- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 3, 2006

Awards sans Britney

Britney Spears and Paris Hilton may be new best friends, but they won’t be hosting the Billboard Music Awards together tonight.

The songstress and the heiress were set to emcee the awards show, airing live from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena at 8 p.m. on Fox. However, Entertainment News Network reports that Miss Spears pulled out of her co-hosting duties just hours after they were announced last week. No reason was given for the change of heart.

Tonight’s show will feature performances by Janet Jackson, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, the Killers, vocalists Gwen Stefani and Mary J. Blige and rapper Ludacris. Legendary crooner Tony Bennett will receive the Century Award.

The Billboard Music Awards is the one awards show based on only one criterion — sales. The ceremony recognizes the year’s leading artists as determined by actual performance on the trade magazine’s weekly charts, which are based on sales data and radio airplay compiled by Nielsen.

Nickelback, Rascal Flatts, T.I. and Miss Blige lead the nominations with five each. Carrie Underwood, Ne-Yo, Jamie Foxx, Kenny Chesney and the Red Hot Chili Peppers each have four nominations.

It takes a ‘Village’

Most TV shows are trying to boost their presence on the Web, but one Web site is hoping to gain more traffic through a new hourlong show beginning today.

The interactive “iVillage Live” will play simultaneously on NBC stations (including WRC-NBC4), cable’s Bravo Network and on iVillageLive.com starting at noon, TV Week reports. The show will be filmed at the Universal Orlando Resort and will feature five co-hosts — former Miss Florida Molly Pesce, Naamua Delaney, Sissy Schaefer, Guy Yovan and Bob Oschack.

The Web site iVillage.com has long been a popular destination for women seeking advice on everything from beauty to relationships.

Sponsors of the new TV show include Bally Total Fitness, Calphalon, Clinique, Origins, GE Profile Appliances, Goody, Graco, Healthy Choice, Overstock.com, Priceline.com and Unilever. The companies also will participate in some on-air segments and their products will be available for sale on the Web site during the show.

Political reality

Canada likes to adopt American ideas and take them one step further. Now our neighbors to the north are doing it with television.

Four former Canadian prime ministers will take part in a reality TV show next March, London’s Guardian newspaper reports. In “The Next Great Prime Minister,” Brian Mulroney, John Turner, Joe Clark and Canada’s only female PM, Kim Campbell, will grill five contestants aged 18 to 25 on their leadership qualities before picking a winner in the hourlong televised special.

The winner of the show, which will air on the national broadcaster CBC, will win 50,000 Canadian dollars ($44,000) and a six-month internship split between corporate, government and non-governmental organizations.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from wire and staff reports

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