Chicago Sun-Times
We're watching TV. You're watching TV. Let's get on the same channel.

November 2008 Archives

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

Your complete holiday TV/movie guide!

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS.jpg

OK .... now the Christmas season can begin. And it begins with warm, crackly holiday TV shows!

Whether your favorite annual Christmas gem is "Miracle on 34th Street" (on this afternoon!), the Peanuts gang, the crazy stop-motion Rudolph shows, "A Colbert Christmas" or good ol' scrooge (or "Scrooged"), all the holiday TV you could ever want is on our day-by-day 2008 Holiday TV and Movie Guide, online now for your viewing pleasure.

You blockhead.

Miley Cyrus rocks the "Dancing" ballroom

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Maybe it was just me, but wasn't it odd that during Miley Cyrus' electrifying performance on the "DWTS" finale Tuesday night, there were precious few closeups of her face? Especially everytime she opened her mouth to, uhm, sing? Hmmm....
Also, Miley babe, Michael Jackson did the one-glove thing before you were born. You need your own special gimmick, so go out and find one, 'k?

After-show "Dancing" interviews reveal interesting tidbits

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

ETonline (www.etonline.com) has this exclusive video with the newly crowned ballroom champion Brooke Burke and partner Derek Hough, after the show ended. But it's the interviews with Lance Bass and Julianne Hough that reveal the tastiest tidbits of gossip.

Lance and Lacey Schwimmer are headed to the "DWTS" tour and a vacation together in Mexico. And Julianne admitted she might have put her foot in her mouth when she said she was done with dancing..... seems like she may be back sooner than she thought. Great footage!

Brooke Burke crowned new "Dancing" champ

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks

In the end, it was beauty over braun as model/mom Brooke Burke took home the mirrorball trophy on the stunning finale of "Dancing with the Stars." Burke, with her partner Derek Hough, led pretty much the entire season, leaving the competition in her dust nearly every week. Only in the semi-finals did Burke drop to second place behind "sleeper" Lance Bass. But after the final competitive dances of the season Tuesday night, it was NFL star Warren Sapp who stood toe-to-toe with Burke for the coveted prize.

brooke and derek.jpg
AP PHOTO


Going into the finals Tuesday night, Bass and Sapp were five points behind Burke on the judges' leaderboard, an almost insurmountable spread to overcome. Burke smartly returned to her best dance of the season, a gorgeous Viennese waltz which she again beautifully delivered, and which left judge Carrie Ann Inaba in tears. Sapp and partner Kym Johnson gave their all to a crowd-pleasing hustle, while Bass and his partner Lacey Schwimmer stepped out with a jitterbug (not Bass' best dance of the season). That choice on Bass' part cost him the trophy, or even a second-place finish.

Keys and Miley Cyrus provided the guest entertainment for the 2-hour extravaganza, which proved to be quite enjoyable overall. All the ousted couples from season 7 returned for one last dance in the ballroom. It was nice to see Rocco, Ted, Toni, Jeffrey, and the rest (yes, even Kim and Cloris, who was one of the funniest running joke/storylines of the night!). Misty May-Treanor returned and made it very clear she wants to return to the ballroom to finish the season that never was. Her achilles tendon is healing well, she said, and she seemed more excited about dancing than, yikes, volleyball.

Highlights of the finale included:
Jeffrey Ross' HIGHlarious roast of the "Dancing" crew. Some of his best one-liners:
re: Cloris Leachman's long run on the show: "It was like 'Weekend at Bernie's---The Musical."
re: Lance Bass: "What can you say about Lance Bass that hasn't been said about Clay Aiken?"
re: Warren Sapp: "I thought you were on steroids but then I realized you were just fat."

Hope the show inspired you to get up, get out, and dance!
Here's to season 8, and a new lineup of stars and pros. I'm already contemplating my wish list.

You can win free tickets to "Dancing with the Stars: The Tour" coming to the Allstate Arena on Jan. 9. Here's how:

So you've been a faithful TV devotee of "Dancing with the Stars" for seven seasons. Here's your chance to see some of your favorite dancers up-close and personal via our "Dancing with the Stars: The Tour" ticket giveaway.

Two lucky bloggers to this site will each win one pair of tickets to the Jan. 9, 2009, 7:30 p.m. show at the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim, Rosemont.

To enter, simply comment on my blog, in 50 words or less, why you think "Dancing with the Stars" is the best thing since sliced bread, and has
therefore had some profound impact on your life.

Entries will be judged by me on or about December 19, 2008 based on creativity, grammar, clarity, heart, soul and/or humor. You must be 18+over and a legal resident of of IL, WI, IN, or IA to enter/win. I will contact each winner at their subscriber email and must get a response within 24 hours or that winner will be disqualified and an alternate winner will be selected. Only one entry per email address/name & address will be
considered.

