June 18th, 2009
06:42 PM ET

What's entertainment news?

The question above comes up practically on a daily basis here at CNN's Entertainment Unit, most recently as we pondered stories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and about Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick.  Clinton fell and broke her elbow yesterday, sidelining her from a scheduled appearance at World Refugee Day ceremonies with Angelina Jolie in Washington, D.C., while two Ohio police chiefs are being investigated for a break-in at the home of the surrogate mother carrying Parker and Broderick's twins.

Clinton's bone-breaking may not be earthshattering, but it's definitely news.  But is it entertainment news?  If Clinton had appeared at the event with Jolie, that would have qualified, so does an accident keeping her from attending make the cut as well?  And as for Jolie, she's about as high-profile as one can get - a recent Forbes survey ranked her the nation's most powerful celebrity, topping even the mighty Oprah - but does that make anything she does entertainment news, from her charity work to her personal life?

The Parker-Broderick story, detailed by Brittany Kaplan in a blog entry below, is literally in tabloid territory.  Both actors have been celebrities long enough to understand the privacy tradeoffs of being famous, and have worked to keep as much of their private lives private as possible... and, of course, the surrogate is no celebrity.  Yet she's in the middle of this story - if it is a story.

When I started in this business, {ahem} years ago, my stock definition of "entertainment news" was pretty straightforward: movies, music, TV, theatre, books - the traditional categories of mass entertainment.  Along the way, I added videogames, the Internet and new media to the description.  But judging from some of the topics which spur the most interest and debate, on this blog and elsewhere, entertainment news these days is increasingly about what celebrities do when they're not on a set or in the studio.

I realize this is hardly a new question, and it's actually part of a larger issue, one journalists have been debating for longer than I've been in the biz: is "news" what journalists think is important, or what the audience finds interesting?  How do you weigh journalists' experience and judgment, such as it may be, against the public's classic "right to know," despite the possible inconsequence of the subject?

It's a hard line to pin down: for every comment we get here along the lines of "why is CNN covering this garbage?", 20 or 30 or 40 others chew over every detail, showing obvious interest.  We can't please everyone, but obviously it's in our interest to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

So what do you think?  Do you want us covering celebs off-camera as well as on?  Do you look to news outlets for discernment and discretion, or just raw information?  In short, what do you want?

June 18th, 2009
05:35 PM ET

TONIGHT: Jonas Bros. on 'Larry King Live'

Larry King's crew got unprecedented access to the pop band as it kicked off its world tour.

The crew went behind the scenes with Nick, Joe, and Kevin during their whirlwind trip through Paris, London, and Madrid prior to Larry’s sit-down interview with the boys -– in which the Jonas’ open up to Larry about their fame, fortune, personal lives, and plans for the future.

Nick, Kevin, and Joe like you've never seen them before!

Exclusive behind the scenes access on and off the stage!

CLICK HERE for a sneak preview, exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, photo galleries, a travelogue diary, quiz, and much more!

The Jonas Brothers answer your questions on Larry King Live, tonight at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.

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Filed under: Music
June 18th, 2009
03:33 PM ET

Parker and Broderick's Betrayal

My heart is breaking for Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick.  The struggle of dealing with infertility issues must be one of the hardest things a family can possibly go through and it is a private matter- end of story.  Sarah Jessica and Matthew have always been a private couple, always trying to appease the paparazzi in order to maintain privacy for their family. They famously posed for photographers outside of the New York hospital where their son, James Wilke, was born in order to avoid masses of photographers clamoring for pricey first pictures of their baby.  For the most part the New York press has been very respectful of them- after all, she is their (and our) beloved Carrie Bradshaw, if ever there was a quintessential New Yorker, she is it. 

Unfortunately the same can’t be said about certain national tabloids.  When they found out that Sarah Jessica and Matthew were expecting twin girls via surrogate they decided to ‘out’ them, forcing the couple to speak publicly before they may have wanted to.  But the real horror is that now two police chiefs- yes, you read that right, police chiefs- are being investigated for breaking into the home of the couple’s surrogate in order to find information to sell to a tabloid.

When you become a celebrity you lose your anonymity; its part of the deal you make when you sign up.  I can’t stand those ‘celebrities’ who are famous for being famous and bemoan their lack of privacy. But there is a difference between the celebrities who seek fame and those who actively seek their privacy.  Sarah Jessica and Matthew are not out making sex tapes, they aren’t making endless trips to rehab; they are trying to expand their family.  For goodness sake: Leave them alone!

We will have the full details on this unbelievable story tonight on Showbiz Tonight at 11pm Eastern and Pacific on HLN- don't miss it!

June 18th, 2009
10:56 AM ET

'Indiana Jones 5' in the works?

Empire magazine and Ain’t It Cool News are reporting that a fifth Indiana Jones film is in the works - at least according to producer Frank Marshall.

Shia LaBeouf, who played the motorcycle-riding Mutt Williams in last year’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” hinted to the BBC that a new film was being planned, and producer Marshall confirmed it with some key reservations.

"It's really about the script," Marshall told Empire. "Once we see that, we'll see. We're not going to wait another 20 years. We'd all love to make another one. I'm anxious to hear the idea!"

Of course, the script was the holdup for “Crystal Skull.” Director Steven Spielberg, producer George Lucas and star Harrison Ford all had to agree on the idea and the script, and apparently several ideas were floated over the years - and several A-list screenwriters tapped - before David Koepp’s screenplay (based on Jeff Nathanson's and Lucas’ story) got the go-ahead.

Depending on your point of view, it was either a thrill to see a new Indy or, to borrow a phrase made popular in the aftermath of the film, it “nuked the fridge.”

Spielberg, Lucas and Ford are all on board for the new Indiana Jones, according to Marshall … assuming they get a good idea.

What would you like to see Indiana Jones do in the new film? Or would you rather stick with memories of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”?

– Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer


Filed under: movies
June 18th, 2009
10:00 AM ET

My guilty pleasure? Sandra Bullock

Years ago I prided myself on NOT being the stereotypical girl who loved chick flicks more than action films. I enjoyed raunchy comedies and films with fast cars. I despised the actresses who were always falling in love on screen. Then Sandra Bullock made "Miss Congeniality."

Granted I was a freshman in high school. But to me, Bullock was "it." She had great comedic timing, a kick-butt attitude, and she wasn't your typical Hollywood leading lady.

Come on, you have to admit you've seen the movie. You fell in love with her, as I did, when she pulled the donuts out from between her thighs. But my adoration didn't stop there. I watched her in "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." I rented "Two Weeks Notice" ... and promptly bought the film. "The Lake House"? Yep. I even saw "Premonition" in theaters twice - and it wasn't that great of a movie.

In short, I had turned into a full-fledged Bullock fan. Her next movie, "The Proposal," promises to keep that appetite going. CNN's David Daniel talked with Ryan Reynolds and Bullock about their new film in today's Movie Pass:

So what do you think of Bullock? Is she your favorite leading lady, or do you tend to gravitate away from her films?

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