Gold Derby nuggets: Oops, Britney Spears won't do it again at the MTV Video Music Awards | Woody Allen satirizing diarizing | Humanitas scripting nods include 'Juno' scribe
• The New York Daily News reports Britney Spears will not perform on the MTV Video Music Awards. Says a spokesman for her manager, Larry Rudolph, "She did the promo for them, but there never were any plans for her to appear on the show," which airs on Sept. 7.
While Britney is still expected to attend as a regular contender for "Piece of Me" (nominated for three awards, including video of the year), there was widespread hope that Britney Spears would redeem the performance she gave last year when she fell to pieces while staging "Gimme More." The Daily News adds, "The spokesman said it was 'wishful thinking' when Britney's hair colorist told E! News that he might be working on a look for her VMA performance."
• "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" is already one of Woody Allen's best reviewed films in years, boasts a buzz-worthy performance from Penelope Cruz, and continues to do good business at the box office. Last weekend, Allen penned a fanciful series of diary entries for the New York Times that remind us why he has racked up a record number of Oscar screenplay nods (14), compared with 12 for Billy Wilder.
• While the Tony Awards celebrate the best of Broadway, regions around the country have their own versions of these stage kudos to salute homegrown productions. In Chicago, these awards, named for Joseph Jefferson — one of America's most popular touring actors of the 19th century (photo as Rip Van Winkle, left) — are celebrating their ruby anniversary this year. The burgeoning theater scene there has prompted a division of nominees for the Jeff Awards into large and midsize categories. Last year's big winner was the Steppenwolf Theatre production of "August: Osage County," which went on to sweep this year's Tonys. Tracy Letts, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of that epic family drama, returns to the competition this season with a much more low-key comedy "Superior Donuts." For the full list of nominees, CLICK HERE.
• The Humanitas prize was established in 1974 to "encourage, stimulate and sustain the nation's screenwriters in their humanizing task, and to give them the recognition they deserve." To that end, winners will be honored Sept. 17 with both a trophy and a cash prize. This year's nominees, drawn from film and TV, include two Oscar-nominated screenwriters — Ronald Harwood ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly") and Nancy Oliver ("Lars and the Real Girl") — as well as Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning scripter of "Juno." For the full list of nominees in all nine categories, CLICK HERE.
• Variety reports on the death of Fred Crane, pictured at right, who made his screen debut uttering the first line in the epic 1939 classic "Gone With the Wind." As one half of the Tarleton twins, (the other being George Reeves, best known as TV's "Superman"), Crane clamored for the attention of Scarlett O'Hara, (Vivien Leigh) who dismissed them both with "Fiddle dee dee!" The film, which won eight Academy Awards including best picture, is still thought to have sold more movie tickets than any other.
• Those wags at New York Magazine's Vulture blog are eagerly awaiting next week's release of "Shine Through It," the debut album of Oscar-nominated actor Terrence Howard. They showcase a recent promotional appearance of his and promise that this album may, indeed, be "something special."
• The Oscars just sent out an e-mail blast reminding filmmakers that Tuesday, Sept. 2, is the deadline for the submission of short subject and feature documentaries. Read about the rule requirements HERE and HERE.
(Photos: MTV, Denver Public Library)