Tickets will be available for pickup at the Allstate Arena on the evening of the show. Winners must provide their own transportation to and from the
event. The Sun-Times, this blog, and yours truly accept no responsibility for the content of the show, and/or including its cancellation/rescheduling or lack thereof. All entries must be posted by midnight CST on Dec. 15, 2008.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Void where prohibited. All entries are subject to
suntimes.com's Submission Guidelines available at
suntimes.com/aboutus/submissions.stng. All federal, state and local taxes,
as well as any expenses not specified, are the sole responsibility of each
winner. No transfers, prize substitutions or cash redemptions will be made.
Winners will need to provide Sponsor their full name, age, daytime telephone
number and city/state in which they reside within a specified timeframe or
risk disqualification. Approximate retail value (ARV) of each prize is $130
and total ARV of all prizes is $260. If the promotion is not capable of
running as planned for any reason, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole
discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend this contest. Sponsor: Chicago
Sun-Times LLC, 350 N. Orleans St., 10th Floor, Chicago, IL 60654.

To purchase tickets to the show, visit ticketmaster


Ok, here's the "surprise" I mentioned last night!!


So you've been a faithful TV devotee of "Dancing with the Stars" for seven seasons. Here's your chance to see some of your favorite dancers up-close and personal via our "Dancing with the Stars: The Tour" ticket giveaway.

Two lucky bloggers to this site will each win one pair of tickets to the Jan. 9, 2009, 7:30 p.m. show at the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim, Rosemont.


dancing tour.jpg

To enter, simply comment on my blog, in 50 words or less, why you think "Dancing with the Stars" is the best thing since sliced bread, and has therefore had some profound impact on your life.

Entries will be judged by me on or about December 19, 2008 based on creativity, grammar, clarity, heart, soul and/or humor. You must be 18+over and a legal resident of of IL, WI, IN, or IA to enter/win. I will contact each winner at their subscriber email and must get a response within 24 hours or that winner will be disqualified and an alternate winner will be selected. Only one entry per email address/name & address will be considered.

Tickets will be available for pickup at the Allstate Arena on the evening of the show. Winners must provide their own transportation to and from the event. The Sun-Times, this blog, and yours truly accept no responsibility for the content of the show, and/or including its cancellation/rescheduling or lack thereof. All entries must be posted by midnight CST on Dec. 15, 2008.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Void where prohibited. All entries are subject to suntimes.com's Submission Guidelines available at
suntimes.com/aboutus/submissions.stng. All federal, state and local taxes, as well as any expenses not specified, are the sole responsibility of each winner. No transfers, prize substitutions or cash redemptions will be made. Winners will need to provide Sponsor their full name, age, daytime telephone number and city/state in which they reside within a specified timeframe or risk disqualification. Approximate retail value (ARV) of each prize is $130 and total ARV of all prizes is $260. If the promotion is not capable of running as planned for any reason, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole
discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend this contest. Sponsor: Chicago Sun-Times LLC, 350 N. Orleans St., 10th Floor, Chicago, IL 60654.

To purchase tickets to the show, visit:
ticketmaster

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

"Dancing with the Stars" surprise on its way

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Okay, dancing/Sun-Times fans. Tune into my blog Tuesday night for an announcement about the "DWTS" live tour that will make four lucky bloggers out there very happy!

Stay tuned...

'Dancing with the Stars" win is still anybody's game

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

At the end of the finals tonight, Brooke Burke might have led the pack in terms of total points, but it was still anybody's game when the sequins settled.

After the group "samba smackdown" in which judge Len Goodman gave out some questionable scores (a "7" to Warren, an "8" to Lance) it was down to business in the freestyle.

Brooke was pretty in pink and pretty cool in the judges' eyes as she scored a perfect "30" for a spangly routine to "You're the One that I Want" from "Grease." Warren came out fighting with a lift-filled routine that earned him a "10" from Goodman who said it was for "entertainment" value. Sure, it was entertaining, but it was also very good dancing, as Sapp earned 27 points when all was said and done.

Then there was Lance and Lacey.... who opted for a funky hip-hop routine that was a good routine, just not on par with the other two. In my very humble opinion, the trophy was Lance's to lose, and the freestyle might have very well cost him the trophy. And honestly, I haven't been cheering for Lance this season, who didn't seem to have any oomph in him as the weeks went by. Then he and Lacey exploded last week with two sensational routines and suddenly the competition wasn't so cut-and-dry.

The standings going in to Tuesday night's results show: Brooke, Lance, Warren.

Tuesday night the results and the winner will be revealed. Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys are set to perform. In all, it's been a very exciting season (even through all the Cloris Leachman drama!). I'm predicting Brooke Burke will be crowned champ tomorrow night. Stay tuned.

"Dancing" finals see a '7'

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Tonight's finals got off to an awkward start with judge Len Goodman's issuance of a lousy "7" to Warren Sapp for the samba smackdown. Come on Len, it's obvious you want Brooke to win, but Sapp did not deserve anything below an "8." In fact, Brooke, upon whom Len bestowed a 9, wasn't the best of the trio of finalists during the semi-group dance. It was Lance Bass with partner Lacey Schwimmer who sizzled out there with some new and exciting moves. Len once again stunned everyone with his "8" when the young duo really deserved a "9." Ouch.


In the junior dancing division, the brother-sister duo of Craig and Samantha were presented their much deserved mini-mirrorball trophy for first place. They rocked and their polished, stylish, lighter-than-air moves should serve as an inspiration to dancers everywhere!.

