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Miley Cyrus at Sunday's VMAs (duh)

Miley Cyrus, touring on her "Bangerz" album, performs

(Credit: Chad Batka)

Get your twerk tweets tweaked, sports fans: Miley Cyrus will be at this Sunday's Video Music Awards ... MTV, which officially announced a little while ago (after first teasing the news to a few online columnists last night) said she would "attend" which of course is one of those loaded words that could mean anything. But for the fun of it, let's do assume that she will take the stage, maybe with Robin Thicke, and reprise the most famous/infamous VMA moment since Gaga offended meat lovers (or vegans) the world over with a meat dress, or Britney offended snake lovers the world over with a snake one.

Whatever ... but as you know, genteel society this time last year was scandalized when Cyrus did a standing lap dance with Thicke as part of a routine, the name of which would subsequently become part of the language and added to the Oxford English Dictionary, etc.  

Outstanding questions: Will she bring her pet pig? Will Taylor Swift become part of whatever everyone will be talking about Monday morning? 

Of course, there was no chance MC would not attend this Sunday, making this news a little like telling you the sun rose this morning. It's however one little reason, no doubt, why NBC decided to shift the Emmys to Monday because so many viewers were anticipating something at the VMAs, as they always do. To that point, they are rarely disappointed. 

Grossed out, sure. But not disappointed. 

Julianne Hough joins judging panel on 'Dancing with the Stars'

Julianne Hough will return to her stamping grounds,

Julianne Hough will become the fourth — that's right, one, two, three, four — judge on a show that has long lived and prospered with just three: "Dancing with the Stars."

The official announcement was made a little while ago, and statement below. 

The move's hardly a shocker — talks between both parties had been widely reported, while Hough is just one more (former) pro on the show who emerged as a bigger star than most of the contestants, her brother Derek, as probably the best example. She's been a longtime correspondent on "ET" and launched a big screen career that has yet to take off, so visibility has hardly been an issue for Hough, who will certainly bring a different style and dynamic to the judging panel.

Four judges? Yes: You immediately picked up the most obvious problem. Four judges means four opinions which means more time — always at great premium, needless to say, in a prime-time unscripted show — taken away from the performances. But "DWTS" is on an active hunt for more magic and more viewers; ratings are down and the average age of viewers has soared. Clearly Hough's role will be to add back that necessary-for-survival dose of youth to the mix.

In a statement first posted on, she said:

“I’m so excited to be back with my 'Dancing with the Stars' family again on a regular basis. I've always aspired to be an all-around entertainer, whether I'm acting, dancing or singing, and I’m thrilled for this opportunity that will allow me to continue all of those pursuits. Derek and I just finished our Move Live on Tour, which reminded me how much I miss the interaction with the dance fans that have been so supportive of me in my career. I am warming up the paddles and the sass, and I’m ready to have fun in this new role.”

Show's back Sept. 4.

Billy Crystal to present Robin Williams tribute at Emmys

Robin Williams, left, and Billy Crystal arrive for

(Credit: AP / Louis Lanzano)

Billy Crystal, who had (at least) a 30-year association with Robin Williams, will present his tribute on Monday's telecast of the 66th Primetime Emmys.

The program's executive producer, Don Mischer, made the announcement Wednesday. Mischer said last week that the Academy was planning to mount "a proper and meaningful tribute," which will now fall to Crystal, who has long hosted Comic Relief USA with Williams and Whoopi Goldberg. (Crystal and Williams also co-starred in "Father's Day").

Williams presented the tribute to his personal comic icon, Jonathan Winters, at last year's show. 

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Indeed, Williams' and Crystal's close ties long predate Comic Relief, which they had co-hosted with Goldberg since 1986. Like so many A-list comics, they came up through the east coast/west coast comedy club circuit in the '70s, shared prominent managers (Jack Rollins and Charles Joffe) and at times even seemed to be one another's most visible cheerleader.

