the trades two

I think it’s time for another look at the stories making the headlines today… in Variety. I know many of you don’t live in LA and therefore only hear about these stories off the wire maybe 2 days later. Or maybe Steve Kametko tells you about it on E! (Will someone explain to me what happened to the black chick, and why they brought that cardboard ho Jewel Asner to sit with my boy Steve? Ooh, and did you know Stevie K. and Greg Louganis are a couple? Yup, they live in my little neighborhood. Along with Sophia Coppola, Minnie Driver, and Vince Vaughn & Joey Lauren Adams, who in fact live directly across the street. Look at me all rubbing elbows and shit.)

Here’s what the trades are reporting today:

Emmy Nominations are announced: The Sopranos breaks records. 16 nominations including first ever for Best Drama by a cable series. Hmmmmm. Never seen it. What I do know is that what we are watching is Capitalism at work, kids. Pay cable, with its freedom from fearful advertisers and censors, are putting out higher and higher quality programming. (The list of apparently wonderful HBO shows is impressive.) And while economically the networks are still the shit, the execs do know that the bar is being raised, so that when a show like the Sopranos garners so much attention, and network ratings are slowly but surely decreasing, they are almost forced to in turn raise their quality level. Who wins: everyone! (The other effect is counterprogramming, which is why we’re being inundated with news magazine shows, reality shows, etc. Which, as an actor, makes me unhappy. There aren’t many auditions for Dateline NBC.)

Jerry Springer to consider running for Senate: Why not? Let’s have an entire government of wrestlers and talk show hosts! We already have Cooter and Gopher in congress. I’d like to suggest that Downtown Julie Brown run for Senate, Eric Stoltz run for Governor, and for President… how about Carmine Ragusa!

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Phil Collins is getting married!: Um, who? Oh yeah, that guy. Hmmm, great. Really cool. Uh… Good for him?

Nora Ephron directing new romantic comedy: It’s a remake of some 40’s movie with some "neat twist" and probably a guy and a girl. Well, after the delightful "You’ve Got Mail", I suggest Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan!!! Wow, that would be great. They’re the Hepburn / Tracy of the 90’s!!! She’s cute as a button, that one.

Sony Pictures Classics to release newest Woody Allen movie: Alright. This will be the test. After Deconstructing Harry, I vowed to stop seeing his movies. And I resisted Celebrity. This will be number two. Give me strength. God grant me the strength to stay away from Woody Allen movies, and the serenity…

Music Industry tries to stem CD piracy in Ukraine: If a cheap George Michael album makes some Ukrainian happy, who are we to interfere? After all: they live in the Ukraine!

Francis Ford Coppola sympathizes with the Kennedys: and then asks if the family might have another small plane he could rent for Sophia. (Oh god, ha ha ha. Oh man. He he he… ha?… heh? … hello?)

Roger Ebert fires off letter in response to Jack Valenti’s defense of the ratings system: I do have to side with the big guy on this one. Jack Valenti has been nothing but defensive and pissy and totally unamenable to even carrying on intelligent discourse about the horribly misguided and bizarre rules by which the MPAA judges content for suitability. If I had a child, I would so much rather him watch people fucking, than someone slitting a woman’s throat. Maybe this is just me.

Disney net income way down: (smiling broadly)

Kind of a slow news day. I didn’t want to talk about the Mexican singer accused of putting Satanic backwards messages on her albums because it kind of scares me. But aren’t they like 20 years behind us on that one? Maybe in another few years they’ll create their own Mexican Max Headroom. And start putting Baby On Board signs on all their cars. Make William "The Refrigerator" Perry a big national star. Soon they’ll have Pac Man Fever. (I know it’s driving me crazy.)

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Speaking of Pac Man, apparently someone wrote a book about the little yellow guy. Let's end with a very illuminating quote:

Pac Man's character is difficult to explain even to the Japanese -- he
is an innocent character. He hasn't been educated to discern between
good and evil. He acts more like a small child than a grown-up
person. Think of him as a child learning in the course of his daily
activities. If some one tells him guns are evil, he would be the type
to rush out and eat guns. But he would most probably eat any gun,
even the pistols of policemen who need them.

-- Toru Iwatani, author of Pac-Man

This is where I let Larry King take over my body for a few minutes.

Check this out. Funny stuff…when I lived in the West Village in NYC, some gay guys told me Greg Louganis’ nickname in the community. Ask me if you want to know it…My good friend Shannon just got cast as a vampire on Buffy. She got fitted for yellow contact lenses and fangs today. I know Kymm will be jealous…