Tag Archives: DONALD TRUMP

Ken gets a novel idea, Martha makes nice for Macy’s, and Jian makes CBC Radio history

Here’s some good news — Ken Finkleman is brushing off his Smith-Corona again. The creator of The Newsroom, Foolish Hearts and so many of my

FINKLEMAN: first novel

FINKLEMAN: first novel

favourite series has signed a deal with Harper Canada for his first novel, Noah’s Crime, about the murder of a literary rival by an unemployed TV writer. Ken’s literary agent Chris Bucci of Anne McDermid Associates describes the novel as “a darkly comic cross between Martin Amis’ The Information and Dostoyevsky’s Crime And Punishment.” Sounds like pure Finkleman to me. Hope he kept the movie rights for himself. Meanwhile, his legions of television aficionados can rest easy – Ken also has a new TV series in the works, this time for TMN … always-innovative superChef Jamie Kennedy has a new treat in store for Friday night diners at his Gardiner Museum oasis. He’s pairing some spectacular new dishes with spectacularly smooth Balvenie scotch

STEWART: dining out

STEWART: dining out

whiskey. Among the VIPs sampling both at a by-invitation-only soiree this week were Newfoundland scotch connoisseurs Rick Mercer, Seamus O’Regan and Gordon Pinsent … guess that verbal dust-up with Billy Bob whatzisname didn’t do him any harm, because my spies tell me Jian Ghomeshi’s daily show Q is currently earning the highest ratings of any show in the history of CBC Radio …  Kirstie Alley wonders when TV “got so degraded.” She remembers when Cheers and Seinfeld were ‘cutting edge.’ “Now the edge is a talentless tongue!”… and Martha Stewart reports from New York that the once-vibrant Plaza Hotel is coming back to life. “Great stores on lower level, lots of tourists,” she told her tweeple earlier this week. Martha tried out the hotel’s new Oak Room restaurant, recently redesigned by Annabelle Selldorf, and said her dinner was very good. “The desserts,” she added, “were extra good!” A devoted shopper herself, La Stewart spent yesterday shooting all-star commercials for Macy’s with Mariah Carey, Usher, Queen Latifah, Tommy Hilfiger and Donald Trump, to name more than a few.

GOING DIGITAL FOR A SONG: “Our patrons are passionate and loyal, and we wanted to make sure we delivered on their expectation and with every interaction they have with the COC.”

GHOMESHI: making history

GHOMESHI: making history

So says Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company, which has now launched its new and improved website where visitors “can expect the same quality from our digital experience that we demonstrate with our productions in our beautiful opera house.” New features include a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the COC’s production of Madama Butterfly; an historical timeline highlighting company milestones with commemorative photos, posters, interviews and audio and video excerpts; COC podcasts featuring musical excerpts and video highlights of select operas and exclusive artist interviews; and a blog by Neef himself, who shares his thoughts on COC productions and artists and encourages visitors to ask questions. To see for yourself, click here.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “You can’t get mad at weather because weather’s not about you. Apply that lesson to most other aspects of life.”

The speaker? National treasure Doug Coupland, sharing wise words on twitter.

NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS: They tried it last year for the first time and it was a hit.  So the Just For Laughs Comedy Conference (July 23 – 25) is back. For more info click here …  only in Canada, you say? Only in Montreal, we

RIVERS: salute to Ed

RIVERS: salute to Ed

say.  Just For Laughs veterans Mike Ward, Max Martin and Derek Seguin are “taking da henglish to da west hiland for Canada Day.” Yes, the fearless trio of comics are set to perform their acquired-tasteful French Comedy Bastards act on July 1 at Bourbon Street West … after 14 seasons with the National Ballet of Canada, resident Lighting Designer Christopher Dennis will join the Metropolitan Opera in New York City next month … 300 lay-offs at My Space, plus the collapse of Quebec’s top TV format company Distraction, reminds us that it’s still tough sledding out there … curious about the new story-based Captain Eyeliner podcasts produced and hosted by Nobu Adilman? To find out more, click here … and Joan Rivers paid tribute to Ed McMahon on The View yesterday. When Johnny Carson refused to speak to her after she left The Tonight Show to try her luck at Fox, and instructed everyone connected with his show not to speak to or fraternize with her, Ed McMahon would spot her in a restaurant and come over to say hello. “He was always, always a gentleman.”

Now that’s class.