Daniel Radcliffe bones up on getting naked

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

So Daniel Radcliffe, a k a Harry Potter, is on the notorious Bravo chat-snooze "Inside the Actors Studio," and he's talking about the vulnerability of being stark naked on stage in his current New York production of the creepy play "Equus," when he begins to discuss the David and Goliath effect on the male anatomy ...

The episode airs Dec. 1 on Bravo.

... but we're watching it later, on the DVR

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Even though one study shows actual TV viewership -- as opposed to watching vids on computer and mobile phones -- is up, the nature of that viewership has changed dramatically ...

Download this! Viewership of actual TV grows

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

It goes against what you might suspect: we can now watch video on computers and mobile phones -- but a new study says we're watching more actual TV than ever.

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows

'Arrested Development' movie is actually in development

| 6 Comments | No TrackBacks

jaswill113_600.jpg
Michael (Jason Bateman, right) and Gob (Will Arnett) fight over Marta for the last time in the "Arrested Development" episode "Beef Consomme."

"Arrested Development" fans, take heart. Producer Ron Howard and creator Mitch Hurwitz are allegedly closing deals for a feature film of this critically acclaimed and Emmy-winning but canceled TV comedy.

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

Julianne Hough is done "Dancing"

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

It's official, Juianne Hough is trading in her dancing shoes for cowboy boots.... her music is now her top priority. The country singer is also riding high on the heels of her first-ever Christmas album (available at Target). It's no big surprise; she's wanted to be a country music star since she was a little girl.

E! Online is exclusively reporting the news. So here it is...


Los Angeles -- Julianne Hough told E! News' Ryan
Seacrest on his KIIS FM's "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" this morning that she
will not be returning to "Dancing with the Stars" next season.

"I'm not going to be back next season," Hough reveals to Seacrest. "That's
final."

julianne.jpg
Juianne Hough (with her recently ousted partner Cody Linley)
is exiting the "Dancing with the Stars" ballroom.
AP PHOTO

In a segment to run on E! News' tonight, Hough tells Seacrest this decision
is not because of her recent health issues, but more, "It's because I
really, really want to focus on the music and must be taken seriously a little
bit, and I think it's hard to be on "Dancing with the Stars" and be singing
and kind of get that confusion, and so I'm really going to focus on the
music."

In response to the risk of leaving such a popular show, as Seacrest refers
to as the "mother ship," Hough says, "Yeah, but the music is where I want to
be so you got to do what you got to do to get there."

Tune-In to E! News Tonight at 7pm and 11pm ET/PT for More on This Interview

Lake Forest resident McKey Sullivan has won the 11th cycle of "America's Next Top Model."

The 19-year-old student bested Samantha Potter and Annaleigh Tipton on the CW Network reality show hosted by Tyra Banks.


00020032.jpg

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

A taste of the upcoming 'Colbert Christmas' special

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

This side of this newsroom has been buzzing recently over the hilarity that is Stephen Colbert's upcoming Christmas special, "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!"

The one-hour gag premieres at 9 p.m. this Sunday on Comedy Central, and it features a variety of musical guests, including Elvis Costello, Feist, Toby Keith, John Legend, Willie Nelson and Jon Stewart. Yes, Jon Stewart is a "musical guest."

Monty Python reclaims YouTube!

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

I myself am guilty of satisfying the occasional Monty Python jones by romping through the thousands of clips available online, particularly at YouTube. But, of course, none of these are official, and most of them are of crap quality.

But now the Monty Python blokes themselves are taking care of this -- announcing, in a new YouTube video, that they're launching the Monty Python channel on the site.

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

Hints at next season's "Dancing with the Stars" lineup?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

I love surveying the ballroom audience as the camera pans over the crowd. I love to look past Samantha Harris and see just who's peeking over her shoulder staring back at the camera.

Seen this week in the ballroom.... 80s popster Deborah Gibson, all smiles and paying very close attention to the goings on. AND.... everybody's favorite "Topanga," (no, not the canyon!) from the television series "Boy Meets World" .... yep, Danielle Fishel. You may recall "Boy" was a huge hit on ABC back in the day, and we all know every season featuers at least one ABC alum or current star. Hmmm. Will these two ladies be part of next season's roster? Both gals could use a serious career boost.

Remember, you read it here first.

"Dancing" results show too long for it's own good

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

The stage is set for the finals: Cody Linley was voted out of the ballroom, so it's up to Lance Bass, Brooke Burke and Warren Sapp to battle it out next Monday night for that coveted mirror-ball trophy.

Bass came out the backstretch this season to take everyone by surprise, while Cody who seemed to be on track for a while, just ran out of gas. And then there's Warren, who proved to everybody that "the big guy" can dance! Early line says Brooke will walk away with it all, but anything can happen. Lance and partner Lacey Schwimmer are atop the leaderboard going into the finals, and who would have predicted that from the boy bander with the severe lack of confidence and the "worst dancer in 'NSYNC." And I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but Warren might be the next celeb eliminated; he's wildly entertaining, but his moves the past few weeks seem to be lacking the pizzazz he had earlier in the season.

