Monday, June 30, 2008

....more entertainment news....

by peter bart, editor-in-chief, Variety

Glance at the weekend box office numbers and the ‘big question’ pops up at you:

Does bad news mean good news to Hollywood?

The economy is plunging into a recession and millions of people are losing their homes, but folks are nonetheless lining up to spend their remaining bucks at their local megaplexes.

During the month of June, movie grosses were 17% ahead of last year, and attendance was up 14%, while revenues for the summer are running substantially ahead of last year’s record numbers.

So what’s going on here?

Are the movies that much better?

I don’t think so (although both the critics and the audiences applauded Pixar’s “Wall-E” this weekend -- a rare convergence).

What we’re seeing, I’d argue, is a need for escapism -- a recurring phenomenon going back to the Great Depression.

The war in Iraq grinds on, jobs are disappearing and as many as five or six million more families will lose their homes by year’s end, so people want to forget their cares at the movie palaces.

“We don’t wish hard times on anyone, but the cinema business does very well during challenging economic times,” John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, told Pam McClintock in this week’s Variety.

So given the need for escapism, is Hollywood coming through for its audiences?

This summer the studios are serving up a steady diet of superhero fare (ranging from “Iron Man” to “Hancock” to “The Incredible Hulk”) with a sprinkling of comedy (or wannabe comedy like “The Love Guru”).

The diet obviously is working, but it’s very narrow compared with the offerings of the past.

I don’t want to get pedantic here, but consider the spectrum of escapist entertainment offered up by Hollywood during the depression era.

In the vintage year of 1939 the studios offered up westerns like “Destry Rides Again”, musicals like “The Wizard of Oz”, comedies like “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, dramas like “Wuthering Heights”, family fare like “Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever”, horror movies like “The Gorilla”, crime movies like “King of the Underworld”, chick flicks like “Bachelor Mother “--

and then there was a tentpole called “Gone with the Wind”.

I know, I know -- the studios don’t have that kind of muscle any more.

They don’t own the theaters.

They have to compete with the web and video on demand.

Nonetheless, the folks out there are crying for entertainment.

Maybe it’s time for Hollywood to widen its focus a little bit.

Given the state of the world, the studios could look like heroes if they dreamed beyond superheroes.



As the legendary "You're So Vain" chanteuse rode business class on the Philadelphia-to-New York Acela train the other day, one of the musicians with her had a large stand-up bass that wouldn't fit anywhere.

"Finally they ended up putting it in the first-class phone booth," a bemused witness told us.


"Since Chris Reeve, I say,
'If there's a horse in the script, don't even send it to me.
I'm never getting on a horse again" - Michael Caine.

On June 29, 1995, the shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir docked, forming the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth.








by Carolina on June 28th, 2008

A replica of the Batmobile arrived to Beverly Hills today to promote
‘The Dark Knight’. How awesome?!

Covenant News- The Latest Industry & Social News From the Entertainment & Media Capital of the Universe, HOLLYWOOD, Los Angeles.CA. Mon 30 June 2008

Winehouse delivers the goods, with both music and controversy at Glastonbury Music fest:
throws punch at fan during last song “Rehab”

By Veronica Ramsden

GLASTONBURY, UK (Hollywood Today)

6/28/08 —

“Ladies and gentlemen this is… Amy Winehouse” and the surprising thing it was.

She appeared on stage, on time, somewhat intense but nevertheless THERE for the audience who had spent the night in tents waiting for her at the Glastonbury fest, the Woodstock of the UK.

And with her track record of skipping shows, her recent collapse and diagnosis of emphysema, her recent drug troubles and time in rehab, there was every reason for her to be a no-show.

Sporting four cocktail umbrellas in her trademark beehive’do, she launched into what was to be a full menu from aperitif to digestif of full Amy.

It was an important show for her, her first full set since all her problems began in earnest.

And she was on best behaviour until she went into the security pit for her last two songs.
During her Grammy-winning song “Rehab,” she threw a punch at a fan.

It’s not clear what provoked the incident, the fan may have grabbed her.

But she was mad – she even went back for second sock at the attendee.

She delivered her songs and shared her emotions with an audience who were not there to judge just to enjoy.

Amy drank , gyrated and spat on stage: she did what she does best …she performed

Why was it, she queried, that it took a girl so long to get dressed and so short a time to be undressed ?

An allusion maybe to how quickly the media had been to expose her private struggles and how slow, lately, to applaud her hard earned fame.

Her husband ,she told us, was to be “released from jail in two weeks time” clearly tonight this is the man Amy loves.
She is a showgirl and the show went on .

Tonight her band were tight and so was Amy…in her performance ,who cares if she may have been drunk as well.

She, like her music , is two tone ; she wandered among the crowd flashing aggression and intimacy.

The star rambled: “This one was another one where I never thought I would see Blake again.

I said, ‘Blake I never thought I would see you again’.

