Tag Archives: OPRAH WINFREY

Lifetime grows black Magnolias, Israel sparks MIPtv sales, Nancy’s just Foolin’ and the Junos get Feist-y

LATIFAH: steel lady

FLICKERS: Dynamic leading ladies Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard and Phylicia Rashad have signed on for Lifetime‘s all-black remake of Steel Magnolias, taking over the roles originally played by Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine and Sally Field.No word yet as to who will  be cast in the Olympia Dukakis and Julia Roberts roles …  looking for some laughs this weekend? Servitude is the first film to be developed and workshopped through the Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab, the CFC Film Program in collaboration with Just For Laughs, and it opens today with a stellar cast — Joe DinicolJohn BregarLinda Kash, Lauren CollinsAaron AshmoreEnrico Colantoni, Margot

DINICOL: in service

Kidder, and Dave Foley.  Directed by Warren P. Sonada and written by co-producer Michael Sparaga, it looks like a lot of fun … left-wing heroine Jane Fonda will remind us what a good actress she is when she plays right-wing Republican former first lady Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  An Oscar nominee for directing Precious, Daniels describes The Butler as a sprawling historical drama that centers on Eugene Allen, a black man who worked as butler in the White House under eight presidents. Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker is slated to play Allen, and insiders say ardent Daniels supporter Oprah Winfrey may play one of the many supporting roles …and Marcelle Lean‘s 15th Cinefranco filmfest wraps up this weekend at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Hot titles include Ma Part Du Gateau/My Piece Of The Pie, one of

SUTHERLAND: worldwide

the films celebrated on last month’s 12th Floating Film Festival, and L’Art D’Aimer/The Art Of Love. For Cinefranco program notes click here.

BRAVE NEW WORLDS: Did you see the premiere of Kiefer Sutherland’s new series Touch last week on Global? If you did, you had plenty of company. Touch premiered almost simultaneously in 100 countries and territories. In the U.S. it screened on Fox; in Germany, on ProSieben; in Russia, on Channel One. New-world executive thinking indicates that the worldwide premiere signifies a new way of doing business that attracts multinational advertisers (Unilever is a sponsor of the series around the world) and attacks online piracy … also making history: the Adam Beach series Arctic

BEACH: hit series

Air, which averaged almost a million viewers a week in its debut season, the largest audience to follow the first season of a CBC Television drama series in 15 years.  Other CBC shows more than one million viewers weekly include Dragons’ Den, Republic Of Doyle and The Rick Mercer Report. So somebody must be doing something right … Israeli TV formats may prove to be the big buzz at this year’s MIPtv. The annual international television convention opens Sunday in Cannes with a red carpet gala screening of Julian FellowesTitanic, already sold in 86 countries, but it’s the shows from Israel sparking the most interest. HBO‘s In Treatment and Showtime‘s Homeland are both based on hit Israeli TV series. Another Israeli series, The Naked Truth,  a suspense thriller set entirely in an interrogation room, has already been picked up by HBO

WHITE: April Foolin'

for an American remake, and NBC has ordered a pilot called Midnight Sun, based on the Israeli show Pillars of Smoke, about a female FBI agent who uncovers a conspiracy. Other hot prospects at next-week’s four-day marathon in the south of France: Mr. Selfridge, a period drama about the life of the flamboyant founder of the London department story; Tom Fontana‘s Copper, about a police officer in 1860s New York City; the psychological thriller Hemlock Grove, already snapped up by Netflix; the period mini-series Madame Tussauds; dramatic series Hannibal, already sold to NBC; World Without End, a follow-up mini-series to Pillars Of The Earth; and Sinbad, BBC’s update on the tale of the

FEIST: Junos telecast

8th century swashbuckler who battles monsters and visits magical places.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Music man Jack de Keyser strums his stuff tomorrow night at Simcoe Jazz & Blues in Oshawa … perennial crowd-pleaser Nancy White headlines the April Fool’s Matinee this weekend at the trendy Green Door cabaret with pianist Bob Johnston, percussionist Marsha Coffey and singers Ghislain Aucoin, Suzy Wilde, Barb Johnston, Maddy Wilde, Eddy Be, Stella Walker, Bridget Carter-Whitney, Mavis Lyons and Mike O’Hara. “Do not be frightened by the number of singers and the fact that the show is on a Sunday,”

