“Dancing With the Stars” host Tom Bergeron says he’s advised the producers not to ask him to chitchat with singer Chris Brown, who is scheduled to perform two numbers Tuesday night on the ABC dance competition series.
Bergeron said he would not agree to abstain from asking Brown about his temper tantrum backstage last week at ABC’s “Good Morning America,” after “GMA’s” Robin Roberts brought up Brown’s having pleaded guilty to beating former girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. A window was smashed in Brown’s “GMA” dressing room after his performance; show staffers called security.
“I did say to the producers it might be to their advantage to not have me interview him, because my natural tendency would be to say something,” Bergeron told “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest on Monday morning on Seacrest’s syndicated radio show.
“So don’t put me in a position where you’re asking me to not say something, ’cause I won’t really do that,” Bergeron said he told “Dancing” producers.
“I would be the same,” insisted Seacrest, while his sidekick, Ellen K, pretended to believe him.
“Even if it’s just a snarky little aside — you know, ‘How was your week?’ ” continued Bergeron, ignoring Seacrest’s attempt to make it about Seacrest.
“They’ll probably have me in a Hannibal Lecter suit,” speculated Bergeron, about when he introduces Brown on Tuesday’s “Dancing” episode.
Brown has apologized — sort of — for his “GMA” outburst; on BET’s “106 & Park,” he said that “GMA” ambushed him to “exploit” him, but that he was sorry if fans were disturbed by reports of the backstage fracas.
According to Brown, his people sent out in advance “a talking points sheet” — his policy to back out of doing shows if they don’t agree to his talking points, he explained.
When he went on “GMA” to promote his new album, he got “thrown off” when Roberts asked him a question about Rihanna. “I felt like, okay, they told us this just [so] they can get us on the show — they exploit me,” Brown said.
But, he noted, he kept his “composure and did my performance, and when I got back, I just let off steam in the back.”
“I didn’t try to hurt anyone,” he added. “I just wanted to release the anger that I had inside me.”
“GMA” has accepted Brown’s apology, but ABC News issued a statement insisting that Brown had been “invited on ‘Good Morning America’ to be interviewed,” but “there were no talking points offered.”
On the eve of PBS’s rebroadcast of the “Civil War” documentary that made him a household name, Ken Burns made it official: His next documentary will be a 10-to-12-hour series about the Vietnam War.
Although the documentary isn’t scheduled to air till 2016, Burns and longtime producing partner Lynn Novick have been working on “Vietnam,” doing research and scouting for interview subjects, etc.
“Vietnam” will explore the military, political, cultural, social and human “dimensions” of what has been called “the war of lost illusions,” PBS and Burns said in Monday’s announcement.
Like Burns’s other projects, “Vietnam” will emphasize the human experience of the conflict, using eyewitness accounts of “ordinary” people — American and Vietnamese — whose lives were affected by the war.
“Vietnam” will also tell the story of the millions of American citizens who deeply opposed the war, taking to the streets in some of the largest protest demonstrations the nation has seen, PBS and Burns said in their announcement.
“Today, more than four decades after it ended, nearly everyone has an opinion about the Vietnam War, but few Americans truly know its history and there is little consensus about what happened there, or why,” Burns said Monday in a statement. “Our series will shed light both on the history of the war, and on our inability to find common ground about it.”
Novick drew the short straw, getting to forecast that “by providing an opportunity for veterans, their families and those who opposed the war alike, to bear witness to their experiences, we believe that this series will help heal the deep divisions that have endured in America for decades over this enormously controversial and tragic war.”
Burns’s other projects for public television have included 2009’s “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” 2007’s “The War,” 2001’s “Jazz,” 1994’s “Baseball” (and its 2010 follow-up, “The Tenth Inning”) and, of course, that 1990 docu “The Civil War.”
An average of about 9.4 million people have watched this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tourney — the franchise’s biggest audience since 2005, CBS and Turner Sports boasted Monday.
Sunday’s coverage of the regional finals — including a major upset when No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth University knocked off top-seeded Kansas, followed by fourth-seeded Kentucky edging No. 2 North Carolina — averaged nearly 13 million viewers.
Last year’s tourney averaged 8.5 million people overall; that coverage did not include the Turner networks. This is the first year that CBS and Turner have telecast the games across a multitude of platforms, including Turner’s TNT, TBS and TruTV.
And Sunday’s coverage of the regional finals was about a million better than last year’s crowd of about 12 million. Sunday’s regional finals coverage was the most watched since the Elite Eight in ’05, which featured the white-knuckle, double-overtime matchup in which Michigan State squeaked past Kentucky, as well as eventual champion North Carolina’s win over Wisconsin.
The Final Four begins Saturday in Houston.