This morning, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the blond girl on "The View" will announce that she is pregnant. Sources say she is about three months along, which means a birth sometime in the fall. Hasselbeck and her football player husband, Tim, have a 2-year-old daughter named Grace.
So, now what for "The View"? This means that when the show returns in September, only Barbara Walters and Joy Behar will remain at the desk. Hasselbeck will be gone within three weeks of the fall premiere, and we all know who else won't be around: Rosie O'Donnell, Meredith Vieira and Star Jones.
It's interesting that ABC couldn't figure out any terms to keep Rosie O'Donnell, knowing that Hasselbeck would also be history at least for a few weeks next season. Since Walters and producer Bill Geddie have been unable to replace Meredith Vieira, they will now have their hands full.
What adds to the problems at "The View" is the addition of a competing hour of the "Today" show starting in September. With Rosie gone, it was one thing; now Hasselbeck's inane commentary will be missing this fall, too.
Viewers of "Today," it's presumed, will not change channels all morning. Hasselbeck, by the way, fought on air with Walters last August over the morning after pill. She was against it.
Words you will not be hearing about "Legally Blonde: The Musical" include daring, unique or unconventional.
The show, which opened last night in a lightning speed transfer from hit film to Broadway musical, is none of those things. What it is: fun, cute, lively, athletic and, in all likelihood, a hit.
That is because the stars, especially Laura Bell Bundy and Christian Borle, are so enthusiastic and working so hard that you cannot deny their infectious good time. It is conveyed quickly, and fans of the film will not be disappointed from the get-go. "Legally Blonde" is still one big pink pom-pom.
There is also lots of dancing by choreographer Jerry Mitchell. Although it's not cutting edge, it's just enough to serve the needs of the show, and those are plenty, because "Legally Blonde" is a musical without music.
The songs sound like they were ordered from Wal-Mart online. If the warehouse was out of one, they sent another model that close enough. They are more forgettable than those from last year's Broadway movie adaptation, "The Wedding Singer," and that's saying a lot.
The second act of "Legally Blonde" is a lot better than the first. This is true now of shows based on movies. The first act runs through the entire set up of the film. In the second act, the show creators stretch a little and become more creative as they try to fill space. That's why several of the numbers in this second act hold a flicker of hope for something more than routine. They almost make it.
What the show does do, however, is make a star of Laura Bell Bundy. Previously she labored through "Hairspray" and as an understudy in "Wicked" and had a short-term run on "Guiding Light." When she was 8, Bundy had the lead in an off-Broadway musical, "Ruthless." Both Britney Spears and Natalie Portman understudied for her.
Throughout her life, her mom held down two or three jobs to keep Bundy in classes, all pointed to last night. Her "Hairspray" co-star Linda Hart told me last night that when they originally cast that show, she was so impressed with Bundy she told the producers she would not do it without her.
And not to bury the lead, but "Legally Blonde" pulled a bunch of celebs to the opening include: Rosie O'Donnell and Kelli Carpenter; Kathie Lee Gifford; and Clive Davis.
The after-party at Cipriani 42nd Street was like a bar mitzvah for the hundreds of investors who anted up $13 million to "LB" — same initials for show and star — on to Broadway. Don't worry, this is a show designed to make its money back. And while it's no "Sweeney Todd," the pretty-in-pink musical will likely win the Tony for best musical.
You haven't seen anything until you witness Robert De Niro in drag for a family comedy.
On Saturday night, a star-studded, very private audience got the first peek at De Niro in Matthew Vaughn's wonderfully trippy, very cool "Stardust, which is slated to hit theaters this August.
The rough and tough De Niro, known for his explosive roles in Martin Scorsese movies and more recently comedies like "Meet the Parents" and "Analyze This," plays the captain of a sky-flying pirate vessel who has a hilarious secret life.
The audience, which included "Spider-Man 3" actor James Franco, Andy Garcia, Mariska Hargitay, Harvey Weinstein and Paramount chief Brad Grey, howled with delight as De Niro stole "Stardust" from an impressive cast.
Michelle Pfeiffer, hot British actor Charlie Cox and Claire Danes head up an ensemble that also includes Sienna Miller, Jason Flemyng, Ricky Gervais, Rupert Everett, Ian McKellen, Henry Cavill and Peter O'Toole as the narrator.
