By ED BARK
Hey, sometimes Playboy really is worth looking at for the articles.
The July-August issue, coming out Friday, June 19th, has some heavy punches from Emmy-winning 30 Rock co-star Alec Baldwin, who discourses pointedly on The Today Show, TMZ maestro Harvey Levin and his impending retirement as an actor among other things. Here are some excerpts from his interview with the magazine:
***"Everybody knows (Harvey) Levin is a human tumor, a graceless character who lives in that weird netherworld. I don't blame those pathetic people; they are what they are."
***"I'm on an NBC show and Today was considered vital. But when that voice-mail tape thing happened, Matt Lauer interviewed Levin before he even called me. Lauer put Levin on Today, and they never phoned me. When it's in their interest to reach me, they know how. I saw that and said, 'My relationship with the Today show is over.' I'll never do Today again, ever. Life's too short."
***"I'm done (with acting) in 2012. In March 2012 I'll wake up and say, 'What am I going to do now? Am I done?' I think I will be done. I may finish a play or something, but I'm retiring at the wrap party."
***"This society is very wired together, and it's the most neurotic a society has ever been. Twitter, all this stuff, I don't view as anything good. Everyone is so hyper-aware of what everybody else is doing. Everybody has been convinced their opinion should count. We all need to be spouting opinions."
***"Promotional activities for films and television shows have replaced talented marketing and publicity departments. They've relieved themselves of any responsibility by tying the marketing to the star's name. They pathologically abuse talent by going, 'Hey, if the movie bombs, it's bad for you.' They've psyched you into thinking you've got to run around the country for four weeks, telling the same anecdotes over and over until you want to drop dead. You miss your child's volleyball game because if the movie doesn't do well, it reflects on you. They've conspired to wash their hands of any responsibility."
Baldwin lastly offers his tips on how to become a celebrity: "Don't pay your federal income taxes, get drunk and try to bolt through airport security with a gun in your suitcase, and last but not least, get a DUI and be arrested in Malibu."
Meanwhile, two of Alec's brothers, Stephen and Daniel, have been busily debasing the Baldwin brand by participating in NBC's sub-moronic I'm A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here. There's apparently nothing Big Bro can do about that. Somewhere Harvey Levin is smiling.
By ED BARK
Showtime's Nurse Jackie already has received just what the doctor ordered -- a second season pickup.
Monday's premiere episode and its same-night encore drew almost 1.5 million viewers, which is big stuff for Showtime. The premium pay cable network then acted fast, announcing a 12-episode renewal just two days later.
Edie Falco, already a TV immortal as Carmela Soprano on HBO's The Sopranos, stars as a pill-popping, blunt-spoken nurse whose patience is mostly bestowed on her patients.
***Another animated series is rising from the dead. Futurama, from Simpsons creator Matt Groening, will return with 26 new episodes under a deal with Comedy Central. It originally aired on Fox, which made the show part of its past six seasons ago.
Comedy Central, which owns the rights to 72 earlier Futurama episodes, says it will begin showing the new ones in mid-2010.
Family Guy, also canceled by Fox, has enjoyed an ongoing second life on the same network. Both series' rebirths are largely due to robust DVD sales.
***AMC has a day and date for the third season premiere of Mad Men. It's Sunday, August 16th at 9 p.m. (central).
The complete Season 1 of the acclaimed series currently is available to viewers with "On Demand" cable capabilities. Season 2 will hit the On Demand circuit on July 20th.