Archive for General

Dancing with the Stars list

St. Patrick’s Day brings more than just shamrocks and leprechauns.

“Dancing with the Stars” returns at 8 p.m. on Channel 7 with Fremont’s own Kristi Yamaguchi and a cast with some impressive credits.

Six teams take the stage on Monday, with the other half-dozen appearing the next night. The entire dozen will perform a second routine on March 24 before the first elimination on March 25.

And for the first time in the show’s history, the first elimination will take out two couples.

In alphabetical order, the twelve stars making their ballroom dancing debut are:

ADAM CAROLLA – Television and radio personality Adam Carolla is host of the Los Angeles based and nationally syndicated morning radio program, “The Adam Carolla Show.” The actor/comedian has his first starring film role in the soon to be released in “The Hammer” (in theaters March 21), which he co-wrote and co-produced. Carolla was also one of the creators and hosts of Comedy Central’s “The Man Show” (alongside Jimmy Kimmel) and the MTV and long-running syndicated radio program, “Loveline,” with Dr. Drew Pinsky.

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE – Having started his acting career in his native Chile, the international film and television star’s Spanish language projects include Univisión’s miniseries “Como ama una mujer” and Sony television’s “Reyes y Rey,” which aired on Telemundo. He gained recognition in the U.S. as a series regular on “Family Law” and “CSI: Miami.” Recent TV guest roles include “Ugly Betty” and “Psych.” He stars in the upcoming USA Network series “In Plain Sight.” Other film work includes “Driven” and “Basic.” Cristián is a First Lieutenant in the Chilean Air Force Reserve and a member of “Halcones,” the high aerobatics team. People Magazine named him one of their “50 Most Beautiful,” and he was the first man ever to grace the cover of Cosmopolitan en Español.

SHANNON ELIZABETH – Actress/model Shannon Elizabeth starred in the box office hits “American Pie” and “Scary Movie.” Some of her other credits include “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” “Love Actually,” “Cuts” and “That 70s Show.” Shannon is also an accomplished poker player, taking third out of sixty-four invited professionals at the 2007 National Heads-Up Poker Championship.

STEVE GUTTENBERG – Actor Steve Guttenberg has starred in blockbusters such as “Police Academy,” “Three Men and a Baby,” “Short Circuit” and “Cocoon,” as well as such acclaimed dramatic hits as “Diner” and “The Boys from Brazil.” Guttenberg has starred in a dozen films, each of which earned in excess of $100,000,000 at the American box office. His television credits include one of the highest-rated telefilms of all time, “The Day After.” Guttenberg runs The Guttenhouse Project, which houses selected children who are phased out of foster care programs.

MARIO – Twenty-one year-old, multi-platinum selling R&B/Pop singer and actor Mario is known for such hit singles as “Just a Friend (2002)” and “Let Me Love You.” He was the recipient of Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Single of the Year in 2005 for “Let Me Love You,” and has been nominated for a Grammy, BET Award, Vibe Award, MOBO Award and Soul Train Music Award. His latest album, “Go,” is in stores now. Mario has also appeared in the feature films “Step Up” and “Freedom Writers.”

MARLEE MATLIN – Marlee Matlin received worldwide critical acclaim for her film debut in “Children of a Lesser God,” for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress. At 21 she became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar and only one of four actresses to receive the honor for her film debut. In addition to the Oscar, Marlee received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama. She has since appeared on a number of hit television programs, including “The West Wing,” “The L-Word,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Desperate Housewives.” In Spring 2008, she will star opposite Jeff Daniels in the telefilm “Sweet Nothing in My Ear.”

PENN JILLETTE – Penn Jillette is one-half of the famous illusionist team Penn & Teller. Penn & Teller have been performing together for thirty years and are currently headlining in their own theater at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. They’ve received 11 Emmy nominations for their television series, “Penn & Teller: Bulls**t,” and created several TV projects together. The duo has also written three best-selling books. In 2005 Penn produced and co-created the critically acclaimed documentary “The Aristocrats.”

PRISCILLA PRESLEY – Actress, producer and entrepreneur Priscilla Presley starred in the “Naked Gun” films and the internationally popular television series “Dallas,” as well as guest-starred on TV’s “Touched by an Angel,” “Spin City” and “Melrose Place.” Founder of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Priscilla has also served as executive producer on the feature film “Finding Graceland” and the television version of her autobiography, “Elvis and Me.” Presley was married to music icon Elvis Presley.