I thought I would die with the man and then never see him again.”

When people in the crowd jeered, Amy threatened:

“Who booed?

I will find you.”

During her set, which featured some of her most famous songs including Cupid, Tears Dry on Their Own and Back to Black, Winehouse thanked her fans “for your support”.

Winehouse, however, was less appreciative of rapper Jay-Z, who she preceded on the Pyramid Stage, announcing that she thought he had “got some front to come here…with tunes you don’t even remember”.

Amy Winehouse provided expectant Glastonbury festival-goers with the controversy they were anticipating last night,

Her beehive was slipping and you could just feel the sting itching to get out but it seems Amy is back willing and able and at the end of her set she still had 2 cocktail umbrellas in her hair……
proving that not everything that goes up has to come down.

The girl did good.

And has a mean right hook.

DNA scientist Craig Venter along with approximately 297,000 other "influencers.

Smadar Haran speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, June 29, 2008.
The man at the center of the prisoner swap Israel approved Sunday with Hezbollah is an unrepentant Lebanese gunman who has spent nearly 30 years in prison for one of the grisliest attacks in Israeli history.

Kantar, then 16, shot Smadar Haran's husband in front of their little girl, then smashed her skull against a rock with his rifle butt, killing her, too, Witnesses said.

Kantar denies killing the little girl.


***Hollywood movie studios are preparing to go into shutdown here Monday, when a contract with the top actors union expires, raising the grim possibility of another crippling strike.

Negotiations to renew the contract between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have so far been deadlocked, echoing the build-up to this year's screenwriters strike.

Entertainment industry press has said most major movie studios had already planned their schedules to complete filming on existing projects by Monday

SAG President Alan Rosenberg releases statement concerning strike and lockout chatter

By Brian Frederick

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today)

6/29/08 —
“We have taken no steps to initiate a strike authorization vote by the members of the Screen Actors Guild.
Any talk about a strike or a management lockout at this point is simply a distraction.
The Screen Actors Guild national negotiating committee is coming to the bargaining table every day in good faith to negotiate a fair contract for actors,”
SAG President Alan Rosenberg wrote in a press statement released today.
The SAG contract with the studios is set to expire at 12:01 am on Tuesday.
Pressure has been mounting for months against SAG’s effort to strike down the AFTRA ratification vote this week, which appears likely, will be voted for by its members.
That time simply has been “wasted time and should be spent obtaining a better contract for its own (SAG) union,” stated AFTRA President Roberta Reardon.
Her comments come on the heals of a six month effort to have half of its members who belong to SAG, vote down the AFTRA tentative agreement with the studios.
AFTRA’s contract expires at the same time as SAG’s.

SAG members and line-workers that could be affected by a SAG strike have voiced their opposition for months over SAG’s aggressive stand towards its smaller union and not spent that energy working towards a contract with the studios.

The industry is still feeling the pain from the writer’s strike which cost the local economy an estimated $2.5 billion.
A SAG strike would be devastating for the industry as a whole and could exile its union members to seek employment in a different industry.

The cinema photographers union in Hollywood has expressed anger at SAG for the manner and delay it has handled their contract negotiations.
Although the cinema photographers are not a part of SAG, smaller unions are voicing their concern that a strike or possible lock-out by the unions will cost them and other’s their jobs.

The statement from Rosenberg comes at a time when the count down towards uncertainty is leaving industry personnel, nervous and fearful for their jobs during this tough time in the economy.
Wanted Finds $51 Million with Jolie’s Tats

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Pixar now 9 out of 9 on blockbusters,
Jolie /Freeman wanted a hit and got one

By Keith Williams

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today)
6/29/07 —
The ghost of Number 5 rose to do battle this weekend with a female assassin extraordinaire and both registered stellar box-office returns from families and action fans alike.
Pixar’s WALL-e scooped up $63 million on opening weekend on earth, while Wanted found everything it was looking for with a $51 million bow for Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy.

Wanted, the debut American feature for Timur Bekmambetov, Russian director of Death Watch and Day Watch -
plots so dense you needed a sat nav to figure out where you were -
stars Angeline Jolie in the kind of action chick flick her sexy, insolent attitude seems tailor-made for.

A snazzy trailer, Morgan Freeman doing what he does best –
provide comfort and quality -
James McAvoy brilliantly succeeding in doing what Christian Bale did to crack this very same market,
plus the bonus of earning itself a badge of honor with its R rating for the under-age audience most likely to enjoy it,
resulted in this spectacular
Matrix-like thriller grabbing an estimated 18.7 million Friday on 3175 screens, 51.1 million for the weekend.

Nice to see you’re back

They even let Jolie sport her real tattoos in the film, saving her hours in the makeup room and giving guys an extra treat.