McLACHLAN: singing Sunday

adds the irreepressible Ms. Walker. “No gospel music will be presented. That is our pledge to you.” Showtime is 3 pm  this Sunday April 1, For ticket info click hereMaggie Cassella hosts her own April 1 send-up, Liar Liar Pants On Fire, Sunday night at The Flying Beaver Pubaret. “It’s an April Fools Day event where YOU get up on stage and tell a whopper of a story. The audience votes on weather they think it’s true or false. If you fool them you win a prize!” … and now that deadmau5 and Madonna have called a truce, his fans can see him on Sunday night’s Juno Awards telecast on CTV. Also set to rock the premises: Blue Rodeo, City and Colour, Feist, Hedley, Hey Rosetta!, K’NAAN, Lights, MC Flipside, Nickelback, Sarah McLachlan, and Simple Plan.

Happy weekend!

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Tommy turns 75, Celine & Tony sound off, Kelly & Jay play Fallsview and Arlene writes a bestseller

SHARPS & FLATS:  Crowd-pleasers Kelly Clarkson and Jay Leno are both set to entertain at Fallsview Casino next month, with the increasingly popular World Rock Symphony Orchestra now set to return in April …

PIECZONKA: Toronto Tosca

sublime Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka continues to dazzle as Tosca in the lavish COC production at the Four Seasons Centre now through Feb. 25 …  Daniel Lanois is set for two CBC Music concerts next month at the Great Hall on Queen Street.  The concerts coincide with Lanois’ induction into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame during Canadian Music Week festivities that same week … and legendary country gentleman Tommy Hunter will celebrate his 75th birthday by hanging up his guitar once and for all. Currently on tour, he’ll blow out the candles at a splashy birthday party in London, ON, on March 20, right after he gives his final concert at the John Labatt Centre. Should be quite a night!

HATS OFF:  To Tony Bennett and Celine Dion, who skipped the platitudes and went straight to the heart of Whitney Houston’stragic demise. Bennett says he has received mostly positive reaction to his statement urging the legalization of drugs in the U.S.

HUNTER: birthday boy

Legalization, he believes, would get rid of all the gangsters. “One thing I’ve learned about young people, when you say ‘Don’t do this,’ that’s the one thing they’re going to try and do. Once it’s legal and everybody can do it, there is no longer the desire to do something that nobody else can do.” Bennett, now 85, survived his own cocaine habit in the late ‘70s. Houston, who was 48, had admitted to using cocaine, marijuana and pills in the past. Dion, who is now, 43, considered Houston  “an amazing inspiration” but was clearly upset that “drugs, bad people, bad influences, took over her dreams, her motherhood,” she told Good Morning America this week. “When you

DION: remembering Whitney

think about Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson — to get into drugs like that for whatever reason – because of stress, bad influence, whatever — something happens that I don’t understand. That’s why I’m scared of show business, of drugs and hanging out. That’s why I don’t go to parties!” The private By Invitation Only funeral for Houston is set for tomorrow in New Jersey.

AND YES, YOU SHOULD TAKE IT PERSONALLY:  She’s worth millions and demonstrates how she got there every week on CBC’s megahit series Dragons’ Den.  But Arlene Dickinson shares even more of herself in her first (but, I predict, not her last) bestselling book, Persuasion, with some hard-won personal advice that everyone can use. “It’s a good idea,” she notes, “to take a hard look at your own narrative. Think about how you’d tell your life story to a Hollywood producer, how you’d explain the highs and lows. Have you cast yourself as a victim of circumstance? If so, maybe your story could use a rewrite, starting with the lead character who has choices – and sometimes makes the wrong ones.”

