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The Rodman World Tour

Filmed in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Rome and Monte Carlo by MTV Prods. Executive producer, Lisa Berger; producer-director, Patrick Byrnes; producer, John G. Hofmann; co-producer, Alisa Bellettini; associate producers, Douglas Anderson, Christopher Martello; coordinating producer, Marc Kaplan; writers, Tom Cohen, Lisi Gottlieb, Matt Price, Kiersten Widmer; camera, Victor Nelli; art director, Romolo Del Deo; consulting producer, Dwight Manley. Host: Dennis Rodman. Guests: Jay Leno, Jon Lovitz, Kelsey Grammer, Laura Leighton, Tommy Lee, Jonathan Silverman, David Alan Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Jenny McCarthy, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mickey Rourke, Barbara Walters, John Singleton. The marketing of one Dennis Rodman has come to this ludicrously self-indulgent half-hour of artistically challenged microbabble seemingly targeted to youngsters with the attention span of field mice. Shot through a filter of self-aware hipness stringing together a series of manic, washed-out, fisheye-framed images that attempt to mask the show's utter banality "Rodman World Tour" does at last manage to expose Rodman's fluorescent, tattooed, earringed, sexually charged outrageousness for the calculated merchandising tool it has become. The 13-episode series kicks off with a green-haired Rodman sporting three earrings in each ear and one through his nose. Between shots on the tennis court with Jon Lovitz and motorcycle riding with Jay Leno, the 6-foot 8-inch NBA rebounding phenom is caught in "candid" reflective moments during which he tells an offscreen inquisitor that his guests kinda disappointed him. On the other hand, you don't see them trying to play in the NBA, either. Lovitz, looking uncomfortable slapping tennis balls with Rodman, is able to do little but mutter under his breath and plug "High School High." Leno, after climbing off of his bike, is left sharing pizza with, and fending off questions about his erotic fantasies from, the now orange-haired host. Rodman: "Jay, do you like to get loose?" Leno: "Well, I'm kinda traditional." Stop the presses. If show one is painful, however, a future half-hour featuring Rodman with Kelsey Grammer, "Melrose Place's" Laura Leighton and rocker Pat Smear is outright torture. Rodman, now sporting his version of salt-and-pepper locks (green and white), arranges a poker game for the group that plays like "Politically Incorrect" on acid, minus the euphoria. He asks Leighton if her man "satisfies" her. They all climb in the Jacuzzi. All of them sip champagne (including the pre-rehab Grammer). Then Rodman pushes Smear to kiss Grammer on the lips. Woooh, how naughty! God bless cable television. As if making a public access show with a bigger budget, producer-director Patrick Byrnes works hard to have the frenetic, freewheeling program match the free-spirited personality of its host. The problem is that Byrnes and fellow producers John G. Hofmann, Alisa Bellettini, Douglas Anderson and Christopher Martello succeed too well; it turns out that Rodman's eccentric soul translates poorly to the small screen. Rodman's stated hope with the show is to give viewers a glimpse of "the different sides" of the celebrities with whom he is hanging. What he saddles his guests with instead is a serious case of second thoughts for having agreed to participate in this mini-disaster that further establishes MTV's credentials as Mindless Television. Ray Richmond

With:
Host: Dennis Rodman. Guests: Jay Leno, Jon Lovitz, Kelsey Grammer, Laura Leighton, Tommy Lee, Jonathan Silverman, David Alan Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Jenny McCarthy, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mickey Rourke, Barbara Walters, John Singleton.

Filmed in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Rome and Monte Carlo by MTV Prods. Executive producer, Lisa Berger; producer-director, Patrick Byrnes; producer, John G. Hofmann; co-producer, Alisa Bellettini; associate producers, Douglas Anderson, Christopher Martello; coordinating producer, Marc Kaplan; writers, Tom Cohen, Lisi Gottlieb, Matt Price, Kiersten Widmer; camera, Victor Nelli; art director, Romolo Del Deo; consulting producer, Dwight Manley. Host: Dennis Rodman. Guests: Jay Leno, Jon Lovitz, Kelsey Grammer, Laura Leighton, Tommy Lee, Jonathan Silverman, David Alan Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Jenny McCarthy, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mickey Rourke, Barbara Walters, John Singleton. The marketing of one Dennis Rodman has come to this ludicrously self-indulgent half-hour of artistically challenged microbabble seemingly targeted to youngsters with the attention span of field mice. Shot through a filter of self-aware hipness stringing together a series of manic, washed-out, fisheye-framed images that attempt to mask the show’s utter banality “Rodman World Tour” does at last manage to expose Rodman’s fluorescent, tattooed, earringed, sexually charged outrageousness for the calculated merchandising tool it has become. The 13-episode series kicks off with a green-haired Rodman sporting three earrings in each ear and one through his nose. Between shots on the tennis court with Jon Lovitz and motorcycle riding with Jay Leno, the 6-foot 8-inch NBA rebounding phenom is caught in “candid” reflective moments during which he tells an offscreen inquisitor that his guests kinda disappointed him. On the other hand, you don’t see them trying to play in the NBA, either. Lovitz, looking uncomfortable slapping tennis balls with Rodman, is able to do little but mutter under his breath and plug “High School High.” Leno, after climbing off of his bike, is left sharing pizza with, and fending off questions about his erotic fantasies from, the now orange-haired host. Rodman: “Jay, do you like to get loose?” Leno: “Well, I’m kinda traditional.” Stop the presses. If show one is painful, however, a future half-hour featuring Rodman with Kelsey Grammer, “Melrose Place’s” Laura Leighton and rocker Pat Smear is outright torture. Rodman, now sporting his version of salt-and-pepper locks (green and white), arranges a poker game for the group that plays like “Politically Incorrect” on acid, minus the euphoria. He asks Leighton if her man “satisfies” her. They all climb in the Jacuzzi. All of them sip champagne (including the pre-rehab Grammer). Then Rodman pushes Smear to kiss Grammer on the lips. Woooh, how naughty! God bless cable television. As if making a public access show with a bigger budget, producer-director Patrick Byrnes works hard to have the frenetic, freewheeling program match the free-spirited personality of its host. The problem is that Byrnes and fellow producers John G. Hofmann, Alisa Bellettini, Douglas Anderson and Christopher Martello succeed too well; it turns out that Rodman’s eccentric soul translates poorly to the small screen. Rodman’s stated hope with the show is to give viewers a glimpse of “the different sides” of the celebrities with whom he is hanging. What he saddles his guests with instead is a serious case of second thoughts for having agreed to participate in this mini-disaster that further establishes MTV’s credentials as Mindless Television. Ray Richmond

Popular on Variety

The Rodman World Tour

(Sun. (8), 10-10:30 p.m., MTV)

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Rome and Monte Carlo by MTV Prods. Executive producer, Lisa Berger; producer-director, Patrick Byrnes; producer, John G. Hofmann; co-producer, Alisa Bellettini; associate producers, Douglas Anderson, Christopher Martello; coordinating producer, Marc Kaplan; writers, Tom Cohen, Lisi Gottlieb, Matt Price, Kiersten Widmer.

Cast: Host: Dennis Rodman. Guests: Jay Leno, Jon Lovitz, Kelsey Grammer, Laura Leighton, Tommy Lee, Jonathan Silverman, David Alan Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Jenny McCarthy, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mickey Rourke, Barbara Walters, John Singleton.Camera, Victor Nelli; art director, Romolo Del Deo; consulting producer, Dwight Manley.

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