Disney/Pixar in contrast offered Wall–e, the computer-animated tale of a lonely robot clearing up waste on a devastated Earth.
Teasers and trailers had been excellent, as had industry buzz, and while the diminutive lead reminds one uneasily of Short Circuit,
trust Pixar, the apple of the movie studios,
to come up with something more original and emotive.
Ratatouille, their last production with the title no-one thought you could sell let alone pronounce opened at $47 million.
Prior to that,

Cars took $60M,
The Incredibles $70M,
as did Finding Nemo.
Wall-e, on 3992 screens, hoovered up $23.3 million opening day, $62.5 mil three day total.

Elsewhere, Get Smart took $20 million for its second weekend,
falling 48.3%,
Kung Fu Panda held firm against Wall-e with $11.7 and a 46.5 percent drop,
the less-than-Incredible Hulk tumbled down 58.3 percent to $9.2 million,
while a 60.9 percent nose-dive left The Love Guru with $5.4 mil.
Search parties for The Happening discovered it lurking near the bottom of the top ten with $3.8 green ones from a 63.3 percent drop, the biggest of the weekend top ten.

JUNE 27-29, 2008

Rank. Movie Title (Distributor)
Weekend Gross Theaters Total Gross Week #

1. Wall-E (Buena Vista) $62.5 million 3,992 $62.5 million 1

2. Wanted (Universal) $51.1 million 3,175 $51.1 million 1

3. Get Smart (Warner Bros.) $20.0 million 3,915 $77.3 million 2

4. Kung Fu Panda (Paramount (DW) $11.7 million 3,670 $179.3 million 4

5. The Incredible Hulk (Universal) $9.2 million 3,349 $115.5 million 3

Weekend Estimates courtesy of

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Cover girl Ruslana Kazakhstani dead after fall from Manhattan apartment building

By Matthew B. Zeidman

NEW YORK (Hollywood Today)
6/29/08 –
The life of successful fashion model Ruslana Korshunova was cut short Saturday afternoon after the young Kazakhstani fell from the balcony of her apartment in Lower Manhattan to the pavement below.
According to an anonymous police source cited by local newspaper Newsday, Korshunova’s death, which occurred just four days before her 21st birthday, was being treated as a suicide

It isn’t always psychologically easy for models who are suddenly flush with money and attention at a very young age.
Drugs and a decadent lifestyle are always a temptation.

Yet there was construction underway on the balcony which could mean it was accidental.
And a cut in the temporary netting could indicate something more nefarious.

Korshunova dropped from the ninth floor of the Water Street building, which was under construction, at approximately 2:30 p.m.

According to the New York Post, there was a gap (apparently cut) in the construction netting covering the balcony.
Additionally, both publications reported that police found no obvious signs of struggle inside the model’s home.

Korshunova, who was represented in New York by IMG Models, had previously appeared on the covers of major magazines, including international versions of Elle and Vogue,
and had done extensive work for a variety of major designers, including Vera Wang and Libertine.


A satellite image of Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment facility.

A former head of Mossad has warned that Israel has 12 months in which to destroy Iran's nuclear program or risk coming under nuclear attack itself.
He also hinted that Israel might have to act sooner if Barack Obama wins the US presidential election. Shabtai Shavit,
an influential adviser to the Israeli parliament's defense and foreign affairs committee,
told The Sunday Telegraph that time was running out to prevent Iran's leaders getting the bomb. Mr. Shavit,
who retired from the Israeli intelligence agency in 1996,
warned that he had no doubt Iran intended to use a nuclear weapon once it had the capability,
and that Israel must conduct itself accordingly.
"The time that is left to be ready is getting shorter all the time," he said in an interview.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

.....some more....

You gotta give head to get ahead - that's her motto.

Rose McGowan has just landed another role in a picture backed by her fiance, director Robert Rodriguez.

Rodriguez will produce a new big-screen adventure featuring the flame-haired comic-book vixen Red Sonja - to be played by McGowan, of course - for a release in 2010.

Robert considers Rose a perfect fit as the mighty, voluptuous character.

He says, "Rose is a pistol.

She's whip-smart, has attitude to burn, is sexy, extremely strong, yet has a vulnerable side that would surprise her closest friends.

That description also fits Red Sonja."


She's #$%^&*her way to the middle.

Try harder!

The diva is fighting back!

Fifty artists recently recorded Prince covers in honor of his 50th Birthday this past June 7th.

Unfortunately for them, everyone's getting sued!

But the funny part is, they're being sued by Prince himself.


Prince's attorneys are demanding that all copies of the tribute album be destroyed immediately.

In Norway, Shockadelica has reached No. 8 on the album charts.

It's also received several popular reviews by the Norwegian Press.

So, what's the problem?

By law, it's legal to sell cover songs of someone else's material.

You're just required to pay about a 10 cent licensing fee per song.

Norway's C+C Records has distributed 5,000 of the box sets since the beginning of the month.

They've also given digital versions.

However, they say no one has made any money from the project.

So they claim they didn't think they owed Prince any money.

