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Monday, September 28, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Larry King's contract with CNN is set to expire in 18 months -- and the cable network's chiefs are busy lining up his successor in case he retires. King, 75, has been interviewing celebrities since 1985. Sources say CNN's first choice to succeed him would be Ryan Seacrest -- but his massive deal with 'American Idol' makes him too expensive. Other contenders are CBS anchor Katie Couric, CNN 'video wall guy' John King and Joy Behar, who is launching her own interview show on CNN's Headline News. A source predicted, 'Larry will step down in 18 months. Ryan is the popular choice to take over, but his deal with Fox makes him unreachable. John King is popular but is more at home on politics.' The CNN suits will be watching Behar to see how she does on Headline News. Our source also said, 'Diane Sawyer was looked at as a candidate for Larry's show, but is out of the running now that she has ABC's evening news.'" (PageSix)



"Across the sea, in that tiny fabled principality of Monaco, overlooking the Mediterranean, no bigger than Central Park, the town’s most popular talk is about the neighbors up on the Rock, or more specifically, the Grimaldis, Their Serene Royal Highnesses, first family of Monaco. The word is that the ten-year marriage of Princess Caroline, eldest child of the late Princess Grace and Prince Rainer III, and her German husband HRH Prince Ernst August V of Hanover is kaput, and somebody has gotten the royal boot. Caroline is said to have divided her time for the past three to six months sans husband, between her villa on the Rock, also known as Monacoville, and her house in St. Remy in Provence. Her 10-year-old daughter by Ernst, Princess Alexandra, has been enrolled in school in Monaco." (NYSocialDiary)



"'I couldn't be happier with the way everything turned out,' said Donatella Versace at the beautifully-lit courtyard at Versace HQ just hours after her big, bold triumph. 'I'm satisfied, I'm excited, and now I just have to play host and make sure everyone is fed and happy!' After a few seasons of hosting famously tiny dinners, the designer decided to democratize the guest list a bit and host 120 or so friends in a buffet-style garden gathering. The weather was flawless and so was the food, which was conjured up by the Versace family's personal chef ... Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri were two of the earliest arrivals, and the current Bazaar cover girl was just happy to be in Donatella's fine company. 'She continuously inspires me,' Jackson said. 'Donatella is just a sweet, nurturing woman and the show was unbelievable, of course. There's definitely a reason to celebrate.' Of course, just a few months ago, Versace designed outfits for the entire Jackson family to wear at Michael's public memorial. Allegra Versace, Mario Testino, Pat McGrath and Alexandre Plokhov were just some of the other familiars, alongside a small army of EICs and creative directors. Versace personally welcomed Suzy Menkes just minutes after the critic posted a glowing review of the show." (Fashionweekdaily)



(image via Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott exclusively for Vanity Fair)

"Penélope Cruz, notoriously private and press-shy, tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Ingrid Sischy in a rare revealing moment that she is not pregnant with boyfriend Javier Bardem’s baby. 'My most nosy Parker question—one that I felt it was my duty as a reporter to ask—was whether the widespread rumors that there was a wee Bardem-Cruz on the way were true,' writes Sischy. 'Here, unlike before, there was no telling silence from Cruz. Instead she answered no but in a rather baroque, roundabout way, detailing how [director Pedro] Almodóvar had tried, to no avail, to put that rumor to rest when a journalist asked him about it on a red carpet' ... Sischy asks Cruz who was a better kisser: Scarlett Johansson, with whom she shared a famous make-out session in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, or Charlize Theron, whom Cruz smooched in the 2004 film Head in the Clouds. 'No matter how I answer that I will be in trouble,' she says. “Both were pretty beautiful partners.' Sophia Loren — Cruz’s co-star in the upcoming film Nine—tells Sischy that Cruz 'has become a real friend. We talked a lot about life and our careers. I talked about De Sica, she talked about Almodóvar. When it was my last day she came to my dressing room. She was crying, and I was crying. This is the first time that I have left a film crying because we got so upset about leaving each other.'" (VanityFair)



"The nation has lost its most independent and thoughtful voice, a man unique in his influence on the American scene for more than four decades. I speak, of course, of my dear friend Bill Safire, known to the world as a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times; the high priest—or, as he would say because he hated pretension, the maven—of language usage, author of the definitive dictionary of political language, a lifelong effort; the author of several novels, including a respected historical novel based on the life of Lincoln; a much-sought-after television commentator; and senior aide and speechwriter for President Richard Nixon." (Mort Janklow/TheDailyBeast)



"There's always a couple of jokers on the dance floor at weddings. At this bash they just happened to be Kate Moss and David Walliams. Richard Caring, - he owns Annabel's, The Ivy, Scott's, Le Caprice and Harry's Bar - and his wife Jackie threw the glamorous celebration for the marriage of their son Ben, 30, to advertising designer Elle Perfect. The theme at their home in Hampstead was Swan Lake, and a lake in the grounds was covered by a vast floating ballroom that housed tables for 400 guests, plus the full Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and, flown in specially from Russia, the Bolshoi Ballet. Guests included Elizabeth Hurley and her husband Arun Nayar, Tracey Emin, Sir Michael Parkinson and Sir Philip Green." (Thisislondon)



"Turning into the sleeper hit of the fall, Sony's blockbuster 3D toon Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs easily ruled the North American box office posting the second smallest sophomore decline of any number one opener this year. Moviegoers were once again unimpressed with the new films that Hollywood studios tried to push on them with the Bruce Willis sci-fi pic Surrogates leading the pack with a sluggish debut in second place. The dance remake Fame bowed in third to mild numbers while the umpteenth horror film in recent weeks Pandorum failed to scare up much business. Sliding by an incredibly low 19%, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs showed remarkable strength in first place grossing an estimated $24.6M in its second weekend in theaters. Sensational word-of-mouth and a lack of competing family films or comedies helped the Sony release boost its ten-day tally to a solid $60M. The only number one opener in 2009 to enjoy a better second weekend hold was Liam Neeson's Taken which slipped by a mere 17% in early February. The revenge thriller banked $53.6M in its first ten days before continuing its leggy run which extended to an astonishing $145M final. Cloudy also delivered the best sophomore weekend gross ever for any September release. The road ahead still looks bright and sunny for the animated food flick. Disney will provide some competition this Friday with its double feature of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D, but it's still unclear how big of a turnout should be expected. The next major film aimed at kids doesn't open until October 16 when Warner Bros. unleashes Where the Wild Things Are. A domestic cume of $150M or more could be possible for Meatballs making it Sony's top-grossing title of the year. Bruce Willis saw mediocre results for his new $80M-budgeted action film Surrogates ..." (Boxofficeguru)

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