March 5th, 2010
05:11 PM ET

Sacha Baron Cohen to Oscar: I'm outta here

The Motion Picture Academy is confirming Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped out as an Oscar presenter.

He was supposed to take part in an "Avatar" sketch with Ben Stiller, playing a female Na'vi.   Stiller reportedly was going to "translate" what Cohen was saying in Na'vi.  The Cohen avatar reportedly would then reveal she was pregnant with director James Cameron's love child.

Sounds pretty funny to me, but the Academy says the bit "did not come to fruition" (maybe "gestation" would have been a better word). 

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March 5th, 2010
04:53 PM ET

Guru's producer speaks out on his condition

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Solar, the producer for Guru, spoke with CNN on Friday about the rapper's condition and media reports that Solar is barring the ailing rapper’s family from seeing him.

“Guru is recovering and his doctors are guarded, but hopeful for his recovery,” Solar said.

He said the rapper has a history of lung problems and asthma and has been guarded about revealing his health issues. Solar, who says he is Guru’s best friend in addition to being his producer for the last few years, is currently acting as Guru’s spokesperson.

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March 5th, 2010
02:42 PM ET

Oscars get their swag on with $85,000 gifts

Academy Awards OscarNot everyone can take home a shiny Oscar statuette, so the Academy offers gift bags filled with the awesome as well as the bizarre.

Let’s start with the good gifts. Since those who lose out on Oscar night may feel the need to get a way from it all, there’s a $45,000 trip voucher for a South African safari, complete with personal chef, a $14,500 trip voucher for a getaway to Monaco, plus a $7,000 trip voucher to a posh resort in Connecticut.

There’s also deeli.com gift cards, an offer for an iFLY indoor flying session as well as a Tiffany cat collar and designer dog toys. And, because this is Hollywood, Oscar nominees will get gourmet chocolates that can be burned off with the gift bag's offer for personal training sessions and a week at a fitness boot camp.

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Filed under: Oscars 2010
March 5th, 2010
02:40 PM ET

Billy Corgan on Pumpkins split, Jessica Simpson

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan didn't attempt suicide over the past decade - but that doesn’t mean he didn’t consider it.

As he told Rolling Stone magazine for their latest issue, until recently, Corgan's decision-making process on many mornings was choosing between eating breakfast, or killing himself.

What saved him, he said, was his unique sense of spirituality, including an association with a group called Source Family. If that sort of conversation seems personal, it’s just the tip of the iceberg – Corgan had a lot to say about the past 10 years, including his father’s heroin addiction and where he stands on his critics.

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Filed under: Celebrities • Music
March 5th, 2010
02:09 PM ET

Leno keeps up ratings streak; Fallon lags behind

All is still well for Jay Leno's late-night ratings: he's still in the top spot, easily beating his 11:35 p.m. rival, David Letterman.

"The Tonight Show" had a total of 5.1 million viewers on Thursday night, while Letterman's "Late Show" had a total of 3.9 million, followed by ABC's "Nightline" with 3.6 million.

Jimmy Fallon, on the other hand, slipped a bit on Thursday. "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson" on CBS came in no. 1 at 12:35 a.m. with 1.9 million viewers whereas only 1.8 million tuned in to Fallon's "Late Night."


Filed under: Late Night comedy • television
March 5th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

More e-mail troubles for 'Hurt Locker' producer

“Hurt Locker” producer Nicolas Chartier’s e-mail habits continue to intrigue.

Over at the L.A. Times’ movie blog, there’s yet another message from Chartier, who has already been banished from the Academy Awards because of a campaign note he sent to Oscar voters and other insiders that the Academy found to be in bad taste.

This message, sent in December, focuses on the other “Hurt Locker” controversy of the lawsuit brought by Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver, who claims the film isn’t fictional but based on his own experiences in the Iraq war that "Locker" screenwriter Mark Boal documented.

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Filed under: movies • Oscars 2010
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