There is no denying that that the pop-culture business is booming as newsmagazine TV ratings climb. Few people can stay on top of celebrity news like “Access Hollywood” executive producer Rob Silverstein. TVWeek.com welcomes a longtime producing vet who has gone to the trenches thousands of times to deliver a good story to its ranks of bloggers.

Mr. Silverstein has established himself as a master of delivering the sights and sounds of the A-list from Hollywood to London, and his blog will provide insights into the cutthroat world of celebrity dish.


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Access Hollywood Confidential

A Different Approach to Sweeps

November 6, 2007 12:38 PM

Sweeps time has rolled back around and the usual entertainment newsmagazine nonsense is thrust upon the nation. I hope you’re like me and tuning out, except, of course, to “Access Hollywood.” This November, we are trying a different approach to separate ourselves from our cliche-ridden competition. We just launched Body Image Month, where we hope to bring smart, coherent and entertaining segments each day to our viewers, as well as on our Web site.

Oscar winner Marlee Matlin has agreed to do a one-month “Get Fit” challenge as part of the series focusing on body image pressures in Hollywood as well as stars’ healthy and outrageous workout and diet tips. Marlee will be teamed with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak (Jessica Simpson, Miley Cyrus), who will design a diet and workout for her. Marlee will be weighing in each week for the rest of the month on the show and documenting her journey in a diary that will be available on our Web site.

Also, not a new strategy for “Access Hollywood,” but we are the only show that sent a reporter (Shaun Robinson) to South Africa to cover Oprah Winfrey’s school scandal. Amazing, with everything all these other shows do on every little thing Oprah does; it makes no sense that we are the only show on the ground in South Africa. Trust me, if Oprah had put on five pounds, it’s a lead story for some of these people, yet a scandal that hits to the very essence of Oprah is ignored.... Unreal.

The entertainment news landscape continues to be eaten up by “monkey stories,” a term actually coined by Bruce Willis to Billy Bush. “Monkey questions” are normally the questions that elicit responses that end up making some type of news. It’s the question the star does not exactly love to answer, but that we love to ask.

Lately, “monkey stories” revolve around Britney Spears and the craziness she craves. As a show, we are committed to covering Britney only when legit news surrounds the craziness. Another trip to Starbucks does not make for a story. If we decide to not purchase the paparazzi footage, maybe others will follow (doubt it) and her pap entourage will diminish. The question is: Would she like that?

Emmys and Our New Set

September 18, 2007 8:14 AM

Just finished the 12th Emmy awards show in "Access Hollywood" history and we set new marks for red carpet innovation. Our U-Snaps red carpet photo booth was a hit and the picture quality is spectacular, but the number one moment was Billy -- unbeknownst to me -- bringing a breathalyzer kit to red carpet, where he administered his first ever red carpet test to "Grey's Anatomy's" "Mc Steamy" Eric Dane. Eric had fun with it and, of course, we will be teasing the results all the way to the end of tonight's show.

Nancy O'Dell was back on the red carpet less than a week after returning from maternity leave and the reaction to her by stars was astounding; they watch the show and they missed her, as did I.

The team is back together as "Access" unveils a new sleeker on-air look today, as well as some tweaks to our one-of-a-kind state of the art set. Graphics and sets don't equal ratings, but when you add it all up, with Nancy back in the saddle, I feel a huge year ahead of us.

Enjoy our fun-filled Emmy coverage.

Advice for Lindsay Lohan

May 31, 2007 1:35 PM

What a difference a week makes. Last week, I was blogging all about celebrity at its best in Cannes with Brad, Angelina, George, Matt and Don raising millions for charity and their great work on screen. Today, we head back to Hollywood and young Hollywood's obsession with disaster. Saturday early morning, Lindsay Lohan, who is still underage, crashed her car, was arrested for suspicion of DUI with cocaine being allegedly found at the scene of the crash and ended up heading to the hospital. Just one day later, the devastating photo of her passed out in her car hit the cover of the New York Post and said it all. Then, she heads to a real rehab center to deal with what her PR people say is a "medical condition." Her mom is nowhere to be found, but apparently is sending instant messages to her friends like she's part of her daughter's group. Her dad, just out of prison, reached out to her through the media without any response from her, as of now.

Her career is in a tailspin, her latest movies have all tanked. She has "I Know Who Killed Me" coming out this summer, "Chapter 27" in the fall and she was supposed to start shooting "Poor Things" next week, and now they will have to adjust production to accommodate her schedule.

Hollywood needs to JUST SAY NO to Lindsay right now. No more hiring, no more enabling, no more parties, and no more leeches trying to glom onto her for their 15 minutes of fame. She is one car wreck away from being another young Hollywood star buried way to early…WAKE UP.


May 24, 2007 5:28 PM

Star power…it's about time! George, Brad, Angelina, Matt and Don...what a difference! Stars with character, willing to have fun and using their star-power to raise millions. The star-wattage in Cannes went through the roof with the arrival of the "Ocean's Thirteen" boys and Angelina earlier this week. They were loose, easygoing and ready, willing and able to have fun. What a difference it makes to have stars who can handle tough questions without calling for their publicists; stars who can make fun of themselves and others and not get bent out-of-shape.

The difference for "Access Hollywood"…great TV. If you watched the past few days, you've seen it all with unreal access. George and Billy Bush walking around the grounds of the Hotel du Cap, laughing and enjoying topping it off. No other show made the commitment to Cannes like we did, and no other show got the access to the big stars like we did. Expect others to follow in our footsteps next year.

Back to the stars. These guys wrote the book on how to handle celebrity status. "Ocean's 13" is fun and Angelina's "A Mighty Heart" is riveting, no doubt that the work is excellent, but the use of star power is what this is about.

