Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

UPDATE – Farrah Fawcett cancer special a ratings hit for NBC


  Farrah Fawcett’s farewell message to the American public drew 8.9 million TV viewers on Friday, according to NBC, and a flood of comments on this site, many of them from well-wishers asking where they could send messages of support to the actress.

  For all those who asked and any others, we came up with an email address where such messages can be sent and hopefully passed onto Fawcett.

   The address is   and if  there’s enough response maybe someone will set up a more public site where fans of Fawcett and those touched by her story can post their thoughts.

  “Farrah’s Story,” in which the former “Charlie’s Angels” actress shares the grim details of her losing battle with anal cancer, ranked as the night’s second most-watched program. Over at CBS, “Numbers” drew 9.6 million viewers. 

Merv Griffin’s belongings going under the hammer


Remember the “Seinfeld” episode where Kramer retrieved the set of “The Merv Griffin Show” from the trash and miraculously installed it in his apartment? 
Fans of the late television impresario will also be able to salvage merv2some of Griffin’s belongings when a California auction house puts them up for sale on Sunday. Griffin’s son Tony is unloading antiquities, fine furnishings and contemporary art from his father’s three homes in California.

From humble origins as a nightclub singer and bandleader, Merv Griffin built an entertainment empire around his game shows “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.” He also hosted his own TV talk show and invested heavily in real estate. He died of prostate cancer in 2007, aged 82.

John Lennon’s “Instant Karma” a curious choice for Chase


John Lennon’s “Instant Karma” is an unlikely choice for an advertising jingle. With future murderer Phil Spector manning the boards, the angry ex-Beatle wasted no time warning listeners, “You better get yourself together, Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead.” Which in fact Lennon was a decade later.
peterCut to 2009, and Chase has dusted off the song for an advertising campaign, but it has focused on the shiny, happy chorus, “Well we all shine on, Like the moon and the stars and the sun, Well we all shine on…” 
That’s not Lennon singing on the new version, by the way. Instead Chase went edgy with British goth singer Peter Murphy, who used to front Bauhaus, a rock group famed for the song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” and for inspiring Nine Inch Nails. Cindy Mizelle, who once toured with Mick Jagger, does the backing vocals.
The spot heralds Chase’s arrival in California following the purchase last fall of Washington Mutual’s banking operations by its JPMorgan Chase parent. The black-and-white clip depicts such outdoor pursuits as surfing, swimming and ballooning, and a biker couple riding off into the sunset.
“This spot heralds a bright new day and so we chose a song that is upbeat, well known and classic,” a Chase spokesman said in an email. “‘Instant Karma’ is an iconic song and the chorus, ‘We all shine on’, reinforces an emotional connection with the brand but also demonstrates that ‘we’re going to get through these trying times together.’”
The spokesman declined to discuss financial terms, and a spokesman for Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, did not return an email seeking comment.
Murphy recorded the song in full, and hopes it will see the light of day, said David Baron, who produced and arranged the tune with Murphy at a converted church in Woodstock, New York.
“Peter is currently working out the details for the new record and the final tracks have not been decided on,” Baron said. “Peter would like to release Instant Karma in some fashion so I am sure it will surface.”
Murphy does not appear in the Chase ad, but he can be seen as “the Blown Away Guy” in a 1980s British ad for Maxell cassettes.

(Peter Murphy photo credit: Koray Birand)

“Bikini Girl,” new judge heat up “Idol” season premiere


idol_cast1The eighth season of “American Idol” kicked off on Tuesday night, bringing back all the hijinks viewers have come to expect from the world’s most popular reality talent show.

The huddled masses of singers yearning to be the next Kelly Clarkson or Chris Daughtry came out to a sweltering Phoenix, Arizona, where the now four celebrity judges either cooed over or mocked them as only “Idol” judges can.

Who is television’s Top Dog?


Top 10 lists can cover just about anything these days — best movie presidents, most influential men and Hollywood catchphrases are just some of the more unusual we’ve seen recently.

So it doesn’t seem fair to leave out television’s Top Dogs, especially when Charlie Brown’s sidekick beagle  Snoopy takes top billing in a list compiled by TV Guide this week.

Thomas the Tank Engine’s new friend – Pierce Brosnan


brosnan.jpgPierce Brosnan, who played the world’s best known spy James Bond in four movies, has taken on a new role — the narrator of Thomas the Tank Engine. Brosnan, 55, follows in the footsteps of ex-Beatle Ringo Starr and  U.S. actor Alec Baldwin who previously narrated the children’s TV show. The Irish star makes his debut in the movie “Thomas and Friends: The Great Discovery,” a DVD being released on Sept. 9 by HIT Entertainment Ltd. and Lionsgate.

The creation of Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry, Thomas the Tank Engine made his first appearance in the 1945 children’s book “The Three Railway Engines”. The  TV series was first broadcast in 1984 and has since been seen in 140 countries and 25 languages.

Has “Sex and the City” changed your dating habits?


sex-and-the-city-girls.jpgAlthough the TV series “Sex and the City” was a fictional account of four women’s working and love lives in New York, a majority of singles told a survey that it had influenced their dating habits.

A survey by dating Web site Engage found that eight out of 10 singles believe the popular HBO series that has now been made into a movie had made it more acceptable for women to have fun dating and worry less about finding a committed relationship.

Aiport survival for Bear Grylls attracts swarms


Outdoor survival guru Bear Grylls said he attracts wildlife even when he’s trying to relax at airports.

Grylls, star of the Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild, said he practices yoga to prepare his mind and body for the challenges of the show like wrestling alligators, rock climbing, and eating raw grub and lion kill.