MILEY: CALL IN THE IMAGE REPAIRERS
Miley Cyrus has issued an apology to her fans for the photos and cover story about her that appears in the June issue of Vanity Fair. "I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed. ... I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about." In the interview Cyrus was quoted as saying that Sex and the City "is my favorite show! I love it!" and that her own show was modeled after it. (Commented writer Bruce Handy: "I can't imagine that her minders at the Walt Disney Company want to see Miley Cyrus's name anywhere near the word 'sex,' not in an era when every under-age actress in Hollywood is stalked by the Ghost of Britney Future.") Cyrus also disclosed that she counts scandal-plagued Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan among her friends. "I know they have good hearts and they're struggling," she added. Asked whether she doesn't have to watch her words carefully because she works for Disney, Cyrus replied. "Not really. That's what my parents are for. They're there to take care of that, and I can just do what I love." Asked about the topless photo of her taken by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz that accompanies the article, Cyrus said that it was the photographer's idea. "I think it's really artsy. ... It wasn't in a skanky way.... And you can't say no to Annie. She's so cute" The to-do over the Cyrus photos and article is reminiscent of a similar controversy that arose over a nude photo of the then-teen heartthrob David Cassidy taken by Leibovitz for the cover of Rolling Stone in 1972.
ABOUT THOSE FULL-SEASON DVD'S DURING A SHORTENED SEASON
The Walt Disney Co. seems to have solved the problem of how to release full-season DVDs of its most popular shows when the season has been shortened by a strike. The company's home-entertainment unit said Friday that the DVDs for this season's Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Lost will include extended versions of the TV episodes and will include bonus features. Grey's Anatomy will carry the subtitle: "The Complete Fourth Season -- Expanded." It will hit the stores on Sept. 9. Private Practice will carry the subtitle: "The Complete First Season -- Extended" and will bow the following week. Lost, the show with the shortest unabbreviated title on TV, will be lengthily subtitled: "The Complete Fourth Season -- The Expanded Experience." It is due to be released on Dec. 9 and will include special segments that will unlock plot secrets, Disney said.
GLAAD SELECTS SAME HONOREES TWO YEARS RUNNING
The same television shows that received the top Media Awards from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation last year received them again this year. Brothers & Sisters was named outstanding drama and Ugly Betty was named outstanding comedy. GLAAD said that the awards are intended to honor individuals and projects in the media for their fair and accurate inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives. The awards announcement came on the same day that it was reported that Rebecca Romijn, who plays a transsexual editor on Ugly Betty, will not return as a series regular next season but that she will have a "recurring" role instead.
AMERICA'S GOT TALENT" TO AUDITION VIA THE WEB
America's Got Talent, which has previously auditioned contestants in major U.S. cities, will add the Internet as another "city" this year. The New York Times reported that the show is expected to announce that it will begin auditioning contestants on MySpace.com this year, with one episode of the show next year being devoted to MySpace users who upload their auditions online. Jared Goldsmith, NBC's director of digital promotion strategies, said that the network's partnership with MySpace and FremantleMedia, producers of America's Got Talent, will allow it to tap into the talent that already exists among MySpace users who regularly upload performances onto the social-networking website.
AARON BROWN RETURNING TO TV
Aaron Brown, who stepped down as a CNN anchor in 2005 but who continued to receive a paycheck from the cable news network until last July on condition that he observe his contractual obligation not to appear on any rival network, is expected to move to PBS to anchor the PBS public affairs show Wide Angle, the Associated Press reported today (Monday). In an interview with the wire service, Brown said that the weekly series offered him the chance "to work in an environment where people just think about making good TV and good journalism." By contrast, he called CNN "a very ratings-driven environment." When he was dumped by CNN in 2005, he was replaced by Anderson Cooper.
ANOTHER JOURNALIST KILLED IN IRAQ
Iraqi broadcaster Jassim al-Batat, 38, has become the 211th journalist to be killed in that country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) said Friday. Al-Batat was gunned down as he left his house, heading for the al-Nakhil radio station, which is operated by Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, a rival of the anti-American shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. RSF observed that the killings of journalists have mostly been ignored by U.S. and Iraqi authorities. "The impunity reigning in Iraq for the past five years encourages armed groups to keep attacking journalists," the organization said.