DICKINSON: persuasive life lessons

Making the wrong ones is something Dickinson knows about. She’s made quite a few herself. But, as she points out, those of us who have made some wrong choices along the way are in good company. High achievers are mistake makers, a fact she illustrates with engaging examples from Henry Ford to Oprah. (My favorite? Thomas Edison’s perspective on his many unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb. “I didn’t fail one thousand times. The lightbulb was an invention with one thousand steps.”)

Persuasion is about the art of connecting with the person you seek to persuade. It’s about caring. And about how to master “a little-known secret to success in business”  – listening. But because Dickinson makes it personal, Persuasion is much more than a How To book; it’s a survival guide for the mind and, sometimes, the soul. And within that survival guide are some valuable insights on corporate culture. “Staying in a situation you hate and complaining about everything that’s wrong, but never trying to fix it, doesn’t make you a martyr. It makes you complicit.”  Similarly, her views on our ability to choose the consequences of failure are bracing and refreshing. Bitterness is not an option, she insists, and shares another favorite quote, this one by mathematician Blaise Pascal: “Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

As CEO of Venture Communications she also has  some genuinely amusing business stories to tell, including the time one of her partners,  trying to save the company money, arranged for her team to stay on a friend’s sailboat off Vancouver Island instead of paying for pricey Vancouver hotel rooms. When they arrived at the dock she noticed that the boat’s name was Important Business  — andsuddenly realized what my partners meant when they told me in the past that they work ‘going away on important business.’ They were talking about this sailboat!”

Stylish on screen and off, she appreciates the fame that television has brought her but resists the urge to take it for granted. “I have exactly the same insecurities anyone has,” she admits. “If anything, they’re even more overwhelming when you know a couple of million people are seeing all your flaws in high definition!” And despite the fact that her on-screen chemistry with fellow Dragon Kevin O’Leary has made her an audience favourite, her account of her auditions for Dragons’ Den (yes, she had to do more than one) and how she had to discipline her own self-doubts to get the job — she replaced another Dragon when she came to the series in its second season — is intriguing inside stuff.

Of course that’s why Persuasion is a bestseller. It’s a hypnotic, hard-to-put-down book of life lessons shared by someone who had to learn most of them the hard way. As Arlene Dickinson sees it, the main obstacle standing in our way is, not surprisingly, us. “Our past shapes and influences who we are, but it doesn’t limit who we can become.” Persuasion, as promised, is a new approach to changing minds. And although she preaches the power of persuasion, she urges her readers to be sure of their objectives, be they personal or professional. “Before you set out to persuade someone,” Dickinson writes, “you need to be certain that you actually want what you’re asking for. Because you just might get it.”

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Hannah goes to Krakow, Brigitte goes to Sarasota, Liz cheers for a Ghost Writer & Tina Fey is EVERYWHERE!

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Where is Tina Fey these days? Everywhere, promoting her new movie with Steve Carrell on every talk show on the dial, Yesterday it was

FEY & FRIEND: she's everywhere!

Oprah, this morning it’s Regis & Kelly, and this weekend she’ll host Saturday Night Live with Canadian pop music phenom Justin Bieber as her musical guest … despite the rave reviews she won when her hypnotic Hugh Hefner documentary premiered at TIFF last September, Oscar-winning director Brigitte Berman returned to the edit suite in January and has emerged with an even sleeker version. Last month she screened it to sell-out crowds and positive press notices at the Miami International Film Festival and at the Museum Of Modern Art in Manhattan, the latter as part of the prestigious

BIEBER: set for SNL

MoMA Canadian Front organized by MoMA’s Larry Kardish and Telefilm Canada festival booster Brigitte Hubmann. “At the first screening in New York Tony Bennett, Dick Cavett, Geoffrey Holder, Dr. Ruth and Christie Hefner were in the audience,” reports Berman, “and the response could not have been more enthusiastic!” This month she’s off to introduce the film at the  Sarasota Film Festival, and next month she’ll fly to L.A. to join Hefner when UCLA hosts a special screening of the film in his honour at the Billy Wilder theatre … Amber Marshall invited her Heartland fans to help her find a new name for her foal, “the horse soon not to be known as Harry,” and has been swamped by thousands of suggestions. Now all she has to do us sort through them all and pick one! … international filmfest planner Hannah Fisher is packing her bags for Poland, where she’ll welcome Aussie director Jane Campion and Bollywood superstars Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan to Krakow and The Off

