Did Sarah Palin pull strings to get Joan Rivers canceled?

Joan Rivers, who was booked on Fox to promote her upcoming television series, found her spot suddenly and suspiciously canceled after she made some less-than-complimentary remarks about Sarah Palin.  Fox claims that the cancelation was a simple mistake, but Rivers isn’t buying that story – she says that she’s paying the price for crossing one of Fox’s most important assets.

Rivers took to Twitter to voice her frustration over the cancelation, and to say that she most certainly doesn’t think the timing of the “accident” was coincidence.  Fox still maintains that they were always planning on rescheduling Rivers, but they could say anything at this point just to try to cover themselves

Britney Spears to appear on Glee tonight

I’ve always been kind of lukewarm about Glee, but it looks like tonight’s episode is going to be worth watching, whether you follow the show or not. They’re doing a Britney Spears theme this time, and apparently Britney herself is going to be appearing. The cast have been really talking it up on YouTube, and from what I’ve seen of the teasers, it’s going to be pretty hot. Okay, it might be kind of boring to see Britney doing stuff that’s not nutso crazy, but come on – the woman is 28 years old now, it’s about time for her to grow up and get her comeback rolling. While Hollywood is much more forgiving these days of women daring to try to start over after the age of 30, it can be much more difficult, so if she can really make an effort this time, she’s got a two-year head start.

She’s there, she’s gone, she’s back again: Jennifer Lopez finally joins Idol

Hire a notoriously demanding diva and you’ll get what you pay for: that’s exactly the lesson that the producers of American Idol are starting to learn.  After wooing failing pop star Jennifer Lopez with various different contracts that her people rejected, it seems that the two sides have finally come to an agreement… sort of.  Apparently Lopez kept demanding that she have all sorts of extras in her contract, like Fox film deals and the right to veto other Idol judge choices, but I guess she finally realized that a straight $12 million for the year was pretty much the best offer she’d had in a long time or would have anytime in the near future, and eventually she took it.

It remains to be seen whether Lopez actually knows anything about critiquing performers, or whether the show has any spark left in it with Simon gone, but we’ll get to find out on Jan 12th of next year, when the 10th season of American Idol begins to air.

Nigel Lythgoe Stepping Down As American Idol Producer

Well, it looks like we won’t have Nigel to bitch about this season on American Idol. Maybe Andrew Lloyd Webber night was the last straw. Or Neil Diamond. Or any of the other demographic-killing theme nights we witnessed last season. Nigel has been American Idol’s producer since the beginning, and rumors have it he’s lost his passion for the show. He’s leaving right as Fox faces the challenge of staying on top in its eighth season.

Nigel’s negotiating a joint-venture deal with American Idol creator Simon Fuller and 19 Entertainment. You’ve probably seen Nigel sitting behind the Idol judges during the show, and if you watch “So You Think You Can Dance?” you know him well! Nigel produces SYTYCD also, and stated that:

I will step back from my day-to-day producing work on ‘American Idol’ and will be devoting my time to the new enterprise

The change comes as Idol tries to keep its hold on the No. 1 ratings spot, a rare trick for an aging show. Last season the ratings had a small downturn, and the audience age shifted a bit older. The demographic shift is probably the more worrisome piece of data.

Fox congratulated Lythgoe on his new venture but acknowledged it was “disappointed” that he would not be continuing as executive producer. No word on whether Nigel will have any sort of involvement in the show going forward, or what Nigel, Simon Fuller and 19E’s new venture will be. The show returns January 19th, 2009. 19E says the new producers have yet to be decided.

Wow. Things are about to get REAL interesting. And could possibly go straight into the crapper.