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Broadway stars plead for love at Democratic convention

 

 

CNN may boast the best news team in television, but please don't ask them to cover concerts.

In the midst of Trump bashing and Hillary hurrahs, some of Broadway's biggest names took the stage Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention to sing "What the World Needs Now." Many of them had assembled last month to record the Burt Bacharach number to raise money for families of the Orlando shooting victims and later appeared on NBC's "Maya & Marty" variety show.

But this was extra special in that it brought together Kristin Bell and Idina Menzel, who first traded verses in the megahit film, 'Frozen," and also featured former "Cagney & Lacey" co-stars Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless sharing a mike.

Too bad CNN dind't fully appreciate the gestures. The network kept cutting away from the stellar lineup to show delegates swaying back and forth. Audience member Lance Bass got more screen time than performer Len Cariou, whose years as a Guthrie fixture didn't seem as important to the cable news' control room as giving a former Backstreet Boy his close-up.

The network also filled almost a fourth of the screen with a "BREAKING NEWS" alert that VP nominee Tim Kaine was coming up next. OK, thanks and -- Hey! Isn't that Audra McDonald?!?

All journalists share the same pool of cameras for general coverage, but each network's producer can pick what shots they want to cut to and when. I didn't have a chance to check out how everyone else handled the early evening number, but PBS gets credit for resisting the urge to promote coming attractions and showcase too many folks in the crowd looking up from their cellphones.

Makes sense. Public television LOVES their Broadway stars.

Latest late-night battle: Stephen Colbert vs. corporate lawyers

Jimmy Fallon isn't the only juggernaut Stephen Colbert has to face these days.

"The Late Show" got a huge, postive response last week after his resurrection of the self-centered character he created for "The Colbert Report," a long-running spoof of Bill O'Reilly and other Fox pundits. It was that persona that put both the term "truthiness" and the comedian himself on the map.

But Colbert told his audience Wednesday night that his old bosses at Comedy Central hadn't been as enthusiastic about the return.

"Immediately after the show, CBS’s top lawyer was contacted by the top lawyer from another company to say that the character ‘Stephen Colbert’ is their intellectual property, which is surprising, because I never considered that guy much of an intellectual,” Colbert told the crowd during one of the live broadcasts he's been hosting throughout both political conventions. “So it is with a heavy heart that I announce that, thanks to corporate lawyers, the character of ‘Stephen Colbert,’ host of The Colbert Report, will never be seen again,”

But that wasn't the end of it. Colbert -- the CBS version, NOT the cable version -- introduced a new character, Colbert's identical twin cousin, also named Stephen.

To needle his old bosses a little further, Colbert then slipped into a new segment called, "The Werd," which had more than a passing resemblance to a former "Report" bit called "The Word."

This is the kind of petty spat that makes politicians look honorable by comparison, especially when you consider both CBS and Viacom's Comedy Central fall under the same ownership -- Sumner Redstone's National Amusements.

How much are the two characters alike? It was hard to tell in their short interaction, but it was clear that the new guy will be back -- as long as the attorneys don't get in the way. In the meantime, judge for yourself: