June 17th, 2009
10:23 PM ET

Redford for governor?

The people of Utah, that reddest of red states, owe a lot to a guy with liberal politics, Robert Redford.  The Sundance Film Festival, which Redford founded, contributed more than $92 million to the state's economy this past January, according to a new study announced by the Sundance Institute. 

The Institute says the figures were compiled by the University of Utah using an "economic impact model" developed by the Commerce Department.

According to the study, festival-goers spent almost $35 million on hotel rooms and almost $15 million on meals during the 10 day event.  They also spent $4 million on "discretionary items".    I'm guessing that was mostly lattes.  Or maybe festival t-shirts.  Those were kind of pricey.

It's ironic that a man with such left-leaning sentiments has contributed so much to the welfare of the overwhelmingly-Republican state.    If economic activity generated equaled political clout, Redford might be governor.

June 17th, 2009
04:26 PM ET

Chris Brown and Rihanna to face off in court

Chris Brown, we will see you in court!

An explosive scene is set for Monday for Chris Brown’s preliminary hearing in the case of his alleged beating of Rihanna. Brown’s attorney’s request for a postponement was denied.  Showbiz Tonight just got off the phone with Alan Parachini, the Chief Public Information Officer for the L.A. Superior Court who told us that the hearing will go on Monday as planned.  He also said that the prosecution is intending to call Rihanna to testify.

All eyes will be on the L.A. Superior Courthouse Monday for this eagerly anticipated trial and make sure to tune into Showbiz Tonight at 11pm ET/PT for all of the latest breaking developments on Chris Brown’s legal drama!

June 17th, 2009
02:08 PM ET

An open letter to Lindsay Lohan

Dear Lindsay,

We need to talk; I’m worried about you. I feel like we grew up together; except you got to do all of the cool things that every kid wishes they could do- like star in movies, make hit records and date movie stars.

Your remake of the Parent Trap was a classic. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine to this day; if I am flipping through the channels and it is on I have to watch. Saturday Night Live was great- that Disney Debbie Downer sketch? Classic. Mean Girls? Loved it. So I don’t get it-what happened? Where did it go wrong?

Everyone has growing pains, but Lindsay, you weren’t having growing pains, you were having downward spirals. DUI’s are not ok. I live in LA Lindsay, and when you go out and party with all of your celebrity pals and then get behind the wheel of a car you are putting MY life in danger, not just your own.

But Lindsay, you were turning it all around and doing so well. I was so happy for you. You weren’t so scary skinny anymore. You went to rehab and got some help. You got out of what looked to be some very destructive and very public relationships. You seemed to be staying out of the public eye a bit. But then I see a topless photo of you that you sent out over Twitter because you say you were “bored”? Really?

Lindsay, do the names Carrie Prejean and Vanessa Hudgens mean anything to you? They both recently dealt with nude photo scandals and it wasn’t easy for them- most people would want to avoid that. You are sending your own topless pictures out over Twitter!

Lindsay, it is time to stop the celebrity train. Pull it over to the side of the road and get off. It's summer, take a break and go on vacation- somewhere where the paparazzi can’t find you. Leave your blackberry at home so you can’t email or call anyone and most importantly so you can’t Twitter. Take that time off and reevaluate if this is the life you really want. It’s ok if you don’t, no one will fault you. You have spent over half of your life doing this but maybe it isn’t what is best for you anymore. Just think about it.

And leave the camera at home.

June 17th, 2009
10:47 AM ET

'Real Housewives' tipping point

I’ll admit it: I fast forwarded to the end of last night’s finale of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” on my TiVo.

I am addicted to this franchise, mainly because of the train-wreck possibilities available every episode. Last night’s show did not disappoint.

Watch the housewives dish the dirt:

For those not in the know, RHWONJ (to use texting lingo) follows the lives of a group of women in an affluent neighborhood in the Garden State. Unlike the ladies from the other locales of the franchise – Orange County, New York and Atlanta - some of the cast are more than just frenemies.

Caroline Manzo and Dina Manzo are sisters married to brothers while Jacqueline Laurita is married to the Manzos’ brother. Rounding out the group of housewives is Teresa Giudice and Danielle Staub.

Trouble has been brewing all season (if you can refer to six episodes as a season) between the Manzos, Giudice and Staub. It seems Staub, who is friends with Laurita, has an alleged shady past that was exposed in the tome “Cop Without a Badge,” which she said was penned by her ex-husband.

The book contains an old mug shot of Staub and accusations of everything from hooking to drug abuse and kidnapping.

Staub took offense to the book and its contents being spread throughout their community, and during a dinner at a local restaurant with the castmates and their families, whipped out the book and confronted the women.

Since the season premiere, producers have teased the audience with a shot of Giudice flipping out during the dinner. Last night there was finally context when she went off on Staub, calling her a “prostitution whore” and tossing a table.

While Giudice’s husband and friends calmed her down, the incident asks the question: What type of antics are we in store for during the reunion show?

–Lisa Respers France, CNN.com writer

Filed under: television
June 17th, 2009
09:45 AM ET

They're baacckkk ... 'Ghostbusters'

Almost 25 years later, the "Ghostbusters" crew is back fighting off the hilarious, sometimes creepy ghosts in New York City in a video game out this week. Players can choose from various weapons to fight off the phantoms. A twist to the video: Alyssa Milano stars in the game as a museum curator.

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