For nearly five years, viewers looking to catch up on the world of pop culture could turn to “Best Week Ever” on VH1, where an array of talking heads – comedians, writers and entertainment personalities like Nick Kroll, Rachel Harris and Judah Friedlander of “30 Rock” – would dish and snark on the lives of the Lohans, the Spears’, reality-show contestants and anyone else caught midfoible in a video clip. But the era of multiple commentators is coming to a close: starting on Oct. 24 the show will move to a new format, centered on a single host, the comedian Paul F. Tompkins, VH1 plans to announce on Wednesday. “Clearly, some of our reality shows get bigger numbers,” said Jim Ackerman, the senior vice president for development at VH1, referring to programs like “I Love New York.” “But I think ‘Best Week Ever’ has helped find the voice of the channel in the last couple years.” Staff members of “Best Week Ever” are also figuring out how to work to Mr. Tompkins’s strengths. “Already we’re getting a lot better at writing with Paul’s voice in mind,” Sean Johnson, the executive producer, said.
“Sordid Lives: The Series,” on Logo, sends up its Texas milieu without the condescension that mainstream television usually brings to depictions of working-class America. The show’s cheating-hearts-and-lying-eyes plots are built around the Ingram clan, led by the matriarch, Peggy (Ms. McClanahan, more restrained and therefore funnier than she’s been in years) and her children: Brother Boy, the Valium-popping Latrelle (Ms. Bedelia) and the no-nonsense LaVonda (Ann Walker). In their orbit are the bar singer Bitsy Mae (Ms. Newton-John), just released from prison, and the sad sack Noleta (Ms. Rhea), whose legless husband is having an affair with the reluctant cougar Peggy. Both the humor and the storytelling can be blunt. (One episode consisted entirely of LaVonda, at the beauty parlor, talking to people on her cellphone.) But the performances are mostly appealing – the ensemble really seems to be having fun – and the jokes often slip past you more quietly than you expect. “A Coke, if you don’t mind,” LaVonda says when offered a drink at the salon. What kind? “Um, Dr. Pepper.”
Shari Redstone and her father, Sumner M. Redstone, appear to be battling in public again – this time over a large sell-off of shares by the family company, National Amusements.
LOS ANGELES – Ellen DeGeneres has made a public service announcement urging California voters to oppose a ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage.
NEW YORK – MTV’s Choose or Lose campaign and CNN have partnered to broadcast a concert supporting veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. “A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE” will air Oct. 24 on MTV (8 p.m. EDT) from a performance taped in New York the previous day.The concert will feature performances by 50 Cent, Ludacris and Saving Abel, as well as taped performances by Kanye West, Kid Rock, Fall Out Boy, Angels and Airwaves, Nelly, Juanes and Taylor Swift. Making taped appearances will be Beyonce, Will Ferrell, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and others.
LOS ANGELES – When women make movies, Hollywood pays attention, as scores of A-listers turned out to see Demi Moore, Courteney Cox and screenwriter Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith make their directorial debuts.
LOS ANGELES – Rocco DiSpirito won’t be cooking up any more moves on “Dancing with the Stars.”
NEW YORK – DJ AM, who survived a plane crash last month in South Carolina, will appear on tour with Jay-Z.
LOS ANGELES – Alicia Keys and Coldplay lead the nominees for the 2008 American Music Awards. Keys has five nominations and Coldplay has four. The awards will be presented in Los Angeles on November 23rd.
NEW YORK – Rolling Stone magazine is shrinking with the times. After more than four decades of standing out with a larger format than other magazines, it will step back and look like everyone else starting with the Oct. 30 issue, due out this week.
SALT LAKE CITY – Gary Coleman pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and reckless driving Tuesday, his lawyer said.
NEW YORK – Lisa Marie Presley has named her newborn twin daughters Finley and Harper.
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – A former member of ABBA can cash in 85 million kronor (US$12 million) after winning a court case against the national tax authority.
Madonna has lashed out at critics and haters who think she should forget about filmmaking. Introducing her directorial debut, “Filth and Wisdom,” on Monday in New York, her Madgesty sneered at people who have “a bug up their a-” because they think she should stick to singing. “There are certain kinds of resentment when [you] do one thing well – not to toot my own horn or anything – and then you try to go do something else,” the budding auteur declared. “And that’s their [bleeping] problem.”
Only his beloved Jets could deter Bow Wow from his cross-country mission to get young people to vote. The rapper was supposed to drive his get-out-the-vote tour bus from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore Saturday, but he overshot Maryland and drove all the way to Jets Stadium to catch the guys trounce the Cincinnati Bengals. Check out bowwow87.com to see his next stop.
Missy Elliott, wearing oversized Bugs Bunny slippers as she signed autographs at the Pepsi Smash concert at the Nokia Theater.
It could be all change on the Hollywood couples scene: There’s rumors of a growing rift between Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson and there’s talk of a reunion between Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer. Despite a recent romantic vacation in Mexico, Lohan, 22, and Ronson, 31, are said to be bickering over the amount of time they’re spending together.
