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Posts Tagged ‘James L. Brooks’

Joe Kernen, Andrew Ross Sorkin and the Skinny on Jessica Simpson’s New Role at Weight Watchers

LunchAtMichaelsNeither rain nor snow (not yet anyway) or a meltdown on Metro North’s Connecticut line (don’t ask!) can keep us from our appointed rounds on Wednesdays at Michael’s. Who else would tell you which talking heads (Star Jones, Joe Kernen, Andrew Ross Sorkin) were holding court in the dining room while pointing out the random sighting of a former beauty queen and even some titled ladies and lords? (Read on and you’ll find out.) We, not of the town car set, braved a very crowded train from Westchester (Note to fellow passengers: garlic on your breakfast isn’t a good thing!) to bring you all the earth-shattering goings on at 55th and Fifth today so you can eat at your desk while searching for Internet spoilers on Sunday’s series finale of Breaking Bad.

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Andy Amill and Diane Clehane

I was joined today by my intrepid Greenwich neighbor Andy Amill, VP of Media Sales at Weight Watchers. I’ve been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers since my days heading up Danskin’s PR department (just try having to wear spandex to work) and wanted to get the skinny on all the incredible innovations the company has implemented over the past year. Have you seen Jennifer Hudson lately? Exactly. Andy tells me that Jennifer has been “an inspiration” to Weight Watcher members. The dynamic multi-media campaign featuring the brand ambassador which launched in 2010 has helped attract plenty of new members. I am also fascinated by the technology behind the company’s barcode scanner app, which members can download to their smart phones. It lets the user zap the UPC of thousands of products in the supermarket and instantaneously get the Weight Watchers PointsPlus value. What will they think of next?

When I mentioned that the Weight Watchers center where I attend meetings had undergone a pretty dramatic makeover a few months back, Andy explained that many stores have been redesigned in the past few years with a contemporary look and feel. “They’re all uniform so members can find a center anywhere and they all look the same,” he tells me. “It really helps them stay connected.” Read more

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When James L. Brooks Interviewed Louis Armstrong

Actor Kevin Pollak recently sat down with writer-director James L. Brooks for Episode #128 of his fantabulous online Chat Show. It was, he noted, the sixth time the program has welcomed an Academy Award winner.

Right off the bat, Pollak wondered if those stories of Brooks having interviewed Louis Armstrong for the Weehawken High School newspaper were Internet hooey. Brooks was happy to confirm a semi-wonderful New Jersey journalism world:

“It was a high school of 300 students. I was fairly resented for it [interviewing famous people for the paper]. I was beaten for it, because my picture was on the front page of the newspaper every single issue.”

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The Simpsons Producers Agree to Pay Cut

The future of The Simpsons took a step in the right direction Wednesday when some of the top producers from the Fox cartoon agreed to a pay cut, according to Andrew Wallenstein of Variety:

“Exec producers for The Simpsons include Al Jean, John Frink, James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Matt Selman and Sam Simon. It unknown whether all have committed to the reduction in compensation or whether that request extended below the EP level.

Reps for top Simpsons producers either declined comment or calls were not returned.

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Could This Be the Last Season of The Simpsons?

Remember that wacky idea about The Simpsons TV channel when the show goes off the air? Well, it could happen sooner than later.

The popular Fox cartoon could come to an end this spring after 23 seasons thanks to a nasty contract dispute, according to Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast:

“The reason is a negotiating impasse between the studio and the six principal actors who voice the beloved characters on the animated series that hilariously satirizes middle-class Midwestern angst.

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