MONICA SELES – Tennis champ Monica Seles is the holder of nine grand slam singles titles and was the top-ranked player in the world. She turned pro in 1988 at the age of 14 and won her first grand slam championship, the French Open, just two years later. After a two-year absence from the tour in 1993 and 1994, Seles rose above adversity and returned to capture her final grand slam crown in 1996, winning the Australian Open. She holds an outstanding career win-loss singles record of 595-122 and was ranked the13th greatest player of all time by “Tennis Magazine.” Her accomplishments also extend beyond the tennis court as Goodwill Ambassador for the Laures Sports Foundation and the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Microalgae Spirulina Against Malnutrition (IIMSAM).

JASON TAYLOR – This year’s NFL Man of the Year Award winner and last year’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Taylor has played defensive end for the Miami Dolphins for over a decade. The six-time All Pro formed the Jason Taylor Foundation in 2004 and continues to be heavily involved throughout the South Florida community. Taylor holds the NFL record for touchdowns by a defensive lineman (7) and is the Dolphins’ all-time leader in quarterback sacks (117) and consecutive games played (130). Jason is married to Katina, and the couple reside in Weston, Fla., with their two sons, Isaiah Paul and Mason Paul, and daughter Zoe Grace.

MARISSA JARET WINOKUR – Marissa Jaret Winokur is best known for creating the role of “Tracy Turnblad” in the hit Broadway musical “Hairspray,” a performance for which she won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress. Winokur has since been seen in the Farrelly Brothers film “Fever Pitch” and the television series “Stacked.” She just finished filming the series lead in a new pilot entitled “Fugly” for 20th Century Fox and CBS, and is currently working as one of the leads in the Lifetime movie “Betrayals.”

KRISTI YAMAGUCHI – An Olympic Gold medalist and World Champion, Kristi Yamaguchi is one of the most popular and successful figure skaters of our time. Since winning the 1992 Winter Olympics, Yamaguchi retired from competitive skating, performing in numerous television specials and traveling the globe on “Stars on Ice” tour. Along with her many awards and accomplishments, she is a member of the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame, World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. In 1996 she founded the Always Dream Foundation dedicated to fundraising and supporting children’s charities. Yamaguchi is married to Stanley Cup champion and Carolina Hurricanes star Bret Hedican. Together they have two young daughters.

And for those of you who just can’t get enough of me, I’ve started a new blog about technology and people called Get eLife at

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“Lost” recap: The Economist

With my herniated disc acting up again, I turn to faithful blog poster Will Smith once again for the write-up.

The Economist

Welcome back faithful readers of the Lost Recap. Let me just say that this season’s first 3 episodes have more than lived up to my expectations. It’s fun again and exciting without the constant tension between Jack/Sawyer/Kate but just enough. How did YOU like the episode? Longtime “Losties” probably love the fact that we are seeing it changed up just a touch with the flash forwards and tying together of some loose ends. Let’s jump right in to the recap shall we?

We pick up our faithful bunch in the helicopter clearing where Sayid seems to be praying then looks over at Naomi’s body. He crosses over to close her eyes; I thought it was weird her eyes were open for that long with everyone else around. I mean Miles talked to her dead spirit, Kate even transported her and Jack commented on returning her body but no one closed her eyes…weird. He takes a bracelet from her that says “N. I’ll always be with you. R.G.” Sayid says he can get Charlotte back, Miles believes himself to be one bad mutha…he isn’t. Jack wants to go but Sayid reminds him that last time he talked to Locke he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger on the empty gun. This makes for bad diplomacy so he can’t go, Jack sends Kate instead. For some reason at that point I knew something was going to go wrong, Kate could mess up pretty much any mission. Lapidus agrees to fly Sayid off the island if he goes and gets Charlotte. So Sayid, Miles and Kate set off for the Dharma village. Jack sends Juliet to get Desmond because he needs to see this and offer his “I love Penny” opinion.

Flash forward to Sayid in the future. We now know he is another of the Oceanic 6. He is playing golf when a guy shows up to chat with him; they make a bet about a closest to the pin. The other guy wins but they both need form work bad. When Sayid tells him who he is the other guy tries to casually turn tail and skedaddle…Sayid calls him by name and kills him. He leaves as the sprinklers come on which is weird. Sayid is apparently a hit man in his future incarnation…sweet. We cut to Berlin at a coffee shop where Sayid is asking directions from some hot number named Elsa. She gives him directions, they hit it off we all get mushy because it is Valentine’s Day you know. Sayid tells her he is a head hunter….you know a corporate recruiter. Get it! They get all close and spend a lot of time together; Sayid really starts to fall for her. Awww

Back on the island the Locke’s are traipsing towards the cabin, Locke finds the ring of ash but no cabin. Uh oh, he must be losing his touch because he can’t see it anymore. Hurley knows what’s up but tries to cover for Locke when Ben makes the statement “John is looking for someone to tell him what to do next.” Just as doubt starts to creep in Locke re-asserts his alpha status and tells James (Sawyer) and Hurley what’s up…he (Locke) is in charge and calling all the shots. So they head off towards the Dharma Village.

