It was scary enough to have Celine Dion headlining Sunday night's Michael Jackson tribute on CBS' broadcast of the Grammy Awards.
But unless you got a pair of free 3-D glasses given away over the past week at Target stores (or saved your glasses from "Avatar"), the airing of a 3-D music video of Jackson's environmental anthem, "Earth Song" as a background to the musical tribute was disconcerting at best.
At worst, it was nauseating, and a warning to other TV shows playing with the 3-D gimmick.
One thing you don't want to do is give viewers a reason to surf away to another channel.
For the record, I had an old pair of glasses from last year's Super Bowl, where a commercial for Dreamworks' "Monsters vs. Aliens" aired in 3-D. They didn't help at all.
A 2-D moment: The moment of the three-and-a-half-hour awardscast lasted just about a moment, as two of Jackson's three kids -- costumed to look like little Jackos -- accepted his award.
Prince, 12, made his way through his part: "We'd like to thank God for watching over us for the past seven months. And our grandmother and grandfather for their love and support. We would also like to thank the fans. Our father loved you so much because you were always there for him.
"Our father was always concerned about the planet and humanity. Through all his hard work and dedication, he's helped with many charities and donated to all of them. Through all his songs his message was simple: love. We will continue to spread his message and help spread the word. Thank you, we love you, daddy."
His 11-year-old sister, Paris, seemed to stumble and cut short what she was supposed to say, "Daddy was supposed to be here, Daddy was gonna perform this year," as her emotions got the better of her. "He couldn't perform last year. Thank you, we love you, Daddy."
Here's a complete list of Grammy winners.
On TV: The most-improved show of the season, Amy Poehler's "Parks and Recreation," has been rewarded by NBC with an early pickup for a third season.
- The cast of MTV's successful "Jersey Shore" has reached agreement to come back for a second season at $10,000 each, per episode. The next season starts airing this summer and will be filmed somewhere other than Jersey. Cybergossip Perez Hilton says that somewhere could be The Hamptons, New York City's upscale summer weekend spot.
- Candy Crowley is succeeding John King as host of CNN's Sunday morning "State of the Union." King's going to his own evening show. The Sunday morning schedule will be revamped with Crowley starting at 8, followed by "Fareed Zakaria GPS" at 9 and Howard Kurtz's "Reliable Sources" at 10.
- BET hosts its own Haiti fundraiser, "SOS Saving OurSelves" airs at 7 p.m. Friday with Wyclef Jean, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne among the performers. Sister channels MTV and VH1 plan to simulcast it.
Banned from the Super Bowl: You've no doubt heard about the spot for a gay dating service that CBS won't allow to air during the Super Bowl. There's a similar case every year, with whoever it is getting plenty of free publicity without actually having to buy any airtime. In this case it's ManCrunch.com.
Here it is, so you can judge for yourself whether it's something that should air next Sunday, during the biggest TV event of the year.
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.