Pop Culture

J.Lo puts music on back burner

Jennifer Lopez is on the cusp of hitting the 10-year anniversary of her recording career, but any celebrating likely has more to do with her film and television projects.

Lopez has signed on to produce the Fox television series “Rebel,” a remake of an Argentine teen telenovela. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as being about “a pop band made up of teens who go to an elite private high school.”

The singer also has a film project, “Plan B,” which is moving forward now that Alan Poul has signed on to direct. “Plan B” will begin shooting in May and is slated for a January 2010 release.

What does this mean for Lopez, who has sold more than 48 million albums worldwide?

For starters it’s looking like her music career is on the back burner. This is a win-win for two reasons: Both “Rebel” and “Plan B” are being produced, at least in part, by Nuyorican Productions, which she co-founded with Benny Medina, the manager with whom she recently reunited. Medina and Lopez were spotted together in Washington D.C. during the inauguration.

“As long as Benny isn’t cut out of her projects, he’s happy. They both benefit now. The way they see it, Jennifer doesn’t have to be involved in musical projects in order for her to be successful,” says a longtime business associate of Lopez’s.

Also, these projects allow her to have some professional distance from husband Marc Anthony.

“Jennifer hasn’t been able to be considered a real recording success since she’s been with Marc," says the source. "No matter how hard she tries, she can’t go back and be Jenny From the Block. Those days have passed, and it’s not what Jen or Marc want. Having another film success or being behind a really great show will be better for both their careers.”

Yes, Virginia, there will be a red carpet
The idea that there might not be a red carpet at the Oscars seemed almost too drastic to even consider, but now it’s safe to put the worry in the rearview mirror.

A presenter confirms that there will be a carpet, but you won’t find all of the boldface names there.

The Academy, which is keeping the list of presenters under wraps to try to entice viewers to tune in to the Feb. 22 broadcast, has decided that several of the former Oscar winners who are presenting won't be appearing on the red carpet.

Ferguson's late-night strategy

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Scottish funnyman Craig Ferguson, host of "The Late Late Show" on CBS, is learning to fly — and he finds it trickier than his night job.

"Aviation is the complete opposite of show business," he told Men's Journal. "In show business, you live by bullshit. In aviation, you bullshit, you die."

Time will tell whether Ferguson's B.S. can beat his future competitor, Jimmy Fallon, in late-night ratings. This year, Conan O'Brien is set to take over Jay Leno's "Tonight" on NBC, leaving Fallon at "Late Night" to face off against Ferguson.

Weekend box officeFebruary has been good to me. As I predicted, “He’s Just Not That Into You” was number one at the box office.

Not only did it make $27.4 million, but the fact that it actually increased its gross between Friday and Saturday bodes well for its success over the long Valentine's Day Weekend.

The other thing you need to know about this weekend’s numbers: the movies continue to be alive and well during the tough economy. “Taken” and “Coraline” were the number 2 and 3 films, and the two made a combined $36.6 million.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com.

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