Michael Stipe Is Finally Okay With Being GayR.E.M.’s Michael Stipe finally comes clean about being gay in this month’s Spin. Marc Jacobs and boyfriend Jason Preston got into numerous screaming matches while on vacation together in Turks and Caicos and flew back on separate private jets. Danny Masterson had his 32nd-birthday party at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, and it had a mechanical bull. An unnamed socialite dropped from a size 14 to a size 0 by picking up a heroin habit. Eminem, however, has hired a personal trainer to help him lose weight.
Cancer Has Not Impaired Patrick Swayze’s JudgementPatrick Swayze passed on playing a gay cheerleading coach in Fired Up for “creative reasons,” not because he’s sick. The script for Saturday’s Inner Circle show at the Hilton had to be overhauled in light of Spitzergate. Tom Brady made a rare post–Super Bowl public appearance with Gisele at the opening of the Zegna store on Fifth Avenue. Anne Hathaway bought five bottles of absinthe and borrowed an absinthe fountain from a restaurant for a party she was hosting with her boyfriend Raffaello Folllieri. ABC may cancel Rachael Ray’s show because of poor ratings. Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie shared an “uncomfortable silence” after being seated six feet apart from one another at a Cinema Society screening.
in other news
‘Cashmere Mafia’ Tries On the Cement StilettosUnlike the Greatest Show of Our Time, it looks like Cashmere Mafia isn’t going to make it to a sophomore season. When we read last week on Fashionista.com (that venerable expert in network reporting) that the show was on the chopping block, we didn’t pay it much heed. Sure, the show had dropped from something like 10 million viewers at its debut for 5.7 million now, but at least it’s a good scripted series with a following. But then on Thursday Bloomberg reported that Cashmere writers still weren’t sure what was going on, a few weeks after the strike ended. And now today Ben Widdicombe’s “Gatecrasher,” which is a reliable source for TV gossip (particularly the type that involves divas and failure), says it’s probably true: The show is on its way out. This is too bad; we kind of like the show, which wasn’t particularly smart or realistic, but at least involved main characters who smiled every once in a while, unlike the ones on rival series Lipstick Jungle. Who knew the only enduring show about happy, well-sexed fortysomethings in funny clothes this year would be Rock of Love?
‘Cashmere Mafia’ Might Be Taken For a Ride [NYDN]
ABC’s David Muir Gets Worried When the Pilot Isn’t in the CockpitYou know how we love Anderson Cooper? No? Well, welcome to our blog, we’re so happy to have first-time readers. For the rest of you, we have some bad news. We are developing a new newscasting crush. No, it’s not Shep Smith, though his eyebrows are appropriately intense. It’s ABC News’ David Muir. He’s tall, he’s gorgeous, he has one of those surreally serious Anchor Voices, and he’s one of New York’s rising stars of 2008’s campaign coverage. We tracked him down to ask him a few burning questions:
What do you think we’re going to know the day after Super Tuesday?
That we still have a long way to go until November.
What type of coverage intimidates you?
The idea of doing what Charlie Gibson did in New Hampshire … moderating two back-to-back debates with the Democrats and the Republicans. He set the bar.
‘Cashmere Mafia’ vs. ‘Lipstick Jungle’: The Official Obsessed MatchupOkay, like every fight between tough bitches, the battle royale between Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle could only remain buried underneath rumor, speculation, and outfit comparison for so long. Next week, Jungle debuts on NBC. Its stars, Brooke Shields, Kim Raver, and Lindsay Price, as well as its creator, Candace Bushnell, have been gearing up for a showdown against the similarly themed Mafia since the announcements of both shows last year. Now, it’s no secret that the two series are trying to inherit the viewership gold mine that was Bushnell’s Sex and the City. One has four sexy, powerful New York women who have fabulous lives and wardrobes, and one has three. But how do they really compare to one another? Short answer: Cashmere sucks, and Lipstick merely gives you an over-the-pants hand job. But how do they handle the legacy of their grand, Jimmy Choo–clad matriarch? Only time will tell. Or, you know, us. Because we got our hands on the first couple of episodes of Jungle, and we thought you’d like to know how each of them fare against one another when dealing with the subjects that Sex and the City held so dear. Which show will truly inherit the Dolce & Gabbana sequined underpants that Carrie was wearing on the runway when she fell, in the best episode of any television show, ever?? Below, a tale of the tape.
