Only in Jersey: 3/7/12

It’s Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week, and it’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Who would've thought of West Orange as "status symbol land"?

In the wake of Davy Jones’ untimely death last week, I’ve discovered at least two connections The Monkees have to the Garden State. First, I was very surprised to learn that one of their hit songs, “Pleasant Valley Sunday,’ was written about life in West Orange, of all places. Yup, that’s right: the tune, penned by Carole King and her then-husband, Gerry Goffin, was inspired by their time living on Pleasant Valley Way in the township’s Watchung Mountains. Kinda gives new meaning to the lyrics, huh?
The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
Serenade the weekend squire
Who just came out to mow his lawn

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray
She’s proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green
He’s so serene
He’s got a TV in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery

The second Monkees/Garden State connection, which I recall but had forgotten, is that the band filmed the video for its ’86 comeback hit, “That Was Then, This Is Now,” at Great Adventure’s arena in Jackson. The song and video only feature Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, although apparently Davy was part of the tour.

Only in Jersey: 2/29/12

Happy Leap Day! It’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Snooki and Jionni: It's beyond puppy love. /Photo credit Splash News

Contrary to prior reports and her outright denial, The New York Post says that “Jersey Shore’s” lead meatball, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, is in fact pregnant with boyfriend Jionni LaValle’s child. The newspaper says Snooki has been shopping exclusive rights to her offspring story to various tabloids, and Us Weekly won the bidding war. There is no word on when Us Weekly will go public with Snooki’s story, or how MTV plans on handling this bit of news since Snooki and Jenni “JWOWW” Farley are currently filming their untitled spinoff in Jersey City. “MTV went into crisis mode after they found out,” the Post quotes its source as saying. “They’re trying to hide it because it would greatly affect the creative direction of the show.” Will a pregnant, sober Snooki make for interesting television? That remains to be seen…

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“Jon & Kate Plus 8”: Enough already!

Cease and desist, indeed.

Preventing TLC from stepping foot on his property isn't Jon Gosselin's only problem. He also doesn't know how to spell. "Penelty"? Ugh./Credit Us Weekly

Preventing TLC from stepping foot on his property isn't Jon Gosselin's only problem. He also doesn't know how to spell. "Penelty"? Ugh./Credit Us Weekly

So Jon Gosselin has thrown down the gauntlet to “Jon & Kate Plus 8’s” parent, TLC, barring the network from filming at the $1+ million Wernersville, Pa., home he jointly owns with Kate (and which, ironically enough, was paid for by money given to them by TLC). He also told Larry King last night that he thinks the show is exploiting his twins and sextuplets. (No, really?)

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“I don’t think it’s healthy for them,” he told Larry as his attorney, Mark Heller (who has also represented David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz), sat beside him. “I think my kids should be taken off the show.”

Mark said he thinks “Jon & Kate Plus 8” (in any form) is “dead” and added that no judge would ever “subject the children to the show if the father believes it’s detrimental” to their well-being.

Of course, Kate’s attorney appeared via satellite and repeatedly pointed out that Jon had just filmed the show last week and didn’t express concern about it adversely affecting the kids until TLC announced his role on the program would be diminished and the show renamed “Kate Plus 8.”

Jon’s lawyer said that wasn’t the case at all, and that he notified TLC a week ago that Jon was going to quit the show and take his children off of it.

Meanwhile, Us Weekly reports that Kate’s lawyer, Mark Momjian, told “Today” that Jon will not be able to legally prevent “Kate Plus 8” from going forward.

Kate “is going to honor her contract,” her lawyer said. “She’d like to continue with the show. She loves doing the show.”

Obviously.

So who to believe? At this point, I don’t really care. I totally agree that continuing the show would be detrimental to the children’s well-being. Kate apparently disagrees, but I think she’s looking at it more from the perspective of a woman who is making money hand over fist and is unwilling to give up the cash cow.

I have no idea what Jon thinks he’s going to be able to do to support his family in the manner to which they’ve all grown accustomed. Then again, I wonder if all of this isn’t just a ploy to force TLC to release Jon from his contract, which would allow him to pursue that dopey reality show with two other father-of-the-year contenders, Michael Lohan and Kevin Federline.