Just maybe a free copy?

Christer Falck, owner of C+C Records, said he contacted Prince's people to try and send a set to Prince and that's where the legal issues began.

Though luckily for them, with all the attention the lawsuit will bring, we bet they'll be selling a lot more than 5,000 albums.

Now you'll be able to pay Prince….AND your lawyer!

Paris Hilton is taking a stab at the music industry again.

The socialite/entrepreneur is going to be teaming up with her boyfriend Benji Madden to start writing her own songs.


We're not kidding.

Paris and Benji have been working out of her new recording studio inside her Beverly Hills mansion.

She's serious!

The pair have been working hard writing songs together.

They're even going to write the theme song for her new MTV reality show, My New BFF.

Paris says, "Benji and I have been working hard on it.

He's helping me write the lyrics for the song and then I'll sing it, too."

Aside from singing her own theme song, Paris is also set to come out with her second album.

Her fist album, Paris, was released about two years ago.

She adds, "Definitely.

I'll have another album come out, for sure.

I just don't know when yet.

I only have the summer off, then I'll be taping another season of BFF.

But an album is something I'll do."

Uh oh, did Paris just slip up?!?!

She'll be taping Another season of BFF?

Does that mean she didn't find a best friend forever this time?

Does she just want two friends?

Or maybe a BFF for her new BFF?



The American Idol curse has struck again!

We're hearing that 2004 champ Fantasia Barrino has just been dopped by her management team.

Fantasia still has her contract with her record label, though probably not for much longer.

The singer was repped by 19 Entertainment, the company owned by AI's Simon Fuller.

Do people still care about Fantasia?

She obviously didn't care about her fans.

She missed so many performances while on Broadway's The Color Purple.

We're surprised Tasia hadn't beem dumped by her label or management sooner!

Fantasia was also set to perform tonight at Milwaukee's Summerfest concert, but instead has been replaced by Musiq Soulchild.

Thank goodness!

Covenant News- The Latest Industry & Social News From the Entertainment & Media Capital of the Universe, HOLLYWOOD, Los Angeles.CA. Sun,29 June 2008

Kim K -- You Can See Her Ass From Space

Posted Jun 29 2008 12:29PM

In case of emergency, Kim Kardashian's badonkadonk may be used as a flotation device.

With sis Kourtney safe on dry land, The Tush cooled off her biggest asset with a dip in Monaco on Thursday.

There ain't enough fabric in the world to properly cover that thing up !!!

Posted Jun 28th 2008 12:00PM by TMZ Staff

Jaclyn Smith helped solve crimes on the classic TV series "Charlie's Angels" --

but the biggest mystery is the secret to her heavenly looks.

Here's 33-year-old Jaclyn back in 1981 (left) --

and TWENTY SEVEN YEARS LATER the flawless 60-year-old version in NYC on Tuesday (right).

Whatever her secret, it's sheer geniuS

Mini Me's Sex Tape Partner Speaks!

On Friday, Tampa's MJ Morning (Radio) Show aired an interview with aspiring actress Ranae Shirder, the girl who appears in the instantly infamous Verne "Mini Me" Troyer sex tape.

One of the morning show's major players was a college classmate of Ranae's.

Lucky break for the show!

Ranae revealed to MJ and crew that she met Verne on New Years Eve (this year!!) at the Playboy mansion, they dated for a few months, moved in together, but unfortunately broke up just after the Love Guru premiere recently.

It's crazy, but they apparently still live together — separate bedrooms, of course.
During the interview, Ranae said that she wants everyone to know that she's not a gold digger, wasn't using Mini Me to advance her career and wasn't financially supported by Mini Me.

Uh huh.

But, most importantly…the show asked the million dollar question and got Ranae to spill about Mini Me's mini me.

Radio Show: What is Verne working with?

Like what is his mini me?

What is it like?

What is he working with?
Renee: The only thing I'm going to say.

This is all I'm going to say.


As previously reported on interviews made by him, it is definitely not a tripod.

Radio Show:

So Verne is 2'8", 2'10".
Ranae: 2'8"

Radio Show:
So you're saying he's proportionate for a man of 2'8"


She also went on to say that neither she nor Verne authorized the release of the sex tape.
The tape was stolen from their home and a police report has been filed.
Whatever you say, Ranae!

Friday, June 27th, 2008

SAG waits for AFTRA ratification vote - pressure mounts to avoid another strike

By Brian Frederick

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today)
6/27/08 - -

“Work stoppage will do a great deal of harm to those actors - - agencies will close - - pilots won’t get made - - more reality shows - - we all know the scenario,”

George Clooney wrote in a letter to both unions.

Like a peace negotiator working for a Nobel and not an Oscar, the words in United Nations rep and actor Clooney’s letter to both unions expresses the desperation closing in on the once all-powerful SAG union.

Not long ago, the 133,000 member Screen Actors Guild used to boss around the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.
Today, their relationship has changed dramatically.