MARSHALL: she's not wild about 'Harry'

Plus Camera Film Festival of Independent Cinema … and New York gossip girl Liz Smith is not a fan of Roman Polanski. “Let let him submit to the law as he should have years ago,” says Liz flatly to her devoted wowOwow.com readers. But that doesn’t change her belief that Polanski is a great filmmaker. Ms. Smith is an unflagging champion of his new Pierce Brosnan-Ewan McGregor thriller The Ghost Writer, which she insists is only “a whisper away from being as great as Chinatown. It is a tension-filled, politically based noir with just enough twists to keep you slightly off-balance but never off-track. This one makes you think and demands all your attention. One deep dig

HAWCO as DOYLE: season finale tonight

into the popcorn and you’ll miss something.All the performances are superb – wonderful turns by Kim Cattrall and Tom Wilkinson – with an especially great hand to Olivia Williams. She is the prototypical noir female – in danger, dangerous, impossible to know. And better if you don’t!”

Okay, I’m sold!

The Ghost Writer is stiill on view at a neighbourhood theatre near you.

P.S. To REPUBLIC OF DOYLE fans: Don’t miss tonight’s first-season finale of the Allan Hawco hit series at 9 pm on CBC-TV. And don’t be surprised if you hear people talking about it tomorrow. My spies tell me it’s quite an eyeful!

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Looking for movie stars? Book that flight to New York, ’cause they’re all on the Great White Way

ARE THE STARS OUT TONIGHT?: Yes, and most of ‘em are working on and off Broadway. Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson are currently in

JOHANSSON: room for A View

rehearsals for the revival of A View From The Bridge, still regarded in some circles as Arthur Miller‘s most passionate drama. They start previews right after Christmas, then open at the Cort Theatre on Jan. 24 … Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury are the hot-ticket duo in the revival of Stephen Sondheim‘s A Little Night Music down the street at the Walter Kerr Theater. Previews start tomorrow night, less than three weeks before their Dec. 13 opening … Emmy Award winners James Spader and Richard Thomas are already in previews for David Mamet’s

ZETA-JONES: opening tomorrow night

new sizzler, Race, directed by Mamet himself, for a Dec. 6 opening … veteran New York broadcaster Pat Collins calls her the funniest woman on Broadway, and audiences must agree, because Carrie Fisher’s one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, originally slated to close Jan. 3, has been held over another two weeks, to Jan. 17… Victor Garber will celebrate New Year’s Eve, then go right into previews for the revival of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, set to premiere Jan. 21 at the American Airlines Theatre … 2001: A Space Odyssey alumnus Keir Dullea, who actually worked with Noel Coward, will return to Broadway this spring in a revival of Robert Anderson’s

SPADER: Race card

I Never Sang for My Father. Years ago Dullea and Coward co-starred in a London-made thriller called Bunny Lake Is Missing. After shooting a difficult scene together for director Otto Preminger, Coward turned to the young actor and chirped, “Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow!” Happily his ad-lib was not prophetic … and Tony Award owner Matthew Broderick has taken his act off-Broadway. He opens tonight at the Acorn Theatre in Kenneth Lonergan’s The Starry Messenger, about an astronomy teacher’s affair with a younger woman.  Academy Award nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace) plays the younger woman to Broderick’s married academic.

