Veteran news host Jim Glassman is back to host 'Ideas in Action'

HE'S BACK: Glassman returns to host "Ideas in Action," a Sunday public affairs show starting Sept. 5 on local public TV stations.
HE'S BACK: Glassman returns to host "Ideas in Action," a Sunday public affairs show starting Sept. 5 on local public TV stations. (Pr Newswire)
By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, August 20, 2010

Jim Glassman's back -- this time hosting the Sunday public affairs show "Ideas in Action" on local public TV stations Howard University Television (WHUT) and Maryland Public Television, starting Sept. 5.

In fall 2009, Glassman was named founding executive editor of the George W. Bush Institute, which co-produces the public television show.

In the past, Glassman hosted "TechnoPolitics" for PBS, "MoneyPolitics" for Washington's Allbritton-owned ABC affiliate WJLA, and "Capital Gang Sunday" for cable news network CNN.

Glassman's also the former publisher of the New Republic, former president of the Atlantic Monthly Co., former co-owner and editor of Roll Call, and a former columnist for The Washington Post -- but you may know him as the guy who co-authored the wishfully titled 1999 bestseller "Dow 36,000."

"Ideas in Action" has been on the air for six months now, shot mostly at the Newseum in Washington. The addition of the two Washington area stations to its distribution brings its coverage up to about 70 percent of the country.

'Five-0' 2.0

Scott Caan is in luck! Spike TV will telecast 22 episodes from the first season of the late-'60s/'70s CBS series "Hawaii Five-0" starting later this month -- so he can finally see what it is he is going to be judged against.

Caan will be on the receiving end of Det. Steve McGarrett's (Alex O'Loughlin) "Book 'em, Danno!" line, as Danny Williams in the remake, which debuts -- also on CBS -- on Sept. 20.

At the recent Summer TV Press Tour 2020, Caan and star O'Loughlin were both asked if they'd watched the cop show's first iteration, in order to educate themselves as they prepared to take on these much-loved roles.

"I purposely didn't go back and look at too much of the old show. I wanted to start fresh and I didn't want to have any old ideas, so no, I didn't do any of that," Caan said as TV critics typed "Caan: couldn't be bothered" in their laptops while wishing they had a buck for every time some bit of on-air talent came to the tour and tried to use that old "wanted to start fresh" gag on them.

O'Loughlin at least admitted he remembered the old show "from when I was a kid," but quickly abandoned that line of thought in order to focus instead on how "we're not kind of picking up where they left off -- it's a reboot" and critics dreamed of getting a buck for every time some bit of on-air talent had shown up at the tour and used the old "reboot" gag on them.

Having seen the pilot, we can tell you right now that Alex O'Loughlin is no Jack Lord, who owned the McGarrett role from 1968 to 1980 -- though that may be a compliment.

Spike's "Five-0" feast will start Aug. 30 and wrap up Sept. 3.

Tough luck, eh?

Canadian-produced scripted series were supposed be a low-cost solution to keeping broadcast networks competitive during the summer -- at least that's been the thinking since CBS got lucky with "Flashpoint."

But CW's Canadian import "18 to Life" -- a comedy about two middle-class couples who are neighbors and who are forced to get along when their 18-year-old kids get married -- has been a ratings dud and the network has canceled its run after plowing through just half of its episode order.

CW has been airing two back-to-back half-hour episodes on Tuesdays at 9 for three weeks. The most recent two episodes only attracted about 730,000 viewers, which is low -- even by CW-in-the-summer standards. For comparison's sake: USA Network just ordered a second season of its Canadian-shot but U.S.-originated (I know, it's confusing) drama "Covert Affairs" because it's attracting about 5.4 million people each week.

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