Only In New York: Things that go bump on breakfast television

SPOOKY AUTHOR Stephen King (pictured far right) appeared on NBC's news programme Today yesterday (it being the morning after Hallowe'en). It was a distressing sight.

King is still on crutches and is shockingly thin after his brush with death in June, when he was struck by a van while taking a walk in his native Maine. King is as prolific a novelist as you will ever meet, and his 53 books have sold no fewer than 300 million copies over the years. His injuries, however, have apparently plugged his fountain of words. "After the accident, I was totally incapable of writing," he told co-presenter Katie Couric. "It was as if I'd never done this in my life. It was like starting over again from square one. I mean it was like being 12, 13 years old."

He ended by confessing that he may never be able to write a novel again. Still, the 52-year-old King will barely suffer from a financial standpoint - the books that already cram bookshop shelves reportedly bring him an annual income of $40m.

u

NEW YORK City has become the battleground of the breakfast shows. The lucrative two hours in the early morning - when Americans manage to bake their fresh muffins, squeeze their oranges, pack the children's lunchboxes and watch television at the same time - have for years been dominated by Today with Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. You may have seen them, if not from a hotel room then through the plate glass that separates their studio from the pavement in Manhattan's Rockefeller Center.

Putting Matt and Katie where passing tourists can see them is the genius behind Today. Or that is the conclusion reached by ABC and CBS. So this summer ABC opened a glitzy showcase of its own in Times Square. And yesterday, straggling in third place in the breakfast ratings, CBS unveiled its new- look show from a $20m studio in the General Motors Building in Trump Plaza. That puts it right across from the Plaza Hotel. So, at last, all the shows are on an even pavement. May the hostilities begin.

Someone at CBS, however, is surely going to be fired. To ensure maximum excitement for the inaugural show - co-hosted by Bryant Gumbel, an alumnus of Today at NBC - the network had booked rock star Mariah Carey (pictured left) to sing a song from her new album, Rainbow. And she was to do it right there, on the pavement. (Hysteria of the masses was guaranteed.) On Friday, however, the network discovered it had failed to get the necessary street-performance permits from the city. Not only did Carey cancel - she apparently saw no point in exercising her lungs indoors - she decided to take the gig to another of the networks. Yes, yesterday morning she was the guest instead of Katie and Matt.

u

DID I mention Trump? For the next few months, we will have no let-up from The Donald, as the tabloids like to call him, what with his putative quest for the US presidency. So far, he has got no further than setting up the obligatory "exploratory committee", but a couple of weeks ago he gave up membership of the Republican Party and announced his interest in being the Reform Party nominee.

But according to a Daily News poll, even New Yorkers are unimpressed. Only six per cent said they thought it likely that Trump would get their tick on ballot day. Meanwhile, 74 per cent said they thought he was only entering the fray as an exercise in self-publicity.

Somebody must have let on that Trump has a new book coming out. All indignation, Trump declared himself unconcerned. Asked for a reaction, he told a News reporter, "OK, go have fun with it." He then hung up, but not before he charmingly called the reporter a "scumbag".

u

ACCORDING TO Tim and Nina Zagat, who for 21 years have been publishing annual surveys on the best and worst of New York's eateries, sexism is alive and well. Four out of five New Yorkers think that men get better treatment in restaurants than women.

Could I suggest a new category to the Zagats for next year's survey: which restaurants in New York boast the most pretentious menus? In Heartbeat on 49th St, I spotted this dish: "Chilean sea bass with heirloom potatoes." I asked the maitre d' to explain. An heirloom potato, he said, is a potato that has not been genetically modified.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas Pynchon in 1955, left, and Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of his novel, Inherent Vice

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Nicole Scherzinger will join the cast of Cats

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Fans were left surprised by the death on Sunday night's season 26 premiere

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lady Mary goes hunting with suitor Lord Gillingham

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Arts and Entertainment
Sergeant pfeffer: Beatles in 1963
booksA song-by-song survey of the Beatles’ lyrics
Arts and Entertainment
music'I didn't even know who I was'
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl was left in a conundrum with too much talent and too few seats during the six-chair challenge stage
tvReview: It was tension central at boot camp as the ex-Girls Aloud singer whittled down the hopefuls
Arts and Entertainment
Kalen Hollomon's Anna Wintour collage

art
Arts and Entertainment

TV Grace Dent on TV
Arts and Entertainment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Why do we like making lists?

    Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

    Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

    Paris Fashion Week

    Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
    Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

    Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

    One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
    10 best children's nightwear

    10 best children's nightwear

    Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
    Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

    Manchester City vs Roma

    Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad