- - Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Brown storms out of ‘GMA’

A raging and shirtless Chris Brown stormed out of “Good Morning America’s” Times Square studio Tuesday, a source confirmed to People.com.

“He was visibly upset and appeared livid after the interview,” the source said of Brown’s being asked about his 2009 felony assault case involving his then-girlfriend Rihanna.

During an interview pegged to the release of his new album, F.A.M.E., Brown, 22, told “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts, “It’s not really a big deal to me now, as far as that situation. I think I’m past that in my life. Today’s the album day, so that’s what I’m focused on.”

When Miss Roberts inquired about the legal issues still stemming from the case, Brown said, “This album is what I want people to hear and people to really get into, so definitely this album is what I want them to talk about and not stuff that happened two years ago.”

After the interview, Brown performed a number and then, according to local affiliate WABC, went into his dressing room and reportedly screamed and started to tear apart the room. Security reportedly was summoned.

Brown did not perform a second song, as had been scheduled. Instead, he ripped off his shirt — New York temperatures were in the mid-40s Tuesday — and left the building, WABC says.

Representatives for Brown did not immediately return calls for comment.

Macchio dances to lead

The 12th season of “Dancing With the Stars” is under way.

The hit ABC show began its latest season Monday with performances by its new cast of 11 stars, Associated Press reports. Actor Ralph Macchio was the night’s top scorer with 24 points out of 30. Kirstie Alley came in second place with 23 points.

Radio host Mike Catherwood finished last with 13 points. Talk-show host Wendy Williams did one point better.

The other contestants are actress Chelsea Kane, singer Romeo, reality star Kendra Wilkinson, model Petra Nemcova and athletes Sugar Ray Leonard, Hines Ward and Chris Jericho.

All will dance again on Monday. One contestant will be eliminated from the show on Tuesday.

Gervais visits ‘The Office’

NBC and producers of “The Office” are pulling out all the stops for the finale of this pivotal seventh season, lining up several major guest stars for the final episode, Entertainment Weekly reports.

EW reveals that Ricky Gervais and Will Arnett will appear in the finale.

What will they be doing? The episode is still being written. The one-hour episode will air May 19, have Mr. Gervais appearing on the show for the second time, and have Mr. Arnett appearing for the first time. Other notable guests will appear as well.

Sources did warn that it shouldn’t be assumed that just because Mr. Gervais and Mr. Arnett are in the finale, either is going to replace Steve Carell next season as the “Office” boss.

“The Office” is also returning after a few weeks of hiatus on Thursday with a major Michael Scott-centered episode titled “Garage Sale.” The setup is that Dunder Mifflin will have a garage sale in the warehouse.

Writers reach deal

The union representing more than 12,000 writers of Hollywood-made movies and TV shows has agreed to a tentative deal with the studios.

The three-year agreement reached Sunday by the Writers Guild of America follows similar pacts reached in the Past several months by two actors unions and the directors union. It locks in 2 percent wage increases for each year of the deal. West Coast and East Coast branches will need to approve the deal before it is sent to members for ratification.

The agreement came after less than three weeks of bargaining, a stark contrast to the dragged-out disputes of years past. A writers strike in 2008 shut down much of Hollywood for 100 days. In 2009, actors signed a shortened two-year pact after a year of public feuding.

The writers’ new deal increases employers’ contributions to a pension plan but freezes so-called residual payments for shows that end up on network TV during prime time. It also eases rules that had mandated first-class air travel for certain short flights.

Sitcom vets returning

Count Fran Drescher of “The Nanny” and Wayne Knight of “Seinfeld” among the TV veterans returning in new sitcoms, Associated Press reports.

TV Land network has announced that Miss Drescher will be back on the air with “Happily Divorced.” She will star as a florist who deals with dating after finding out her husband is gay. The network said Monday that “Happily Divorced” will premiere June 15.

A second new sitcom, “The Exes,” stars Mr. Knight as one of three divorced men who share an apartment across the hall from their divorce attorney, played by Kristen Johnston of “3rd Rock From the Sun.” It is slated to premiere next winter, along with a second season of “Retired at 35.”

TV Land said its first original sitcom, “Hot in Cleveland,” which stars Betty White and Valerie Bertinelli, will be back with new episodes in June.

‘Jersey Shore’ star makes appeal

A lawyer for “Jersey Shore” cast member Ronnie Ortiz-Magro has told a judge his client will apply to a pretrial intervention program in an assault case, Associated Press reports.

Pretrial intervention allows a defendant to avoid a criminal record if he stays out of trouble.

The 25-year-old reality-show star from New York City was charged after a September 2009 fight in which he knocked another man unconscious outside a Seaside Heights, N.J., nightclub. The fight was shown during the MTV show’s first season.

Assistant Ocean County prosecutor Hillary Bryce said Monday the application frees Mr. Ortiz-Magro to travel to Italy next month for taping of the show’s next season.

Miss Bryce tells the Asbury Park Press that Mr. Ortiz-Magro will be required to appear in state Superior Court in June to learn if he has been accepted into the program.

Compiled from web and wire reports