‘Brothers and Sisters’ Star Dave Annable Plays Wii All DayName: Dave Annable
Job: Playing injured Iraq vet Justin Walker on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters.
Borough: Annable grew up upstate, went to SUNY Plattsburgh, and earned his acting chops in the city with the Neighborhood Playhouse, living in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
After studying at the “library,” N.Y. pizza at 2 a.m.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Play the Nintendo Wii.
Carrie Has to Remarry for ‘Sex and the City’Sex and the City producers have to reshoot the wedding sequence between Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big at the New York Public Library because they rushed through it the first time. (Also, Kim Cattrall shows up to work last every day.) ABC contacted Cosmo’s hottest New York Bachelor of 2007, Patrick Clark, about staring in The Bachelor. Bonnie Evans, widow of Charles Evans (brother of producer Bob Evans), is putting up her Park Avenue triplex for sale for $30 million. Josh Hartnett claimed that “half–95%” of what is written about him is not true but declined to say whether his hooking up with Rihanna was included in that figure. The Autumn, the play starring Meryl Streep’s daughter Mamie Gummer, is coming to Broadway. Law & Order: SVU star Richard Belzer spends a lot of time looking for UFOs. Cindy Adams discusses reruns on TV.
in other news
Everybody’s Doing the World Wide WebWe have a little of the generational ADD, which is why we couldn’t totally focus on the front-page business-section story this morning in the big inky Times about the cool new Webcasts ABC is putting on its site for people with generational ADD. We caught that the videos “purposely look raw and personal, like they came from MTV rather than ABC,” but then we were confused a few lines later, when they told us that in one of them, Charles Gibson interviewed the network’s chief White House correspondent, Martha Raddatz, “for a full 3 minutes and 20 seconds — an eternity on a half-hour television newscast.” So like any busy Internet person, we clicked over to the ABC Website to check it out for ourselves, and let us tell you, we could have written that Times story in five seconds. It would have read: “The video in which child preacher Samuel Boutwell tells JuJu Chang she is going to hell is AWESOME.”
ABC Reshapes the Evening News for Web [NYT]
Pint Size Preachers [ABC]
the morning line
New Jersey and You: Skinnier Together
• Channel 7 is back on the air after a Sunday-night fire at its Upper West Side headquarters forced the staff to flee the studio. No victims, but the Live With Regis and Kelly set is kaput. [NYDN]
• It doesn’t take extraordinary political perception to guess that Governor Spitzer and the Senate majority leader Joe Bruno hate each other; leave it to the Times, however, to treat it as an odd-couple comedy setup: “Mr. Spitzer’s eyes pierce. Mr. Bruno’s wink.” [NYT]
• The Circle Line, which runs ferries to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, has unveiled a noiseless electric vessel complete with a “solar sail.” It will be operational in a year and a half, provided the whole green vogue doesn’t blow over. [AP via WCAX]
• New Jersey is launching an Office of Nutrition and Fitness, the nation’s first; the Garden State leads the nation in obese children under 5 (a stunning 17.7 percent). [NYP]
• And who’s paying for the slimming of N.J. kids? Well, maybe you: Governor Corzine is considering a tax hike that will put the end to the state’s famously low gas prices and institute more toll roads. [amNY]
We Once Were Lost, But Now We’re Found
Last night’s Idol finale may have been a snooze, but Lost’s season-ender was — how to put? — freakin’ amazing. Indeed, says Phoebe Reilly on Vulture, it may have been the series’ best episode ever. So many great plot points! So many great questions! What were they? Vulture breaks it down.
‘Lost’: So Who Was That Dead Man? [Vulture]
Jacko PornoMichael Jackson is trying to reclaim a trove of Jacko memorabilia set to be auctioned off this month, some of which is pornographic in nature. Lindsay Lohan and “boyfriend” Calum Best got into a shouting match at the Soho Grand. Jerry Hall called Mick Jagger cheap. Billionaire David Koch boasted that he had graduated college when his wife was only six weeks old. The Office star Jenna Fischer slipped and fractured four bones in her back at Buddakan, but she’s okay now. Charles Barkley thinks Don Imus should just have been suspended, not fired. Top Chef contestant Sam Talbot backed out of his deal to open a gastropub on the Lower East Side.