After Williams' 2009 heart surgery, for example, Crystal explained to The New York Times how that might impact his comedy going forward. "I think he needs the stand-up in a different way than he did before. It's still a safe place for him to be, but he can talk about things and make himself feel better, not just everybody else."

After Williams' death was reported last week, Crystal could muster only this, in a Tweet: "No words."

Musical accompaniment for the "In Memoriam" tribute will be performed by Sara Bareilles. She had dedicated her song, "Hercules," to Williams during a recent concert, but Mischer did not say what the music choices will be.

'Saturday Night Live's' Don Pardo dead at 96: What he meant to TV

"Saturday Night Live" announcer Don Pardo on Sept.

(Credit: AP, NBC / Al Levine )

Don Pardo, whose voice graced NBC's air for 70 years and one network institution, "Saturday Night Live," for nearly 40, died Monday at his home in Tucson. He was 96.

That voice -- a sturdy, redoubtable baritone that seemed to resonate to the rafters of "SNL's" longtime home, Studio 8H -- was among the most recognized in broadcasting history. New Yorkers heard it -- frequently -- on WNBC/4 for years on the "Live at Five" newscast. The rest of the nation became familiar with Pardo's distinct delivery from game shows ("The Price Is Right"), commercials, and even the rare movie ("Radio Days") or series ("The Simpsons") much later in his career, when Pardo effectively became synonymous with how most people assumed the classic TV presenter should sound.

Pardo's voice was magic: Slightly singsong, it was both in on the joke and part of the joke -- that old-time broadcaster's delivery in service to a new-time comedy/TV franchise that was designed in part to send up the conventions of the medium from which it sprang.

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He most centrally occupied a cherished place in the history of one franchise in particular: "Saturday Night Live."

Pardo, who joined at the show's launch in 1975, was seldom seen -- a disembodied presence whose words floated out of the darkness and across the country every Saturday night. (His booth was located in the spot where Arturo Toscanni had once conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra.) He didn't actually say "Live from New York!" -- that was left, of course, to whoever closed the opening segment -- but his ritual was just as valuable: A rundown of cast members, repertory players, guest hosts, musical guests and other in-show announcements including "Weekend Update."

To have one's name announced by Pardo on "SNL" was to have been consecrated in some sort of cosmic comic firmament -- or as former cast member Amy Poehler said in a statement posted on The Tuesday, "My whole life changed once Don Pardo said my name."

By all accounts a modest, self-effacing man in an immodest business, Pardo survived nonetheless in grand style, literally phoning it in. During the last few years following his retirement, he would record the intros at his Arizona home. He had a rare lifetime contract, and continued working for NBC and "SNL" well past his official retirement in 2004.

Born Dominick George Pardo in 1918 in Westfield, Massachusetts, Pardo began his career at Providence radio station WJAR in 1942, and joined NBC in 1944. He never left. He read news dispatches on the radio from the front lines during World War II and after the war was announcer for the "The Arthur Murray Party," "Colgate Comedy Hour" and "Your Show of Shows."

In 1954, he was brought in to announce "Winner Takes All," beginning a long run in game shows -- "The Price is Right" (1956-63) and briefly the original "Jeopardy!" (1964-75), hosted by Art Fleming. He also announced the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to NBC listeners in 1963.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame.

Pardo, whose wife, Kay, died in 1995, is survived by five children.

With AP

David Letterman's tribute to Robin Williams - a keeper

Robin Williams in Santa Monica, Calif. on June

(Credit: AP / Reed Saxon)

David Letterman and Robin Williams go way back, as fans of both know so well, and it was with genuine anticipation that I awaited Dave's tribute (the show was dark last night). He did not disappoint: It was warm and genuine and interesting and foremost brought to mind something that a few obits overlooked last week: Some of Williams' classic work was right here at “Late Show,” and at “Late Night” and “Tonight” as well. Dave didn't tear up — he's not a teary guy — but watching this you certainly knew that a major loss, indeed tragedy, just took place in his life too. A wonderful tribute, well worth watching.(If you are coming to this post via, click on the headline to see the clip.)