AFTRA now calls the shots for its union members and is set to squarely solidify a contract with the studios this coming week while SAG is just days away from going without a contract for its members.

In an interview today on Los Angeles station KPCC, SAG member Ed Asner (Lou Grant – ‘Mary Tyler Moore’) stated that this all started when “SAG voted against a merger with AFTRA.”
The smaller union (AFTRA) had sought a merger with SAG in order to make themselves stronger and SAG stronger or so they thought.

Instead, SAG wanted to have no part of AFTRA except for negotiating new contract agreements with the studios near their expiration date.

AFTRA wanted more, they wanted a commitment, they wanted to get married - -

SAG said no.

Well you know what they say about a woman (union) scorned - - watch out!

When AFTRA realized that SAG had no real interest in working together except when it came time for negotiating contracts, an argument broke out with one union accusing the other of stealing it’s members.
AFTRA took matters in its own hands and decided to rid itself of SAG and negotiate with the studios on its own this year, something SAG was not expecting.

Not only did AFTRA negotiate on its own but they were able to sign a tentative agreement with the studios which are expected to be ratified in eight days by its members.
Both unions’ contracts expire on June 30.

During the past six months while the AFTRA board was taking care of its members as they should be, SAG’s board was busy rallying it’s members against AFTRA - -
not the studios.

Of AFTRA’s 78,000 members, 44,000 are also members of SAG.

The SAG board was hoping to convince those 44,000 to say no to ratification this week and that does not appear to be likely.

Considering the economic impact the $2.5 billion writer’s strike had on the entertainment community that many in the industry are still feeling,
gas nearing $5 a gallon,

foreclosures out of control, and a host of inflationary issues,

AFTRA members will vote to avoid a strike, work with the studios, keep their jobs, and move on with their lives.

In reality, the AFTRA agreement is not all that horrible, maybe not the greatest agreement but certainly put’s their board into a better position to negotiate for the next round in three years.

SAG on the other hand has put itself in such a deep corner that they have virtually no pull now or way out.
The producer’s guild, the director’s guild, the writer’s guild and AFTRA have all moved forward and settled with the hand that feeds them.

If push comes to shove you can bet that the studios will be happy to hire the entire AFTRA work force if SAG does go on strike, which this journalist believes will not happen.

And you can bet that AFTRA would be happy to accommodate the studios by filling those vacancies.

Make no mistake, AFTRA will officially divorce itself from SAG this week.
“It’s like congress, the Democrats vs. the Republicans,” said Alex Ben Block (senior editor for Hollywood Today) on 89.1 fm KPCC Los Angeles, in response to Ed Asner’s comments to host Pat Morrison.

“The cards are so stacked against SAG,” Asner admitted.

Block added that SAG will most likely ask for a contract extension and “the studios will give it to them.”
In return when SAG does make an offer, the studios are now in a position to give SAG as little as possible and perhaps something worse than what the studios were originally offering SAG -

about the same the other four guilds received.

But SAG has been greedy and that’s okay if your greed translates into a higher revenue stream for your members.

Its when greed back fires on you and you are left holding nothing, that greed becomes bad.

The studios will respond to SAG’s 11th hour offer and “management (the studios) is going to tell SAG to take it or leave it,” said Ben Block.
Ed Asner further added that the studios intend to “castrate” SAG.

If SAG is left with less than what they could have received at the beginning of negotiations, you can be sure SAG’s members may want to castrate its President for getting them into this mess to begin with.


***CBS' "The Late Show With David Letterman" tied its lowest-ever adults 18-49 rating last week.

"Late Show" averaged a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49, Nielsen Media Research said.

That is it's lowest ever for an original since the program premiered in 1993, though not the lowest for the show:

It has hit 0.9 several times, most recently in late December when it was in reruns because of the WGA strike.

***Fox has seen its once formidable advantage over CNN erode in this presidential election year, as both CNN and MSNBC have added viewers at far more dramatic rates.

This American presidential election presents unparalleled opportunities for our country and our two candidates.

They must not squander the magnitude of the moment.

After being with the Maharishi Institute's students in South Africa, practicing transcendental meditation together and speaking with them about their lives and where they want to go, I am more inspired than ever.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Covenant News- The Latest Industry & Social News From the Entertainment & Media Capital of the Universe, HOLLYWOOD, Los Angeles.CA. Sat,28 June 2008


***George Clooney just wants actors to get along instead of choosing between sparring unions.

In a two-page letter released Thursday, Clooney adopted a neutral stance in the dispute between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild.

"What we can't do is pit artist against artist," he wrote.
***Taking the music industry by storm is new international singing sensation Verena.

Her debut CD, Something Real, is getting a lot of buzz from music executives and those looking to attach her soulful sounds to music and television projects.