SMITH: backing B'way newbie

ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER ADOPT-A-SHOW: It took volunteer executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry to put Precious on the map — and did they ever. Now Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett Smith have become first-time Broadway producers, putting their considerable showbiz weight behind the new Broadway musical Fela! which opens tonight at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre after a month of previews. Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, Fela! portrays the extravagant world of controversial music pioneer and Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in a hybrid of concert, dance and musical theater. Will audiences buy in? Stay tuned … and Tony winner Susan

BRODERICK: opening tonight

Stroman will direct the first-ever production of The Scottsboro Boys, an unproduced Kander & Ebb musical, off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre. The show will begin previews on February 12 and open on March 10. The Scottsboro Boys explores the infamous Scottsboro case of the 1930s, in which a group of African-American teenagers were unjustly accused of attacking two white women, and the boys’ attempts to prove their innocence.

And yes, it’s a musical.

TOMORROW:

Fangs for the Memories.

Atwood brings her Flood show to Church street, Mercer meets Bono, and it’s Liza with a D(VD)!

APRES MOI, THE FLOOD: Tub-thumping novelist Margaret Atwood is keeping her fans abreast of her current Year Of The Flood promotional tour via

ATWOOD: on tour

ATWOOD: on tour

Twitter, although getting on line is sometimes a challenge. In Cardiff, Wales she stopped at an Internet Café and found it distressingly difficult to connect. “If the Internet is a highway,” she noted, “there is much roadwork going on.” Atwood, who calls her Twitter followers her “T-pals,” will join David Ferry, Susan Coyne and Michelle Monteith on stage – on altar?? – this Thursday when she brings her performance-art show (with some Tell) to St. James Cathedral. Meanwhile,

COYNE: altar girl

COYNE: altar girl

fellow novelist Jeanette Winterson reviewed Atwood’s new Giller Prize nominee for the cover story in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. “Atwood,” she writes, “knows how to show us ourselves, but the mirror she holds up to life does more than reflect — it’s like one of those mirrors made with mercury that gives us both a deepening and a distorting effect, allowing both the depths of human nature and its potential mutations.” To see more of her review, just click here.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Choreography queen Twyla Tharp, who created a major Broadway hit by staging Billy Joel’s songs for dancers in Moving Out, is about to go for gold again. Her new show, Come Fly With Me, is

MINNELLI: new PBS special

MINNELLI: new PBS special

set to music associated with Frank Sinatra, and opens tomorrow night at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Fingers crossed … still wishing you’d been able to catch Liza Minnelli at the Palace last year, or even at Roy Thomson Hall this spring? PBS is planning to tape her Sept. 30-Oct. 1 performances at the MGM Grand in Vegas. Those brilliant Chicago producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who also worked on Showtime’s digitally restored version of Liza with a Z, will produce the special, which will air on PBS in December and go on sale in January 2010. Now there’s a New Year’s Eve gift! … and leave it to Oprah to out-do all previous flashmob events. Did you see where she got 21,00 of her closest fans to dance in the streets of Chicago? Amazing. If you missed it first time ‘round (I did,) you can still see it. Just click here.

THE LIFE OF RICK: Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on Rick Mercer’s wall? Or maybe a button on his lapel? Two Fridays ago he was one of a select few invited

MERCER: high life

MERCER: high life

to Sarah McLachlan’s lush Vancouver garden, where guests sat on plush divans under Moroccan tents lit by Indian Lanterns and were serenaded by Sarah, Sheryl Crow and dynamic Blue Rodeo duo Jim Cuddy & Greg Keillor at an intimate gathering to celebrate Sarah’s music outreach program for inner-city Vancouver youth. Then this past Friday he joined his Spread The Net partner-in-crime Belinda Stronach at her reception for another fund-raising pal, Bono. Mercer pal Seamus O’Regan was hobnobbing at that one too, as were T-D deputy chair Frank McKenna and War Child founders Dr. Samantha Nutt and Dr. Eric Hoskins. But don’t look for Mercer on the glamour party circuit this Friday — he’ll be in his CBC studio with a few hundred of his devoted fans, taping the first show of the seventh season of his top-rated Rick Mercer Report.

SHEEEEEE”S BACK: Attention  Erin Karpluk fans (and you seem to be growing in numbers every day) — your favourite TV heroine returns to your living rooms tonight when she and Michael Riley kick off the much-anticipated second season Being Erica at 9 pm on CBC. Enjoy!

