Sarah Ball

Morning Mix: Spector Guilty And Faces Life In Prison

Spector Found Guilty of Murder.  Six years after 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson was shot to death in the foyer of famed music producer Phil Spector's house, Spector was found guilty of the crime.  In his 1960s heyday, Spector was the man behind a slew of major hits, including "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Be My Baby."  He faces 18 years to life in prison, barring a successful appeal -- he will be sentenced on May 29.  [Associated Press]Sans Prenup, Robyn Gibson Could Get Paid. ...

Harrelson to TMZ: No Biggie, I Just Thought You Were A Zombie.

I can't wait for Seth Meyers to "Really?!" this one:Once upon a last Wednesday, Woody Harrelson was en route to New York after wrapping "Zombieland," in Georgia -- a horror flick costarring Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone in which Harrelson was repeatedly attacked by, er, zombies.  So when a TMZ paparazzo got in his face for a photograph, Harrelson allegedly lunged for the lens, shoved the guy and attacked back -- and now blames those actions on his film-honed, fast-twitch zombie-defense...

Morning Mix: Cyrus And Her Alter-Ego Revel In The Spoils

Swiss Architect Claims Pritzker Prize.  The architect Peter Zumthor, an almost Zenlike master of buildings that fuse modern and organic, natural elements, will claim the prestigious 2009 Pritzker Prize for architecture and its $100,000 award in Buenos Aires on May 29.  Zumthor joins a league of architects that includes Frank Gehry and Oscar Niemeyer.  He is 65.  [Washington Post]'Hannah Montana' Nabs Top Spot.  Miley Cyrus snagged a $34 million opening weekend with her first non-concert...

Morning Mix: Sundance Sputters, Kanye Mutters

Fawcett Released For Holiday Weekend.  Farrah Fawcett was finally released from the hospital yesterday; her doctor, Lawrence Piro, said she wanted to spend Easter at home with her family.  Hopefully she'll have some family left -- her son has already been detained for heroin possession while she's been away. [Reuters]Kanye Is Humbled By Animated Version Of Himself.  Would you expect Kanye West, ridiculed on "South Park" this week for his reputation as a major egomaniac, to be able to take it...

Morning Mix: Spears Flubs A Concert Appearance

Smoke Bothers Britney -- But Doesn't She Smoke?  Touring Britney Spears, whose recent concerts have already garnered criticisms for being phoned in, walked off the stage last night in Vancouver just minutes after her show started and didn't return for 30 minutes.  The loudspeakers announced that the cigarette smoke had bothered her and the performers wouldn't return until the air was clear.  [EW]'Parks' Getting Meh Reviews.  Amy Poehler's new sitcom "Parks & Recreation," which debuts...

Sans Harold, Kumar Goes to the White House

Kal Penn -- the actor best known for his portrayal of stoner pre-med student Kumar Patel in the "Harold & Kumar" franchise -- has been named associate director of President Obama's public liaison office, EW is reporting, and will begin work soon at a desk in the Old Executive Office Building, a stone's throw from the White House.  His exit from medical drama "House" is solidified -- his Dr.

Morning Mix: Chris Brown Pleads Not Guilty To Assault

Michael Lohan Is Unintentionally Hilarious.  Hahahaha.  It's amazing that Michael Lohan is ever-ready with a quip when his daughter has relationship troubles.  As in today, when his reported reaction to Lindsay Lohan's breakup with longtime girlfriend Samantha Ronson was, in a phone call to, "Well, thank God."  [ABC News] Brown Pleads Not Guilty.  Chris Brown entered a plea of not guilty to assault charges Monday afternoon in Los Angeles, wearing a button-down Mr.

Morning Mix: Fawcett Battling Complications From Cancer Treatment

62-year-old Farrah Fawcett has been hospitalized for the weekend due to complications from aggressive, alternative cancer treatments she recently received in Germany, says producer Craig Nevins, who has been issuing statements on Fawcett's behalf.  The "Charlie's Angels" star was in remission, but was re-diagnosed with anal cancer in May of 2007. [Associated Press]Underwood Win 'Takes the Cake.'  Nearly a decade has elapsed since a woman won an Entertainer of the Year award from the Academy...

Morning Mix: 'Sex And The City II' To Open Next May

'SATC II' Gets A Date.  The sequel to the blockbuster "Sex And The City" movie will open on May 20, 2010 -- the same date on which the first movie opened. [Variety]Despite Support of Welfare Minister, Madonna Denied.  Madonna's bid to a adopt a girl from Malawi -- her second adoption from that country -- was rejected today, with the high court saying that the singer flouted the rule that prospective parents must reside within Malawi for eighteen months.  [Associated Press]The End of An...

Hey, Eighties!

If you want proof that the '80s are back in a big way, just check out our chat with Greg Mottola about "Adventureland," below.  But resurrecting that decade doesn't stop with the suburbia-set dramedy -- this week also marks the lofting of Josh Schwartz into the director's chair for a remake of "Bright Lights, Big City."  (Schwartz, the man behind "The O.C." and "Gossip Girl," has already featured BLBC author Jay McInerney in an episode of the latter).  And on April 7, "Rock of Ages" comes to...

