Archive for July, 2006

Happy Birthday Veronica Mars

Kristen Bell, star of “Veronica Mars,” spent about a half second at the CW party.

And who could blame her?

Her birthday is tomorrow and she was going to Disneyland.

“I’ve never been to Disneyland and I’m so excited,” says the beaming Bell. “I’ve never had any time to go and my friends are taking me tonight.”

And we always thought she lived in the Magic Kingdom.

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What won’t Chris Rock do

Here’s the episode you’ll never see on “Everybody Hates Chris”:

“You’ll never see the episode where Chris’ dad dies,” says Rock, who named the dad character Julius after his real father, who died in 1989. “We’re not ever going there.”

One critic asked Rock during the press session here to explain why there are no dramas featuring all-African American casts.

“I’d say you gotta ask the white people that,” quipped Rock. “I mean, I wouldn’t ask the bat boy ‘How come the Yankees can’t get a better pitcher?’ “

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Everwood still canceled

“Everwood” fans are ever faithful.
They’re even delivering a protest along with a Ferris Wheel (which was featured in the final episode) to the CW headquarters here in Los Angeles.
“It was an agonizing decision,” says Dawn Ostroff, CW president of entertainment. “The fans are devoted, loyal, enthusiastic and amazing.”
But it’s still canceled.
Oh, and the network says advertisers are excited about a new concept in selling you stuff. The “content wraparounds” at the end of each show will feature a couple getting hooked up on the internet and preparing for their date.
They’ll get makeovers (with the products featured prominently) and go out to dinner. Kentucky Fried Chicken anyone? Or maybe they deserve a break today at the Golden Arches.

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Hangin’ with Hagrid

Harry Potter’s pal Hagrid got lost in the Ritz Carlton.

Easy to do, since it’s a sprawling place. Sometimes you can’t tell if you are north or south of Hogsworth. And Hagrid needed to go see some friends at the pool.

OK, so it was really actor Robbie Coltrane, who was here in Pasadena to talk to critics about his new “Cracker” movie airing on BBC America later.

Coltrane rocked the house with his hilarious banter, something that’s not easy to do. Just ask Damon Wayons, who thinks that talking vaginas are the ultimate chuckle. Wayons led a snorefest trying to get people interested in his new Showtime sketch comedy series “Underground.”

Note to Wayons: Just because you can say those things on cable, doesn’t make it any funnier.

Anyway, Coltrane riffed on staying in his native Scotland instead of living in L.A. and starring in an American series.

“It sounds so ungrateful. You think of all those people who hitchhike to Los Angeles in the hope of having a small part in something andoh, so Mr. Big Guy from Scotland can’t be bothered.

“But I have this terrifying vision of my children with a platinum card going, ‘You tell the maitre d’ that I want…’ or ‘Oh, it’s raining here AGAIN daddy.’ That’s all I’m saying.”

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Amazing Race

We may never see the likes of Tyler and B.J. again, but the Bay Area will be represented this season on “The Amazing Race.”

San Francisco brothers Erwin and Godwin Cho will be one of 12 teams competing this fall on the globe-trotting show, which moves to the choice 8 p.m. Sunday slot this fall.

Godwin, 29, a financial analyst, tries to get out from under the shadow of his Havard-educated brother Erwin, 32, an insurance company manager.

“There’s a special bond between the two brothers that’s wonderful to watch,” says host Phil Keoghan, who was in Pasadena for the summer TV critics press tour.

So, are they as interesting as Woodside’s Tyler and BJ, who won last season’s race?

“We’ll never have another Tyler and BJ,” Phil says with a smile.

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Fantasia and Foxx

Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss.

At least that’s the story Fantasia Barrino gave out to nosey critics on Friday.

A few weeks ago at the BET Awards, the two got into some major tongue lashing during a duet of “DJ Play a Love Song.”

“He asked me if he could kiss me and I said OK,” Barrino said after a session pushing her Lifetime movie, “Fantasia Barrino: Life is Not a Fairy Tale” based on her autobiography.

Nothing more to it, she insists. And she also says she “already has a friend.”

Could it be a Foxxy friend?

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Starless Night

Am I wrong in thinking that when you put up a big honkin’ Stargate, the grounds should be flooded with NBC Universal stars?

I didn’t think so.

I’ve got nothing against the cast of “Stargate SG-1” celebrating their 10th season this month. And it was swell seeing Ben Browder cruising the crowd with his wife.

