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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is there an audience for a “nice” celebrity gossip site?

The nice-nice cable network Hallmark Channel is trying to be nice-nice on the Web with its new site Celebrity Good Life. Though it won’t officially launch till October 23, according to media trade pub Folio, the site is live now. What’s it about? From Hallmark (via Folio):

With the tag line “Cleaning Up the Red Carpet,” Hallmark is calling the site the “anit-TMZ.” “CelebrityGoodLife.com will bring only positive news to the masses who are tired of the mudslinging,” Hallmark said in an announcement. “Whether the news is love and marriage, children, chivalry, dream home, dream vacation, enlightenment, or benevolent altruism, Dixon and Whitney will shine a light through every sector of show business, putting deserving entertainers in a favorable spot.”

Ooo-kay.

The top “featured story” at Celebrity Good Life as of this writing is a promo for a Hallmark Channel movie, which suggests that perhaps the editors are having a tough time finding “nice” celebrity news. There’s also a story about Bob Barker donating money to a charity, another about somebody from Dancing with the Stars who got cake and ice cream on her birthday — seriously — plus recipes for making Halloween ghost sandwiches!

If I didn’t know better, I’d say that the Onion’s Jean Teasdale was behind this.

Is there an audience for a “nice” celebrity gossip site? Or is “nice gossip” an oxymoron?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • I suppose if you’re watching the Hallmark channel anyway, you have different standards than most abot what qualifies as “entertainment.” >B)

  • Victor Plenty

    The closest thing I’ve seen to “nice” celeb gossip reporting with any success is Michael Buckley’s What the Buck Show on YouTube.

    It’s not quite so soft-pedaled as what you’ve described above, but he manages to keep the humor surprisingly light and genuinely funny, while avoiding most of the mean-spirited tone that usually plagues gossip journalism.

  • Ken

    So they’ll basically just be reprinting press releases from Hollywood PR agencies?

  • Paul

    Well, there are celebs that don’t need to go to rehab, sleep with minors, or get a divorce. But the idea of “dream houses” and “Dream vacations” might back fire. I’m sure there were reasons “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” were cancelled. I, for one, couldn’t handle the jealousy of second rate talents in a huge damn mansion. I can deal with a great actor or director having a big house, but bad ones? GRRRR. I might watch a show “Hollywood Liberals Making the World a Better Place” but I doubt that would be the title.

  • RyanT

    You can be a celebrity gossip site and STILL report non-wholesome celebrity gossip without being unnecessarily mean and/or judgmental and without reporting on every little thing unsavory stuff (anything relating to Jon/Kate, Britney’s trip to the bathroom, etc.).

    So in other words, you can still have a “nice” celebrity gossip site without totally whitewashing/limiting your content.

    A good example would be JustJared.com.

  • chuck

    Sort of pointless I think. More an more celebrities are showing up on twitter and spewing their own gossip. Many have blogs also.

    I’ve really enjoyed John Lithgows commentary during the filming of season 4 of Dexter.

    The TV show’s gust list is uncontrollable, but if your favorite celebs are on the net, they are just a few clicks away any time.

  • Lisa

    nah … but that’s because I rejoice in other people’s misery

  • Tim1974

    Yes, I think it is a good idea. It would be nice for a change to have a place where you could go that focuses only on the positive. Getting rid of all the talk about sex, drugs, and weird actions of people would be a refreshing change. Now if they could do something about mainstream films it would be fantastic. So for me, yes, I am glad that it will provide a nice alterative to the garbage that is being produced and shown now.

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