EXCLUSIVE: J-Lo Has 2nd Thoughts about “Dallas” — And Swaps Talent Agencies
I have just learned that Jennifer Lopez is having second thoughts about accepting a starring role in the upcoming motion picture version of the TV series Dallas — so much so that she just changed talent agencies. The rumor spread around Hollywood Friday that J-Lo was leaving ICM and hiring the William Morris Agency. Now I've found out why: the actress and her managers at The Firm believe that her appearing in the remake of the oldie-but-goodie primetime soap is a “bad… Read
EXCLUSIVE: Moonves Manhandles “Reba”
So CBS thinks Reba McEntire is good enough to host the Academy of Country Music Awards live on May 23rd. (It's her 8th time.) But CBS' Les Moonves doesn't think the 51-year-old actress-singer's show Reba is good enough for his new CW netlet — even though it's the highest-rated sitcom on the WB. (Background, see my Finke/LA Weekly: Moonves Kidnaps CW.) I'm told the show's producer, 20th Century Fox TV was shocked to hear the CW doesn't want the sitcom. That's because, last… Read
Suspended LAT Columnist to Probe Sports
No one has been following the really sad Michael Hiltzik/Los Angeles Times saga more closely, and more accurately, than Kevin Roderick at LAobserved.com. In a nutshell, the paper determined that Hiltzik violated its ethics rules, and stripped him of both his blog and his Golden State column. I just have this bit of news to add: I'm told that when the Pulitzer prizewinning Hiltzik returns to the LAT after his suspension without pay, he will be reassigned to “sports… Read
NYT on Ron Meyer/Pellicano Friendship
So tomorrow The New York Times' Pellicano probers focus on Universal Studios prez/COO Ron Meyer in their latest article. Not any wrongdoing by him, mind you, just his friendship and visits in prison with Anthony Pellicano. I'm not sure if the paper is trying to infer guilt by association, or to imply Meyer has something to hide, or to merely write something about the Pellicano case even if this angle hardly warrants a story worthy of the front page of the Business… Read
Will MI3 Withstand Tom Cruise Cooling? Or Da Vinci Code Faint From Vatican Heat?
Two major Hollywood movies that help kick-off the summer silliness are shaping up as referenda more than recreation. That's because the opening box office numbers for Mission Impossible 3 will gauge Tom Cruise's viability given all that bad press he's getting (most of it his doing). Meanwhile, today, the Vatican continued its anti-Da Vinci Code vendetta when a crony of Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics to boycott the film. There's always been an imbecilic debate in… Read
Growing Fallout From VF/Pellicano Article
There's growing fallout from Vanity Fair's upcoming June issue article, and it's not good for the mag. Given what I reported yesterday about Pellicano's ex-wife challenging facts and quotes attributed to her (Kat Pellicano vs Vanity Fair), and today's Variety story of denials by reps for Brad Grey, Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler, the late Chris Farley and HBO (Names Take Aim at Pellicano Article), the obvious question right now is: Where were Vanity Fair's celebrated… Read
EXCLUSIVE: Angelina Jolie Fires CAA!
I have just learned that Angelina Jolie has fired her talent agency CAA after 13 months there. This is a huge loss, the biggest in quite some time for that agency which has a history of keeping its marquee clients in the fold. Oscar-winner Jolie right now is inarguably the top actress in the world in terms of salary, talent and heat. And she's just made the cover of People as “World's Most Beautiful” (and stares out from newsstands every week). All CAA would confirm to… Read
EXCLUSIVE: Kat Pellicano vs Vanity Fair
Kat Pellicano, Anthony's ex-wife who spent nearly 20 years together with the imprisoned P.I. and is the mother of his four children, has given me this exclusive statement to release today about the upcoming Vanity Fair June issue article Inside Hollywood's Big Wiretap Scandal (VF's response is lower down…): “I did not give my permission ever to be quoted in the Vanity Fair article. In my opinion, John Connolly acted unethically when he reported the story. All the quotes… Read
Hanks Writes Well (who knew?); His Movie Da Vinci Code Tracks Huge
I know what you're thinking: that Tom Hanks probably had his publicist or a Nobel Prize winner pen today's literate ode in The New York Times to his makeup artist of 19 years Dan Striepeke on the eve of his retirement. Probably 99% of the time you'd be right about actors who byline something in a newspaper, but this time you're wrong. I'm told by… Read
EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Attorney's Office Informs VF Writer of Pellicano Threat
Vanity Fair informed me this morning, in response to my questions on another matter, that last week the magazine's contributing editor John Connolly “heard from the U.S. Attorney's office who told him that they were obligated to inform him that Anthony Pellicano had threatened his safety.” Connolly has written several articles about the Pellicano scandal for the magazine, including this one for the upcoming June issue, Inside Hollywood's Big Wiretap Scandal, and just… Read
UPDATED: “Studio Prez” Unnamed by VF/Pellicano Is Ron Meyer
I've just learned the name of the “studio president” not identified by Vanity Fair who contributed money to an effort to raise $$$ for Pellicano's kids when Pellicano was arrested in November 2002 — even after word of the P.I.'s wiretapping got out. He is Universal Studios President/COO Ron Meyer.
Also, I'm told the “producer” not identified by VF who also contributed is Madonna's one-time manager Freddie DeMann.
VF reports that attorney Bert Fields spearheaded the… Read
Finke/LA Weekly: Moonves Kidnaps CW
My latest column is headlined Screwing The TV Viewers: The CW network is the bastard child of The WB and UPN. To tease you, here's some of my scoop: How Les Moonves kidnapped The CW, won a negotiating advantage over Warner Bros. and seized sole custody of the netlet for business decisions and programming. Also, see this update: EXCLUSIVE: Moonves Manhandles “Reba”
“Sure, all those press releases back in January claimed CBS and Warner Bros. were supposed to be equal… Read