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September 2008 Archives

Cloris Leachman survives to dance again

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Corky Ballas and his partner Cloris Leachman perform Monday on "Dancing With the Stars." (AP/ABC)


Call it a case of age before beauty, but this is getting POSITIVELY NUTS!

Cloris Leachman survived another elimination round tonight on "Dancing with the Stars," sending the buxom Kim Kardashian packing.

It's beginning to look like the senior gimmick is paying off big time in the ratings; people are tuning in just to get p-o'd about the voting system utilized by the hit show. Not that Kardashian was much better than Leachman. In fact, they should both be gone by now.

The coolest part about the elimination round is that it came down to Corky Ballas and his son Mark on the pro side of things. Naturally the show "planned it" that way for high drama. That's the rub with the voting on the show. Way back in season one, we were told where everyone stood as they were eliminated, until it came down to the "bottom two." Now the caveat, "Not necessarily in the bottom two" always precedes the elimination. (Of course, tonight, it obviously was the worst two dancers who were left standing).

On much higher notes, it was cool to see Warren Sapp's encore of the paso doble from Monday night. It was a blast. And who knew that judges Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman traversed the continents every week as they are pulling double duty --- judging both the U.S. show and the original in London. I'd love to snag their frequent flyer miles.

Guest artist Jessica Simpson looked stiff as a board as she warbled her latest hits. And if she hugged the mic any closer to her pouty lips you'd swear she was trying to cover up lip synching. Hmmm. Not that she was.....?

By FRAZIER MOORE

No, last week's Emmy broadcast wasn't the most dismal sight on television lately. Nonstop TV coverage of the economic crisis has made sure of that.

In fact, the Emmys even packed an illuminating upside. (Don't you wish you could say that about your fiscal picture?) It might have left a stale aftertaste the night it aired, but, thanks to unusually smart choices this year, the broadcast should have whet your appetite to take a new look at these winners:

'Dancing' judges take off their kid gloves

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Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman dished out heapin' helpings of harsh criticism Monday night, and mostly with good reason. The most severe dose was awarded Lance Bass and partner Lacey Schwimmer. The duo is the "hot young things" of this season's show, hoping to infuse the ballroom with some kick--- choreography. Len would have none of it, as he scolded Schwimmer for trying to pull one over on him.

Warren Sapp was just another huge surprise with a stunning paso doble. Can you believe the dance moves on this guy? Kudos to him and partner Kym Johnson. Likewise, Brooke Burke continued to astound the judges and the ballroom with her dancing prowess. Her paso with partner Derek Hough was passionate and sexy. Misty May-Treanor is proving quite the dancing diva with her continued stellar moves. She just needs to soften up around the edges a bit. Look for these three celebs to make it through to the end. And it's only week 2!

Last but not necessarily least, CLORIS LEACHMAN MUST GO. And she should take Kim Kardashian with her. And here's to Toni Braxton, picking up where Edyta Sliwinska left off when it comes to minimalist wardrobe.

Let's see how guest musical artist Jessica Simpson fares tonight.

Lance Bass kissed a girl, but did he like it?

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Lance Bass and his partner got some scolding on last night's "Dancing With the Stars," but they should at least get a medal for ironic song selection. The outed pop star cut his rug to Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" -- and ended the dance by actually doing so (and then applying some Chapstick ... cherry, we assume).

Watch the video ...


TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Tina Fey and Sarah Palin: Round two

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Tina Fey reprised her role as Sarah Palin on ''Saturday Night Live,'' again appearing as the Republican vice presidential candidate in an opening sketch.


Sweet blog: Obama takes Rezko hots on SNL


Sweet blog: Obama's Penny Pritzker talking points memo

Sweet blog: Obama's Gibbs tangles with Fox

'Runway's' move to Lifetime blocked by judge

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"Project Runway" is -- was? -- in the middle of its last season on the NBC-owned Bravo cable network. Earlier this year, the show's producers announced they were moving the popular fashion-themed reality show to Lifetime for season 6. But in the U.S, court system, one day you're in and the next day you've got an injunction against you ...

Letterman rips McCain -- again

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It was round two for David Letterman on Thursday -- who again took aim at Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who canceled his appearance on the show just a day before.

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Two fist bumps up for Stewart-Colbert EW cover

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This Friday's Entertainment Weekly cover is so much funnier and more interesting than this week's People cover. "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart and the "Report's" Stephen Colbert join forces to recreate the notorious New Yorker illustrated cover portraying Obama as a Muslim and his wife, Michelle, as a gun-toter. Once again, the pair brings the sharp wit of their Emmy-winning TV shows to bear on this year's depressing election process. They mock the vote!

Melissa Joan Hart dissed by 'Dancing'

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TMZ.com has the audio from the radio interview in which actress Melissa Joan Hart talks about her inability to nab a celebrity spot on "Dancing with the Stars." Definitely worth a listen. (Alas, not even her pal, the mighty Mario Lopez, could greenlight her). Says she's boycotting the series now... boo-hoo.

If nothing else, she would have been loads more interesting than the Leachman gimmick.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain might have tried to get out of a scheduled appearance on the "Late Show" with David Letterman unscathed, but the talk show host wasn't having it.

McCain canceled his appearance on the show Wednesday at last minute -- in addition to suspending his campaign (also trying to persuade Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to do the same) to focus on the struggling economy.

Not so fast, says Letterman:

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

'Dancing with the Stars' voting needs overhaul

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Three words for tonight's results show: What a crock!

There is no way that Cloris Leachman should be on to Week 2 of the competition after her ridiculous turns on the dance floor Monday and Tuesday nights. Yes, she is a bubbly 82 years young, and yes, what an inspiration to millions of seniors (and those of us who can only hope to reach our octogenarian years). But it's pretty safe to say that most folks expected Leachman to get the heave-ho. Alas, her miracle under the mirrored ball meant curtains for one of the other couples. It came down to actor Ted McGinley and singer Toni Braxton. Even head judge Len Goodman was dumbfounded that McGinley and Braxton were the two left standing with only one spot open for next week. In the end, McGinley was outta there, and near tears to boot.

Just shows ta go ya .... fan base rules the voting on "Dancing" and McGinley just didn't have the viewer base to beat out the grand dame.

With an exciting field moving on to week 2, this season is proving to be infinitely more exciting than last. And controversy such as tonight's final vote only adds to the show's steadfast success.

A-list entertainment was courtesy of the hot hot hot Jonas Brothers and the equally sparkling Jesse McCartney. So who still thinks this show is loserville?

Sneek peak at Kanye's new TV show, 'Alligator Boots'

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As reported here yesterday, Chicago rapper Kanye West is producing a new TV show he claims is "The Muppets meet hip-hop." If you're having trouble getting your brain around that concept, the above video clip allegedly from the show -- to be titled "Alligator Boots" -- unites Kanye (the real one) with Rhymefest (in puppet form) for a lil' ditty called "Baby in the Club," about loose women who get pregnant very young and still frequent the bars. Warning: If the idea of a breastfeeding puppet bothers you, just keep movin', nothing to see here ...

Lisa Kudrow tries to make it work in webisodes

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Episode 1 of Lisa Kudrow's new online series "Web Therapy."


Lisa Kudrow has been casting about for something to take root in her post-"Friends" career. Her latest time-filler, resume-padder? She's done an online-only series of awkward, occasionally amusing bits called "Web Therapy" -- a new "channel" on a Web site sponsored by Lexus cars.

From our Scurrilous column: "In 15 episodes, she fails to help five clients, played by Bob Balaban, Jane Lynch, Rashida Jones, Tim Bagley and Dan Bucatinsky. You know, wacky friends, zany adventures. ... 'This is the kind of idea that's just meant for the Web,' said Kudrow. Translation: It's not good enough for prime time."

Indeed, it's a bit of a smelly cat.

VH1 compiles list of the best hip-hop tracks of all time

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De La Soul has a song on VH1's list of the best hip-hop tracks ever -- but are they on your list? (AP file)


Rules are made to broken, lists are made to be debated. And argued. And remade ...

Few networks capitalize on the talking power of lists quite like VH1, and the music network's latest list show compiles the (alleged) 100 greatest hip-hop songs.

Starting Monday, the network counts down the list, but we know the toppers:

5. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's ''The Message''
4. Run-D.M.C.'s ''Walk This Way'' with Aerosmith
3. Dr. Dre's ''Nuthin but a 'G' Thang''
2. Sugar Hill Gang's ''Rapper's Delight''

And the No. 1 hip-hop song of all time is ...

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Brooke Burke dazzles on the dance floor

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Jeffrey Ross (right) and Edyta Sliwinska became the first casualties on this season of "Dancing With the Stars." (ABC/AP)


Night two of the competition and let's hear it for the proud mamma of four (one just a wee infant!), Brooke Burke, who positively dazzled on the ballroom floor. She and partner Derek Hough danced one of the most impressive quicksteps ever, and it's only week one of the competition! Chalk it up to their very unique use of Burke's newest baby as a "boob buffer" (the infant kept Brooke's chest from touching Hough (a big no-no in quickstep).

'Dancing' gets back on track

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Veteran TV actress Cloris Leachman struts on the new "Dancing With the Stars." (ABC)


All hail season seven of "Dancing With the Stars." It's about time the show got back to what made it so much fun in the first place.

Gotta say though, the three-night premiere extravaganza is just a bit too much to take. Come on, that's three nights' devotion..... No matter. Guilty pleasures are what they are.

First up... Cloris Leachman.

'90210' picked up for full first season

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The CW has ordered nine more episodes of the new "90210," filling out the freshman show's first season. That means the show will have a full 22 episodes.

Study: Gay characters double on network TV this season

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Gay characters on broadcast TV include Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) on "House" and Andrew Van De Kamp (Shawn Pyfrom) on "Desperate Housewives." (AP file)


Broadcast television will have 16 gay and bisexual regular characters in prime-time series this fall, more than double the seven of a year ago, a new study has found.

Clooney's leaving his 'ER' scrubs in the closet

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Despite pleas from producers and fellow former castmates, George Clooney says he will not reprise his role as Dr. Ross for an appearance during this final season of the hit drama "ER."

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Guess Zachary Quinto won't be doing any Taco Bell ads anytime soon.

Help me out, here, readers. Was that a genius shoving forward of a stalled TV show last night -- the reboot third-season premiere of "Heroes" on NBC -- or the most ham-fisted, absurdly written debacle you've seen in a long time? (Spoilers after the jump...)

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

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A list of selected guests scheduled on today's talk show:

You weren't watching, so catch up on the Emmys

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Co-host Heidi Klum was so bored (or boring?) during Sunday night's Emmys she fainted in Tom Bergeron's arms. Actually, it was a skit. (AP)


Did you watch last night's Emmy Awards? Don't lie to me, bub -- I've seen the numbers. You were watching football instead, I know.

So catch up with last night's shenanigans -- there were a few, despite a mostly dull show you're probably glad you missed -- and who won what over on our awards-show blog, The Gold Rush. The play-by-play is still on our Twitter feed, too.

The Emmys were fitting capstone to last season's tripped-up schedule. A new TV season starts tonight, thank heavens, and we can put all this behind us ...

They could be 'Heroes' ... or villains

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Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrelli (left) and Adrian Pasdar as Nathan Petrelli in a scene from NBC's "Heroes," premiering tonight. (AP/NBC)


The only thing that can defeat one of NBC's "Heroes" is a striking writer. The hit "X-Men"-like drama was derailed last season by the Hollywood writers strike, but the legion returns tonight ... and some of them are a little mad. This season, we're going to see some very bad mutants out to get revenge on humanity. In the future, no less.

Read Misha Davenport's preview of the new season here.

Need to remember where we left off? Try EW's gallery here.

And here's a new, longer, creepy trailer for the new season ...

Stars added to new Muppets Christmas special

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Uma Thurman and ''Law & Order'' alum Jesse L. Martin have joined the cast of NBC's holiday special ''Letters to Santa -- A Muppets Christmas.''

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of today's talk show guests:

Your source for everything Emmys ...

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Hey, TV fans: It's Emmys weekend! Wondering why there's not much Emmys stuff on this blog? Because it's on our award-shows blog, The Gold Rush!

Switch over there for a round-up of what the celebrities are doing to prepare for the big show, what some high-profile women will (or should) be wearing, how Bill Maher has surpassed Susan Lucci as Emmy's biggest loser, what the five nominated reality hosts think of this year's new category and more.

And tune into The Gold Rush on Sunday for live blogging of the show, or follow our celebrity Twitter feed for instant dish.

Oprah joins Tina Fey on '30 Rock' episode in November

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NBC has confirmed that Oprah indeed filmed her much-rumored guest appearance on the acclaimed sitcom "30 Rock" last Saturday. She plays herself opposite Emmy nominee Tina Fey in the episode to air Nov. 6.

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of today's talk shows with scheduled guests:

HBO draws more 'True Blood'

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Vampires rejoice: HBO has renewed the new drama series "True Blood" for a second season.

The series debuted Sept. 7, and that debut episode has enjoyed 4 million viewers thus far. So the series is already greenlighted to continue, with production of new episodes starting early next year in Los Angeles and a second season premiere set for summer 2009.

George Clooney, come back to 'ER'!