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About Evan’s new show, Atom’s new movie, Liz’s Elvis recipes, and Moby’s and Lindsay’s new videos

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE:  Erudite interviewer Evan Solomon will take a page out of Reach For The Top host Alex Trebek‘s dictionary next

SPEEDMAN: Atom-ic man

SPEEDMAN: Atom-ic man

season when he hosts  CBC’s new reality game show, Canada’s Super Speller, as 12 young finalists vie for the title. (Okay, kids, can you spell S=t-r-o-u-m-b-o-u-l-o-p-o-u-l-o-s?) … fans of Scott Speedman and Arsinee Khanjian will soon to get to see their much-anticipated work in  Atom Egoyan‘s prize-winning Adoration when the drama opens here next month. For a sneak preview, click here … and you’ve probably heard all about it by now, but Lindsay Lohan‘s send-up of her somewhat battered public persona, created earlier this month for Will Ferrell’s Funny Or Die website, gets smarter and funnier every time I revisit it. If you missed it, click here. And enjoy!

SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE: Dutch-based production company Endemol, creator of the controversial Big Brother reality TV franchise, is tapping into the global recession and struggling businesses with Someone’s Gotta Go, a series

TRUMP: going, going ...

TRUMP: going, going ...

set to air on Fox TV. Workers at struggling firms will be enlisted to choose who will get a pay cut, a raise in salary, or lose his or her job completely — based on information about their colleagues’ pay and reviews of their past performance. One troubled company — and a new layoff — will be featured each week.

According to Endemol, the concept “is the reverse of reality shows like The Apprentice or The Rebel Billionaire, in which a business mogul like Donald Trump, Alan Sugar or Richard Branson progressively whittles down prospective employees in a prolonged survival challenge/job interview.”

True — but Survivor candidates have been voting each other off the island for almost two decades, and Big Brother’s ‘houseguests’ have voted to evict each other for the past 10 seasons. So a new show it may be, but a highly original concept it ain’t.

PRESLEY: secret chef?

PRESLEY: secret chef?

SOMEONE’S IN THE KITCHEN WITH ELVIS:  Who is it? None other than New York gossip girl Liz Smith, still the showbiz columnist of choice. In her book Dishing Liz writes about her collection of Elvis Presley cookbooks. “These actually exist,” she insists. “Are You Hungry Tonight? …The Presley Family & Friends Cookbook  … The I Love Elvis Cookbook, and the one that is my all-time favorite, Life & Cuisine of Elvis Presley.”  Liz claims she often goes to bed hungry and just reads Life & Cuisine with her mouth watering. “Elvis might have lived longer if he’d eaten only fish, tofu and vegetables,” she muses – “but can one call that living? I can’t see Elvis getting off food anymore than he could get off drugs. Linus had his blanket … Proust his Madeleine … Elvis had his (cook) Pauline on duty.”

DAVID IS HIS LYNCH-PIN: Last year film director David Lynch (Twin Peaks) gave a speech about the nature of Creativity that proved inspirational for

MOBY:  Lynch-er

MOBY: Lynch-er

singer-songwriter MobyMoby says Lynch’s remarks led him to focus on making a new album he loved, without really overly concerned about how many CDs he might sell.“As a result,” he says, “it’s a quieter, more melodic, more mournful and more personal record than some of the records I’ve made in the past,”

EMI Music Canada will release Moby’s new album Wait For Me in Canada on June 30th. And the video for the album’s debut track, Shot In The Back Of The Head, is shot by none other than ol’ Blue Velvet-eyes himself, David Lyuch. And you can watch it here.


Nia’s life in ruins! New movies for Jason and Julia! Joan & Melissa make headlines for the Trumpster!

CELEBRITY ASSASSINS: Okay,  we’ve seen sizzling reality TV before, but for a junk TV food addict, Sunday night’s episode of Celebrity Apprentice was an epicurean feast. And it’s still making headlines.

RIVERS: shut out

RIVERS: shut out

What happened? Donald Trump said his two trademark words, “You’re fired!” to Melissa Rivers. Rivers got canned after being virtually shut out by her ‘teammates,’ gorgeous Playboy ornament Brande Roderick and cunning poker champ Annie Duke, in what TV blogger Bill Brioux describes as the “electric, best ever episode of Celebrity Apprentice.”

Melissa’s mom (Joan Rivers, as if you didn’t know) went ballistic when her daughter got fired and stormed out of the Trump Tower — but not after (bleep) sharing her thoughts (bleep) with Brande and (bleep) Annie.

“Not since the hair-pulling heyday of Dynasty has there been such a catfight on TV,” said video veteran Brioux yesterday. “It was the ultimate, diva-in-flames exit, times two, the kind of thing (producer) Mark Burnett probably dreams about.”

Melissa said yesterday she had exploded because of exhaustion after a long shooting day.

She initially refused to do a post-firing interview, a standard feature of the series, but said she went back the next day.

“I really wanted to take a deep breath,” Rivers said. “It had been a very difficult few weeks of being attacked emotionally and personally. There’s only so much you can take.”

How sizzling was it? Go to Brioux’s website TV Feeds My Family and see for yourself. He even has video of the meltdown, “for as long as it stays up at YouTube:”  And you can check it out right here.

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BYRNE: going Greek?

