Random House will publish an advice book compiled by Couric over the past year called 'The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives,' The New York Times reports. The news anchor said she was inspired to write the book, which comes out on April 12, after speaking at the Case-Western Reserve University graduation ceremony last May.
Couric told the Times she wanted to "get 22-year-olds to think about their future possibilities," so she compiled essays and poems from people like Sheryl Crow, 'Modern Family' star Eric Stonestreet, Chelsea Handler, Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and more.
After all, when most writers come out with a new book to appeal to the gossipy crowd, they try to make an appearance on Oprah in order to promote it. In this case, it can be safely said that it won't happen. In fact, a myriad of other talk shows refuse to allow Kelley to appear and promote her latest work. Perhaps Kelley should stick to dead celebrities in the future to avoid retribution from the talk community?
Granted, Kitty Kelley is a big enough name that the book will likely sell even without the assistance of the talk show crowd. It could be argued that Oprah actually is helping sales simply by her name being on the cover.
When she wrote her Nancy Reagan biography, Kelley received anonymous death threats. Oprah's acolytes probably won't be as kind.
Mike Harrison (who wrote and directed the Sci Fi Channel's Dune miniseries) is working on a four-hour miniseries of the horror novel Cell for the Weinstein Company. Harrison has worked with King's material before on the movies Creepshow and Tales from the Darkside: the Movie.
Having never read Cell, it's difficult to have an opinion over whether this will evolve into a quality miniseries. There is some talent behind the show, so that's encouraging.
What makes Dutton's success story unique is his personal life before he became an actor. When he was seventeen, he was convicted of manslaughter and spent seven years in prison. From Jail to Yale, the working title for the actor's book, will discuss Dutton's criminal history and his education at the Yale School of Drama.
The most interesting facts to come out of the conversation with Johnson is that in his novel he ignores the sequel mini-series V: The Final Battle and the short-lived V television series that came afterward.
I remember watching and being terrified as a kid from the original V mini-series (think of the Nazi takeover of Germany, except with aliens). Johnson left NBC before the sequel came around and, to make an understatement, the sequel strayed from his vision. The book more represents what his original vision of the continued V story would be like. It takes place twenty or so years after the original.
New Amsterdam, FOX's upcoming midseason drama about an immortal man living in modern day New York City, has some fans of a certain 2002 novel wondering if the plot is as distinct as the show's creators say it is.
Pete Hamill's novel, Forever, centers on a man named Cormac O'Connor who is granted eternal life and dwells in Manhattan. New Amsterdam also centers on an immortal man living in Manhattan.
Hamill does not intend to sue over the similarities, claiming the legal fees wouldn't be worth it. Still, he points out similarities between the two characters: O'Connor still bears the scar that "killed" him, and Amsterdam's body is similarly ravaged with scars; O'Connor uses his infinite time on earth to teach himself piano, and Amsterdam does the same; O'Connor must find his true love in order to find peace, and Amsterdam must also find his soul mate in order to grow old again.
Do you like comedy? Sure, we all do. If you especially like your comedy in written and audio form, these two news items should have you clapping your hands and doing the happy dance:
First, that Comedy Death Ray CD I mentioned earlier will be out on September 12. The 150-minute CD, comprised of sets recorded during the all-night fourth anniversary Comedy Death Ray show at the UCB theater and sets from the SF Sketchfest, will feature such comedians as Patton Oswalt (King of Queens, Comedians of Comedy), Maria Bamford (Comedians of Comedy), David Cross (Mr. Show, Arrested Development), Paul F. Tompkins (Mr. Show, Best Week Ever), Doug Benson (Best Week Ever, Last Comic Standing), Brian Posehn (Mr. Show, Comedians of Comedy, Just Shoot Me, The Sarah Silverman Program), Neil Hamburger (Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job), and many more.
That's what Starpulse is saying, and based on a search of Google News, it's the only site saying it. However, a quick scan of Random House's site revealed the book does in fact exist, and will be out on September 4. The book is titled Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself and will be Alda's second book after Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. His first book is one of very few non-fiction books I've read in my lifetime, and it's quite interesting. Even if we didn't know Alda as that guy from M*A*S*H, The West Wing and Scientific American Frontiers, the stories of his childhood --his mentally unstable mother, living above a burlesque house-- are more than engaging enough.
This new book will apparently feature highlights from various speeches Alda has given over the years, a kind of guide on how to enjoy life and get the most out of it. I would say Alda did enough heavy-handed proselytizing when he started writing M*A*S*H episodes, but apparently Alda even pokes fun at his early rhetoric in this book.
Here's some cool animation stuff I found over the past week or so:
Cartoon Brew has a lot of cool stuff, so I'll start there first. First of all, Jerry Beck has a new book, The Hanna Barbera Treasury. The book will focus mostly on the Hanna Barbera series created in the '50s and '60s. It comes out in October.