But I digress. Can the results show get ANY LONGER? Sure, ABC is counting its merry millions in advertising revenue, but honestly, do we really need a one-hour re-run/recap of the previous night's competition? Come on already. It was fantastic to see/hear Aretha Franklin and John Legend perform; too bad we didn't have more of them and less babbling rehash about the night before. Julianne Hough got to plug her latest single, too. The results show is becoming a concert treat, rather than a dancing feat.

It was nice to see Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas dance again. The reigning champs put on quite a dancing exhibition.

Adorable moments: The finals of the kids' competition. All three moppett couples are just too cute and way too talented to be believed. I'm not picking a winner just yet.

Here's to Monday's final round!

"Dancing with the Stars" finals are set

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

It will be Brooke Burke, Warren Sapp and Lance Bass facing off next week in the finals of "Dancing with the Stars."

Flatley gets his own 'Dancing' show

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks

Seems like the good fortune just keeps coming for folks who participate in "Dancing with the Stars." The show absolutely revived the careers of John O'Hurley and Mario Lopez. And now comes word that Michael Flatley, who subbed for lead judge Len Goodman a few weeks back, is getting his own reality dance show.

PEOPLE MICHAEL FLATLEY.jpg


Lord Flatley (left) in his dancing hey-day.
AP PHOTO

EW.Com's Annie Barrett is reporting:

"Michael Flatley, whom I have somewhat affectionately labeled "DANCLRD" for that one week he filled in for DANCMSTR Len Goodman on this season's Dancing With the Stars, will host his own dance series on NBC. Hmmm...how can we title this sucker so that it's basically a synonym for 'DWTS' but also kind of one-ups it a bit...Macy's Stars of Dance: The Series? People Who Really Are Stars DANCE? Dance Superstars? Nope. Flatley's show will be called "Superstar Dancers of the World." The WORLD! Oh, they went there. "American Idol" evil genius Simon Fuller and "So You Think You Can Dance?" judge/troll Nigel Lythgoe are to blame for this mess."

And of course, like Annie, we'll also be tuning in for this uhm, mess.

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

'Dancing with the Stars' semifinals unleash new leader

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Wow! What a night in the ballroom this was!

The semifinals proved to be anything but routine, as Brooke Burke got raked over the coals for her mistake-filled jive (and rightfully so, it was pretty bad). And Lance Bass found himself atop the leaderboard by night's end.

The judges came out swinging giving Brooke a lowly 21 points for her jive with Derek Hough. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba went so far as to call the star "disrepsectful" for thinking she could turn in any old routine.

Cody Linley didn't fare much better with his (22 points) dismal paso doble (though he and Julianne Hough wore two of the best costumes of the night). Their military-inspired paso didn't inspire the judges, remarking it was "disapointing" and made Cody look "stiff and wooden."

Warren Sapp got the night back on track with a spirited mambo, entertaining, but still too flat-footed for the judges. What's with the shoes, Warren?????

But it was Lance Bass who dazzled everyone tonight, first with a spectacular mambo that earned him and partner Lacey Schwimmer a 28, and Lance's first "10" of the season (from judge Carrie Ann). Everything worked in this dance, from the smart costumes to the supercharged footwork. It sizzled.

In "round 2" of the semis, the dancers had to perform one of the season's "new" dances, either the jitterbug or the salsa, and one they hadn't already performed earlier in the season.

Brooke got her game back on track with a fiery salsa, earning a much-deserved 28.
Cody tried his best to wiggle those hips, but fell short, earning only 24 for his cheeky salsa.
Warren did an acceptable jitterbug, but his flat-footedness is what's keeping him from really cutting a rug! Come on Warren, get back to wearing dance shoes, and you might be a bit lighter on your feet!
But it was Lance once again, who stole the show with a spectacular jitterbug. Even when his left gym shoe (he was decked out in full sailor whites) went flying off his foot, he still managed to make every step look effortless and precise. He got 29 points for this one, earning two "10s' along the way. Whjere has this talent been hiding all season?

This night was full of surprises, and for those who thought Brooke had it all in the bag, look out. Seems like Lance has other plans. Tuesday night's results show is gonna be a two-hour extravaganza (come on, already, isn't this getting ridiculous?) with performances by Julianne (singing) Kristi Yamaguchi (dancing) and specialg guest star, Aretha Franklin bringing some much needed soul to the ballroom.

Oh, and someone's going home. My money's on either Cody or Warren.

Stay tune.d

George Hamilton's autobiography positively steamy

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Everybody's favorite (and most fabulously tanned) "Dancing" alum has just published his memoirs....


By BOB THOMAS
Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES -- The recent spate of male movie stars writing their life stories -- including Tony Curtis, Robert Vaughn and Robert Wagner -- offers something that would have been verboten in their studio years: sex, sex and more sex.

Now, George Hamilton joins the tell-all trend with his memoir, ''Don't Mind If I Do,'' in which he writes about losing his virginity when he was 12 his stepmother. And that's just for starters. Other exploits described in the book involve such notables as Marilyn Monroe, Mamie Van Doren, Judy Garland and Danielle Steel.


