Money Matters - Simplified


'Bachelor' star to host Miss America show

Linwood, N.J. -- "The Bachelor" star Chris Harrison has been chosen as host of the 2011 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas, show organizers said.

The announcement was made Thursday by the Miss America Organization and ABC-TV.
The pageant is to be broadcast live from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Jan. 15. It will mark the 90th anniversary of the pageant.

Harrison previously hosted the pageant in 2004.

"Hosting the Miss America Pageant is a job all TV hosts dream of one day holding," Harrison said in a statement. "It was a thrill to make that dream come true when I hosted the 2004 pageant. It's a true honor to be invited back to host on such a momentous occasion as the 90th anniversary."

NJ governor calls 'Jersey Shore' show negative for state

MTV’s reality television series 'Jersey Shore' may attracts millions of Americans but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is no fan of the popular television show. The Republican governor thinks the reality series portrays the state in a negative light.

National Gallery planning Da Vinci show

London -- London's National Gallery says it is borrowing paintings from all over the world for its exhibition "Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan."

The show, which is to run from November 2011 through February 2012 will feature paintings never seen before in the United Kingdom. It is expected to be the most complete display of the Renaissance artist's paintings ever held, the BBC said.

The museum will borrow "La Belle Ferroniere" from the Louvre museum in Paris; the "Madonna Litta" from the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia; "Saint Jerome" from Pinacoteca Vaticana in Rome; and a full-scale copy of "Last Supper" from the Royal Academy, the British broadcaster said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Lawsuit against Seagal is dismissed

New Orleans -- A $1 million sexual harassment lawsuit filed against actor and U.S. television personality Steven Seagal has been dismissed, court records show.

The suit was brought against Seagal by former personal assistant Kayden Nguyen, who alleged the star hired her to work for him at his home in New Orleans while he taped the A&E reality show "Steven Seagal Lawman," but then touched her and made inappropriate comments to her when they were alone.

E! News said no reason was given for Tuesday's dismissal of case.

Seagal had previously denied any wrongdoing, describing the lawsuit as "ridiculous and absurd," E! News noted.

Comedy Central orders 'Jon Benjamin' show

New York -- Comedy Central says it has ordered 10 episodes of the new U.S. sketch comedy series called "Jon Benjamin Has a Van."

Taping is slated to begin in the fall and the show is to premiere in Summer 2011, Kent Alterman, the network's head of original programming and production, announced Monday.

Executive produced by Jon Benjamin, Andrew Steele and Funny or Die, and produced by Absolutely Productions, "Jon Benjamin Has a Van" stars Benjamin as an investigative reporter who hits the streets and puts his unique twist on the traditional human interest story in this newsmagazine-style sketch show, Comedy Central said in a synopsis.

Kaling: Dwight should take over 'Office'

Los Angeles -- Mindy Kaling of "The Office" says she thinks Rainn Wilson's character should take over as boss when Steve Carell leaves the U.S. sitcom after next season.

Carell has played Dunder-Mifflin regional manager Michael Scott for six seasons, but he has said he does not plan to extend his contract after the upcoming seventh season. Wilson has portrayed off-beat, power-hungry Dwight Schrute since the show began.

Dreyfuss lands recurring role on 'Weeds'

Los Angeles -- Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss has been cast in a recurring role for the sixth season of the U.S. comedy series "Weeds," Showtime said.

The star of "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "American Graffiti" and "The Goodbye Girl" is to appear in at least four episodes of "Weeds," the pay cable network said Wednesday.

Dreyfuss is to play an unexpected character who arrives from the past of Nancy Botwin, played by show star Mary-Louise Parker.

The new season of the show, which is about a single mom who sells marijuana to make ends meet, is slated to begin Aug. 16.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Emeril Lagasse to debut new show

New York -- Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse is about to debut a new show, "Fresh Food Fast," on the Cooking Channel.

The 20-episode show debuts next Saturday.

"The cool thing is that now that people have made this evolution where cooking is cool, people are doing it on weekends, they're doing their own challenges," Lagasse told USA Today while marketing and filming in New York City. "It's back to cooking. And it's real cooking."

Bristol Palin to appear on 'Secret Life'

Los Angeles -- Bristol Palin, daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is to make a cameo appearance on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager."

The show began its third season on ABC Family in June.

"It was right up my alley," Palin told the Los Angeles Times. "I was pregnant the same time as the character, Amy, on the show, so I kind of felt like we went through the experience together."

Palin, 19, became possibly the most famous pregnant teenager in the country when her mother was nominated by the Republican Party for vice president in 2008. She is now a spokeswoman for teenage abstinence.

'Ask This Old House' set for Season 9

Concord, Mass. -- The U.S. home-improvement program "Ask This Old House" has been renewed for a ninth season, WGBH, Boston, which produces the show, said.

The show was created to offer practical tips and instruction to help homeowners with various projects around the home. The ninth season of the series, featuring 26 brand-new episodes, is to premiere on PBS Oct. 7.

"'Ask This Old House' is back to take on a whole new batch of home-repair problems," senior series producer Chris Wolfe said in a statement. "We've completed over 200 episodes, and with hundreds of 'House' calls under their tool belts, our experts are ready to help you solve any home improvement problems and teach you how to fix it yourself in the future."