Also via the Brew comes this documentary about the life and work of animator Tex Avery, the man who was arguably the one most responsible for putting the "looney" in "Looney Tunes," and later brought that same magic to MGM. The doc is from 1988 and is split into several parts.
Paul Shaffer, Late Show band leader, is writing a memoir about his show business career. The book will be out sometime in 2009.
Youngsters recognize Paul as David Letterman's band leader and occasional comic foil, but he actual started as the musical director on Saturday Night Live in the late '70s, appearing in pretty much any sketch that involved muscians, most notably Bill Murray's lounge singer bits.
Shaffer also starred in the short-lived sitcom A Year at the Top, about two musicians from Idaho who travel to Hollywood and are tempted by the devil's son to sell their souls for fame. This should not be confused with Top of the Heap, which was a Married with Children spin-off starring Matt LeBlanc. Also, don't confuse it with Top Cat, that's a Hanna Barbera cartoon.
While the books are being billed as mysteries, you know they're going to be chock full of comedy because that's what Belzer really is: a comedian. In fact, he released a great statement about his new venture, "A potent mix of Dashiell Hammett, Oscar Wilde, Lenny Bruce and Robert Altman seasoned by the Belzerian vision of life, as the wry and raucous, raunchy worlds of make-believe and reality converge, this is the first 'reality novel' of the new millennium that explores a unique universe that poses the question, 'What is reality?'"
I'm sure we can expect many more long-winded sentences from Belzer when his first book, "I Am Not a Cop", comes out in fall 2008.
Vernon Winfrey, the father of Oprah Winfrey, is writing a book about his daughter, something the TV host and entrepreneur was unaware of until informed by the New York Daily News.
Winfrey moved in with her father in Nashville after becoming pregnant at the age of fourteen. Her baby died soon after it was born. Winfrey credits her father for helping her through the difficult time, and maintains that the two of them still stay in touch. Nevertheless, Winfrey says she was "stunned" to have found out about the book through other people and not her father.
Vernon Winfrey plans to call his book Things Unspoken, which pretty much describes any book. If the things were spoken, then it would be a book on tape, you see.
Meanwhile, infamous biographer Kitty Kelley is also writing a book about Oprah.
Law and Order creator Dick Wolf and NBC Universal have snatched up the rights to the book The Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia. The book tells the true story of two New York City copes, Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito, who secretly worked as murderers for the mafia. The book was written by William Oldham and Guy Lawson. Oldham worked for the NYPD alongside Caracappa, but didn't find out about his partners secret life until later. He launched an investigation, despite very little help from the NYPD, and both Caracappa and Eppolito were eventually arrested.
The book will be developed into a television project produced by Wolf and Tom Thayer, though whether it will be another Law and Order series or something else entirely isn't known just yet, according to Variety. Meanwhile, several movie deals are also being worked out to bring the story to the bigscreen.
Project Runway's Tim Gunn (also host of the upcoming Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) has a new book coming out next month titled A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style. If you want to get a sneak peek, go to Bravo's site right now and read the entire first chapter for free.
The new book is actually based on Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, which began casting today. The new series will follow Gunn as he teaches people to be more fashion conscious and find a look that suits their personality.
The first sentence of Gunn's book reads that "the most important key to the content of your wardrobe" is knowing who you are. Since I'm pretty sure who I am is "someone who doesn't care what Tim Gunn has to say," I guess the first step for me is not reading his book and just wearing whatever the hell I want. I would like to thank him for the first sentence, though, it was very helpful.
This is a first: I'm actually going to recommend you watch Masterpiece Theater this evening. I'm sure their have been some great films shown on the long-running public television mainstay, but this is the first time I've actually thought to myself, 'you know, I should actually check that out.'
I'm talking about The Wind in the Willows, an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic children's tale that centers on Mr. Toad, a creature with a proclivity for extravagance and crazy hobbies. The adaptation, which airs tonight on most PBS stations (you'll have to check your local listings), isn't an animated version, or even a live-action version with a lot of fancy special effects. Instead, the story relies on the actors' ability to inhabit their animal roles: Bob Hoskins as Badger, Matt Lucas (Little Britain) as Mr. Toad, Mark Gatiss (League of Gentlemen) as Ratty and Lee Ingleby (The Street, Spaced) as Mole. The movie was shot in Romania and directed by Rachel Talalay, whose directing credits include a slew of television series including The Dead Zone, What About Brian and Ally McBeal.
I'm guessing the live-action won't hold the attention of younger children, who would probably enjoy something closer to Disney's The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, but adults and older children who grew up with Grahame's book might appreciate it a bit more.
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