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August 26, 2008

No Brit, no Twit


Hopes dashed for a VMA show stopper, a la a coherent Brit Brit without a broke-ass weave. Don Draper's pithy 140-character missives cut down in their prime. And Oscar nominees, and that Cody chick, get another day in the sun.

Here's your afternoon wrap.

Britney Spears' manager says the singer's too busy in the studio working on her new record right now to jack up MTV's ratings by performing at the VMAs on Sept. 7.

She took time out to shoot a couple promos with cheeky Brit host Russell Brand, making us all wonder if the Grammy-winning pop tart would use the awards show as Another Redemption Vehicle. She's nominated -- for "Piece of Me" -- so it's likely she'll at least put in an appearance. But as for performing? We say, it ain't over 'til it's over.

What would AMC do if "Mad Men" fans starting Twittering up a storm? Threaten to ruin the party.

Oscar nominees Ronald Harwood (adapted screenplay for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly") and Nancy Oliver (original screenplay for "Lars and the Real Girl") and, oh yeah, the one who won, Diablo Cody (best original screenplay for "Juno") are in the mix for $115,000 in cash and the 2008 Humanitas Prize, given out for writing that shows some humanity (not inanity). "The Wire," "Boston Legal" and "John Adams" are among the TV competitors.



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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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