Back with Jack and the helicopter fidgety Daniel borrows the sat phone from Lapidus and calls Regina on the boat. Lapidus tells him if George answers hang up…apparently George will be a bit angry with the bunch. Regina and Daniel set up an experiment where Regina launches a “payload” to his exact coordinates. The countdown has everyone looking skyward but nothing shows up. Daniel says this is not good. It shows up about 31mins later though and Daniel opens the payload which is a watch and it is off by 31 mins. This is NOT good indeed; time on the island is off. Does this mean that while they can establish real time communications things are delayed? Does this help Ben to “see into the future”?

Sayid, Kate and Miles sneak into the village/barracks and discover Hurley in a closet tied up. I bought it since Hurley said he didn’t sign up for hostages and Locke gave him the “don’t test me boy” look. They search around Ben’s cabin and Sayid find’s a secret closet with a ton of money in a bunch of currencies, a load of different passports and travel clothes. Looks like Ben does or did leave the island a LOT. Looks like he is in a war with whoever sent the freighter people and the island is his hideout or home base. Just then Sawyer sneaks up on Kate and tells her to “shhh”…she yells for Sayid. Good one Kate. Sayid turns around and Locke has him in his sights. They put Sayid in the rec room…where Kate was kept when Jack and Juliet were going to leave on the ill fated submarine trip. Ben is in there being the weasel he is. Sayid and Locke make a deal to swap Miles for Charlotte so Sayid can get on the freighter and find out what is really going on. There is a 30 second confrontation with Kate and Sawyer, he wants to stay on the island and play house. Interesting, she says how long can we do that. So are they still together when Jack meets Kate at the airport?

Back to the future, Sayid and Elsa are in bed when she gets teary eyed and tells Sayid she knows nothing about him, he tells her ok, no more secrets. Elsa’s pager goes off. Now this pager only goes off when her boss needs her…we get the feeling Sayid is planning to kill the boss. He tells her she has to leave, she finds out he is planning to kill her boss. She shoots him in the shoulder area but leaves him alive then calls her boss and speaks in German. You find out she was playing Sayid as much as Sayid was playing her. Sayid is sad…he shoots and kills her anyway. She has a bracelet just like the one Naomi had…uh oh.

Back at the chopper Desmond shows up to demand flight to freighter. Sayid walks up with Charlotte but no Kate (she decided to stay…or did she???) and tells Lapidus he traded Miles for Charlotte. Tricky one that Sayid. So they load up in the chopper, Daniel warns him to use the EXACT trajectory they came in on when they leave. Jack tells Sayid good luck but you can see he doesn’t trust him. The chopper takes off and heads towards the freighter.

Sayid stumbles into a vet’s office to get patched up by…BEN!!! That guy always seems to be coming out on top. He tells Sayid to use his head and not his emotions and quit his crying because he has another name. Sayid says ok but warns Ben that the list people will know they are coming. Ben creepily says “Good”. WOW!!

I think that if we are looking at 3 more seasons at least 1 of them will be the Oceanic 6 going back to “rescue” the rest of the survivors and a real war between Ben and Abaddon. So far the Oceanic 6 are:

1. Jack

2. Kate

3. Hurley

4. Sayid

5. ??

6. ??

Ben was not on Oceanic so he doesn’t count.

Next week should be a date with the freighter! Stay tuned

Here’s my take on who are the others who made it:

I think Kate talks Sawyer into leaving the island with her, and it doesn’t turn out well. – Susan

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CBS’ Announces Series’ Return Dates

Have to race out the door, but here’s the official word from CBS on when the series will return and how many new episodes are expected:

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER March 17 9 episodes

THE BIG BANG THEORY March 17 9 episodes

TWO AND A HALF MEN March 17 9 episodes

CSI: MIAMI March 24 8 episodes

COLD CASE March 30 5 episodes

CRIMINAL MINDS April 2 7 episodes

CSI: NY April 2 7 episodes

CSI April 3 6 episodes

WITHOUT A TRACE April 3 6 episodes

GHOST WHISPERER April 4 6 episodes

NUMB3RS April 4 6 episodes

NCIS April 8 7 episodes

MOONLIGHT April 11 4 episodes

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT April 14 6 episodes

SHARK TBA 4 episodes

* THE UNIT, CANE and SHARK are on previously announced hiatus to
accommodate the mid-season launches of BIG BROTHER, JERICHO and DEXTER.