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Top 10 drama and comedy series finalists announced, many surprises

By Brian Frederick

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today)

6/26/08 - -

“Entourage,” “Two and a Half Men,” and the new comer “Pushing Daisies,” are inching their way towards an Emmy win while last year’s comedy series winner “30 Rock” is back to defend it’s title.

Last year’s champion for best drama series “The Sopranos,” finished out it’s six year run winning it’s 21st Emmy overall.
“The Wire” which has been given the cold shoulder for the past five years hopes to win the big prize in its final year like “The Sopranos.”

The competition will be tough, since “The Wire” must go against long-running hit TV shows “Boston Legal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” although there never is a guarantee that a ratings favorite will win at the Emmys — in fact they rarely do.

The top 10 comedy series finalists are:

Curb Your Enthusiasm


Family Guy

Flight of the Conchords

The Office

Pushing Daisies

30 Rock

Two and a Half Men

Ugly Betty


The top 10 drama series finalists are:

Boston Legal



Friday Night Lights

Grey’s Anatomy



Mad Men

The Tudors

The Wire

The finalists represent the top 10 vote-getters for outstanding comedy series and outstanding drama series as voted by the entire Television Academy.

The second step in voting for the eventual winners will be the Blue Ribbon Panel screenings conducted this weekend on June 28 and 29.

The panels will watch and judge the work for each finalist and then elect the final five nominees for each category.
The five finalists in each category will be announced on behalf of the Television Academy by Neil Patrick Harris, Kristin Chenoweth, and TV Chairman John Schaffner at 5:40 a.m. on Thursday July 17.

All of the panel’s participants have been selected and the votes from the panelists are monitored by the accounting firm Ernest & Young.

There is little confidence in having an accounting firm monitor the process since the TV Academy revealed the finalists today due to an earlier leak.
Hopefully Ernest & Young will restore the integrity of the selection process and monitor big mouths before the nominees are announced July 17 and take that even further by keeping the winners secret before the awards ceremony.

The winners of the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on September 21 at the Nokia Theatre and aired on ABC

Friday, June 27th, 2008

‘Kill Bill’ actress and financier beau to tie the knot, says rep

By Matthew B. Zeidman

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today)
6/27/08 –

It’s official.
Power couple Uma Thurman and financier beau Arpad Busson are planning to tie the knot.

In an article published Friday morning, a representative for the Quentin Tarantino muse confirmed to New York’s Daily News that the two were engaged to be married.

Additionally, an anonymous source, claiming to be a friend of the “Batman and Robin” femme fatale, gushed to the newspaper about the size of the ring presented by Busson to his future wife, which she showed off at Elton John’s 10th White Tie and Tiara benefit Thursday in England.

The low-key comrade alleged the size of the stone was so gargantuan, Thurman had difficulty putting on or taking off her jacket with the jewelry on her finger.

No date has been announced for the forthcoming nuptials.
This will be Thurman’s third time making a spousal commitment, having been married to acting great Gary Oldman from 1990 to 1992 and “Gattaca” co-star Ethan Hawke from 1998 to 2004 (the two first met while filming the cautionary science-fiction tale about a eugenic society).

Thurman had two children with Hawke—daughter Maya Ray Thurman-Hawke, 9, and son Levon Roan Thurman-Hawke, 6.

Thurman’s dynamic career has made her a household name and led to countless pop-culture references.
During a 1994 episode of “Seinfeld,” next-door neighbor Kramer met Thurman off screen and wrote her phone number on a dry-cleaning ticket, only to have it ruined by a tube of moisturizing cream left open in his pocket.

Popular animated sitcom “Family Guy” got in on the act in 2007, claiming in a non sequitur that patriarch Peter Griffin served as “eye wrangler” for Thurman on the set of 1994’s “Pulp Fiction,” one of the actress’s most recognizable and lauded works.


Executive Assistant to Michael Levine and editor in chief the LBN-Elert Dave B. Goodman, along with approximately 295,000 other "influencers".

Some 300 rare and valuable books confiscated from Iraq's Jewish community by Saddam Hussein's regime have been secretly spirited into Israel, an Israeli newspaper reported on Friday.

The books include a 1487 commentary on the biblical Book of Job and another volume of biblical prophets printed in Venice in 1617, the Haaretz daily said.


Stocks plunged on Thursday, with the Dow sliding about 360 points to a 21-month low as oil hit a record and Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs urged investors to sell bank and automaker shares, escalating concern about the outlook for profits.


***Bill Clinton gave the cold shoulder to Barack Obama's biggest supporter, Oprah Winfrey, at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday in London.

A source at the dinner in Hyde Park, catered by Gordon Ramsay, told us,

"There was a very cold reception between them.

" When Winfrey went over to Mandela's table, where Clinton was seated,

"Oprah and Bill, who used to be very close, barely acknowledged one another,"

the source said.

***Robert Downey Jr having lunch at Louise's in Brentwood.

Friday, June 27, 2008

hollywood latest

This just in!