Morning Mix: Jarre, 84, Passes Away

'FNL' Renewed For Two Additional Seasons.  It's back!  "Friday Night Lights" went from barely hanging on for a third season, to getting greenlighted for fourth and fifth seasons -- keeping it on television through 2011.  And for the first time in the show's history, the writers will be able to know exactly how many episodes they have to write/develop for.  [Associated Press]'Arabia' Composer Dies After Half-Century Career.


All good things must come to an end -- especially when our hero is as overworked and underpaid as Barack. And though it's time for "The District" to take a break, NEWSWEEK's satirical video team is hardly on hiatus -- you'll see more of the fun projects they've got cooking starting next week.

GREEK's Back... And When Did I Turn Into Tween?

Three worrisome things happened to me this afternoon.(1.) I read the renewed reports that the guillotine is officially down on the sylphlike neck of NBC's "Lipstick Jungle," and I was actually a little bit sad.(2.) I saw on my calendar that tonight is the return of ABC Family's "Greek," and was actually a little bit really excited.  (See S3 sneak peek above).(3.) I nodded vigorously in non-verbal agreement when I got this text from my sister: "ugh.

What do 'Bruno' and 'Showgirls' Have In Common?

An NC-17 rating from the MPAA, apparently.  Sharon Waxman is reporting that the film's first submission to the parent-stacked movie-vetting org earned it the most cautionary of viewer guidelines, thanks to some extremely graphic sex.  There's still the prospect that the film could trim some of its more incendiary parts and snag an R -- as a Universal spokesperson said to The Wrap: "It is far too early to say that there is any struggle to get there [to an R] as the process is only at its...

Morning Mix: 3D 'Aliens' Draws a Big Crowd

Prince's Big L.A. Tumble? Prince is back on tour for his three-CD set -- but on his first tour date, he encountered a slew of problems.  Sound problems.  Dogged by technical difficulties all night at Los Angeles' Nokia Theater, Prince apparently gave up at staging a normal concert experience and just sort of invited concertgoers up on stage for a dance party.  "1999"-style. [Reuters]Clear Minds, Full Hearts -- Will They Lose?  Today's the day -- the day that we, the fledgling band of...

Figure Skating Ratings: As Dismal As the Sport's Prospects

As someone who grew up religiously watching women's figure skating in the sport's late-1980s/early-1990s heyday -- someone who could spell "Yamaguchi" by kindergarten -- it's both fascinating and sad for me to read this column from Mark Starr about the decline of the sport in the U.S.  As he puts it, "This year's contingent at the worlds is U.S. Figure Skating's weakest since the early '60s, when it was recovering from the plane crash that killed its team en route to the 1961 worlds." ...

Morning Mix: Robert Downey Jr. Started a Trend

Madonna to Adopt Second African Child?  Despite the legal tangle she encountered with David Banda, Madonna is seeking to adopt a second child from Malawi, a high court in the poor African country reported yesterday.  She is expected to appear for the hearing in the country before the end of this month.  [Reuters]Gun Tattoo Raises Eyebrows for Timing.  Making the rounds yesterday online was a photo of Rihanna's new tattoo -- a handgun, of all things, on her ribcage.  The singer had an L.A.

Morning Mix: Show Me The Sushi!

ABC's Oscars Get Bumped For Vancouver on NBC.  Next year's Oscars will get pushed back into March -- March 7, 2010, to be exact.  The later date is due to the Winter Olympics, which don't end until earlier that month; voting will conclude on March 2, and the nominees will be announced Feb. 2. [Variety]Piven Must 'Prove' He Ate Too Much Sashimi.  "Entourage" star and recently departed "Speed-the-Plow" cast member Jeremy Piven will enter into mediation talks in early June with the suits behind...

Morning Mix: The Clintons Dominate the News (Again)

The Old Guys Finally Give In.  It's the end of evading the noose for three over-the-hill stars this week: David Letterman, 61, tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend in Montana this week (they have a son, Harry); Harrison Ford, 66, proposed to longtime girlfriend Calista Flockhart this week (they have a son, Liam); and Bruce Willis, 54, remarried his girlfriend, model/actress Emma Heming, also this week. [People]New HBO Movie Would Be Morgan Debut.  Dennis Quaid will play Bill Clinton in...

'Duplicity' Does Double Duty

"Duplicity" is not really a romantic comedy. Watch the trailer for your fill of the love stuff -- for the strung-together sexy glances between Julia Roberts and Clive Owen; for the verbal volleying about thongs -- but this is not "Closer: The Cuddly Version." This isn't even as fuzzy as "Charade." There might be some hotel hanky-panky, and the seductive clinking of champagne glasses in just about every city in the world, but that's just a (perfectly pleasant) backdrop.And thank God for that.

Morning Mix: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Richardson Down with Head Injury.  Natasha Richardson was taken to a Montreal hospital Monday night after going down in an apparent ski accident, in which she suffered a serious head injury.  The Tony-winning star, 45, has yet to be released; husband Liam Neeson rushed immediately to Montreal when he heard the news. [People]Homer & Co.