During CBS’ upfront presentation of its fall lineup to advertisers on Wednesday, chairman Leslie Moonves emphasized that CBS is ”still the traditional network,” according to the New York Times. Then he announced that the network would air a live two-hour concert special by Madonna sometime this season. Does that mean that the woman who was once pop’s top provocateur has become ”traditional,” too? Or is she just a safer bet not to embarrass the network than CBS’ last live pop diva, Janet Jackson?
The performance would be Madonna’s first concert special safe enough for broadcast TV; three previous concert specials (most recently, from her 2001 world tour) have aired live on HBO. It’s not clear when the show, to be shot during Madonna’s upcoming Re-Invention Tour, will air; the tour starts next week in Los Angeles and is currently scheduled to run through early September. Viewers will hear such ”re-invented” Madonna oldies as ”Papa Don’t Preach,” ”Vogue,” and ”Express Yourself,” CBS announced.
Of course, ”live” may be a relative term in the post-Janet era; no doubt CBS will have the concert on some kind of delay, just in case. According to MTV News, Madonna is also shooting a ”Truth or Dare”-style tour documentary for theatrical release. It’s being shot by Jonas Akerlund, who directed Madonna’s controversial (and ultimately withdrawn) ”American Life” video.