October 1st, 2009
03:24 PM ET

Breaking News: Kate responds to Jon!


This just in to the Showbiz Tonight newsroom–Kate Gosselin has just sent us this statement responding to Jon’s attempts to get TLC to stop filming their reality show.

"I'm saddened and confused by Jon's public media statements. Jon has never expressed any concerns to me about our children being involved in the show and, in fact, is on the record as saying he believes the show benefits our children and was taping on Friday with the kids. I check in regularly with each of the kids to be sure they want to participate in and continue with the show and will continue to do so. I do the show for my family because I believe it provides us opportunities we wouldn't otherwise have. Jon used to share that belief until as recently as the day the network announced the name change of the show and indicated that Jon would have a lesser role in the show. It appears that Jon's priority is Jon and his interests.  My priority remains our children and their well being." 

So what do you think? Is Jon looking out for the best interests of his children or do you think he is just mad because he got fired from the show? How about Kate? Do you think she is just trying to save the show from being cancelled?

Tune in to Showbiz Tonight for all of the latest breaking developments- 11pm ET/PT on HLN

October 1st, 2009
02:43 PM ET

Re-entering... "The Twilight Zone"

Doo-doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo... "You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead – your next stop, the Twilight Zone!"

I'll admit it, I'm in the "Zone" this week. Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the airing of the first episode of the classic sci-fi show, and amid a 15-episode marathon on the SyFy Network and celebrations in Binghamton, New York — series creator Rod Serling's hometown, and where he taught at Ithaca College — comes a bit of casting news that reminds us Hollywood is still fascinated with the imaginative, larger than life stories Serling loved.

Yesterday I saw an item in "Variety" that Hugh Jackman is in talks to star in "Real Steel," set in a world where robots have replaced human boxers. Hmmm, I thought. That sounds suspicously like the "Twilight Zone" episode "Steel," set in the far- flung "future" of 1974 (hah!), where, you guessed it, robot boxers have replaced humans. The late great Lee Marvin plays a down-on-his-luck former boxer who's now "managing" an android pugilist. When the robot breaks down, Marvin puts on his mask, takes his place in the ring and fights the good fight. He loses, of course, but makes enough money to repair his robot.

My first thought was the film producers should call it "Real Steal," because they totally ripped that off! As Serling would say, "File this under P for plagiarism, or L for lawsuit." Then I saw the fine print in the article: "Real Steel" is based on the same Richard Matheson short story as the "Zone" episode.

For me, the best part of "Steel" was the closing narration by Serling: "Portrait of a losing side, proof positive that you can't outpunch machinery. Proof also of something else: that no matter what the future brings, man's capacity to rise to the occasion will remain unaltered. His potential for tenacity and optimism continues, as always, to outfight, outpoint and outlive any and all changes made by his society, for which three cheers and a unanimous decision... rendered from the Twlight Zone."

And that's one of the things I love about the show. Yes, the twist endings and the diversity of the settings (from the American Civil War to outer space) are superb. But I love those often poetic, fiercely brilliant last thoughts by Serling at the end of the episodes. He was good at celebrating humanity at its best, but even better when he took it to task for its bigotry, selfishness, and greed. Lord knows he'd have his hands full writing about the stupidity and superficiality that exists in our own time. What do YOU think? What would Serling have made of the world we find ourselves in?

But before I go, submitted for your approval, three top examples from the man who knew how to "close":

"The Monsters are Due on Maple Street": " The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices. To be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the frightened, thoughtless search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own: for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things can not be confined to the Twilight Zone."

"Deaths-Head Revisited":  "All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes — all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all, their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers. Something to dwell on and to remember, not only in the Twilight Zone but wherever men walk God's Earth. "

"Walking Distance": "Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives—trying to go home again. And also like all men perhaps there'll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he'll look up from what he's doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there'll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he'll smile then too because he'll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man's mind, that are a part of the Twilight Zone."

October 1st, 2009
12:52 PM ET

Jon Gosselin tries to shut down "Jon & Kate"!

Jon Gosselin has had it, and he isn't going to take it anymore! Jon just sent a cease and desist order to TLC demanding it stop production of the show and leave his property. This comes just two days after TLC announced the show was being renamed “Kate Plus 8” and Jon filed papers halting his divorce proceedings.

