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Friday, September 30, 2011

LADY ANTEBELLUM PERFORM ON SNL THIS WEEKEND

Lady Antebellum will make one of their big dreams come true this weekend as the musical guest onSaturday Night Live. Hillary Scott tells us the trio had a hard time keeping the news under their hats when they first found out about the booking. "Well, we found out a little bit before, and so keeping it a secret was like, 'Ooh!!,' cause we just wanted to scream it from the rooftops, you know? (Charles)Yeah, it's exciting! (Hillary) We're very excited."

Dave Haywood says he's been a fan of the show since he was a kid, so getting to actually perform on the show is a bit surreal. "For me, growing up, that was my litmus test watching bands to see who had made it, so the show's still hysterical and still doing great, and what an honor to be on there. I just always stay up late as a 12-year-old kid trying to see Nirvana play when they played or somebody like that, so for us to be on there with the history of that show for however many years is just phenomenal. It's definitely our Number One. (Hillary) And they don't really showcase country artists that much, you know, so . . . (Charles) We're excited to be representing, yeah. (Hillary) We're honored to be able to be on that show whenever it's normally alot of very mainstream pop and a lot of indie stuff that they have perform, so for us to be included on that roster is really cool."

  • Saturday Night Live airs on NBC on Saturday (October 1st) at 11:30 p.m. ET.
  • The host this weekend is Melissa McCarthy, star of the hit CBS sitcom, Mike & Molly.
  • Lady A's new album, Own The Night, recently debuted at Number One on the all-genre Billboard200 chart.

FAST FACTS

  • Lady A's Own The Night tour will kick off in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 11th.
  • Their current single is the album's title track, "We Owned The Night."


Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party tour stop tonight (Friday, September 30th) in Roanoke, Virginia will serve as his annual Concert for the Cure fundraiser to benefit breast cancer research. For years, Jason performed this special show at a club in downtown Nashville, but Jason tells us it was important to grow the benefit. "You know, for the last few years we've done this Concert for the Cure to raise money for breast cancer and Susan G. Komen, and we used to have it at the Wildhorse and we were kind of limiting ourselves as to how much money we could raise having it there, so we decided last year that just picking a show, a random show, and kind of taking this Concert for the Cure out on the road with us and taking it to a different city every year."

Jason says that while the cause is important globally, it is very personal to him. "It continues to be important to me just simply for the fact that I lost a friend that I was close to and somebody that was close to my family, and I have a wife, I got a mom, I got two girls at home that if there's not a cure found for this thing at some point it's something they may have to deal with in the future, so it's just one of those things. I don't think you can find . . . It'd be hard to find one person that hasn't been affected by it or know somebody that's been affected by it. The disease sucks, man, and so it's something to me that I think's important and we wanna continue to do every year and try to raise as much money as we can and do our part to help find a cure."

  • Jason travels on to Charleston, West Virginia on Saturday (October 1st).
  • He will perform live on the CMA Awards, which will take place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
  • Jason is nominated in five categories, including Entertainer, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year for My Kinda Party.
Steel Magnolia member Joshua Scott Jones has decided to enter rehab for treatment of alcohol and substance abuse problems. He broke the news on the duo's website yesterday (Thursday, September 29th), writing, "To all of our fans and to those whom it may concern,

God has been on my heart to announce and make public that I have entered a rehabilitation and treatment facility to address issues related to alcohol and substance abuse. Hundreds of thousands of people in the world struggle with these battles daily, therefore I am sincerely grateful for all thoughts and prayers at this very poignant juncture in my life and career. I would also like to thank my family, friends, record label and management team for being so supportive and having an active hand in my recovery process.

Thank you and God bless."

Days earlier, the other half of Steel Magnolia and Josh's fiancee, Meghan Linsey, announced several show cancellations on the website, stating that "at this time, Josh is unable to perform," but didn't provide any further details.

  • Steel Magnolia is nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year award at the CMA Awards on November 9th in Nashville.

FAST FACTS

  • Josh and Meghan won the CMT singing contest Can You Duet in 2009.
  • One of their prizes was a recording contract with Big Machine Records.
  • They released their self-titled debut album earlier this year.
Trace Adkins is on the set of a new movie. He has joined the cast of the supernatural thrillerThe Healer, which also stars Isabelle Fuhrman, Joel Courtney, James Le Gros, Peter Bogdanovich and Natalia Dyer. The movie is currently being filmed in North Carolina.

Written and directed by Giorgio Serafini, The Healer tells the story of teenage twins Nick and Michelle who embark on a camping trip with their father. A family outing to repair old emotional wounds turns into a perilous adventure as they become lost in a forest from which there seems no escape.

Trace plays The Truck Driver, a transporter of souls destined to hell. His huge rig is a prison for eternity from which there is no escape.

There is no word yet on when The Healer will be in theaters.

FAST FACTS

  • Most recently, Trace starred in The Lincoln Lawyer with Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillipe, Jon Leguiazamo and William H. Macy.
  • Trace's latest hit single, "Just Fishin'," is the first from his 10th studio album, Proud To Be Here, which was released on August 2nd.
Scotty McCreery will be the very first artist to release a CD in the 'ZinePak (ZEEN PACK) configuration, which features his debut album, Clear As Day, and exclusive elements, including a magazine with never-before-seen family photos and personal information about Scotty.

The 'ZinePak will be on sale exclusively at Walmart beginning on Tuesday (October 4th). It will be available in the music department, alongside the standard edition of Clear As Day. Fewer than 80,000 of the limited edition 'ZinePaks will be produced.

  • Scotty said, "'ZinePak has lots of info and pictures no one has seen before. Mom and I spent some time going through family photos selecting fun pictures to share with everyone. 'ZinePak is a great way I can personally thank my fans for their support and let them learn a little more about me."
  • The Clear As Day 'ZinePak features his debut album and a 72-page mini-magazine that includes a feature article with Scotty and a fan Q-and-A, as well as lyrics and song notes from Scotty, behind-the-scenes photos, games and more. This deluxe edition also includes collectible postcards and a set of Scotty-themed baseball cards.
  • Scotty's current single, "The Trouble With Girls," is climbing the country charts.

FAST FACTS

  • Seventeen-year-old Scotty won Season 10 of American Idol in May, becoming the youngest male winner and only country male winner in the show's history.
  • Clear As Day will feature Scotty's Top 15 debut hit, "I Love You This Big."
Dierks Bentley's Miles & Music for Kids charity motorcycle ride and concert in Chicago on October 9th is sold out. This marks the event's fastest advance sell out in its six year history. Thousands of fans will join Dierks for the outdoor block party next week to raise money for Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital. Artists slated to join Dierks for the jam-style concert include Eli Young Band, Jerrod Niemann, Tyler Reeve, and Matt Mason.

  • Dierks said, "It's further proof that country music fans and bikers have the biggest hearts out there. It's always fun taking this event into new cities and raising money for the local hospitals. We are looking forward to a big day in Chicago!"
  • Over the last six years, Miles & Music for Kids has raised $1.6 million for children's hospitals in Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Seattle, and Columbus.
  • Tickets for the Nashville event on October 16th are still available. For more information, log onto dierks.com.

FAST FACTS

  • Dierks will begin his Country & Cold Cans tour on October 6th in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.
  • Earlier this week, he celebrated his recent Number One hit, "Am I The Only One," with a party in Nashville.
LeAnn Rimes is not anorexic and she wants everyone to stop bullying her about it. On Thursday (September 29), LeAnn went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and talked about how she feels when everyone picks on her weight.

She said, "I feel a sense of responsibility for the people that are actually going through these diseases and I'm not one of them. I do feel like the press ... they've been very irresponsible calling a lot of people, fat or anorexic or bulimic or whatever It may be. It seems like bullying now, instead of really taking these diseases seriously that a lot of people are going through."

  • Meanwhile, on Wednesday (September 28) LeAnn's husband, Eddie Cibrian, told Access Hollywood that LeAnn just works out a lot and sometimes even eats more than he does.
The CMA Songwriters Series will return to Nashville for a special show the night before the CMA Awards.Deana Carter, Eric Paslay, Rivers Rutherford and Kelley Lovelace will participate in the "guitar pull" style of performing at Limelight on November 8th. Dean, Eric, Rivers and Kelley will all sing their hits and give fans a little story behind the music.

