Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I spent Thanksgiving morning watching the Macy's Parade, flipping back and forth between the coverage by NBC and that of CBS. When it came to the musical numbers, NBC cornered that market. (Out of the selections which included 'Hair', 'Bye Bye Birdie', and 'Billy Elliot', it was "I'm A Believer" from 'Shrek' that worked best in that setting.) However, CBS did have nice presentations for their Broadway tunes in appropriate settings around the City: Battery Park with Lady Liberty in the background for 'Ragtime', a tenement-like rooftop for 'West Side Story', and 125th Street outside the 'Dreamgirls' theater.

But as far as covering the actual parade, I have to give it to CBS. On NBC, the balloons and the marchers seemed like an after-thought, only seen when leading out to the commercial breaks. Since NBC gave up the Times Square location to broadcast from outside Macy's (which actually does make sense), CBS set up camp at one of the theme restaurants (the Hard Rock?) with another camera at the Marriott Marquis. So they showed all the new balloons first, including the Pillsbury Doughboy, at least ten minutes before NBC. And they spent time on most of the floats, which I was not getting for the most part from the Peacock network.

As for the expected reports farther north along the parade route, it was a draw. Jamie Kennedy's spots were kind of stupid, to my mind, while Al Roker's interview/plugs were kind of sad. A couple of actors from 'Law & Order', 'Parks & Recreation', and 'Days Of Our Lives'. Jillian Michaels from 'The Biggest Loser' proved to be a real ass when she suggested people should throw away their leftovers. I don't know if a food bank would have taken them, but at least she might have suggested that people could look into that option instead of wasting food.

CBS had the quality interview/plugs though back at their booth, with mostly theater actors - Christine Lahti and Jimmy Smits as half of the new cast in "Gods Of Carnage" and Michael McKean of "Superior Donuts". As for their in-house promotions, they had Bruce Greenwood who plugged Sunday night's Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation, "The Dog Who Saved Christmas".

My favorite moment in the parade coverage was due to the rivalry between both networks. Jimmy Fallon was on a float with the band for his 'Late Night' show, The Roots. But he never faced the CBS camera and Dave Price of CBS only referred to them as a rock band, never naming any of them.

All in all, a pleasant way to waste a few hours while my brother bawled buckets making his onion pies.....


Traditionally, Santa's arrival caps off the parade, and this year he had a new float.....
And now, I accept that it is Christmas season!

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