April 23rd, 2010
01:29 PM ET

Carla Bruni is Woody Allen's new muse

France's First Lady will indeed be starring in an upcoming Woody Allen film. It had been rumored for months that Carla Bruni-Sarkozy had been cast in the next project from the secretive filmmaker. Then, a later rumor followed which said: Nope. Wrong. No Bruni . (She's not hyphenated professionally). Instead, the gossip went,  Marion Cotillard was playing part everyone thought was going to be Bruni's. Well, turns out both women will be in the new film, which is in pre-production.

The notoriously press-shy Allen took the unusual step of issuing an actual press release with details of the movie - including, gasp, its title. It will be called "Midnight in Paris".  I think I'm more shocked about the suddenly open and chatty Woody Allen, than I am about the First-Lady-Gone-Hollywood aspect of this. You?

Meantime, worth noting: Allen's latest movie, "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger," will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

More from Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" press release here: FULL POST

April 22nd, 2010
05:05 PM ET

Stone, Parker respond to 'South Park' controversy

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CNN Entertainment/"Showbiz Tonight" received the following statement from Anne Garefino, Executive Producer of “South Park," about the controversy over the bleeping of their show:

On behalf of Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Creators of “South Park”: Regarding Comedy Central’s decision to bleep portions of Wednesday night’s episode:

"In the 14 years we've been doing 'South Park' we have never done a show that we couldn't stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn't some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We'll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we'll see what happens to it."

As we noted in an earlier blog entry, on Wednesday, the conclusion of the two-part story involving the Prophet Mohammed was shown with a number of audio spots covered by bleeps and images hidden by a block reading "CENSORED."

"Comedy Central was responsible for the bleeps and not showing Mohammed in last night’s episode," a spokesperson for the network told CNN.

The April 14 episode had attracted protest from an Islamic group, Revolution Muslim. The group posted an entry on its website that included a warning to Parker and Stone.

March 18th, 2010
05:11 PM ET

Jesse James apologizes to family

As reports of trouble in his marriage to actress Sandra Bullock grow, the following statement was given to CNN Entertainment/Showbiz Tonight by Monique Huey-Jones, publicist for Jesse James: 

Statement from Jesse James

"The vast majority of the allegations reported are untrue and unfounded.  Beyond that, I will not dignify these private matters with any further public comment.  There is only one person to blame for this whole situation, and that is me. It’s because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way.  This has caused my wife and kids pain and embarrassment beyond comprehension and I am extremely saddened to have brought this on them. I am truly very sorry for the grief I have caused them.  I hope one day they can find it in their hearts to forgive me."

September 14th, 2009
12:06 AM ET

Backstage at MTV VMA's: Taylor Swift fan club

Yeah, Kanye's unsettling display is all the talk of artists coming backstage. If the red carpet was all about the coming Michael Jackson tributes, then the show was about Taylor Swift and Kanye.

Taylor Swift

Green Day frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong, told a few reporters backstage, "She's young, she'll get over it. But, he needs to get over it." Armstrong's bandmate,  Tre' Cool added, "He needs to apologize, definitely. That's about as low as you go."

All American Rejects' Tyson Ritter came backstage with a drink in his hand to say Swift should let it roll off. When someone asked if Swift cried over the episode, Ritter answered, "Oh, God, I hope not. She's got like ten million records. She should just stand on her fat wallet and pile of money and cry on top of that."

Then, shortly after the sweet moment of the night– when Beyonce came on stage to accept her Video of the Year trophy and invited Swift on stage– Taylor Swift came backstage to pose for still photographers and answer a few questions from dotcom and print reporters.

This was bigger hub-bub back here than the Madonna appearance. Cameras flashing, tape recorders in her face, the "Best Female Video" winner proved nothing but a picture of grace. We asked her to describe what occured from her perspective. Swift said,  “ Well, I was excited to be on stage because I just won the award. And then I was excicted that Kanye West was onstage. Then, I wasn’t excited anymore”. She noted that she’s been getting tons of text messages of support and so many other artists have been supportive here at the show.  As for Beyonce's on-stage invitation,  “I couldn’t love Beyonce more”, she added.

Asked if she was a fan of Kanye’s she answered, her voice quieting, “Yeah, he’s Kanye West”. As the media pushed and her publicist pulled her away. “I don’t want to start anything I am just having a great night”. See all the winning videos on MTV.com.

What do you think? Do you think this VMA episode is going to hurt Kanye's career?

September 13th, 2009
10:22 PM ET

Backstage at the MTV VMA's: Can you hear me now?

Okay, it's been said on this blog before, but sometimes, the WORST place to cover an award show is from the backstage. If you're trying to actually HEAR the show and get a sense of what is going on big picture.  This room is LOUD, yes LOUD. So, in the middle of what looked like SOMETHING Britney Spears did, they turned down the show feed audio back here so that the still photogs could get good shots of Miranda Cosgrove. Cosgrove, and Kristin Cavallari,  by the way, are the only stars who've  been back here since the big opener, Madonna.

Kayne West

Kanye West takes a drink out of a bottle while standing with Amber Rose in the audience at the VMAs.

What I also missed is the actual audio of Kanye coming on stage in the middle of Taylor Swift's performance. I can tell you that Kanye walked the red carpet and walked past all the media with a big bottle of booze in his hand and waved it to all the media. He didn't speak. All the media just thought he had made peace with the VMA's after vowing never to come to the show again.

If you saw the Britney thing - give me your thoughts. It LOOKED cute? And this is, afterall, pretty much the show that has defined Britney Spears' career - the highs, the lows, the comebacks all played out here. What do you think about Kanye's little stunt? Kristin Cavallari - who just came from presenting with Nelly Furtado - just told the press she thought the whole thing was disrespectful? Is there anything too disrespectful EVEN at the VMA's?

September 13th, 2009
10:02 PM ET

Backstage at MTV VMA's: Madonna in the house

So, as I was saying... In all of the talk of what to expect at the VMA's this year: The Michael Jackson Tribute, the trailer for "This is It"; no one mentioned Madonna. How did that fly under the radar?

Madonna

She just came through what is being called the "Backstage Blogger/Stills Room". It's a room with a bunch of journalists  and computers and about– I'm guesing here - 200 stills photographers. For the first time, MTV has decided not to let video cameras backstage to backstage interviews. So no one is really TALKING backstage. The idea is: the person comes off stage and poses on a platform for stills photographers while bloggers write about, I guess,  how they look. They aren't taking questions here.

As for Madonna, she was mobbed by bored press waiting for some activity backstage here. SO I could see her, but not hear. Madonna DID seem to answer someone's question. Madonna was so soft spoken and its so loud back here, no one heard her answer. Not even the journalist who asked it. She asked if anyone else heard the answer.

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