TOMORROW:

What are Tom Arnold, George Stroumboulopoulos

and Red Green doing in Vancouver??

George gets Oprah, Kim gets a sidewalk star and Toronto gets one heaping helping of Hollywood

STARS IN OUR EYES: What a weekend for celebrity-spotting in Our Town.  In addition to Penelope Cruz, Colin Farrell, Jeff Bridges, Jason Bateman, Hugh Hefner, Drew Barrymore, Ewan McGregor (who walked the red

McGREGOR: took flight

McGREGOR: took flight

carpet, then dashed to Pearson International to catch a flight) and too many more to mention here, Anne Murray hosted the stars receiving Walk Of Fame honours on Saturday night at the Four Seasons Centre. New sidewalk star owner Kim Cattrall, back in New York this morning shooting Sex And The City 2, also sparkled at George Christy’s 25th annual filmfest family reunion at the Four Seasons, as did Michael Caine, Rachel Ward & Bryan Brown, Norman Jewison, Michael Sheen, Rex Reed, novelists Ron Base & Shinan Govani, Seamus O’Regan, Chaz & Roger Ebert, Ben Mulroney and An Education scene-stealer Carey Mulligan, who flew to Manhattan yesterday to start shooting Wall Street 2 with Michael

CATTRALL: Back to Manhattan

CATTRALL: Back to Manhattan

Douglas. A few blocks away at Il Fornello TIFF co-founder Bill Marshall & Sari Ruda hosted their annual All-Star Lunch for directors Fred Schepisi, Patricia Rozema and Don Shebib, satirist Rick Miller, filmfest veteran Tony Watt, columnist Martin Knelman, ex-Toronto mayors David Crombie & Art Eggleton and many more. Veteran filmfest programmer Hannah Fisher and producers Pierre Sarrazin & Suzette Couture were among the guests soaking up the sun and snacks at Tonya Lee Williams’ lively networking reception at The Pilot for her ReelWorld Indie Lounge. And producer Laszlo

CLOONEY: with Oprah

CLOONEY: with Oprah

Barna and dozens of TIFF participants showed up to shmooze at the Canadian Film Centre soiree hosted by CFC chief Slawko Klymkiw at The Spoke Club.

Biggest crowd-pleasers of the weekend: George Clooney, who greeted cheering fans Friday night at the premiere of The Men Who Stare At Goats and then showed up with Oprah Winfrey on his arm for the Saturday screening of Jason Reitman’s crowd-pleasing Up In The Air. (My spies tell me Reitman’s Thank You For Smoking star Aaron Eckhart also was there. Who knew?) La Wnfrey herself drew thunderous applause last night at the premiere of Precious, as did Mariah Carey. But it was Michael Caine who earned the most affectionate TIFF standing ovations yesterday in his stellar Q&A session with Canada A.M. stalwart Seamus O’Regan.

TIFF TALK: TIFF visitor Tilda Swinton reportedly wants to star in a new screen version of Mame, more along the lines of stage & screen Mame Rosalind Russell than movie musical Mame Lucille Ball … popular music-makers Terri

SWINTON: new Mame?

SWINTON: new Mame?

Clark and Hawksley Workmen are among the entertainers appearing this week at the Hard Rock Café as part of the fifth annual TIFF-related Canadian Music Café …  Canuck luminaries ranging from Christopher Plummer, Norman Jewison and David Cronenberg to Margaret Atwood, Oscar Peterson and Louise Pitre are currently showcased in a new 30-year retrospective by photographer Edward Gajdel at the o born contemporary gallery on Yonge street … Bobby Del Rio is living the Actor’s Dream. He’s in every single scene of Mio Adilman’s short TIFF film Unlocked … and organizers of the Dubai International Film Festival pulled the plug on tonight’s planned Park Hyatt cocktail soiree. All in all, not Dubai’s best year for public relations. Maybe all the headline-grabbing fuss about the TIFF salute to Tel Aviv scared them off?

