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April 21, 2014

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Helen Mirren Replacing Bette Midler in HBO's Phil Spector Biopic

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jul 19th 2011 6:30AM
Helen MirrenHBO's untitled Phil Spector movie just got even starrier: An Oscar winner has taken over from an Oscar nominee (and winner of multiple Grammy Awards) in a pivotal role.

Last week production on the biopic was suspended after Bette Midler had to pull out on doctors' orders. Now it's been reported that her replacement is none other than 'The Queen' star, Helen Mirren.

Mirren will play Linda Kenney Baden, a defense attorney who represented disgraced music producer Phil Spector during his first trial for murdering Lana Clarkson.

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Turmoil at HBO's Phil Spector Biopic: Bette Midler Quits, Murder Victim's Friends Threaten Action

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jul 13th 2011 8:15AM
Al Pacino as Phil SpectorAl Pacino as Phil SpectorAlthough star Al Pacino has been spotted out and about in full Phil Spector garb (see right; thanks to 'Entertainment Weekly' for the heads up), HBO's Spector biopic has run into trouble after co-star Bette Midler quit.

Production was suspended Tuesday after she failed to turn up for filming, and Deadline reports that Midler had to pull out on doctors' orders after suffering a herniated disc.

David Mamet told the crew that HBO and the insurance company were looking at recasting the part, which has since been confirmed by the cable network.

Mamet wrote the film, which is being exec-produced by 'Rain Man' director Barry Levinson.

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TV Casting: Megan Mullally Returning to 'Parks and Recreation'

by Andrew Scott, posted Apr 23rd 2010 1:29PM
Megan MullallyEmmy winner Megan Mullally ('Will & Grace') will return to the NBC comedy 'Parks and Recreation,' reprising her role as Ron's (real-life husband Nick Offerman) ex-wife. "I'm doing one next week or the week after," she told the Ausiello Files, though no word on when the episode will air. For more on Mullally's return, check out her interview with TV Squad. [Ausiello Files]

More casting news after the jump.

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Kathy Griffin: The TV Squad Interview (full transcript)

by Nick Zaino, posted Jul 21st 2009 11:15AM
Kathy GriffinThis is the full version of my interview with Kathy Griffin, for those who clicked over from the "short" version. Again, Griffin started out by asking me a question.

So is this interview going to run anywhere or is this just for your personal collection?

It's going to run on TVSquad, AOL's TV blog.

You know what? I have an exciting announcement. By the way, I'm looking at it myself, I knew, but it was officially announced today. I am hosting the Shmemmys this year. Now if you recall, two years ago when I won a Creative Arts Emmy, I got in a little trouble for telling Jesus to suck it. And now, two years later, when The D-List has its highest ratings ever, they want me to host. And that is what I love about Hollywood.

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D-List premiere: what list is Griffin on now?

by Nick Zaino, posted Jun 8th 2009 5:18PM
Kathy GriffinFor four seasons on Bravo, Kathy Griffin has been trying to crawl her way off of what she called "The D-List," taking humiliating gigs and opening up a lot of her personal life to the cameras to try to get some attention. Truthfully, though, Griffin has been off of the D-List for quite some time, which makes tonight's season five premiere of My Life on the D-List (8 PM, Bravo) a bit puzzling. What list is she on now?

Griffin has now won two Emmys for the D-List, had a string of popular stand-up specials on Bravo, and her comedy album For Your Consideration, was nominated for a Grammy this year (she lost to George Carlin's It's Bad For Ya). And this season features appearances by Paris Hilton, Rosie O'Donnell, T.I., Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, and Christina Aguilera - quite a cast for someone supposedly fighting obscurity. Plus, her book Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin, hits stores in September on Ballantine Books.

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Greatest 'Tonight Show' Moments

by AOL TV Staff, posted May 13th 2009 6:00AM
Hugh Grant The Tonight Show'The Tonight Show' has been a late-night institution for more than 50 years (yes, that's right -- half a century).

Jack Paar, who took over the reins from Steve Allen in '57, put the show on the map, with big-name guests and outspoken antics. Johnny Carson, who stepped in when Paar left, made the show appointment viewing for millions of fans and became one of the most beloved TV hosts of all time.

Now, with Jay Leno's last 'Tonight Show' airing Fri., May 29, and Conan O'Brien taking the desk while Leno makes the unprecedented move to prime time, to a 10 PM slot in the fall, we look back and count down the top 20 moments of 'The Tonight Show.'


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Thirteen big name movie stars who couldn't cut it on television - VIDEOS

by Richard Keller, posted Mar 2nd 2009 10:02AM

Faye Dunaway in a CBS sitcom? No, it's not an alternate universe. It actually happened.Movie actors are a unique bunch of characters in Hollywood. Adept at script memorization, method acting, and being snobby little princesses (the males included), they are somewhat limited in their performance venues. They can switch pretty easily and thrive in theater productions because most of them began their acting lives on the stage in front of adoring audiences. Decades ago they could also do radio pretty easily; most likely because they could read right from the script and no one listening would know any different.

Television? Well, that's a whole different loaf a bread! For some reason, big-named movie stars with their Oscars and Golden Globes just tank when they decide to jump to the small screen. Their failures could be due to the show they've decided to star in, who they play on the show, or the fact that they are catering to a different audience than film-goers. Whatever the reason, some of Hollywood's most famous film stars had some famously big television flops. Here are but a few of them to digest.

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Simon Cowell to shake up American Idol - I've got some ideas for him

by Jane Boursaw, posted Aug 25th 2008 10:20AM
Simon Cowell Wants to Shake up American IdolIt's sad when you can't remember who won the last American Idol. Oh yeah, David Cook. And we're avid fans around this house, too.

Simon Cowell probably remembers, but, apparently, he's as bored as the rest of us. In a TVGuide.com story, he says of Season 7, "I was a little bored ... I think [last season] the talent was great, and the ratings were great, I just think it could be more interesting and controversial."

That's why he plans to mix it up a little come January 2009, when he'll be taking a larger role in the show, perhaps compensating for executive producer Nigel Lythgoe stepping back to focus on his other show, So You Think You Can Dance.

Simon's not saying how he'll shake things up, but I have a few ideas:

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Bette Midler blasts MTV - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 6th 2008 6:01PM
Bette MidlerIf you've ever seen Bette Midler on stage in concert or on one of her TV specials -- when they used to really do musical specials that were more than just filmed concerts -- you know that The Divine Miss M knows how to put on quite a show. There are songs, dancers, hula skirts, motorized wheelchairs, weepy ballads, clackers, Soph jokes and ukuleles. And the music is all live!

Currently, Bette's encamped at Caesar's Palace doing The Showgirl Must Go On. Talking about state of today's divas and referred to The Buggles song "Video Killed the Radio Star" to take a broad shot as MTV. No, she wasn't turning all prudish and complaining about the morality of MTV. No way.

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Katie Couric has her own YouTube channel - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 17th 2008 1:02PM
Katie CouricLately, the only Katie Couric most people have been seeing is the one that's depicted in the picture to the right: serious, sober, possessing whatever gravitas she can muster in her role as anchor of the CBS Evening News. But where can you see the goofy Katie, the one that people came to know -- and some got sick of -- for fifteen years on the Today show?

Why, on YouTube, of course! In fact, Katie has her very own page on the leading video sharing site, where she posts extended Evening News interviews and behind-the-scene footage. The behind-the-scenes stuff is where you see Katie at her most impish, doing things like snapping Larry King's suspenders as he leads her to the set of his show, singing with Bette Midler, and meeting with mommy bloggers in her office (check out the huge Warhol-esque portrait of herself she has hanging near her desk!).

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