NFL Europa folds; Denzel Washington’s son needs new employer

AP/James A. Finley

As if it weren’t rough enough seeing his former team win the World Bowl on Saturday, adding insult to injury for running back John David Washington was the National Football League’s decision today to shut down its European development league after 16 years of operation.

So ends a rough year professionally for the son of Mount Vernon’s Academy Award-winning Denzel Washington. Because the former St. Louis Rams signee didn’t see any game action this season for NFL Europa’s Hamberg Sea Devils, he signed May 21 with the development league’s Rhein Fire with the hope of making an impact. But he rushed just 5 times for only 5 net yards in his first two games with the Fire before finding himself on the bench again for the last two games of the season.

Six days after the Sea Devils defeated the Frankfurt Galaxy, 37-28, to win World Bowl XV, the NFL folded the development league. It reportedly was losing “about $30 million a season,” according to ESPN.

I’d feel bad for John David Washington, but I think this is just an omen. If he has one-tenth the talent of his dad and likes show biz, he should pursue acting.

Studio 60 sails off into the Sunset

For a show that started so brilliantly, it certainly went down hill quickly right around halfway through the season. And the last five episodes, with its hostage crises in Afghanistan, medical emergencies, creepy military officers, schlocky political scandals, and post 9/11 flashbacks (where everyone looked exactly the same), got a bit out of hand. Wasn’t this a show about a less-funny version of Saturday Night Live?

Anyway, now it’s gone. Rest in peace Aaron Sorkin’s could-of-been-great baby.

Sorkin, a Scarsdale native, won’t be unemployed long. He’s currently readying a play for Broadway to possibly open November 18, according to Playbill. It will be called The Farnsworth Invention and tells the story of “the battle for the patent for the invention of the television set.”

In other words, it’s kind of a prequel to Studio 60.

Sorkin is also working on “Charlie Wilson’s War,” a film adaptation of the famous book.  Mike Nichols will direct and the cast will include Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Martha Stewart ‘fine’ after hip surgery

AP Photo/Stephen CherninKatonah lightning rod Martha Stewart underwent surgeory on her left hip last week and is now recuperating. Stewart’s spokesman told the Daily News the procedure was necessary due to “an injury.” Apparently, Stewart put off the tw0-hour operation for more than a year. She even hid the condition from her show’s studio audiences by sitting down for the opening segments.

According to the National Enquirer, Stewart ” left each of her nurses a bag of homemade cookies and a personal note.”

Who’s that on ‘The View’? It’s a MAN, baby, it’s a MAN!

AP/ABC, Heidi Gutman

With “The View”s ratings in free-fall since the departure of Rosie O’Donnell — or, if you take the NY Times’ account, holding steady — the pressure is on to find a replacement pronto. People Magazine has an interesting scenario: What if the show hired a man?

Two are actually set to guest host next month, and each might just be a candidate for a full-time hire. Mario Cantone (of “Sex and the City”) and Ross Matthews (aka “Ross the Intern” on “The Tonight Show”) are going to appear on July 12 and July 17, respectively. People quotes one anonymous source at “The View” as saying that “Barbara’s really fond of Mario,” and then adds that “O’Donnell herself is a big fan of Matthews.” Apparently even former View co-host Debbie Matenopoulos has weighed in, lobbying for a male hire ever since O’Donnell jumped ship on the show. “They’ve said ‘We can’t put a man here.’ I disagree,” she told People. “Why does it have to be guys against girls? I have a better time and solve more problems sitting with my gay guy friends than my girlfriends!”

Meanwhile, E!’s Marc Malkin says he asked Walters about the possibility of hiring a man at a recent even in Hollywood. Walters’ response? “We tried a man last year with Men’s Day Wednesdays in all of July,” Walters said. “The ratings went down every Wednesday.”

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs dismisses rumors he dropped Cassie from label

AP/Stuart Ramson Mount Vernon-raised music and clothing entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs has tried for a week to dismiss rumors that he dropped singer/model Cassie from his label, Bad Boy Records.

Citing disappointing sales figures and poor live performances, music bloggers perpetuated rumors that The Artist Formerly Known as Puff cut the “Me & U” singer loose. But last week, he denied these rumors in an interview from the set of his latest music video:


Cassie’s definitely not dropped from Bad Boy. She’s in the studio [working on her next album]. So many people are excited to be working with her. … People really understand that she does have some talent and it takes some time to mold it. Everybody’s not perfect. I think she had some rough shows, just being nervous. Sometimes people have to break out of that.


In addition, the World Entertainment News Network reported this morning that Diddy tabbed Cassie to “front his new clothing line for women.”

Still, that move could be seen as a savvy public relations move for Diddy, giving Cassie a way to transition out of the music industry without causing as much of a scene.

