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'Today Show' Going Too Far to Snag Viewers

May 09, 2000|BOOTH MOORE

If you ask me, "Today Show" interactions with viewers have gone too far. Last week's broadcasts of the NBC morning show were dedicated to Matt Lauer's exhausting annual five-day world tour. (It's a good thing that's over because I was in danger of choking on my breakfast smoothie if I had to hear the "Where in the world is . . . Matt Lauer" dittie one more time).

Whether Lauer was in the spray of Africa's Victoria Falls, or on the molten edge of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, he had to take time on the air each morning to answer insipid e-mails from viewers. (One conscientious soul wrote to make sure Lauer and his crew had changed pilots during the trip from Hawaii to Spain, in accordance with FAA regulations.)

On Friday, the show's annual summer concert series kicked off with throngs of middle Americans descending on Rockefeller Center to hear Steely Dan and watch Katie attempt to rock out. (This weekly confluence of screaming fans in midtown during rush hour must be as big a thrill for Manhattan's commuters as it is for those of us watching at home.)

And still, all that togetherness isn't enough. Lauer announced Monday a contest that sounds suspiciously like a toned-down version of "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" The show is looking for engaged couples (they already know each other, so where's the suspense?) willing to plan their wedding and be married on national television.

I'll watch on one condition: Rick Rockwell makes the toast.

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Domestic diva Martha Stewart has created a suburban firestorm in her hometown of Westport, Conn. Last month, she wrote in the New York Times Magazine that she planned to move, saying the community where she has lived for nearly 30 years "doesn't work for me any longer." She blamed commercial growth, increased traffic and unfriendly neighbors.

Turns out many of her neighbors are saying good riddance.

At CamerArts, a downtown Westport photography shop, some of the people who signed a large farewell card to Stewart were downright nasty, according to the Associated Press. Messages included, "Having you as a neighbor was scary" and "Don't let the door hit you where the dog shoulda bit you."

I would love to live next door to Martha. When she sets the garbage out on the curb, it's probably fashioned in the shape of a swan. Hmmm. Living next to Martha Stewart. Could be a good thing!

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Style signings: Actress Lucy Liu of "Ally McBeal" and the upcoming "Charlie's Angels" movie has signed on to be a spokeswoman for Revlon. She will appear in print and TV ads beginning this month . . . BCBG's Max Azria has signed a deal with Unilever to manufacture a line of fragrance and beauty products. The launch has been tentatively slated for 2001 . . . Bebe, the San Francisco-based retail chain, has signed a licensing agreement with Lunada Bay Corp. to design a swimwear line, bebe Swim,which should hit stores in March 2001.

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Booth Moore can be reached at booth.moore@latimes.com.

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