  • Deana co-wrote the Kenny Chesney/Grace Potter hit "You and Tequila." Other songs penned and recorded by Deana include "Count Me In" and "How Do I Get There."
  • Eric recently had his first Number One single with Jake Owen's "Barefoot Blue Jean Night." He has also had songs recorded by Lady Antebellum and the Eli Young Band. Eric signed a recording contract with EMI Records Nashville earlier this year and his debut single, "Never Really Wanted," has just been released.
  • Rivers' hits include Brad Paisley's "When I Get to Where I'm Going," "Real Good Man" by Tim McGraw, "Ain't Nothin' Bout You" by Brooks & Dunn, and "If You Ever Stop Lovin' Me" byMontgomery Gentry.
  • Kelley's writing credits include Brad Paisley's "He Didn't Have To Be," Carrie Underwood's "Don't Forget to Remember Me," and Joe Nichols' "The Impossible."
  • Tickets for the CMA Songwriters Series go on sale today (Friday, September 30th) at limelightnashville.com or by calling (615) 780-3099.

FAST FACTS

  • The 45th Annual CMA Awards will air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on November 9th at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
  • The show will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, with performances so far by Brad, Carrie, Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, and Keith Urban.

COUNTRY TRIVIA

Q. What was the name of the band that Troy Gentry, Eddie Montgomery and John Michael Montgomery played in together before John Michael's solo career?
A. Early Tymz

Friday, September 30th

ON THE TUBE

CMT TOP 20 COUNTDOWN/CMT 11:00AM (ET)
Rodney Atkins

BACKSTORY: RASCAL FLATTS/GAC 5:00PM (ET)

BEER FOR MY HORSES/CMT 10:15PM (ET)
Toby Keith

CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS

Marty Stuart (53)

  • Eddie Montgomery (Montgomery Gentry) (48)
  • Deborah Allen (58)
  • Johnny Mathis (singer, "Misty" and "Chances Are") (76)
  • Marilyn McCoo (singer, The Fifth Dimension, married to Billy Davis Jr) (68)
  • Angie Dickinson (actress, Police Woman's Sgt. Suzanne "Pepper" Anderson) (80)
  • Fran Drescher (actress, The Nanny) (54)
  • Jenna Elfman (actress, Dharma & Greg, Accidentally on Purpose) (40)
  • Martina Hingis (Pro tennis player) (31)
  • Barry Williams (actor, The Brady Bunch's Greg) (57)
  • Monica Bellucci (actress, The Matrix Reloaded, The Passion Of The Christ) (47)
  • Vondie Curtis-Hall (actor, Chicago Hope) (55)
  • Basia (singer) (57)
  • Patrice Rushen (jazz/R&B singer, composer, and pianist) (57)
  • Robby Takac (bassist, Goo Goo Dolls) (47)
  • Eric Stoltz (actor, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Mask, Pulp Fiction, Chicago Hope) (50)
  • Cissy Houston (member of Sweet Inspirations and mother of Whitney Houston, aunt of Dionne Warwick) (78)
  • Trey Anastasio (singer-guitarist, Phish) (47)
  • Lacey Chabert (TV actress, Party Of Five, Daddy Daycare) (29)
  • Debrah Farentino (actress, NYPD Blue, Eureka) (52)
  • Marion Cotillard (actress, La Vie En Rose, Public Enemies, Big Fish) (36)
  • Kieran Culkin (actor, Father of the Bride Parts I & II, Igby Goes Down, brother of Macaulay Culkin) (29)

CELEBRITY GOSSIP

MIKE MYERS IS A FATHER: Mike Myers is a dad. The Austin Powers star became a first time father earlier this month at the age of 48, when his wife Kelly Tisdale, gave birth to a son. A source told Life & Style magazine, "The baby is named Spike and was born two weeks ago." Mike and Kelly began dating in 2006 and married last year.

SCARE ON 'DWTS' SET: There was a scare at CBS Studios earlier this week, when a suspicious letter turned up addressed to someone connected with Dancing With the Stars. TMZ.com reported that the letter -- which contained white powder -- triggered some alarm, but it turned out not to be a harmful substance. Although there has been controversy about Chaz Bono's appearance on the show, sources told TMZ that the letter was not addressed to an on-air personality or a contestant.

HOLLY MADISON INSURES BOOBS FOR $1 MILLION: Holly Madison has insured her breasts for $1 million. People magazine reported that the reality star recently took out the policy with Lloyd's of London insurance company because of her appearance in the Las Vegas production of Peepshow. She explained, "I've heard about people getting body parts insured and I thought, why not?, because if anything happened to my boobs, I'd be out for a few months and I'd probably be out a million dollars. I thought I'd cover my assets."

DOES GERARD BUTLER HAVE A NEW GIRLFRIEND? Gerard Butler is reportedly dating a Virgin Mobile model named Sarah Carroll who he met at the premiere of his new movie Machine Gun Preacher. A source told PerezHilton.com, "Gerard and Sarah met at the premiere for his new movie Machine Gun Preacher at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles on September 21. She spoke to him and he charmed her. It was love at first sight. They had a hot hookup after the after party." Sarah confirmed that there's some kind of relationship between the two on Twitter, writing, "Um. Gerard Butler just hugged me. Called me a good friend. AND invited me to the Chateau. Die twice."

DAVID ARQUETTE DATING 'ET' REPORTER: David Arquette has moved on from Courtney Cox. He told Howard Stern that he and his estranged wife are in "the friend zone," and he's now datingEntertainment Tonight reporter Christina McLarty. He said, "She's adorable. I'm not one to run around with different girls. I like someone that makes me feel good and that I can make feel good." The couple reportedly met at a boat party this past summer.

HOLLYWOOD NEWS!


FOX ORDERS FULL SEASON OF 'NEW GIRL': Fox has ordered a full season of Zooey Deschanel'snew comedy, New Girl. The show was Fox's highest-rated sitcom debut ever and retained 92 percent of its premiere audience during its second week on the air.

CORY MONTEITH IS BEHAVING ON 'GLEE': Contrary to reports, Cory Monteith is not being a diva on the set of Glee. Star magazine reported that Cory has been "complaining about long hours, inadequate pay and miserable working conditions," and the magazine claims that "not only will Cory not be back next season, but he might not even finish this one." However, GossipCop.com said that there is no on-set "drama," and Monteith will not be bailing on the show mid-season.

'X FACTOR' GETS 11.5 MILLION VIEWERS: Simon Cowell's X Factor is still far from American Idol status in the ratings. THR.com reported that Wednesday night's broadcast drew 11.5 million viewers, but lost out as the night's top show to Modern Family, which brought in an audience of 13.2 million. However, Fox won the night overall in the key 18-49 demo.

JENNIFER TILLY APPEARING ON 'MODERN FAMILY': Jennifer Tilly will appear on Modern Family. HuffingtonPost.com reported that the show will revisit Jay's longtime friend Shorty (Chazz Palminteri) who was incorrectly pegged as gay. Tilly will play his girlfriend.

KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN ON THE COVER OF COSMOPOLITAN MIDDLE EAST: Check it out:http://tinyurl.com/67jk4sj

DR. CONRAD MURRAY TRIAL: MJ'S CHEF AND BODYGUARD TESTIFY

Yesterday (September 29th) was day three of the Dr. Conrad Murray involuntary manslaughter trial. Dr. Murray is accused of killing Michael Jackson -- by giving him a lethal injection of propofol. MJ's personal chef Kai Chase, took the stand yesterday to testify. According to RadarOnline.com, Chase testified that moments after Michael died, Murray ordered her to find Michael's oldest son Prince and send him to his father room -- but he never once told her to call 911.

Chase said that she was preparing lunch for Michael and his three kids on June 25th 2009, when Dr. Murray came down the kitchen stairs shortly after 12:05 pm and told her, "Get help, get Prince, get security." Chase said that she went into the den and got Prince and told him, "Hurry, Dr. Murray needs you, there may be something wrong with your father."

  • Chase said that after the paramedics arrived, she and the kids made a circle in the foyer and began to pray for Michael. After Michael was loaded into the ambulance, the chef was told to leave the premises immediately by someone on Michael's security team. Chase said that she started working for Michael in March 2009 and that it was "a very happy home to work in."

MICHAEL'S BODYGUARD TESTIFIES

Michael's bodyguard Alberto Alvarez also took the stand. He told jurors that after Jackson's body was discovered, he reportedly helped Dr. Murray perform CPR on Michael and then he helped Dr. Murray put bottles of Propofol in bags before he called 911 because Dr. Murray asked him to do so. Alvarez also testified that he was among the entourage that followed paramedics to the hospital, where Michael was pronounced dead.

