We launch a new charity campaign. PLUS: A new EW/VH1 TV show.

By EW Staff
February 03, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

Here at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, we love to celebrate the artists bringing you the best in film, television, music, and books. In our pages, however, we don’t spend a lot of time covering another side of these artists’ lives? the devotion of a select group to worthy causes, a devotion that is for the most part conducted outside the limelight. So we began 2006 with a resolution: to create a campaign that would highlight, and contribute to, the best of these causes, from some of the greatest entertainers. With this in mind, the magazine has launched ”Entertainers With a Mission,” which will celebrate performers for their altruistic and charitable work.

We are honored to designate Robert Redford as EW’s first Entertainer With a Mission. For 25 years the heart and the face of the Sundance Institute, Redford continues to be an active philanthropist dedicated to an array of good causes. On his behalf, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY will make a donation to the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness (JRI). Robert Redford’s son James is founder and president of JRI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the need for organ and tissue donation, through film, educational outreach, and the Internet. He founded the organization in 1995, two years after receiving a liver transplant. To check out JRI, please visit their website at http://www.jrifilms.org.

We made our presentation to Robert Redford at our Sundance party, held the festival’s opening weekend, on Saturday, Jan. 21, in Park City, Utah. At each of our signature events this year, an Entertainer With a Mission will be selected. We look forward to saluting and supporting a number of deserving charities in the coming months and years.

On a completely different note, I’d like to announce a new ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY TV series, produced by Michael Davies of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire fame. The World Series of Pop Culture will debut this summer on VH1. Sixteen teams from all over the country will compete to win up to $100,000 in cash and prizes. And here’s the good news?you have a chance to be part of the show. We’re conducting a nationwide search for the very best three-person teams of entertainment trivia nuts we can find. If you’re interested, log on to http://www.ew.com, or http://www.vh1.com, for details. But hurry?the search has begun, and hundreds of teams have already applied. Good luck!

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And now a brief word for those ink-stained wretches of the press who hammer out stuff we might actually read. Herewith, four Oscar-nominated actors in roles that shone a light on the lowly fourth estate. (And no, Orson Welles’ newspaper mogul Charles Foster Kane doesn’t count.)

James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story (1940) Stewart (right) played slightly against type and won a Best Actor Oscar as cynical tabloid-magazine scribe Macaulay ”Mike” Connor. Not only does he break a cardinal rule of journalism by falling for his subject (Katharine Hepburn’s Tracy Lord), he’s also a published author.

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