January 22, 2010

Is Jimmy Fallon next in line for 'Tonight'?

Posted: 05:35 PM ET

By Breeanna Hare

(CNN) - Now that Conan O'Brien is out as "Tonight Show" host and Jay Leno is back in, Jimmy Fallon may have quietly positioned himself to be next in line to take the behind-the-desk throne.

As host of "Late Night," still slated for 12:35 a.m. Monday through Friday, Fallon is exactly where O'Brien once was for 16 years: the follow-up to Jay Leno's "Tonight Show." If history repeats itself, Fallon may be poised to take the "Tonight" baton as O'Brien did, though he would probably hope for better results.

The 35-year-old comedian was brought into NBC's late-night fold last March to take over O'Brien's former post on "Late Night." Throughout the entire late-night battle at NBC, Fallon remained the silent new kid, keeping quiet even though the proposed negotiations affected his show as well. NBC originally devised a scheme that would place "The Jay Leno Show" at 11:35 p.m. for a half hour, to be followed by "The Tonight Show" at 12:05, which would knock Fallon back to 1:05, a move that could have put a deep gash in the newcomer's ratings.

"He was wise to stay out of it, and he didn't have much of a choice I don't think. He's a small fish at NBC," said's TV editor Sal Cinquemani. "He's like a little brother watching his siblings fight with his parents and to keep quiet was the classy thing to do."

Even as O'Brien rode a ratings wave thanks to the shots he fired at the network, Fallon didn't use the open season on NBC to his advantage. But, Cinquemani said, Fallon didn't have to. At the end of the day, O'Brien's exit is the best thing that could have come out of this mess for Fallon.

"This puts him in a better position than he was before, because he could now potentially be the host that follows on 'The Tonight Show,' " Cinquemani said. "It definitely works to his benefit, which is why he probably didn't say anything."


Filed under: Conan O'Brien • Entertainment • Jimmy Fallon

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Arabs and Haiti...aid trickles in

Posted: 05:29 PM ET

By Octavia Nasr, CNN Senior Editor, Middle East Affairs

Determining how much Arab countries have contributed or pledged in aid to Haiti is a challenging feat. This is not unusual for someone who works the Middle East beat.

The great majority of Arab governments and leaders are slow to react to events – natural disasters included. Most Arabs react quietly, some might say inefficiently, and others would argue it’s out of modesty that they don’t “brag” about their giving.

More than nine days after the devastating quake, it is fair to conclude that with the exception of a few Arab nations, there is not much to be proud of in terms of official Arab outreach to help the victims of the catastrophic earthquake.

Here is what we know about some Arab donations or pledges to Haiti: Morocco, Kuwait and Bahrain pledged $1 million US Dollars each in aid to be delivered in various ways through each country’s Red Crescent organization. Jordan, which lost 3 peacekeepers in the quake, has sent two planes of aid and a medical team to set up a medical field facility in Port-au-Prince.

Qatar and Bahrain sent in planes each loaded with tons of food and medical aid. Lebanon flew in an official delegation that distributed aid, checked on the Lebanese community in Port-au-Prince and evacuated three Lebanese, ten Syrian nationals and five Palestinians. In addition to carrying tents, food aid and water, a Telecom engineer flew back to Haiti to join his colleagues who, according to Waleed Haidar, Foreign Ministry Consul who headed the mission, “insisted on staying in Haiti to help restore mobile services which are essential to the search, rescue and rebuilding efforts.”

At the same time, the Lebanese Red Cross and the Red Crescent in the Gulf region, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in particular, have launched campaigns to collect much-needed cash for Haiti. The United Arab Emirates has established a relief air bridge to Haiti and has already delivered tons of food and medical aid.

The charity ‘Dubai Al-Attaa’ is coordinating with NGO’s such as CARE and UNICEF to provide educational assistance to 200,000 Haitian children.


Filed under: Haiti Earthquake

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Unauthorized Oprah bio coming in April

Posted: 09:24 AM ET

Kitty Kelley, biographer of the rich and famous, is getting ready to release an unauthorized biography on talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.