  • Alvarez also mentioned that he was targeted by as many as 30 media agencies and networks in the weeks and months following Michael's death for interviews, but he turned down. He was offered $200,000 by the National Enquirer and $500,000 by another unindentified news group.
  • Court resumes 8:45 am today (September 30th).

ASHTON KUTCHER TELLS FANS NOT TO 'ASSUME' ANYTHING

Ashton Kutcher is trying to defuse the speculation surrounding the state of his marriage to Demi Moore.It's been widely reported that Ashton cheated and the two have split -- but the actor is only addressing the situation through cryptic tweets.

On Wednesday night he tweeted a link to his Spotify account, where he was playing Public Enemy's "Don't Believe the Hype." Then on Thursday, he wrote, "When you ASSUME to know that which you know nothing of you make an ASS out of U and ME"

  • Moore has been silent about the issue since the split stories started gaining momentum, but days earlier wrote, "When we are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself & study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger. -- Epictetus."

GEORGE CLOONEY DEFENDS ELISABETTA CANALIS

George Clooney and Elisabetta Canalis are both slamming an Us Weekly report that she sent him angry text messages about his new relationship with Stacy Keibler. Clooney told TMZ.com, "(The report) was completely fabricated in order to sell magazines. I never comment on my personal life unless it affects others. . . and this lie affects others."

He added, "Since I would be the only actual witness, I ask you to correct your story immediately, but that would assume you cared at all about telling the truth."

Canalis expressed her appreciation of his defense, telling Access Hollywood, "I think he was very nice, the fact that he stood up for me. That's why he was so nice. I have to thank him . . . in life, things end, you move on."

  • The former DWTS contestant further discussed their relationship, saying, "I had this relationship with George, who is a great man, he is a gentlemen, so I can't deny [that it's hard,] of course. I wish him to be happy, we both moved on . . . I'm just looking forward to building my future."

KATHERINE JACKSON IS NOT SELLING FAMILY HOME

Katherine Jackson has decided not to sell the Jackson family home. According to TMZ.com, during a court hearing on Wednesday (September 28th), Howard Weitzman, the lawyer for Michael Jackson's estate announced that they were withdrawing their petition to get the judge's approval to sell the Hayvenhurst estate in Encino, California.

Weitzman said that they submitted the petition because Katherine wanted to sell the property -- but has since had second thoughts. The court did, however, approve a petition for Katherine to buy another house.

  • Sources told the site that Katherine wants to buy the home she's currently renting in Calabasas, where she can live with Michael's 3 kids.

INTERNS SUE 'BLACK SWAN' PRODUCERS' OVER HAVING TO DO INTERN WORK

Two unpaid interns who worked on Black Swan are suing the film's producers over their tedious experience on the set. The New York Times reported that Alex Footman and Eric Glatt filed a lawsuit, claiming that Fox Searchlight Pictures made them do menial work that should have been done by paid employees.

They allege that their duties -- like preparing coffee, ensuring that the coffee pot was full, taking and distributing lunch orders, taking out the trash and cleaning the office -- did not qualify as "educational" activities.

The lawsuit alleges that Fox violated federal and state labor laws by using unpaid interns for such tasks. Attorney Elizabeth Wagoner said, "This is a widespread practice and most of the time it's unlawful. I haven't seen other suits like this, at least not on this scale. I hope their example will make others feel they can come forward and that they're owed wages for their work."

  • Footman noted in the court documents, "The only thing I learned on this internship was to be more picky in choosing employment opportunities."

CHECK IT OUT: Appropriate intern responsibilities: http://tinyurl.com/3qsdv9p

'LION KING' PRODUCERS SHOCKED AT SUCCESS OF RE-RELEASE

Even the people who made The Lion King were surprised by the dominance of the film's re-release at the box office. Chris Montan, the president of Walt Disney Music, discussed the company's reaction to two straight weekends at number one, telling us, "I think for most of us it was a, somewhat of a shock. I've been in the movie business about 30 years and it's very rare that a film as old as 17 years comes back and can actually be number one for two weekends in a row, it just doesn't happen. So I think we were all pretty pleasantly surprised."

As for why people love the movie so much? Chris said, "I think it's a combination. A lot of people talk about the parent-child story. I think that resonates for a lot of parents and for kids of a lot of different ages. And it makes it really universal. And the second thing I hear, and I hear a lot obviously because I'm the music producer, is the breadth and the range of the music. I think that music really speaks to people, it reaches them in their hearts, I think."

  • Despite The Lion King's surprise victory over Moneyball last weekend, Montan is unsure about pulling off another upset this weekend. He said, "It'll be, I'm sure we'll be up there. I don't know whether we'll be number one again."

MOVIES OPENING TODAY AND PLAYING THIS WEEKEND

Opening today (September 30th) is the new comedy, 50/50, starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Houston. Inspired by a true story, the film follows Adam, who has just been diagnosed with cancer, and his best friend Kyle who helps him through Adam's struggle to beat the disease.

  • 50/50 is rated R and has a running time of 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Opening today (September 30th) is the new drama, Courageous, starring Alex Kendrick, Renee Jewell, Ken Bevel and Rusty Martin, Jr. The film follows four police officers who struggle to fight crime on the toughest streets and tackle the demanding job of being good fathers.

  • Courageous is rated PG-13.
Opening today (September 30th) is the new horror/thriller, Dream House, starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts. The film follows a family who unknowingly moves into a home where several grisly murders were committed and find themselves the killer's next target.

  • Dream House is rated PG-13.
Opening today (September 30th) is the new comedy What's Your Number?, starring Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Blythe Danner, Chris Pratt and Joel McHale. The film follows Ally, played by Faris, a young woman a little lost in life, who reads an article that most women who have slept with 20 or more men are unlikely to find a husband. To prove the article wrong, Ally attempts to find the perfect mate from among her numerous ex-boyfriends.

  • What's Your Number? is rated R and has a running time of 1 hour and 45 minutes.


HEADLINE NEWS!


COALITION DATA SAYS ATTACKS DOWN IN AFGHANISTAN: New data out yesterday (September 29th) from the coalition international forces in Afghanistan showed that militant violence in Afghanistan is down, however the information was released just one day after a United Nations report said there's actually more attacks and clashes per month than last year. The coalition data showed insurgent attacks down two percent in the first eight months of the year compared with the same period last year, while the U.N. statistics found the monthly average number of clashes and other attacks was nearly 40 percent higher than last year. The coalition said there were methodological differences between the two surveys, with the U.N. report counting a wide range of security incidents that the NATO report didn't, including arrests and seizures of stores of weapons. The dueling data comes as U.S. and other nations start to withdraw some forces, with the goal of pulling all combat troops out by the end of 2014.

POSITIVE NEWS ON UNEMPLOYMENT, GDP: Claims for unemployment benefits fell to a five-month low of 391,000 last week, according to Labor Department data out Thursday (September 29th), while the Commerce Department reported that U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter, up from the previously reported 1.0 percent. That positive data helped ease fears that the U.S. economy might fall into a second recession.

TODAY'S FYI:

APPEAL VERDICT EXPECTED IN AMANDA KNOX CASE MONDAY: An Italian defense lawyer for American Amanda Knox argued yesterday (September 29th) that she was an innocent young woman who'd been, quote, "crucified" in the media and wrongly convicted of killing her British roommate in 2007. The closing arguments came as a verdict in the appeal of Knox' conviction is expected on Monday (October 3rd). Knox was convicted in 2009 of murdering Meredith Kercher when both were students in the town of Perugia and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Her co-defendant and former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was also convicted of murder. Both have appealed, insisting they're innocent. During the appeal trial, two court-appointed experts said that DNA evidence that had been key to the case was unreliable and had possibly been contaminated.

FIRST LADY SHOPS INCOGNITO AT TARGET: First Lady Michelle Obama shopped at an Alexandria, Virginia, Target store yesterday (September 29th), going incognito in a baseball cap and sunglasses. Secret Service agents in casual clothes arrived at the Target about a half-hour before the first lady, who then walked in through the main entrance with an assistant and spent some 30 to 40 minutes shopping, pushing her own cart. AP reports that the cashier who rang her up was apparently the only person who recognized Mrs. Obama.

