Few things are as precious as getting the chance to talk to Oprah. It should really be on everybody’s bucket list. It’s like meeting Jesus if Jesus was a billionaire talk-show personality. When her royal highness of all televised media descends on your tiny hovel of a local news station and graces her with her presence, you sit, listen, and sell her as many handbags as you can.
When Chicago’s WGN Morning News team got the chance to dish with Oprah about her OWN network, by human error or some unfair twist of fate, the phone call cuts off, interrupting Oprah mid-sentence. The gob smacked anchors are left with nothing but dial tone and failure hanging in the air. What follows is a flurry of blaming and self-pity. One anchor even jokingly laments “How do we cut off the one guest we’ve had that people might be interested in watching?” The whole thing is just hilarious. Luckily, Oprah is a great sport about it, calling the station back a few minutes later and joking with them about the mishap. The news crew also takes the mistake in stride, even taking a few playful jabs at Oprah herself. All in all, everything turns out well, and the video of the incident is sure to give the station more attention than an error-free interview would ever recieve.
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The star first found fame on hit U.S. comedy series In Living Color and he went on to land his own TV programme, The Jamie Foxx Show.
The 45 year old was desperate to transition onto the big screen, so he tried out to play a basketball player in Stone's 1999 drama, which also starred the likes of Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, and Dennis Quaid, but Foxx reveals he had a hard time convincing the filmmaker he was perfect for the part.
He tells U.S. TV host Oprah Winfrey, "I had to work hard to get there. Oliver Stone, when he met me, he said, 'You stink. You're terrible. You can't act at all.'
"Because I came from TV and everything was loud on TV. I said my lines too loud, (my movements) were too big and as I walked out of his office for my first audition, he wrote and made me hear what he was saying, 'Jamie Foxx - slave to television.' He says, 'I wanna give you the lead part, but you gotta work on it, because you stink.' He said, 'You really stink.'"
And the hunk confesses it was a huge blow to his confidence: "It was terrible because in my mind I had my series, so I thought I was (a shoo-in as) Jamie Foxx."
Former NYPD Blue star Dennis Franz has signed up to serve as grand marshal of Santa Barbara, California's holiday parade.
Franz, who lives close to Oprah Winfrey in nearby Montecito, will join marching bands, floats, and Santa Claus in the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization's Holiday Parade Dec. 2.
And while he's looking forward to taking part in the festivities, Franz, 61, plans to head to his family's new ranch in Idaho for the Christmas holidays.
He says, "Coming from Chicago, I like a white Christmas. That was one of the things I had a hard time getting used to when I came to California in '78--Santa Claus in shorts."
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Want to know what those ubiquitous "sources" and "insiders" have to say about the Meg Ryan-Russell Crowe "affair"? How about Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera or Roseanne? Well, not to sound too much like a TV commercial for the National Enquirer or anything, we got all the so-called scoops and gossip courtesy of the world of tabloid news.
So without further ado, here’re the Top 10 tabloid stories that whetted our curiosity:
1. Whassup with Meg, Dennis and Russell Nothing new since last week at least. The major tabs (Star, the National Enquirer, the Globe) all report this week what was already reported last week. Yes, Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan have separated. And, yes, Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe have been spotted together in a more-than-just-friends manner more than once in England, where the two are currently shooting the flick "Proof of Love."
2. Porn Industry Discriminates Against Roseanne? The National Enquirer says that former domestic goddess Roseanne had offered herself up for a Playboy centerfold, only to get turned down by the magazine’s owner, Hugh Hefner. Peeved, the actress reportedly challenged Hefner to put a poll up on the Playboy Web site and let his readers decide. (We called the Playboy folks today, and they told us that the whole thing is just "a fun, little made-up story.")
3. Oprah Has Problems, Too! The Star says that the queen of all talk show hosts has been carrying on an affair with another man behind fiancé Stedman Graham’s back for 24 years. The tab reveals the identity of the man whom Oprah’s heart truly belongs to: one Lloyd Dramer, a reporter she met in 1976 at a TV station in Baltimore.
4. Britney Spears: Teen Superstar, Teen Bitch? An "insider" tells the Star that the 18-year-old pop princess insisted on traveling with a snow cone machine, an air hockey table and her own tanning bed on her tour. Moreover, Spears reportedly made some poor wage earner take out all the cereal from four boxes of Lucky Charms so that the she can wholeheartedly indulge in the pink hearts, yellow moons and green clover marshmallow crumbs.
5. Steve Allen Confesses: Christina Aguilera -- She’s Hot! Thus is the original "Tonight Show" host’s sentiments as summarized in the Enquirer. After catching a glimpse of the songstress’s video "What a Girl Wants," the veteran TV personality was quoted as saying: (a) "The young girl is beautiful" and (b) "As regards to dancing like this, my rating is 100 percent. I can give it all sorts of marks of A-plus."
