TNT’s Leverage to End It’s Run

•December 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

TNT announced Friday (December 21st) that it has cancelled “Leverage” after five seasons on the air. The show’s final episode will be broadcast on Christmas Day. “TNT’s ‘Leverage’ has thrilled audiences with its delightfully intricate plots, its ‘stand up for the little guy’ attitude and its terrific performances from stars Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge,” the cable network said in a statement. “But after five wonderful years, it’s time to say goodbye. ‘Leverage’ will come to a close on Christmas at 9:00 PM, with a series finale that stands as one of the show’s best episodes. We want to thank all of the passionately devoted fans… who have really been the driving force behind its success.”

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the series’ future, “Leverage” executive producer Dean Devlin explained in an open letter released earlier this month on Leveragefans.com that he crafted the Season 5 finale as if it were the series finale in case the show was not renewed for a sixth season.

“As of the writing of this letter, we still do not know if there will be a season six of our show,” Devlin wrote on December 6th. “Because of this uncertainty, [series creator] John Rogers and I decided to end this season with the episode we had planned to make to end the series, way back when we shot the pilot. So, the episode that will air on Christmas is, in fact, the series finale we had always envisioned.” The show was TNT’s longest-running series currently on the air. The fifth season premiered to 3.39 million viewers in July, but recently dropped to just 1.91 million viewers when it returned from a two-month hiatus on a new night. The series finale of “Leverage,” titled “The Long Goodbye Job,” airs on Tuesday, December 25th at 9:00 PM EST on TNT.

Edward Hogg To Recur On ‘The Borgias’

•December 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

British actor Edward Hogg has joined the cast of Showtime’s drama series The Borgias in a recurring role for its third season, UPBEAT Entertainment News Syndicate has learned exclusively. Hogg has been cast as Georges D’Amboise, a French Cardinal who also serves as King Louis XII’s ambassador to the Papal States. My sources tell me that Hogg’s character will appear in “a large number” of episodes that comprise season 3.

The actual Georges d’Amboise (1460 until May 25th, 1510) was a French Roman Catholic cardinal and minister of state. He belonged to the house of Amboise, a noble family possessed of considerable influence: of his nine brothers, four were bishops. His father, Pierre d’Amboise, seigneur de Chaumont, was chamberlain to Charles VII and Louis XI and ambassador at Rome. Georges’ eldest brother, Charles, was governor of the Île-de-France, Champagne and Burgundy, and Councillor of Louis XI.

The Borgias was created by Neil Jordan and follows Pope Alexander VI, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of the infamous Italian Renaissance family who builds an empire by bribing, buying and muscling his way into the papacy. The Emmy award winning drama series stars Jeremy Irons, Colm Feore, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Joanne Whalley, Lotte Verbeek, Sean Harris and Aidan Alexander. The show’s third season is poised to pick up from the events of the season 2 finale which saw Pope Alexander VI (Jeremy Irons) poisoned as part of a plot hatched by his rival Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere. Production on the ten episode third season is currently underway in Budapest, with Showtime eyeing a Spring 2013 premiere.

Olympic Star Ryan Lochte Gives His Gold Medal to A Young Turkish Boy

•December 19, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Something positive is always out there… waiting to be told. But we hear much more about the ghastly horrors of this world constantly… However, all of us here at UPBEAT Entertainment News Syndicate believe that there are so many more tales of generosity and compassion that perhaps we need to hear something that inspires us… and proves to us that hope and love DO exist. That humanity IS present in this world. So we plan on sharing with you some stories that might make you smile and reflect a bit… and perhaps you might also feel compelled touch the lives of those who silently, patiently wait for the good to shine upon them.

Ryan Lochte made quite a splash at the World Shortcourse Swimming Championships last week— both in and out of the pool. According to the BBC, the 28-year-old swimming heartthrob, who holds 11 Olympic medals and four world records, wowed the crowds gathered during the five-day event held in Istanbul, Turkey, by snagging eight medals, including five golds. He also shattered two world records, in the 100m and 200m individual medley events. Lochte’s victories in the water were not his only big wins, however. The American swimmer also won many hearts with his generosity.

