October 20th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Chris Brown to hit the road on 'Fan Appreciation' tour

In between completing 1,400 hours of court-ordered community service for doing you-know-what to you-know-who, Chris Brown will be rehearsing his moves for a 19-city "Fan Appreciation" tour.  Taking place in small venues around the country, the trek is designed to thank followers for their ongoing support.  The journey kicks off November 14 in Houston, and wraps up in New York City a month later.

While on the road, Brown plans to visit participants in a program called Best Buddies International, and has opted to donate a portion of his proceeds to the foundation - which was founded in 1989 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and bills itself as the world's largest non-profit organization devoted solely to providing friendship, jobs and leadership opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Here are the tour dates:

  • November 14 – Houston, TX
  • November 15 – Dallas, TX
  • November 18 – Los Angeles, CA
  • November 19 – San Francisco, CA
  • November 22 – Richmond, VA
  • November 25 – Detroit, MI
  • November 26 – Chicago, IL
  • November 29 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • December 1 – Orlando, FL
  • December 2 – Atlanta, GA
  • December 4 – Washington, DC
  • December 5 – Providence, RI
  • December 6 – Boston, MA
  • December 9 – Sayreville, NJ
  • December 11 – Baltimore, MD
  • December 12 – Wallingford, CT
  • December 13 – Philadelphia, PA
  • December 15 – New York, NY
October 20th, 2009
02:23 PM ET

Sarah Palin takes on Oprah

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is sitting down with Oprah Winfrey.  According to Harpo Productions, the two women have never crossed paths before, and this will be the first time they meet.  The interview is set to air Monday, November 16th - one day before Palin's new book,  "Going Rogue: An American Life," goes on sale. 

Palin, Sen. John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election, was a polarizing figure who was both applauded and mocked for her folksy style. Following her unsuccessful bid for VP, Palin stepped down from her post as governor of Alaska, which garnered her some criticism.

 Is "Going Rogue: An American Life" on your reading list? Will you watch Oprah November 16th?

October 20th, 2009
12:27 PM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Here's what's going on in the entertainment world today:

  • Music video games got a big boost from "The Beatles: Rock Band" last month, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The paper says that the game sold over half a million units in its first month of release, after revenues for the genre of games fell 46 percent this year through August.
  • NBC's popular "The Biggest Loser" is getting spun off into "Losing It with Jillian" starring Jillian Michaels, the popular tough-as-nails trainer from the reality show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Variety reports that "Hairspray" director/"So You Think You Can Dance" judge Adam Shankman is next taking on the popular Broadway musical "Rock of Ages." Warner Bros. is set to release the tribute to '80s "hair metal" in theaters in 2011.
  • The comic book "Indestructible Man" hasn't even been published and it's already being looked at for television. The Hollywood Reporter says that Fox 21 and Platinum Studios are developing the series about an elite agent that is, well, indestructible.
  • On DVD today: Summer blockbuster "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," "Cheri" starring Michelle Pfeiffer, "It's Garry Shandling's Show: The Complete Series," "The L Word: Final Season," "Numb3rs: The Fifth Season," "Iron Man Armored Adventures: Volume 1" and "Plastic Man: The Complete Collection."
October 20th, 2009
11:38 AM ET

Rihanna is 'Rated R' for new album

Rihanna's rockin' an eyepatch on the cover of her new single ... and not much else!

Rihanna's new single is "Russian Roulette," from the album "Rated R."

On the front of "Russian Roulette" - which became available on rihannanow.com this morning - the Barbados-born beauty poses with barbed wire strategically wound like a ribbon around her breasts.

The 21-year-old chart-topper is definitely not playing the demure victim, after her much-publicized beatdown at the hands of then-boyfriend Chris Brown this year. In the cover photo, she seems to be saying, "I'm a survivor, I'm strong, I'm sexy - don't mess with me!"

In a press release this morning, Def Jam also revealed the name of her new album: "Rated R." As she announced last week in a tweet, the CD will hit stores on Monday, November 23.

The video for "Russian Roulette" - which was written and produced by Ne-Yo - will "premiere in primetime on ABC." One can only surmise it'll be in conjunction with a long-form sitdown interview.

October 20th, 2009
10:58 AM ET

Wheaton takes on 'Big Bang Theory'

Full disclosure: I am not a " Star Trek" fan.

But even I have seen “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and that made Monday night’s “Big Bang Theory” all the funnier to me.

Watching the character of Sheldon plot out and enact his revenge against guest star Wil Wheaton (playing a slightly devious version of himself) was hilarious. I remember Wheaton as young Wesley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and I imagined geeks everywhere were enraptured. (Editor's note: Given Crusher's wimpy reputation, maybe they were infuriated.)

I am a huge fan of this show and witnessing the usually unflappable and coldly rational Sheldon become positively unglued at the prospect of facing Wheaton – whose failure to show up at a Mississippi "Star Trek" convention in 1995 devastated a young Sheldon – had me howling with laughter.

When Sheldon stared daggers at Wheaton across the room during a card game competition and uttered a phrase which caused Wheaton to turn to his companion and ask “Did he just say 'revenge is a dish best served cold' in Klingon?” I was reminded of just how genius the show can be.

That plotline, coupled with great moments like the revelation that hottie neighbor Penny had a childhood crush on Ernie from "Sesame Street" (“The heart wants what it wants”) along with Wolowitz’s sort-of-kinda-new girlfriend, makes me want to say this was one of the show’s best episodes ever.

What did you think? Are you loving this show as much as I am? Do you hope the producers bring Wheaton back, especially after his dirty trick of playing the “MeMaw” card?

October 20th, 2009
10:53 AM ET

The adventures of 'Astro Boy' and 'Balloon Boy'

Warning: mild 'Astro Boy' spoilers ahead.


Monday night, I covered the premiere of "Astro Boy" in Hollywood. 

So, what do "Astro Boy" and "Balloon Boy" have in common? Neither of the boys lived up to their parents’ desires.  

"Astro Boy" is a robot created by a scientist in the likes of a son he lost, in hopes of filling a void. "Balloon Boy" is about a son named Falcon Heene, used by selfish, fame-chasing parents as a tool in a fictional scenario.

Astro Boy is not able to meet his father's needs and goes on a journey in search of acceptance. Falcon goes on numerous public interviews and gets sick on national TV, and now his parents are being accused of carrying out a hoax.

Eventually, Astro Boy becomes a hero who saves a city –- Balloon Boy’s future is questionable.

While most stars on the red carpet chose not to voice their opinions on the Heene family, Eugene Levy summed it up like this: “This is a guy who takes his kids to chase hurricanes and thinks it’s cool. That’s where you have to start. The story right now has come almost full circle… it’s pretty bizarre, this is not your typical family situation.”

Where do you think the future lies with Falcon Heene and his brothers, his whole family?

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Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.