SAUDI KING RESCINDS LASHING PUNISHMENT FOR WOMAN WHO DROVE: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has rescinded a court's sentence of 10 lashes with a whip for a woman who arrested for driving, which women are not allowed to do in the ultraconservative Muslim nation. The verdict and its reversal both come after Abdullah decreed on Monday (September 26th) that Saudi women will be allowed to vote in municipal elections in 2015, and will also be eligible to be appointed to an advisory body called the Shura Council. Saudi women's rights advocates vowed to continue to keep up the pressure for an end to the ban on women driving.

NASA FINDS 90% OF NEARBY LARGE ASTEROIDS, NONE POSE RISK: NASA said yesterday (September 29th) that it has identified more than 90 percent of large, near-Earth asteroids, including some as big as the one thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs when it slammed into our planet, and that none pose any danger to us in the next several centuries. NASA believes that 911 of the 981 largest asteroids thought to exist -- which are bigger than 3,300 feet across -- have been found. By locating most of the giant asteroids, NASA has achieved a goal set by Congress in 1998.

MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT GETS JOB AS MILITARY ADVISER FOR 'MAXIM' MAGAZINE:Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, who became the first living Marine since the Vietnam War to receive the nation's highest military decoration earlier this month, has accepted the newly-created position of military adviser to Maxim magazine, Yahoo! blog The Cutline reported. The 23-year-old Meyer will contribute to Maxim's military coverage and represent the magazine at events, including its annual Super Bowl weekend party. Maxim executives say they've been considering hiring Meyer for over a year, after initially meeting with him when he took part in their Maximum Warrior competition for elite veterans.

  • Maxim plans to publish a special issue saluting the military in November, with part of the proceeds going to Meyer's charity for children of Marines.
  • Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor after saving 36 lives during a firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan that killed five U.S. soldiers.

SPORTS:

TWO-TIME INDY 500 WINNER UNSER ARRESTED FOR DUI: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. was arrested Thursday morning (September 29th) on aggravated drunk driving and reckless driving charges in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he lives. The 49-year-old retired race car driver was reportedly drag racing another car in his Suburban and was going over 100 miles per hour. After being arrested, he was released from jail on his own recognizance.

(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)

ON THE TUBE TODAY


CBS

  • A GIFTED MAN - Michael tries to save a pregant friend who has a brain tumor and a boy with sickle-cell disease.
  • CSI: NY - When an awkward teenager is found dead, the team think his efforts to impress a sexy girl went too far.
  • BLUE BLOODS - Danny must face an internal affairs investigation after shooting a cop who failed to identify himself.

NBC

  • UP ALL NIGHT (repeat)
  • WHITNEY (repeat)
  • DATELINE NBC - Investigators search for a New Mexico mechanic who has been missing for eight years.

FOX

  • KITCHEN NIGHTMARES - Chef Ramsay visits an Italian eatery in Montclair, N.J., in hope of keeping the restaurant from being closed.
  • FRINGE - When a serial killer "Over There" starts piling up victims, the Fringe Division gets involved with the investigation.

ABC

  • MODERN FAMILY (repeat)
  • THE MIDDLE (repeat)
  • PAN AM (repeat)
  • 20/20 - Investigative reporting.

CW

  • NIKITA - Nikita and Michael run into Owen while investigating an old division program.
  • SUPERNATURAL - Castiel struggles with the downside of his new power; Sam suffers from hallucinations.

DAY TIME TALK SHOW

THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - David Spade, Bethenny Frankel
THE VIEW - Godie Hawn, Jimmie "J.J." Walker, Bern Nadette Stanis

LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS

THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Karen Rontowski, Anne-Sophie Mutter
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO (NBC) - Hugh Laurie, the Airborne Toxic Event
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - Simon Cowell, Dancing with the Stars castoff Ron Artest, Gavin DeGraw
THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Seth Rogen, Judy Greer
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Claire Danes, Rev. Al Sharpton, Jeff Musial, Pearl Jam
LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - Miranda July, Jeff Jensen, the Horrors

SATURDAY

NBC

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE - Melissa McCarthy hosts; Lady Antebellum performs.

SUNDAY

CBS

  • THE AMAZING RACE - The racers step up their game after learning there will be a double elimination; a costly mistake puts multiple teams in jeopardy.
  • THE GOOD WIFE - Alicia must quickly learn English law when one of her cases is retried in Britain via satellite.
  • CSI: MIAMI - The discovery of a strange murder weapon leads the CSIs into the world of gigolos.

NBC

  • FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA - Highlights from the day.
  • NFL FOOTBALL - New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens.

FOX

  • THE SIMPSONS - When superintendent Chalmers is fired for taking Bart and his friends on an unauthorized field trip, the boys hold the school hostage until he is released.
  • THE CLEVELAND SHOW - Cleveland Jr. makes a shocking proclamation.
  • FAMILY GUY - Brian consumes questionable substances in an attempt to calm his nerves.
  • AMERICAN DAD - When a storm hits Stoolbend, Langley Falls and Quahog, the Smiths fight to survive.

ABC

  • EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION - The team builds a new home in South Jordan, Utah, for the family of a woman whose young son has a blood disorder.
  • DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES - Susan discovers a dangerous, thrilling way to ease her guilt; Renee tries to win Ben over.
  • PAN AM - During a trip to Paris, Laura's mother tries to settle some unfinished business; Dean looks for information on Bridget.

AMC

  • BREAKING BAD - Hank pushes Gomez to pursue a lead; Walt struggles to protect his family; Jesse gets alarming news.

HBO

  • BOARDWALK EMPIRE - Nucky contemplates betrayal in his inner circle; Margaret tries to help Nucky avoid trouble.
  • HUNG - (season premiere) Ray and Tanya try to convince a bank officer that their idea is financially sound; Lenore discovers a new prospect.
  • HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA - (season premiere) Ben and Cam plan an event; Rachel carries a torch for Ben; Rene has a new billboard.

SHOWTIME

  • DEXTER - (season premiere) Dexter attends his 20th high school reunion; Dexter considers his son's legacy.
  • HOMELAND - (series premiere) CIA case officer Carrie Mathison is suspicious of war hero Nicholas Brody.

BRAVO

  • THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY - The New Jersey ladies on the street of Punta Cana; Ashley makes memories that will last forever.

OFF BEAT BREIFS.....

SCHOOL OFFICIAL HAD TO APOLOGIZE FOR BRA TRICK: A chairman for the Abington School Committee in Massachusetts has apologized for performing a magic trick -- during a meeting -- that involved pretending to remove a committee member's bra. During his trick, Chairman Russell Fitzgerald along with high school teacher Steven Shannon, approached Ellen Killian and pretended to pull handkerchiefs from under her arms until he revealed a bra tied to the kerchiefs. Fitzgerald apologized, saying, "My intention was to begin a purposeful school committee business meeting in a way which was enjoyable and lighthearted. I am sorry for the embarrassment this has caused Ms. Killian, my fellow school committee members and the School Department." (MSNBC)

CEO THREATENS TO FIRE EMPLOYEES OVER MILK: The CEO of a New Jersey company who was upset that there was no milk for his coffee threatened to fire employees who finish off the office milk supply and don't replenish it. Beckerman Public Relations executive Keith Zakheim wrote in an e-mail, "I have repeatedly requested until I am blue in the face that the person that finishes the milk must replace the milk. It's not complicated and is a simple sign of respect for fellow employees." He continued, "I am gravely serious when I write this -- if I catch someone not replacing the milk, or at least, in the case where the downstairs store has closed already, not sending an e-mail to the office so the first person that arrives . . . can pick one up upon arrival -- then I am going to fire you. I'm not joking." He closed his letter, saying, "Have fun explaining that one to your next employer. This is not a empty threat, so PLEASE don't test me." (The Star-Ledger)

TEACHER PUNISHES STUDENT FOR 'BLESS YOU' COMMENT: A student who said "bless you" to another student was punished with a lower grade after the teacher decided the exclamation was disruptive. Steve Cuckovich, a health teacher at Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville, said, "It's got to do with an interruption of class time . . . the blessing doesn't really make sense anymore. When you sneeze in the old days, they thought you were dispelling evil spirits out of your body. So they were saying, 'God bless you,' for getting rid of evil spirits. But today, what you're doing doesn't really make any sense anymore." The school's principle intervened to reason with the teacher. He said, "[Mr. Cuckovich] realizes there's better ways to do that. We don't condone that type of punishment."

