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November 17, 2008

So long, 'TRL'


Lest people write off MTV's "TRL" as strictly the place that launched a thousand plays of 'N Sync videos to the sustained ear-splitting screams of thousands of pre-pubescent girls all over the country, don't forget that it became such a must-stop on any movie, TV or record launch plan that it brought out the Will Smiths, Tom Cruises, Brad Pitts and Madonnas of the world.

They were all there. (Michael Jackson, too!) So, of course, were Britney, Christina, Backstreet Boys and about a zillion others who used "TRL" as a springboard for million-selling CDs, major awards hardware and mini-moguldom.

Alas, "TRL" is gone, a victim of its low ratings. There's no such thing, really, as nostalgia on MTV anyway. If it's old, it's old. Get rid of it, says the network mantra. Room must be made for Paris Hilton's new excuse for a reality show and some returning incarnation of Tila Tequila's "search for a soulmate."

But it didn't go out without a party, complete with performances from Beyonce, Fall Out Boy and Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Nelly (pictured above) who did a hip hop medley. Gotta love those.

If you didn't catch it, here are some greatest hits. It's re-airing today at 1:30 and likely many more times in case you have a spare three hours lying around.



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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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