Ed McMahon Has More Trouble

Court documents show a company founded by Merv Griffin is suing Ed McMahon for a $100,000 loan it claims has gone unpaid.

The Griffin Group Inc. claims it loaned the money to McMahon, Johnny Carson’s sidekick on the “Tonight” show, in 2005. The company filed the suit on Thursday and states that none of the loan has been repaid.

McMahon’s publicist didn’t directly address the lawsuit, instead asking, “Anybody wanna buy a nice house in The Summit?”

The quote is an allusion to McMahon’s hilltop home, which is facing foreclosure. The former pitchman also faces numerous other lawsuits filed on behalf of creditors.

Griffin, the longtime talk-show host who created “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune,” died in 2007.

The lawsuit is seeking repayment of the money, with interest and attorney fees.

AP

TV Network Ratings – CBS And CW’s Gossip Girl Higher

ABC promoted premiere week as “National Stay-At-Home Week,” but viewers were more eager to stay home for CBS.

Even as rivals saw their returning shows decline — some sharply — during the first week of the TV season, CBS saw big growth for several series’ season premieres: NCIS, up 29% from last year’s opener, was helped by a big cliffhanger; Criminal Minds was up 34%; How I Met Your Mother rose 20%; and Two and a Half Men, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY all gained as well.

Also on the upswing: CW’s Gossip Girl, which hit record highs this month.

The gains were matched by declines for Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy from last fall (though both shows returned above their spring averages) amid bigger drops for Heroes, House, Law & Order: SVU, ER and Without a Trace.

And they eased fears that last winter’s three-month writers’ strike would have a lasting effect on the TV business as viewers fell out of the habit of watching their favorite shows.

USA Today/Mr Pop Culture

Photo – Gossip Girl Cast

Z-100 WHTZ New York Gets The New Britney Spears Single First

The much anticipated new single was broadcast by WHTZ (Z-100) New York on Friday – just in time for the weekend and before competitors could get a copy (Monday).

Britmey’s “Womanizer” was played on their hot rotation all weekend and by Monday, every pop station was on it.

The song will make its television debut during MTV’s The Hills today – Monday, Sept. 29.

Spears shot the “Womanizer” video at Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant and Elevate Lounge in L.A.

In one scene, Spears (who wears tight, black leather pants and fake tattoos on her arms in the video) lies on a kitchen counter and later straddles and makes out with a man dressed in business suit.

The scene continues with Spears sucking on cherries or dangling them around her mouth, all while straddling and crawling all over the man, the witness says.

“She seems to be all business,” the witness told Us Magazine. “She’d just do one thing after another and then on to the next.”

“Womanizer” will be part of Britany’s new album titled “Circus” scheduled for release December 2 just in time for Holiday gift giving.

Mr. Pop Culture/Us

Britney Spears

It’s The SuperBowl With Bruce Springsteen

Stop the presses. A halftime show with Bruce Springsteen! Next to the late James Brown, Springsteen has to be the hardest-working artist concert artist in pop history.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform at the 2009 Super Bowl halftime show in Tampa, Fla., the NFL and NBC announced Sunday night.

Continuing a run of major talent that has lately included the Rolling Stones, U2, Paul McCartney, Prince and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the biggest television event in the nation will showcase one of its most beloved rock ‘n’ roll artists. The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 1 at Raymond James Stadium.

The 2008 Super Bowl show was watched by more than 148 million viewers in the U.S., the NFL said in its release. It wasn’t always that way: For years, the game’s halftime show was made up of local and college marching bands and drill teams.

Chubby Checker in 1988 was the first popular musician to perform at halftime, and Michael Jackson upped the ante in 1993. His sister Janet provided the show’s most infamous moment with 2004′s “wardrobe malfunction” _ and the show has stuck with straight ahead rock acts ever since.

AP/Mr Pop CultureBruce Springsteen

Paul Newman – A Great Actor And So Much More

It seems everyone at least knows one Paul Newman movie. But, through it all, the humbled Newman believed he was the luckiest guy alive. And more than any actor, he stood out for other reasons. He was truly one-of-a-kind.

Besides movies, Paul Newman became a successful racecar driver, winning several Sports Car Club of America national driving titles. He even competed at Daytona in 1995 as a 70th birthday present to himself. In 1982, as a lark, he decided to sell a salad dressing he had created and bottled for friends at Christmas. Thus was born the Newman’s Own brand, an enterprise he started with his friend A.E. Hothner, the writer. More than 25 years later the brand has expanded to include, among other foods, lemonade, popcorn, spaghetti sauce, pretzels, organic Fig Newmans and wine. (His daughter Nell Newman runs the company’s organic arm.) All its profits, of more than $200 million, have been donated to charity, the company says.