I also find it hilarious that Kate’s attorney took Jon to task for taking his complaints about Kate and the show public rather than resolving the issue privately. What about all of Kate’s public appearances – hello “Larry King Live” and “The View” – which have given her a public forum to air her dirty laundry? Apparently what’s good for the gander isn’t good for the goose.

Sure, in an ideal world, Jon would take the high road, behave like a responsible adult/parent and keep his mouth shut in public. But it’s obvious that neither Gosselin is mature enough or thinking rationally enough to do that.

And Jon’s not done blabbing, either: He will appear on tonight’s episode of “The Insider,” where he’ll be confronted by the likes of Niecy Nash. I can’t wait!

Until then, you can read more about Jon’s “Larry King Live” appearance right here.

A “Real Housewives of New Jersey” kind of summer

Wondering what “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” are up to? Wonder no more!

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As you can see by the above video, comedian and “Chelsea Lately” star Chelsea Handler (herself a New Jersey native) loves her some “RHNJ” and Dina Manzo is more than happy to oblige. I certainly have to give Dina credit; judging by “RHNJ,” I didn’t realize she had this good of a sense of humor about herself.

But a California talk-show studio isn’t the only place Dina is hanging around these days. Along with her sister, Caroline Manzo, Dina will make a special on-stage cameo at next Saturday’s performance of “My Big Gay Italian Wedding” at St. George Theater in Staten Island, N.Y.

"Real Housewife of New Jersey" Dina Manzo, center, helps "One Life to Live" star Scott Evans, left, and Anthony Wilkinson, right, celebrate the launch of "My Big Gay Italian Wedding" on Sunday, July 26, in Staten Island, N.Y./Photo courtesy of Vijay Uttam

"Real Housewife of New Jersey" Dina Manzo, center, helps "One Life to Live" star Scott Evans, left, and Anthony Wilkinson, right, celebrate the launch of "My Big Gay Italian Wedding" on Sunday, July 26, in Staten Island, N.Y./Photo courtesy of Vijay Uttam

The comedic play, which premieres at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, stars Anthony Wilkinson and “One Life to Live’s” Scott Evans. Tickets, $19.50 to $75, are available through Ticketmaster. The red carpet begins at 6:30 p.m. Dina and Caroline’s “RHNJ” co-star, a very pregnant Teresa Giudice, is also expected to be in attendance.

Teresa – who is due any day now – joined “Real Housewives of New York City’s” Alex McCord for a “FABULOUS!”  Us Weekly back-to-school photo shoot starring their children. Check it out:

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And finally, the New York Post recently reported that Danielle Staub, aka Beverly Merrill, is not only working on her memoir but is actively seeking a photographer to snap the cover shot…for free.

“Danielle is trying to talk photographers into snapping her picture for free, claiming the book is going to be a big hit and that people will start clamoring to give them work,” the Post quotes a publishing insider as saying. “It’s so embarrassing and tacky!”

Embarrassing? Tacky? Danielle? Perish the thought!

The book is reportedly set to publish in the spring by Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

“True Blood”: Love at first bite

Telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse may soon be struggling to deny her ever-growing attraction to ancient-but-oh-so-good-looking vampire sheriff Eric, but her alter-ego, Academy Award-winning actress Anna Paquin, has already given her heart to on-and-off-screen lover Stephen Moyer.

Blood is definitely thicker than water... and much more delicious, too./Credit HBO

Blood is definitely thicker than water... and much more delicious, too./Credit HBO

The pair has officially announced their engagement!

Us Weekly and People both report that the actors had no further comment other than to confirm their betrothal. Us Weekly refers to a previous quote by Stephen in which he explained why he and Anna initially kept their budding relationship on the down-low.

“The reason it was dodged last year was very intentional on both our parts,” explained 39-year-old Stephen. “It was very important to me that the cast and crew we were working with didn’t feel it was fickle, and didn’t feel it could possibly potentially encroach on their lives, you know, just like, ‘Oh the two stars are having a thing.’ We didn’t want to take anything away from the show.”

Stephen has two children – Billy, born in 2000, and Lilac, born in 2002 – from a previous relationship. This is the first engagement for Anna, 27.

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