WOMAN BANNED FROM TEACHING OVER TRICK SHE PLAYED ON EX-BOYFRIEND: A woman in Wales who tricked her ex-boyfriend into thinking he fathered her child has been banned from teaching children for two years. Victoria Jones -- who was reportedly trying to get revenge on David Barberini for breaking up with her -- tricked the man by sending stolen photos of someone else's baby to him for two years. Barberini figured out the truth when he shared the pictures with a friend who recognized the baby. When the child's real mother Sarah Jensen found out, she called police. Since nothing criminal took place, no charges were pressed. Parents who heard the news complained to the school, which led to Jones' teaching ban. (Daily Mail)

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW....


WHAT DOES 'HOOKING UP' REALLY MEAN? A recent study conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that nobody actually knows what the verb 'to hook up' actually refers to. Researchers interviewed a group of college students and found that, "Ninety-four percent of participating students had heard of the phrase 'hooking up' in reference to sexual activities. Slightly more than half described a hookup as involving sex, 9 percent roughly described it as not having sex and about one-third indicated that the term was ambiguous." (YourTango.com)

TALKING ABOUT OUR PROBLEMS DOESN'T HELP US: Scientists from the University of Missouri conducted a series of tests on teenage girls and found that their tendency to talk their problems excessively made their issues seem much bigger than they were. Dwelling on issues kept them stuck in negative thinking patterns, psychologists said, leading to depression and stress. It seems that sharing problems, initially, makes us feel good -- chatting triggers brain chemicals in women that give a rush similar to the one heroin addicts get when they hit a high -- but if we continually discuss them, then we can spiral into depression. Talking about our anxieties reinforces them, and the more we talk, the less likely we are to actually do anything to fix them. Amanda Rose, associate professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science, who led the research, says: 'When girls are talking about these problems, it feels good to get support and validation. But they do not see that this can actually make them feel worse.' (Daily Mail)

MEN ARE BIGGER ONLINE SHOPPERS THAN WOMEN: But despite women's passion for retail therapy, it is apparently men who are the bigger online shoppers. According to a survey of 10,000 people men have replaced women as the most frequent online shoppers taking two virtual trips a month versus women who take just one. In a bid to avoid busy streets and department stores men have turned to the internet, making purchases from the comfort of their own home. (Daily Mail)

NEW SITE IS LIKE 'YELP FOR EXES': Huffington Post reports that the new site ExRated allows anonymous users to rate their exes. It's like a shorter, more biting version of Yelp. Reviews are limited to 140 characters and range from complimentary to axe-to-grind territory. Here are a few sample reviews from ExRated's homepage:

  • "She is a very good girlfriend if you spend every waking moment with her. She has a very strong dependency problem. Into threesomes!
  • "An awesome friend and a good kisser. Great sense of humor and the best hugger in the world. Broke up because he forgot to call for 2 weeks."
  • "OK, so this is the guy I cheated on w/ that ruined my relationship and yes I went back to him but just for a roll in the hay :) He's good!"

SUSHI EATING 101 (Life)

Know Your Table Setting: You'll get at least one ramekin or little bowl or dish alongside your plate of sushi -- that's for the soy sauce. The wasabi (horseradish) and gari (pickled ginger) may be served either on your main plate or in individual bowls. In higher-end sushi restaurants, don't expect the wasabi to be served on a plate or bowl at all -- it will be grated at your table. (But more on that later.) Don't expect a fork or knife -- you'll be using chopsticks. (Or not using them. More on that later too.)

Take It Easy on the Soy Sauce: Pour in just enough of the salty stuff that you can't see the bottom of the soy-sauce dish.

Don't Dip the Rice: You're trying to season the fish with the soy sauce, not season the rice. Turn the sushi upside-down before you dip. Getting the rice soaked in soy sauce will often just create a mess.

Yes, You're Allowed to Eat Sushi With Your Fingers: In fact, some people see it as the mark of a sushi veteran.

Each Piece Is One Mouthful: Don't eat a piece in more than one bite (unless you have to), or try to shove more than piece into your mouth at a time.

Know Your Wasabi: If you think of wasabi as something that looks like a cross between Silly Putty and Gumby, you've probably been eating a paste formed from ordinary horseradish and mustard seeds that's been turned green with food coloring. Real wasabi is a plant that resembles green horseradish and grows along the sides of Japanese rivers. In traditional restaurants, it's grated directly onto a diner's plate, because it loses its zing very quickly. It's also extremely expensive.

Don't Stir Wasabi Into the Soy Sauce: Wasabi is supposed to go onto the fish, not into the sauce, and is to be used sparingly, if at all (the chef has already mixed what he believes to the proper amount of wasabi into the rice). The idea is that you feel the wasabi "cool" your mouth after you taste the fish.

Pickled Ginger Is a Palate Cleanser: The gari (the pickled ginger at about 5 'clock on this plate) served alongside your sushi is meant to freshen your palate between different kinds of sushi.

Don't Put Ginger on Your Sushi: The gari isn't meant to be loaded onto your sushi -- it would overpower the flavor of the fish.

Pickled Ginger Shouldn't Be Hot Pink: If your gari is the same color as Barbie's sports car, then it's not fresh. If it's fresh, it will be anywhere from a pale yellow to a very light pink. Hot pink or red gari has been treated with preservatives.

Sushi Is Comfort Food in Japan: Sushi is still elegant and exotic to many Americans, but it's good to keep in mind that in Japan, sushi is the equivalent of a hearty sandwich -- a convenient and filling comfort food that you wouldn't necessarily want to chow down on everyday.

WATER COOLER TALK

Bank of America to Start Charging Fee for Using Debit Card

Bank of America will start charging debit card users $5 a month early next year, the latest and largest of the banks to impose the new fee as they look to offset the loss of revenue from a new rule that limits how much they can collect from merchants on debit charges. While the amount banks can collect on debit purchases is capped, there isn't a cap on fees they can collect from merchants on credit card purchases, so banks are increasingly encouraging customers to use their credit cards, trying to reverse the trend towards debit cards in the past several years. SunTrust regional bank began charging a $5 debit card fee this summer, and Regions Financial will start charging $4 next month. Chase and Wells Fargo are testing $3 monthly debit card fees, but haven't said when they'll decide whether or not to introduce it more broadly. An Associated Press-GfK poll this summer found that 61 percent of debit card users said they'd find another way to pay if they were charged a $3 monthly fee, and 66 percent felt that way about a $5 monthly fee.

Should the "F-Word" Be Allowed on Network TV?

Is it time to allow the "f-word" on network TV? That's the argument made by New York magazine's Gavin Polone, who writes that the four-letter word is everywhere in our society anyway, and is actually less offensive than some of what's already permitted. As examples, Polone pointed to the premiere of Two and Half Men, in which a naked Ashton Kutcher said he'd just had a threesome and Jon Cryer responded by admitting he spent the night masturbating; or a recent Louie episode on FX about anal sex; or the fact that words like sh*t and ass are okay on FX, but not the f-word. Polone writes of the ban, "It makes no sense, and having rules that are obviously silly, hypocritical, and classist undermines the validity of the imposed standards and the body that imposes them."

Casino Giving Plastic Surgery as Card Contest Prize

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City is planning to give $25,000 worth of plastic surgery to the winner of a player's card contest, which is drawing criticism from some medical professionals about pairing up two potentially compulsive behaviors. Dr. Eda Gorbis, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, told AP, "Definitely one thing reinforces the other one. Both are addictions, and they're bad addictions." And psychologist Dr. Vivian Diller, author of a book about beauty and emotions, told AP, "Plastic surgery is a complicated process. It's making it too simplistic." Players can earn credits toward the contest from October 2nd through 29th, with the prize awarded on the last day of the contest, when the winner must be present. The winner can choose to take the $25,000 prize in cash.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

KFLAG COUNTRY MUSIC UPDATE!!!!


The brand new single from Neal McCoy, called "A-OK," has just been released to country radio. It's the first single from Neal's upcoming album, which is being co-produced by Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Brent Rowan.

Neal had string of hits in the 90s, but since then has slowly drifted off the country music radar. Blake tells us that's all about to change. "I'm really proud of the music so far. I think we've got a great single picked out for him, but take Miranda and I and Brent Rowan out of the equation. People love Neal McCoy, and radio still loves Neal McCoy, and he's one of those artists that you go, 'Man, what happened? Where did he go?' I mean, it's just like it was just poof! And I don't even think Neal really knows what happened."