The annual Cannes amfAR event raised $7 million and the Darfur fundraiser featuring "Ocean's Thirteen" stars raised $9.5 million, a million alone from Steven Spielberg. Big American stars in France using their star power to do good for important causes.

Sweeps has ended, but I'm not sure what the difference is between today, out of sweeps, and yesterday, in sweeps. We still need to deliver a compelling, good show and we try to be great every day whether it's sweeps or not.

One more thing before I go, a promise to our viewers: You will never ever see Amy Fisher or Joey Buttafuoco on "Access Hollywood."

Hello, Goodbye from Cannes

May 18, 2007 7:19 PM

Hello and goodbye from Cannes...I arrived Tuesday after a spectacular and star-filled flight from LA. Minnie Driver sitting a few rows in front of us and then on the Heathrow to Nice leg, Jude Law who's "My Blueberry Nights" opened the 60th Cannes Film Festival, was with us too.

Access Hollywood is doing something no show of its kind has ever undertaken, hosting virtually the entire show from the Festival. We have a bevy of producers, crews and of course talent. We all arrived and by Tuesday we were up and going.

Billy Bush, Maria Menounos and Tim Vincent are scurrying up and down the Croisette to bring all of the action back home. We miss Nancy O'Dell, but any day now that baby she is so excited to have will arrive and we all thought her husband Keith might want to be with her for the delivery.

Back to the Festival and the show ... our access has been unprecedented, from buying gelato with Jerry Seinfeld to getting Jude and his co-star Norah Jones to hang out on the beach. It illustrates how the old fashion junket in the hotel room is an outdated proposition ... More proof that our ratings are through the roof from Cannes.

There are many days left in festival, the "Ocean's 13" clan isn't arriving until next week. Producer Jerry Weintraub has given us some exclusive access so that'll be fun and on Monday Angelina arrives.

As for me, I write this on Friday from the Nice airport on my way home, soccer and Little League calls ... Four kids, three soccer tournaments and a Little League game, cannot miss that!

Hope you are enjoying our Cannes coverage as much as we enjoy bringing it to you...

Rob Silverstein is executive producer of "Access Hollywood."

What is Exclusive?

May 9, 2007 7:38 PM

Welcome to week 2 of my blog. We're halfway through sweeps and ratings are up, which is no surprise as there is certainly no shortage of big stories to cover. The David Hasselhoff and Pamela Bach debacle is a stunner. The disturbing tape of a wrecked David Hasselhoff makes its way to all the shows ... of course all the shows air the tape. All the shows call it exclusive, except "Access Hollywood," which brings me to ... what is exclusive?

There are 14 definitions of "exclusive" on dictionary.com and one of the top definitions is, "Shutting out all others from a part or share." The key words here are "all others" and when every show has the Hasselhoff tape, how is it an ET or Extra exclusive? There are other interesting uses of exclusives these days ... qualified exclusives like "morning show exclusive" and "prime time exclusive." It's all bogus, and producers know better, the definition is clear, "Shutting out all others from a part or share."

Now to Paris Hilton ... a few years ago we were the first show to ban her from our air. We made a choice that we wanted to feature stars with talent, whether it be singers/musicians, actors, etc. and not just someone famous for simply making appearances and posing in front of cameras. But at times, her antics were too good to ignore and we fell off the wagon. Our relationship with Paris is sketchy to say the least. We've dubbed her "Hilty" and she claims we have been "mean" to her, but what we have done is point out exactly what she is; a socialite who shot to stardom on the small screen: A straight-to-DVD title called "One Night In Paris."

Off to the Cannes Film Festival for some REAL exclusives.

Rob Silverstein is executive producer of "Access Hollywood."

What's Going on With Stars and Their Marriages?

May 4, 2007 12:23 AM

I've been privileged to cover the coming and goings in Hollywood for 11 years and I still love the action as much today as I did back in 1996 when "Access Hollywood" debuted and I was the weekend show producer. From Brad and Jen to Brad and Angelina and from Tom and Nicole to Tom and Katie, I thought I had seen it all, but I hadn't.

What's going on with stars and their marriages....It's common to have break ups galore, but things are now way out of control.

Now it's not if, but it's when for a high profile couple to call it quits. Most use the lame excuse that they have busy schedules, pressure, yada..yada..yada..and other publicist speak. The reality is, as some of the favorite tabs say, "Stars, they are just like us." They get divorced and get divorced a lot. But where stars and non pros differ, is in the publicizing of marital problems. It's bad enough that the world knows...it gets worse when both parties are just out of control.

Let's talk Alec and Kim...What gave Alec the right to verbally abuse his daughter like that on a voicemail? What was he thinking? He wasn't. Neither were the people responsible for allowing it to be aired all over the Internet and then on shows like "Access Hollywood". Should we have aired it? I'll address that in a moment. Why Alec would then feel the need to go on "The View" and continue to rip his daughter's mom was another huge error in judgment.

Time to shut up, stop talking..where is the character chip for these two supposed adults. Don't hate your ex more than you love your child.

Where was the "Access" sensitivity chip when debating whether to air Alec's voicemail? I thought long and hard. I have four children, including 11-year-old twin boys and I should understand whole-heartedly what poor Ireland, an innocent 11-year-old, would have to go through. We decided to air it. We tried to be sensitive, but who are we kidding. There is no sensitive way to do that story. In retrospect, we should have taken a stand and been the only one not to air it. Hopefully for all involved, that's the last case of a crazed parental voicemail polluting the airwaves.

Stay tuned for more. We're heading to Cannes for the 60th Annual Film Festival later this month...should be some good blogging from there.

Rob Silverstein is executive producer of "Access Hollywood."