Set the DVR’s! For the first time in thirteen years, Conan O’Brien will be visiting David Letterman. The reunion takes place on Thursday, May 17.
Brookline native O’Brien, who had been a writer for both Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, began his talk show career in 1993, taking over hosting duties when Letterman left Late Night on NBC. Letterman’s not so amicable exit from NBC came about when the network passed him over and instead hired Jay Leno as Johnny Carson’s successor to The Tonight Show. Letterman jumped to CBS and went head to head with Leno in the late night ratings war until Leno left The Tonight Show in 2009.
When Leno left the show to move to prime time, O’Brien became the new host and he and Letterman vied for the same viewers. But in another not so amicable move, NBC bumped O’Brien and The Tonight Show from the 11:35 pm. time slot to 12:05 a.m. when Leno decided he wanted to return to late night because of his less than impressive prime time ratings. O’Brien, unhappy with the network’s plan and what he felt would be the demise of the show, walked away, leaving Leno to take the helm again.
This will be O’Brien’s fifth time as Letterman’s guest. Given the common bond the two share in their experiences, the audience should probably expect a barb of two to be thrown in Jay Leno’s direction.
Boston’s famed Newbury Street was a little more fashionable yesterday afternoon, as “Fashion Star” judge and House of Harlow designer, Nicole Richie, stopped by the grand opening party of the new National Jean Company store.
The super-skinny star, who first became famous for her relationships with Paris Hilton and Lionel Richie—the former at one time being her best friend, and the latter being her adoptive father, has now come into her own as a successful fashion designer and a stable family life with husband Joel Madden, lead singer of Good Charlotte, and their two children, daughter Harlow Winter Kate Richie Madden (born January 11, 2008), and son Sparrow James Midnight Madden (born September 9, 2009). She currently runs two fashion lines—her House of Harlow vintage inspired jewelry, and her Winter Kate women’s clothing line.
Richie wore a black and white printed maxie dress, soft texture leather jacket with shoulder pads, mint green alligator clutch, and cobalt blue Christian Louboutin pumps. Though she was deign to talk about her recent television incarnation as a judge on the NBC reality show competition series, “Fashion Star,” where budding designers pitch pieces to buyers from high end department stores, she did remark on her opinion of Beantown. She told the Boston Herald she thought Boston was “a beautiful city, ” adding that she didn’t think Boston’s rep for being unfashionable was “an issue.”
Earlier this week, industry insider, Variety, published a story reporting on the season finale of NBC’s hit show, “Smash,” traveling to Boston for filming. The episode is already set to air on April 30th, and will reportedly feature the faux Broadway show, “Bombshell,” being performed at a local theater in Beantown. Emerson College, the school which has produced countless theater, television, and movie talents over the years, has already begun working to get the show to use one of it’s various theaters—the Cutler, Paramount, or Colonial—to produce the final show, perhaps even allowing for some local alums and students to get involved on the action either in front of the camera as extras, or behind the scenes as crew.
No word on whether or not recent guest star, Uma Thurman, who herself was born in the Bean, will also be featured on that episode and returning to her hometown. Thurman started a recent guest spot on the show as Rebecca Duvall, the know-it-all Hollywood starlet whose personal problems and lackluster singing chops are not enough to overshadow the star power her turn as Marilyn is sure to bring to the production.
Production should commence on the episode relatively soon, though so far there have been no official reports of exactly where or when shooting would take place, nor have there been any sightings on the crew around town.
The April 30 episode of the NBC musical drama is titled “Tech” and will air at 10 p.m. “Smash” costars Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston, Megan Hilty, and Katharine McPhee.
Medford, MA. native, the beautiful Maria Menounos will appear with cutie Mario Lopez on “Extra.”
That’s right, the once Miss Massachusetts teen USA, Maria Menounos is officially hooking up with the once A.C Slater, Mario Lopez on “Extra”. Bells are ringing. After six faithful years, Menounos and NBC are calling it quits.
The Medford, MA native has kissed a new deal with Telepictures and will co-host “Extra” with hunk Lopez this Fall. She’ll also have on-air flings with the CW’s Dr. Drew’s “Lifechangers” which will be exclusive September 19th. The new deal was announced by Hilary Estey McLoughlin, President of Telepictures and Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, Senior Executive Producer of “Extra” and “Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers.”
“We are thrilled to have Maria in the Telepictures family. She is a great talent with diverse experience and appeal and her versatility will enable her to contribute to our slate in myriad ways,” McLoughlin says in a statement of Menounos, who has also been an on-air correspondent for competitors “Access Hollywood” and “Entertainment Tonight”.