On Friday, having won the 200m individual medley, Lochte reportedly “stunned” spectators when he went into the stands and handed his newly-acquired gold medal to a young fan— a Turkish boy named Arda. According to Australia’s Herald Sun, Arda had been “patiently waiting for the American’s autograph.” He really didn’t expect anything more, just to be able to go home having met his idol.

“One of the main reasons for racing is because of my fans, so I always want to give something back,” the swimmer told BBC. “If I took the medal, it would end up in a sock drawer. If I give it to a fan, they’re going to treasure it.” Lochte said that a childhood incident has shaped the way he approaches his relationships with his supporters. “I remember when as a kid I looked up to an Olympian superstar,” the swimmer said. “I won’t mention his name [but] I asked for an autograph and he said ‘no’. I told my parents that if I ever get in the same position, I’ll do it.”

Lochte later took a picture with the thrilled young boy and posted in on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/i/#!/ryanlochte/media/slideshow?url=pic.twitter.com%2Fn5ZcSB7w

Fleetwood Mac Announces Tour

•December 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Fleetwood Mac will hit the road again as its four members, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, have just announced that they’ll embark on a U.S. tour in 2013. One of rock’s most enduring and successful bands, Fleetwood Mac will play 34 cities beginning in Columbus, Ohio April 4th. “Having started Fleetwood Mac with John McVie in 1967, it has always been so gratifying that despite the various incarnations, the band has survived. Throughout the years, though, the one thing that has remained constant is our fans. I am looking forward to getting back behind the kit, reconnecting with the fans and sharing the stage with my fellow band members,” said Fleetwood. The band’s tour was confirmed by Nicks in July after she shot down comments from the drummer though; when he said he believed the band wouldn’t “ever tour again” after their plans for a 2011 trek were scrapped. Fleetwood made the remarks to Playboy magazine after Nicks and Buckingham both extended their solo tours.

“The tour will be next year… That’s the plan. Because that’s what we do. I do my thing. And Lindsey is out doing his thing now… everybody’s on board,” she explained. The tour also marks the 35th anniversary of the band’s most famous  Rumours (and classic) album, which has sold over 40 million copies to date. Rhino records will also reissue the album in a deluxe edition early next year. The group also revealed a few new songs will debut next year also, but it’s still unknown whether or not they’ll be releasing an additional album or just debuting them on the road. As for the new tour, the band is very excited to be getting back together.

“After spending four days at Lindsey’s house working on music and one really fun day doing a crazy photo session, I am quite excited about next year. Everything seems to be falling into place. 2013 looks like the year of Fleetwood Mac,” Nicks said. “I’m really looking forward to hitting the road with Stevie, Mick and John in 2013,” said Buckingham. “It’s been over three years since we’ve toured together and happily the break allowed me to explore a lot of uncharted territory as well as experience tremendous growth creatively. I’m excited to bring that back to the band. When everyone in FM wants the same thing at the same time, it’s cause for celebration. Long Live Fleetwood Mac!”

“I’m really looking forward to going back on the road,” added McVie. Tickets for the shows begin going on sale December 14th at Ticketmaster.com and Live Nation.

50 Shades of Chelsea Handler

•November 26, 2012 • 1 Comment

The stand-up comedian, known in the books world for her best-selling, vodka-soaked tales of debauchery, is publishing a book of “bigger stories, smaller type,” titled 50 Shades of Chartreuse: This Time It’s Personal. Handler’s fourth book will be published under her imprint, A Chelsea Handler Book/Borderline Amazing, which has already published Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me, a collection of stories about Handler by her friends and family. Handler is the host of the late-night talk show Chelsea Lately and the mockumentary show After Lately, both on E!, where she has talked about everything from her relationship with rapper 50 Cent to being attacked by a sea lion in the Pacific Ocean. “This sounds to me like one big wiki leak,” Handler jokes in the release.

