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Tuesday
Nov092010

Conan O'Brien Returns to TV with 'Conan' Debut on TBS

Photo Courtesy - TeamCoco [dot] com(BURBANK, Calif.) -- After months of speculation and weeks of hype, Monday night saw the debut of Conan, Conan O'Brien's new TBS late-night show.  And if last night's premiere was any indication, Team Coco is definitely on a mission to turn up the fun.

The show began with a recorded sketch that chronicled what O'Brien's been up to since he left NBC and The Tonight Show early this year.  The sketch started with O'Brien refusing NBC's offer to move The Tonight Show to midnight, after which he survived a Sonny Corleone Godfather-like assassination attempt.

He then moved on to interview for a job at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce with Mad Men's Jon Hamm, followed by short-lived stints at Burger King and as a clown at a kid's birthday party.  After considering suicide, an angelic Larry King told him to go to basic cable.  At TBS, O'Brien was handed an offer that read "Much Less," but took it nonetheless.

Following the opening sketch, O'Brien emerged to a two-minute standing ovation, ending with him cracking, "That lasted longer than my last job."

During his monlogue, he addressed his jump to TBS by saying, "It's not easy doing a late-night show, on a channel without a lot of money, that viewers have trouble finding.  So that's why I left NBC."

O'Brien's very first guest was a walk-on by Arlene Wagner from the Leavenworth, Washington Nutcracker Museum, who won an online fan poll to score the honor.  Other guests included Seth Rogan, Glee's Lea Michele, and Jack White, who teamed with the host for a cover of Eddie Cochran's "20 Flight Rock."  Andy Richter again acted as O'Brien's announcer and sidekick.

Perhaps most important to Conan followers, his premiere edged out Jay Leno in the ratings with 4.2 million viewers, compared to Leno's 3.5 million.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov092010

'Dancing with the Stars': Jennifer Grey, Brandy Share Lead Again

Photo Courtesy - Disney/ABC Television Group(LOS ANGELES) -- For the second straight week, Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey and pro partner Derek Hough share the lead with singer Brandy and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, after both couples scored a 57 out of a possible 60 from the ballroom judges Monday.

Also for the second week in a row, Bristol Palin and partner Mark Ballas find themselves at the bottom of the leader board with a combined judges’ score of 47 out of 60.

Each couple performed two routines Monday: their regular weekly ballroom performance and an “Instant Dance” challenge that required them to choreograph a performance after learning the name of the song just minutes before hitting the dance floor.  They'd been told the dance style ahead of time.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov092010

Bon Jovi Release 'Greatest Hits,' Rock Band Songs Tuesday

Photo Courtesy - Island Records(NEW YORK) -- Bon Jovi is releasing their Greatest Hits collection on Tuesday but it's a project that Jon Bon Jovi says he only agreed to do as a kind of payback.  He tells ABC News Radio when the band decided to go to Nashville to make their "country" album, Lost Highway, the head of the record company thought it would be a flop.

Jon says the guy told him, "'While you're losing millions of my dollars, would you consider doing a Greatest Hits?'  And I felt bad for him so I said, reluctantly, 'Absolutely!'"

Jon says the way he sees it, the album is a way to introduce a new generation of their fans to their back catalog -- and for those fans who already have the catalog, he and Richie Sambora wrote some new songs for the project, including the current hit, "What Do You Got."  The album's available in two formats: one single-disc 16-song collection with all the big hits, and a two-disc, 28-track Ultimate Collection which features all the chart hits, plus fan favorites.

Jon says, "It was difficult to pick 'Song X' and leave out 'Song Y,' because you can have an emotional attachment to all of them...but the obvious [ones] were the obvious -- the 'Livin' on a Prayers,' the 'Wanted: Dead or Alives.'"

Greatest Hits is actually the second best-of that Bon Jovi has released.  Back in 1994, they put one out called Cross Road.  Since then, of course, the band has scored quite a few additional hits.

Jon says, "It feels rewarding that we're able to have had two volumes of greatest hits in the last 27 years."

The band is also making 12 of their biggest hits available as downloadable content for the new Rock Band 3 video game.  Jon says he's happy that kids can discover their music through the game, but wishes it actually taught them how to play an instrument.  Jon says he's played Rock Band, but isn't too good at it.

He admits, "I'm a professional singer and I have failed my own songs on Rock Band.  More than once!"

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov092010

Stars Salute Julie Andrews, John Mayer at VH1 Save the Music Gala

Photo Courtesy - 20th Century Fox(NEW YORK) -- The hills were alive with the sound of stars paying tribute to Dame Julie Andrews Monday night in New York City.  She was one of the honorees at this year's gala for VH1's Save the Music Foundation, which supports music education in public schools.

During the evening, Kristin Chenoweth paid tribute to Andrews by performing a special musical salute to her legendary film The Sound of Music, celebrating its 45th anniversary this year.

On the red carpet, Andrews revealed that her favorite song from the film is "Edelweiss," explaining, "It's very classic, very simple...it has a wonderful lyric that talks about everyone's homeland, wherever they are."

Andrews also spoke about the importance of music education in her own life, calling it "the foundation upon which everything else happened for me."  She added, "I had a fabulous teacher, and I was very lucky to find her, and she was my rock and she taught me well."

