Panettiere backs Barack

The Palisades native may not have made the cut for the star-studded Barack Obama music video, “Yes We Can” (which, if you haven’t seen it already, is well worth a viewing), but she did manage to crash a campaign rally Obama recently held at American University. Despite being discouraged by the police, she pressed on and, as is evident from this clip on CitizenSugar, wouldn’t give up until she got some face time with the candidate.

As we reported yesterday, Panettiere is an Obama fan, and apparently she even had a chance to ask him about his stance on whaling at the rally. According to Valleywag, “He told Hayden that he was in support for her cause because he was from Hawaii.”

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Vera Wang to hawk Serta mattresses on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’; Stephen Baldwin to quit in protest

Having Vince McMahon as a guest judge on “Celebrity Apprentice,” that’s just good plain common sense. But dress designer Vera Wang? vera-wang.jpgWhy the Pound Ridge resident would want to appear on The Donald’s program, much less to use the NBC airtime to talk up a line of Serta mattresses, is beyond me. Have the Kohl’s sweatshops driven her completely off the deep end?

Also on tap for this Thursday’s “CA” episode: Upper Grandview’s Stephen Baldwin is going to ask to resign. No, not because of any longstanding grudge with Wang, but rather thanks to his stewing grudge with fellow contestant Piers Morgan. It takes me back to the good ol’ days of “Celebrity Mole” and Corbin Bernsen, the last person to bring out Baldwin’s true born-again bitchiness. Ah, good times.

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Kate Mara reminds us that when the Giants win, we all win

kate-mara.JPGEven if you’re a Patriots fan, take a little solace in knowing that the Giants’ fantastic, epic, storybook victory (OK, so I’m a huge fan of Big Blue) gives me a chance to post a recent photo of lovely Bedford native and Fox Lane High School alumna Kate Mara. Here she is at last month’s Sundance Film Festival, where she was promoting her new film, “Transsiberian.”

The paternal granddaughter of beloved former New York Giants owner Wellington Mara might be best known for her roles as Mark Wahlberg’s love interest in “Shooter,” the late Heath Ledger’s daughter in “Brokeback Mountain” (directed by Larchmont resident Ang Lee) and heartbroken football cheerleader in the surprisingly touching weepfest “We Are Marshall.”

She’s also sung the national anthem for several Giants home games.

But those aren’t her only connections to football, I’ve discovered. It turns out her great-grandfather on her mother’s side is Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney — and that she refuses to choose sides if the teams play each other.

Where’d I learn about Ms. Mara’s Steelers lineage? Vanity Fair, which I read for the articles, of course.

(Photo courtesy of WireImage.com)

Hayden Panettiere: the Jane Fonda of Generation Y?

After taking on the dolphin murderers in Japan, Hayden P. is now bringing her aquatic activism stateside. Just over a week ago the Palisades native was in D.C. to headline a “Save the Whales Again!” rally in Dupont Circle.

panettiere-whales.jpgAs the Washington Post’s Reliable Source blog pointed out, between Panettiere getting an arrest warrant for her antics in the land of the rising sun and her stumping in the nation’s capital — “she talked for most of an hour without notes” — she may just be the Jane Fonda of Generation Y.

In describing her attempt to stop the dolphin slaughter in Japan, Panettiere said, “It was like ‘Mission: Impossible’! We had masks on. . . . The water was so red with blood. . . . This baby dolphin popped its head up and looked at me.”

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Pigs fly, NBC renews ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

The whole idea of doing “celebrity editions” of reality TV shows has always seemed like a surefire Jump-the-Shark tactic — as reliable a way to kill your show as casting Ted McGinley or having a surprise wedding episode — but clearly these rules don’t apply to “The Apprentice.” As we learned this week, NBC has decided to order up a second season of “Celebrity Apprentice,” and is super-sizing some of this season’s episodes to two hours.

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Why exactly the Martha Stewart edition of the show tanked and yet the Stephen Baldwin-Omarosa reboot is booming is beyond me. Perhaps it has something to do with the lack of competitive programming. Then again, with “Lost” back on the air, it’ll be interesting to see what happened to this week’s “Apprentice” numbers. (For the record, I watched “Lost” live and DVR’d Trump & Co.)

As Trump was eager to point out in the NBC press release, “‘Celebrity Apprentice’ [is] the #1 show on Thursday nights so far this year. Ben Silverman and his team have done a tremendous job and Mark Burnett and I are thrilled to begin an eighth season of this amazingly successful franchise.” An NBC rep even went so far as to call the celebrity-ized version “a game-changer for the series.”

Let’s just hope and pray that Ted McGinley gets cast for 2009.

Why did Montel get dropped?

montel-williams.jpgSay it ain’t so, Mo! It was announced on January 30 that “The Montel Williams Show” is coming to an end. Fast. CBS Television Distribution said that it will cease making new episodes and that, in lieu of new broadcasts, it will just supply “Best of Montel” shows instead. Said Montel to the AP, “I can’t say thank you enough to those who’ve welcomed me into their homes for the past 17 years. It has been both an honor and a joy.”

What exactly precipitated the end of the Montel show? Was it due to Rupert Murdoch, Montel’s MS, Health Ledger, or marijuana? A few theories are after the break.

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Justin Chambers: Britney Spears’s looney bin soul mate?

justin-chambers.jpgUCLA Medical Center has suddenly emerged as a magnet for emotionally harried superstars. Of course, we all know about how Britney is being treated there, but now another celebrity has checked himself in. Justin Chambers, who plays Dr. Alex Karev on “Greys Anatomy” and used to live in Rockland, went in on Monday of this week and got out Wednesday.

The reason? According to his representative, Chambers was “exhausted and suffers from a sleeping disorder. He went in voluntarily to get some help.”

No word on whether he and Brit had a chance to share a nice bowl of hospital Jell-O or not.

[via TMZ]

(Photo: ABC/BOB D’AMICO)