LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - In the penultimate episode of "Breaking Bad," Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) contemplated his future: "If I'm lucky, in a month from now, best-case scenario, I'm managing a Cinnabon in Omaha." That future was realized in the opening segment of the show's sequel, "Better Call Saul," which found the lawyer working in one of the chain's bakeries.
Now AMC and Cinnabon have teamed up to celebrate the show's premiere.
There will be a nationwide MiniBon giveaway today at participating Cinnabon bakeries from 5 to 9 p.m. The two companies have teamed up for a Twitter sweepstakes for "Saul" fans. Through March 3rd, visitors to any Cinnabon location can tweet a selfie of themselves using the hashtag #SaulSelfie for a chance to win free Cinnabon for a year, along with other prizes.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - You don't need supernatural abilities to raise money for children in need, and the cast of "Grimm" recently proved that they're adept at fundraising even without their characters' special skills.
Over the weekend, Sasha Roiz (who plays Captain Sean Renard on the show) spearheaded the Grimm Gala in Portland, Ore., to raise funds for the Grimmster Endowment ("a patient-assistance fund that provides children and families critical support associated with uncompensated care, travel, lodging and other services integral to the care and comfort of the most vulnerable patients," according to Roiz) which benefits the OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital. The goal of the evening was to raise $100,000, but Portlanders and "Grimm" fans ended up contributing $310,000.
The "Grimm" team was eager to make a difference in its adopted home of Portland, where the show is both set and filmed.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Leave it to Kanye West to commend himself for having enough sense to do an aboutface inches away from the microphone on the Grammy Awards stage where Beck stood about to accept album of the year honors.
"That's the reason why I didn't say anything tonight, but you all know what it meant when Ye walked out on that stage!" he declared in a post-show press conference, just in case anyone didn't understand that he insulted Beck on national television.
What West doesn't seem to understand is what he did Sunday night was appalling. He owes an apology to Beck and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, which should censure him for his disgraceful stunt.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - No, Jon Stewart did not punt or "soft glove" covering the Brian Williams story, as it was suggested he might on Salon, citing his friendly relationship with the NBC News anchor. But the Comedy Central host did widen the lens and, as some other voices have, refract the pile-on over Williams' inaccurate account back onto the media in general.
On Monday's show -- Stewart's first since Williams pulled himself off the air, while NBC investigates the misleading claims he made regarding his reporting from Iraq -- "The Daily Show" host labeled Williams' differing versions of what happened "Infotainment Confusion Syndrome," citing the conflicting roles Williams occupies as a celebrity, yukking it up with David Letterman, and a newsman.
Spinning yarns in those talk settings, Stewart noted, stimulates the brain's "applause center," which might explain why a news account would get inflated and distorted in a more entertaining, self-aggrandizing way.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Spoiler Warning: Do not read on unless you've seen "The Walking Dead" season five, episode nine, titled "What Happened and What's Going On."
"The Walking Dead's" midseason return was as beautiful as it was senseless; directed with surrealistic artistry by executive producer Greg Nicotero from a script by showrunner Scott Gimple. But while the fevered (and painfully foreboding) flashbacks and flashforwards gave the hour a hallucinatory quality, the poetic direction wasn't enough to obscure what has become the show's chief shortcoming -- a trigger-happy mentality that continues to erode "TWD's" dwindling shock factor.
In Variety's postmortem with Greg Nicotero, the EP justifies Tyreese's death as meaningful to the story: "We don't kill characters just to kill characters, it all plays into where the story is going. Tyreese's death and Beth's death being back-to-back like that, the important thing about it is it really affects our group. You'll see the result of it over the next several episodes -- the loss of these people."
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - When Rosie O'Donnell made her triumphant return to "The View" in September, she promised a calmer version of the host who previously fled the program in 2007 after a single season.
But O'Donnell's unhappiness at "The View" led her to announce on Friday, via a story in the New York Post's Page Six section, that she was exiting the show after five months. ABC executives agreed to release her early from a 11-month contract, estimated to be worth $5 million.
In a brief interview with "Entertainment Tonight" over the weekend, O'Donnell attributed her departure to focusing on her family after divorcing with wife Michelle Rounds, whom she married in 2012, and whose first initial she tattooed on her wedding-ring finger. But insiders say that the end of her second marriage, which she candidly talked about with "The View's" staff, isn't the only reason she's leaving.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Brian Williams is inevitably going to be criticized by lots of couch-bound observers who have never reported from a war zone (including yours truly), but given the forces eager to pounce on any slip by the news organization he represents, he has committed perhaps the worst kind of self-inflicted wound.
The NBC anchor's faulty and seemingly self-aggrandizing "memory" about his stint reporting from Iraq in 2003 pushes enough hot buttons to create a perfect storm of bad publicity. And NBC News has once again looked tardy, at best, in formulating a PR strategy in response to bad news, as it was during transitions at "Today" and "Meet the Press."
Williams has benefited from coming across as a likable anchor - as comfortable throwing out one-liners on a talkshow as he is delivering the news. But he has stepped into the proverbial hornets' nest, for reasons both of his own making and beyond his control.
Molly Eichel, Daily News Staff Writer
NBC10's Monique Braxton will appear on "Steve Harvey" tomorrow to help Harvey surprise a Philly woman with a date.
Braxton and Harvey bring Ben right to local woman Abby's door. Earlier, Abby had writen to Harvey in hopes that the host/author/comedian would help her with her love life; Harvey is the author of dating tome-turned-movie Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Braxton and Harvey send Abby over to Rouge (205 S. 18th St.) for a date.
Check out Braxton below, and see her on and Harvey at 2 p.m. on NBC10 tomorrow: