The Last Word Week of July 14, 2005

White Noise Heard by Network
The welcome mat has been pulled out from under the producers of ABC’s “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” in which a group of white residents in a white-bread community got to choose who their new neighbors would be — housing fairness laws be damned — from groups aiming to win a prize if chosen.
The network, fearing cries of bigotry and anticipating a backlash, blacklash, whitelash and every lash imaginable not put out by Maybelline, zapped the reality series before its first welcome wagon went out.
How fast was the show canceled? The series — scheduled for the fall — was pulled so swiftly, ADL didn’t even get a chance to protest.

Curtis Institutes Dog Days of Summer
Tony Curtis, whose parents knew him as Bernie Schwartz, has always been one of the defiant ones.
But posing in his birthday suit for his birthday?
His … 80th … birthday?
Indeed, Curtis made a bold move reminiscent of a viking spirit, by posing for a recent Vanity Fair issue, all in the buff — with the exception of a dog placed here, a dog placed there.
For those with encore envy, Curtis told the New York Daily News, “For my 81st birthday, it’s just gonna be one dog.”
Hope it’s a dachshund.

Cup of Cappuccino, Casper?
CBS sees dead people — and they’re hoping millions of viewers will, too, with their new show “Ghost Whisperer.”
The drama, based on the experiences of Mary Ann Winkowski, owes a wink of a credit to NBC’s well-done “Medium.” In the CBS show, the ghost whisperer can get hoarse talking to all these spectral images hanging out — ectoplasmically speaking, of course.
And how’s this for a caffeinated moment. When series producer John Gray first met Winkowski, it was for a cup of coffee. According to an Associated Press report, he asked her where they could have some close encounters with some Caspers.
“She said, ‘There’s people here right now.’
“I said, ‘Right here in Starbucks?’ ”
TLW doesn’t care where they are. All he knows is that after waiting 10 minutes for his skim soy cinnamon latte, he’s not going to let anyone get in front of him.
They’ll just have to float to the back of the line like everyone else.

Tip-Off: The Family That Plays Together …
How’s this for hoopla!
Brandi (Butler) Mills, former ace with the Cheltenham High B-Ball hoopsters, is teaming up with her husband, Adam, and her two brothers, Adam and Benji, in the JJBL Alumni Summer League, playing at Abington Friends’ Hallowell Gym three nights a week.
Husband, wife, brothers … gee, wonder who takes out the trash (talk).

‘Maxim’ Maxim: For the Boys
As a means of explanation, the editor of the infamous lads’ mag Maxim called the use of scantily clad actresses as pinups (à la Betty Grable) on its cover to appeal to the boys overseas as just its way of doing a public service.
“We get a ton of e-mail from soldiers, and their two biggest complaints are a lack of women and a lack of beer.”
No. 3? Stringy brisket on Friday nights.


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