Books George Hamilton.jpg

The autobiography, which was written with celebrity author William Stadiem, begins with Hamilton's adventures on ''Dancing With the Stars.''

''When I heard it was a ballroom dancing show, I wasn't very interested,'' Hamilton said in an interview at his pied-a-terre high above Westwood. ''But my agent said it was an important show, so I agreed.''

During a yachting trip to the Bahamas, Hamilton fell down a flight of stairs and broke four ribs and damaged a knee. He was warned by a doctor that if he fell again while dancing on the show, he would puncture a lung. He tried to back out of the gig but was persuaded to try one appearance.

''I decided to make the dance a little movie, with myself as Fred Astaire,'' he said. ''The audience loved it, and the judges couldn't get rid of me.'' He lasted six weeks before getting the hook.

Hamilton turned 69 in August, yet seems youthful, except for a swath of white hair above his forehead. He looked athletic in dark pants and shirt, the top two buttons loose. His face was unlined and, of course, bore the Hamilton tan.

''It's so sad that I parlayed tanning into a career,'' he said with a slight smile, facetiously referring not only to his enduring Hollywood persona, but also a successful chain of tanning salons. ''It (began) in Palm Beach when I was in prep school. ... After the second day at the beach, I got a lot of attention. Somehow it came to me that I looked better with a tan.

''I can tan quickly. What takes people hours to do, I can tan in half an hour.''

The central figure in ''Don't Mind If I Do'' is Hamilton's biological mother, whom he describes as ''incredibly beautiful, a real charmer, the ultimate Southern belle, irresistible to men.'' The mother (not to be confused with Hamilton's stepmother) had three sons and multiple marriages, and was repeatedly on the move.

During one period, she took the boys to Hollywood, where she sought a movie career. She didn't have much luck, but she formed a liaison with Charles ''Buddy'' Rogers. It was a relationship that lasted for years, Hamilton said, even though Rogers was married to Mary Pickford.

Hamilton himself came to Hollywood on a lark as soon as he finished high school in Palm Beach. Some of his fellow graduates were making the trip, and they invited him along, so he came out ''just for fun.''

''I had $90 in my pocket,'' he remarked, ''and I paid $90 for four photographs to show the studios. I didn't have much luck.''

Finally he landed the leading role in a cheap version of the Russian classic ''Crime and Punishment.'' The picture cost $90,000 and Hamilton was paid $1,800.

''I couldn't get a job because nobody saw the movie,'' he said, referring to the fact it wasn't immediately released. ''So I went off to South America to become a bull fighter. While I was there, 'Crime and Punishment' was released and got rave reviews. MGM saw it, and my agent told me to come back. MGM wanted to sign me to a contract. It paid $500 a week.''

Hamilton was cast in ''Home From the Hill,'' which starred Robert Mitchum and Eleanor Parker, followed by a youth picture, ''All the Fine Young Cannibals.'' With his career flourishing, he demanded and was awarded $1,000 a week.

As his fame grew, Hamilton became noted for squiring screen beauties, notably Elizabeth Taylor. They still remain friends.

''We talk a lot, but she doesn't go out much,'' he said. ''The last time I saw her, she was in a wheel chair. I have a good relationship with Elizabeth. She is an extraordinary woman.''

Hamilton dated Linda Bird Johnson, daughter of President Johnson, and a marriage was rumored.

''I think the last thing L.B.J. wanted was to have an actor in the family,'' Hamilton observed. ''But I had an extraordinary time with him. I went hunting with him on his farm. ... I liked him. His humor was extraordinary, but it was a barnyard humor. It was hard for him to follow John Kennedy, who was so smooth and eloquent.''

With his many affairs, Hamilton was often derided in the press. The exception was columnist Liz Smith of the New York Post. She is quoted in the book's flap: ''Hamilton is more substantial than his image. He is smarter, edgier and sexier than one might expect.''

Patricia Grader, Hamilton's editor at Touchstone Books, said that the actor was ''completely hands-on with this project from start to finish'' -- she means in a professional way. ''We were up against a very tight production deadline, but he never lost his savoir faire or his sense of the absurd -- even break-dancing during the cover photo shoot,'' she said.

Hamilton had only one marriage, to Texas beauty Alana Collins, the mother of his son Ashley, now 34. Their marriage ended in divorce.

''I dedicated the book to Ashley,'' said Hamilton. ''He is an extraordinary (apparently his favorite adjective) human being. He had lots of addiction problems, and we almost lost him four times. So I learned to accept him unconditionally.''

A generation after Ashley, Hamilton had another son, George Thomas Hamilton, known as G.T. The mother is Kimberly Blackford, whom he describes as an eye-catching beauty in her 20s.

''I wish I had been the marrying kind, but I wasn't,'' Hamilton writes. But he did agree to make sure young G.T. would have all he needed, and he expressed his eagerness to spend time with the boy, now 8.

''I don't use the phrase 'I love you' very often,''' he commented, ''but I say it every time I talk to my children.

''Mom was right; there is no love like the love you feel for your children.''