The 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon has many fans— Chelsea Handler is not among them. Nor does she probably care about the upcoming movie adaptation of E.L. James’ hot, erotic best-seller, or about the film’s equally steamy list of actors and actresses currently imagined for the roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. One could say, it’s just not this comedian’s cup of tea, or shot of vodka, as the case may be. “It was insulting to anyone’s intelligence to read that,” Handler boldly proclaimed of the hit book when she visited Piers Morgan’s eponymous talk show, as CNN reports. “Then my friends who had suggested that I read it, I e-mailed them like, ‘you should be ashamed of yourselves for finishing this kind of book. It’s a piece of trash.’ “In a statement, Beth de Guzman, VP, Editor-in-Chief of the paperbacks division at GC, who acquired the book joked, “The new book is groundbreaking. Bigger stories, smaller type. We can’t wait to publish it.”

It is strange, though, as Handler might seem to be one to really embrace the Grey area. After all, the late-night TV host is provocative and boundaries-pushing; she packs a salty sense of humor; she’s not shy to traipse on the raunchy side; and she certainly isn’t afraid to throw a figurative whip of her own around sometimes. Sounds like a perfect equation for some Grey and Steele action. But, as a best-selling author herself (Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea and Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang are among her sassy works), Handler’s biggest beef with the book seems to be on the quality control side; she has a different perspective on the printed word, and she simply cannot handle James’ style. “I don’t profess to be … a scholarly writer per se. I know my books are really silly and stupid, but I at least think they’re amusing to some degree. [50 Shades of Grey] was just so poorly written,” she said.

However, while Chelsea Handler may never be a Fifty aficionado nor queuing for a midnight screening of Grey whenever it premieres in movie theaters, she’s still a rather brilliant marketer and is using the “piece of trash” to her advantage. Her upcoming read she conveniently named, 50 Shades of Chartreuse: This Time It’s Personal, admitting, she “just wanted to rip off the title because [she] just thought it was such a stupid book.” Stupid book or not, it was probably a smart, copycat move on Handler’s part. Who wouldn’t want to embrace a few more shades of color and delve into a green day that’s sure to pack its own measure of sexy spice? The book has been out for a month now and makes a GREAT holiday gift!

The Dead Celebrity Cookbook Presents— Christmas In Tinseltown

•November 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

When it comes to holiday fun, the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age knew how to make merry— on stage, on screen, and especially on the dinner table. With Christmas in Tinseltown (HCI $14.95)— the follow-up to his international sensation The Dead Celebrity Cookbook— Frank DeCaro shows how to put the kitsch into your holiday kitchen as he salutes a quirky collection of celebrities who are gone, but fondly remembered every year at Christmastime. Filled with pop culture ruminations and genuinely delicious recipes, Christmas in Tinseltown pays tribute to such movie classics as It’s A Wonderful Life and White Christmas, gives three cheers for such time-honored animated gems as Frosty the Snowman and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and puts such offbeat offerings as The Star Wars Holiday Special and The Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special in their rightful place— your dining room! In such chapters as “Miracle Whip on 34th Street,” “Eat Meat in St. Louis,” and “Munch of the Wooden Soldiers,” DeCaro dishes up a virtual smorgasbord of culinary delights that will enliven any holiday gathering or celebration.

Tempt your guests with Peggy Lee’s Holiday Halibut Casserole, Burl Ives’s Stuffed Leg of Goat Hawaiian, Lucille Ball’s Brazil Nut Stuffing, Nat “King” Cole’s Baked Ham Loaf, Guy Lombardo’s Lobster Lombardo, Dick Clark’s Spicy Turkey Meatloaf, Rosemary Clooney’s Viennese Goulash, Bing Crosby’s Sugar Cookies, Shirley Booth’s Pumpkin Bread, Dinah Shore’s Fruitcake, and Spike Jones’s Molasses Jumbles. Then wash them all down with Robert Mitchum’s Eggnog, Edmund Gwenn’s Christmas Cup, or John Lennon’s Hot Cocoa. This star-studded cookbook promises to get even the biggest Scrooge on your list into the holiday spirit and will have you saying your “ho, ho, ho’s” in true Hollywood style for many many years to come.

