Vanessa Williams and the pet psychic

The story deepens surrounding the Ugly Betty star’s efforts to recover her missing Yorkshire terrier this summer. When the pooch disappeared from the family’s Chappaqua home, Williams called in the aid of of a psychic to help track him down.

AP Photo/HomeAgain, Diane Bondareff

According to Williams:

<blockquote><div>”When you lose a pet, you stare at the empty bed, you stare at the bowl; it’s like a death…So I called a psychic and told her the situation and she gave me some clues. She definitely thought he was still alive, definitely thought he was taken.” </div></blockquote>

Williams says the clues helped police locate the dog. Although, as we know from earlier accounts, the dog was actually found by an upstate veterinarian, who called Williams after he scanned the pet for a tracking chip.

‘I Need a Girl’: Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and girlfriend split

AP/Walt Disney World, Diana Zalucky

First, Mount Vernon-raised Sean “Diddy” Combs had to dismiss rumors that his Bad Boy Records label cut ties to model/singer Cassie. Yesterday, his spokeswoman confirmed a more personal split: Puff and his girlfriend, Kim Porter, have called it quits.

Combs and Porter — seen here with son Christian during an April 1, 2005 trip to Disney World — also have twin daughters, D’Lila Star and Jessie James, who were born Dec. 21, according to the Associated Press.

Perhaps Diddy will rig his iPod to play his own song, “I Need a Girl,” on a loop until he finds a new one. Oh, wait, he’s found another 200. Cancel that playlist.

Rob Thomas digs Weed(s)

AP Photo/Jim Cooper

I know I haven’t always been kind in my past references to Mount Kisco rocker Rob Thomas. Those pretty boy good looks, that self-serving documentary … Anyway, all that mocking ends now. Thomas is back to his Santana-era level of coolness in my book.

The reason? In this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, there’s a story about all of the bands who’ve been enlisted to score some weed — er, I mean, score the quirky, opening theme song for the Showtime series “Weeds.” Among the musicians doing covers of the ditty, “Little Boxes,” this season: Randy Newman, the Shins, Linkin Park, and Billy Bob Thorton (yes, you read that right). But best of all is Thomas, who the magazine says “made an eleventh-hour pitch to submit a cut from his band.”

“I like weed,” explained Thomas, “and we had instruments lying around. It was a perfect match.”

Waiting for more Weeds

In case you haven’t watched “Weeds” yet, it’s high time (those puns just keep on coming!) you picked up Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix or iTunes. Best comedy I’ve seen in years. Yes, I dig “The Office,” “Entourage,” and their ilk, but none of them approaches the brilliantly simple conceit of a suburban widower dealing pot to her neighbors. Season 3 debuts on August 13 and while it’s still unclear if Thomas made the cut, I advise everyone to head over to the Showtime message board and put in a plug for Thomas, our very own LoHud candidate.

Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN: ‘Shaft’ star takes on ‘Speed Racer,’ rumors heat up about Rosie’s ‘View’ seat, and Oscar-winner’s son loses job

I’m (not) just talkin’ about Shaft!

After the break, find out the answer to this week’s quiz question: Which Academy Award-winner with connections to the Lower Hudson Valley has a running-back son who lost a job when the NFL’s European league folded last month?


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Hayden Panettiere: good big sister

It’s hard to tell which magazine loves Heroes star Hayden Panettiere more: Entertainment Weekly or TV Guide. EW featured the Palisades native on the cover of its annual Hot List issue this summer, while TV Guide has put her on its cover this year so many times, you’d think she reinvented television. But then, who can blame them? In an age of Lindsay, Paris, and Britney, there is something endearing about a pretty young starlet who doesn’t seem like a total screw-up.

AP Photo/Dennis Cook

And in this week’s TV Guide the anti-Hilton has (it’s hard to admit) a genuinely charming exchange with her 12-year-old brother Jansen (who is starring in a new Nickelodeon movie, The Last Day of Summer).

Sample exchange:

<blockquote><div>Hayden: Why are you so handsome?

Jansen: ‘Cause I got good genes from my mom.

Hayden: You are hurting Dad’s feelings…

Jansen: Why are you so gorgeous?

Hayden: Because I am related to you.</div></blockquote>

Okay, it’s tempting to make fun of that…but, hey, for 12- and 17-year-old siblings to get along so well, it’s pretty impressive (I credit Rockland).

The siblings continue their exchange:

<blockquote><div>Jansen: My character does not have the electricity that I have. During the film his confidence gets a total boot.

Hayden: Boot! You mean boost.

Jansen: Oh my God. I can’t work with her. [To his mother] Mom, Hayden is picking on me.

Hayden: I am just correcting his grammar.</div></blockquote>

And after Hayden tells the magazine she can still beat her younger brother in a fight:

<blockquote><div>Jansen: When I turn 14, dude, I’ll beat the shiitake mushrooms out of you.

Hayden: Bring it on.</div></blockquote>

Can you say shiitake mushrooms in TV Guide????

Ivanka Trump to replace Rosie O’Donnell on ‘The View’?

AP/Damian Dovarganes

So if you’re Nyack resident Rosie O’Donnell, and you leave “The View,” what must it feel like to know that the daughter of one of your fiercest rivals might take your place on the show?

