Archive for Tuesday, July 22, 2008

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July 22, 2008

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Leno's last 'Tonight' is set for May 29

Beverly Hills, Calif. - Conan O'Brien will take over the "Tonight" show next June - and what happens to deposed host Jay Leno after that is anybody's guess.

Leno's last show will be Friday, May 29, and O'Brien will start the following Monday, June 1, NBC executives told a Television Critics Association meeting Monday.

NBC is angling to keep Leno with NBC Universal but the late-night king has indicated he's ready to jump ship. Eager NBC competitors, including other networks and syndicators, are prepared to help him make the leap.

The network attempted to defuse the issue Monday with humor: Leno was seated among the press corps, disguised as a bald, bearded reporter who was armed with questions about himself.

Jimmy Fallon is poised to take over O'Brien's "Late Night" in March or April of 2009, after honing his approach in brief Internet shows, Silverman and Graboff said.

O'Brien will wrap his "Late Night" run sometime in the first quarter of the year, with exact dates to be determined, the executives said. O'Brien reruns will fill the gap until Fallon takes over.

Ebert, Roeper to cut ties with program

Chicago - Roger Ebert is leaving the balcony - but hinting that he's not finished with television.

The famed film critic announced Monday that he is cutting ties with the nationally syndicated program he and the late critic Gene Siskel made famous, a day after Richard Roeper said he was quitting the show.

In an e-mail to The Associated Press, Ebert said Disney-ABC Domestic Television, which owns "At the Movies With Ebert and Roeper," has decided to take the program in a new direction.

"I will no longer be associated with it," Ebert said.

He didn't immediately elaborate, but it was clear the Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Sun-Times critic wanted the show to remain as it was when he and Siskel, a fellow Chicago newspaper film critic, first hit the airwaves on PBS in 1975.

Ebert didn't elaborate on future possibilities. Nor did he say what - if any - role Roeper, whose work he praised, will have.

In recent years, Ebert has been battling cancer. He has undergone a series of operations, with doctors removing a cancerous growth from his salivary gland and part of his right jaw.

He has been unable to appear on the show since doctors performed surgery in July 2006 that left him unable to speak. But he continues to churn out reviews, and has published a number of books.

TV host: Omarosa 'delusional, pathetic'

Los Angeles - Reality TV villain Omarosa sparred with talk show host Wendy Williams on Monday in a spat that at one point turned physical.

She appeared on Fox's "The Wendy Williams Show" to promote her upcoming book but instead spent more time trading insults with the radio personality-turned-talk show host.

"I wanted to throw her off the set," Williams later told The Associated Press.

The altercation started when Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth first walked onto the daytime talk show and said she was displeased with Williams' introduction of her and would not be disrespected. Things got uglier when Williams grabbed Omarosa's book cover to hold it up to the camera, and Omarosa snatched it back out of Williams' hand.

"Omarosa wished her career was my career," Williams told the AP. "Omarosa is a delusional, D-list, pathetic woman."

The yanking gave way to Omarosa attacking Williams' appearance, asking the talk show host whether she had had a nose job and suggesting she shouldn't wear wigs.

But Williams didn't stay silent throughout the heated interview. She called Omarosa "a typical angry black woman" and suggested cosmetic injections could fix her wrinkles.

Will there be a rematch?

"I have no reason to invite Omarosa back to the show," Williams said. "That's done. She had her moment."

An after-hours telephone message and e-mail to Omarosa's publicist were not immediately returned Monday.

Winehouse's husband gets 27 months in jail

London - Amy Winehouse's husband was sentenced Monday to 27 months in jail for assault and obstructing justice.

Blake Fielder-Civil has admitted beating up pub manager James King in a barroom fight in 2006 and then offering him $400,000 to keep quiet about it.

Judge David Radford told Fielder-Civil he had behaved in a "gratuitous, cowardly and disgraceful" way.

Winehouse, who has regaled concert audiences for months with appeals for the release of "my Blake," was not at the London court.

Fielder-Civil has spent almost nine months in jail since his arrest, and could be freed in December, once he has completed half his sentence.

Three other men - James Kennedy, Anthony Kelly and Michael Brown - pleaded guilty to involvement in the plot. Brown received 33 months for assault and perverting the course of justice (the equivalent of obstruction of justice in the U.S.), while the other two received shorter sentences.

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