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1-20 of 22 items from 2008   « Prev | Next »


"Hairspray 2" takes on the swinging '60s

2 December 2008 8:00 AM, PST | AfterEllen.com | See recent AfterEllen.com news »

A bit of musical theater advice: If you live in or near New York or are planning to visit in the next month, and you have not seen Hairspray on Broadway, now is the time. The six-and-a-half year Broadway run ends on Jan. 4, 2009. To send it out in style, Harvey Fierstein is reprising his role as Edna Turnblad, and Marissa Jaret Winokur, the original Broadway Tracy Turnblad, returns next week to close out the show.

However, it seems the end of the Broadway run won’t stop the beat. Apparently, we can expect Hairspray 2: Electric Boogaloo in 2010. According to Adam Shankman, director of the movie version of the Broadway musical (not to be confused with the original John Waters film), there’s a concept and an outline, and it’s “going out to writers.”

In the Hairspray sequel, Tracy (Nikki Blonsky) and company will deal with the next »

- Ace14

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Lake 'Can't Believe' She Was So Fat

1 December 2008 4:05 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress and TV personality Ricki Lake is shocked that she once tipped the scales at 270 pounds - but insists she slimmed down without resorting to surgery.

The star has lost 140 pounds from her all-time top weight and is now down to a svelte 130 pounds - and she is adamant she will continue to work hard to keep her trim figure.

She tells People.com. "I can't believe I was a fat person for most of my life.

"I didn't have surgery and I worked hard. There's no secret. I'm active. I watch what I eat."

But the talk show hostess feels under pressure to stay thin now she has shed her extra weight.

She adds, "According to Hollywood standards, I'm not a thin girl. I'm a normal girl. I don't want to perpetuate that obsession but yet I am also guilty of wanting... to lose weight. I'm just grateful that I have sons and not daughters because it's that much harder."

And even though she has slimmed down, Lake doesn't rule out putting it back on one day: "With the weight stuff I don't have any answers. Something tragic in my life could happen and I could balloon and gain weight. I can't promise I will be like this forever." »

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Ricki Lake 'Can't Believe' She Was Fat

30 November 2008 10:31 AM, PST | TheInsider.com | See recent The Insider news »

Former TV talk show host Ricki Lake says she feels comfortable in her trim body and shares some weight loss advice! "I can't believe I was a fat person for most of my life," Lake, 40, recently told People magazine at a benefit for the New Space for Women's Health, a New York City birthing center slated to open in 2010. Lake, who has lost 140 lbs. from her all-time high of 270, showed off her body in a sexy black dress from designer Herve Leger. But she admits there is still tremendous pressure in the industry to stay thin. "According to Hollywood standards, I'm not a thin girl. I'm a normal girl," says the mom of two boys, Milo, 11, and Owen, 6. "I don't want to perpetuate that obsession but yet I am also guilty of wanting ... to lose weight." "With the weight stuff I don't have any answers," Lake tells People. "Something tragic »

- TheInsider

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Ricki Lake: 'I Can't Believe I Was Fat'

30 November 2008 8:50 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Ricki Lake has trimmed 140 lbs. from her all-time top weight of 270 pounds – and says she is holding steady. "I can't believe I was a fat person for most of my life," the former talk show host, rocking a sexy black Herve Leger dress (size small), told People at a recent benefit for the New Space for Women's Health, a New York City birthing center slated to open in 2010. "I didn't have surgery and I worked hard. There's no secret. I'm active. I watch what I eat," Lake, 40, adds. But she's certainly not immune to the pressure to stay thin. "According to Hollywood standards, »

- Liz McNeil

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Adam Shankman On Hairspray 2

27 November 2008 1:44 AM, PST | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

Hairspray was a pretty substantial success in 2007, racking up $200 million worldwide, so sequel talk began soon afterwards - and now director Adam Shankman has told Entertainment Weekly a little about what he's planning for the follow-up.""We just got an outline and some ideas from John Waters, and now we're going out to writers," Shankman said. The story will follow Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) and her pals as they navigate the "next era of music," the late '60s. Waters of course directed the original Ricki Lake-starring film in 1989, which was turned into a Broadway (and West End) musical and then back into a film last year."That period was superpolitical," Shankman added, "it was a time of serious change." He also said that Zac Efron's link will become involved in the "British invasion" of the times.The film's on track for a 2010 release. »

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Cameron, Salma, and More Honor Real Life Heroes

