Pop Culture

How will ‘Jon & Kate’ incorporate scandal?

TLC’s reality series “Jon & Kate Plus 8” premieres its fifth season in two weeks, but the producers haven’t yet completed the first episode.

“The challenge for producers is how to incorporate Jon Gosselin’s extracurricular activities and the fallout that has ensued into the show,” reports Joe Flint in his L.A. Times blog.

Those “extracurricular activities” are a reference to allegations that Gosselin strayed from his marriage. Gosselin last week issued a statement to Scoop saying in part, “These allegations are false and just plain hurtful … I did not cheat on Kate … I am working through this difficult time with my family. My family is my top priority.”

A rep for the show had no comment on the season premiere, but if magazine sales are a good predictor for ratings, TLC would be wise to spend time hunting for scenes that would inject some tension into the episode. In other words, scandal sells.

Last week’s issue of Us Weekly, which was the second consecutive cover dedicated to the couple, sold more than a million copies on the newsstand. A source familiar with the sales figures confirmed that this was the second-straight week of million-plus newsstand sales, which is above average for the weekly.

‘Idol’ results show now more popularWhen “American Idol” producers announced they would be making changes in this, the eighth season of the show, I was hoping that seriously shortening the results show would be among them. Good thing no one listened to me. According to TV By the Numbers, the results show is now more popular than the performance show. The most recent results show drew 23.57 million viewers, while actual contestants singing songs for the first time drew 22.64 million.

Historically, the results show was the lesser-watched of the two, and the theory behind the switch is that the audience is now skewing older. The average viewer at the start of the season was 40.3, but more recent numbers put the average age at 42.9. The L.A. Times says that this “increasingly middle-aged” audience likes the Wednesday oldies acts who often perform then, and that the younger crowd is growing less interested in the competition itself.

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    American Idol - Season 8

    Kris Allen and Adam Lambert will compete for the season 8 crown on “American Idol.” 

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    The final 2

    Adam Lambert and Kris Allen will square off in the season 8 finale of "American Idol" on Tuesday, May 19. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 20.

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    Goodbye Gokey

    Danny Gokey, who never finished among the bottom three vote-getters all season, was sent home on Wednesday, May 13.

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    One last hug

    Danny Gokey, left, receives a hug from Kris Allen and applause from Adam Lambert after learning he had been eliminated on Wednesday, May 13.

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    'Waking Up' the crowd

    Katy Perry was the headliner among the guest performers on Wednesday, May 13, and she did an excellent job playing to the young male portion of the fan base. To perform "Waking Up in Vegas," she showed up in an Elvis cape with "Adam Lambert" embroidered on the back, and not much else.

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    Awaiting their fate

    The final 3 contestants, Danny Gokey, left, Kris Allen, center, and Adam Lambert gather together to hear who will advance to the "American Idol" final.

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    Shooting Sparks

    Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks returned to "American Idol" on Wednesday, May 13, and performed "Battlefield."

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    Future 'Idol'

    Singer Alicia Keys and Rwandan singer Noah Mushimiyimana appear together onstage on Wednesday, May 13. As part of "Idol Gives Back" and the show's charity efforts in Africa, Keys asked for $5 contributions and Noah performed for the crowd.

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    Making his pitch

    Milwaukee local Danny Gokey throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Chicago Cubs-Milwaukee Brewers baseball game on Friday, May 8, in Milwaukee. Gokey and the remaining "Idol" finalists visited their hometowns in advance of the May 12 show.

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    A brave performance

    Danny Gokey sings the national anthem before the Chicago Cubs-Milwaukee Brewers baseball game on Friday, May 8, in Milwaukee.

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    Hometown love

    Fans of "American Idol" finalist Kris Allen listen as he performs in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday, May 8. Allen is from Conway, Ark.

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    Talking to his peeps

    Kris Allen speaks to a crowd of fans during his performance on Friday, May 8, in Little Rock, Ark.

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    High school reunion

    Finalist Adam Lambert waves to fans during a visit to his alma mater, Mt. Carmel High School, in San Diego on Friday, May 8.

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    Sing it, Adam

    Adam Lambert performs for fans during a visit to his alma mater, Mt. Carmel High School, in San Diego on Friday, May 8.

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    Final 3

    Kris Allen (from left), Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert are the last "Idol" contestants standing after Allison Iraheta was sent home on Wednesday, May 6.

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    One final song

    Allison Iraheta performs for the final time on "American Idol" on Wednesday, May 6.

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    It's Paula!

    Paula Abdul performed her new single, "I'm Just Here for the Music," on Wednesday, May 6. The "Idol" judge, a former dancer, had some good moves, but her lip synching was a bit rusty.

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    More than just a girl

    Gwen Stefani and her band No Doubt performed their hit "I'm Just a Girl" on "American Idol" on Wednesday, May 6. Stefani changed some of the words of the song to "I'm just a girl on 'American Idol'."

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    Daughtry!

    Former "American Idol" contestant Chris Daughtry returned to the show with his band on Wednesday, May 6 to perform "No Surprise," the first single from his new album.