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Former "ER" star Anthony Edwards will appear in one episode during the long-running show's final season this year. And, in his words, he thinks fellow former series luminary George Clooney "would be a fool not to" join him.

What would Dr. Greene and Dr. Ross have to say to each other after all these years? Especially since Edwards' Greene left the show by, uh, dying.

Watch Edwards discuss the possibility after the jump...

Wheeling, dealing Gheesling wins 'Big Brother 10'

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Dan Gheesling of Dearborn, Mich., is joined by his girlfriend Monica after winning "Big Brother 10" at the show's finale Tuesday at CBS Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello/AP)


Dan Gheesling schooled everyone on ''Big Brother 10.''

The sneaky 24-year-old high school teacher from Dearborn, Mich., won the voyeuristic CBS reality show's $500,000 prize last night after outlasting 12 other contestants inside a makeshift house on a Studio City soundstage. Gheesling was unanimously voted the winner by the show's jury, made up of the past seven evicted houseguests.

R. Kelly finally talks in first post-trial interview

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R&B singer R. Kelly in Tuesday night's broadcast interview on the BET cable network.


The half-hour program on BET at 9 tonight was titled "R. Kelly Speaks." And he finally did -- the first public interview with the R&B superstar since a jury declared him not guilty of child pornography charges in a case that dragged on for seven years and finally reached a five-week trial in Chicago and concluded this summer.

The case began after a videotape allegedly showing Kelly having sex with an underage girl was delivered anonymously to Sun-Times pop music critic Jim DeRogatis in January 2001, and DeRogatis turned over the tape to authorities. (See a timeline and complete coverage of the trial.)

In tonight's pre-taped interview with BET News journalist Toure, Kelly addressed concerns about his lifestyle, his reactions to the verdict and the future of his music.

MTV killing 'Total Request Live'

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Time to start the countdown clock on MTV's countdown era: ''Total Request Live'' will soon leave the air after 10 years.

Dave Sirulnick, executive producer of ''TRL,'' said today that the music video countdown show will conclude in a two-hour special on a Saturday afternoon in November. He stressed that the show wasn't ending for good, but felt now was the right time to give it a break after an unprecedented run on the cable music channel.

Kathy Griffin has a second Emmy to carry around

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Kathy Griffin poses with her award for Outstanding Reality Program for her work on "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" -- her second Emmy. (Matt Sayles/AP)


Chicago-area native Kathy Griffin is shameless about showing her Emmy from last year -- she totes it when she travels, she even offers fans to take pictures with it.

Now she's got another one.

Chevy Chase: Tina Fey is 'brilliant'

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Founding "Saturday Night Live" cast member Chevy Chase appeared on MSNBC today to chat about a charity event -- but the conversation began with his observations on Tina Fey's performance spoofing Gov. Sarah Palin on this weekend's season opener.

Palin laughs along with 'SNL' spoof -- but will Fey return?

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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton in this weekend's opening to "Saturday night Live."


Two questions loom after this weekend's hilarious opener to the new season of "Saturday Night Live," featuring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler sending up political figures Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, respectively.

First, did Gov. Palin find it remotely amusing?

According to her spokesperson Tracey Schmitt, the Tina Fey lookalike chuckled along with the rest of us as she watched with the press corps in the back of her campaign plane.

"She thought it was quite funny, particularly because she once dressed up as
Tina Fey for Halloween," Schmitt told CBS.

The other pressing question for many viewers: Will Tina Fey will return to the role?

Bye bye Leno, but Dave wants to stick around

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David Letterman wants to stick with CBS' "Late Show" through his contract -- and maybe longer -- as rival Jay Leno prepares to surrender the "Tonight" reins next year.

"The way I feel now, I would like to go beyond 2010, not much beyond, but you know, enough to go beyond. You always like to be able to excuse yourself on your own terms," Letterman said in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine.

"If the network is happy with that, great. If they wanna make a change in 2010, you know, I'm fine with that, too," Letterman said.

Tune in to 'tini' 'Dancing'

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Ok, shameless out & out plug here, but maybe you're just tired of watching "Dancing" in the confines of your living room. Sooooo....
You can watch the stars and enjoy some themed cocktails (the "tango tini" or "waltz tini") with other 'Dancing' fans at Cityscape Bar every Monday night beginning Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. where flat screen TVs will be tuned to our favorite show. Viewing is free; "tinis' will cost you $8 apiece. The bar is located at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 15th floor, 350 W. Mart Center Drive. Call (312) 836-5000.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2008 is the previous archive.

October 2008 is the next archive.

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