Julie Chen, co-anchor of the CBS Early Show and the wife of CBS honcho Les Moonves turns 40 today. Henry Kravis, the billionaire financier and co-founder of the private equity giant KKR, is turning 66. Film director John Singleton is 42. British food writer/TV personality Nigella Lawson is 50. Novelist E.L. Doctorow turns 79. Trudie Styler, Sting's wife, is turning 56. Former volleyball great Gabrielle Reece is 40. Rowan Atkinson (aka "Mr. Bean") turns 55. Actress Joey Lauren Adams turns 42. George Ross, Donald Trump's sidekick on The Apprentice, is 82. And reality star Tiffany Pollard, best known as "New York" to regular VH1 viewers, is turning 28 today.
• Twitter is close to raising $100 million in new funding. And despite the fact it makes no money, the deal will value the company at $1 billion. [WSJ, CNN]
• A new survey finds that 86% of the public thinks the news media tries to influence public opinion. One reason to discount the data: Fox News came in as the country's most-trusted and least-trusted news source. And Bill O'Reilly ranked as "the most-trusted news anchor on cable TV." [THR, Poynter]
• MTV reports that it plans to go ahead with the drug-intervention reality series featuring DJ AM that was shot just before he died. [THR]
• Michael Moore's new documentary is off to a strong start, alas. [LAT]
• Tim Knight, Newsday's publisher, has handed in his resignation. [NYT]
• Corynne Steindler of "Page Six" is joining Bonnie Fuller's new website. [NYO]
• NBC Nightly News' audience is growing, believe it or not. [HP]
• Yahoo is spending $100 million to remind you it still exists. [BrandChannel]
• CBS has a brand new viewer today. Chief exec Les Moonves and CBS Early Show anchor Julie Chen had a son named Charlie this morning. [ET]
• Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went to the Stop & Shop in Oyster Bay with two of their kids on Saturday and were "very friendly" to employees of the store. Please try to contain your amazement. [Us]
• Lindsay Lohan must be hard up for cash, since she's reportedly in discussions to star in a topless show in Las Vegas. Even worse: She seems to think it will "really revitalize her career and give her some serious theater cred." [Fox]
• Early Show anchor Julie Chen and her boss/husband, CBS chief exec Les Moonves, are expecting their first child this October. [P6]
• Speaking of kids, Amy Winehouse's rep says that the rumors the singer is adopting a child from the Caribbean are untrue. Be thankful for that! [DE]
2. Who has gotten more grooming-obsessed: Mayim Bialik or Joey Lawrence?
Legendary financier Henry Kravis turns 65 today. This means he can now begin collecting full social security benefits, which he may very well need at the rate he's going. Also celebrating: Julie Chen, the Early Show co-anchor and wife of CBS chief Les Moonves, is 39. Director John Singleton is turning 41. British food critic/TV host Nigella Lawson is 49. Novelist E.L. Doctorow is 78. Trudie Styler, the wife of Sting, is 55. Actress Joey Lauren Adams is turning 41. And volleyball star-turned-model Gabrielle Reece is 39.
Anna Wintour, John Lithgow, and Les Moonves and Julie Chen (left) watching a match at the US Open ... Rachael Ray buying fruits and veggies at the Greenmarket ... The four American Idol judges on a red carpet at Chelsea Piers ... Supermodel Miranda Kerr taking a stroll downtown ... Don Cheadle waving outside the David Letterman show ... ... Carmen Electra blowing kisses from her SUV ... Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian acting like idiots at JFK ... Vanessa Minnillo shuttling between talk show appearances in Midtown ... Lindsay Price heading into an event at the Empire Hotel ... and Katie Holmes showing up to watch a performance of August: Osage County.
With the fumigation circus tent removed from the Big Brother house on the Radford lot, every stubborn germ, virus, and parasite from the last batch of contestants effectively snuffed, we're now ready for another round of the hit CBS reality series. And while there was certainly nothing broke with the show's last incarnation—who doesn't love watching 16 off-duty bartenders stand around a kitchen island sharing Jew-spotting tips?—they've tweaked Season 9 considerably. Big Brother: 'Til Death Do You Part pits eight teams of two against one another: all couples. And by that we mean, sex-having couples.
This morning, Atlanta internet-dater John Fitzgerald Page added another item to his impressive resume: he has now appeared on CBS's Early Show! Julie Chen looked on in horror from her side of the split-screen as John revealed that he still doesn't understand why that girl turned him down on Match.com. "Basically, if you hit on somebody on Match.com and you find them attractive, and then you find out that they have a good job with a good company and they live in a good part of town in a nice area and they take care of themselves ... that's not the time you'd reject them, I'd think," he retarditerates. "Every blog in the country" has covered him, he complained. Also, "people I've gotten roles have taken me off their 'friends' page." Ouch! But: "I know who I am and I'm just going to keep living my life and enjoying myself."
Everything after the final notes of its familiar theme, from the playing out of a highly suspect "perfect game," to the friendly sign-off reminder to "help control the sex-worker population: Have a hooker spayed or neutered today," suggested a new era has dawned at The Price is Right. Gone is Bob Barker's well-calibrated "atmosphere of terror." In its place is new host Drew Carey's atmosphere of congeniality, where every contestant is referred to as "buddy" or "man," and where new cars are given away with a frequency that would make Oprah blush.
Tonight's arrival of the new television show Gossip Girl on the CW is at least the most important event of the week. It is a real-life doomsday scenario for us, in which the lives of 10 wealthy Upper East Side teenagers somehow become intangibly yet irrevocably ingrained into our consciousness. Last night I went into the Tora Bora caves of the Gossip Girls premiere party at Tenjune. Someone had unrolled a black carpet and some velvet rope. On one side, a claque of television cameras and desperate reporters clutching iPods with microphone attachments scrummed with each other to get a quote. On the other, these newly-minted slender starfolk fielded sycophantic questions. The mastermind, "The OC" creator Josh Schwartz, showed up shorter and nicer then expected. "Thanks for the piece," he said. "I really liked it." Was he being sarcastic? Is having your show compared to the largest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor a good thing these days?
• Many of you know CBS Early Show anchor Julie Chen as the wife of CBS showboat Les Moonves. But she has another talent: The ability to pull an insipid catchphrase out of her ass. [TVgasm]
• If you're desperate for freelance, check out the opportunities at the forthcoming men's mag, Cotton Tales. It's guaranteed to give Details and Men's Vogue a run for their big, gay money. [Craigslist]
• Trying to curb curse words in media? Good fucking luck. Asking us to stop swearing is like asking Graydon Carter to start wearing a patch. [NYT]
• Is getting an Extreme Makeover from the ABC reality show worth dying for? In the case of these remarkably fragile women, the show's rejection might lead to suicide. And by might, we mean has. [Defamer]
• Does Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni know the muffin man? And, if so, does he have a thing for him? [Bruni Digest]