TMZ, known for scooping celebrity gossip practically as it occurs, has been offering its version of star tours in Los Angeles for more than a year. Get ready for a more local version: The New York Times, quoting TMZ founder Harvey Levin, has reported that the tours are coming to New York, possibly by early next year.
How this might play out remains to be seen, but if we use the L.A. tours -- and TMZ's show -- as a blueprint, expect the red buses to visit spots where celebrities have shown their worst. These are no mere drive-bys past mansions and storied restaurants; those tours are for the other guys.
Promising “secrets and celebrity hot spots!" (always with the exclamation points), tourists even get their guides swathed in celebrity, sort of, as the TMZ website boasts tours led by folks “direct from TMZ on TV.” The Hollywood tour bus travels to where Hugh Grant got caught with a prostitute whose name we should not remember but do (Divine Brown), the liquor store Halle Berry drove into, the Viper Room club where River Phoenix died. Fill in the whos and wheres with New York names and places, add in video clips of stars gone naughty, and that's the template.
With New York celebrities a bit more modest, TMZ has its research to do. And New Yorkers, you'll have one more tour bus -- a rowdy one at that -- to contend with.
The Hollywood tours, available at tmz.com/tour, cost a (currently discounted price of) $49 for adults, $39 for children.
Pictured: TMZ founder Harvey Levin.