Lisa Joyner

inFANity Behind the Scenes of Cops

Off topic, but since we are in the middle of what is proving to be a standoff that undoubtedly will hurt millions of people (yes millions), I feel no regret in a brief rant of conscience. First of all, this so-called writers strike is a mistake in title. The WGA has called for a work stoppage but the people who are out of work, canceling their family holiday trips and re-evaluating whether they will refinance or sell their homes far outnumber guild members. They are the camera operators, location scouts, drivers, hairdressers, set designers, production assistants, coffee shop employees, and even the workers on TV shows who cover the TV shows that are NOT SHOOTING.The people toting picket signs are not showing up for their paying jobs, but they are paying for their jobs. With record gas prices and an economy precariously close to recession, this is an especially tough time for the employed to NOT have a job. I’m not pretending to have an answer. All I can say, and I realize I wa... read more

inFANity Behind the Scenes of Ugly Betty

First things first, it's a little overdue but I have been wanting to say, "Congratulations, America wins!" (Makes for a great headline, eh?)America Ferrera, the 23-year-old lead actress who sets the tone for the ABC show Ugly Betty, went off and won herself an Emmy. Not that all the other prizes, most notably a second season, aren't gifts enough, but good for her. She does a nice job and better than that, after visiting the set twice, I can tell you that people without provocation sing her praises. I didn't get to meet her, unfortunately, because "of the demands on her schedule," but that's what people say. (But don't worry, you'll see a lot of America when you tune in to inFANity. I just didn't talk to her. I'm past it now.)I did, however, get to meet the others, many who are terribly underrated. Take, for example, Michael Urie, who plays Marc with a C. Sure his character is flamboyant and, you might say, expected. Next time you watch, though, pay attention to the details. The thea... read more

inFANity Behind the Scenes of Access Hollywood

All right, I’ll admit it’s kind of odd hosting a behind the scenes show (inFANity) of a behind the scenes show (Access Hollywood), then writing a behind the scenes take (this blog) all about what goes on behind the scenes. Just think of this as the most inside, exclusive, behind the scenes, first look (and any other histrionic broadcasting phrase that comes to mind) you’ve ever seen. You’re about to experience history, people!Having worked in several newsrooms around the country -- KGNS in Laredo, Texas, KGBT in the Rio Grande Valley, WAVY Norfolk, KTTV Los Angeles, and KCBS same city -- I know how a good manager can affect what you do and ultimately what people see on the air. Having said that, the reason the gorgeous, perfectly coiffed hosts (hair is real important there as it should be) on Access Hollywood seem to come through the television screen when they speak to you is because of the boss. The Queso Grande. The man who shouts “Action!” more than... read more

Why Dog Whisperer Resonates

Karma by Lisa Joyner

In general, Americans love their dogs. Make that, they are in love with their dogs. To say we pamper them would be a study in subtlety. Granted, there are something like 650 million dogs in the country, but come on! There are doggie spas, pet day care centers, animal baubles, trinkets and chew toys, plus clothes and tiny parkas. We look for the best organic treats, holistic acupuncture, canine therapy, and the most social dog parks. It is the human who creates the puppy pedestal. Giving to them fulfills us. All our animals really want is food, exercise and a good scratch. (From time to time a spot at the end of the bed goes over well too)Having said that, I am guilty of the deepest in canine adoration. I admit it, I am not proud nor embarrassed, however my Karma and Holden are very special. (Bet you’ve never heard that before)The oldest, named because of her meditative gift and overall sweet disposition, was sent to me for a reason. Karma rescued me. True, I physically went to ... read more

inFANity: Behind the Scenes of General Hospital

Even in this TiVo age of immediate information retrieval and the YouTube universe, it's impossible to know everything about all shows television. The only way we (and when I say we, I mean me) can tap into the antiquated version of hands-free entertainment is to call upon a higher power for guidance. Obviously, first I grab a TV Guide (duh), and then what would really help is a fan. The heart and soul of inFANity! A person who knows the show inside and out. Just a bit short of a stalker.So for my set visit to the hit daytime show General Hospital, a show that has arguably delivered more outrageous story lines and the most memorable TV wedding ever, I enlist the queen of all things GH, my niece Brittany. At the tender age of 21 (hold on to that while you can), she is able to exhaustively disseminate the minute details, plot points, characters and hairstyles of Port Charles' most notable residents.My mini-me acted as a portal into story line, dialogue and who was the hottest guy. With... read more