About the Author: Best known for his years as the movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, writer/performer Frank DeCaro is heard each weekday morning on his own live call-in program, The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. The author of the groundbreaking memoir A Boy Named Phyllis, DeCaro’s writing has appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times. Follow him @frankdecaroshow on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook, and visit him at: www.deadcelebritycookbook.com.

Sample Recipes:

Robert Mitchum 1917 to 1997
Robert Mitchum was a cool cat and a real Hollywood he-man who became an actor only as a last recourse. He spent much of his early life being what used to be called a “delinquent.” His bad boy reputation was hard-won. He was expelled from schools, he did time on a chain gang, he had a nervous breakdown— the man did it all… and survived! He took his tough-as-nails street cred and parlayed it into a fantastic career playing prototypical antiheroes in the movies. He started as a villain in Hopalong Cassidy movies in the early 1940s, then segued into war pictures including 1944’s Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. Noir films came next like Jacques Tourneur’s 1947 classic Out of the Past and Don Siegel’s 1949 The Big Steal. Holiday Affair was a bit of a switch for Mitchum. In the 1950s, Otto Preminger cast him as an ambulance driver in 1952’s Angel Face; actor-turned-director Charles Laughton gave him the chilling role of a religious fanatic in the 1955 cult favorite Night of the Hunter, and John Huston shipwrecked him with a nun (Deborah Kerr) in 1957’s Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison.

Mitchum worked steadily in films throughout the 1960s and ’70s. Among his best known works are the thriller Cape Fear in 1962 and David Lean’s 1970 epic Ryan’s Daughter. He played Philip Marlowe in 1975’s Farewell, My Lovely and 1978’s The Big Sleep, too. Focusing on television in the ’80s, Mitchum made appearances in two miniseries, North and South and War and Remembrance. He also played the role of a police lieutenant in the 1991 remake of Cape Fear. How cool is that? When asked for a holiday recipe back in 1970, Mitchum offered up his eggnog for a crowd. “I make no apology for the excessive quantity,” Mitchum told the food writer who’d requested the recipe. “Only a dope would go to the trouble for less.” It’ll be perfect for any holiday affair you might throw…

Robert Mitchum’s Eggnog

  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 quart rum, brandy, or whiskey
  • 2 quarts cream1 quart milk
  • 12 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Beat egg yolks and confectioners’ sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in the rum, brandy or whisky. Add cream and milk. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt until stiff but not dry. Fold this mixture into the liquid. Chill. Serves 20.

Rosemary Clooney, 1928 to 2002
Let’s get this out of the way first: Yes, she was the aunt of a certain hunk named George. But the most important thing to know about Rosemary Clooney is not that she had a famous nephew who launched millions of carnal fantasies, but that she had one of the greatest voices of the twentieth century. Singing professionally since her teens, the Kentucky-born singer-actress found fame in the 1950s via a string of novelty hits including “Come On-a My House” and “Mambo Italiano.” Audiences adored these funny little songs, but she wasn’t nearly as enamored of them. Clooney wanted to be known as the woman who infused standards like “Hey There” with longing, not the gal who sang-a “Botch-a-Me.” The woman wasn’t even Italian!

Clooney appeared in White Christmas, which would be the pinnacle of her film career, because she knew starring alongside Bing Crosby would lift her career to new levels. (She’s quite clear about that in an interview that accompanies the Blu-ray edition of the film.) Help her career it did. Not only did Clooney’s star turn as girl-singer Betty Haynes in the 1954 film boost her standing in show business, it established her friendship with Crosby. The two later did a concert tour of Ireland together. And Clooney’s appearance on a 1978 TV celebration of Crosby’s 50th year in show business is considered instrumental in her comeback.

Sadly, Clooney was coming back from a period that hadn’t been kind to her. Diagnosed as bipolar, she had a tumultuous relationship with husband José Ferrer—she married, divorced, and remarried him despite his infidelities. He cheated on her on their honeymoon, as the story goes. Their union produced five children, including the talented actor Miguel Ferrer who first made a splash on Twin Peaks. Clooney was appearing on behalf of Robert F. Kennedy when he was assassinated. She had a nervous breakdown shortly thereafter. In the late 1960s, she became addicted to pills. Then in 1976, her sister Betty, with whom she’d performed a sister act early in her career, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. Worst of all, perhaps, Clooney was becoming known as the jingle-singing spokeswoman for Coronet paper towels rather than as a fabulous jazz performer. She recounts all this in two autobiographies, This for Remembrance and Girl Singer. Despite all the words, Publisher’s Weekly said she “remains an enigma.”

