Chelsea Handler signs her life away to E!
Good news for E!, bad news for the broadcast nets: Chelsea Handler just signed a deal that will keep her hosting and producing Chelsea Lately through 2012. ”I get away with murder at E!,” says Handler, whose show is up 31 percent from last season’s ratings and routinely beats Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson among young females. ”I get to do a half-hour show that I don’t have to fill up with things that I don’t like,” she adds. ”[Instead, I can fill it with things] that are really stupid. If I worked for a real network, it would be a lot less stupid.” As part of her deal, Handler’s company will also develop new franchises for E!, Style, and G4 — ”definitely something in the same vein as I’m doing now, with the same level of serious,” she quips. And no, that doesn’t involve creating scripted series, ”unless Law & Order needs me to produce next season.” — Lynette Rice
Lisa Rinna’s just kidding with her Melrose campaign. Or is she?
The Dancing With the Stars hoofer hit the streets to land a gig on The CW’s Melrose Place remake. Lisa Rinna, who played Taylor McBride on the ’90s sensation, donned a sandwich board March 18 and strutted down the real Melrose Place asking folks to ”honk” for her cause. She stresses it was all in jest for pal Ross Mathews‘ Web series on TheInsider.com (no affiliation!) — but says the sentiment is real. ”Would I love to see Taylor on this show? Of course!” she says. ”What’s so wrong with wanting to go back to a show you loved?” She hasn’t heard from producers (and they declined to comment), but she has plot points ready in case: ”I left the show pregnant, but I can’t remember if it was Michael’s or Peter’s baby,” she says. [Ed. note: It was Michael’s.] ”But you could age that baby up and add five years, and you have a teenager. Or maybe I come back to run the apartment complex. Or maybe I open my own ballroom-dance studio.” — Jennifer Armstrong
Pierce Brosnan’s mythical new role
Uma Thurman as Medusa? Pierce Brosnan as Chiron? The actors are being turned into mythological figures by 20th Century Fox and director Chris Columbus (Rent) for the upcoming Percy Jackson, an adaptation of Rick Riordan’s book The Lightning Thief, the first in the überpopular kid series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Among the movie’s Greek gods: Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings) as Zeus, and Melina Kanakaredes (CSI: NY) as Athena. Grey’s Anatomy‘s Kevin McKidd will play Poseidon, god of the sea and father to schoolboy Percy (Logan Lerman), whose world is turned upside down when he learns whom he’s descended from. Production begins soon, with a release date set for February 2010. — Nicole Sperling