So what do you think? Rumor gone awry? Or the beginning of the end for Cassie?

Bernie Williams to return to Bronx to play … guitar

Tom Nycz/The Journal News Armonk resident and former New York Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams will be headed back to the Bronx in August, but as far as we know, he won’t be playing center field. He’ll be playing a six-string.

Williams plans to teaming up for a concert with Jose Feliciano and other performers Aug. 18 for “A Night of Peace, Unity & Hope” at the Paradise Theater.

If you haven’t heard Bernie play, he’s no hack. In addition to releasing an album that scored well on the charts, he took the stage with the Allman Brothers in April.

Another Lower Hudson Valley resident scheduled to appear is Hartsdale resident Michael Kay, the primary Yankees play-by-play announcer for the YES Network.

Even more intriguing is the nature of the expected appearances by Jim Leyritz and Darryl Strawberry, who were teammates with Williams when the Yanks won the 1996 World Series. They’ve signed up to take the stage as actors in a production of “The Boy of Steel,” according to The New York Times.

There’s no way Strawberry’s acting will be as awesome as it was in one of my favorite episodes of “The Simpsons” — the same episode in which C. Montgomery Burns repeatedly demands Don Mattingly to “shave those sideburns.”

Rosie takes down photo of her child soldier/daughter, Vivienne

After posting an ultra-creepy image of her daughter, Vivienne, wearing fatigues and an ammo belt yesterday — under the headline “a picture is worth a thousand posts” — O’Donnell got almost universally slammed. Here are just a few of the angry comments:



what’s with the new pic? it’s rather disturbing!

Eula Hollon
Help me out here….Why is that child in the header pic(your child I believe) wearing a bullet belt around her? Is there a political statement ur trying to make?

that picture is gross! I am distrubed…leaving your site for a clearing of my mind as to what you are up to!

Are you kidding me with that pic of your daughter? Why would you do that?

Jon E.
Not sure of the “message� you are trying to send with that pic of Viv, but I guarantee many are not going to get it… Children with bullets, even fake…?? what are u thinking?</div></blockquote>

There were a few positive comments too, but nobody seemed quite sure what the message was supposed to be — a critique of child soldiers? A protest of the war in Iraq? A metaphor for the combative Elisabeth Hasselbeck?

O’Donnell since removed the photo, and rather than just lifting a copy here, I’ll point you to it over at TMZ. Any and all artistic interpretations are welcome.

UPDATE: As bizarre and disturbing as the photo of O’Donnell’s daughter is, somebody managed to top it with this photo of O’Donnell herself. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Many thanks to F.O.S. (Friend of Suburbarazzi) Amy Vernon for the tips.

How will EW covergirl Hayden Panettiere spend her summer?

AP/Gus Ruelas

Check out this behind the scenes video of Heroes star and Hollywood It Girl Hayden Panettiere talking about where she’d like to see her cheerleader character go next season, and also how she’d like to spend her summer vacation. The 17-year-old from Palisades says:

<blockquote><div>I want to go on a beach this summer and listen to Bob Marley. That’s all I want to do.</div></blockquote>

Matt Dillon joins the ‘Wild Hogs’ generation

AP/Michel Euler

It still defies all logic that “Wild Hogs” did well at the box office. As Entertainment Weekly summed it up back in March, despite critics “best efforts to warn audiences away, Disney’s suburban-doofuses- on-Harleys comedy roared into theaters last weekend with a stronger-than-expected $39.7 million, leaving the much-lauded Zodiac to eat its dust.”

What isn’t all that surprising, though, is that that after that success Disney would now greenlight any and all movies targeting (a) baby boomers, (b) middle America, or (c) motorcycle enthusiasts. Enter “Old Dogs.” Starring John Travolta (again), the movie will be about a divorced father of 6-year-old twins who need to take care of his kids for a few weeks with his womanizing best friend (Robin Williams). For some inexplicable reason, Mamaroneck native Matt Dillon has also been thrown into the middle-aged mix, playing the ultraconservative role of the head of the twins’ summer camp. And here I was thinking that whole “Herbie: Fully Loaded” sellout phase was a fluke. Ahh, somebody please get that man a Harley.

“Matt Dillon Joins ‘Old Dogs'” [Cinematical]

Denzel returns to directing

AP/Louis Lanzano

Five points to anyone who can remember Washington’s directorial debut. (The answer is after the break.)

The pride of Mount Vernon is going to be taking the director’s seat again, this time to helm the Oprah Winfrey-produced flick, “The Great Debaters,” about a professor who, in 1935, led the first African American debate team at Wiley College Texas. The team went on to compete against Harvard in the national debating championship. As in his last directorial endeveaor (got it yet?), Washington will take on one of the leading roles alongside Forest Whitaker. According to IMDB, the movie is expected to come out in 2008.

Continue reading