Rosie O’Donnell dishes clues, plays to crowd on ‘Million Dollar Password’

rosie.jpgI headed to Queens yesterday to check out a taping of the brand-new, yet-to-be-broadcast CBS game show “Million Dollar Password,” hosted by Regis Philbin.

It turned into a Suburbarazzi goldmine when South Nyack resident Rosie O’Donnell emerged from backstage to try to help contestants to win the big prize. She looked great, jelled with contestants and quickly became a crowd favorite on-camera and off.

And although she didn’t get to host “The Price Is Right,” she proved Sunday that she more than holds her own as a game show celebrity panelist. Skateboarder Tony Hawk was the other celebrity clue-giver for the taping I viewed.

There’s so much more I want to say about what I saw, but because I signed my life away upon witnessing the taping, I’m probably not at liberty to disclose much more until that episode airs.

So why am I comfortable disclosing even this much information? Rosie documented this much on her blog yesterday:

<blockquote><div>
today i shot million dollar password
hosted by regis – who is just the best
the set is HUGE
like millionaire/deal-no deal/1vs100 HUGE
this aint the old password
4 sure

it’s on CBS
in may
fun fun fun
</div></blockquote>

You’d never be able to discern it, but if you watch Rosie’s video in the same post, I’m a maroon blur in the extreme lower-left of the audience at the 1-minute, 24 second mark. I swear.

Oh, and as a game show enthusiast, I really like the new “Password” format. True enough to the original(s), but more exciting.

More details about Rosie’s contributions to the show — and another local connection — after the episode airs, I promise!

(AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

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Greenlights aren’t what they used to be

The writer’s strike has been over for almost a month now, but to look at the list of stalled movies, all of which had previously gotten the green light from studios, it feels like Hollywood is still on hiatus. Here are just a few that have ties to Lower Hudson Valley residents (or natives) and, according to Variety, are going nowhere fast:

aaron-sorkin.jpg• “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” to be directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Scarsdale native Aaron Sorkin (right), was supposed to start shooting in April, but has now been put on hold. It looks like it won’t begin filming now until summer and fall, and Spielberg and Sorkin are planning to use the additional time to tighten their script. With a potentially blockbuster cast (among the names rumored on IMDB: Will Smith, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kevin Spacey, Colin Hanks, and Jeff Bridges), it’ll be interesting to see if the actors will still be available months and months down the road.

joseph-cross.jpg• “Justice League of America,” was once rumored to have Pelham’s Joseph Cross (right), of “Running with Scissors” fame, as one of its Hall of Justice superheros. And while the entire cast is still up in the air, the Variety account says that, despite delays, Warner Bros. is still trying desperately to begin shooting in mid-July, hoping for a summer ’09 release. Alas, that script needs work, too, and isn’t due to be finished for over a month.

ron-howard.jpg• “Angels and Demons,” Ron Howard’s “Da Vinci Code” prequel, appears to be the only film with a rock-solid plan. Shooting, which was supposed to begin before the strike, is now set to commence in Rome on June 5. Howard, who lives in Greenwich, “will spend three weeks shooting all of the film’s exterior scenes,” says Variety. “The rest of the film will be shot on Sony soundstages, where sets will wait, if necessary, until an actor’s strike is over. That allowed Sony to somewhat contain the costs to halt and re-start the picture.”

“Film greenlights in limbo” [Variety]

YouTube video of Ace Frehley not wanting to be on YouTube

As you may remember, Chappaqua resident and KISS guitarist Ace Frehley is on tour right now, promoting his solo work, “Pain in the Neck.” Only catch: He’s not actually playing any of his new songs, for fear that they’ll end up on the Internet before the actual album comes out. As he explained in a recent interview about his comeback tour:

“I’m going to wait until after the album comes out because I don’t want everything on YouTube. I don’t think we’ll really be able to add more than three new songs to the set anyway. Everybody wants to hear certain songs from certain records. It’s hard figuring out what to drop.”

So isn’t it just a delicious irony that, after playing a concert in Atlanta in late February, video of him performing quickly ended up on YouTube.

ace-frehley.jpg

As promised, it doesn’t look like he’s rocking any new tunes — instead, the clip just shows his guitar smoking. Literally. For those looking forward to the new Frehley solo album, there is one tantalizing tidbit, though: Former Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Slash is due to play on it, too. Now, if only we could track down that drummer from Poison, we might just have the makings of a pretty decent band. Either that or the next cast of “The Surreal Life.”

Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN: O’Donnell, Clinton, and Pacino pay a visit to upset city

On tap this week: Rosie’s return to television, how Hillary Clinton got her groove back (with a little help from SNL and Jon Stewart), and the latest on Al Pacino playing the bad guy in the next James Bond film.

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/030408_suburbarazzi_lohud.mp4″ title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file” class=”noimg”><em>Podcast file</em></a>

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/flv/030408_suburbarazzi_lohud.flv” title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file”><em>Loading Flash …</em></a>

Also, you may have seen Vanessa Williams on the Barbara Walters Oscar special a week ago. During it, she confirmed a whole slew of rumors about her personal life. Which brings us to this week’s quiz: Can you guess which of the following she did NOT cop to?