The 544-page book, "Oprah: A Biography," will be released on April 13, with a first printing of 500,000 copies, according to the Crown Publishing Group.

"We are excited to be publishing the first comprehensive biography of one of the most influential, powerful and admired public figures of our time, by the most widely read biographer of our era," said Tina Constable, a vice president with Crown.

The author spent three years researching for the book and conducted 850 interviews, Crown said.

Kelley's previous books have chronicled the Bush family political dynasty, the British royal family, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Nancy Reagan.

Winfrey's Harpo Productions had little to say about the book.

"Oprah hasn't participated in or read Kitty Kelley's book, so she is unable to comment," said Winfrey spokeswoman Lisa Halliday.

Filed under: Oprah Winfrey

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Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: Today is the day!

Posted: 12:12 AM ET

Editor’s Note: Joe and Jill Wilkins of Portland, Oregon, were in the process of finalizing their adoption of a little Haitian boy, Samuel Chancelet, when the earthquake struck. Samuel Chancelet is safe, but they are still desperately trying to bring him home. They will be documenting their journey and updating the LKL blog regularly on their progress. This is the fourth article in the series.

I can’t remember what day it is. My “power naps” are so sporadic 24-hours a day that I have no idea what day it is, or how long I have been in Miami.

I cannot believe today is the day. Well, actually, I am not going allow myself to feel the emotions until Samuel Chancelet is in my arms. I am still very fearful of all that is involved in processing the children and getting them to the U.S. There are many “unknowns” and I am praying that they are allowed to go to their adoptive parents. We are in for a VERY LONG NIGHT.

Today has been so much fun, as I have been able to share some “private” time with some of the other adoptive parents who have been alongside us this whole time. I have somehow found myself trying to represent all of us and have felt such a heavy burden to “get this right.” Each one of us has a story to tell, and a battle to fight and I wanted all of us to win. We are all facing the same challenges, emotions, and exhaustion. This has been the journey of a lifetime and knowing we are not alone is so comforting. We were all discussing the documentation of this ordeal and how we will have an amazing story to share with our children.

I think I am fearful of what is to come. We don’t know what this means for our adoption. We don’t know what it is going to take to finalize it and that’s really hard. We have been through so much already (before the earthquake) and knowing there is another mountain ahead is not something I can process right now.

I am with my friends (yes, laptop on the table; I cannot live without it or my Blackberry. They are lifelines). I am taking a moment to try and relax; it is the first time in over a week I have been able to stop moving and it is the first “real meal” I have had since that time too.

Quick thoughts:

– A dear friend has helped me calm down, take deep breaths, and focus on the good that is about to happen.

– People are showing AMAZING support. I am truly humbled by what is happening around me. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

– I miss Joe.

– I am amazed at what God has done. Every change, every new thing I get hit with, I am working to just go with the flow, knowing He is in control. I am just trying to allow the plan to play out.

– Joe just text messaged me and said, “Are you ready to be a mom?” My heart just skipped a beat. Is this really happenin?


Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: Making progress

Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: Day 2

Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: A couple's desperate journey

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake

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January 21, 2010

Peter Gabriel's "Heroes" Extended Version

Posted: 07:01 PM ET

If you watched the show last night you couldn't help but be moved by our close piece.  Here is an extended, and recut version of Peter Gabriel's moving version of "Heroes."  To hear more songs specially composed for the Haiti earthquake victims, go to

Filed under: LKL Web Exclusive • Peter Gabriel

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LKL Web Exclusive: Youth Are the Answer to Haiti Relief

Posted: 05:43 PM ET

This is a LKL Web Exclusive by Shawn H. Wilson, President of Usher’s "New Look" organization.

Last week a massive earthquake struck Haiti. It is the largest natural disaster the country has ever seen and many communities, families and youth are in dire need of assistance. As with many disasters, out of the rumble comes a renewed sense of service and charity from people around the world looking for ways to give back and support people in need. Within hours of the disaster there were messages flooding the internet, television and radio giving people an answer to the question of the day: “How can I help?”

