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NBC MAY DITCH CURRY

We don't write about network news stuff very often, but when NBC gets ready to can Ann Curry only a year after promoting her to replace Meredith Vieira as co-host of the Today show, we guess we should tell you about it. Something tells us Matt Lauer has something to do with that one.

The New York Times says the network is getting ready to jettison Curry after it lost its footing at the top of the heap for morning news shows to ABC's Good Morning America. The paper says network officials are looking to give her a different job before the London Olympics begin, which got the 55-year-old looking for a lawyer to represent her in talks.

She's hired Robert B. Barnett, who represented Christiane Amanpour when she was taken off ABC's This Week and made a foreign correspondent for the network, the Times reports. She must be concerned, since she hasn't been using an agent for awhile now.

"She got her dream job, and she doesn't want to let it go," an unnamed source told the Times. That may be too bad, because after 14 years as a correspondent, she's apparently shown she can't fill the big desk. NBC seems really mad that Robin Roberts got that President Obama gay marriage scoop - TMZ says they even offered Vieira her old job back, but she refused. So Ann has that going for her.

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Katy wants her own label

Katy Perry has had enough of just being known as a glam, Kewpie-dollish pop superstar. Now she wants to be a glam, Kewpie-dollish pop superstar with her own music label. Hey, it worked for Jay-Z. The record label part, not the Kewpie doll thing. "I'm preparing for it now," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "And when this record label does come to fruition, I'm going to try and avoid the things that take away any fighting chance for an artist to have financial success. As people are coming to me with opportunities, I'm thinking, 'How would I want to be treated?' " The label doesn't have a title yet, so we're willing to suggest a few: Googly-eyes. Low Cuts. Chap-Stick Connossieur. Russell's Refugees. Billboard or Bust. Any of those working for you? Just so long as she doesn't call it Smurfette Records, we'll be fine.

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MATT GROENING ENDS 'LIFE IN HELL' COMIC STRIP

First he revealed The Simpsons was based on his hometown of Portland, Ore. (and not Springfield, Ore., you nitwits; he was saying he took the name from there), and now Matt Groening is ending his comic strip Life in Hell after 24 years. Next thing you know, The Simpsons will finally make a movie. Wait, what? "I've had great fun, in a Sisyphean kind of way, but the time has come to let Binky and Sheba and Bongo and Akbar and Jeff take some time off," the 58-year-old emailed the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg about the strip. The final strip appeared last Friday, but syndication customers will be able to run whatever they like from the archives until he shuts down the generators for good on July 13. Yes, Friday the 13th. The strip, distributed through Acme Features Syndicate, hit a high of almost 380 papers in the early '90s, Poynter says, but was down to less than 40 these days. The strip helped Groening get noticed by producer James L. Brooks, who asked Matt to create cartoon bumpers for Fox's The Tracey Ullman Show. Groening decided to make animated snippets about a suburban family that fought all the time so he wouldn't lose the rights to Life in Hell. How could that have amounted to anything?

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'Swamp People' guy arrested

Another reality show star has been arrested, with Swamp People's Trapper Joe getting busted for allegedly trying to burn his girlfriend with a lit cigarette and punching her in the chest. This all happened in Florida, of course. Where else would it happen, Louisiana? Joe, a.k.a. Noces Joseph LaFont Jr. was taken in for assault in Orange County just after 12 a.m. Wednesday after arguing with his girl at the Buena Vista Hotel and Spa, TMZ reports. Both were apparently drunk, a witness said, and were arguing when Joe punched the woman in the chest, then shook her by the arms. The alleged victim, who isn't named, allegedly tried to grab Joe's phone to see who was calling him, but he tried to burn her with his lit cigarette. He denies the accusation, but police arrested him and took him to the pokey for booking. Catch it all on the next season of his show, Swamp People Part Deux: Guilty in the 'Glades.

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Wham! reunion a no-go

News of a Wham! reunion put the boom-boom into our Weird Uncle Steve's heart over at Stuck in the '80s. But now it's bang-bang-back because it's simply not true, according to a George Michael spokeswoman. The U.K.'s Guardian cites a spokeswoman, who denies that Michael and Andrew Ridgeley have plans to reunite on stage for the first time since 1986. "Michael's camp insists there are no such plans, and that unfounded rumours about Wham! returning surface frequently," the paper wrote. Oh, well. Steve can always go back to chasing reunions of a Smiths reunion.

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Odds and ends about whatever

Universal has hired Rise of the Planet of the Apes writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver to write Jurassic Park 4, Deadline.com says. Hey, if they could make that tripe watchable, they have a shot.

Kris Humphries says his ex-wife's mother, Kris Jenner, told Kim Kardashian to shoot her infamous sex tape - even ordering a reshoot so Kim would look prettier, TMZ reports. We knew she couldn't act.

Justin Bieber's NBC special All Around the World pulled in a mere 3.3 million viewers Wednesday night, making it a ratings disaster, Entertainment Weekly reports. Stupid networks, don't you realize no one watches your shows when they actually are being broadcast anymore? No wonder you're losing to cable.

- jgillin@tampabay.com

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