Showbiz Tonight just received this statement from TLC:

“We are aware of Jon Gosselin's recent statements, and remain deeply disappointed at his continued erratic behavior. He and the family were shooting as recently as last Friday, without incident, and his latest comments are grossly inaccurate, without merit and are clearly opportunistic. Despite Jon Gosselin's repeated self destructive and unprofessional actions, he remains under an exclusive contract with TLC. Direct filming of the children has been currently suspended, pending further conversations between both parents.”

Be sure to tune in to Showbiz Tonight for all the latest on "Jon & Kate"- 11 p.m. EST

October 1st, 2009
11:44 AM ET

The Buzz: What's Uma Thurman up to?

From Medusa to a 'cougar,' Uma Thurman's next movie roles can't be any different. Also, Chris Isaak is holding a benefit concert with other singers to raise funds for a museum. Find out more Hollywood news in The Buzz:

Filed under: movies • Music
October 1st, 2009
11:19 AM ET

'Glee' needs more Chenoweth

Somewhere, someone has got to be starting a petition to land Kristin Chenoweth a permanent spot on “Glee.”

Her guest starring turn as the boozy, former show choir member April Rhodes whom teacher Will Schuester (played by Matthew Morrison) recruits as a ringer for his high school glee club came close to sheer perfection.

The character of April was delicious for so many reasons, not least of which is the revenge fantasy that many of us have, in which the super-hot girl in high school who seems to be able to do everything well grows up to become a hot mess.

Chenoweth – who has been a darling of Broadway lovers for years, and who recently won an Emmy for her role on the now canceled ABC dramedy “Pushing Daisies” – seemed perfectly at home on the quirky show that is “Glee.”

Her portrayal of April managed to come across as both endearing and tragic.  But what Chenoweth does best is sing, and her performance of “Maybe This Time” from “Cabaret” - which she sang in “battle” form with student Rachel Berry (played by another Broadway veteran, Lea Michele) - had me mesmerized.

I would love to see more of April roaming the halls of McKinley High - and we know from Chenoweth’s Emmy speech that she is looking for work.

So, what do you think? Would Chenoweth make a good addition to the cast?

Post by:
Filed under: Glee • Music • television
October 1st, 2009
10:04 AM ET

Nigel absent from New Orleans 'Dance'

“So You Think You Can Dance” made its first ever visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, for Wednesday night’s episode, treating the audience to New Orleans Bounce, Theatre Arts and an interpretive dance from judge Adam Shankman.


Notably absent, however, was judge and executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, who was receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Bedfordshire. Mary Murphy, Adam Shankman and Lil C held court at the judge’s table. They saw their fair share of talent - much of it coming from the guys.

Shelby “Skip” Skipper earned a ticket to Las Vegas week by showing off his skills at “New Orleans Bounce,” a high-energy form of hip-hop. Jonathan Litzler, who Mary called “another little gem-a-roo,” will join Skip at Vegas week, thanks to a combination of lyrical movement and impressive tumbling. And they took a “huge gamble,” according to Lil' C, by sending breakdancer Justin Kenney to Vegas after making it through the choreography round. Adam sang the praises of uber-flexible and controlled Jakob Karr: “Your strength, your elevation, your everything was absolutely amazing!” the judge said.

As for the ladies, Kimalee Piedad was sent straight to Vegas after wowing the judges with her Theatre Arts routine. The ballroom genre, for those who haven’t heard of it, is similar to ice dancing, “except for no ice and no skates - so different at the same time,” Piedad explained. The partnering lifts were acrobatic yet fluid, allowing Piedad to show off both her balletic talents and fearlessness.

Emotions ran high when contemporary dancer Diana Drexler came on camera. Her grandfather had died the day before, but she fought through the sadness to make it to the choreography round and onto Vegas.

No such luck for Eric LeBlanc, who had consumed six energy drinks by the time he took the stage for his solo audition. The animated hip-hop dancer made it to the choreography round but no further.

And for those aspiring SYTYCDancers, we got a lecture from Mary, complete with demonstrations from Adam on what to avoid if you want to impress Mary:

1. Hat down over eyes.
2. Reaching out to nowhere.
3. Rubbing your body.
4. Men’s booty shaking.

What did you think of last night’s episode? Did you miss Nigel? Who was your favorite dancer? Do you agree with the judges’ critiques? Discuss in the comments below.

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