24 November 2008 8:30 AM, PST | Popsugar.com | See recent Popsugar news »

While the American Music Awards had our full attention last night, another set of stars came together on Saturday night in La for CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. Justin Timberlake's ex-girlfriend, Cameron Diaz looked beautiful in basic black, while his current girl Jessica Biel looked equally fabulous in her strapless number. Sexy Salma Hayek stood out in an eye-catching colored dress while the guys didn't disappoint either — Hugh Jackman lived up to his new title of Sexiest Man Alive and John Legend looked hot as he performed on stage. John Krasinski's smile is always a treat as well, even if Emily Blunt gets to see it the most these days. As for the real life heroes, we can find out more about them when the event airs on CNN on Thanksgiving. To see 75 more photos including Lucy Liu, Kate Beckinsale, Meg Ryan, Selena Gomez and others, just read more. »

- PopSugar

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Heaton Returns To TV In Familiar Role

18 November 2008 11:08 PM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Patricia Heaton is set to return to a familiar role - the Everybody Loves Raymond star will play a stressed-out mum in a new U.S. TV sitcom.

The star has signed to appear in new comedy The Middle, which centres around the lives of an American Midwestern family in the eyes of a mother - Heaton.

And the role won't be too much of a stretch for the 50-year-old, after she played Ray Romano's long-suffering wife Debra in the hit show, which ran for nearly ten years before ending in 2005.

Heaton, a two-time Emmy award winner, beat out competition from chat show host Ricki Lake, who in 2006 was originally eyed by TV bosses for the new role.

The actress made an unsuccessful return to TV earlier this year, starring opposite Kelsey Grammer in Back To You. The show was cancelled in May.

The Middle will start shooting in February 2009. »

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Patricia Heaton pilot greenlighted at ABC

18 November 2008 6:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

It's a go for ABC's "The Middle."

After closing a deal with Patricia Heaton for the lead, the network has greenlighted the comedy pilot, tapping Julie Anne Robinson to direct.

Additionally, Robinson has landed a blind pilot directing commitment at ABC Studios to helm another pilot this development cycle.

The Warner Bros. TV-produced "Middle," written by DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, tells the story of a middle-class Midwestern family through the eyes of the mother (Heaton).

ABC, which originally developed the project during the 2006-07 development cycle when it was picked up to pilot and starred Ricki Lake, resurrected it in the summer with a pilot order contingent on casting Heaton. Production on "Middle" is slated to begin in February.

It has been a busy two years for Robinson, who came to Los Angeles in 2006 from the U.K., where she directed the pilot and several episodes of the BBC's »

- By Nellie Andreeva

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Celebrity, politics and commerce

27 October 2008 2:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

These days, TV viewers can't seem to escape Virginia Madsen.

Madsen, who made a splash in movies like "Sideways" and "Candyman," has hit the airwaves to spread the word about a couple of seemingly disparate matters of interest to women -- encouraging them, via a public service announcement, to get involved in the political process, and selling them, via a highly visible multimedia campaign from Grey, on the benefits of a popular, wrinkle-combating drug.

Allergan, manufacturer of Botox, of which Madsen is the face, partnered with the League of Women Voters on an initiative called Freedom of Expression Through Film. Playing off the Botox tagline, the drugmaker calls the public-awareness campaign "dedicated to voter education and self-expression." Madsen played a major role. Beyond the PSA, the actress crisscrossed the country on a 10-city tour this summer on behalf of the 88-year-old nonpartisan League.

Fighting the effects of aging and inspiring »

- By T.L. Stanley, Mediaweek

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Hallmark's CBS pic is 'Unorthodox'

23 September 2008 7:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Lauren Ambrose and Adam Kaufman lead the cast of "Unorthodox," a new Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation for CBS.

Susie Essman, Ricki Lake and Mercedes Ruehl co-star in the film, now in production in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Based on P'nenah Goldstein's play "Loving Leah," "Unorthodox" centers on Jake (Kaufman), a 30-year-old Washington D.C. doctor whose estranged older brother, a rabbi in a close-knit Hasidic community in Brooklyn, N.Y., dies. Jake is asked to marry his late brother's 26-year-old widow, Leah (Ambrose), honoring the ancient levirate marriage law.

To keep their mothers (Ruehl, Essman) at bay, Jake and Leah decide to enter a pretend marriage, living separate lives out of Jake's D.C. apartment. That proves challenging, especially after they start to fall for each other.

Lake plays a Washington rabbi who befriends Leah. Also cast in the film is Christy Pusz as Jake's girlfriend. »

- By Nellie Andreeva

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BBC Worldwide taps Ancier for top post

18 August 2008 11:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Former WB Network chairman Garth Ancier has been named president of BBC Worldwide Americas' U.S. operations, part of a corporate restructure that will bring all of the company's U.S. activity under the leadership of one person.

In the newly created post, Ancier will be responsible for developing the BBC brand in the U.S., including expanding BBC Worldwide's portfolio of channels, which includes the flagship cable channel BBC America, now in more than 53 million homes. Management also has expressed a desire to expand its BBC World news channel in the U.S. (it's now in about 2 million homes) and to launch a preschool kids channel and a high-definition channel.