DENIS Leary should brace himself for hate mail from the parents of kids diagnosed with autism. In his new book, “Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid,” the joke-slinging “Rescue Me” star writes about the brain disorder. Leary also rips: Paul McCartney and Heather Mills – “She must have given great [bleep] . . Plus, he’s a big pothead so he probably figured the fake leg would come in handy for smuggling marijuana.”
There’s some wrangling on the “Prairie.” Friendly Family Productions, which produced NBC’s “Little House on the Prairie,” is suing a museum of the same name – claiming trademark infringement, unfair competition and trademark dilution.
Congrats to VH1′s Maura Wozniak and husband Joe on the arrival of Elinor Katherine and William Joseph.
Janet Jackson is ready to get this show on the road. For real. Supposedly. According to her manager, the veteran pop star will be returning to her Rock Witchu tour Wednesday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., after being forced to postpone nine shows while she struggled with a previously undisclosed illness. “After a thorough medical evaluation, it has been confirmed that Janet’s symptoms are being caused by a rare form of migraine called vestibular migraine or migraine-associated vertigo for which she is currently receiving treatment,” read a statement released by Jackson’s camp and obtained by E! News.
John McCain’s stereo is running on empty. While Barack Obama’s campaign seems to be overflowing with contemporary musical contributions, yet another group of rockers wants the Republican presidential candidate to quit using their song without permission. Or at all. A member of the band Survivor has requested that the McCain-Palin campaign stop playing their signature Rocky III anthem “Eye of the Tiger” for any election-related purposes. “Survivor has no affiliation with John McCain or Sarah Palin,” guitarist Frank Sullivan said in a statement obtained by E! News.
Our spies say Khloe Kardashian will visit a morgue today … not for her show and not for makeup tips. It’s one of the strings attached to that whole DUI thing, and a dead celeb will be there to get the point across. Brad Stewart — former bassist for Marilyn Manson — died last Thursday of an apparent drug overdose, and his body is lying at the morgue Khloe will visit. We’re told Khloe took a red-eye from NYC to L.A. to make her 8:30 AM appointment. The coroner’s office tells us there are 20-30 bodies there — and Brad’s will be one of them.
Just like three bees in a hive – Latifah, Keys and Okonedo fit right in to their ‘Secret Life’ as on-screen sisters, off-screen friends
TORONTO – This hotel room isn’t just buzzing. It’s booming. Thunder claps of raucous laughter erupt as Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo and Alicia Keys discuss The Secret Life of Bees, a coming-of-age drama opening Friday.They tease like sisters. Okonedo’s English-accented pronunciation of the Southern dish known as collard greens is especially ripe for the ribbing. Latifah: “COAL-lard greens. COAL-lard greens. The way you say it sounds amazing.”
Singers Jesse McCartney and Seal are kicking off the new MySpace Karaoke (ksolo.myspace.com), which has been redesigned and includes a dedicated upload manager and video recording features. The website also is partnering with musical acts for contests. Participants will submit a performance of the featured artist’s song, and the artist will select the winner. McCartney begins the contest today, and his songs will be featured through Oct. 27. Seal’s competition will be Nov. 11-24.
The summer concert business enjoyed a healthy year, despite dire predictions that economic struggles and rising gas prices would make live music a tough sell.
BLOOMINGTON, IND. — JOHN MELLENCAMP captured something about himself three decades ago when he penned the words, “I need a lover that won’t drive me crazy.” Someone who knows the meaning of “hey hit the highway.” “When people are for the country right or wrong, America right or wrong, it’s a lot like Germany. Nationalism is a bad thing. And when you have a mob mentality over a country, over a swastika, over the Führer, over the Iraq war, the outcome is not going to be good.”
Beyonce Knowles Makes Donation of $100k to Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund to Aid Texas Victims of Hurricane Ike
NEW YORK, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ — Beyonce Knowles has made a personal donation of $100,000 to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund benefiting victims of Hurricane Ike in the Greater Houston area who’ve lost homes, property, and jobs.
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Don’t call it a comeback – more like a return to the righteous roots that nurtured him. Legendary Heavy D, (Dwight Myers) has found himself with one of the country’s hottest new reggae albums, Vibes, released on his own Stride Ent. Label and distributed by Universal Music executives’ Monte and and Avery Lipman’s UMG brainchild, Federal Distribution, in conjunction with UMG owned subsidiary Fontana Distribution. Renowned record executive Jordan Katz is overseeing Federal Distribution and the rollout for Vibes.
Billboard Announces Women In Music Honorees
Ciara, Deborah Harry and Colbie Caillat will be honored at Billboard’s third annual Women in Music breakfast, to be held Oct. 24 at New York’s St. Regis Hotel.
Eminem, Dr. Dre Join 50 Cent On New Album
50 Cent’s new album will boast production and guest turns from mentors Dr. Dre and Eminem. As previously reported, “Before I Self Destruct” is due Dec. 9 via Shady/Aftermath/Interscope. Producer Scott Storch helmed first single “Get Up.”
