Showbiz Commentary: Heidi Oringer

Do you feel as though you've been on a very strict entertainment diet for several months?

Has your stomach been growling because you long to devour a meaty television show? Have you been salivating on your keyboard thinking about a spicy movie? Have you been going home at night and banging your head against the wall just to pass the time before nodding off to sleep?

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, help is on the way. You will be starved no more. It's time to dig in. Your stomach has made enough noise. The salivating has dehydrated you and the industry is finally ready to serve up some tasty viewing victuals.

And don't think you're just gonna nibble. No, sir — it's time to gorge.

There are so many TV, movie and musical treats that will be fed to us over the next few months, we should be satiated for awhile. As a matter of fact, we'll be so full from the next two months, we'll probably have to get bigger pants, or at least unbutton them to let our waistlines expand while we watch and listen.

Make Way for the Greatest Hits Parade

In the coming weeks, we will be bombarded with "specials" on television, "Oscar contenders" in the movies and virtually every musician putting forth a holiday or greatest hits collection.

Now don't be fooled into thinking that the network honchos are doing us a favor. They're doing it now because it's sweeps. It's a ratings war. The movie studios know holidays mean time on our hands. Music industry folks think? "What says happy holidays like an overpriced box set?" It's all a big business plan.

Nonetheless, let's eat!

We'll start with the appetizers:

CBS: The Tiffany Network will ripen our taste buds with a fancy little starter — the 53rd Primetime Emmy Awards. (There's nothing worse than when the appetizers go cold, but if you're hungry enough, you'll eat.) Other enjoyable edibles come in the way of a 50th anniversary celebration of I Love Lucy and a commemorative look at The Carol Burnett Show. Of course, for those who love crackers and cheese, there's a music special by 'N Sync and a two-hour version of Michael Jackson's concerts from Madison Square Garden, when he reunited with the Jackson Five. Of course, some people don't like cheese because after a while it stinks …

NBC: NBC is serving the turkey or, more appropriately, the peacock. They'll carve out a couple of Friends episodes, including one guest-starring Sean Penn, and a special new episode on Thanksgiving night. Another tempting treat in store: Jennifer Lopez in her first TV concert special. Things a little dry? Need gravy? Try dousing your plate with the Star Trek alumni version of The Weakest Link and a special 200th episode of Frasier.

Burp here.

ABC: On ABC (see I made it third because I don't want to show bias), you can skip the cranberry sauce and sample blueberry compote with the season premiere of NYPD Blue. There's plenty of stuffing to go around with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in its various forms. There's the recipe with nuts, where Regis hosts another show with comedians as contestants. There's also a Millionaire armed forces edition. On the menu at Spin City, there's a guest roster that includes Denise Richards, Queen Latifah and Farrah Fawcett, all in one episode. And, for the first time ever, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show will air on network television.

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