Ancier also will work with U.S. networks on behalf of Los Angeles-based BBC Worldwide Prods. to produce shows and formats. The company's credits include such unscripted shows as ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and NBC's "Grease: You're the One That I Want." It also is a producer on three scripted pilots in contention for fall 2007 -- "Viva Laughlin!" (CBS), "The Thick of It" (ABC) and "I'm With Stupid" (NBC) -- and recently signed a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television.

In addition, Ancier will manage BBC Worldwide's U.S. TV and video sales business and oversee the introduction of the company's Web-based program delivery system, bbc.com, which is in the process of approval.

Ancier will be based in BBC Worldwide Americas' New York headquarters, reporting to BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith. All U.S. businesses will report to Ancier effective immediately.

Ancier also was the inaugural entertainment president at Fox, head of the Walt Disney Co.'s TV production unit, entertainment president at NBC and executive vp programming at Turner Broadcasting System Inc. He also created and executive produced the long-running daytime talk show "Ricki Lake."

"Garth has an impeccable pedigree in U.S. media," Smith said. "His experience with America's most formidable networks, in both traditional and new media, will be fantastic for us as we grow the BBC brand in this market. Bringing all of our businesses in the U.S. under the guidance of someone with Garth's experience and vision will be invaluable for BBC Worldwide as we move to double the scale of our business in this territory."

Ancier was chairman of WB Network from May 2004 until its merger with Upn in September, when the CW was launched. He also was the WB's chief programmer from 1994-99, overseeing production on such series as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Dawson's Creek," "7th Heaven" and "Charmed."

Following the WB-upn merger, Ancier stayed within the Warner Bros. family, running In2TV, the Warners/AOL broadband television network. A search will be conducted for his replacement at In2TV. Ancier also recently executive produced a syndicated talk show pilot for Warners-based Telepictures Prods. with Gail Steinberg.

At BBC, Ancier will sit on and be accountable to the BBC Worldwide Americas board along with Darren Childs, managing director of global channels; David Moody, managing director of digital media; Mark Young, managing director of global sales; and Wayne Garvie, director of content and production.

Ancier said the company approached him about the position as the WB was shutting its doors last year.

"This is such an interesting collection of assets, particularly from the programming side, that I was intrigued," Ancier said. "I've always been a big viewer of the BBC in Europe and a little bit less here in the U.S., but the interesting relationship between the two cultures in the English-speaking world and the shared formats and sheer amount of product that's been successful on American television were areas that I wanted to explore."

Childs noted the importance of having one person oversee BBC Worldwide Americas' businesses and growth strategy.

"This is whole new level of ambition for (the BBC in) America," he said. "We have to be integrated and quick in terms of decision-making in order to operate at an optimum level in the U.S." »

- By Kimberly Nordyke

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Affleck And Garner Buy $16 Million California Home

8 August 2008 12:06 PM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Expectant parents Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have reportedly purchased a $16 million (GBP8 million) California home to make room for their expanding family.

The pair has made plans to settle in their new Los Angeles home where they are preparing for the birth of their second child.

According to American magazine Us Weekly, the 3,017.5 square metre (9,900 square foot) estate includes seven bedrooms, seven baths, six fireplaces, a brick wine cellar, a library, three-car garage and swimming pool.

Construction on the home is scheduled for completion before Garner - reportedly five months pregnant - gives birth.

Garner, 36, and Affleck, 35, will join their new famous neighbours, Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire and TV personality Ricki Lake, in the posh Brentwood area.

Just last month, the couple's close friend Kevin Smith confirmed Garner's pregnancy, just after she and Affleck were spotted house-hunting in the city.

Affleck and Garner are already parents to two-year-old daughter Violet. »

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Patricia Heaton on deck for 'Middle'

23 July 2008 7:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

ABC is back in "The Middle."

The network is bringing back the quirky Warner Bros. TV-produced single-camera comedy and eyeing Patricia Heaton for the lead.

"Middle," written by DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, tells the story of a middle-class Midwestern family seen through the eyes of the mother. It was developed during the 2006-07 development cycle when it was picked up to pilot starring Ricki Lake but narrowly missed the cut for a series order.

Now ABC is said to have given the project a new cast-contingent pilot order possibly tied to landing Heaton as the lead.

Picking up a pilot contingent on a specific actor is rare but not unprecedented. Five years ago, CBS picked up the pilot for "Two and a Half Men" contingent on the producers securing Charlie Sheen.

Heaton knows a thing or two about playing a harried mother, having won two Emmys for her role on "Everybody Loves Raymond." If she signs on, she will reunite at the network with her "Back to You" co-star Kelsey Grammer, who stars in another single-camera ABC comedy pilot, "Roman's Empire." »

- By Nellie Andreeva

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Lake Bites Back Over Home Birth Row

18 June 2008 6:57 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Latest: Ricki Lake has taken aim at a leading U.S. doctor's group after officially publicly criticised her for promoting home births, insisting she was merely championing womens' right to choose.