Much of the money was used to create a string of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, named for the outlaw gang in “Butch Cassidy.” The camps provide free summer recreation for children with cancer and other serious illnesses. Mr. Newman was actively involved in the project, even choosing cowboy hats as gear so that children who had lost their hair because of chemotherapy could disguise their baldness.

Several years before the establishment of Newman’s Own, on Nov. 28, 1978, Scott Newman, the oldest of Mr. Newman’s six children and his only son, died at 28 of an overdose of alcohol and pills. His father’s monument to him was the Scott Newman Center, created to publicize the dangers of drugs and alcohol. It is headed by Susan Newman, the oldest of his five daughters.

Mr. Newman’s three younger daughters are the children of his 50-year second marriage, to the actress Joanne Woodward. Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward both were cast — she as an understudy — in the Broadway play “Picnic” in 1953. Starting with “The Long, Hot Summer” in 1958, they co-starred in 10 movies, including “From The Terrace” (1960), based on a John O’Hara novel about a driven executive and his unfaithful wife; “Harry and Son” (1984), which Mr. Newman also directed, produced and helped write; and “Mr and Mrs Bridge” (1990), James Ivory’s version of a pair of Evan S. Connell novels, in which Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward played a conservative Midwestern couple coping with life’s changes.

Mr. Pop Culture – NYTPaul Newman

Eminem Comeback?

Eminem has been flying under the radar for several years now, producing tracks for other artists and occasionally showing up on his Shade 45 Sirius Satellite Radio channel. Recently, Em contributed a remix of Masta Ace‘s “Slaughtahouse” to Delicious Vinyl‘s Rmxxology album. But it looks like Slim Shady might finally be ready to release another record of his own work. The Rapper recently appeared on his Shade 45 channel and talked with deejay Tony Touch about what he’s been up to lately.

“I always do side projects and produce for artists on the label,” he told Tony Touch. “I’m concentrating on my own stuff right now — just banging out tracks. The more I keep producing, the better it seems I get. I start knowing stuff, learning the boards like the back of my hands.”

Eminem did not offer specific details about an album or release date. However, his comrade 50 Cent told U.K. reporters that he recently did some recording with Em for the album.

“I had the opportunity to sit with [Eminem] two and half weeks ago for his project,” 50 told reporters. “I stayed with him for the weekend. His project is coming together. They’re not gonna be excited till they hear the first single, then they’re just gonna go right back to loving him all over again. They’re gonna love Em like they loved him the first time he came.”

FMQB

Daredevil Hangs Upside-Down 60 Hours In Central Park

Magician-daredevil David Blaine has safely finished his latest stunt: hanging upside-down without a net high over Central Park for 60 hours.

Oh, he’s caught a bullet in his mouth, too.

The endurance artist began dangling from a wire over a park skating rink on Monday. He kept smiling while describing the “enormous push of blood” that made it feel as though his head was “about to explode.”

He celebrated completion of the wire act Wednesday night by diving from a platform 44 feet to the ground while attached to a harness.

A two-hour ABC television special called David Blaine: Dive of Death also showed footage of him catching a .22-calibre rifle bullet in a metal cup in his mouth.

APDavid Plaine Looking Dapper

Alec Baldwin Begins His Book-Signing In Hesitation

Alec Baldwin, at a bookstore event he says he didn’t want to attend, gave a fired up talk Tuesday night about a book he says he didn’t want to write.

A standing room only crowd of more than 100, plus about 20 protesters outside, came to a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan, where the award-winning actor discussed “A Promise to Ourselves,” a new memoir about his devastating divorce and child custody battle.

“I wish I weren’t here. I wish I weren’t doing this,” Baldwin, 50, said at the beginning of a 20-minute discourse on family law and feminism, with references to civil rights, the Wall Street crisis, Beverly Hills lawyers and the notorious voicemail he left in 2007 with his then-11-year-old daughter, Ireland.

Wearing a dark blue blazer, a light blue shirt and no tie, his hair grayer and spikier than it usually appears in public, Baldwin spoke emotionally, compulsively, promising “This is the last thing I’ll say” often enough that he finally joked, “I know, I said this before.”

His book tells of his split with actress Kim Basinger, and his estrangement from their daughter, brought about, he says, by a court system that effectively drains both soul and pocketbook.

AP

It’s Confirmed – Lindsay Lohan Has Been Dating Samantha Ronson

Lindsay Lohan has confirmed what the world has guessed: She’s been dating Samantha Ronson “a very long time.”

The 22-year-old actress casually told the co-host of the syndicated radio program “Loveline” on Monday that she’s been dating the 31-year-old DJ.

The pair have appeared in public and been photographed together but have never publicly commented about the extent of their relationship. Ms. Lohan says they’ve been dating for well over two years.

Washington Post – Mr. Pop Culture