Changes in store for ‘Sleepy Hollow’ after ratings plummet

Fox plans to wake up ‘Sleepy Hollow’ from its ratings nightmare.

The supernatural series, which is loosely based on Washington Irving’s classic tale “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and takes place in the Westchester village, will try to win back viewers by making some creative changes.

Here are three things you can expect from the new (and improved?) ‘Sleepy Hollow.’

1. An episodic feel: “[We’re] bringing it back to something that feels a little more episodic in nature, that has closure and doesn’t feel quite so serialized,” Fox TV chairman and CEO Dana Walden said during the TCA press tour. “You don’t have to feel like if you tune into episode three of our new run, that you have to go back and watch the first two,” she explained.

2. More fun: “We’re trying to return the fun to it a little bit. It’s an epic battle between good and evil, so there’s a tendency to be a little dark,” Walden told reporters.

3. A new vision:: Walden says they have also discussed “maybe toning down a little bit the apocalyptic vision that existed in the initial episodes.”

Fox has not decided if the show will be renewed for a third season.

What are your thoughts on the latest season of ‘Sleepy Hollow?’ Do you think creative changes can save the show? Tell us in the comments.

Photo: Getty

Fishburne signs development deal with CBS

After debuting on CSI last week to over 20 million viewers, Laurence Fishburne is apparently here to stay with CBS.

The actor with a home in New Rochelle just signed a deal with CBS to develop small screen projects, similar to the string of successes Mark Wahlberg has had on HBO with shows like Entourage and In Treatment.

But Morpheus is no stranger to developing his own projects too. His production company was responsible for the movie Akeelah and the Bee, a great film if you haven’t seen it already. Fishburne also executive produced HBO’s Miss Evers’ Boys and Always Outnumbered.

CBS lately has been coming out with all sorts of great new shows like The Mentalist, so I’m really curious to see what Fishburne will come up with.

(AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)

Aww, poor Rosie

Don’t call it a comeback… seriously don’t.

NBC had high hopes for resurrecting Rosie O’Donnell’s career this week by letting her star in her very own variety special featuring appearances by Alec Baldwin, Liza Minelli and Kathy Griffin.

NBC was hoping that special would be successful and turn it into a regular series. But apparently it didn’t go well for the Nyack resident on Wednesday after only 5 million viewers tuned in – not a good number for a broadcast network used to getting double or triple that amount for its other shows.

Other networks thinking about creating variety shows of their own were watching Rosie’s show with keen interest.

“There’s a notion that the climate is right for the genre to make a comeback,” one executive said to the Hollywood Reporter. “I guess we now know what not to do, thanks to Rosie.”

Ouch. Even worse, the NY Times said it the show felt like  “hokey comedy with an enemies list.” TV Guide called it a “ghastly ego trip.” And the LA Times asked, “Rosie, what on earth were you thinking?”

Poor Rosie. She’s been rejected more times than Steve Urkel propositioning Laura Winslow for a one-night-stand.

Who knows, maybe the CW network is accepting applications.

(AP Photo)

Jay-Z and Beyonce Hollywood’s richest couple

Scarsdale’s newest celebrities Jay-Z and Beyonce made it to the top of the list for Forbes Magazines richest celebrity couples.

The musical lovebirds racked up $162 million last year. And unlike other couples that made the list, the two’s income is fairly even.

Jay-Z collected over $82 million for a lucrative touring deal with Live Nation and his platinum selling album American Gangster.

Beyonce landed over $80 million thanks to a slew of movie roles, endorsements and sold out concert tour.

The two’s assets dwarfed the competition on the list. In second place, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett racked up $80 million last year — most of which came from the $80 million Will Smith got from his movie roles.

Check out the entire list here.

(Jay Z: AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

(Beyonce: AP Photo/Jane Kalinowsky)

Beyonce wants to perform at Obama inauguration

If Barack Obama is booking performers for his presidential inauguration, Beyonce is raising her hand.

One of Scarsdale’s newest residents told People magazine she’s “definitely” going to be there already because “I want to be there to witness it.”

She was asked about performing and she said, “Of course I’d love to. Who wouldn’t?”

Beyonce also discussed the fun she had last weekend performing a sketch with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg on Saturday Night Live.