Blake says that when it comes to entertaining people, there's no one better than Neal. "People love Neal McCoy, and if you ever see him in concert you'll know why, and so I do think he has a real genuine shot at making a comeback, you know? I'm gonna do everything I can to help him if I can have any affect on it at all. I love the guy, and when you see him perform on stage it's embarassing to follow him, cause you're going, now that, that's what every artist in this town should have to go watch Neal McCoy in concert and take notes. You need to get out there and whip ass and entertain people like Neal McCoy does. That's good for everybody, you know?"

  • There is no word yet on when Neal's album will be released.

In other Blake news, he makes a cameo appearance in up-and-coming pop singer Cady Groves' new video, "This Little Girl." Blake plays a tow truck driver in the clip.

  • Blake will perform live on the CMA Awards in Nashville on November 9th. He's also nominated for five awards, including Entertainer, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year for All About Tonight.

CHECK IT OUT


Dierks Bentley and his band will be the musical guest on Late Night With Jimmy Fallontonight (Thursday, September 29th) on NBC. Dierks' performance is part of the show's week-long tribute to Pink Floyd.

Although he's a country star, Dierks says he grew up listening to the iconic rock band. "I mean, I got a call for that and, I mean, I was born in 1974. I know what Pink Floyd was. My sister's three years older than me, so all that music, all that 80s music isn't something that's nostalgia for me. I was knee-deep in all that stuff."

Dierks says he's proud to join such an impressive lineup of acts like Pearl Jam, the Foo Fighters, andMGMT, who are all paying tribute to Pink Floyd on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon this week.

Dierks and his band will perform "Wish You Were Here," which he tells us he plans to put his own spin on. "Country music's 90 percent of what I listen to and always really has since I was about 17 years old, but, I mean, Pink Floyd's one of the biggest rock bands of all time. When you hear that Pearl Jam's gonna do it -- a buddy of mine plays guitar for Pearl Jam, a buddy of mine plays guitar for Foo Fighters. These are bands I really think are great and awesome and to be on the same show and be part of the same deal they're all doing was kind of a no-brainer, so it's exciting! We'll see how it goes. We're gonna put some steel guitar and fiddle on that thing and kind of Gram Parsons it up a little bit and see how it goes over."

  • Dierks will kick off the first leg of his new Country & Cold Cans tour beginning on October 6th in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.
  • Special guests on the 22-city trek include Jerrod Niemann and the Eli Young Band.

FAST FACTS

  • Dierks' brand new single is called "Home."
  • Its the second release from his upcoming untitled new album, which will be released early next year.
David Nail fans won't have much longer to wait for the singer's sophomore album! The CD, called The Sound Of A Million Dreams, will be in stores everywhere on November 15th. It includes David's current Top 20 hit "Let It Rain," which he co-wrote.

David will begin touring extensively in October to give his fans a preview of The Sound Of A Million Dreams. On October 14th, he will open for Taylor Swift on her Speak Now tour in Lubbock, Texas and will continue on the road with her throughout October with stops in San Diego, Phoenix, Austin, Houston and San Antonio to name a few.

On October 30th, David will appear on an episode of the new GAC series Day Jobs, where he puts in a full day of work at a Dairy Queen in his home state of Missouri. The show airs at 8 p.m. ET.

CHECK IT OUT

LeAnn Rimes might be a stepmother but she doesn't want to be thought of as one. LeAnn took to her blog to set the record straight about her relationship with her husband, Eddie Cibrian's two boys.

LeAnn said, "Step. Stepmother, Stepfather, Stepchildren -- the word 'step' can take on such a connotation to so many in our society," she said. "A family is a family. In my eyes. There's no 'step' about it. Eddie has always encouraged me to look at us as a family, and a part of our family are the two beautiful boys that we share with their mother and hopefully one day another wonderful man. One thing that I know is, I will never replace their mother. I would never try. I will however love them with all I have and do everything in my power to help raise them in a loving, safe and proper environment. In our house, in our family, we remove the 'step.' We really are all... simply family."

  • Eddie's ex-wife is Brandi Glanville.
  • Eddie and LeAnn just got married this past summer. They both cheated on their spouses with each other.
Lady Antebellum is the latest country act to paid homage with a corn maze. Steed's Dairy in Grovetown, Georgia recreated the font the trio has used on their last two album covers. The corn maze will be open to the public through early November. Jason Aldean was also honored with a corn maze of his likeness in Shelby, North Carolina.

Julianne Hough will reportedly be returning to Dancing With The Stars for one night. Her boyfriend,Ryan Seacrest, dropped the hint while interviewing Julianne's brother and regular Dancing cast memberDerek Hough and his current partner, Ricki Lake, on his radio show this week.

Kellie Pickler will pay a visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday (October 4th) to talk about making her acting debut on the CW series 90210. She will premiere some clips from the episode in addition to performing her current single, "Tough."

On 90210, Kellie plays the role of Sally, the country-singing cousin of local cowboy Austin (Justin Deeley). She also performs "Tough" on the primetime series.

  • While in Los Angeles, Kellie will perform at Camp Pendleton next Friday (October 7th) as part of Operation Gratitude, a free show for all US Service members. Operation Gratitude's mission is to send care packages to U.S. Military personal overseas, to their children left behind and to wounded warriors recovering in transition units. A limited number of tickets are available for purchase for the general public.

FAST FACTS

  • "Tough" is the debut single from Kellie's upcoming third CD. No title or release date has yet been determined.
"Country" Johnny Mathis -- not to be confused with the legendary pop singer, Johnny Mathis -- died in Nashville on Tuesday (September 27th) at the age of 80. A singer and songwriter, Johnny is credited with writing more than 400 tunes over the course of his career, which spanned more than 60 years.

He started his career in 1953 as part of the duo Jimmy and Johnny, scoring a Top 10 hit with "If You Don't Somebody Else Will."

Ten years later, Johnny charted his highest solo single with "Please Talk to My Heart, which reached the Top 15.

Artists who have recored Johnny's songs over the years include George Jones, Charley Pride, Johnny Paycheck, Tammy Wynette and Elvis Costello.

Johnny suffered a stroke in 1999 and then continued to struggle with his health.

He is survived by four children and his wife, Jeannie Mathis. The couple were married for 43 years.

COUNTRY TRIVIA

Q. In what famous prison did Merle Haggard serve a three-year sentence for attempted robbery?
A. San Quentin

ON THE TUBE

THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW/SYN (check local listings)
LeAnn Rimes

BROKEN BRIDGES/CMT 12:30PM (ET)
Toby Keith

BACKSTORY: LEANN RIMES/GAC 2:00PM (ET)

BACKSTORY: RASCAL FLATTS/GAC 8:00PM (ET)

LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON/NBC 12:30AM (ET)
Dierks Bentley


CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS

Bryant Gumbel (TV host/sportscaster) (63)

  • Jill Whelan (Actress, Love Boat's Vicki Stubing) (45)
  • Natasha Gregson Wagner (Actress, Two Girls And A Guy) (41)
  • Andrew Dice Clay (Comedian) (54)
  • Ian McShane (actor, Deadwood's Al Swearengen) (69)
  • Erika Eleniak (actress, Baywatch, Under Siege, The Beverly Hillbillies; Playboy Playmate Of The Month in July 1989) (42)
  • Mark Farner (former singer-guitarist, Grand Funk Railroad) (63)
  • Mike Pinera (singer-guitarist, Blues Image; "Ride Captain Ride"; also was a member of Iron Butterfly) (63)
  • Jerry Lee Lewis (rock-and-roll pioneer; cousin of former televangelist Jimmy Swaggart and club owner & country performer Mickey Gilley) (76)
  • Ken Norton Jr. (former NFL player and son of boxer Ken Norton) (45)
  • Mackenzie Crook (the British version of The Office, Pirates Of the Caribbean) (40)
  • Ken Weatherwax (actor, Pugsly on The Addams Family TV series) (56)
  • Cindy Morgan (actress, Caddyshack's Lacey Underall) (57)
  • Mike Post (musician, composer of music for many TV shows, including Rockford Files, NewsRadio,Hill Street Blues, The A-Team, The Greatest American Hero, Magnum, P.I., CHiPs, Hardcastle & McCormick, Doogie Howser, M.D., Quantum Leap, Remington Steele, Wise Guy, Murder One,NYPD Blue, L.A. Law, Hunter, and Law & Order) (67)
  • Zachary Levi (actor, Chuck) (31)

CELEBRITY GOSSIP


EVA LONGORIA AND TINA FEY ARE HIGHEST-PAID TV ACTRESSES: Eva Longoria and Tina Feyare the highest-paid actresses on TV. Forbes reported that both earned $13 million between May 2010 and May 2011. Eva's Desperate Housewives co-star Marcia Cross is also at the top of the list with $10 million -- tying with Mariska Hargitay and Marg Helgenberger. A full list of the highest-paid TV actresses can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/3ma7szf

CHACE CRAWFORD'S POT CASE DISMISSED: Chace Crawford's 2010 marijuana possession case has been dismissed. The actor was arrested in June of 2010 in Plano, Texas, after police discovered an unlit joint in a car he was sitting in. Chace struck a deal in which the charge would be dismissed if he stayed clean for one year and performed community service -- which TMZ reports that he has. The website said that the judge made it official after Crawford's lawyer presented evidence that the Gossip Girlstar performed 80 hours of community service, working in a hospital and a church.

