Sarah Ball

Letterman vs. Conan -- Who'll Conquer?

In his Washington Post column today, Tom Shales profiles Conan O'Brien -- heir to Jay Leno's Tonight Show throne as of Monday -- and begs the flame-haired jester this loaded question: What about the fact that, at 11:35 p.m, you'll now be competing against your longtime comedy idol, David Letterman?

Morning Mix: "American Idol" Finale Day!

Will Gokey's Fans Break for Lambert? As Simon seems sure that American Idol finalist Adam Lambert will take the title home tonight, fans are both recalling last season -- a surprise David Cook victory, even as Simon nearly assured David Archuleta he'd win -- and speculating as to where the passionate Danny Gokey fans are disembarking.

Morning Mix: MLK Story to Become Movie

King Story to Come to Big Screen.  Stephen Spielberg will produce a Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, Dreamworks announced, in the first ever King biopic to be authorized by the King Estate.  The film's makers will thus be allowed to cull from King's papers, speeches, video and personal belongings.   [Variety]Allen Settles With American Apparel.  The clothing company that used a still of director Woody Allen from "Annie Hall" without his permission will settle out of court for $5 million, it...

Morning Mix: People Desperate to Make "Idol" Finale Seem Tense

"Angels & Demons" vs. "Star Trek" -- Neither Here Nor There.  The world is split -- overseas, people are rushing to see Da Vinci Code follow-up Angels & Demons (the film had a $104 million worldwide take this weekend).  But domestically, the film barely edged out Star Trek's second weekend -- A&D netted $48 million while the sci-fi reboot took $43 million, a less than 50 percent drop from its opening weekend and a figure that moves the film's total,10-day domestic take to nearly $148 million....

Steve Zahn, We Salute You!

So it's come to this.  We've admired and loved Steve Zahn for over a decade--maybe since That Thing You Do!, in which he played a delightfully goofy member of one-hit phenom rock band The Oneders Wonders.  Today, after years of being the screwy sidekick, Zahn is finally opening his first major studio comedy as number-one lead guy, opposite Jennifer Aniston in.

The "Gossip Girl" Litmus Test -- How Much Do You Love the 80s?

The prognosis ranges from "still in the game" to grim to completely, totally, utterly unlikely for the 1980s-set spinoff, still unnamed despite having a full cast and promotional photos. The show is centered on a backtrack to the teenage years of mom Lily van der Woodsen (a Benatar-ed Brittany Snow) and the sister that we never knew she had, who sort of reminds us of a brunette Cynthia Benson (Tom Hanks's crush in ).

Enough Already: Star Trek "Beam" Headlines

There Will Be Cliches, Part II:Remember how much we hated the "There Will Be [Noun]" headlines back in early '08, along with the "No Country for Old [Noun]" variants?  Yeah, so, these days, it's Star Trek and "beaming" that's getting on our last nerve.  If one more headline trumpets the sci-fi flick's "beaming up" of a boatload of cash this weekend, we're going to set our phasers to stun, or something else really bad.Star Trek Beams to Top of Chart, BBC News Star Trek Beams Up $76.5 Million...

Farrah: Can't We Leave the Woman Alone?

Earlier this morning, Sony Pictures' home entertainment division announced that the complete fourth season of Charlie's Angels -- the show that launched the fame of headline fixture Farrah Fawcett -- will hit your megamall on July 21.  Why the announcement today, of all days?  We can only speculate -- forgive us for doing what comes naturally to blogs -- that it's because interest in the show and its biggest veteran hasn't been this high in years.  Fawcett didn't even figure into the fourth...

Morning Mix: Star Trek Hauls in $76 Mil

Box-Office Boom for J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek." Star Trek had a successful weekend -- $76.5 million from Thursday to Sunday nights -- but didn't catch Wolverine to nab the best opening of the year.  Still, Paramount points to an upswing in attendance over the course of the weekend (it's usually the reverse) as a sign that good word-of-mouth is promoting the film.  They expect to see more big numbers next weekend -- unlike the X-Men film, which plummeted nearly 70& after its opening weekend....

Morning Mix: CBS Drops $55 Million

Big Drop for CBS.  CBS posted a $55 million lost yesterday -- that's up against last year's profit of $244 million.  The corporation credits a tremendous slide in ad revenue.  Like the other networks, however, the company was remiss to cite too much gloom ahead of their big line-up presentation, later this month. [Variety]Jack Bauer Goes to Jail? "24" star Kiefer Sutherland has been charged with assault since he turned himself in to police; it was revealed Tuesday morning that he allegedly...

Round-Up of NEWSWEEK's "Trek" Coverage

On some parts of this planet, Star Trek is now playing.  In case you've somehow missed the deluge of Trek content on this site and others over the past few MONTHS, here's a primer of the notables:The trailer -- or see below for YouTube version"We're All Trekkies Now," Steve Daly for NEWSWEEK (cover story)"Confessions of a Star Trek Writer," Leonard Mlodinow for NEWSWEEK (cover story)NEWSWEEK gallery of famous guest stars on Star TrekNEWSWEEK snaps of an early Trek convention, in the '70s"Has...

Morning Mix: 'Family Guy' Spinoff Gets Even Bigger

Cleveland's Big Breakout Gets Second Helping.  Before the premiere has even aired, Fox has already ordered a second season of "Cleveland," the "Family Guy" spinoff that follows the family of Peter's friend Cleveland Brown.  All you need to know right now is that Arianna Huffington has a recurring role.  The show debuts sometime this fall.  [The Hollywood Reporter]"Idol" Enters Finale Week of 2009.  It's down to the final three on "American Idol" -- an all-male finale cast will include Adam...

Art Market Gloom = When a Picasso Fails to Sell

Gloomy: What was the last time you saw a headline that called a Picasso a "flop"?  Thanks, Bloomberg News -- this article chronicles last night's Sotheby's sale of some important Impressionist and modern art, including a painting by the famed Spaniard that was left unclaimed at night's end.  As the top lot, the painting was put under the hammer at an estimated $24 million.Gloomier: The painting was reportedly the former holding of William Achenbaum, a New York real-estate developer who is...

How Diverting! The Entertainment Aboard the Space Station

Preface: This document was released one year ago.  Which would make it ineligible for publication on almost any other news-pegged blog -- except this one!  Because Pop Vox didn't exist a year ago, and therefore, we couldn't write about this very newsworthy thing at the time of its Very Newsworthiness.  [Insert title card: One Year Later...]A full list, in PDF format, of all the books, movies and songs aboard the space station.  Why?  Why not?!

Parsing the Poison: Why Everyone's Hating on Jessica Simpson

  Everybody hates the new Jessica Simpson cover of Vanity Fair, almost as much as they hate the story.  To the Backlash Mobile! Entertainment Weekly says there isn't enough new insight into how she's battling the Epic Fat that has a stranglehold on her upper thighs.  At least, not enough to justify the "You Call This FAT?" teaser on the cover.  They also carp that she has no new movie or album pending.  Why would VF waste their time with someone neither dieting nor newsworthy?

Morning Mix: NBC Gives Sneak Preview of Fall Line-Up

Keep Buying Subway, 'Chuck' Lovers!  NBC announced part of its fall line-up yesterday at its early advertisers' meetings -- but deigned to comment on the future life of its bubble shows, like "Chuck" or "Law & Order."  The network will pick up new dramas "Mercy," "Day One," "Parenthood" and "Trauma," as well as comedies "100 Questions" and "Community."  It will also sustain "Parks & Recreation," "Southland," "Heroes," and more. [Variety]'Top Chef' Snags Bit of Glory.  The James Beard Awards...