Speaking of Beyonce, she’ll appear in the upcoming movie Cadillac Records with Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def. The movie is already getting Oscar buzz and I got word they’re auctioning off tickets to the premiere here.

(AP Photo/John Smock)

Diddy to appear on CSI: Miami

Diddy has landed a guest role on CSI: Miami that will appear on the smash hit CBS show in early 2009.

The Mount Vernon raised mogul will be on two episodes as federal prosecutor that has beef with the show’s main character David Caruso.

Diddy won’t be the only CSI actor with Westchester street cred. New Rochelle resident Laurence Fishburne is expected to make his debut as the newest cast member of CSI on Dec. 11.

And in the uncomfortable to report Diddy news, the rapper recently described in detail his preference on how females should groom their private parts.

(AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh)

The Voting Woes Tale of Tim Robbins

This one is epic.

Tim Robbins tried performing his civic duty by voting last week, when he was told at his polling location that his name was not on the list.

“I had been voting there for years,” he told the Associated Press. “I have not moved, I have not changed party affiliations. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be in the rolls. So I was given a paper ballot and filled it out, but I wanted my vote to be registered there — and I don’t trust paper ballots.”

So then, he asked to talk to someone at the Board of Elections and refused to leave until someone from the board came down to the polling place.

Go Tim!

Robbins was offered a paper ballot but he refused because “oftentimes those things get lost or thrown away.”

After hours of waiting, Robbins was told to go the Board of Elections office in downtown Manhattan to verify his voter registration.

A judge then issued a court order allowing him to vote, so Robbins went back to his original polling place and was allowed to cast his ballo

“This is just one example of how difficult it is to vote in the United States,” he said.

Wow, he fought for hours for his right to vote. And here I am throwing a hissy fit every time my Taco Bell order takes more than 3 minutes to make.

(AP Photo/Jennifer Graylock)

Westchester author at the center of Spielberg lawsuit

Steven Spielberg is being sued over claims his movie Distburbia (starring Shia LaBeouf) copied off the classic Hitchcock movie Rear Window.aleqm5hq2dbpgneoefl5tehjxmcy9wqc6a.jpeg

In case you didn’t know, Rear Window is based off a 1942 short story written by Cornell Woolrich, who grew up in New York City but is buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale. Hitchcock got permission from Woolrich’s people when he made his movie, but the lawsuit alleges that Spielberg didn’t.

(AP Photo/Paramount Pictures)

The 10 Commandments of Suburban Celebrity Stalking

When we first proposed the idea of a blog devoted to celebrities in the suburbs, we got plenty of blank stares from our colleagues. The response was almost uniformly, “What, all two of them?”

Well, here we are almost two years later and our material has hardly dried up. Hopefully we’ve shown that star sightings in the lower Hudson Vally are are about as common as traffic jams on the Tappan Zee. And Suburbarazzi is just getting warmed up.

Unfortunately, I won’t be one of the few proud souls to carry on the celebrity stalking. I’ve accepted an offer with Gannett’s six New Jersey papers to help grow their websites and develop further digital content (including, yes, blogs). And while I’m incredibly excited about all that’s in store for me in the shiny suburbs to the south, I’m also very sad that I won’t be able to continue shepherding along Suburbarazzi. Along with the three Journal News magazines (InTown Westchester, Rockland Magazine, and Putnam Magazine), this blog has been one of my great passions while living in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Instead of belaboring that point with a bunch of sappy anecdotes, though, I’d like to use this space to provide the two remaining Suburbarazzos — Chris Serico, who has been with us almost since the beginning, and Aman Ali, who joined about a month ago — with some tips to guide them as they navigate the star-infested waters north of NYC.

Herewith, my 10 Commandments:

10. Thou Shalt Not Watch Rosie O’Donnell’s Vlogs. Trust me, they’re more bizzarly addictive than Carrot Top at the Luxor. Watch one on rosie.com and you’re bound to be hooked.

9.  Thou Shalt Not Come Off as Borderline Pervy While Posting About Hayden Panettiere. File this one under: Don’t make the same mistakes I did.

8.  Thou Shalt Not Make Rodent Jokes About Richard Gere’s Bedford Restaurant. After all, he named it Bedford Post, not Squirrely Acres. That said, post jokes are totally fair game.