NEW GUY FOR LINDSAY? Lindsay Lohan was spotted kissing fashion designer Philipp Plein earlier this week -- but insiders tell TMZ that they are not dating. Plein recently announced that the 25-year-old is the new face of his fashion line. Check out the lip lock: http://tinyurl.com/6yypvhm

GEORGE AND STACY WALK RED CARPET SEPARATELY: George Clooney and Stacy Keiblerare apparently still going strong. Both walked the red carpet, separately, at the premiere of Clooney's new thriller, The Ides of March. The couple began dating shortly after George split from recently-booted DWTScontestant Elisabetta Canalis.

SHAYNE LAMAS PICKS WEIRD BABY NAME: Shayne Lamas is joining the ranks of celebrities who give their kids weird baby names. The pregnant former reality star told E! that she and her husband Nik Richie will call their daughter Press. She explained, "Her name came to us at the beginning of my pregnancy because she was getting so much press. I think Press is a beautiful name, we're elated, little princess Press! It started as a joke, her nickname was 'Press Baby,' but when we found out it was a girl, suddenly that was her name -- her name was going to be Press!"

HOLLYWOOD NEWS!


KARDASHIANS TAKING OVER 'TODAY': The Kardashian klan is stepping in for Kathie Lee Giffordnext week to co-host the fourth hour of the Today Show with Hoda Kotb. GossipCop.com reported thatKhloe, Kourtney, Kim, Kris and Bruce Jenner will each take a day alongside Hoda next week. Monday, Khloe is up, followed in succession by Bruce, Kris, Kourtney and Kim.

JUDGES SWITCH UP ON 'ANTM': Andre Leon Talley is leaving the judge's panel on America's Next Top Model -- and will be replaced by fashion publicist/reality TV veteran Kelly Cutrone. Cutrone, who starred in Bravo's Kell on Earth, said of her new gig, "I am a huge fan of America's Next Top Model and have watched the show for years. Having worked in various aspects of the fashion industry over the course of my career, I am excited for this new opportunity and hope to bring a different perspective to the show." Talley, Vogue's editor-at-large, released a statement saying, "I had a great ride and will always consider my experience with Top Model one of the best moments of my life. Tyra is an incredible role model and I learned so much sitting next to her through four cycles."

NO 'BRIDESMAIDS' SEQUEL? Jon Hamm isn't so sure that we'll be seeing a Bridesmaids sequel. Although director Paul Feig said that there was talk of a follow-up, Hamm told Eonline.com, "I don't think Kristen (Wiig) is going to do it." Hamm played Kristen's brutally honest friend-with-benefits in the comedy. As for whether he's interested in coming back? Hamm said, "They need to lock [Wiig] up before me."

SUSAN SARANDON IN TALKS FOR ACTION THRILLER: Susan Sarandon is in talks to join Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) in a new action thriller called The Snitch. THR.com reported that the film centers on "a suburban father who is distraught when he finds out his teenage son will be imprisoned for 30 years due to drug laws. In order to reduce his son's sentence, he signs on to catch a drug lord." Sarandon would play a "go-getting U.S. attorney who is hoping to leverage the drug bust into a promotion."

DANE COOK LANDS NBC DEVELOPMENT DEAL: Dane Cook is reportedly developing a sitcom for NBC. GossipCop.com reported that he signed a deal with the network to develop a half-hour program for the 2012-13 television season. There's no word on what the show will be about.

ASHTON KUTCHER AND DEMI MOORE ARE REPORTEDLY SPLITTING

Ashton Kucther has reportedly been cheating on wife Demi Moore -- and sources claim she's ready to pull the plug on their marriage. Star magazine reported that the two have been living apart for a while and Ashton's latest infidelity means that the couple is "officially over."

A source told the magazine, "It was definitely a long time coming, but they're finally done for good. Ashton was a serial cheater, and Demi just couldn't take it anymore. She didn't deserve to live that way. It's a painful time for Demi."

A 23-year-old woman claims that Ashton cheated on his wife as recently as September 24th -- which also happened to have been his six-year wedding anniversary. An insider told TheDirty.com that Ashton had sex with "sexy blonde coed" Sara Leal, and told her that he and his wife were, "separated, but the public just didn't know yet."

  • Another source added, "Demi's finally ready to move on after all these years because she's sick of feeling like she can't trust Ashton. Especially as his star continues to rise with Two and a Half Men, he's become really vague about where -- and with whom -- he spends his time."

CHECK IT OUT: Being a cougar is bad for your health: http://tinyurl.com/6z4asbq

BRET MICHAELS LAUNCHING LINE OF PET PRODUCTS


Bret Michaels is launching his own line of pet products. The rocker-turned-reality star announced that The Bret Michaels Pets Rock collection will be available in all of Petsmart's stores and online beginning in 2012.

He said, "As a dedicated pet owners myself, this is a natural partnership for me, and I can't wait to unveil the collection. I know my own pets rock, and I wanted to design a line of pet products every bit as fun and cool as they are."

  • Petsmart explained their decision to partner with Bret, saying, "Our pet parents have told us they want unique, high-quality products for their pets that are also fun and reflective of their personalities. Adding the Bret Michaels Pets Rock collection to Petsmart stores enables us to continue to meet our pet parents' needs with a 'cool' line of products from an entertainer with a demonstrated passion for our four-legged family members."

CHECK IT OUT: Why Bret's pet line is gonna rock! http://tinyurl.com/5wt2cnx

JACQUELINE LAURITA TWEETS FRUSTRATION WITH 'REAL HOUSEWIVES'

There might be another Real Housewives casting shakeup -- this time in New Jersey. Just weeks after four of The Real Housewives of New York City were axed, Jacqueline Laurita hinted on Twitter that she wants to leave the popular Bravo series across the state line.

The 40-year-old tweeted on Tuesday night, "Someone (not me) got set up tonight. There are some sneaky people trying to make someone look bad and then play innocent on camera. Sad."

She continued, "To be honest, I'm tired of the bulls* and low-life people. I didn't even know this is what I signed up for. I have to rise above and move on."

  • It seems a night of sleep didn't change her mind. On Wednesday she added, "I can't be part of the charade anymore. It's unsettling. It's disturbing and against what I stand for. I'm a REAL housewife.

REPORT: NO ONE WILL HIRE KATE GOSSELIN

Kate Gosselin is reportedly frustrated that she's no longer a hot commodity in the TV world. A source told the Huffington Post that Kate hasn't been able to line up a new gig since her TLC reality show went off the air last month.

The insider told the site, "She has approached many different networks, including pitching a travel show idea to her old network, TLC, but so far no one has said yes. She assumed that given her fame, producers and networks would be knocking her over with job offers and is, to say the least, very surprised that she hasn't received a single one."

  • In an interview before the last episode of Kate Plus 8, the reality mom admitted that she wants the family to stay in front of the camera. She told Matt Lauer, "I think we are all still in agreement with it. I'm sure you will see my kids again [on TV] at some point."

CHECK IT OUT: How to make money after a reality show: http://tinyurl.com/3j33hxq

PATTI STANGER FACING BACKLASH, LOW RATINGS AND RIVALS

Patti Stanger's recent controversial remarks apparently came at a bad time. The Millionaire Matchmakerstar landed in hot water after saying that "Jewish men lie" and "There is no curbing the gay man" onWatch What Happens Live -- just as her ratings are dropping and rival programs are being developed.

The New York Daily News noted that The Millionaire Matchmaker drew just 800,000 viewers in its new Thursday time slot -- down from an average of 1.9 million.

Meanwhile, Bravo is developing a seemingly similar show with matchmaker Lori Zaslow, tentatively titledProject Soulmate. Although Bravo said that Zaslow's show is not a rival or replacement for Stanger, a source described her as "one of those girls that tells is like it is, just like Patti."