Lindsay Lohan's hotly anticipated third studio album will be called Spirit In The Dark, it's just been revealed.

The future Grammy-winning album will feature songs produced by Pharrell Williams, Akon, StarGate and Bloodshy & Avant.

The first single is NOT that Bossy piece of junk that's been floating on the internets.

Playground featuring Pharrell, will be released to radio in September.

Bossy was allegedly just a pre-single/buzz-track.

If you really want LezLo's Spirit you'll have to wait ’til November 4th.

Expect first week sales in the 900,000 album range!
She could even sell more than Lil' Wayne.

People want this album THAT BADLY!

nicole & hamilton

Nicole Scherzinger has got a new man and they're going public!

The Pussycat Dolls lead singer is dating race car driver Lewis Hamilton.

The pair attended a dinner in honor of Nelson Mandela on Wednesday night in London.

The dinner will raise funds for Mandela's global charity projects, The Nelson Mandela Foundation and 46664.

Oprah was there, and Naomi even made an appearance.

A big concert celebrating his 90th birthday is scheduled for tomorrow night.

Amy Winehouse is supposed to perform, but don't hold your breath.

And, in her case, she can't (hold her breath)!
When's the last time Sharon Stone dated a dude????

We saw the Basic Instinct star and her pussy posse of around 6 hardcore lesbians at the George Michael concert in L.A. on Wednesday night.

Not even one gay dude or a straight amongst them!

We totally got a dykey vibe from Stone.

Has Sharon gone lesbian????

We refused to believe the rumors, but there's no denying it at this point.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie ARE getting a divorce!

The pair have been dogged by heightened speculation of a split for months, and now….

The Times of London, a very reputable newspaper - not a tabloid, is confirming that Madonna has indeed hired Paul McCartney's lawyer, Fiona Shackleton, to represent her in the divorce.

And, they also say that Guy has lawyered up too - a lesser-known Mayfair law firm, Forsters.

Yesterday Madonna’s spokesman refused to comment on the claims.
But, one lawyer told The Times that the word in legal circles was that Madonna had gone to Ms. Shackleton after making an approach to another firm.

Madge and Guy have been living separate lives lately.
The two have rarely been photographed together and, in fact, he's in London now while she's in NYC.

The pair are said to have NO prenup, so this divorce could get quite ugly!
She Still Has The Touch

sources reveal exclusively to that Madonna has sold 1 million tickets for her upcoming tour!


That's insane!

That's why the bitch is playing stadiums!!!

To date, Madge has sold out her Mexico City, Paris, Lisbon, New York, Zurich, Boston, Chicago, Denver, East Rutherford, Oakland, Las Vegas, Houston, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver shows.

Never doubt the power of the Material Girl.

We cannot wait to see her live again!

We're still a bit bummed, though, that L.A. got stuck with a stadium show, while NYC got three nights at Madison Square Garden.
Not fair!

Then again, we're gonna go see her in Vegas at an arena, cuz we can't do stadiums

P.S. Sources also tell us that Madonna is likely going to extend her tour and do more shows in Latin America.

She should do a few more ARENA shows in Los Angeles while she's adding more concerts!

A new, totally ferosh picture of Cher.

Just because!


Hear It For The Girls!

One of our favoritest moments from the BET Awards last night????

The return of the girl groups of yore!

The ladies of T.L.C. - minus the L. R.I.P. Lisa.


Looking good ladies! Looking good!

Queen Latifah made an appearance at the BET Awards in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

The dykon looked lovely and thick.

Wait, hold up a minute.

Wasn't she supposed to have lost weight recently on Jenny Craig???

She said she reached her ideal weight.

THAT's it????

Covenant News- The Latest Industry & Social News From the Entertainment & Media Capital of the Universe, HOLLYWOOD, Los Angeles.CA. Fri,27 June 2008

On Wednesday, Snoop Dogg told our friends in Big Boy's Neighborhood on LA's Power 106 that he recently recorded tracks for Dr. Dre's highly anticipated and long-delayed new album, Detox.

Snoop said, "That record is real, it's coming.

You know me, I was starting to doubt it myself and then I went up in there and he played so much music for me it knocked my head off.

I see what he got them waiting for, it's on and poppin.

He got records, he got heat."

Snoop Dogg confirmed the 10 years in the making project was finished and that Dre was selecting tracks for the album.

After all these years it better be good!

Sipping on gin and juice!

Posted Jun 26th 2008


Susan Berg, the woman who claims she bought the "whole s**t" out from under Suge Knight, may not be the business savvy woman she's making herself out to be.

Ron Goldberg, a NYC businessman , tells TMZ he was the mastermind behind the purchase of Death Row Records.Goldberg says he's a major investor in New York-based Global Music Group.

He says the group of investors appointed Susan, a former facialist, as an officer of the company, but she doesn't own it -- the group does.