AP-CS-11-17-08 1441EST


Mark Cuban dancing to a different tune

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

YIKES! Fans of "Dancing's" Mark Cuban might find this news very disheartening:

By MARCY GORDON
AP Business Writer
WASHINGTON-- Federal regulators on Monday charged Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with insider trading for allegedly using confidential information on a stock sale to avoid more than $750,000 in losses.
Cuban disputed the allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and said he would contest them.

dancing mark.jpg


The SEC filed a civil lawsuit against Cuban in federal court in Dallas. The agency alleged that in June 2004, Cuban was invited to get in on the coming stock offering by Mamma.com Inc. after he agreed to keep the information private.

Cuban owned 6.3 percent of Mamma.com's stock at that time and was the largest known shareholder in the search engine company, according to the SEC. The agency said Cuban knew the shares would be sold below the current market price, and a few hours after receiving the information, he told his broker to sell all 600,000 shares before the public announcement of the offering.

By selling when he did, Cuban avoided losses exceeding $750,000, the SEC said in its lawsuit. Montreal-based Mamma.com changed its name to Copernic Inc. in June 2007.

''It is fundamentally unfair for someone to use access to nonpublic information to improperly gain an edge on the market,'' Scott Friestad, the SEC's deputy enforcement director, said in a statement. The agency alleged that Cuban acted with ''scienter,'' a legal term indicating knowledge of wrongdoing.


"DANCING WITH THE STARS" 2007: Mark Cuban with pro partner Kym Johnson in much happier days.


The SEC is seeking a court judgment against Cuban finding that he violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, an injunction against future violations, an unspecified civil penalty and restitution of the losses Cuban allegedly avoided.
Unless he is subject to an injunction, Cuban ''is likely to commit such violations again in the future,'' according to the SEC suit.

Cuban's attorney said in a statement that the SEC's case ''has no merit and is a product of gross abuse of prosecutorial discretion.''

''Mr. Cuban intends to contest the allegations and to demonstrate that the (SEC's) claims are infected by the misconduct of the staff of its enforcement division,'' Ralph Ferrara wrote in a note posted on Cuban's blog.

Cuban, in his own statement, said, ''I am disappointed that the (SEC) chose to bring this case based upon its enforcement staff's win-at-any-cost ambitions. The staff's process was result-oriented, facts be damned. The government's claims are false and they will be proven to be so.''

Cuban, 50, also owns Landmark Theaters, a large national chain dedicated to independent films, and the HDNet cable television channel.

He also runs a Web site called Sharesleuth.com, which bills itself as providing ''independent Web-based reporting aimed at exposing securities fraud and corporate chicanery.'' An announcement on the site says there are plans for a companion, BailoutSleuth.com, to track the government's $700 financial rescue plan.

Cuban is one of the richest people in the world, according to Forbes magazine, which pegged his net worth at $2.3 billion as of March 2007.

Mamma.com decided in the spring of 2004 to raise capital in a so-called private placement in public equity offering, known as a PIPE, according to the SEC suit. In late June, as the PIPE moved toward closing, Mamma.com's investment bank suggested the company invite Cuban to participate.

On June 28, Mamma.com Chief Executive Guy Faure e-mailed Cuban asking him to call him ''ASAP,'' the SEC said. Cuban called four minutes later from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, home of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, and spoke to Faure for about eight minutes.

Faure, who resigned last year, began the conversation by telling Cuban he was about to give him confidential information. Cuban agreed to keep it to himself, the SEC said.
Cuban became upset and angry during the conversation, and said that he didn't like PIPEs because they dilute the value of company stock for existing shareholders, according to the SEC. At the end of the call, Cuban said, ''Well now I'm screwed. I can't sell.''
AP-CS-11-17-08 1406EST

'Total Finale Live' All-Time #1 Videos

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

MTV's 'Total Request Live' aired its final episode this past week and celebrated Sunday night with a finale featuring new and old favorites like Justin Timberlake, former VJ Carson Daly, Beyonce, Nelly and Snoop Dogg. Here are the show's all-time top videos:

Anthony Edwards' return to the 'ER'

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Watch a recap of last night's "ER" -- with the heralded return of Anthony Edwards.

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

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

'Enemy,' 'Jungle' axed from NBC schedule

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

"Sex and the City," it ain't. Which is probably why no one has watched the Brooke Shields TV vehicle "Lipstick Jungle." And why NBC is canceling it.

Also axed by NBC, the new action series featuring Christian Slater, "My Own Worst Enemy."

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

2 new women on "Saturday Night Live"

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Despite a recent "Saturday Night Live" scouting trip to Chicago, the show went elsewhere to find its newest hires.

What, me canceled? 'Mad TV' to call it quits on Fox

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

You are now watching "Mad TV" - but not much longer, at least not on Fox.

Stars lining up for NBC Christmas tree event

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

Lots of talent will be present for NBC's annual ''Christmas in Rockefeller Center'' telecast.

Hosted by Al Roker, this 76th formal tree lighting ceremony will feature Beyonce, Tony Bennett, the Jonas Brothers, Harry Connick Jr., David Cook and Rosie O'Donnell, the network said today.

