Last week, while I was covering the Golden Globes and the Sundance Film Festival, I’m sorry to say I missed Rosie O’Donnell’s tirade against "American Idol."
Now that I’ve seen the clips on YouTube, I see what she meant. The treatment of Jonathan Jayne and Kenneth Briggs was pretty awful. It’s hard to imagine how the show’s producers could have thought their appearances were appropriate.
Rosie responded with her usual largesse. I’m told she immediately brought Jayne and Briggs to see her backstage at "The View" and gave them a tour after their interviews on "Good Morning America."
The pair did not appear on 'The View,' however, an insider says, “because Rosie didn’t want them to be exploited or embarrassed more after she’d already spoken up.”
Not only that: O’Donnell is sending both men on all-expense-paid trips to Disney World. I’m told they can bring anyone they like, too. Jayne and Briggs are likely to get better treatment down there than they did at the hands of Simon Cowell.
O’Donnell’s charitable work doesn’t end there, of course. She’s headed to San Antonio, Texas this weekend to support the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, to which she’s made a $300,000 donation. The fund supports soldiers who’ve suffered catastrophic disabilities while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last night at Sundance, the hottest party as described by one of my spies was a dinner held above the temporary Fred Segal store.
The occasion? The premiere of Jake Paltrow’s first film, “The Good Night,” starring his sister Gwyneth Paltrow, Penelope Cruz, Danny DeVito and Martin Freeman.
A private dinner followed the screening, with special guests Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw showing their support for Jake. The Spielbergs and the Paltrows are longtime family friends.
Also on hand: Gwyneth, who cried on stage after the film ended and said, “I’m so proud of my brother.” Mom Blythe Danner was also on hand, as were DeVito and Rhea Perlman.
Missing, however, was Penelope Cruz, who was said to be in South America picking up a well-deserved prize for her great performance in “Volver.”
Cruz has a right to be a little down this week. It’s absolutely mind boggling that “Volver” was not nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Something really went wrong in that campaign.
As for "The Good Night," the straw poll shows dissension over whether it’s good or bad (my guess is, it’s the former). But since most studios will want to be in business with 31-year-old Jake, a TV director, expect some bidding tonight and tomorrow.
I told you several weeks ago that NBC was trying not to pay "Law & Order SVU" stars Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay what they wanted after eight years and many Emmy awards and nominations.
Yesterday came the news that the actors will get $330,000 per episode next season. They’re staying even though, frankly, they’re getting less than they deserve.
SVU is one of NBC’s only dependable hits, and it will play in syndication until both actors are great-grandparents. This is what the public doesn’t realize about TV series. The networks and the show’s producers make money way after the stars of shows see their last pennies.
Recently, I discussed this with Larry Hagman. I had always thought he had a piece of "Dallas." He told me he does not.
Hagman is by no means in the poor house, but he does not get any residuals now from “Dallas” playing over and over again on the SoapNet channel. Same for the stars of other hit shows now filling the cable black hole of programming.
So three cheers for Hargitay and Meloni. The next big question at NBC is what to do with the original “Law & Order” series.
Last year, there was a question of possible cancellation. But the new speculation is that NBC will keep it around until it breaks the record for longest-running series ever — and then send it off into rerun history.
So far, "Gunsmoke" holds that honor, at 20 years. This only the 17th season for “Law & Order.”
In the end, there was a lot of stuff given away at the Sundance Film Festival this year. It wasn’t always easy, and many times the quote-unquote "exclusivity" of the swag houses set up on Main Street bordered on the offensive.
For instance, a publicist I’ve never heard of named Kari Feinstein posted newspaper on the windows of a storefront and stationed a clipboard czar at the door. “You can only come in if you’re invited,” she sneered at me. And I so wanted the free shampoo!
Over at the Marquee nightclub swag lounge, which operated during daylight, the situation was a little looser. Nice people from a company called Dermalogica gave me some facial products even after I explained that my moisturizing was limited to Coast deodorant soap. They were very nice.
Later, at a screening at the Racquet Club, I regifted the products to a volunteer who cried out, “That’s my favorite company!”
Charity did not stop there. Kevin Bacon turned up at Marquee and took a bunch of products from Lacoste, Polaroid and Dermalogica for his new sixdegrees.org site. They will all be auctioned off, but Bacon did keep a Polaroid digital camera for himself.
Sources say that Tara Reid, who was on good behavior all weekend, asked for AG Jeans in size 24 and Blue Genes products in size zero.
My favorite story: both comic hip-hopper Jamie Kennedy and new celeb Nick Cannon helped themselves to designer Lia Sophia’s $1,900 crystal medallions. And Teri Hatcher, they say, walked out with $7,000 worth of the designer’s jewelry!
There were other swag suites. My old friend Brooke Primero showed me around the Fred Segal complex after helping me get a special ID.
The problem is there really isn’t much for guys at these places. I loved actor Paul Rudd’s facetious quote that he should get a “cashmere covered stereo.” Unfortunately, there are no gadget suites (Motorola’s Dave Pinsky did show me the very cool new MotoKRazr phone, though, which is big as a comb, glows blue like a Star Trek phaser, and is so advanced that it has a digital camera, MP3 player and garlic press built in).
Of course, nearly everyone who visits the suites can afford to buy all this stuff about 10 times over.
“But that’s not the point,” warned one observer. “The bigger you are, the more you get, and the more you get, the bigger you are.”
So that’s what it is. Me, I got little bag of coffee from two nice women who live in Northern California. They say it’s green. I just hope it has caffeine!
I will be watching the Screen Actors Guild Awards this weekend for two reasons. One: they are the actual precursor to the Oscars. And two: the entire cast of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show," sans the late Ted Knight, is giving the award to Best Ensemble Comedy TV show. The winner should either be “The Office” or “Entourage". ...
And how funny would it be if “Dreamgirls” won SAG’s Best Cast Award for a Movie? Hilarious and sad. But “The Departed” should win and, then, hopefully, go on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Of the five films that did make the Academy shortlist, “The Departed” is the most accomplished, daring and deceptively sly achievement. Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker are at their high watermark with this piece, after stunning careers together and apart.
When Scorsese accepts his award, it’s for a library of films that includes not only “Raging Bull,” “Mean Streets” and “Goodfellas” but also “New York New York,” “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “After Hours,” “The Aviator,” “Gangs of New York” and “The Last Temptation of Christ.”
Believe me, Academy voters, Clint will understand. You might even make his day.