Cranston, Paul, Louis-Dreyfus star in Emmy promo for Audi (and it's good)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is known for her work on

(Credit: AP / Invision / Richard Shotwell)

Well, well, wellll...what have we here? Another sophisticated viral marketing stunt designed to get TV writers to post said stunt, thereby extending free impressions to the embedded sponsor who doubtless likes free impressions more than paid ones? Clever....verrrrry clever. This one stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who I think was just named greatest comic TV actress in history by some guy at Newsday) are all here, and...they're all good. What else? Check it out. These seven minutes of your lunch hour will not be wasted and you may be moved to run out and buy an Audi or at the very least watch the Emmys next Monday. (If you are coming to this post via, click on the headline to see the clip.)



Robin Williams TV appreciation, from 'Mork & Mindy' to 'The Crazy Ones'

Actor Robin Williams on the set of "Mork

(Credit: AP / ABC)

Mork materialized after "Happy Days" had literally jumped the shark -- or the Fonz had at least -- when the idea of an alien life form kidnapping Richie Cunningham, even in a dream, became just another way to keep an ABC franchise either fresh or alive.

Mork -- or Robin Williams -- was instantly popular, and of course it occurred to ABC that it could go either one of two ways here: Add a real...

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Khloé Kardashian, Scott Disick on season finale of 'Royal Pains'

"Kourtney and Khloé Take The Hamptons" launches Sept. 14 on E! -- the fifth such "Keeping up with the Kardashians" spinoff -- so no one should be surprised at an opportunistic Kardashian sighting (or two) over next few weeks. There was a big one Thursday: At Dockers Waterside Marina and Restaurant, on Dune Road in East Quogue, where Khloé Kardashian (and Scott Disick) arrived to shoot a cameo in the Sept. 2 season finale of "Royal Pains."

The cameo was a bit of a surprise, but only a bit: Self-promotion is what the Kardashians do so well, after all, and there's a series to launch. Plus, "Pains" works hard to secure cameos of major Long Island-based celebrities. (Alas, the most major of them, Billy Joel, has resisted the show's entreaties for years.)

USA Network yesterday said of Disick's and Kardashian's scene: "Playing themselves, the two pop culture icons are having dinner at a local hot spot when they are recognized and Hank's (Mark Feuerstein) girlfriend Charlotte (recurring guest star Gillian Alexy) asks Evan (Paulo Costanzo) to make an introduction."

"Pains" is shot entirely on Long Island, although not exclusively in the Hamptons -- and in fact most of the show's scenes originate from points west, including favorite location Oheka Castle in Huntington (as well as Sands Point Preserve and Old Westbury Gardens, also classic Gold Coast locales). "Kourtney and Khloé Take The Hamptons" will revolve around the opening of a DASH boutique on Jobs Lane in Southampton. Disick has long been romantically linked to Kourtney Kardashian. The couple have two children and are expecting their third.

HBO, 'True Detective' creator rebuke plagiarism charge, but ...

Woody Harrelson, left, and Matthew McConaughey in HBO's

(Credit: HBO / Jim Bridges)

Without question, "True Detective" creator Nic Pizzolatto is living the dream — but into every dream, I suppose, a little rain must fall ... like the online charge a few days ago that he may have lifted the words of  novelist Thomas Ligotti to surfeit those bleak Nietzsche-esque musings of one Rust Cohle, whose portrayer, Matthew McConaughey, is a lead-pipe cinch to win the Emmy for best actor...

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Jimmy Van Heusen doc to air on Ch. 13 Saturday

The legendary singer Frank Sinatra was born in

(Credit: AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Jimmy van Who? If one has to ask who "Jimmy Van Heusen" was, then one may as well go ahead and ask who Frank Sinatra was, or Bing Crosby: He was one of the major contributors to the great American songbook and wrote much of the soundtrack for Sinatra's career after the 1940's. Also: His "High Hopes" became JFK's presidential campaign song. "Jimmy Van Heusen: Swingin' with Frank and Bing" airs Saturday...

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