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Posts Tagged ‘Jessica Lange’

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bo Dietl and The Post-Election Posse

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The votes are in and this week’s big winner is Michael McCarty whose dining room has been packed every day with A-list celebs  and politicos of every stripe in town this week to dissect every nuance of election night. The star of Monday’s lunch was none other than Jessica Lange, and on Tuesday James Carville, Cokie Roberts and Tina Brown made the scene. Kirk Douglas was also spotted accepting well wishes for son Michael Douglas, who is keeping a low profile having just finished his treatment for throat cancer.

Today, politics were the topic and I overheard plenty as I made my rounds in the dining room. “Who the hell knows what this all means?” said one shell shocked Obama supporter of the midterm election results. His friend wearily replied, “It’s over. The president is in for it now.” An interested party across the room offered this assessment: “The Republican Party may think this is their time, but they’ll shoot themselves in the foot. You’ll see. ” Another friend told me, “Until we stop thinking of ourselves as a red nation or blue nation and figure out this is a red, white and blue country, we’re screwed.”

At my table, we avoided politics and stuck to dissecting the latest moves in media. My good friend Andy Amill, who this summer got a much deserved promotion and is now Vice President of Weight Watchers Media Group overseeing all print and digital media, is feeling pretty optimistic these days. And he’s got reason to be. It seems celebrity pitch woman Jennifer Hudson, who sensibly shrunk down from a size 16 to a svelte size six on the tried and true program, has been a home run for the brand. “The impact of Jennifer Hudson has been phenomenal,” Andy told me. “We’ve seen an increase in membership at meetings and on-line and an increase in magazine sales.” And, unlike the usual blink-and-you miss-’em celeb endorsement deals, Andy reports that the divine Ms. Hudson will be sticking around to spearhead some top secret programs the company will unveil in 2011.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The Early Show: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jeff Greenfield, Andy Bergman and Michael Kramer. Second seating: My pal, attorney Suzanne Bracker, and Dan Wassong.

2. Peter Brown and Michael Holtzman

3. Fortune‘s Patricia Sellers — whose cover story last month on Oprah‘s next act still has people buzzing – and, we’re told, John Needham.

4. Felicia Taylor with another chic blonde gal we didn’t recognize.

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Trade Round-Up: September 18, 2007

seacrest.jpegFox, Seacrest Pairing Plunges Emmy Ratings
It’s safe to say that Monday was a pretty bad day for Fox and Ryan Seacrest. Their tag-team on Sunday’s Emmy telecast was the second lowest rated show in the awards’ history, garnering just 13.1 million viewers, reports Variety. The tally was well below the 16.2 million that NBC snagged for the same show last year. And to make matters worse for Fox, the smallest Emmy aud is still the 1990 telecast which drew 12.3 million and also aired on Fox. Maybe they should stick to American Idol? Just a thought…

Casting News
Variety gives the skinny on a couple casting stories. First Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal are in negotiations to star in Jim Sheridan’s Brothers for Relativity Media, a remake of Susanne Bier’s Danish-language drama. Meanwhile, Oscar winner Jim Broadbent has signed on to join the next Harry Potter pic, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Broadbent will play a retired potion’s master.

HBO greenlights Gardens
Grey Gardens goes on and on! The documentary, which has already been translated to a Broadway show, will now get a big-screen redo thanks to HBO Films which has just greenlit the pic, THR reports. Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange will star and Michael Sucsy will direct.

Saldana On Board for Star Trek
J.J. Abrams continues to lock in crew members for his Star Trek installment with THR reporting that Zoe Saldana has joined the cast to play the chief communications officer on the USS Enterprise for Paramount Pictures.

- CHRIS GARDNER