6. Christina Aguilera Confesses: I See White Light, Dead People Per the National Enquirer, Aguilera possesses the rare ability to see otherworldly stuff like, y’know, ghosts and spirits. According to the tab’s unnamed source, the 19-year-old singer had her first spectral encounter was she was 3 or 4 and can still sense their presence 'til this day.
7. Six Degrees of Royal Highness According to genealogy researchers excavated by the Enquirer, the King of Rock 'n' Roll Elvis Presley carried the royal blood of King Edward III. It’s a bit confusing, but here’s what the "experts" are saying: The pompadour singer’s ancestors were the wealthy Mansels family in Wales. One of the Mansels later married a descendent of King Edward III, thus making Elvis of royal lineage. But the experts remained mute as to how they were able to establish the initial connection between Elvis and the Mansels.
8. FBI Agent Gary Busey? Actor/motorcycle helmet advocate Gary Busey reportedly told the Globe that he has been enlisted by the FBI on a project to help American Indians and that he has a special agent badge issued by the Feds to prove it. When approached by the tab on the matter, the FBI said Busey's account just wasn't so.
9. Handicapped Feline Learns to Walk Again A classic testament of triumph over adversity, the Enquirer this week brings us the true story of Claire the injured stray kitten, who, despite her paralyzed hind legs, has learned to walk with the help of rehab. A miracle indeed.
10. John Travolta Looking Funny on Magazine Cover A tip from the National Enquirer: If you want to laugh, go look at the cover of the July issue of Good Housekeeping. On it is a funny-looking John Travolta, whose new hairdo is being slammed by "industry insiders" as an odd mix of Eddie Munster and Dr. Zira from "The Planet of the Apes."
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 9, 2000 -- The infectious bug that has been plaguing TV series of late -- you know, the "I feel that my time with the show is up and I've decided to move on" epidemic -- has claimed another victim.
The latest casualty is none other than "Veronica's Closet's" Kathy Najimy. Trade papers report today that the actress, who plays Olive, Veronica's (Kirstie Alley) trusted sidekick and confidant, will bid farewell to the NBC comedy at the end of this season.
Najimy tells Variety that her decision to leave the show is based purely on personal reasons. With "Veronica's Closet" behind, Najimy reportedly plans to spend more time with her 3-year-old daughter, not to mention more of the same said time on a would-be "feature career."
Of course, the concept of "leaving" "Veronica's Closet" might become a moot point. The unbeloved comedy series, now in its third season, was already benched once this season by NBC for low ratings. It is currently mired in 85th place among all shows and is considered a long shot for fall renewal.
SUPERHERO SAVES FOX: Patrick Warburton, the guy who played Elaine's mechanic beau Dave Puddy on "Seinfeld," will return to the tube in the form of a blue superhero in the Fox comedy pilot "The Tick."
Once a Saturday morning toon on Fox, "The Tick" follows the adventures of a dim-witted crime fighter and his ex-accountant sidekick as they battle bad guys with names such as Chairface Chippendale, El Seed and Breadmaster.
The new live-action half-hour pilot will be directed by the enthusiastic Barry Sonnenfeld ("Wild Wild West").
"I've been a huge fan of 'The Tick' for years," Sonnenfeld told the Hollywood trade papers. "I like it even more than my 6-year-old daughter. It's really up my alley. It doesn't feel like anything on television today."
(Let us guess -- Mr. Sonnenfeld doesn't have cable.)
Warburton, meanwhile, has handled superhero duties prior to "The Tick." Dig this, "Seinfeld" fiends, the actor was the voice of Superman in those American Express commercials starring Jerry Seinfeld.
'LEEZA' IS DEAD: No, not Leeza Gibbons, but her fast-sinking eponymous talk show. Cause of its likely death? Ultra-bad ratings.
Word on the street is that "Leeza" will not live to see a second season in syndication.
The daytime talk show went through various transformation and network shuffles in its (technically) 7-year history. It was first conceived by NBC in 1993 as "John & Leeza," the John, of course, being Gibbons' "Entertainment Tonight" co-hort John Tesh. The show downsized to simply "Leeza" in 1994 when the above-mentioned Tesh bailed. In September, NBC decided to sell the show to non-NBC outlets, thereby banishing the show to syndication.
"LIP" SERVICE: Oscar- and Emmy-winning director-producer James L. Brooks ("Terms of Endearment," "As Good As It Gets," "Jerry Maguire") is set to endow the tube with a live-action romantic comedy series for ABC.
The comedy, still untitled, will be based on a character from the 1988 radio series "Lip Schtick." Joan Cusack, whom Brooks collaborated with on the 1987 flick "Broadcast News," will stake the title role.