“I’m so excited to join Mario on “Extra” and be a part of “Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers”. Joining Telepictures is a great next step in my career. I loved working at NBC and thank the network for a great six-year run,” says Menounos.
You want a little extra Menounos, check out “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life,” written by the talented diva — a New York Times’ bestseller! “Extra! Extra!”.
On Wednesday June 8, “Today” host and East Providence, RI native, Meredith Vieria held her last show on the famed morning program. Vieria announced last moth that she would leave the program, but remain at NBC in an as-of-yet, undisclosed role.
When Katie Couric left “Today” in 2006, Vieira stepped into the role, alongside Matt Lauer. During her five-year run on the show, Vieira has reported on such events as both the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics and Barack Obama’s election and inauguration.
Vieria has strong New England roots. Born and raised in East Providence, Rhode Island, she graduated from the Lincoln School, an all-girls Quaker school in Providence. Vieira eventually graduated magna cum laude with an English degree from Tufts University and started her journalism career as a radio news announcer in Worcester, MA and then a local TV reporter and anchor in Providence.
Vieira has stated she is leaving the show to spend more time with her family, which includes her husband, journalist Richard M. Cohen, their three children and dog, Jasper.
Last month, NBC debuted a two-part miniseries called “The Cape”, which followed the story of a cop who is framed for murder and assumes the identity of a masked avenger in order to clear his name. The series earned solid ratings, and featured a number of up and coming stars, as well as respected character actors whom we’ve seen in numerous projects before. One of these such faces include Illeana Douglas, a Massachusetts native.
Douglas was born Illeana Hesselberg in Quincy Massachusetts in 1965. She grew up in Haddam, Connecticut, and still has family in the area. One of her brothers, Erik Hesselberg, is currently serving as editor of River & Shore, a Connecticut quarterly magazine.
Throughout her career, Douglas has played her strongest roles as a supporting cast member, being featured on sitcoms like “Frasier”, “Seinfeld”, and “The Drew Carey Show”. She’s also appeared in comedic films like Picture Perfect and The Next Best Thing. She’s also tried her hand at writing and directing. In 1993, she completed a comedy short called The Perfect Woman, and in 1994, she filmed the documentary Everybody Just Stay Calm—Stories in Independent Filmmaking. She’s also been the producer for several projects including Illeanarama, a collection of her short films for the Sundance Channel.
Douglas currently has a number of other projects in the works, including The Green, which is currently in post-production. The project filmed in Connecticut in August of 2010 and costars Emmy winner Julia Ormond.
For the past seven seasons, we’ve enjoyed punching into “The Office” every Thursday night. But this coming May, Massachusetts native Steve Carell aka Michael Scott will be punching-out for the final time.
Dunder Mifflin will be seeking a full time regional manager to replace the unique Michael Scott which clearly will be a challenging task for the small Scranton, Penn paper company.
And it just so happens, that NBC announced that the super funny Will Ferrell has signed on for at least four episodes and will be there for Carell’s final exit from “The Office”. Ferrell is rumored to be playing a branch manager from the home office, who rivals Michael Scott. Ferrell to replace Carell?
“We found Steve Carell when he was nothing but a movie star and we turned him into a television star,” executive producer Paul Lieberstein said. “We are proud to continue The Office‘s tradition of discovering famous talent, and we hope that once America gets a good look at Will, they’ll see what we see, tremendous raw sexuality.”
According to Ricky Gervais’s Blog, the British creator of the hit sitcom, “Had a little meeting with NBC about various things and recommended Will Arnett for a regular in The Office”. He’d like Arnett to fill the void left by Carell when he leaves the series later this year. Okay, so maybe Arnett to replace Carell?
Either way, Michael Scott will be truly missed but the paper company must keep printing. “It’s bittersweet,” Carell tells TVGuide.com. “I’m excited about the prospect to be able to spend more time with my family, but these are some of my best friends on the show, and I will miss them.”
We will miss you Michael Scott!
On Monday evening, Brookline native Conan O’Brien’s anxiously anticipated return to television kicked off in grand fashion on his new home at the cable network, TBS. The late night funny man had his first time out in the 11PM time slot, one half hour earlier than Andover’s Jay Leno, who took back his old post at “The Tonight Show” earlier this year after O’Brien spent less than 7 months as host himself. The NBC debacle turned publicity nightmare meant O’Brien got booted, and Leno was reinstated at his former post. Since the kerfuffle, O’Brien and his crew received a multi-million dollar payout, and the comedian was forbidden from appearing on any new television shows until the fall.
