October 13th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

JJ Abrams on 'Star Trek,' spies, and his little geeky army

If Jeffrey Jacob Abrams isn't the hardest working man in showbiz, he certainly comes close. With numerous TV shows and films on his plate, it's a miracle he can think straight, much less squeeze in some quality face time with the press. I caught up with him recently at a "Star Trek" DVD press event, and he talked about how the sequel was slowly coming together.

JJ Abrams

"We're just now starting talking about the second film. I will say that what we're discussing is all over the place because we don't want to rule anything out. The fun of taking something that is known and playing with it is undoubtedly appealing. The truth is, still, most people don't know the history of 'Star Trek', don't know the series. I didn't. I wasn't really a fan when I began working on the movie and I did my homework and I think the best version of a sequel will be a movie that won't require any knowledge whatsoever of what's come before. So it needs to work completely on its own terms.  It also needs to have nods for those fans so when they see it they go 'Oh my God, how cool is that, that they referenced that, or that that's there or he's there or she's there.'"

So we might see some other characters pop up from the series that we didn't before?

"A happy byproduct of our story is that they are now in sort of a parallel existence that allows for these people to cross paths with any of the stories and characters, places, that the first series introduced. It doesn't mean that we will necessarily be doing that again, but it feels like one of the benefits that would be silly not to  take advantage of to some degree. I don't want to say the sequel will be a reboot of an existing episode or series of episodes, but I think it is one of the tools in the tool box and it's something to really consider."

In addition to the slowly incubating "Star Trek" sequel, Abrams also has a new TV show to add to his frantic workload. NBC just bought the pilot for his new spy show.

"It was interesting because we didn't know if it was going to work when we were writing it, because this couple is in love and usually I have written characters that, you know, 'when will they,' 'how will they get together.' Or couples that it's like, you know, they're ripped apart by something.  To write a couple that's simply in love where they adore each other, they fight, they have issues but it never rocks the foundation of who they are, we've never done that before.  So it was hugely, weirdly, refreshing to write something where the main characters had a really good relationship. Like, it's so funny that, at least in my experience hasn't happened very often. So it was nice to able to write that. We're very excited about the show."

So how does he find the time to work on all these projects?

"It's certainly not just me out there. It's these people, these filmmakers, storytellers, executives who I work with. All of us together are sort of this weird little geeky army trying to entertain people."

October 13th, 2009
03:33 PM ET

Jon and Kate face off in court!

The latest chapter of the Jon and Kate drama unfolded today in a Pennsylvania courtroom as the battling reality couple fought over their money. Kate’s attorney, Mark Momjian, tells Showbiz Tonight that:

“In response to an emergency application filed by Kate Gosselin on October 5, 2009, the Honorable Arthur R. Tilson of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas entered an Order today directing Jon Gosselin to return $180,000 in marital funds, which he removed in violation of an arbitrator’s order.  Mr. Gosselin must repay this sum by on or before October 26, 2009, and if he fails to do so, he must appear before the Court for contempt proceedings. The remaining sum of $55,000, which Ms. Gosselin used for household bills and expenses relating to the children, will be subject to further determination by the arbitrator at a later date. The Judge also ordered Ms. Gosselin to provide an accounting of past expenses also by October 26.”

Kate tells us that, “As difficult as this has been for me, I am pleased that the Court has ruled fairly on behalf of myself and my children. Now that this matter has been ruled on, I look forward to returning to private arbitration, as we have agreed to do, to resolve any remaining issues.”

Mark Jay Heller, Jon’s attorney released this statement:

“All of the attorneys on both sides worked very hard.  We were very pleased with the outcome of the court proceedings and the arbitration session and we are very hopeful that there will soon be a resolution.”

For all of the latest breaking developments in the battle between Jon and Kate, tune into Showbiz Tonight, 11pm ET/PT on HLN- don’t miss it!

October 13th, 2009
11:34 AM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Here's what's happening in the world of entertainment today:

  • The Hollywood Reporter says that Matthew Perry is returning to TV with a single-camera comedy, which he will star in, co-write and executive produce. Perry will play a sports arena manager who starts to look at things differently after turning 40. It will be pitched to networks on the heels of "Friends" co-star Courteney Cox's new hit, "Cougar Town."
  • Former "American Idol" Carrie Underwood will return to Fox to host her own variety show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special" will air December 7, complete with music and comedy sketches.
  • Supermarket tabloid "Weekly World News," long known for stories of aliens, sea monsters and the like, has signed with Creative Artists Agency, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That means that "Bat Boy," a star of many of their headlines over the years, could be getting his own movie or TV show in the future.
  • If you're a fan of the hit show "Glee," get set for a lot more. EW.com reports that discussions are taking place for a "Glee" stage tour. The success of the soundtrack in November might be a big indicator as to whether it would go forward.
  • Another big full season pick-up for ABC: one of its most highly-promoted new fall shows, "FastForward," will produce a full season, after ratings success on a crowded Thursday night, says The Los Angeles Times.
  • On DVD today: romantic comedy "The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, "Land of the Lost" starring Will Ferrell, critically-acclaimed horror movie "Drag Me to Hell," "Jackass: The Lost Tapes," "Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season," and "Married... with Children: The Complete Eleventh Season."
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