- - Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rihanna hugged, then briefly kissed ex-boyfriend Chris Brown just moments after her big win at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The sometimes turbulent relationship between the two turned sweet for a brief interlude Thursday night during a commercial break after the pop star won video of the year for her hit “We Found Love.”

MTV showed the grainy footage shot from a distance on its website Friday. As Rihanna walks offstage, she smiles and reaches out to embrace Brown. She gives him a quick kiss, then tousles his newly bleached blond hair as she exits.

The two split in 2009 after Brown attacked her, leaving her bruised and battered. She recently told Oprah Winfrey she still has feelings for Brown, though the two are not involved.

Chenoweth recovering from injuries, and grateful

Kristin Chenoweth says she’s still on the mend after suffering injuries in July while filming the CBS legal drama “The Good Wife.”

Appearing on “Live With Kelly & Michael” on Friday, the pixieish actress offered details of the accident, which happened during a New York location shoot.

An overhead lighting rig collapsed, she said, striking her in the face, slamming her to the ground and knocking her out.

When she woke up, co-star Josh Charles was holding her hand.

Said Miss Chenoweth: “He’s my angel.”

Miss Chenoweth, 44, said she continues to recover from a skull fracture and rib, neck and back injuries. But she called herself “blessed” the mishap wasn’t worse.

Although forced to withdraw from her recurring role on “The Good Wife,” she’ll appear on its Sept. 30 season premiere.

3 days are enough: Are 2-day conventions next?

Message to convention planners: Three days is enough.

Both major parties packed their presidential nominating conventions into 72 hours, one day short of the traditional four-day celebration — prompting few complaints from either delegates or the viewing public.

Republicans scrapped the first day of their convention in Tampa, Fla., because of Hurricane Isaac. Democrats, mindful of Labor Day and eager to promote a cost-conscious image, kept their gathering to three days by design.

So will 2012 mark the end of the old-fashioned blowouts the two political parties host every four years? After all, the actual business of the convention — adopting a platform and nominating a presidential ticket — could be completed in a few hours.

Some political heavyweights say the answer should be yes.

“Given as much news as people get today and the way they get their news, I’m not sure having a four-day convention in the future makes a lot of sense,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, who was the presiding officer for the GOP event.

He also noted that modern conventions are expensive, costing tens of millions of dollars to produce, and create few waves.

Conventions, once used to pick presidential, or at least vice presidential, candidates, sometimes in smoke-filled rooms, are now mostly a made-for-TV production, with little real business conducted.

While lobbyists host fancy parties and politicians raise money, the public aspect of the event is confined to a single hour a night on network TV, with much of that devoted to commentary rather than focused on the podium. Most of the work on party platforms and other issues happens off-camera.

Yet with elaborate sets and staging, along with enhanced, post-9/11 security, even the scaled-back conventions are not cheap. Democratic and Republican officials say their conventions cost nearly $120 million apiece.

But Brad Woodhouse, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said even in their modern form, conventions are too important to be confined to two days.

Despite that, Mr. Woodhouse said Democrats gathered in Charlotte were able to get their message out in three days — and so were Republicans a week earlier in Tampa.

“They lost a night of cable coverage,” he said of the GOP decision to cancel the convention’s first day. But the shorter event “did not appreciably diminish their ability to get their message out.”

Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said party leaders are taking Mr. Boehner’s concerns to heart. A rules committee in Tampa set up an informal panel to look into convention planning — everything from timing to the duration to how speakers are selected, she said.

“It’s something we’ll look into after this election is over,” she said.

James McCann, a Purdue University political scientist who has studied conventions, says they will likely remain part of the political landscape for the foreseeable future. “If it’s the end, it’s a slow end,” he said, noting that each party received three nights of prime-time television coverage they would be hard-pressed to obtain any other way.

For all the talk of how scripted and controlled modern conventions have become, the past two weeks showed that surprises are still possible.

In Tampa, the most-talked about appearance was actor-director Clint Eastwood’s performance with an empty chair meant to symbolize President Barack Obama. In Charlotte, Democrats hurriedly rewrote their platform to add a mention of God and to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel after Mitt Romney and other Republicans hammered away at Democrats for the omissions.

Mr. Woodhouse said another surprise may be in store in 2016: One or both parties might go back to a four-day convention instead of sticking with three days or shrinking them even further.

• Compiled from Web and wire service reports.