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The real Globes’ battle:Jones vs. Joan

Star Jones Reynolds covered the carpet for E!, while the Rivers dished on TV Guide channel.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Star Jones Reynolds promised to gush and did, profusely, outside the Beverly Hilton hotel on E! Entertainment Television’s red carpet coverage at the Golden Globes.

Over on the TV Guide Channel, Joan and Melissa Rivers reprised their sharp-edged roles, with Joan Rivers, predictably, committing some of her famous flubs.

For the first time, viewers had a choice of contrasting styles in the two-hour coverage Sunday night of the stars’ glamorous arrivals at the annual awards show. The Rivers women jumped ship at E! last year to sign with the TV Guide Channel. E! then signed Jones Reynolds to replace them.

E! said preliminary ratings were up markedly over 2003, the last time the Globes faced competition from NFL playoff games. The cable network went commercial-free in its second hour and claimed a resounding victory over TV Guide Channel, which is in 9 million fewer homes.

TV Guide Channel said its ratings were up 164 percent from last year when its taped preshow aired the day after the Globes. Joan and Melissa hosted a “Fashion Wrap” special Monday night. Final pre-show ratings were unavailable Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Rivers’ venom vs. Reynold’s gushfestThe mother-daughter duo made their TV Guide Channel debut walking in behind the University of Southern California Trojan marching band in a pre-taped bit.

“We’re back!” Joan Rivers said, leaning over to kiss the carpet and purr: “I missed you so much.”

Joan took a friendly poke at the competition when she told viewers, “Who am I? I am the real star Joan. We are back where we belong, dammit, on the red carpet.”

Melissa Rivers explained money was the reason they left “the other network.”

In the run-up to the show, Jones Reynolds had said she was going to gush, and did just that.

She called Morgan Freeman “one of the greatest living actors of our time. I’m not supposed to gush.” When Tim Robbins stopped by, she told him, “I have to not gush. You know they yell at me when I gush.” She told Glenn Close: “I’m trying not to jump up and down when I see you because you are truly one of the greatest actresses of our time.”

The Rivers women bantered and went to their first commercial break without having interviewed a single celebrity. In contrast, E! jumped on early arrivals Lou Gossett Jr., nominees Mos Def and Tony Shalhoub of USA’s “Monk,” and Jen Schefft of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” visiting Star and Griffin, who was stationed elsewhere on the carpet.

Griffin adds some spice
Jones Reynolds’ was joined on E! by correspondent Kathy Griffin. The comic and reality show veteran shook things up with outrageous questions and one-liners.

Griffin joked that 10-year-old actress Dakota Fanning had gone into rehab that day; asked Jeffrey Tambor of Fox’s “Arrested Development” if he had any “weed;” and grilled Michael Chiklis of FX’s “The Shield” in front of his wife whether they wanted to swap spouses and if he had ever gotten a hooker at the hotel. He answered no to both queries.

Griffin described Nicole Kidman as being “wasted” — and that’s when Jones Reynolds jumped in.

“You are so bad,” she scolded Griffin. “Do not say anything mean against Nicole. She is my queen of the glamazons.”

Jones Reynolds told The Associated Press on Monday she tried not to focus on Griffin’s antics.

“Do not relate me to her coverage. I had nothing to do with her being there,” Jones Reynolds said. “I’m not going to take responsibility for anything she said or did. It’s so not me, it’s not my style.”

Back on the TV Guide Channel, Melissa Rivers tripped on the stairs leading to their set just before airtime. “But that’s not uncommon for me because I’m clumsy,” she said Monday.

And her mother called Jessica Walter of “Arrested Development” Barbara Walters. Early on, she said Shalhoub won a Globe last year; he corrected her it was two years ago.

“There are a lot of people out there who take bets on how many flubs I’m going to make,” the elder Rivers said Monday.

Joan’s biggest disappointment? Mick Jagger.

“Come on, iron your suit and iron your face,” she cracked Monday. “Jack Flash can’t jump anymore. It makes me very sad. When he gets older, I’m getting older.”