Puttin’ on the Ritz

Forget the fall season’s new shows. The best entertainment at last week’s network upfront was the presentations that bookended the previews.

At Radio City Music Hall, NBC staged a lavish song and dance act with solid showings by Eric McCormack (Will & Grace), Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order) and Tom Cavanagh (Ed). But bringing down the house with a vampy take on “Whoopie” was the leggy—yes, we can say it!—Allison Janney (The West Wing’s C.J.). As she poked her leg through a wall of tuxedoed backs, one overheated media buyer remarked, “I thought it was a Rockette!”

Fox managed to get John Nesvig, president of sales for Fox Broadcasting, to greet attendees on a swing, à la Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge. And over at the New Amsterdam Theater, Jimmy Kimmel made friends with the higher-ups at ABC by thanking them for his new comedy show, before adding, “You probably won’t still be in your jobs when the show airs.”

The hit of the week, though, was Les Moonves of CBS, who showed a video of contract negotiations with David Letterman, which included washing Dave’s car and serving as a cue-card holder. Way to go, Les!