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Sep 2010 27

by Fred Topel

“Buddha didn’t stop struggling with women until enlightenment.”

– Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons sat all by himself at NBC’s party on the rooftop of the Beverly Hilton hotel. Well, not totally by himself. The young girls he came with were talking amongst themselves, and celebrities kept stopping by to meet him (hence the photo opp with Jimmy Fallon).

The Oxygen Channel, an NBC cable arm, is producing a documentary on Simmons’ business. Running Russell Simmons shows the viewer what it takes to maintain Simmons’ multi-faceted life, by following the assistants who coordinate all his endeavors behind the scenes. It is scheduled to premiere Nov. 2.

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Sep 2010 23

by Nicole Powers

“I was used to the realities of sucking at something.”

– Justin Halpern, author of Shit My Dad Says

Justin Halpern is an ordinary guy who curates an extraordinary Twitter page. In less than a year it’s garnered over 1.3 million fans who follow Justin simply to keep track of the latest and greatest shit his dad says. Justin’s talent lies in realizing the aforementioned shit was of a superior quality to that emitted from other dad’s mouths. He also has a knack for conveying the underlying heart behind his father’s seemingly harsh witticisms.

Raised on a farm in Kentucky, Justin’s dad, Sam Halpern, is a man of few words – who knows how to make every syllable count. The exact opposite of passive-aggressive, Halpern, Sr. has never been backwards about coming forwards with his often-unsolicited opinions and words of advice. Growing up, this brutal honesty was difficult to deal with, but now Justin is reaping the rewards. His @ShitMyDadSays Twitter page has spawned a hilarious yet surprisingly touching book of longer vignettes — brilliantly retold by Justin — and a TV sitcom produced by Warner Brothers for CBS starring William Shatner, which was co-written by Halpern, Jr. in association with the team behind Will & Grace.

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Sep 2010 13

by Lisa Brady

Thanks to a new wave of reality TV shows like MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant, and ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager, the issue of teen pregnancy is out in the open (and apparently a source of endless entertainment). But does anyone else find it incredibly ironic that ABC Family is showing a series about teen pregnancy?

In the past it was considered a grievous mistake to get pregnant before getting married. These days, with the 50% divorce rate and the prevalence of one-night stands (and unprotected copulation), it’s very common to have a single parent situation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If Gilmore Girls has taught us anything, its that single mom’s (or dad’s) rock – and can be super hot. And with the likes US Weekly and People rewarding teenage moms with magazine covers, it’s almost as if the mainstream media is actively encouraging the phenomenon.

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Aug 2010 26

by Damon Martin

Charlie: “Guys…where are we?”

The line that gave everyone the first clue that “Lost” wasn’t your average every day television drama. Sure, it started out looking like a typical TV show as a man woke up in a jungle, not knowing exactly what happened, and as he wanders through the trees and brush, he discovers that the plane he was riding on just minutes before had crash landed on an island He rushes to the scene to see all of his fellow passengers terrified of what they’ve just endured, and he immediately starts to help and lead those hurt and injured away from the burning debris.

In that moment, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Jeffrey Lieber had captured an audience and many of those same people would follow the tragedy and triumph of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 as they found themselves on an island that was anything but a normal tropical paradise for the next six years.

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Aug 2010 06

by Damon Martin

“A true outlaw finds the balance between the passion in his heart and the reason in his mind. The outcome is the balance of might and right.”

The outlaw has always had a home on television.  From the gunslingers in the Old West on shows like “Gunsmoke” to the likeable mobster Tony Soprano in the critically acclaimed show “The Sopranos“, Americans have always been accepting of things outside the law on their TV screens.

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