It’s been a tense situation at “The View” ever since rumors circulated that Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s days were numbered. I previously told you that ABC informed Elisabeth and the producers back in March that Hasselbeck’s contract would not be renewed when it expired in July. Although Barbara Walters firmly denied the story, it was a fait accompli. This advance notice gave Elisabeth time to find a new job and then appear to leave the show on her own terms. When the deal with FOX News was finalized, Hasselbeck’s departure was announced – and her final show was a few hours later…
It’s been a tense situation at “The View” ever since rumors circulated that Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s days were numbered. I previously told you that ABC informed Elisabeth and the producers back in March that Hasselbeck’s contract would not be renewed when it expired in July. Although Barbara Walters firmly denied the story, it was a fait accompli. This advance notice gave Elisabeth time to find a new job and then appear to leave the show on her own terms. When the deal with FOX News was finalized, Hasselbeck’s departure was announced – and her final show was a few hours later. Even Walters appeared flustered at the quick turnaround, saying to Elisabeth, “I’m happy that you’re going….No, I’m NOT happy that you’re going…Well, you tell us about it.” Most people found it strange that Elisabeth didn’t stay two more weeks to finish out the season, although Joy Behar (who announced her departure months ago) is staying put. The reason is simple: no one connected with the show wants Joy to leave.
So, who will replace Behar and Hasselbeck? It’s all but certain that Jenny McCarthy will take one of the slots. She and Ali Wentworth were frontrunners for Joy’s job, but Ali had commitment issues and McCarthy was locked in a contract with VH1. However, given the abrupt cancellation of her show on that network, it appears the path is free for Jenny to move on. Plus, my sources tell me that she has been discreetly looking at schools in Manhattan for her son…sounds like a done deal to me. As for the second slot, I’m told Brooke Shields continues to lobby hard for it.
I suppose it was inevitable – with the success of HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra”, there’s talk of bringing Liberace’s story to Broadway. Producer of the flick, Jerry Weintraub, is trying to figure it out, and he has some grandiose plans. First, Michael Douglas is out. Who’s in? The same guy who’s always in – Hugh Jackman, who previously earned plaudits playing Peter Allen. Also on the list is a less “in” choice Nathan Lane. As I told you months ago, Victor Garber was excellent in the 1988 made-for-TV flick on Lee and is no stranger to Broadway. He’d be top of my list. This would be at least the second stage version of the Liberace story. “All That Glitters” is a play about the famed pianist’s life, which features three actors (Richard Kline, Zachary Berger and Kevin Dolan) playing Liberace at various years. And that show has costumes by Bob Mackie – something I’m sure Lee would approve.
We hear that when the recent Broadway revival of “Evita” was winding down, who should get a call but Miss Patti LuPone…..would she be interested in returning to the role that launched her international career? A role written by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. Patti, always a classy broad, said she’d need to know all the details of the offer – schedule, salary, perks, etc. After everything was assembled, she went over it carefully, and then politely declined. But wouldn’t that have been something??? Well, have no fear – there is talk of a one-night-only reunion concert featuring the original cast. YAY!
The long-anticipated film version of “The Normal Heart” began filming in NYC recently. So, yes, it’s actually happening. And with the success of other gay film and television projects, the recent Supreme Court ruling, and the change in the political climate, this could be good news to other similarly stalled projects about gay topics. Patricia Nell Warren, author of “The Front Runner”, thinks that this may finally be the time when her landmark book gets made into a film (even an HBO film). “This was always about two characters who wanted to be married…..they would be tremendously excited by what the Supreme Court did this week.” Warren has regained the film rights and is looking for the perfect producing partner…as if such a thing exists!
Our “Ask Billy” question comes from David out in Cyberspace: “I just read about a ballet dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet being fired for doing gay porn. He’s adorable. Do you know anything about him? What’s his porn name? Can you track down any photos or videos?”
Danish dancer Jeppe Hansen has performed around the world before winning a scholarship to the prestigious Royal Winnipeg Ballet School last year. After being asked to do porn by several people, he finally did his first scene for CockyBoys.com under the name Jett Black. When the school found out, they asked him to resign by signing a letter stating that he left of his own accord. My God, he might as well have been appearing on “The View”! The school says that no student is allowed to “perform” outside of the school without permission from the director. It should be noted, however, that from the video I saw, Jett was never en pointe – in fact, he was on his back…and stomach (showing immense flexibility while manipulating a large black d—o). Jeppe/Jett doesn’t feel his ballet career is officially over. He’s just taking a hiatus and hopes to get back to it soon. In the meantime, you can check out every inch of him at BillyMasters.com.
When my subjects are keeping me on my toes, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. I’m filing this report moments after landing in lovely Italy. Even though I’m away, I’m constantly updating www.BillyMasters.com, the site that’s known for its foreign tongue. If you have a question you need me to tackle, send it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before the Royal Winnipeg Ballet says Jeppe is welcomed back anytime – possibly for a special all-male production of “The Nutcracker”! Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.