**The drama series SWINGTOWN, which hasn’t been scheduled yet, will also resume production.

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Almost in the Big Brother House

Right here should be a picture of me frolicking in the Big Brother house, doing the games and eating slop.

The chalet-style A-Frame is this season’s romantic winter hideaway in BIG BROTHER: ‘TIL DEATH DO YOU PART, the ninth installment of the reality series

Ok, I’ve already sort of been in the BB house, but that was last summer and all I and the small group of TV writers invited to the field trip could do was cruise the walkways where the cameras slide along and peek in the glass. You can check out that article here.

It was so like going to the zoo.

But this time around we were actually going to live in the house for a day.

I can’t believe I came so close to getting into the Big Brother house, even if it was just for less than 12 hours.

CBS offered a handful of people a shot at going in to check the house out last month, but that darned herniated disc in my neck just kicked into high gear, and I had to bow out. I’m a huge fan of the show, although goodness knows why.

Talk about the ultimate guilty pleasure. But you can tell the real BB junkies from the rest of the pack by their devotion to watching “Bigh Brother After Dark,” the midnight to 3 a.m. live feed on Showtime2. Now that’s where you get the best dirt.

The twist this year is doing love matches between couples, but there’s no love lost between cougar Sheila, a former model who still thinks she’s a hottie, and schlupy Adam, the guy she thinks isn’t good enough for her. She’s a whiny thing and I’d give her the boot, except that she just might be the person to take the heat off an up-and-coming couple.

Adam, 29, a Public Relations Manager from Del Ray Beach, Florida – via Cherry Hill, NJ

Sheila, 45, a Former Model from Reseda, California Ð via Memphis, Tenn.

Jacob and Sharon were childhood sweethearts, destined for the happily-ever-after until Jacob cheated on her and they broke up. They have to work together as a couple now to stay in the game. Jacob sees this as his second chance, while Sharon wants to be anywhere by near him.

Jacob, 23, an Electrician from Dallas, Georgia

Sharon, 23, a Realtor from Olathe, Kansas

Purposely NOT paired together are Ryan and real-life girlfriend Jen, who have to pretend they don’t know each other.

Ryan, 27, a College Student from Columbus, Ohio

Jen, 26, a Bartender from Columbus, Ohio

Ah, the twists and turns of BB.

I’m starting a new blog soon called Get eLife and I think the whole Big Brother phenom fits right in. I’ve heard from people all over the country about how they have formed these discussion groups around Big Brother.

But what those groups really do is serve as wonderful support groups. Do you belong to any of them?

Let me know and we’ll chat, even if we have to bring it over to the new blog, where I’ll be writing about how technology and people intersect. And what better intersection that “Big Brother”?

OK, there’s probably better examples out there, but since I’m coming off a TV gig, this seems like a nice fit.

Meanwhile, tonight set up the new season which was rushed in because of the Writers Guild of America strike, The walkout might be over, but it’s going to take some time before Hollywood gets back on track.

Love is in the air as the 16 new Houseguests are paired up to compete in this seasonÕs BIG BROTHER: ‘TIL DEATH DO YOU PART, the ninth installment of the reality series. (standing, l-r) Sharon and Allison (seated, l-r) Chelsia, Sheila, Natalie, Jen and Amanda. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS. © 2008 CBS

Following tonight’s premiere, BIG BROTHER: ‘TIL DEATH DO YOU PART will be broadcast each week at 9 p.m. Tuesdays , 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 8 p.m. Sundays. That should plump out CBS’ schedule.

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Sonja comments on quitter Jonny Fairplay

Walnut Creek’s Sonja Christopher may be known as the first person to be ejected from “Survivor,” but at least she’s no quitter.

Affable breast cancer survivor Sonja Christopher, a real “Survivor.”

The ukulele lady had this to say:

Here’s my theory about Johnny Foulplay:

He undoubtedly got a fee for appearing (on All-Stars it was $25,000).
What easier way could there be to earn a quick 25 grand for three days
work than to get on the show and then quit?! Of all the Survivors I
know, he is the most despicable in my book.

You are absolutely correct. He could have easily continued, but clearly his game plan from Day 1 was to go in, grab the easy money and bug out. What a loser.

Hopefully, “Survivor” producers have learned their lesson – and anyone else crazy enough to hire this clown. And if you’re out there, casting people, give Sonja another go.

