.

In real life, the same thing seems to be happening.

Elfman told THE EARLY SHOW‘s Julie Chen that she and her husband are expecting their second child. But unlike her TV character, this baby-to-be isn’t an accident.

“My character’s pregnant the whole first season, so I said, ‘It’s a good time to have another baby, because we won’t have to hide it,’” Elfman said.

Congratulations to the couple and to the cast and company of ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, which premieres tonight at 8:30pm on LIVE 5 WCSC.