Octavia Spencer Says Stigma of TV 'Quite Gone'; 'Hit The Floor's' Don Stark Talks Segment Secrecy Octavia Spencer has an Academy Award and a steady influx of film offers — but she scoffs at the very notion of shying away from television. "That's not a reality in today's world. You see Julia Roberts doing television," notes the "The Help" …Read more. Peri Gilpin Longs for Laughs as a Change-Up After Tough 'The Choking Game' Movie Peri Gilpin would like to get back to the funny. The actress who rose to fame as lusty radio producer Roz Doyle on "Frasier" — and more recently appeared as the compassionate mother of an Olympics-bound gymnast with medical trouble on ABC …Read more. Ask Stacy -- Week of 7/26/14 DEAR STACY: Not to be ghoulish or anything, but given the recent news about family members squabbling over the remains of the late Casey Kasem, my husband and I started thinking about a similar situation in the past and the body of James Mason. That …Read more. Elliot Gould on 'Ray Donovan,' 'Mulaney' and Maintaining Vigor; Smartphone TV Watching on the Rise A month shy of turning 76, Elliott Gould is quite pleased with himself for having two — count 'em, two — high-profile television series gigs simultaneously. Showtime's excellent "Ray Donovan" has been using the one-time counterculture …Read more.more articles
Alison Sweeney Keeps Up Triple Duty Pace/A Psychiatrist's View of ‘Bachelor' Bad Girl Courtney
"The Biggest Loser" is wrapping up shooting for its current season this week, and host Alison Sweeney admits she's "been counting the days" until it's over. That's because Alison, a master multitasker, has taken on a workload that's nearly impossible. There's " Loser," her ongoing starring stint on "Days of our Lives," plus the TV Guide Network's "Hollywood Girls Night" show she's executive producing along with her on-camera chores.
Planning her schedule has been like "a thousand-piece puzzle that only fits together one way. It's all been happening at once," she tells us. "I try to avoid this, but one time I did have to do all three shows in one day, with the Hollywood Moms coming for dinner. That was a long day."
In case you weren't aware, the Sunday night show, for which she partners with Ali Landry, was inspired by their real-life social circle of celebrity moms who had fun getting together at each other's homes and dishing on the industry, men, their kids, men, friends and men. "We want to keep it all positive, fun and light-hearted, just like it is when we talk to our girlfriends off-camera. It's not often you're in the middle of an outrageous conversation or a catfight. We behave as we would if we came to someone's house for dinner," she says.
Sure. Not surprisingly, though, the show's teaser promos stress the spilling of secrets and such attention-grabbing bits as Kendra Wilkinson, one of this week's guests, talking about building a "sex room" in her home with hubby Hank Baskett. "Kendra is a highlight — the way she opens up about her married life, her background, what her life has been like as a Playmate, how she's comfortable with her body," Alison says. "She had great stuff. I kept asking her questions. I HAD to know more." Robin Givens is also on this week's show. Future shows include "Dancing With the Stars" host Brooke Burns and champion dancer Cheryl Burke.
Alison brushes off reports that she and Landry annoyed their real-life friends by going off on their own to sell the show last year. "Obviously, I just think there's a lot of misinformation out there," she says. "It's a wonderful show, really positive, and most important for us, it's celebrating our friendships."
The busy actress-host-producer-director also has her husband and two small children at home. Finding family time "is definitely a big piece of the puzzle," she says.
She credits nutrition and exercise tips she's picked up through her years on "The Biggest Loser" for the fact that she has the energy for all of this. "These are tools you can use for your whole life, not just when you're losing weight," she points out. And ... are you ready? She's also training for the L.A. Marathon on March 18.
ANOTHER VIEW: A new version of Michael Jackson's last days will be coming to light by year's end with the release of "Fit for a King," the first cookbook from celebrity chef Kai Chase.
We were chatting with Chase about the March 18 Drawing Hope International masquerade gala in Beverly Hills, for which she is providing some of her trademark fusion cuisine.
Chase makes it clear that his impact on her life was profound. She says, "When you read the book, you'll see how things were different" as far as the portrayal of Jackson's world. "I was feeding him and his children. He was going to rehearsals and the recording studio. He was energized, looking good, feeling good. I want to talk about the fun times — the practical jokes played on me in the house, me and the kids planting gardens. I was seeing him every day and working with him every day. He talked to me about a lot of things, as a boss and as a friend — how to move on with your career, write books, this and that." However, "I was let go at a certain point," recalls Chase. She was back at the mansion the day Jackson died.
Since then, her list of celebrity clients has grown, and "a lot of things are really coming to the forefront right now," notes the beautiful chef, who listens to Jackson's "Keep the Faith" song because "it keeps me inspired and motivated for greatness. The blessings keep pouring down. Sometimes I think he has something to do with that, and I imagine him and God high-fiving."
Chase is also offering an at-home cooking lesson to be auctioned off at the fundraiser for Drawing Hope, which helps survivors of rape and sexual abuse in some 150 countries. Celebs expected to be on hand for the event range from Garrett Morris to Kyle Massey to honoree AnnaLynne McCord of "90210." For ticket information, see www.drawinghope.org.
SO BAD, THEY'RE GOOD (TV): Dr. Carole Lieberman, M.D., the psychiatrist who literally wrote the book about bad girls ("Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them and How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets"), offers up a bouquet of insights about "The Bachelor's" reviled Courtney Robertson, who got ahold of current bachelor Ben Flajnik to the dismay of the other bachelorettes, including Good Girl Lindsey (a.k.a. Lindzi Cox).
Lieberman has defined a dozen categories of bad girls. They apparently share the characteristics of having been hurt, hardened their hearts, given up on love and then begun using men for various purposes. "They're not embarrassed or vulnerable themselves, which is why Courtney was so easily able to manipulate him. She was so demonstrative, so sexual, she acted as if she was madly in love with him. She could be more brave, audacious and bold about making a play for him because it really didn't mean as much to her as Lindsey. She really wasn't in love with him; she just wanted to win the show. Bad girls use sexuality to trap the men, like Courtney suggesting they go skinny dipping, which was very seductive."
Ben, meanwhile, fits into the category of "sitting ducks," says the shrink.
As much fun as it is to diss Courtney, there is a sobering side effect when it comes to impressionable young viewers finding role models in bad girls. "Whatever dysfunction is in the home, the media worsen the situations by glamorizing them. Look at the Kardashians. They're all bad girls. They make it look like being bad is cool" — not to mention profitable.
To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2012 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM