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Runaways Return and Ellen’s Out, JLo’s In

“I’ve been a big Joan Jett supporter since the Runaways,” said Cherie Currie when I asked if she’s still friends with Jett since reuniting as consultants on The Runaways. (The film starred Kristen Stewart as Jett and Dakota Fanning as Currie, channeling her dramatic stage presence.) 

“In fact, we’re playing together this summer,” she said. “I’m on the same bill at the Pacific Amphitheater.”

Currie will join Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on Aug. 11 at the Orange County Fair Summer Concert Series in Costa Mesa, Calif.  Apparently all that bad blood that spilled so painfully decades ago when Currie bolted from their hugely successful all-girl teen band is like water under the bridge. In fact, at a free concert last week in Beaumont, Calif., (July 28), Jett played several Runaways songs and now seems to remember those days more for breaking musical ground and less for breaking her heart.

Jett admits that at the time she was pissed, but it’s all about the music. And she still plays as if there’s nothing she’d rather be doing. Currie is loving her return to the stage, partly because her new band includes her son, Jake. 

"My son loves it," she says. "He's a fantastic musician.” He’s also an artist, and contributed a piece to a silent auction in support of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s Evening With Women a few months back, an event that Currie attended.

As for the film broaching the subject of their love affair, Jett is still coy about the topic of her sexuality.

“The focus should be on the music,” she told CNN. “That's why I tend to keep my private life private. I think it's important to have mystique. It's important to keep people thinking and guessing, and you want everyone to think you're singing to them.”

Currie is just enjoying the moment: “It was great to get in the studio with her again. We had a great time.”


In television news…

Ellen DeGeneres is out after one season at American Idol. A source tells me, however, that despite her announcement that it was her decision, the big suits allowed her the chance to exit gracefully with a year left on her contract. 

“A couple months ago, I let Fox and the American Idol producers know that this didn't feel like the right fit for me," she announced last week. "I told them I wouldn't leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next.”

Being her witty self wasn’t enough for a show that thrives on constructive criticism. “Figuring out where they want to take the panel” appears to be in the direction of Jennifer Lopez, who could draw in spendy young hipsters who are the sponsors’ target audience, and other celebs with more experience in the music industry.  


CBS announced a new talk show to air this fall developed by actress/Yale grad Sara Gilbert, who has two children with her partner, writer-producer Allison Adler (Chuck).

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Gilbert will join Julie Chen, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini and Marissa Jaret Winokur in a panel-like show a la The View, to discuss current issues relevant to mothers.

Hmm, diapers, breast feeding and child care? I think I need a nap. But with a team like this it could get interesting. (Gilbert, 35, is best remembered as the acerbic daughter on Roseanne.)

The Talk will replace the long-running soap As the World Turns. I believe my grandmother watched that one, which is probably why it’s finally ending its run after, like, a hundred years (R.I.P. Grandma).

We’ll see if this feisty group of opinionated women can wet nurse an audience. The show will be based in Los Angeles and is set to launch in October. 


Blogger Bio: For more than a decade Laurie Schenden has covered the entertainment industry for Curve, the Los Angeles Times and Germany's Spotlight magazine. Her cover stories for Curve magazine have included Sharon Stone, Melissa Etheridge, and the cast of The L Word. She’s also an award winning documentary filmmaker and one of the co-creators of the Laughing Matters film series, seen on Logo.