  • Lori is not the only potential threat that Patti is facing. VH1 is launching a dating show called Siggy Flicker, named after its featured matchmaker. It's set to premiere on October 16th.

ANNA FARIS'S HUSBAND WON'T TELL HER HIS NUMBER

Anna Faris and her husband Chris Pratt aren't open about everything in their marriage. Faris, who stars in the new comedy What's Your Number?, admits that her husband is very secretive when it comes to his sexual past.

She told E!, "My husband won't tell me his number, and I think it is probably a really good policy" -- referring to the number of women he's slept with.

The couple is more forthcoming about their future. When asked if babies were in the cards, Faris said, "I would love to have eight! I don't think I could handle it, though!"

  • It's unclear when exactly they plan to hit that number, but Faris mused, "Maybe in the next few years. We want to populate!"

HEADLINE NEWS!

ADMINISTRATION APPEALS HEALTH CARE LAW RULING TO SUPREME COURT: The Affordable Care Act health care law is likely to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in their new term, as the country heads into the presidential election next year, after the Obama administration yesterday (September 28th) formally appealed a ruling by the federal appeals court in Atlanta that struck down the law's requirement that Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty. At the same time, the 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business, which had challenged the law, also asked the nation's highest court for review, saying the entire law, not just the individual mandate, should be struck down. Both appeals stressed the importance of resolving the ACA's constitutionality as soon as possible, which under normal court procedures would be by June 2012.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED PLOT TO ATTACK PENTAGON, CAPITOL: A 26-year-old Massachusetts man was arrested yesterday (September 28th) on charges that he was plotting to blow up the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol using remote-controlled airplanes filled with explosives. Rezwan Ferdaus, who's a U.S. citizen with a degree in physics, was arrested after undercover federal agents delivered materials he had allegedly requested, including grenades, machine guns and what he believed was 24 pounds of C-4 explosive. The arrest was the latest of several terrorism cases resulting from federal sting operations. Ferdaus is alleged to have begun planning to attack the U.S. in early 2010 after becoming convinced America was evil through jihadi websites and videos. He contacted a federal informant and began meeting to discuss the plot with undercover federal agents he believed were members of al-Qaida. In addition to blowing up the Pentagon and Capitol, Ferdaus planned a follow-up attack with six people in two teams using automatic weapons.

TODAY'S FYI:

AL-QAIDA SLAMS AHMADINEJAD FOR 9/11 CONSPIRACY TALK: It's understandable that IranianPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has drawn scorn from the U.S. and nations around the world for his 9/11 conspiracy claims, but he's also being slammed by al-Qaida, which is proud of carrying out the attacks and doesn't want Ahmadinejad raising any doubts about them. The new issue of the propaganda magazine Inspire, put out by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, says that Ahmadinejad insulted al-Qaida with his 9/11 conspiracy talk during his speech before the United Nations General Assembly last week. The article said, "The Iranian government has professed on the tongue of its president Ahmadinejad that it does not believe that al-Qaida was behind 9/11, but rather, the U.S. government. So we may ask the question: why would Iran ascribe to such a ridiculous belief that stands in the face of all logic and evidence?" It charges that in Iran's eyes, quote, "al-Qaida was a competitor for the hearts and minds of the disenfranchised Muslims around the world. Al-Qaida . . . succeeded in what Iran couldn't. Therefore it was necessary for the Iranians to discredit 9/11 and what better way to do so? Conspiracy theories."

AMAZON INTRODUCES KINDLE FIRE TABLET: Amazon yesterday (September 28th) introduced the Kindle Fire, its own tablet computer to compete with Apple's iPad. At 7 inches diagonal, the Fire is half the size of the iPad and will cost less than half the price, $199, when it goes on sale on November 15th. By comparison, the cheapest iPad costs $499. The Fire will run a version of Google's Android software and users will be able to buy apps through Amazon's Android store. It's intended to be a platform for the massive selection of ebooks, movies, TV shows, music that Amazons sells, which gives it a leg up on other tablets in competing with the iPad.

JUDGE: GIFFORDS SHOOTER CAN BE MADE FIT TO STAND TO TRIAL: A federal judge ruled yesterday (September 28th) that the 23-year-old man accused of severely injuring Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a January shooting rampage in which six people were killed and 12 others injured can eventually be made mentally fit to stand trial and should stay at a prison hospital for four more months. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said of Jared Lee Loughner, "There's reason to be optimistic he will recover and be able to assist in his case. The court finds that measurable progress has been made." Loughner sat in court listening quietly, in contrast to his last courtroom appearance in May, when he was removed after an angry outburst. Experts have found that Loughner has schizophrenia, and prosecutors contend he can be made competent with more treatment, but his attorneys argued prosecutors have failed to prove that it's probable his condition will improve enough. A psychologist testified yesterday that Loughner is still delusional, but has improved to where he understands that he killed people and feels remorse about it, and can be made competent to stand trial within eight months. Loughner has improved as he's been forcibly medicated.

FLORIDA SET TO UPSET GOP PRIMARY CALENDAR WITH EARLY VOTE: Florida is expected to hold its presidential primary at the end of January, CNN reported yesterday (September 28th), which will upset the planned GOP primary calendar and lead the state to lose half of its delegates to the Republican National Convention next year. CNN cited Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon as saying that the state commission exploring potential primary dates is likely tomorrow to choose January 31st, which would almost certainly force the traditional early states of Iowa and New Hampshire and more recently added South Carolina and Nevada to move up their primaries and caucuses into early- to mid-January. Florida's early primary date would violate Republican National Committee rules barring any state other than the four early ones from holding a primary before March 6th, under penalty of losing half of their delegates. Florida's expected decision is likely to lead to a flurry of calendar moves as other states look to boost their relevance in the presidential nominating process.

REEBOK TO PAY $25 MILLION OVER EASYTONE SNEAKER CLAIMS: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday (September 28th) that Reebok has agreed to pay $25 million for consumer refunds to settle charges that it made unsupported claims that its EasyTone sneakers provide extra muscle strength in the hamstrings and calves and extra toning in the buttocks over regular sneakers. However, Adidas, which owns Reebok, said it stands by the EasyTone products, agreeing to a settlement only to avoid a long legal battle.

SPORTS:

AMAZING DAY OF BASEBALL AS RAYS, CARDINALS WIN WILD CARD SPOTS: It was a thrilling last day of the regular baseball season on Wednesday night (September 28th) as the Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals secured the American and National League wild card spots, respectively, and the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves completed their September collapses out of the playoffs. The Rays pulled off a stunning comeback from being down to the New York Yankees 7-0 in the eighth inning to first tie the game on a solo home run by pinch-hitter Dan Johnson with two outs in the ninth inning, and then win 8-7 in the 12th inning on Evan Longoria's second home run of the game. Meanwhile, Boston, which would have also had to win to force a one-game playoff with the Rays for the wild card, lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the bottom of the ninth when closer Jonathan Papelbon gave up two runs after getting two outs for a 4-3 loss.

In the National League, the Cardinals got an easy 8-0 win over the Houston Astros, while the Braves, who needed to win to force a one-game playoff with St. Louis, lost 4-3 to the Philadelphia Phillies, who scored off of closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning to tie the game and then got the winning run in the 13th. Both Boston and Atlanta had season-ending swoons, with the Red Sox falling from holding a nine-game lead over Tampa Bay on September 4th -- becoming the first team to miss the postseason after holding that large of a lead entering September -- and the Braves up 10 1/2 games over the Cardinals on August 26th. [Look in "Last Night's TV Audio" for sound from the games.]

BOOK: WALTER PAYTON ABUSED PAINKILLERS, WAS SUICIDAL: A new book about late Chicago Bears star Walter Payton says that he abused painkillers after his retirement and became suicidal. Author Jeff Pearlman writes in Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton that the Hall of Fame running back took a cocktail of Tylenol and Vicodin, kept tanks of nitrous oxide and got Ritalin from a friend whose son was prescribed the drug. Payton also made suicidal calls to his longtime agent and his executive assistant during the mid-1990s, and was living apart from his wife and having extramarital affairs, with both his wife and mistress attending his 1993 Hall of Fame induction.

  • Payton spent all 13 of his seasons with the Bears and retired as the NFL's all-time leading rusher after the 1987 season. He died from a rare liver disease and bile duct cancer in 1999.

(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)

 
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