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Oprah packs for Precious, Bryan covers Twiggy, Kate goes Crawford, and Tommy sings a new Tune

THE BIG OH: Ya gotta love Conan O’Brien’s comment on Barrack Obama’s plan to have dinner with Oprah Winfrey during his visit to Martha’s Vineyard. “That’s right,” said Conan, “the most powerful person in the free world is going to have dinner with President Obama!”

WINFREY: packing for T.O.

WINFREY: packing for T.O.

TIFF-bound Oprah is set for a pretty sensational September so far. She’ll jet here to celebrate the Sunday Sept 13 world premiere of her new film, Precious, before launching another new season of Oprah! the next day with an hour-long exclusive heart-to-heart with tortured but gifted diva Whitney Houston.

Will Whitney ‘sing’ for Oprah?

Count on it.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: The only man ever to win nine Tony awards in four different categories, song & dance sensation Tommy Tune, has a brand-new road show titled Steps in Time, the same title as Fred Astaire’s autobiography.

TWIGGY: Bryan Adams cover girl

TWIGGY: Bryan Adams cover girl

“That’s true!” says Tune, now 69 years young. “I borrowed the title from two of my idols, Sir Noel Coward and Fred Astaire. Coward gave that title to Astaire’s biography, so I have purloined it!”… and speaking of Tommy Tune, Renée Zellwegger’s new movie, My One And Only, is not, repeat, not the screen version of the great Broadway musical Tommy created for himself and Twiggy.  In this one Zellwegger plays a social beauty who is out to land a husband to take care of her and her two boys. Renée’s character is apparently based on Palm Beach matriarch Ann Devereaux Hamilton, whose sons include the ultra-tanned movie star George … and speaking of Twiggy, did you catch Bryan Adams’ fabulous photos of her inside (and on the cover, natch) of the fall issue of Zoomer magazine? Does anyone take better celebrity portraits than Adams? Not that I can see.

BUT WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO IS … : Director Robert Rodrigues has signed Lindsay Lohan for a starring role in his new movie Machete, possibly opposite Robert DeNiro. Now that we’d like to see! … director Guy

WINSLET: mommie dearest

WINSLET: mommie dearest

Ritchie is in London, working on post-production of Sherlock Holmes, which is still slated for a Christmas Day release with Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdamsJulie & Julia filmmaker Nora Ephron’s next work, a collaboration with her talented sister Delia, is a play called Love, Loss and What I Wore, set to open October 1 at the West Side Theater in Manhattan … my Brit spies whisper that Madonna plans to direct a new movie musical about the Duke & Duchess Of Windsor and wants Cate Blanchett and David Tennant (TV’s Dr. Who) to play Wallis Simpson and the king who gave up his throne for her …  and director Todd Haynes has persuaded Oscar winner Kate Winslet to star as Mildred Pierce, the role that won Joan Crawford her Oscar, in a six-part mini-series remake of the James M. Cain novel. (The original was cleaned up considerably to get by Hollywood’s once-stringent production code.) Now all director Haynes has to do is find the right actress to tackle the role of Mildred’s vengeful daughter, so memorably played in the original by the usually saint-like Ann Blyth.

THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS: CBC Television launched its nightly 90-minute supper hour newscasts this week. Which meant it had to move

DUMONT: 'V'-spot

DUMONT: 'V'-spot

Coronation Street to 6:30 pm. Which meant more grumbling from Corrie fanatics (and yes, you know who you are) … Microsoft launched its new msn.ca website with fairly modest fanfare …  Montreal-based TQS (Television Quatre Saisons) showed off its new name, “V”, its new direction (more fun, less doom ‘n’ gloom) and announced a new political affairs show hosted by Mario DumontShowcase showed off its new look and its new logo, just like brand new sneakers on the first day of school … and Canada’s struggling ‘E’ network bit the dust as new owner Channel Zero relaunched its ‘E’ stations with a new format. (Whew! Glad that’s over.)

HAPPY LONG WEEKEND

See you next week!

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