Behind the Scenes of Wheel of Fortune

It’s time I come clean, allow it to be public record. Fess up. This is full disclosure -- I have always secretly longed to be a game show host!Yes, a prize package pushing deal or no deal come on down put it in the form of a question broker! For some reason until now I have been unable to come to grips with my shameful secret. I am not sure why.They are cool. They are funny. They are articulate. They move at the speed of sound. And... they work 2 days a week. (You see where I am going?)Oh, and in the case of Pat Sajak, they make it look incredibly easy. He is an artist, a composer, and a venerable lyricist in the field of game show communiqué. I’m not kidding. (Well maybe the last part) What is so awesome about them (and you can go back to the days of Bill Cullen, early Bob Barker, and Bobby Rivers. Yes, Bobby Rivers. Remember Bedroom Buddies?) is how they navigate 22 minutes and you never feel the boat move. When lights blow, a contestant is paralyzed with debilitati... read more

Behind the Scenes of Jericho

OK, first things first. After all this time, I admit it: Skeet Ulrich still kind of reminds me of Johnny Depp. Not Jack Sparrow Johnny. Not Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Creepy Johnny. Definitely not movie junket, chain-smoking bohemian Johnny. (By the way isn’t it cool he never changed his name when he got older, to Jonathan or a symbol?)Skeet — all grown up, Scream miles behind him, CBS leading man — Ulrich is interesting, fluid and self-Depprecating. (Yeah, I went there.) Plus he’s hot! And apparently kind. When we asked costars and crew about the guy who leads a cast through its portentous weekly journey, everyone agreed, almost in syrupy synchronicity, that the dude is super cool. (Another reason Johnny and Skeet are kinfolk.)During our interview, he was serious (they are dealing with the end of the world, after all), wise, succinct (when he needed to be), charming, and patient. For example:Interview excerpt: (as I remember it)Lisa: Where ya been since... read more

inFANity Behind the Scenes of The Young & The Restless

Genoa City’s Bitter SecretWhen you hear the word “SOAP” what do you think of? A cleansing compound made of natural oils and fats? An obnoxious, but admittedly catchy television jingle? (Zestfully clean, zestfully clean! You’re not fully clean unless you’re zestfully clean!) How about an attractive girl in full cosmetic glory drawing in air while posing seductively with a bar of Lever 2000? (How do they do that without getting soap in their eyes?)Whatever you “visualize,” go far enough and an image of a desperate woman scorned, a ruggedly handsome man lying breathlessly in a hospital bed, or TWINS -- one evil, one virtuous -- is bound to pop up.The serialized drama or soap has been an American television mainstay since the 1940s. (The Guiding Light started as a radio drama in 1937.) Synonymous with soaps is The Young & The Restless.I don’t care if you have never turned on the award winning show even once. (Seriously, I have no financial inc... read more

InFANity: America's Most Wanted Behind the Scenes

America’s Most Wanted, or AMW as it’s referred to in the “biz” (a concise and arrogant definition for the entertainment industry), is the cornerstone of the Fox network. Long before American Idol, way prior to 24, and just on par with Homer and Marge, America’s Most Wanted quietly began what would become a revolution. Sounds ominous. Well, my unsullied readers, it is!How many TV shows change lives? Not Lost. Not Heroes. Not Grey’s Anatomy. Not even Dancing with the Stars. DWTS doesn’t change lives, even if it does affect them. (Mario was robbed!) But whatever, I’ve moved on.America’s Most Wanted, a show directly descended from a horrific tragedy, is the genesis of reality TV here in the U.S. It is brutal, earnest and a contradiction of what much of today’s reality TV is (for example, The Bachelor, Martha and The Flavor of Love). I’m not saying there isn’t room for frivolous rudimentary spectacle, but America’s Most Wan... read more

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