But couldn’t they have sent just a few of “The 4400”? Like Oakland-born and Hayward-raised Mahershalalhashbaz Ali?

(His last name was Gilmore during his school days.)

Anyway, it was a mostly civilized gathering out on the lawn at the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena even without Tony “Monk” Shalhoub.

But no penguins, which made me start playing the “Wings” game at the party. See, “Wings” alum Crystal Bernard was at the Hallmark penguin party the night before promoting her movie.

Which made me think about Tim Daly starring in the new ABC series “The Nine.” And Steven Weber in the new NBC series “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.”

Which all just means that there wasn’t much at the party to capture my attention. Except the gigantic Stargate and my wish to be transported out of the party.

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The Stench of Tom Cruise

“We didn’t do any press when all the things were going down with Tom Cruise, because you didn’t want to be in a headline with him and start getting that Tom Cruise stink on you,” says Matt Stone.

He’s referring of course to the controversial Emmy-nominated episode of “South Park,” “Trapped in the Closet,” that slaps around Cruise and his beliefs on Scientology. The episode will air again July 19.

Stone and “South Park” co-creator Trey Parker took the stage at the TV critics press tour today to talk about the 10th anniversary of the show.

Of course, all we wanted to talk about was the Cruise episode.

Despite the jeopardy of getting some Cruise stink on them, we wanted to know if it was true that Isaac Hayes gave up his role as Chef because they took aim at his religion of Scientology.

Parker says Hayes asked that they not do the episode. They did the episode. They heard he was going to quit over it. They weren’t surprised when he did. But he was surprised when Hayes started attacking them

“Chef hasn’t been a big part of the show for years, ” Parker said. “So we thought he quit, that’s the end of it. Then he called us bigots and we thought, wow, you thought the show was fine until now and suddenly we are bigots?

“So, game on mother (word they can’t even say on ‘South Park’).”

And the boys are really tweaked about the Mohammed episode last season. The network refused to let them show Mohammed after the uproar with the Dutch cartoon lead to threats of violence.

“Four years ago, we showed Mohammed could turn himself into Superbeaver, and that episode has rerun on Comedy Central and in syndication, but now we can’t?” Parker said. “So a new taboo was created out of nothing.”

And Stone pointed out that “South Park” could show Jesus defecating on President Bush, and any number of outrageous things, but not show a picture of Mohammed.

“It’s open season on Jesus,” Parker says sarcastically. “You can do anything to Jesus on TV.”

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Parties with Penguins

They arrived in a limo in their own tuxedos.

Yes, it has come down to this. TV critics were more interested in real penguins than in semi-real actors.

The Hallmark Channel put on the party at the pool with fake ice floating in the pool and the penguin duo marching down the green carpet.

One seemed more interested in humping the trainer’s arm than in schmoozing with the crowd, which is much like his human actor counterparts.

Just before the party, Adrian Grenier, who plays Vince the sexy up-and-coming actor on “Entourage,” was putting the moves on some young woman who appeared at the press session. He was much smoother than the penguin and almost as cute.

The Hallmark party rolled out the are-you-still-alive actors who populate the cable network’s movies. Marty Ingels, who had a limited career as a comic actor, has stayed in the semi-spotlight for years as the husband of actress Shirley Jones.

You know? Oscar winner. OK, she was the mom on “The Partridge Family.”

Marty thought it was funny to walk with her waving a sign that said, “Emmy Nominee.” Shirley tended to ignore him, as did most of the folks at the party.

Later at the post-party party, J-Lo’s ex – I know, it’s hard to keep track – Cris Judd is now the host of the new WE reality series “Dirty Dancing.”

We didn’t want to talk to Cris. He wore a yellow jacket and seemed a bit dance-challenged up against some of the pros twirling on the dance floor.

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We’re down with P-P-P

There are parties, and then there are post-party parties.

The Game Show Network booked the roof of the garage and turned it into Malibu for their P-P-P.

You know, giant screen plasma with crashing waves, lots of tiki torches, outdoor fire pits, an old Airstream trailer, s’mores and, of course, Danny Bonaduce.

What the heck would we do without Danny?

He’s completely insane, totally driven and always quotable.

“My wife and I used to get worried if I wasn’t in the tabloids,” Danny says. “There were literally weeks where I was on the front page of every tabloid in the supermarket.”

So, did it bother him?

“Are you kidding me?” Danny says. “You can’t buy that kind of publicity.”

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