Snoop, Ludacris, Nelly, others on Sunday's 'TRL' send-off

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Some of the biggest names in pop music will be on hand Sunday for the final episode of MTV's ''Total Request Live,'' including Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Nelly in a one-off performance.

As Janeane Garofalo said in "Reality Bites": "Oh, would you two just do it and get it over with?"

The decades-long tension between "Star Trek" pioneers William Shatner and George Takei reached a boiling point in months past when the two schoolyard babies argued back and forth -- through various media, not directly to each other -- about whether or not Shatner was invited to the recent wedding of Takei and his partner, Brad Altman. It continues with a new video out this week ...

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

'Dancing with the Stars' semifinals are set

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks

Sure, one more couple went home, but tonight it was all about the family, as brothers and sisters paired up for two of the most sensational dance routines this show has ever staged. First up was Lacey Schwimmer and her brother Benji, who took country music to a whole new level with their honky-tonk-inspired routine set to the live performance of "Ticks" by Brad Paisley himself. Talent runs deep in the Schwimmer family! Not 15 minutes later, Derek Hough and the just-returned from surgery Juianne Hough brought the house down with their incredible jive routine to "Great Balls of Fire." You'd never know Julianne had been out for the past two weeks due to an appendectomy.

These siblings can dance!


Oh ya, and at the end of the night, it was Cody and Maurice left standing in the scary red light. Alas, Maurice was sent packing amid shrieks, applause and tears. Cody lives to dance another day with Julianne. And can we all leave Cheryl's weight alone now? That means Brooke Burke, Cody Linley and Warren Sapp move on to the semi-finals next Monday night. It's the mom, the kid and the big dude!

The most bizzarre segments of the night were snippets of video "sessions" featuring the dance teams and advice guru "Dr. Drew" (yep, Dr. Drew Pinsky from "Celebrity Rehab"). What was the point of this? Of course Cody and Julianne did cry, so I guess it was worth it. HUH? This was the weirdest "let's fill airtime" segments in the history of the show. This results show could have been 30 minutes tops, including the sensational dance numbers and Paisley's two performances.

It's Tribute Band Week on Letterman!

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

They do this in Chicago on Halloween -- the tribute bands get a lot of club bookings, and we all have fun grooving to fake musicians. Next week, on Letterman's late-night talk show, the tribute bands hit the big time ...

Watch Jennifer Aniston on this week's '30 Rock'

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

This week's sweeps-month guest star on that sitcom you might have heard about, NBC's "30 Rock" with Tina Fey, is ... Jennifer Aniston.

This is, I believe, her first shot on TV since leaving "Friends." No, wait -- network TV. She was on cable's "Dirt," the vehicle for her old pal Courtney Cox.

Here are some clips from Thursday's episode. Funny stuff.

More after the jump ...

ABC: 'Practice,' 'Mars' on the move?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The Hollywood Reporter is citing sources saying ABC's going to monkey with their schedule a bit, playing a shell game with some of its dramas.

Kanye's new single drops tonight on '90210'

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Eager to hear Kanye West's new single? Might as well, given that the release date for the album keeps changing and changing (it's now Nov. 24).

Then tune in tonight to "90210," the show that once brought the Flaming Lips to the world and is once again trying to be a platform for cool new music.

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

'Lost' will be found again Jan. 21

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

ABC will devote all of prime time Jan. 21 to the return of ''Lost,'' showing two one-hour episodes preceded by a synopsis to update viewers on the story, the network said today.

Another hat act hosts 'SNL'

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Pop quiz time! Who was the last country singer to host "Saturday Night Live"?

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

Stop being mad at Barack Obama, "90210" fans. He didn't deprive you of an episode of your favorite teen drama; he just delayed it.

HBO buys Barack Obama: The Movie

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

110708obamamovie.jpg

HBO has bought the U.S. rights to a behind-the-scenes documentary on Barack Obama's presidential campaign from actor Edward Norton's production company.

Filming will continue through the president-elect's inauguration, with the premiere expected sometime in the spring, the network said Friday. HBO reportedly paid at least $1 million to show the still-untitled film.

Fox midseason: 'Idol' returns, 'House' moves

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Some midseason announcements coming through. From Fox:

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

Trailer out for new Joss Whedon series, 'Dollhouse'

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

More midseason TV to look forward to: It's the new show from Joss Whedon (creator of "Buffy" and "Firefly"), "Dollhouse"!

The show stars Eliza Dushku with a completely mutable personality ...

"Dancing With the Stars" tour tickets go on sale

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Get ready, 'cuz here they come!

Tickets for the all-new edition of "Dancing with the Stars: The Tour" coming to the Allstate Arena
on Jan. 9 go on sale at 10 a.m. Nov. 15 through all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and by calling (312) 559-1212, or at DancingWithTheStarsOnTour.com.

This is the fourth incarnation of the show, and this time the roster will include celebrities Lance Bass, Toni Braxton, Maurice Greene and Marlee Matlin. The featured pros will be Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Mark Ballas, Derek Hough, Kym Johnson, Lacey Schwimmer, Edyta Sliwinska, Karina Smirnoff and Fabien Sanchez.