BYRNE: going Greek?

FLICKERS:  Director Jason Reitman (Juno) next opus is up in the air – but that’s okay. His new flick with George Clooney is called, you guessed it, Up In The Air  … Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins will join Oscar owner Julia Roberts for the big-screen adaptation of the best-selling Eat, Pray. Love …  Rose Byrne, so good as Glenn Close’s near-fatal foil in the hypnotic TV drama Damages, will co-star with Sean Combs in Get Him To The Greek … this year’s Genie Award winner for Best Documentary, the powerful film Up the Yangtze returns for an encore presentation on CBC-TV’s Passionate Eye this Sunday, May 3, at 10 p.m, … and My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos returns to her roots for her new film, My Life In Ruins, in which she plays a tour guide in Athens who has to deal with, among others, Harland Williams, Rachel Dretch and Richard Dreyfuss.  Can’t wait to see it? For a sneak preview, click here.

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STREEP: box office darling?

STREEP: box office darling?

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: After touring Canada more than a dozen times with his band the Cosmic Crew, Chris Colepaugh will guest with Roch Voisine’s band when Voisine tours of France, Switzerland and Belgium next month. Colepaugh will play pedal steel, mandolin and more on the tour, which starts at the end of May, runs through June and then picks up again in November and December … Debbie Reynolds, still kicking up her heels at 77, is set to bring her cabaret act to NYC’s Café Carlyle June 2 – 27.  And you can do her bidding, so to speak, by bidding on two tickets to her show, now being auctioned on charitybuzz.com, benefiting SOS Children’s Villages International, housing orphans with AIDS. Debbie will meet the winners after her performance, pose for pix, and lift a glass to good deeds in a naughty world (and surviving MGM?) … and Meryl Streep, a boffo box-office draw for female audiences ever since The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia, says it’s “completely improbable” that she’s become the queen of counter-programming. “No one in Hollywood can understand it!” she told Entertainment Weekly.  “We’re so used to seeing movies about dysfunctional relationships. Here are these outsized, vivid, problematic women with great men of substance who love them in spite of all their prickliness.” She and her Doubt co-star (and fellow Oscar nominee) Amy Adams team up again in Julia & Julia, scheduled to preem in August. In this one Adams plays a somewhat unlikely acolyte to master chef Julia Child (Streep,) with Meryl’s Prada co-star Stanley Tucci joining in the fun.

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ON YOUR MARK, GET SET: Tickets are going fast for Reporting in Afghanistan, the public forum hosted by CBC Toronto to mark World Press Freedom Day. To reserve your free ticket for this event, which is set for the Glenn Gould Studio tomorrow from 12:30 -2 pm, send an email to events@cbc.ca with your name, telephone local and the number of tickets you require … and nominations for The Comedy Network’s 2009 Canadian Comedy Awards & Festival in St. John, New Brunswick close this Thursday. You can enter online or by mail, but all mailed entries must be postmarked no later than April 30, 2009. So you only have two days left. To enter online just click here.

 

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Sunday night free-for-all

Showbiz Guessing Game: What do outrageous hoops star Dennis Rodman, wild card comic Tom Green, ice skating icon Scott Hamilton and Joan Rivers have in common?

JOAN RIVERS:  No apprentice she

JOAN: No apprentice she

 

This most unlikely quartet are among the sparklies chosen by Donald Trump to headline the second season of his Celebrity Apprentice reality series, which debuts this weekend on NBC.

Among the fellow competitors keeping them company are poker champion Annie Duke, controversial comedian Andrew Dice Clay, r&b star Brian McKnight, Playboy playmate Brande Roderick, country music star Clint Black, golf champ Natalie Gulbis, Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker and, in a cunning bit of casting, Joan Rivers’ red carpet partner-in-crime, TV host and producer Melissa Rivers.

On Sunday night’s opener The Donald greets his all-star candidates on an aircraft carrier – and no, I’m not making this up.

MELISSA: Showbiz survivor

MELISSA: Showbiz survivor

 

He then divides his 16 celebrities into male and female teams, then sends them off to bake and sell cupcakes for charity. The women’s team gets a major sales boost when Brande Roderick calls one of her chums – a Playboy bunny – to attract cupcake consumers.

Fans are fascinated to see if Joan and Melissa will get to work together. By now they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and could work together on challenges very nicely.  On the other hand, if they end up on opposing teams, they do know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which could make for an interesting contest.

Says Joan: “I’m know I’m going to win because I combine the sensibility of a woman but the strength of a man. And once a year, no matter what, I have a prostate exam.”

“We’re a very competitive family,” adds daughter Melissa.

How does she feel about competing with her mother? She shrugs.  “Hey, I’ve survived this many years!”

Should be fun.

 

 Celebrity Apprentice airs Sunday at 9 pm on NBC