So Long, Mitch

If you’re of a certain age, you remember Mitch Miller, the guy with the goatee who led 87 overweight white guys in v-neck sweaters on “Sing Along With Mitch” each week on NBC. He died over the weekend just as one of his recordings was being used on an episode of “Mad Man.” Here’s his obit.

Of COURSE It Was Worth a Half-Hour of “Good Morning, America” to Announce the Next “Dancing With the Stars” Lineup! What Are You, a Communist?

It took three people — GMA’s smarmy Chris Cuomo, Donny Osmond and “Dancing With the Stars” host Tom Berenger — to announce the next lineup on “Good Morning (As Long As You Don’t Want Any Annoying News) America.” For the record, the group includes former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Melissa Joan Hart, Macy Gray, Aaron Carter, Kathy Ireland and a few other oddities. Rumor has it they’re saving Paula Abdul for the Spring competition, when she’ll be up against “American Idol.”

It’s the Week of the Network Upfronts! Hello?

Today kicks off that magical week when the major broadcast networks start unveiling their fall lineups for advertisers and the excitement in the air is as thick as water! The recession, folks say, is causing advertisers to be a little stingier with the pursestrings. Meanwhile, the major networks’ share of viewers continues to decline and networks are less and less likely to invest in conventional, expensive shows. The biggest symbol of that is over at NBC, where next fall Jay Leno will headline a talk-comedy series EVERY WEEKNIGHT at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. Central). This is a real crapshoot on NBC’s part, except it isn’t, really, because Leno’s show is cheap to produce and if it fails there won’t be a huge loss. It probably won’t fail, by the way — worst-case scenario is that it’ll be cut back to one or two nights a week. What else is there to look forward to this fall? We’ll know in the next few days — stay tuned.

Possibly Judgmental Octomom Post

This is a first in contemporary television history — The Hollywood Reporter reports that apparently Octomom Nadia Suleman is so crazy that no TV network wants to work with her on a miniseries.

Let me repeat — No. TV. Network.

Do you realize how crazy that is? That is crazy on a stratospheric level, light years beyond Flavor Flav or Rod Blagojevich. That’s DEFCON 4 crazy. Not even cable channel TLC is interested, and as the Reporter says, “that’s TLC, mind you — a network that last weekend aired “The Woman with Giant Legs,” “Autistic Twin Savants,” “Girl Who Never Grew” and, everybody’s favorite, “Paralyzed and Pregnant.” ”

Television is about money, and for crazy to trump money is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Remember this day so you can tell your grandchildren.

Whatchoo Talkin’ About, George Will?

Today conservative columnist George Will — the guy with the horn-rimmed glasses and bow ties — declares his disdain for denim. Shock. “For men, sartorial good taste can be reduced to one rule,” he writes. “If Fred Astaire would not have worn it, don’t wear it.”

You miss the point, George.

It was what was INSIDE Fred Astaire — some kind of otherworldly combination of grace and equilibrium — that made him seem so cool. He would have looked just as elegant and at ease in blue jeans as in a dinner jacket. He worked his Astaire off on his dance numbers, but he never showed it — it would be unprofessional. All you saw was the finished product — a product so good that we still write about it 75 years later. And not because he wore tuxedos.

Today in TV History

April 8, 1968: Tonight’s NBC special with Petula Clark and guest star Harry Belafonte contains male-female black-white physical contact. It happens when, during a duet, Clark spontaneously touches Belafonte’s arm. Representatives of the show’s sponsor, Chevrolet, insist the duet be cut out of the show. Clark refuses, it airs and America doesn’t blow up.