The Insider: Dolly Parton almost had her own cable channel

An interview with Dolly Parton Friday, May. 6, 2011 to talk about Dollywood winning The Liseberg Applause Award.

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An interview with Dolly Parton Friday, May. 6, 2011 to talk about Dollywood winning The Liseberg Applause Award.

Picture it now: Dolly Parton running her own cable channel. It almost happened.

Oh sure. Girlfriend Oprah Winfrey may be the queen of all media these days with her OWN channel, but Parton had the chance to launch a channel years ago. Oh, snap, Oprah.

"I was approached about having my own network many, many years ago," Parton told me recently. "There were some people who wanted to start up a network, and I didn't want to get that involved in the business aspect of it.

"I don't like to get involved in things that I am not familiar with. I'm kind of a hands-on type of person. At that time, it just wasn't right for me."

Maybe the time is now for her to start up her own cable channel. After all, Parton's best pal and No. 1 fan Robert Greenblatt is the new entertainment chairman at NBC.

In light of that, has she thought now of getting into her own cable channel?

"If I did it now," she says with a smile, "people would think I'm just trying to copy Oprah."

Parton has said she isn't much of a TV watcher anyway. She'd rather curl up with a good book than sit in front of the tube.

Regardless, a network run by Parton would certainly have an interesting programming lineup. Given her eclectic nature, Parton's network might be a mix between Logo and CMT, with the Style Network thrown in for good measure.

The royal "we" could certainly envision Parton's channel having an "American Idol"-type show, where all the contestants get hugs after they perform and Simon Cowell would not be allowed to speak up; a cooking show with Paula Deen, who would whip up Southern fried foods; and maybe even a "Fashion Police"-like series called "Why, Ain't She Purdy!"

Those reruns of "The Porter Wagoner Show" and "Hee Haw" have to air somewhere. We guess.

Let's get back to reality here: If Parton did have her own channel, what would be on the schedule?

"Oprah," Parton says. "She's doing pretty good with whatever she has."

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Tubing

While promoting Monday's "Raw" appearance here, WWE superstar Mike "The Miz" Mizanin talked of his favorite guilty pleasures on the tube.

He may be 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds of muscle, but he has a surprising soft spot for one of TV's guilty pleasures.

"I watch 'Grey's Anatomy,' and I don't care if it is a girly show," he touted. "It's got great characters. It's got great storylines. It's like the WWE in a hospital."

He records the show every week and can name every character.

His other favorite shows: "The Office," "Top Chef" and "Modern Family."

Perhaps he'll have a chance to do his own primetime show someday. After all, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and John Cena have big movie careers. Even our beloved Kane, who lives in Jefferson County, has been in a couple of feature films. (Let's not forget Kane's most recent credit: "MacGruber.")

Will The Miz be like a few other WWE superstars someday and crossover into movies or scripted TV?

"Of course I would like to," says The Miz, who got his start in reality TV with MTV's "The Real World: Back to New York" in 2001 and has about half a dozen reality-show appearances under his golden belt.

"Who wouldn't?"

Terry Morrow may be reached at morrowt@knoxville.com or 865-342-6445. His blog can be found at http://blogs.knoxnews.com/knx/telebuddy/.

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