There are a few things that are looking wobbly in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLII–cough cough, Tom Brady’s ankle, cough cough–and programmers on cable networks are betting that the ratings power of Tom Petty is one of them. The Hollywood Reporter is saying that networks are in a “counterprogramming frenzy” thanks to the allegedly low starpower of the veteran rocker, although weirdly enough they’re trying to go for the bro demo that I’d think would like classic rock, scheduling eating contests judged by former Giant Sean Landeta (Spike TV), the premiere of a reality series about Deion Sanders (Oxygen, go figure!), and a kitten halftime show for the Puppy Bowl. OK, that last one probably crosses more demographic lines than its competitors. While it’s pretty obvious that the halftime show’s programmers have been all about skewing conservative since the Super Bowl that ruined Janet Jackson’s career, I don’t know if Tom Petty is as weak a target as the folks at Spike and Oxygen suspect, his live shows do pretty well as far as ticket sales go, and I’d bet that his cross-demographic name recognition is higher than that of any top-20 musician today who hasn’t appeared as a featured performer on a TV show. At the very least, I’ll be tuning in to see if he brings out a special guest or two:
As the Writer’s Guild of America strike drags on and the writer-free Grammy broadcast shapes up to be tremendously boring/tremendously terrifying, musicians are being forced to decide whether or not they will cross the proverbial picket line come the big night now that the Guild has refused to grant the show a waiver, though some are still holding out hope for a reversal. Needless to say, many are unsure of the right move, even after getting the go sign from their own unions. Most are nominally siding with the writers but pissy that they’re spoiling their big night out. They already bought their outfits and everything!
So a few months ago it looked like Henley and Frey Ltd. were going to ruin the year’s most expensive TV time slot, with the Eagles rumored to be the entertainment for the 2008 Super Bowl halftime show. Well fear not, one-day-a-year football fans, because although the Eagles are still on track to outsell just about every other musician on the planet in 2007, the National Football League has wised up and instead chosen some weirdo with a fetish for cannibalizing Victorian schoolgirls.
Once again, we raid our cassingle casselection. looking for an overlooked song: Artist: Tom PettySong: “Zombie Zoo,” 1989What happened: Even though Petty wrung a remarkable seven* singles out of Full Moon Fever, the album-closing “Zombie Zoo” wasn’t one of them. More »
Compiling a year-end Top 10 list means making plenty of painful nips, tucks, and tweaks. And so, as we prepare our Jackin’ Pop singles lists, we present “Stuck At Eleven,” a daily look at the songs that came thisclose to making the final cut. More »