Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Maya Angelou well — despite TMZ, Twitter reports


Octogenarian poet Maya Angelou was alive and well on Sunday, despite the dire overnight reports of online gossip site TMZ and a panicked army of Twitter followers. 

TMZ reported on Saturday night that the prolific writer was hospitalized earlier in the evening ahead of a scheduled appearance at an awards show in Los Angeles.maya2 The report spread like wildfire through cyberspace, and Angelou became the top trending topic on Twitter as anguished members of the microblogging site passed around the news. Some morbid scribes added an “R.I.P.” for good measure.

The only problem is that 81-year-old Angelou was not ill, and was nowhere near Los Angeles. She was about 1,800 miles away in her hometown of St. Louis.

TMZ updated its story on Sunday to say that Angelou was never scheduled to appear at the event. It blamed the erroneous report on event organizers, saying that someone had told one of its cameramen that Angelou was a no-show because she had been hospitalized.

Perez Hilton tries to clip Angel’s wings


Former “Charlie’s Angels” star Jaclyn Smith did not shoot herself in Honduras, despite gossip columnist Perez Hilton’s claim to the contrary on Tuesday.

jaclyn1Hilton created an international incident after he sent out a Twitter message: “OMG! Jaclyn Smith suicide attempt! Tragic news! She’s in critical condition! Details coming ASAP!” 
His source was a Honduran newspaper that later appeared to correct its initial report to say that rather than Smith, the victim was a woman who played her stunt double.
Smith quickly took to Facebook and Twitter to calm the masses: “Jaclyn is safe and home with her family. She is not in Honduras. It is a lie.”
Hilton, who once reported that Fidel Castro had died, took a lot of heat on Twitter, with the word “douche” cropping up frequently.

Jessica Simpson wants dog back from wily coyote


Singer and actress Jessica Simpson  wants to see her dog again, and she doesn’t care what people think about her campaign to get the pjessica-simpsonooch back, after she saw a coyote make off with the animal.

This star-search drama comes courtesy of social networking website Twitter, where Simpson posted a missing poster on Monday with a picture of the small, caramel-colored dog.

Fox gets “Glee” cast to tweet along to rerun on TV


Reruns can be boring, even with a highly anticipated show like Fox’s high school musical comedy “Glee.” But the network has a new idea for the one-hour rerun of its pilot episode airing tonight at 9 p.m., which is positioned to build fan interest for the season premier on Wednesday.glee_tweetpeat_press_300dpi

Cast members of the show will answer questions from fans on social networking website Twitter, and their short responses will appear on television in the lower part of the screen. They will also offer up insights on their own, at least as much as Twitter allows a person to say with its 140 digital character limit.

Director Kevin Smith steels self for 24-hour Twitter marathon


(Note: some strong language in quote and book title)

Filmmaker Kevin Smith has some faithful fans, the kind of movie buffs who — at least in the online world — would love to have an all-night chat with Silent Bob, Smith’s movie screen alter ego, ironically named because Smith is anything but silent.  In fact, Smith is loquacious enough to fulfill hiskevin-smith1 fans’ desire for nonstop conversation, by planning for a 24-hour Twitter marathon of questions-and-answers on Monday.

In a release announcing the “event,” Smith joked that he has spent a long time prepping for this day.

Miley Cyrus “kinda bummed” about early release of Walmart EP


Miley Cyrus said via Twitter on Wednesday she’s “kinda bummed” that her new Walmart-only EP “The Time of Our Lives” went on sale earlier than planned, denying her a chance of topping the U.S. album charts.

The seven-track disc sold 62,000 copies during the week ended Sunday, Aug. 30, according to tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan, after hitting shelves on Friday. Albums are normally released on Tuesday, not Friday, but the shortened time span of three days of sale for Cyrus’ album was good enough to land it No. 3 on the Billboard 200 Wednesday.

Oasis play down split rumours


oasisLead singer Liam Gallagher has issued a typically blunt rebuttal to rumours and speculation that Oasis, arguably Britain’s biggest band of the ’90s, had played their final gig.

The rumours began after Liam and his older brother Noel, the band’s guitarist and songwriter, announced they had fallen out and were communicating via the band’s website or on Twitter. Then, when Oasis cancelled a gig at the last minute over the weekend, the doomsayers went into overdrive.

John Mayer’s Twitter abstinence is short-lived


Back on Sunday, “Waiting on the World to Change” singer John Mayer intimated on his Twitter page that he was looking to take a break from the social networking website for people with short attention spans.john-mayer

“Suffering cerebral atrophy,” Mayer wrote. “Since I’ve been communicating in short pulses, I’ve been writing lyrics the same way.”

How to market a movie in the Twitter era


Movie studios are recognizing the increasing importance of word-of-mouth fan reaction in making successes or failures of their big budget movie releases. Check out the Reuters story on that topic here. Hollywood studios see an opportunity to reach potential movie goers through social networking websites like Twitter, and to market movies in ways other than the sacha-baron-cohentraditional trailer/television spot/billboard approach.

Universal Pictures, the company behind the movie “Bruno” that opened a week ago, actually sought to create buzz about the film by not marketing it, at least not right away. Universal delayed the release of its trailer and other advertising material for “Bruno” for a couple months, because it knew that the many fans of lead actor Sacha Baron Cohen would chatter about the movie online, said Adam Fogelson, president of marketing and distribution for the studio. With that delayed approach, the studio allowed fans to lead the talk about “Bruno” and give the subversive movie a cutting-edge feel, by not oversaturating them with advertisements and trailers.

Same old song and dance: Aerosmith scrubs Florida shows


Want some good news about Aerosmith’s troubled tour? Dream On. The veteran rockers have officially postponed shows scheduled for Saturday in Tampa and Monday in Sunrise/Ft. Lauderdale, after a few days of confusion as to whether they would proceed. Seven shows have now been scrapped as a result of an unspecified leg injury suffered by 61-year-old singer Steven Tyler.

stevejoeThe trek kicked off on June 10 in St. Louis, and the band managed to perform seven shows through June 29 before Tyler (pictured left with guitarist Joe Perry at the American Music Awards last November) was hobbled. Initial sympathy expressed by fans on the official message board at is now turning into frustration as they have to cancel travel and accommodation plans, babysitters and the like.