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

Susan Lucci exits the 'Dancing' Ballroom

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Not really to anyone's surprise, it was Susan Lucci who got the boot tonight, having survived a few close calls over the past few weeks. The competition is just too fierce at this stage of the game, and try as she could, La Lucci was just not on the same playing field as the rest of the pack. She was a good competitor, and brought a great sense of class to the joynt, unlike someone who will remain nameless.

Other big news of the night was Maksim Chmerkovskiy's new 'do!!! Way to go Maks. The buzz cut looks fine; much more contemporary.

Edyta Sliwinska is officially orange.

Loved, loved loved Lionel Richie's two songs!! He looks great and sounds amazing.

Next week: the stars must perform a solo! Wonder if Lance will wear shoes?

ABC News team wins election night ratings

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

More than 65 million people watched Election Night returns Tuesday on the main broadcast and cable news networks.

Preliminary Nielsen Media Research estimates show that ABC News, with Charles Gibson leading a team that broadcast from New York's Times Square, won bragging rights with 13.1 million prime-time viewers.

Tina Fey says she's retiring the Palin impression

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

110508fey.jpg
My friends, both the real and the fake Sarah Palins are going away.


As Sarah Palin packs her bags and slinks back to Alaska -- prediction: when she's free in two years she'll get her own show on Fox News -- her comedic nemesis, Tina Fey, says she's retiring the Palin impersonation that helped give "Saturday Night Live" such a ratings boost this season.

"I have to retire just because I have to do my day job," the creator and star of NBC's "30 Rock tells Entertainment Weekly.

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

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

TV review of election coverage: Really, 'Star Wars'?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

holo.jpg
CNN's Anderson Cooper is visited by the hologram of R&B past, will.i.am, during the news network's gimmicky coverage.


By FRAZIER MOORE

Along with "Change," the big theme during Campaign 2008 was one of disbelief. Here was a just-when-you-thought-you'd-seen-it-all brand of amazement, voiced over and over, even by seasoned political observers.

No wonder TV was a great way to follow the race to the White House. There was plenty to see, even when you thought you'd seen it all.

Anthony Edwards discusses his return to 'ER'

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Anthony Edwards says it's easy being Greene.

The actor, who left ''ER'' six years ago, said in a telephone news conference Monday that he had no problem getting back into the swing of things while reprising his role as Dr. Mark Greene for the Nov. 13 episode of the NBC medical drama.

Said Edwards: ''It was really like going back to high school, in the best way. It was like going back to your favorite class and having your favorite teacher. ... It took about a half an hour -- and after about a half an hour, I really felt like I'd never left.''

'24' sets return date in January

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

24sutherland.jpg
Fans of "24" can stop looking behind them come January when the action series finally returns with its seventh season. (File)


Fox has set a premiere day for the return of ''24,'' planning a two-night, four-hour event in January.

The seventh season debut will air on Sunday, Jan. 11 and Monday, Jan 12 at 7 p.m.

Night of highs and lows on 'Dancing with the Stars'

| 3 Comments | No TrackBacks

Let's see, what did we learn tonight on "DWTS"?

1) The competition is taking its toll on most of the remaining pairs. Arguments, pissy criticisms, snapping, frustration, injuries and attitude abounded during the week's rehearsals.

2) A boa-sporting Bruno Tonioli beamed "I am what I am." 'Nuff said.

3) Lance Bass is the most whiney, insecure boy bander of all time. Even Lacey Schwimmer couldn't take it anymore, breaking down in tears during one of their more, uhm, difficult rehearsals.

4) Shoes are required for ballroom dance competitions.

5) Brooke Burke dances as good as any of the pros.


That about sums it up. It was a night of superb dance skills (Brooke, Lance) and not so superb (Warren, Cody) and the in-between (Susan, Maurice). It was a night of HUGE controversy thanks to Lacy and Lance who opted for a barefooted, back-to-nature approach to the sultry rhumba. Had this been a contemporary or modern dance competition, I would have scored them perfect 10s (Carrie Ann and Bruno did). Kudos to Len for telling them to stop with all the gimmicks and tricks. The elder statesman of judge row slapped them with a paltry 7 for their efforts.

The first-ever team competition proved some got it, and some don't. The Team Cha-Cha-Cha (Susan, Lance and Cody) were miserable, save for Lance and Lacy who were smokin' hot. As CarrieAnn put it, their "unison" dancing was terrible. On the other hand, Team Paso Doble (Warren, Brooke and Maurice) were stunning. The team scores, 29 for Team Paso and 20 for Team Cha. Those scores will be added to individual totals.

The results will be presented Wednesday night due to that other "competition" on Tuesday.

ODDS AND ENDS: Welcome back Edyta, filling in for the recuperating Julianne Hough (after an appendectomy). Seated ringside: comedienne Kathy Griffin. Don't be surprised if she shows up next season in the competition.

'Dancing' results show moved to Wednesday

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Just a friendly reminder, the "Results" show is airing Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on ABC. The special musical guest will be Lionel Richie.

About this Archive

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

October 2008 is the previous archive.

December 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.