it just happened
Rosie Fades From ‘View’And so Rosie O’Donnell is out at The View, leaving when her contract expires in mid-June, according to today’s announcement. It’s sad news for fans of unexpectedly in-your-face happy-talk morning TV, but if you were paying attention, you’d have seen it coming. Lloyd Grove profiled View creator Barbara Walters in New York recently, and he questioned how much longer O’Donnell would be with the show:
O’Donnell’s arrival in September — to replace the deferential Vieira as moderator — has been unquestionably a success. She has been credited with an over 20 percent hike in the ratings in the key 18-to-49 female demographic, which has fueled speculation about her bright future on daytime TV. Will ABC cash out Walters’s stake and retire her in favor of O’Donnell, who, after all, had her own very successful show from 1996 to 2002? The betting in Las Vegas at last month’s programming-executives convention was that O’Donnell will leave soon to launch her own show for either ABC or a major syndicator. At minimum, O’Donnell — who’s said to be pulling down nearly $3 million from The View, about twice what Vieira was paid — will likely be demanding a big raise.
new york fugging city
Let Rosie Be Rosie!
It probably can’t be a coincidence that in the same week rumors surfaced that she’ll stay on The View another year, co-host Rosie O’Donnell announced she’s laying down her machete in her very loud, very public, and very ugly feud with Donald Trump.
In the last several months, people have jumped on every challenging statement to drip from Rosie’s mouth – whether daring to call into question the solvency and taste of our most perplexingly follicled business blowhard or suggestion racism by the producers of America’s most cherished and holy institution (American Idol). Rumor had it that View boss Barbara Walters was displeased with her new hire, even hated her. Elisabeth Hasselbeck found herself on the other end of a Rosie rant and started crying a lot. Web site and magazine polls eagerly asked readers if Ro should go, and the answers trended toward yes. So why bring her back? Two words: ratings and publicity, both of which The View garnered in spades over the last year.
But now the confluence of her new contract and her surprising attempt to take the high road with Trump have us worried the producers have convinced Rosie to dilute herself. And we can’t be the only ones with the fervent hope that’s not the case.
‘Voice’ Voiceless, AgainMEDIA
• David Blum out at the Village Voice. He was the fourth editor there since December 2005. [Gawker]
• Flummoxing DVR users everywhere, ABC green-lights a sitcom based on the Geico cavemen commercials. [WSJ]
• Pulitzer judging starts today at Columbia University; judges from Willamette Week, the Indianapolis Star, and others read actual printed copies of newspaper articles. [E&P]
in other news
Good News for ABC, or Just Bad News for NBC?The network-news world is quaking: ABC’s World News Tonight, with Charles Gibson, is overtaking Brian Williams on NBC’s Nightly News in the ratings after years and years of NBC domination. While New York has had our issues with ole Charlie, the achievement is nevertheless impressive. And NBC, for its part, is responding the way TV networks tend to respond: It’s firing longtime Nightly executive producer John Reiss. But infinitely more fascinating than Reiss’s imminent canning is the way Gibson is catching up. While NBC’s evening-news audience hemorrhaged over half a million viewers in 2006, ABC’s audience grew by a mere 60,000. In other words, WNT isn’t really luring eyeballs away from Nightly. It’s just that people are abandoning the format in droves, and 2006, while a fine year for ABC, was a particular crappy one at 30 Rock. So celebrate while you can in Disney world; no doubt your viewers are disappearing next. (Does Katie even have any left to lose?) Meantime, pass the Geritol.
NBC May Oust Evening News Executive [NYT]
Earlier: Charles in Charge [NYM]
You Will Not Get to See Britney and K-Fed Have Sex. And You Are Thankful.Breaking: There is no Fed-Ex–Britney sex tape! (At least not for public consumption.) Josh Hartnett is in New Zealand, no longer with Scarlett Johansson. Barbara Bush (the young one) was robbed in Argentina. Heather Mills didn’t much enjoy her marriage to Paul McCartney. Taye Diggs and Ashlee Simpson are “just friends.” Some people are mad about former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill’s new book. NBC has better morning-show and evening-news ratings than ABC, and don’t think the Rock Center folks let the Disney kids forget it. MSNBC correspondent David Shuster eats his blog, literally. Paris Hilton went on a charity date with the highest bidder (she also may or may not have thrown up on stage in Las Vegas). Debutante season is here! Wall Street bonus season is here! Liz Smith compares Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to David Gest and Liza Minnelli. Cindy Adams has a breakdown of what different stars will be doing on Thanksgiving. (Matt Dillon, believe it or not, will be eating.)