Yes, Ivanka Trump — daughter of The Donald — has been one of the names dropped for the coveted Rosie seat, according to

Admittedly, while Ivanka has appeared on “The View” before, the supposed reasoning behind this rumor seems a bit far-fetched. Hollyscoop reports that Sarah Lawrence College alumna Barbara Walters “wants to hire Trump to [tick] off the Hiltons for the treatment she received during the shopping of the Paris post-jail interview.” Indeed, it’s a shame that story didn’t receive more coverage.

Let’s pretend the rumor’s legit. And no matter whose side you’re on, let’s also forget the back story for a split second. I’ve always considered Ivanka Trump to be rather eloquent and surprisingly well-adjusted. She could be a darn good cohost.

I’m still rooting for Mario Cantone, however. That guy cracks me up.

Surprising none, ‘Pop Culture’ begins with Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell

AP/Tina Fineberg

Rosie O’Donnell is to pop culture quizzes as bubble ‘C’ is to the SAT. When in doubt, answer accordingly. You’ll be right about 25 percent of the time.

Want proof? In the debut episode of Season 2 of VH1’s “World Series of Pop Culture,” the first question a contestant faced was which celebrity was called a “big, fat pig” last year by Donald Trump.

The answer, of course, was Nyack’s own Rosie O’Donnell. Later that round, I would jeer the contestant who didn’t know that Jay-Z had ended his feud with Nas. (I am now taking applications for teammates to join me for next year’s contest.)

The “sneak peak” of the season opener ran last night at midnight but it officially debuts on VH1 tonight at 9 EST.

By the way, the best team name in the pop culture competition? Jammin’ on the 1. If you don’t get that reference, you clearly aren’t familiar with the greatest “Cosby Show” episode of all time.

Today in Are-they-serious? news: NBC wants more Trump

AP Photo/Tim Larsen

It looks like The Donald will be firing a few more hapless wannabe suits on NBC in the near future. Reuters is reporting that the network will in fact pick up The Apprentice for at least one more season which, given its anemic ratings and Trump’s  They didn’t fire me, I quit rhetoric last spring, comes as a surprise to nearly everyone.

The plans for the upcoming seventh season will be announced July 16, Reuters reports. One source tells the news agency that it is likely the show will return for an eighth season even.

The renewal may have more to do with the network’s current dire straits than Trump’s ratings magic. Though the show was a hit when it debuted in 2004, viewers have steadily fled since then.

Ratings were down nearly two-thirds of its original audience by the end of last season, according to Reuters. And that was in the midst of the Rosie-Trump feud. Who the heck is he going to call an ugly pig this year?

TV crew works summer to fight losing battle against Tyler James Williams’ puberty

Warner Brothers

It’s hard enough going through puberty. Heck, people still tease me when my voice cracks. And I’m 28 years old.

Now imagine you’re Yonkers native Tyler James Williams, the 14-year-old star of “Everybody Hates Chris.” Picture what it feels like to know that everyone else’s summer vacation plans have been dashed because you have the nerve to experience puberty, the audacity to grow taller and the chutzpah to allow your voice to deepen.

At least Williams can make light of the situation during a break in taping, according to the Associated Press:


I know … This is all my fault. All my fault.


In fairness to the star of “Unaccompanied Minors,” his younger castmates are also barreling toward adulthood, so he’s not the only reason the crew is working around the clock.

Also, let’s be sure to give Williams credit for being mature beyond his years; when he encouraged Emmy viewers in 2005 to donate to charity in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, his was the most genuine appeal of the evening.

But don’t grow up too fast, J.T. It wasn’t long ago that another talented child actor, Lindsay Lohan, did just that.

Vanessa Williams’ lost dog cause

AP Photo/HomeAgain, Diane BondareffVanessa Williams has a new cause thanks to her two-week dog-gone ordeal earlier this summer. Her one-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Enzo, went missing from the family’s Chappaqua home while the actress and her kids were out shopping. The dog was eventually found, which Williams credits to the fact that it was outfitted with a microchip. A nearby veterinarian scanned Enzo and found the chip.

And now Williams is teaming up with HomeAgain, makers of the pooch tracker-chips, to encourage other pet owners to get their dogs and cats implanted. It may not be the sexiest cause celebre, but hey, she seems sincere about it.

“When Enzo was lost it was incredibly stressful, and I learned during my own experience that unfortunately 95 percent of the 135 million cats and dogs in the United States are not protected with this simple, inexpensive technology that saves pets’ lives,” Williams said in a press release for the company. “When I received the phone call saying Enzo had been found, I was over the moon — and so thankful that I had taken the safety precaution of having Enzo chipped and enrolled in HomeAgain at my vet’s office shortly after he joined our family.”

‘Shaft’ star Richard Roundtree joins Susan Sarandon for ‘Speed Racer’ flick


Whooo is the man who’s in the live-action “Speed Racer”?

Shaft! Damn right.

Well, more accurately, joining the cast is New Rochelle native Richard Roundtree, who played the title role in the 1971 “blaxploitation” epic. Seen here with Samuel L. Jackson on the set of the 1999 “Shaft” remake, Roundtree has built up some buzz of late with a recurring role as Charles Deveaux on “Heroes,” featuring Palisades native Hayden Panettiere.

Roundtree plays another kind of hero in the “Speed Racer” movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter:


Roundtree will play Ben Burns, a racer-turned-commentator who is an icon to the fans and a hero to Speed.


He’ll have some more LoHud company on that set. Pound Ridge resident Susan Sarandon is also appearing in the film as Mom Racer — mother to Racer X (Matthew Fox), wife to Pop Racer (John Goodman) and possible Mom Racer in Law to Trixie (Christina Ricci).