Here’s a look at the first episode, which includes Sonja getting cut up on the island, and Dr. Sean fixing her up. She also does a funny twist on “Bye Bye Birdie” while playing her ukulele:

And Sonja sent this link to her appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” She says she’s “a little more cleaned up” than in the Survivor video:

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WEE Gets Smackdowned by CW

According to a report in TV Week by Jon Lafayette, The CW will stop carrying “WWE Smackdown” at the end of the 2007-08 season.

Good-bye WWE Friday Night Smackdown! superstar Brian Majors. Photo: Rich Freeda/WWE. ©2007 World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.

A few years ago, a network honcho told me they were going to try to get rid of the WEE because it was an embarassment to the network. Now, with the network drumming up an audience that could fit into any football arena in the country with room to spare, the only reason why they would want to cut it loose is for money concerns.

Lafayette writes that the WWE said it began talks with other networks after the CW’s exclusive negotiation period expired on Jan. 31.

Among those likely to be contacted are MyNetworkTV, which is the Fox-generated programming currently airing on KRON-Channel 4, the former NBC affiliate currently up for sale.

Another contender is NBC Universal, which runs some WWE events in late night and whose USA cable channel carries WWE Raw on Monday nights.

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The Grossest Commercial Ever: Scrape It

You’re going to hear a lot about TV commercials today, because the Super Bowl is never just about football. It’s about what’s going to happen at half-time and what commercials are going to knock us out of our recliners.

But last night while watching HGTV, my husband and I saw a commecial that literally had us covering our eyes and wondering what in the heck someone was thinking.

Just prior to the commercial, HGTV did a little filler piece with a lovely creek running past beautiful green banks. I turned and said, “Guess they are having trouble getting paid ads these days.”

And then it happened. The Scrape It commercial featuring people with perhaps the ugliest feet in the world tackling heaps of icky skin. It’s the “professional” corn and callus remover.

If you have a strong enough tummy, check it out.

If nothing else, you’ll have a greater appreciation for those Super Bowl ads.

You have the watch the Scrape It video. This picture doesn’t do it justice.

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Thanks for visiting my site

Just wanted to thank everyone who has been visiting, and posting, to my Web site. I have a herniated disc in my neck, so I haven’t been able to post as often as I would wish in the last three weeks.

But I’m feeling better and hope to start making up for lost time. Thanks so much for sticking with the site.


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Mark Curtis Update

Right now, former KTVU-Channel 2 anchor Mark Curtis is on his way to Florida to cover the primary.

I have already been to Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada,” Curtis writes in an e-mail.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Mark Curtis

Mark has left KTVU-Channel 2 and has started his own freelance news reporting, public relations and political analysis agency.

Go to Mark’s blog for his campaign reporting. Or for more info on Mark, go to his Web site to read about his new adventures in reporting.

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“Lost” back, and it’s fantastic

I couldn’t wait to watch the first episode of “Lost” – and when you are a TV critic, that means you get the DVD screener before it airs.

Now, ABC offers critics an even faster way to see the show, via the not-for-public-viewing Web site. And I can tell you, this first episode doesn’t disappoint. It’s non-stop action from start to finish, leaving you aching for more.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen our “Lost” pals, and ABC has whipped up a great 8 minute and 15 second recap.

We should have gotten a full ride of all 16 episodes, but darn that strike (yes, we are still behind you), we’ll only be getting eight episodes and perhaps not getting the next ones until almost summer time if then.

“Lost” is a series that ends after 48 episodes. Fans expected 16 episodes a year until 2010, when the series would finish. If the strike ends by mid-February, there’s still a chance that “Lost” could produce the other eight episodes in time to finish airing in May.

After watching “The Beginning of the End,” I’m back on board the “Lost” train. The producers now have an end game and the energy level is back with the actors and the writing.

There’s a list of things ABC doesn’t want us to reveal to viewers, so I’ll just say that we get to jump into the future where some of the castaways have left the island – and are conflicted about it. And we see some of the things that happened on the island.

Oh, and one person comes back from the dead.

We can also tell you that Locke wants the survivors to stay on the island after Charlie’s last message saying that they aren’t from Penny’s boat, while Jack says it’s time to get off the island.

Who will stay and who will go?

Photobucketm>In the season premiere episode, “The Beginning of the End,” feeling that their rescue is close at hand, the survivors don’t know whether to believe Charlie’s final message that the people claiming to liberate them are not who they seem to be. (ABC/MARIO PEREZ) EMILIE de RAVIN

Damon Lindelof always said that “Lost” was about redemption. Perhaps some left the islad a bit too early to be redeemed.

Come back here after the show airs on Thursday and, as Heidi Klum says, we’ll have a little chat.

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