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    Group rock-out

    Contestants Kris Allen, left, and Allison Iraheta, second from left, Danny Gokey, second from right, and Adam Lambert, right, perform with guitarist, and this week's mentor, Slash on Wednesday, May 6.

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    These four are tops

    "American Idol" contestants, from left, Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta are seen backstage after the elimination show on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 in Los Angeles.

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    Golden moment

    Natalie Cole performs "Something's Gotta Give" on "American Idol" on Wednesday, April 29.

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    Soul is back on patrol

    Season five "Idol" champion Taylor Hicks performs on the show on Wednesday, April 29, in Los Angeles. He offered advice for the final five, saying, “Right now it’s about song choices, and also making the right moves on stage.”

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    Taking 'Blame'

    Singer/actor Jamie Foxx performs his song "Blame It" on Wednesday, April 29. The guest-mentor said, “I saw five of the most talented people I’ve seen in the last 10 years," and he begged the “Idol” audience to support the finalists even after the show ends.

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    Out of luck

    "Idol" contestants Matt Giraud, left, and Adam Lambert stand in the bottom two on the Wednesday, April 29, elimination show. “I’ll remember being the cat with nine lives here,” said Giraud, who received the only judges' save this season. But he finally ran out of luck and was sent home.

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    Five still alive

    After the April 22 elimination show, Danny Gokey (from left), Adam Lambert, Alison Iraheta, Kris Allen and Matt Giraud remained standing on "American Idol."

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    Going to Carolina

    Having been in the bottom three more often than not all season, Anoop Desai had to figure he would be sent home sooner or later. “I’m still really disappointed,” the University of North Carolina student said, “but now I have to look at the bright side — I’m going back to Chapel Hill.”

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    Everything's Archie

    Last season's runner-up David Archuleta returned to the stage on Wednesday, April 22 to sing “Touch My Hand” before heading out to the United Kingdom for a concert tour.

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    From 7 to 5

    The “American Idol” field was reduced to five on Wednesday, April 22 as Lil Rounds and Anoop Desai (center) were sent home. That marked the end of the road for one early favorite and for one singer who spent weeks barely hanging on.

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    Disco queen

    As disco week came to a close, singer Thelma Houston performed "Don't Leave Me This Way" live on "American Idol" on Wednesday, April 22.

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    Let's dance

    Disco week brought a special dance routine for the group sing on Wednesday, April 22, and Paula Abdul choreographed the number. "I’ve never had any group work harder,” she said afterwards.

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    Shakin' his booty

    KC and the Sunshine Band performed "Get Down Tonight" on "American Idol" on Wednesday, April 22.

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    Working on their moves

    Contestants (from left) Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey and Kris Allen rehearse for the group number before the show on Wednesday, April 22.

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    Still a lucky seven

    "American Idol" contestants, from left, Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta, Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert and Lil Rounds take time for a group hug after the elimination show in Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 15.

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    Stayin' alive

    Matt Giraud stays alive after receiving the first-ever Judges' Save to avoid elimination on "Idol" on Wednesday, April 15.

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    Cracking the Save

    The crowd was chanting "Save! Save! Save" behind the "Idol" judges, from left, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, on Wednesday, April 15. The foursome will have a tougher job next week when two contestants will be eliminated and the Save won't be available.

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    Teen queen

    Miley Cyrus performs her new hit, "The Climb" on the Wednesday, April 15, episode of "American Idol."

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    The view from below

    The bottom three, from left, Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds and Matt Giraud join host Ryan Seacrest to see who will be going home on Wednesday, April 15. Msnbc.com's Craig Berman said Rounds heard the worst feedback of anyone after her performance this week. And this was Desai's third week in a row in the bottom three.

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    Triumphant return

    Jennifer Hudson made her first appearance on "American Idol" since being booted off in season three. Despite her lack of success on the show, she's the only "Idol" finalist to ever win an Oscar.

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    Goodbye, Scott

    Allison Iraheta gives Scott MacIntyre a hug as the other contestants look on after the visually-impaired singer performed his swan song on "American Idol" on Wednesday, April 8.

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    She's baaaack

    One-time "Idol" contestant Kellie Pickler was back to her minx-like ways on Wednesday, April 8, flirting with Simon and Randy as she sang her new single "Best Days of Your Life."

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    The bottom two

    Anoop Desai, left, and Scott MacIntyre, center, listen as host Ryan Seacrest announces who will be going home on Wednesday, April 8. Alas, it was bad news for Scott.

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    Frankie, if you will

    Frankie Avalon made a guest appearance and performed his 1959 hit "Venus" on "American Idol" on Wednesday, April 8.

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    Flo Rida in the house

    Hip-hop star Flo Rida performed his No. 1 hit "Right Round" on Wednesday, April 8. Critics have plenty to say about where this season of "Idol" stands in relation to those that have come before, but it's clearly done better this year at booking current acts to show up to play the results show.

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    8 left standing

    The top eight contestants of season eight of "American Idol," from left, Lil Rounds, Anoop Desai, Scott MacIntyre, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud and Kris Allen are seen backstage at the elimination show on Wednesday, April 1, in Los Angeles.

