John Grisham's "The Film" and the subsequent Sydney Pollack film were viewed as a beach read and a consummate piece of popcorn entertainment and both were approached with only the most casual eye toward logic or accuracy.
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Betty White may be the hardest working woman in show business right now -- and surely is the hardest working 89-year-old. White's latest project, which she promoted during NBC's first day of press tour, is "Betty White's Off Their Rockers," a reality show featuring senior citizens pulling pranks on young whippersnappers which debuts Mon. Jan. 16 at 9:30 p.m. Over breakfast with reporters, White talked about senior humor, flirting and turning 90 (NBC will be airing a tribute special for that landmark on Jan. 16 as well).
As to why she's enthusiastic about a show promoting old people as pranksters, White said, "Don't sell them short. They're just hip enough and maybe mean enough to want to get even. So I think it's just kind of a reverse psychology to the poor, old senior. It's 'Hey, we've got a sense of humor, warped as it may be.'"
Warped, maybe, but White will not allow the show to be cruel. "My only functionality in the production is to be sure it's not mean-spirited," she said. "Things aren't funny if it's mean-spirited. Sometimes I think the comedy gets a little banana peel comedy. You laugh at somebody slipping on a banana peel instead of an intellectual joke. It's not that kind of show. It's just a silly, fun show."
Though NBC will be paying tribute to White for her 90th birthday (the special airs before the actual event on Jan. 17), White isn't overly enthusiastic about adding another candle to her cake. "Everybody is celebrating it for me," she says. "And they're all saying, 'Oh my goodness! You're 90!' And I keep trying to explain, 'Don't give me any credit. I didn't do anything to get to be 90. It just happened. I didn't accomplish anything. It just came up on me.' While she won't be running a 10k to celebrate, she did admit, "I might go out and have a little vodka on the rocks."
She also joked about her busy work schedule. "I have a wonderful agent. He's my good buddy and a fine agent, and his perspective is much better than my own. So when he brings me stuff, I say yes. If I don't, he beats me."
She also quipped about her new show's take on sex in the golden years. When asked why senior sex is so funny, she said, "Look at yourself. If you had a sense of humor you would laugh to beat the band. Sex is pretty funny, let's face it. And the more seriously we take ourselves, the funnier sex gets, I think."
The ebullient White did take a moment to take things seriously, however. When asked her biggest regret, she said, "I have a major regret, that Allen Ludden (her late husband) isn't with me."
of Montreal have prepped their eighth album in 10 years, "Paralytic Stalks," and now a month out from its release have another taste from the set.
"Dour Percentage" is at least 50 percent Steely Dan, though the band has never shied away from those 7ths and 9ths and unabashed '70s pop sound. Kevin Barnes' bouncy voice remains strong as always. Stream and download of Montreal's "Dour Percentage" below.
You can also check out "Wintered Debts" on the band's website.
In an effort to outshine defector "Project Runway" (which hopped from NBC-owned Bravo to Lifetime), NBC unveiled "Fashion Star" at a panel during the network's first press tour day. Big and splashy where "Project Runway" is comparatively subtle, the show allows buyers from three different stores (H&M, Saks and Macy's) to bid on outfits by fledgling designers while big brand celebrities (Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and Elle Macpherson) act as mentors. The most significant difference with "Fashion Star," however, might be a boon to consumers. "One thing that was important to us in creating this is, it was as much about shopping as it is about fashion," said Macpherson, who is also an executive producer and host. "We wanted to capitalize on the technology that could make that happen."
“The Voice” coaches will get a little help from their musical friends on season two as the talent search series.
Kelly Clarkson, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Jewel, Miranda Lambert (also known as Mrs. Blake Shelton), Lionel Richie, Alanis Morisette, Ne-Yo and Robin Thicke will join Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine as “advisors.”
Similarly to “American Idol,” which brings in big names to mentor acts (who then usually have to sing songs from that act’s catalog), the musicians will lend their considerable knowledge to contestants during the “battle rounds” of competition.
At press tours past, NBC executives have set new records for the amount of lipstick one can apply to a pig. Season after season, press tour after press tour, NBC's ratings dipped, but Jeff Zucker and then his various lieutenants found one way or another to come out and - usually with the help of bar graphs and eight dozen press releases - suggest that things were much better than we all thought, and that the Peacock was a half-step away from relevance again.
Friday morning at the tour, Robert Greenblatt came out and called the pig a pig.
"We had a really bad fall," he said without hesitation or embarrassment.
As the first designer to get snipped on "Project Runway All Stars," Elisa Jimenez stood out not so much for her gauzy designs but for a quirkiness that also set her apart in season four. The spit marking (oops, blessing marking) designer talked to reporters the day after her last show aired to reveal why she doesn't mind looking like a nut on national television, what she'd really like to do and who she's rooting for to win.
If "30 Rock" returns to NBC next season, Alec Baldwin will return with it.
Though the Emmy-winning actor has stated publicly in the past that he might want to leave the series after his contract finished, whether to return to movies or move into politics, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that Baldwin had already extended his contract through next season, pending renewal. The deal was closed in the fall, Greenblatt said.
"30 Rock" returns to NBC's schedule for its sixth season this Thursday night at 8. The show was held for mid-season because Tina Fey went on maternity leave, and because NBC had a comedy surplus and a timeslot deficit. Given its Emmy wins, critical praise and decent (by NBC standards) ratings, it is very likely to be back next season - and now will have Baldwin along with Fey and the others.
PASADENA - After two-days of PBS, welcome to the "Let's Live-Blog Everything" portion of the Television Critics Association January press tour.
We're kicking things off with NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, who's sure to get questions about the failure of "Prime Suspect," the benching of "Community" and the network's hopes for "Smash."
Click through for the minute-by-minute fun...
Welcome to Oscar Talk.
In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.
Welcome to the first podcast of the new year. The holidays and 2011 as a film year are memories and we forge ahead into the rest of the season and whatever 2012 may have to offer. So let's see what's on the docket today...
After "The Tree of Life" led the way with nominations from the Central Ohio Film Critics Association, it was "Drive" that took top honors, winning Best Picture and Best Director for Nicolas Winding Refn. Refn also won the Breakthrough Film Artist award. Check out the full list of winners below.