7. Thou Shalt Not Challenge Kevin Dillon to a Game of Golf. Face it: You’ll lose. Instead, I suggest going head-to-head against Phil Reisman (of the “Mano a Mano with Spano” fame) in a round of minigolf.

6.  Thou Shalt Not Be Blinded by Karen DePodwin’s Smile While Filming the Weekly RNN Segment. Avert your eyes! Stay on topic! Keep it to 1:30!

5. Thou Shalt Make Friends with the Folks at the Pelham Picture House. Just whatever you do, next time Clooney is in town, don’t try blogging from your iPhone. It’ll annoy those around you. Besides, it’s just sad.

4. Thou Shalt Organize a Ultimate Fighting Challenge Cage Match Between Fred Norris and Nick Di Paolo. Why, I’m not entirely sure. But it came to me in a dream.

3.  Thou Shalt Call the Westchester DA the Moment DMX Turns Up in the County Again. With two arrest warrants in Yonkers and White Plains still outstanding, you’d have good reason to rat him out. Plus, the opportunitiy to see this man rapping on our local courthouse steps is simply too good to pass up.

2. Thou Shalt Continue Doodling in Microsoft Paint. Consider my offer of $5 worth of ground beef for any stick-figure illustrations of celebrity babies a standing one. Up it to $10 if we’re talking about twins again.

1. Thou Shalt Not Take the Baldwin Name in Vain. Leave that up to Stephen. He’s got you covered.

Good luck, Suburbarazzos.

And New Jersey celebrities, watch your back!

Panettiere in the running for World’s Sexiest Vegetarian 2008

It’s one thing for Carrie Underwood to beat out the likes of LoHudders like Bryce Dallas Howard, Billy Baldwin, and Chynna Phillips to win the title of World’s Sexiest Vegetarian 2007? But there’s NO WAY we’re letting Palisades native Hayden Panettiere lose in the PETA version of the contest this year. Especially given that she’s already in like Flynn with animal activists, thanks do her dolphin do-goodery, and that her boyfriend, Heroes costar Milo Ventimiglia, is also nominated.

Currently she’s at #3 in the voting with 1,426 votes, behind Alyssa Milano (1,948) and Natelie Portman (1,575), and Ventimiglia is at #4 on the male leader board. I’m not sure exactly what the deadline for the contest is, so head over now and cast your vote before it’s too late.

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link: World’s Sexiest Vegetarian 2008

Justine Bateman goes to Washington … to save the Internet

It’s a question you’ve no doubt asked yourself countless times before: 112605_1774_pre.jpgWhere does Justine Bateman stand on the whole “Net Neutrality” debate?

I’m sure Lawrence Lessig and Kevin Martin have perfectly good arguments on the topic, too, but during late April’s Senate Committee Hearing on the Future of the Internet, it was Bateman, a Rye native (and sister of Jason) who really stole the show. A few choice excerpts for her full statement to the committee are after the break.

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Bill Irwin gets his Randy Pausch on with ‘The Happiness Lecture’

Nyack resident Bill Irwin is about to premiere of his own ensemble show, “The Happiness Lecture,” down in Philadelphia. And much as I kid with the title, from the description on the Philadelphia Theatre Company’s website, “Happiness” actually has next to nothing to do with Pausch’s now-famous Carnegie Mellon speech, “The Last Lecture” — other than both being titled “lectures” and about happiness, more or less.

tjndc5-5b4h37×89yw1i9anunb6_layout.jpgIn case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Irwin has had a long, and at times schizophrenic career on Broadway, in the movies, and on TV. By turns ultra-dramatic and then ultra-clown-y, Irwin won the Tony for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” and also starred for a long time as Mr. Noodle on “Sesame Street.”

This new show, which Irwin himself conceived, will run from May 16 to June 15 at PTC’s new home, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. Says the PTC website:

“Irwin has created a unique and imaginative evening of delightful vignettes and physical comedy. This world premiere is a wild and entertaining ride that spoofs theatrical pretensions while exploring the sheer joy of laughter. Featuring some of Philadelphia’s finest actors and dancers.”

Presumably, this means Irwin’s clown persona will be on stage. Nothing could make us happier.

“Philadelphia Theatre Co. Premieres Master Clown Bill Irwin’s Happiness Lecture” [Playbill]

(AP Photo/Carol Rosegg)