Slated for a slot in ABC's 2000-2001 lineup, the show will mark Cusack's prime-time debut and Brook's first TV gig since his stint as the executive producer of the animated series "The Critic" in 1994.
RANDOM BITS: NBC has picked up a half-hour comedy pilot starring David Alan Grier ("In Living Color"). Grier is slated to play a Secret Service man in charge of protecting the first lady. ...
... CBS has greenlit a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced ("Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor") drama pilot for the new fall season. The project is said to be an hour-long drama called "CSI." Starring William Petersen, the series revolves around forensic crime-scene investigators working in Vegas. ...
THE COURT OF POPULAR OPINION: Democracy sometimes flourishes in the most unlikely places, just ask Judge Judy -- one of the many, many finalists chosen by TV viewers of America for the 2nd Annual TV Guide Awards.
More than 1.5 million viewers cast ballots to determine nominees in 22 categories. NBC led all networks in mentions with 20 finalists. Winners will be announced March 5 in a Fox broadcast.
Here's the complete list of the TV Guide Award nominees, as announced today:
Favorite Actor in a New Series David Boreanaz, "Angel" (WB) Billy Campbell, "Once and Again" (ABC) Dan Futterman, "Judging Amy" (CBS) Martin Sheen, "The West Wing" (NBC)
Favorite Actress in a New Series Amy Brenneman, "Judging Amy" (CBS) Tyne Daly, "Judging Amy" (CBS) Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC) Sela Ward, "Once and Again" (ABC)
Favorite Actor in a Comedy Bill Cosby, "Cosby" (CBS) Michael J. Fox, "Spin City" (ABC) David Hyde Pierce, "Frasier" (NBC) Ray Romano, "Everybody Loves Raymond" (CBS)
Favorite Actress in a Comedy Jenna Elfman, "Dharma & Greg" (ABC) Calista Flockhart, "Ally McBeal" (FOX) Lisa Kudrow, "Friends" (NBC) Phylicia Rashad, "Cosby" (CBS)
Favorite Actor in a Drama David Duchovny, "The X-Files" (FOX) David James Elliott, "JAG" (CBS) Dennis Franz, "NYPD Blue" (ABC) Sam Waterston, "Law & Order" (NBC)
Favorite Actress in a Drama Gillian Anderson, "The X-Files" (FOX) Roma Downey, "Touched by an Angel" (CBS) Melina Kanakaredes, "Providence" (NBC) Julianna Margulies, "ER" (NBC)
Favorite New Series "Judging Amy" (CBS) "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC) "Once and Again" (ABC) "The West Wing" (NBC)
Favorite Comedy Series "Ally McBeal" (FOX) "Everybody Loves Raymond" (CBS) "Frasier" (NBC) "Friends" (NBC)
Favorite Drama Series "ER" (NBC) "Providence" (NBC) "The Practice" (ABC) "Touched by an Angel" (CBS)
Favorite Soap Opera "All My Children" (ABC) "Days of Our Lives" (NBC) "General Hospital" (ABC) "The Young and the Restless" (CBS)
Favorite Sportscaster Terry Bradshaw (FOX) Bob Costas (NBC) Howie Long (FOX) John Madden (FOX)
Favorite Daytime Talk Show "Judge Judy" (Syndicated) "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" (Syndicated) "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (Syndicated) "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" (Syndicated)
Favorite Game Show "Hollywood Squares" (Syndicated) "Jeopardy!" (Syndicated) "Wheel of Fortune" (Syndicated) "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (ABC)
Favorite News Personality Tom Brokaw (NBC) Katie Couric (NBC) Peter Jennings (ABC) Matt Lauer (NBC)
Favorite Late Night Show "Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS) "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher" (ABC) "Saturday Night Live" (NBC) "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (NBC)
ONLINE NOMINEES Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (WB) "Charmed" (WB) "The X-Files" (FOX)
Favorite Reality TV "Biography" (A&E) "Behind the Music" (VH1) "The Real World" (MTV)
Favorite TV Pet Eddie, "Frasier" (NBC) Happy, "7th Heaven" (WB) Salem, "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (ABC)
Favorite TV Movie or Miniseries "Annie" (ABC) "Joan of Arc" (NBC) "Tuesdays with Morrie" (ABC)
Favorite News Program "Dateline NBC" (NBC) "Entertainment Tonight" (Syndicated) "20/20" (ABC)
Favorite Music Show "Behind the Music" (VH1) "Total Request Live" (MTV) "Pop-Up Video" (VH1)
Favorite Children's Show "Blue's Clues" (Nickelodeon) "Rugrats" (Nickelodeon) "Sesame Street" (PBS)
AOL KEYWORD: TV GUIDE EXCLUSIVE CATEGORY
Favorite Teen Show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (WB) "Dawson's Creek" (WB) "Popular" (WB)