Clooney died of lung cancer at the too-young age of 74. She’d found love, though, with an old friend later in life and she saw the respect of an audience who appreciates the depth of emotion she brought to songs… and who continues to adore (sorry, Rosie, we can’t help it) those faux-Italian novelty hits she spiced up so many years ago. Here’s a dish from another culture of which Clooney was not a part, Viennese Goulash. You were expecting spaghetti and meatballs? Whatsamattahyou?

Rosemary Clooney’s Viennese Goulash

  • 2 teaspoons marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon rind
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 2 pounds onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2 pounds chuck, rump, or round beef, cut into large chunks
  • 1½ cups water
  • Salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup flour, optional

Using a mortar and pestle, or a small grinder, crush together the marjoram, caraway seeds, lemon rind and garlic. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter, add the tomato paste and crushed seasoning and stir to combine. Add the sliced onions and, stirring constantly, sauté until golden. Add the paprika and cook for a minute more, stirring constantly. Add the beef, one cup of water, and salt to taste. Cover and simmer until the beef is tender, about 90 minutes. Add more water during cooking, if needed. Before the goulash is done, add another half cup of water and bring the sauce to a boil. If more sauce is desired, sprinkle the meat with ¼ cup flour and add another cup of water and bring to a boil. Serve the goulash with egg noodles or boiled potatoes. Serves 6.

Dierks Bentley— Somebody Call The Po-Po

•November 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Dierks Bentley is climbing up the Billboard Country Singles chart with 5-1-5-0. If you’ve been singing along with the song and wondering what you’re singing about, we’ve got the answer. Bentley recently revealed to Taste of Country the meaning behind 5-1-5-0, “I had written this song on the beach one day and I said, ‘Let’s get 5150.” Rock fans know it as a Van Halen album and song from 1986, but the “Free and Easy” singer explains that it’s also the police code for a criminally insane person. The song is featured on Dierks Bentley’s album Home. While it’s not a reflection on his own experience with the law, the title of the song is California police code for a person involuntarily confined by officers after being deemed mentally unstable and potentially dangerous. Dierks explains that the whole idea for the song may have been planted in him as early as 13 years old.

“I was at a birthday party and this kid had an electric guitar. Up to that point, music had always been something I listened to. We went back to his room and listened to Van Halen and I dropped everything, and that’s all I listened to for a while. They had an album titled 5-1-5-0, which featured them on the cover in straight jackets. I found out that it was the police code for a crazy person. Now come forward to the current time, and in my Country and Cold Cans song I had a line that was ;Are y’all with me, let’s go 5-1-5-0.’ I told Jim Beavers about it and the next day I saw him at the gym. He started singing to me, ‘5-1-5-0, somebody call the po-po.’ I thought that was just about the stupidiest thing I’d ever heard. But he kept after me all the time. Every time I’d see him, he’d sing it to me. He told me his kids loved it and sang it all the time. So one day we were at a writing session. We were stuck and I said, ‘OK, let’s write 5-1-5-0. So we wrote it and it caught on. It’s a fun song to come back with after Home. Home was such a heavy song and had so much depth to it. It’s nice to have something out there to help lubricate cold beer going down real easy! It’s good to have something out there that is a fun song for the summer. It will keep fans excited and they can crank up their cars when it comes on the radio. It’s not gonna change the world, but it is a fun song.”

Dierks Bentley has written or co-written many of his hit songs, including What Was I Thinkin’, My Last Name, How Am I Doin’, Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do, Come a Little Closer, Every Mile a Memory and Feel That Fire. His musical influences include George Jones, Hank Williams Jr. and The Del McCoury Band.

 
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