Other honorees included John Mayer, who didn't speak to reporters, and John Legend, who said of music education, "Sometimes we forget that the future really is all about the kids, and we have to invest in them.  They don't vote, and a lot of times, they're the first to go when priorities are being made.  But we have to say, 'They're a high priority for us, and music education is an important part of their education,' and we have to support that."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov092010

Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw Hit Red Carpet for Movie Premiere 

Photo Courtesy - Screen Gems(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow walked the red carpet at the Nashville premiere of their film Country Strong Monday night.  The movie takes place in the world of country music and was actually shot in Music City.

Paltrow was glad to be back in Nashville for the premiere, saying, "It's like the most amazing experience to do this film and get to sing these songs.  I can't believe that one of them is on the radio.  It's just thrilling."

Paltrow is referring to the title song from Country Strong, which she'll perform live on the CMA Awards Wednesday night on ABC.  She is trying to keep her nerves about the performance in check.

She says, "I was really bad last week all week. I lost my appetite. I couldn't sleep, but this week I feel much better.  I feel prepared."  She adds, "If I can just keep the nerves under control, I think I'll hopefully survive it."

As for McGraw, he admits to being nervous at first about taking on a role in a film about country music.  Despite starring in previous films, he already worries about whether people will believe him as someone besides himself onscreen, and playing a role connected to country music just seemed to make that tougher.

McGraw says, "You just try to do the best you can do.  It was just such a great script, you know."  He adds, "I just wanted to hold my own on-screen with somebody as talented as Gwyneth Paltrow."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov092010

New Kids, Backstreet Boys Announce Initial Joint Tour Dates 

Photo Courtesy - Interscope/Jive(NEW YORK) -- New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys have announced the first few dates of their upcoming joint tour next summer.  The tour will get underway June 9 in Toronto, and right now, dates are scheduled through July 1.  Tickets for the dates go on sale starting Nov. 19.

The two groups' first televised joint appearance will be on the American Music Awards Nov. 21 on ABC.

The two groups decided to team up for a joint tour after Backstreet joined the New Kids onstage at Radio City Music Hall earlier this year for a performance of "I Want It That Way."

In a statement, the Backstreet Boys said, "It’s a night of continuous music, hit after hit.  We are going to give people a show to remember.  We want to make this a night that people will never forget.  We want to give them something to take them to another place that they’ve never been before."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov092010

All of Queen's Albums to Be Re-Mastered, Re-Released in 2011

Photo Courtesy - Hollywood Records(NEW YORK) -- In honor of Queen's upcoming 40th anniversary, the band, Universal Music Group and Island Records have reached an agreement to have all 15 of their studio albums re-released in 2011.

The first five albums -- 1973's Queen, 1974's Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack, 1975's A Night at the Opera and 1976's A Day at the Races -- will be made available in March.

Guitarist Brian May said, "We are very excited, after all this time, to be embarking on a new phase of our career, with a new record company, with new ideas, and new dreams."

Other celebrations of Queen's 40th anniversary will include a major exhibition in London called "Stormtroopers in Stilettos," named after the song from Sheer Heart Attack.  A BBC documentary will also be released, and production will begin on that new film about the life of frontman Freddie Mercury, starring actor Sacha Baron Cohen as Mercury.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov092010

Martina McBride Back on Track with New Label, New Album Coming

Photo Courtesy - RCA Nashville(NEW YORK) -- Martina McBride has signed a new record deal with the Big Machine Label Group, which is also the home of Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Reba, among others.  The label switch is just part of McBride's new career direction.

She's about to start recording a new album next month, and says, "I've found some songs that just -- I'm so excited about.  And I have such a clear vision for this record."

McBride admits it's sometimes hard to keep moving forward musically after so many years of success. This new project seems to be falling into place, though.

"It's going to be much more stripped down," Martina says.  "More acoustic, more organic -- very honest production.  I really just want to let these songs shine."

Expect a new single from McBride's album to surface sometime around the first of next year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov082010

Charlie Sheen: Plaza Hotel Incident Was Just 'One Bad Night'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It sounds like something his Two and a Half Men character would say. However, Charlie Sheen's "so what?" attitude about his alleged alcohol-induced blow-up at the Plaza Hotel in New York isn't an act.

"If a guy has one bad night, everybody goes insane and panics," Sheen, 45, told Extra over the weekend. "I'm not panicking," he said, adding "everything's good."

Though the $150,000 watch he claims he lost during the Oct. 26 incident is still missing, Sheen doesn't seem to care.

"The way I look at it, if you have expensive tastes, you gotta be prepared for expensive losses," he said.

Sheen has another potential expensive loss on his hands. Last week, he filed for divorce from his third wife, Brooke Mueller.

According to documents filed Nov. 1 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the 45-year-old actor, who pleaded guilty in August to misdemeanor assault in exchange for probation and rehab after his Christmas Day assault on Mueller, believes that any money he made after Dec. 25 belongs to him alone and isn't subject to community property laws. That includes the last 10 months of pay from Two and a Half Men. Sheen reportedly makes close to $2 million per episode of the hit CBS sitcom.

The divorce filing details that Sheen and Mueller, 33, had a prenuptial agreement. To that end, Sheen claims "separate property" over everything he made prior to their May 2008 marriage.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov082010

John Travolta, Wife Kelly Preston Reveal Baby Name

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- John Travolta and pregnant wife Kelly Preston have revealed their baby's name: Benjamin.

"It's impossible to keep a secret...especially one as wonderful as this," they said in a statement. "We want to be the first to share this great news with everyone that we are expecting a new addition to our family." The baby is due later this month.

The couple also has a daughter, Ella Bleu, 10. Their son, Jett, died last year due to complications from a seizure.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio