Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dave, Tom and Bart

59-year-old David Letterman has signed a 4 year contract extension with CBS. He will continue hosting the Late Show from New York's Ed Sullivan Theatre until 2010. Letterman hosted NBC's Late Night with David Letterman from Rockefeller Plaza from 1982-1993. After losing out on hosting The Tonight Show, he moved to CBS in 1993 and has been there ever since. 1993 was also the year that Conan O'Brien took over Letterman's old NBC time slot. In 2009, Conan and Letterman will go head-to-head, when O'Brien takes over for Jay Leno. In the past year, Leno has averaged 5.71 million viewers while Letterman trails with 4.16 million. If Letterman stays in late night until 2012, he will have tied his hero Johnny Carson, with 30 years in the business.

Oprah couch-jumper and parent of the seldom seen Suri, Tom Cruise no longer has a deal with film giant Paramount Pictures. His obsession with scientology and run-ins with Brooke Shields and a "glib" Matt Lauer were most likely the cause of his contract not being renewed. Paramount chief Sumner Redstone said "As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal." It's a public relations crisis, and it just goes to show that what a star does off camera can hurt a career as well as what is done in front of the camera. Are you listening Mel Gibson? Star Jones? Maybe Cruise could start an all scientologists movie studio with films starring himself, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, Leah Remini, etc.

This fall marks the 18th season for The Simpsons! This year will include the 400th episode. Creator Matt Groening has come a long way from drawing an obscure comic called Life in Hell to making one of the most successful, funniest shows in the history of television. The Simpsons started out as animated shorts featured on The Tracey Ullman Show in the early days of the Fox network. This year will have many guest stars as always, ranging from Dr. Phil to Richard Lewis. Anyone interested in the show should check out the biography by Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson). It's called My Life as a 10-Year-Old Boy. It tells of her early years working as a voice over artist as well as her big break working on the Simpsons. Her mentor was Daws Butler, who was the voice of Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound.

* Some source material is from Entertainment Weekly magazine.
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