A. Using Botox
B. Being the victim of racism while growing up in Millwood
C. Living with her 2 ex-husbands in Chappaqua simultaneously
D. Being an a Barack Obama booster

The answer is at the end of the video and after the break.
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Highlander-NYPD Blue hybrid gets the LoHud seal of approval

Among the things that bode well for “New Amsterdam”:

• It gets to debut tonight after “American Idol,” just about the cushiest timeslot in all of television.

fox_37-cloisters-ent33a305.jpg• The pilot was directed by Bedford’s Lasse Hallstrom — he of “Hoax,” “Cider House Rules,” and “Chocolat” fame.

• It has a half-decent premise: The protagonist, John Amsterdam, was a Dutch soldier who, in 1694, was blessed by a Native American with the gift of immortality. Or rather, immortality until he finds his one true love. With undertones of “Groundhog Day,” “NYPD Blue” (Amsterdam is now an NYPD cop in present day), and “Highlander,” I really should like this show, but …

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Hooray for NC-17: ‘Lust Caution’ wins ShoWest ‘Freedom of Expression Award’

Ang Lee may have gotten snubbed by the Academy, which didn’t allow his film “Lust Caution” to compete in the Best Foreign Language Film category (because some of the film’s crew members were not Taiwanese), but he’s still racking up plenty of other nominations and wins. Among the “Best Film” awards the flick has taken: The Golden Horse, the Satellite Award, and the Golden Lion.

And next week it’s getting yet another, from, of all groups, the National Association of Theater Owners. As Variety reports, Lee and his longtime producing partner James Schamus are being recognized for allowing their film to be released with an NC-17 rating (rather than, say, slashing some scenes to appease the MPAA and get an R). The two are getting the “Freedom of Expression Award” at the annual ShoWest conference in Vegas.

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Sitcom sadism: Rosie O’Donnell, Fran Drescher to team up

And just when you thought it was safe to go back on the boob tube … (cue John Williams score)

Yes, it’s true: Rosie O must be going through some kind of Joy Bahar withdrawl. Why else would she choose to team up with the equally annoying yenta, Fran Drescher, for a sitcom about three best friends.

odonnell-drescher.jpg

O’Donnell, who lives in South Nyack, confirmed that she’s working on the new show via her blog. All of which set of a deluge of comments on “Ask Ro”:

“Ro, is it true you and Fran are going to do a sitcom or are you just teasing us?” one wrote.

“True,” said Rosie.

“OMG. . . . you and Fran are going to be the new Lucy and Ethel! I am about to bust at the thought of it,” wrote another fan.

O’Donnell’s reply: “Honey, sign me up.”

Yeah, um, am I the only one who sees this as the god awful idea that it really is? Rosie on MSNBC — that I could see. Rosie as the host of “The Price is Right” — that had a kind of twisted logic, too. Even resurrecting “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” might make sense financially. But this new show, apparently initiated by Drescher, sounds like a nightmare. Even if you took Ro’s best moments from “Nip/Tuck” and crossed them with Drescher’s least annoying spots on “The Nanny,” you’d still have a cross between “Nip/Tuck” and “The Nanny.”

So with that, I’m prepared to declare that the Rosie renaissance has officially jumped the shark. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

“O’Donnell, Drescher may star in new sitcom” [Los Angeles Times]

(AP Photos) 

Al Pacino deep-sixes role in new 007 film

Couldn’t get enough of Willy Bank in “Oceans 13”? Hoping he’ll tackle another bad-guy role soon? Well, according to recent reports around the interweb, the producers of the next James Bond film were trying to make the Sneden’s Landing actor an offer he couldn’t refuse. They wanted him to play the baddie in the next installment of the Daniel Craig era — and most strangely titles Bond movie ever — “Quantum of Solace.” The role would be head of an international terrorist organization.

According to the Herald Sun, Pacino was supposed to film his “brief but extremely important role” at London’s Pinewood Studios in April or May, with the movie scheduled to come out in November 2008.

Alas, Access Hollywood had to go fact-check the rumor. Turns out it’s not true at all. According to the studio, Pacino is not attached to the project.

(AP Photo / Chris Pizzello)

Hillary Clinton, Amy Poehler share fashion tips and laughs on ‘SNL’

clinton.jpgWhile the writers’ strike raged, I missed many of my favorite scripted shows, but particularly longed for the political satire that “Saturday Night Live” has thrived upon for more than 30 years.

And when savvy politicians have appeared to be in on the joke, even better.

Prior to Saturday in this abridged season, we’d already seen Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee on “SNL” to lampoon the race for the presidency. During Saturday’s Weekend Update segment, Rudy Giuliani jokingly blamed his previous “SNL” hosting duties for his unsuccessful campaign. And the favorite to claim the GOP presidential nomination, John McCain, has also served as host in a previous season.

Appearing in the opening segment of Saturday’s show was Chappaqua resident Hillary Clinton, who delivered the show’s signature “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” with a wide smile while standing next to cast member Amy Poehler.

Poehler, dressed in a similar coat and pearls, had just impersonated Clinton during a send-up of the most recent Democratic debate (pictured atop this post). When Clinton said she “adored” Poehler’s impersonation of her, the cast member joined her on stage and cackled maniacally when the presidential hopeful demanded her earrings back.

“Do I really laugh like that?” said Clinton, who then appeared to acknowledge that as truth as she and Poehler trailed off in a synchronized mumble.

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(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato; Video created by/courtesy of NBC.com)