De Niro usually remains mum on screenings and doesn't sit through them. But he very happily sat through this one along with his wife, Grace, enjoying the response in the room. He also had a great time later on at the after-party on the Gramercy Park Hotel roof, chatting with his old pal, "Untouchables" producer Art Linson.
De Niro and Linson are making a movie right now called "What Just Happened?" which is directed by Barry Levinson and based on Linson's book of the same name.
De Niro seems unusually pleased with "Stardust," and rightly so. Director Matthew Vaughn — married, ahem, to supermodel Claudia Schiffer — is good at making stars. Daniel Craig popped out of "Layer Cake" to grab the role of James Bond, and everyone associated with "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," which Vaughn produced, has made out well.
If "Stardust" is as big a hit as predicted, De Niro will get at least two sequels out of it.
De Niro has been continually surprising these days. As co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival with Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, De Niro's been very accessible all week. He gave a speech on Wednesday's opening night and even did a comedy sketch with Jimmy Fallon. Even more surprising, he asked yours truly at the "Stardust" party if he played his scene broadly enough.
"You're asking me?" I responded.
That's right: Are you talkin' to me? He was.
It was just fine, I told one of the best actors in the world. Let's just hope Robert De Niro's not going soft on us.
James Franco, who co-starred with Robert De Niro in "City by the Sea," has just snapped out of a depression. No, not the kind that requires rehab or anything.
"I was just depressed that I was making movies I didn't like," he said. "I wanted to do other things with my life."
So, besides stealing "Spider-Man 3," which premieres tonight, Franco has gone back to school. He is taking classes at UCLA including particular creative writing. He has just finished the first draft of a novel.
"It's 200 pages," he told me.
His adviser is "Anywhere but Here" author Mona Simpson.
Franco is a Renaissance man. He has also got a film in the Tribeca Festival called "Good Time Max" that he directed and funded with his own money. How is it, I asked him?
"It's OK," he said. "I just wanted to make it. It's not a big deal."
We will see. This kid, who started out winning awards playing James Dean, is turning into a very big deal.
"As long as I can [make] movies with people like Robert De Niro, I'm OK," he said.
The sixth annual Tribeca Film Festival — a miracle unto itself — has been a big success over the weekend. It's impossible to measure a film festival before it begins. You simply don't know which of these mostly unknown films is going to be a break out, a surprise, something that everyone will love.
On Friday night, the festival scored back-to-back hits with "The Grand" and "Maldeamores (Lovesickness)."
The latter film, directed Carlos Ruiz Ruiz, is the first real feature made in Puerto Rico, funded mostly by government grants down there and intended for American release. Whichever distributor picks it up will have a lovely gem on their hands, a sort of Puerto Rican "Love Actually."
"Maldeamores" got a wildly enthusiastic screening on Friday night for its trio of septuagenarian stars. In fact, the film may make a big star out of Silvia Brito, the Cuban-born actress who is at the center of a senior-citizen love triangle in the film.
Brito has never been in a feature film before this one. She runs the award-winning Thalia Spanish Theatre in Queens, N.Y., but she is totally unknown in "the business." Not for long. Like Adriana Barraza in last year's "Babel," Brito is about to become an overnight sensation.
Meanwhile, Woody Harrelson got raves for an ensemble "mockumentary" that treats casino poker playing in Las Vegas the way "Best in Show" sent up dog shows. "The Grand," which inaugurates the Tribeca/ESPN series, is a very funny piece of work by "X-Men 2" and "X-Men 3" screenwriter Zak Penn.
Chris Parnell, Michael McKean, Cheryl Hines, Richard Kind, Dennis Farina, "Seinfeld" star Estelle Harris and, improbably, famed German director Werner Herzog are all very, very funny in this dry spoof.
It is hard to cite one over the other, but Parnell and Harris make a very funny mother-and-son team. Michael McKean is brilliant as a casino mogul. And Richard Kind slyly steals the show for a while as a nerdy poker player.
"The Grand" has a script, but it's mostly improvised dialogue. You can tell. It has a nice natural feel, almost like a Robert Altman movie.
Even though it's nearly impossible to follow the machinations of the poker tournament, it doesn't matter. You don't care about the actual games, just the witty stuff going on around them.
And how can you not like a movie that includes Gabe Kaplan of "Welcome Back Kotter" fame?
My guess: A studio like New Line or Warner's will pick up "The Grand" and make a mint.