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    Going Gaga

    Lady Gaga performs her new No. 1 single, "Poker Face," on "American Idol" at the elimination show on Wednesday, April 1.

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    Joy-less program

    Contestant Megan Joy Corkrey was the latest to be eliminated from the show on Wednesday, April 1. As msnbc.com's Craig Berman wrote, the font designer seemed to know she was on her way out, and flapped and cawed her way to her seat in the bottom three.

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    Comeback performance

    Season seven winner David Cook performed his single "Come Back to Me" at the season eight elimination show on Wednesday, April 1.

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    Go go power singers

    The season eight finalists performed live during the elimination show on Wednesday, April 1.

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    Go go power singers

    The season eight finalists performed live during the elimination show on Wednesday, April 1.

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And as for the rumors about whether or not Simon Cowell will stick around? I ran into one of his publicists who said, “that show is such a commercial success, of course he’s going to want to stay.”

The New York Times backs up the former part of that claim, pointing out that even though “American Idol” is losing viewers, its profits and revenues are up. “Revenues grew to $96 million last year from $67 million two years earlier, with gross profit margins expanding to 77 percent from 69 percent in that span,” according the Times.

Ginnifer Goodwin goes bad for W mag

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    Celebrity Sightings

    Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. on the "Let's Be Cops," red carpet, Selena Gomez is immortalized in wax and more.

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    Idris Elba

    Actor Idris Elba seen on the set of :A Hundred Streets" on Aug. 8 in London.

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    Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass

    Actors Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass arrive at the premiere of RADIUS-TWC's "The One I Love" at the Vista Theatre on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Nick Kroll

    Actor Nick Kroll arrives at the premiere of RADIUS-TWC's "The One I Love" at the Vista Theatre on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Damon Wayans Jr., Jake Johnson

    Actors Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson arrive at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    James D'Arcy

    James D'Arcy arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Julianne Hough

    Actress Julianne Hough arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Hannah Simone

    Actress Hannah Simone arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Nina Dobrev

    Actress Nina Dobrev arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Nicole Murphy, Brandy Norwood

    TV personality Nicole Murphy and singer Brandy Norwood attend The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception at W Hollywood on Aug. 7 in Hollywood.

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    Tara Reid

    Actress Tara Reid attends The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception at W Hollywood on Aug. 7 in Hollywood.

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    James Wirt, Julia Stiles

    Actors James Wirt and Julia Stiles stand on stage during the opening night curtain call for "Phoenix" at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    AnnaSophia Robb

    Actress AnnaSophia Robb attends the opening night performance of "Phoenix" at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Selena Gomez

    A boy gives the wax figure of Selena Gomez a kiss at the unveiling of the new new, never-before-seen Selena Gomez wax figure at Madame Tussauds New York on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Chris Martin

    Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show at Z100 Studio on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Michael Fassbender

    Actor Michael Fassbender attends "Meet the Actor" at Apple Store Soho on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Mickey Rourke

    Actor Mickey Rourke is seen at "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Jordana Brewster

    Actress Jordana Brewster waves outisde of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Keshia Knight Pulliam

    Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam attends G. Garvin Live at Buckhead Theatre on Aug. 7 in Atlanta.

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    Reese Witherspoon

    Actress Reese Witherspoon is seen on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Miley Cyrus

    Singer Miley Cyrus performs in concert at Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 7 in Nashville.

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    Melanie Griffith

    Actress Melanie Griffith attends a press conference during the 67th Locarno Film Festival on Aug. 7 in Locarno, Switzerland.

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    Singer Lily Allen performs in concert at Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 7 in Nashville.

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    'Expendables 3'

    The stars of "Expendables 3," from left, Kellan Lutz, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes attend "Expendables 3" at Cinema UGC Normandie on Aug. 7 in Paris.

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    Robert Pattinson

    Actor Robert Pattinson speaks during the Meet The Filmmakers event for "The Rover" at Apple Store, Regent Street on Aug. 7 in London.

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    Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman

    Actors Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman are spotted filming Bateman's "The Family Fang" in Westchester, New York, on Aug. 7.

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    Akon

    Grammy-nominated artist Akon, who is the founder of Akon Lighting Africa Project, discusses at the US-Africa Leaders Summit "Africa: New Parnership Models for Growth" news conference, held in Washington, DC, on Aug. 7, the progress that African heads of state have made.

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The “let the rumors fly” strategy is an unorthodox celebrity PR strategy, but Ginnifer Goodwin, “Big Love’s” Margene, thinks it makes her feel “safe.”

“I perpetuate rumors that I’ve dated people that I’ve never actually dated," she told W magazine. “Dorothy Parker once said something along the lines of, ‘I don’t care what’s written about me so long as it isn’t true.’ It’s safe making.” W's June issue features a racy photo spread of Goodwin.

Goodwin also had some insight into her profession. She feels that what she does for a living is “bananas and so insecure,” and that’s why she is more inspired when she’s in a relationship that, by contrast, feels safe and solid. And speaking of relationships, don’t ask her for advice.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to ask an actor for dating advice. We are not the poster children for healthy relationships,” she told W.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.

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