Rambling Reporter

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Sarah Jessica Parker's No Sham Designer: Harvey Weinstein, Jimmy Choo's Tamara Mellon and designer Marios Schwab now have all exited Halston right behind Sarah Jessica Parker; a financial takeover by Hillco Capital is revealed to have caused the mass exodus. But Women's Wear Daily and other wags in the fashion biz don't see it that way. In an article published July 13, WWD put the blame on Parker -- even hinting at a scandalous exit because of her lack of experience as president of a fashion label as well as her lack of hands-on design knowledge. It even implied that making movies during her Halston Heritage tenure hurt the brand -- unlike entertainers-turned-designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Victoria Beckham, who dumped their showbiz careers for fashion. But several employees at Halston Heritage, including other designers, disagree. "Sarah Jessica went to the stores to meet retailers, who were pretty surprised to see her," sources told THR. "She even went to long, boring trade shows like Coterie to push the brand. She met with sunglass reps. She'd come back to work after shooting, and she chose all the colors, shapes, fabrics." One thing WWD did not report: Sales of the spring 2011 Halston Heritage collection are up 39 percent, and Parker still has two more HH collections coming out even after her exit.

Cranston Breaks News

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has admitted he can't see the show -- which kicked off season four with a literal bang July 17 -- going beyond a fifth season. But star -- and now series producer -- Bryan Cranston begs to differ. "I don't think Vince really meant that," Cranston told THR. "He feels that way when he's in the muck of writing hell. Personally, I see it going more than five. Till the end of season four, it's just one year that's transpired. M*A*S*H was able to extend the Korean War for 11 seasons!" Even though three-time Emmy winner Cranston -- who has been busy filming roles in seven movies and has written another to direct and star in -- was not eligible for a lead actor in a drama Emmy nomination this year, he'd still like to show up at the ceremony. Just in another context: "I'd love to present that award. Not to imply I'm handing over the reins. But it would be nice to congratulate whomever wins -- they all have merit. I'd love to see Jon Hamm win. He has a harder role than I do. Walter White went from milquetoast to badass; Don Draper is a more defined straight arrow."

The Role of the Dice Man

"Either I do nuthin' -- or everything," says Andrew Dice Clay, who was seemingly doing nothing for the past 10 years but is now back in an "everything" phase. Playing himself on the final season of Entourage, which kicks off July 24, has already raised his profile. "Not one frame has aired yet," Dice Clay tells THR, "but suddenly, I'm getting all kinds of crazy offers to revive my stand-up act. Huge places are booking me again. Turns out, people were wondering why Dice hasn't been around for a decade." Well, why hasn't he? "I broke up with my first wife and decided to raise my two boys 10 years ago. We all have to go through personal stuff. When things aren't good at home, Dice can't take on the world." Now he can: Last year, Dice married 26-year-old Valerie Vasquez. "Hello, world -- when I'm ready, I'm ready."

Al Pacino Woos … Adam Sandler?

In his fall comedy Jack and JillAdam Sandler plays both twins, Jack and Jill -- and Al Pacino courts Sandler in drag. How did Sandler get Pacino to do it? "He simply asked," says a source. "Al has a sense of humor."

Passing the Emmy Host Torch

Jimmy Fallon tried to watch the Emmy nominations on his laptop, but the streaming broadcast froze just as they announced the late-night category. "I thought, 'This is not a good sign.' Then my wife, Nancy [Juvonen], at our new summer home, called me screaming. It was a strange, wonderful day," says the host, whose show picked up its first Emmy nom for outstanding variety, music or comedy series. So at this year's Emmys, Fallon, who hosted last year, will fret while Jane Lynch takes over the emcee chores. "Fox made a great choice with Jane," says Fallon. "She's brilliant. I'm relieved to sit back this year -- and maybe get a little drunk."           

Power Lunch

Mezze, the newish Mediterranean small-plates restaurant on La Cienega, was host to quite a crowd during the week: Hangover producer Scott Budnick, Hilary Swank and producing partner Molly Smith, author Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed), Alcon execs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, Colin Egglesfield, Brooke Burns, film critic Ben Lyons and Penn Badgley. … Matthew Weiner toasted the Mad Men writing staff at the Tar Pit on La Brea after the Emmy noms, announcing in front of the whole restaurant: "Can't believe this is our fourth time here. It was a long winter, and glad we are all coming back!" … Oprah dined at Bouchon between visits to OWN's Los Angeles office. Yes, the Bouchon power-lunch scene is heating up: During the week, John Carrabino, WME's Todd Feldman, CAA's Hylda Queally, Katie Holmes (becoming a regular) and Reese Witherspoon were all in midday. … Manager Alissa Vradenberg hosted a formal tea at the Peninsula Beverly Hills with Juicy Couture exec Lauren Kucerak for their friend Molly Sims, who will wed Scott Stuber in the fall in Napa Valley. … UTA's Chris Day meeting over heirloom tomato salad on the patio at Il Covo. … Just after wife Victoria Beckham gave birth to daughter Harper Seven, David Beckham took their three boys and some of Victoria's visiting U.K. family for a meal at Fig & Olive. All the boys ordered steak and mashed potatoes. … Zookeeper Kevin James took his family to Casa Vega for lunch.