Who will answer the call? Traditionally we turn to the government, celebrities and foundations to supply donations and support. However, we often forget about one group. This group represents more than half the world’s population. This group has the power, creativity and innovation to have a serious impact on global problems. This group has the savvy to mobilize millions. Who am I talking about? Young people!

Even though there are so many people working to help Haiti right now, we need to understand that a real solution to help Haiti lies in youth. It is estimated that there are over 3 billion people in the world under the age of 25. That’s 50% of the world’s population. This group is not only strong in numbers, but in ideas, ability and power. Furthermore, youth really do understand what the founder of our organization, Usher Raymond IV, calls “heart work”.

Youth have the desire and the power to serve. With this in mind Usher’s New Look, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and partners around the world, is calling on all young people to show the rest if the world they have the power to contribute the solution to Haiti’s needs. Over 50% of Haiti’s population is under 25 too, so it is only right for youth to help their peers as they work to recover and rebuild a country.

If every young person around the world contributed one penny to support relief in Haiti we can raise $30 million. Of course, it is unrealistic to try to raise funds from every last young person, but what if only a small percentage got involved? Imagine if just 1% of the world youth population committed to raise $5 each for the UN Foundation’s relief in Haiti. They would raise $150 million.

(Read more of the LKL commentary HERE)


Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Usher

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More From Enrique Iglesias and Mike Shinoda

Posted: 04:53 PM ET

Last night we showed you some of our interview with Enrique Iglesias and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park.  The subject was, where some amazing artists have contributed their time and music to raise funds for Haiti.  Here's more from that interview.

Filed under: Larry King Live

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Cindy McCain poses for same-sex marriage campaign

Posted: 03:55 PM ET

(CNN)Cindy McCain, the wife of the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, has posed for a Web site promoting same-sex marriage.

McCain, who's married to Arizona Sen. John McCain, appears in a photograph on the site with a piece of silver duct tape over her mouth and the slogan "No H8" written on her cheek.

The site's owners were stunned when Mrs. McCain came to them with the idea of posing for them, they said when posting her photo Wednesday.

"We've often been surprised at some of the different individuals who have approached us showing their support. Few, though, have surprised us more than Cindy McCain," wrote Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley.


Filed under: Cindy McCain • Politics is King • Same-Sex Marriage

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Breaking News: John Edwards admits paternity of love child

Posted: 08:51 AM ET

Former Senator John Edwards has released a statement this morning admitting he is the father of his former mistress Rielle Hunter's baby, Frances Quinn Hunter:

"I am Quinn’s father. I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves. I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace.

It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me. I have been providing financial support for Quinn and will continue to provide for her in the future. To all those I have disappointed and hurt, these words will never be enough, but I am truly sorry."

-John R. Edwards

Filed under: John Edwards

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Conan O'Brien inks severance deal with NBC

Posted: 08:46 AM ET

Conan O'Brien has signed a deal with NBC to walk away from "The Tonight Show," the network confirmed Thursday.

"NBC confirms a deal is signed and an official announcement will be made this morning," said NBC spokeswoman Allison Gollust.

The network did not provide details on the agreement, but the deal is expected to include a severance payment of about $32 million for O'Brien plus about $12 million for his staff, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper said the pact could contain a "nondisparagement clause" for both O'Brien and the network. It is also expected to bar O'Brien from appearing on other shows or hosting his own show for a period of time, sources told the Journal.

O'Brien has been at odds with NBC since the network tried to push "The Tonight Show" to a later time slot. The dispute erupted into a weeks-long controversy that galvanized fans of the show and roiled the entertainment industry.

The deal, which was reportedly inked at 1 a.m. PT on Thursday, would reinstate Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show" at 11:35 p.m., the Journal said.

O'Brien's departure comes after NBC abruptly decided to cancel "The Jay Leno Show," which had received lukewarm ratings after only three months on the air. The network sought to give Leno a half-hour show at 11:35 p.m., and then move O'Brien's "Tonight Show" to 12:05 a.m.

O'Brien, who has hosted the show for just seven months, objected to the change. He said in a Jan. 12 letter addressed to "People of Earth" that moving the show back would "seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting."

Filed under: Conan O'Brien

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