I, uh, spent a week working as a producer for the TMZ TV show as sort of an extended interview/audition. I was recruited for the gig (by a producer — not Levin himself) from a comedic writing sample I submitted to the Ellen DeGeneres Show, then managed to come up with an appropriately snotty writing sample about… » 9/11/09 9:54pm 9/11/09 9:54pm

The Rule of Three Claims Cyd Charisse As Latest Victim

Death completed its triple crown of taking down talented people that we actually like and respect. First, came Tim Russert, whose passing was quickly and sadly followed by Stan Winston. Now comes news that Cyd Charisse, the actress and dancer perhaps best known for her role in Singing In The Rain, passed away today at… » 6/17/08 8:45pm 6/17/08 8:45pm

Jamie Spears Gives Up Promising Career In Catering To Take Care Of…

In a touching coda to Father's Day, Britney Spears' father, Jamie, has petitioned the court to pay him for taking care of her. A real-life example of Chapter 5 of the Spears family parenting book, Their Personal Tragedy, Your Meal Ticket, Daddy Spears explained to the court exactly why he's owed $2500 a week for… » 6/17/08 5:35pm 6/17/08 5:35pm

Jonas Brothers Poised To Annoy, Baffle Adults

Since the Disney Teen Idol Factory's Miley Cyrus model has developed a "slutty photos" malfunction, the company is ramping up the marketing on its male prototypes, The Jonas Brothers. Like Cyrus, the band has sold millions of albums but you probably can't name a single one of their songs unless you spend a lot of time… » 6/17/08 3:10pm 6/17/08 3:10pm

Obama And The Gay Wedding Industry Owe TV A Gift Basket

When Bertolt Brecht said, "Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it," well, he was just being an egomaniacal auteur. But it's quite possible that he was right — if you're willing to classify network television as art, that is. Consider the case of two recent seemingly unthinkable… » 6/17/08 1:35pm 6/17/08 1:35pm

Father's Day Round-Up: Celebrities Endure Unearned Praise, Humiliation…

Ah, Father's Day. A day when all of us, rich and poor, famous and anonymous, get together with our families and try to keep our long simmering resentments from boiling over. Kevin Federline celebrated the holiday like so many others, in a kid-free Las Vegas nightclub. Naturally,Federline nabbed a Father of the Year… » 6/16/08 9:05pm 6/16/08 9:05pm

Hulu Represents Triumph of Rupert Murdoch Over The People

Hulu — the NBC-Universal/Fox owned video website that is not so different from the numerous other websites offering full episodes of television shows, is the subject of a fawning, incredulous profile in today's Los Angeles Times. While all of the major networks already offer the bulk of their primetime line-ups for… » 6/16/08 3:55pm 6/16/08 3:55pm

Alec Baldwin Already Assumes You Think He's Had Sex With Animals

Alec Baldwin may have a surprising new lover —- the deericorn. In an interview with the New York Post about his seeming mid-life crisis, 30 Rock's master thespian railed at the tabloids for focusing all their energies on his unpaid voiceover work while missing all the truly interesting stories about his life. As… » 6/16/08 2:35pm 6/16/08 2:35pm