Susan's been taking credit for the takeover of the bankrupt label, and insiders tell us they're a tad annoyed at her boasting.

Ron says Susan still has a job ... for now.


Talk about embarrassing.

Tennis "star" Maria Sharapova just lost big time to a player ranked at 154!


Sharapova was beaten during the second round at Wimbledon on Thursday by fellow Russian Alla Kudryavtseva.

She was defeated 6-2, 6-4.

Poor Sharapova.

Just four years ago, at the age of 17, she defeated Serena Williams at Wimbledon.

Looks like Sharapova spent too much time worrying about fashion with her "tuxedo" top and short shorts, when she should have been practicing to win.

Is it time to retire????

Madonna's World of Wonder
Calling all Madonna fans: Variety's Michael Williams brings you this report from Hollywood's new exhibit, Dial M for Madonna, which runs through June 23 at the World of Wonder Gallery

The World of Wonder Gallery celebrated its Dial M for Madonna group art exhibit with champagne, Kabbalah water and eye candy galore.

Curated by World of Wonder Prods.’ Steven Corfe and James St. James, the May 23 opening coincided with the release of Madonna’s “Hard Candy” album with a cadre of Madge impersonators in all shapes and sizes.

The exhibit features more than 40 artists’ photos, paintings, sculptures and video tributes to the Queen of Pop.

At the opening, storefront mannequins were adorned in candy-coated outfits inspired by Madonna’s ever-changing looks, including a “Like a Virgin” wedding dress made of white Lifesavers and a geisha-inspired number from the “Nothing Really Matters” video made of red gumballs and licorice.

Dial M joins the WOW Gallery’s growing list of popular and twisted pop culture-driven exhibits that include “Warhol: Dead at 21,” a celebration of the 21st anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death;

the Britney Spears-inspired show “Just Britney;” “Golden Girls” tribute “Golden Gals Gone Wild;” and “depARTed,” an homage to celebrities who died before their time.

More info:


*** Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

***Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.

*** Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women.

*** The world's largest amphibian is the giant salamander.

It can grow up to 5 ft. in length.

***Coca-Cola was originally green.


Account Manager for Levine Communications Office Andrea Nicastro is reading "How Come That Idiot's Rich and I'm Not?" by Robert Shemin.


You can turn painful situations around through laughter.

If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it." -Bill Cosby

On June 26, 1963, President Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he made his famous declaration:

"Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner).


***David Geffen is a brilliant businessman, but he made one incredibly bad call early in his career.

In her new autobiography, "Society's Child," pop singer Janis Ian reveals how Geffen and Hal Ray, her agents at William Morris, once presented her with an offer to do the soundtrack for "something called 'The Graduate,' and advised me to pass.

One of them said . . . 'It stars some big-nosed unknown kid with a funny name and bad hair.

The story line is silly - [he] graduates from college, has an affair with his mother's close friend and neighbor, falls in love with the neighbor's daughter, then runs away with her after breaking into church where the wedding's being held.

Oh, and he locks everybody else inside . . . with a big cross, while he and this chick make their escape . . . Ridiculous.'

We passed.

Paul Simon did the score, and the rest is history.

" The Dustin Hoffman movie got seven Oscar nonimations and its Simon & Garfunkel song "Mrs. Robinson" was a huge hit.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


June 24

Ali is no stranger to provocativeness.
The now 32 year old actress started her career draped in a whipped cream bikini, then solidified her Hollywood status with an alter-ego lap dance.

Unfortunately, after a drastic drop on Maxim’s Hot 100 list (#7 last year, #92 this year)
Heroes star Ali Larter’s sexiness meter was on a steady decline.

Lucky Allure is here to revive Larter’s career sex appeal with this skintastic photo shoot for the fashion magazine’s July 2008 issue.

Posted Jun 25th 2008

7:22PM by TMZ Staff

They say you can never put a price on love:

how's $480,000 a year sound?

TMZ has obtained documents in the Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons divorce case.

The docs, filed yesterday in LA Superior Court, say the hip-hip pioneer has to shell out $20k a month

per daughter!!! --

in child support to Kimora.

And he's got to keep doing so until 2019 for Ming Lee and 2022 for Aoki.

Posted Jun 25th 2008


Meet the woman who just bought the Death Row records empire out from under Suge Knight -- former aesthetician Susan Berg.

A bankruptcy court judge ordered that the label be put up for auction yesterday, so Global Music Group --

Susan's their president --

plunked down the $24 mil to purchase Tha Row.

She must be celebrating hard core because included in the deal are 20 unreleased Tupac Shakur tracks.

Those'll have her rolling in Benjamins.

Hollywood's Dirty Ol' Men

Posted Jun 25th 2008

1:11PM by TMZ Staff

Cougars aren't the only ones going after the youngins in Hollywood -- these old dogs are biting off as much as they can chew, too!

And God Created Charlize

Posted Jun 25th 2008