Britney Spears To Tour Next Spring
Britney Spears will begin a tour next spring, produced by AEG Live. Sources say the trek will likely hit arenas and be international in scope, as were recent AEG Live-produced outings by Bon Jovi and Justin Timberlake.
Green Day In The Studio With Butch Vig
Confirming news that Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson let slip recently on “The Carson Daly Show,” Green Day is in the studio with veteran producer Butch Vig working on the follow-up to 2004′s “American Idiot.”
McGraw Denounces New ‘Greatest Hits’ Set
Country superstar Tim McGraw has apologized to his fans for Curb Records’ decision to release a third greatest hits package of his material. According to a release from his publicist, “Greatest Hits 3″ was released on Oct. 7 without McGraw’s involvement.
Fall Out Boy Album Moved Back Six Weeks
Updating a story posted earlier today, Fall Out Boy’s new Island album, “Folie a Deux,” has shifted from its original Nov. 4 release date to Dec. 16. A post on the band’s Web site cited concerns over the planned election day tie-in as one of the reasons for the shift.
Indigo Girls Going Indie For Next Album
Indigo Girls principal Amy Ray is about to begin a tour (Oct. 19 in Nashville) in support of her third solo studio effort, “Didn’t It Feel Kinder,” but her main group is also soon to return to activity. The Girls’ next studio album, produced by Mitchell Froom, is due in February.
Linkin Park Live CD/DVD Hits The ‘Road’
Linkin Park has unveiled the track list for “Road To Revolution,” a double-disc CD/DVD of the rock act performing in at England’s Milton Keynes National Bowl during the European leg of the 2008 Projekt Revolution tour. The set is due Nov. 25 via Machine Shop Recordings/Warner Bros.
Wednesday, October 15
David Letterman: Martin Short, Marv Albert
Jay Leno: Queen Latifah, Zac Efron, Kenny Chesney
Late Late Show: Eva Longoria Parker, Neal McDonough
Conan O’Brien: Rob Corddry, Ray Lamontagne
Last Call: Megan McCain, Anthony Green (R 9/18/08)
Daily Show: Richard Lewis
Colbert Report: Shai Agassi
Jimmy Kimmel: David Alan Grier, Amaury Nolasco, Jessie Baylin
The View: Tony Curtis, David Alan Grier
Regis and Kelly: James Marsden, Maura Tierney, guest co-host Anderson Cooper
Ellen DeGeneres: Dakota Fanning
Tavis Smiley: Live Post-Debate Panel
Chelsea Lately: Jodie Sweetin, Brad Wollack, Chris Franjola, Whitney Cummings
George Stroumboulopoulos: Stephen Bronfman, Finesse Mitchell
Bonnie Hunt: Katey Sagal, Carson Kressley, Jon McLaughlin
Thursday, October 16
David Letterman: Nicole Richie, Ne-Yo
Jay Leno: Sen. Joe Biden, Colin Farrell, Lenka
Late Late Show: Paulina Porizkova, Ken Tucker, Tally Hall (R 9/16/08)
Conan O’Brien: Josh Brolin, Shaun Ellis & Helen Jeffs, Nikka Costa
Last Call: Madeline Zima, Hot Chip (R 9/22/08)
Daily Show: Robert Reich
Colbert Report: Brent Glass, Robert Greenwald
Jimmy Kimmel: Mark Wahlberg, Dania Ramirez
The View: George Hamilton, Ashley Hamilton, the latest castoff from “Dancing With the Stars”
Regis and Kelly: Edward Norton, Bernadette Peters, the winner of “Project Runway”, guest co-host Bryant Gumbel
Ellen DeGeneres: Lisa Kudrow, Natasha Bedingfield, child break-dancer Jalen Testerman
Tavis Smiley: Robert Baer, T.I.
Chelsea Lately: Josh Wolf, Natasha Leggero, Geoffrey Bara
George Stroumboulopoulos: Kevin O’Leary, Robert Herjavec
Bonnie Hunt: Dennis Quaid, Rob Brown, War
Friday, October 17
David Letterman: Tina Fey, Frank Caliendo, Tim Montana
Jay Leno: Daniel Craig, Kevin Smith, Black Kids
Late Late Show: Will Ferrell, Jean Michel Cousteau (R 7/31/08)
Conan O’Brien: Edward Norton, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges
Last Call: David Nadelberg, Bo Burnham (R 9/23/08)
Jimmy Kimmel: Mila Kunis, Ben Stein
The View: Richard Lewis, Dylan and Cole Sprouse
Regis and Kelly: Nicole Richie, Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters, guest co-host Howie Mandel
Ellen DeGeneres: Queen Latifah, Kenny Chesney, Dr. Armand Dorian
Tavis Smiley: Paul Theroux
Chelsea Lately: Carey Hart, Alonzo Bodden, Chris Franjola, Margaret Cho (R 10/6/08)
George Stroumboulopoulos: James Cameron, Robin Thicke (R)
Bonnie Hunt: Melina Kanakaredes, Phil Keoghan, Ivette Soler
Saturday, October 18
Saturday Night Live – JOSH BROLIN/ADELE All New
— Chriss Coats [Photo: Getty Images]