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Reality check — it’s time to protect the kids

The continuing drama of the Gosselin family illustrates that it is imperative that some real guidelines are established to protect kids who participate in unscripted programming.
/ Source: msnbc.com

The surreal drama surrounding Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight kids became the “biggest celebrity story of the year,” according to “The Unreal Rise of Jon and Kate Gosselin,” on VanityFair.com.

Loathe as many are to admit it, this is probably true, if not painfully obvious. With only two months left in the year, it would take a coup of epic proportions to dethrone the family from their dubious post.

Which raises the question — when might this all come to an end? And there with an answer is Janice Min, former editor of Us Weekly.

“Sadly, I think the only thing we can be sure of now,” Min told Vanity Fair, “is 10, 15 years down the road, the ‘E! True Hollywood story: The Gosselin Kids.’”

That sounds harsh, but really, it’s what many of us are thinking. Which is why, especially in light of the Heene family’s “balloon boy” stunt, it’s imperative that some real guidelines are established to protect kids who participate in unscripted programming. What exists now are laws centered around financial protection of minors, and child labor laws were written before the around-the-clock camera culture was invented to fill in the gaps.

The reality TV tale about raising eight children turns into a tabloid nightmare for the couple from Pennsylvania.

We’re at a point where there could be a light at the end of the tunnel. The Gosselin kids aren’t being filmed for now, and the Heene family — if they land a show deal — won’t get one without some serious scrutiny. But if something substantive that protects kids’ long-term well-being on these types of shows isn’t put into place before then, that light could turn out to be another oncoming train.

And then Min will certainly be right: the next stop will be the “E! True Hollywood Story.”

Jude Law does his part to save BroadwayHis stage work has been hailed in the past, so it’s not a tremendous surprise that Jude Law’s “Hamlet” opened to solid reviews on Broadway earlier this month. The numbers are in now, and not only is Law a solid performer on stage, he is showing Broadway the money, too. His show grossed $904,914 for the week ending Oct 18, which puts it in the top 10 highest grossing shows for that week. To put it into context, “A Steady Rain,” which stars both Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, had a top weekly gross of $1,167,954 for the week ending Sept. 20. The record for non-musical productions on Broadway had been held by Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays,” which grossed $1,061,688 for the week ending May 22, 2005.

Jackson special issue we weren’t expectingAre you craving one more Michael Jackson magazine cover? If you are, run out to grab the November issue of Architectural Digest, which is devoted to the “King of Pop.”

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

The issue, “Inside Michael Jackson’s Private Kingdom,” is an in-depth look at Neverland Ranch, but not recent ones.

“These pictures are of the residence as it was when Michael Jackson bought it from (real estate developer William) Bone in 1988, completely furnished, and just the way he lived in it for many years,” according to the magazine. “Jackson named it Neverland, added some furniture and many paintings to the interior and transformed the grounds into his very own amusement park. Of course, the King of Pop also added a throne.”

Why get into the Jackson game so late? Like all things Jackson, it likely has to do with money. Publishers sold $67 million worth of Jackson tribute issues, according to estimates released by Magazine Information Network. And Architectural Digest, which is owned by Conde Nast and is in the middle of making massive cost cuts (including shuttering many of it well-known titles, like Gourmet, and Cookie) could use a bump in newsstand sales.

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