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ABC ‘Desperate’ to save cash on wardrobe

According to an internal memo, it looks like some belt tightening has hit the costuming department at some of ABC’s biggest primetime shows, including "Desperate Housewives."
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According to an internal memo, it looks like some belt tightening has hit the costuming department at some of ABC’s biggest primetime shows.

The network, home to highly wardrobed dramas such as “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Desperate Housewives,” has circulated a memo titled “new wardrobe guidelines” that outlines the “maximum allowable spend” for categories of clothing for each character.

No more than $150 may be spent on men’s or women’s accessories; no more than $250 on a pair of women’s shoes (only $200 for men’s shoes). Handbags should cap out at $300 and men’s suits at $1,500.

One source involved with an ABC show called the memo evidence that the network is “cheap,” but Charissa Gilmore, a rep for ABC, says that the memo is nothing more than a guide. “Probably everyone is looking at costs,” says Gilmore, “and there are guidelines for every single department.”

Despite the source of the memo saying that the guidelines are new and definitely a change from previous season’s guidelines, Gilmore says the memo is probably part of a larger set of guidelines established last summer, and not a response to a specific cost-cutting drive.

Also, Gilmore drives home the point that the costs allotted are just suggestions. “All of our people can go over. If someone argues that we need red-soled (Christian Louboutin) shoes to show that Lucy Liu is the power attorney (on ‘Dirty Sexy Money’), then she’s going to get them. It’s about making smart decisions.”

Obama to ‘SNL’? And more on Palin’s appearance First off, the newest batch of rumors to come out of the “Saturday Night Live” world have Barack Obama signed on for the Nov. 1 show, the last live taping before the elections.

A rep for the show repeated the standard line, that Obama is “not confirmed” (we heard this about Palin up until her camp did the confirming to the press) and another well-placed show source says that he “wouldn’t trust it.”

That said, those who think there’s a grain of truth to the booking say it’s not a last-ditch campaigning effort, but rather a make-good appearance, since Obama had to cancel his planned Sept. 13 showing due to Hurricane Ike.

And, for those of you who still have lingering questions about Sarah Palin’s appearance on the show, while she looked at times like more of an observer than participant in the sketches, Us Weekly has a nice detail from behind the scenes.

“She fixed my hair to make it look more Todd Palin–like,” Jason Sudeikis, who played the Alaska governor’s husband in Weekend Update, told the magazine.

Former cast member Horatio Sanz reveals that the cast was sensitive to what lines were written about Palin, too. “I heard there were some racy lines about her, and they were like, ‘Oh, maybe we shouldn’t do that,’” Sanz says.

Tom Brady, a ring for Gisele? News that Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are getting married reached new heights Oct. 21 when the New York Post reported that the two were discussing a winter wedding at Tavern on the Green in New York City.

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

Now, Life & Style reports that Brady went so far as to make a stop at Cartier in Beverly Hills just prior to his Oct. 6 knee surgery in L.A. An insider tells the magazine that he checked out a five-carat yellow-diamond engagement ring flanked by two triangular diamonds with a $145,000 price tag.

“He’s seriously considering proposing,” the source told the magazine. “Tom has a lot of free time now that he may miss the entire football season. It’s made him realize he’s finally ready to get married.”

Update on Ed McMahon’s bailout programBefore there was one (or two) federal bailout packages in the works, there was the Ed McMahon bailout program.

If you don’t remember, Johnny Carson’s former “Tonight Show” sidekick revealed in June that his financial woes included owing more than half a million dollars on payments on $4.8 million in mortgage loans and fighting foreclosure on his Beverly Hills home. Donald Trump announced he’d purchase the home and lease it back to McMahon; now McMahon reveals those plans are “murky.”

McMahon appeared on Fox Business News Oct. 21 to dole out financial advice (and shill for his new spokesperson gig, lest you think he’s entirely jobless) and said of his deal with Trump, “That’s kind of murky. That’s not really finalized itself. I’m going to be heading back … to straighten a lot out. Everything that seems like it’s wonderful becomes unclear. That has not resolved itself yet.”

We’re pulling for you, Ed.