The show was filmed on the Warner Brothers Studio lot, and featured guests Seth Rogan, Lea Michelle, and musical guest Jack White–whom O’Brien actually performed with at the close of the show. His first official guest was actually winner of first guest contest, Arlene Wagner, founder of the Leavenworth’s Nutcracker Museum in Washington, who beat out the likes of Justin Bieber, though she did only make a brief appearance. Familiar faces filled the spacious set, such as Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band, and announcer Andy Richter.
Then lanky red-head took to the stage in what was titled “Episode: Baa Baa Blackmail”, doing his trademark string dance amidst rousing cheers of “Conan! Conan!” to which he quipped: “Sit down, we don’t know how much time I’m gonna get here. That lasted longer than my last job.”
Not one to shy away from the subject of his departure from NBC, he went on to joke:
“Welcome to my 2nd annual first show! Its called ‘Conan.’ People asked me why I named it ‘Conan,’ its so that I would be harder to replace…I want you to know, I have dreamed about being a host on basic cable since i was 46.”
After taking his seat behind his new desk, O’Brien showed off some of the features of his new digs; a remote controlled moving moon on the background scene painting. With Richter seated in a guest chair next to him, the two talked about one of O’Brien’s lowest points in the months since he’s been off the air–finding out that a Halloween mask was being sold in his likeness and labelled as an “Ex-Talk Show Host.” After each donning the masks, Richter quipped, “These are very authentic–the inside smells like tears.”
Later on in the evening, now in his new time slot at midnight, George Lopez of “Lopez Tonight” welcomed his new lead-in.
“Sixty years ago, a redhead and a Latino made history on “I Love Lucy,” history repeats itself tonight with Conan O’Brien and George Lopez! Team Coco, meet Team Loco!”
Reports show that “Conan” was watched by 2.45 million adults 18-34; 3.28 million in the 18-49 category and 4.155 million total viewers on its opening night, with a projected median age of 30.
This winter, Boston’s Wilbur Theatre is hosting a full lineup of comedy acts to keep your spirits chuckling throughout the holiday season. NBC’s “Last Comic Standing“ Live Tour is coming up soon on October 4; see this season’s winner Felipe Esparza along with other laugh-masters James Adomian, Mike Destefano, Roy Wood, Jr., Maronzio Vance, Johnathan Thymius, Laurie Kilmartin, Myq Kaplan, Tommy Johnagin, and Rachel Feinstein.
Don’t miss performances by Brad Garrett of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” who will be gracing the stage on November 10, and Rob Schneider, star of side-splitting comedies such as The Hot Chick and Little Nicky, appearing on December 4.
“Seriously Funny” Kevin Hart performs November 6; John Pinette, the comedian behind “I’m Starvin’” and “Show Me the Buffet,” will appear October 16, and D.L. Hughley, original host of “Comic View,” on November 27.
Past acts include Kevin Nealon, who will be starring in a new romantic comedy in 2011, Just Go With It, alongside New Hampshire native, Adam Sandler. Check out Nealon in the video below, performing “Now Hear Me Out.”
For a full listing of all the Wilbur has to offer, take a look here.
Boston’s annual Health Expo took place at the Hynes Convention Center on June 12-13th. The event, sponsored by WHDH channel 7 and CW 56 included a number of exhibits where attendees to take their turn in front of the camera, including trying their hand at weather reporting, or color commentating a Red Sox game clip. These fun activities enabled children and their families to be entertained, while also gaining access to a number of free health screenings, informational seminars, as well as speak to medical professionals regarding a number of health and safety issues.
In addition to members of the channel 7 news team making appearances, TV stars, like Krista White, winner of cycle 14 of “America’s Next Top Model”, also stopped by to sign autographs. Former “Saved by the Bell” cast member, and current “Extra” co-host, Mario Lopez, talked about his new book Extra Lean: The Fat-Burning Plan That Changes the Way You Eat for Life, gave a cooking demonstration alongside channel 7’s Frances Rivera, and signed autographs for the dozens of screaming fans who anxiously packed the hall for a chance to see him. Late that evening, the decidedly dimpled Latin heartthrob made at appearance at The Estate in Boston’s Alley. Check out our video below for more of Mario at the Health Expo.
NBC’s hit game show, “Minute to Win It” was also at the Hynes Convention Center on Saturday holding a casting call, and numerous Health Expo visitors stood in line to take their shot at getting on the Guy Fieri hosted show. On the demonstration stage inside the expo, a “Minute to Win It” casting director showed the audience tricks past contestants have had to perform on the show, and invited people to come on stage and try their hand at a few in order to win a t-shirt. For more exclusive Health Expo pictures, check out our Facebook and Youtube pages here.
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