This week’s entertainment news was anything but slow. Here are just a few of the week’s winners and losers.
Winner: Oprah Winfrey
Oprah has been everywhere. Not only did she conduct an interview with Lindsay Lohan that everyone was talking about, she’s guested on Jimmy Kimmel, Watch What Happens Live and David Letterman (tonight). But why so many talk show appearances? Because, before award season as even begun, she’s already been declared the front-runner for her performance in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. And it’s never too early to start playing nice. And give people cars.
Losers: CBS & Time Warner Cable
It’s been several weeks and CBS is still not on Time Warner Cable in New York and Los Angeles markets. Costumers don’t understand what’s going on and they don’t care. They just know they’re missing Dexter and Under the Dome. Get it resolved. Otherwise, more and more people will forget about cable completely as they turn to other options like Roku, AppleTV, etc.
Winner: Lee Daniels
Not only is the director’s name now legally part of his movie’s title — Lee Daniels’ The Butler — but with $25 million at the box office, it beat Kick-Ass 2, Jobs and Paranoia for the number one slot. Looks like Winfrey won’t be the only Oscar contender.
Loser: True Blood
If it hadn’t been for Eric flashing his northman in the final moments of the Season 6 finale, people may not have had much to talk about. It was a lackluster ending to a lackluster season. Let’s just hope next season has fewer werewolf stories.
Winner: Katy Perry
Despite some chatter about Perry’s “Roar” sounding a bit too similar to Sara Bareilles’ “Brave,” the single is a juggernaut. Its first week saw 557,000 digital downloads — the sixth largest, ever — and trounced Lady Gaga’s newest single “Applause,” with 266,000 downloads.
Loser: Lady Gaga
The Gaga got her hand slapped this week when she attempted to boost her “Applause” rankings, by tweeting: “The 2 fans w the most purchase/gift screenshots, radio requests, ‘Applause’ selfies/video, will fly international to meet me+watch the show!” Billboard’s editorial director, Bill Werde, wasn’t too pleased: “I just hate to see anyone try to game the charts, be it fans or artists. It’s not in the spirit of what we do, celebrating success.”
Winner (Possible): Your late-’90s self
Grab your Justin marionette doll, throw on your Celebrity tour T-shirt and put some tiny butterfly clips in your hair because the rumor mill is on high alert about a possible ‘N Sync reunion at this Sunday’s Video Music Awards on MTV.
Loser: Dr. Phil
Yep, Dr. That-Dog-Don’t-Hunt Phil probably should have thought twice before posting this tweet — which was deleted — that he hoped would be “discussion leading”: “If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teensaccused.” No, no, no.
Winner: Hollywood Game Night
Yes, there are too many commercials and the celebrity mix is sometimes random, but with fun games and the incomparable Jane Lynch as host — not to mention its similarity to my favorite, the classic ’80s celebrity game show Win, Lose or Draw — the announcement of its renewal for a second season is welcome news.
Loser: Fox’s Dads
The fall TV season hasn’t even started yet, but already a show is getting bass press. Fox’s Dads, executive produced by Seth MacFarlane, is being called racist and sexist due to a plotline where actress Brenda Song’s character dresses up as a sexy Asian schoolgirl. Of course, controversy is nothing new to MacFarlane or Fox, but we’ll see if it affects viewership.
Winner: J. J. Abrams
Abrams knows how to get people talking. The latest is the creepy, confusing trailer for a project called Stranger. But is it for a movie, a book or a TV show? Only time will tell.
On Tuesday, the world lost one of the greats: Elmore Leonard passed away at the age of 87. The prolific and influential crime writer created some of the greatest titles and characters of the past 50 years — Jackie Brown, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, 3:10 to Yuma and Raylan Givens (Justified) — and was admired by fans and fellow writers for his style and humor. Like this from his rules of writing: “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”
Sylvester Stallone. Rambo. TV show. You’re welcome, ’Murica.