Lake's documentary The Business of Being Born showed footage of her giving birth at home to her son Owen, now seven, and suggested hospital births could be problematic.

Officials at the American Medical Association reacted angrily, warning expectant mothers not to follow the Hairspray star's example - and insisting hospital births are still the safest option.

But Lake insists she was misunderstood. She explains, "Home birth was around long before hospitals were taking over. And I just think women need to know (the information) so that they can make the best choice for them.

"It's scary that (the groups) have sort of targetted me. And, you know, I'm all about choice. This is not unlike the abortion issue. I am pro-choice when it comes to childbirth and choices in birth. I'm not anti-doctor, I'm not anti-hospital." »

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Ricki Lake Fires Back at Doctor Groups Over Home Births

17 June 2008 10:50 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Ricki Lake and doctor groups are embroiled in a heated new feud over the safety of having babies at home. "Home birth was around long before hospitals were taking over – and I just think women need to know (the information) so that they can make the best choice for them," Lake, 39, tells the Associated Press. Lake, whose documentary The Business of Being Born features footage of her home birth of son Owen, now 7, is accusing doctors' groups of targeting her strong views on the benefits of midwifery and home births.The dispute started when the American College of Obstetricians and »

- Sara Hammel

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Lake Chastised By Birthing Professionals

17 June 2008 6:48 PM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress and TV personality Ricki Lake has been slammed by professionals at the American Medical Association (Ama) for championing home births.

Lake's recent documentary The Business of Being Born suggested hospital births could be problematic - a claim refuted by medical officials.

Doctors have warned expectant mothers not to follow the Hairspray star's example, and Ama members are now campaigning to U.S. lawmakers to pass legislation officially stating that the "safest setting" for birth is in a hospital, reports TMZ.com. »

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Richie Wins Motherhood Award

23 May 2008 9:10 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Socialite Nicole Richie will be honoured with a parenting award - just five months into motherhood.

The Simple Life star - who gave birth to her first child, daughter Harlow, in January - will receive a Golden Pacifier Award from Babytalk Magazine, according to its editor-in-chief Lisa Moran.

Moran tells America's Ok! magazine, "Honouring Nicole Richie with a Babytalk Golden Pacifier Award might come as a surprise to some, but we felt that she deserved some recognition for her turnaround since becoming a mom.

"She's grown up a lot since the arrival of little Harlow, and her creation of the Richie-Madden Children's Foundation has demonstrated her efforts to set a good example by shining a spotlight on important issues affecting today's families."

Also to be recognised is former talk show host Ricki Lake for her 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born, which chronicles her home-birthing experience. »

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Madonna Plans All-girls School In Malawi

1 April 2008 6:57 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Pop superstar Madonna is following in the footsteps of talk show queen Oprah Winfrey with plans to build a girls' school in Africa.

The Material Girl is in the process of applying to found the educational establishment in Malawi, where she adopted her son David in 2006.

She tells American magazine Elle, "I'm buying land and getting permission to build a girl's school. The women will play a big role in the future and rebirth of Malawi."

Winfrey co-founded the all-girls Henley-On-Klip Leadership Academy in South Africa in 2006.

And Madonna, who currently governs a Malawi based charity project, isn't the only U.S. star helping students in the African nation - actress and TV personality Ricki Lake is helping to build a school founded by her Malawian nanny. »

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Fifteen opens N.Y. offices

5 February 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK - Howard Bragman's Fifteen Minutes Public Relations is getting its first taste of fame in New York. The three-year-old LA-based agency is opening offices in Gotham and bringing aboard former Ogilvy Public Relations vp Corey R. Martin to head its development and operations.

Blue Current Public Relations senior vp Pete Sanders is also joining the firm's 18 staffers to expand entertainment, fashion, charity and other publicity efforts. Fifteen Minutes clients include Cathy Schulman, Mischa Barton, Mario Lopez, Ricki Lake and Innovative Artists. »

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Lake Praises Replacement Blonsky

14 January 2008 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Ricki Lake has heaped praise on Nikki Blonsky for her performance in the remake of Hairspray. Blonsky, 19, starred as Tracy Turnblad in the 2007 version of the musical - the role which propelled Lake to fame in 1988. Lake went on to host her own long running TV talk show which ran from 1993 to 2004. And now the actress-turned-presenter has made her feelings about her younger replacement very clear. She tells New York Post's gossip column PageSix, "I just adore her (Blonsky). She's so great in the film, and I'm entering into a whole new phase now, it's so interesting to see her launch." »

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