Everything’s Coming Up Roses & Scoops for the New Year

Photos by Margie Barron

Burbank’s Rose Parade float, a winner!

Congratulations to Burbank’s Rose Parade float titled “Barnyard Aces,” which won the Animation Trophy for the 2010 Tournament of Roses celebration. Appropriate for this year’s theme “A Cut Above the Rest,” the dedicated volunteers lovingly created a moving replica of a Stearman PT-17 jet built to scale. To have such a grand plane making maneuvers along the parade route was awesome, especially for Grand Marshall “Sully” Sullenberger, the heroic airline pilot who saved everyone onboard his jumbo jet when he landed it safely in the Hudson River last year.
So would you like to help create a design for the City of Burbank’s 2011 float entry for Rose Parade? The Burbank Tournament of Roses Association design contest has begun and you can go to www.burbankrosefloat.com for a contest entry form, or call (818) 840-0060 for information. Anyone can submit an entry by the deadline of Jan. 27. It’s important to note that 2011 marks the City of Burbank’s 100th anniversary and it would be good to honor that special occasion along with focusing on next year’s parade theme of “Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories.” Good luck to all.
Long after all the Rose Parade floats were tucked away for another year, there was another great celebration that took place in Pasadena—the 2010 BCS National Championship Party held at the Pasadena Convention Center. It was on the eve of Alabama’s victory over Texas at the Rose Bowl, and great athletes and celebrities were on hand to root for their favorite college team. Plus, they got to enjoy the event’s GBK Productions luxury lifestyle lounge hosted by Gavin B. Keilly, who had lots of A-list goodies for the sports fans, including Joe Jonas, Channing Tatum, Ryan Phillippe, Michael Clarke Duncan and hockey great Wayne Gretzky. American Idol winner Taylor Hicks was not shy about letting everyone know that he’s an Alabama boy born to root for the Crimson Tide. But Burbank-born Eddie Cibrian was cheering for the Texas Longhorns, as was his new sweetheart, country singer LeAnn Rimes.
The New Year scoop is that they are a darling couple, despite the swirl of controversy surrounding their affair. LeAnn is a sweet gal and Eddie is so charming, as I personally discovered years ago, chatting with him when he starred on The Young and the Restless, Invasion and as ‘Coach Diaz’ on Ugly Betty. Now he’s the hunky crime scene cop on CSI: Miami. This fall, we chatted at another fabulous GBK lounge over very wholesome Johnny Rockets’ milkshakes with Rocket’s rep Elka Smith.

Photos by Margie Barron

Eddie Cibrian and Elka Smith enjoying Johnny Rockets.

Always a favorite at GBK events, Johnny Rockets was on hand at the BCS party to offer their great milkshakes to the sporty crowd getting VIP cards (Heroes James Kyson Lee loves his) to enjoy the retro restaurant with locations all over town. I’m a big fan of doing interviews at Johnny Rockets because it’s always a fun and comfortable place. I’ve chatted with everyone from Nickelodeon kid stars to “Who Cares” author Mort Fleischmann, who told me about his WWII experiences as a pilot and all the icons (John Wayne, Cary Grant, etc.) he worked with during RCA/NBC’s early days. The friendly vintage atmosphere at Johnny Rockets appeals to all ages, and so does their yummy comfort food. NBC’s The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney says there’s nothing wrong with comfort food, “just everything in moderation and stay fit.”
Here’s the latest scoop from covering the current television press tour. Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment, announced that, starting February 12, The Jay Leno Show will not be airing in the 10 pm slot. “We realized we had to make a change,” Gaspin told the TV writers gathered at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena. “My goal right now is to keep Jay, Conan and Jimmy as part of our late-night lineup. I’ve spoken to all of them and proposed that The Jay Leno Show move to 11:35, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien move to 12:05 and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon would start at 1:05.” Gaspin admits it’s not a done deal, talks are still ongoing.
Let’s remember that Leno (a class act) told everyone last summer that he was happy doing late night and didn’t want to leave. And he was shocked that the network wanted to make a change when the “Tonight Show” was rated number one. Now, would someone print up signs for the NBC brass to hang in their offices: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!
The Feb. 12 date is also the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, with NBC’s Bob Costas as the primetime host throughout the games. Also coming to the NBC schedule is the new show Jerry Seinfeld is producing, The Marriage Ref, which will preview following the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. Seinfeld sees marriage as a sport that needs a referee to settle (humorous) disagreements between spouses. He was quick to acknowledge the reality show was “my wife’s idea.” Could be interesting.

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