TALK ABOUT blurring the lines between real life and reel life. Sony Pictures, which is having a Month From Hell for the ages, has enlisted the help of the spin-mistress who was the inspiration for the ABC prime-time soaper "Scandal."
The company that produced (and won't release) "The Interview" has asked Judy Smith to help with damage control in the wake of the cyberattack it suffered (apparently at the hands of North Korea), and its subsequent decision to keep the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy about killing North Korean Big Cheese Kim Jong Un from public display.
Smith's website (judysmith. com) describes her as "America's number one crisis-management expert." And she is often identified in the media as "the real-life Olivia Pope," Kerry Washington's character on "Scandal."
Smith is now whispering in the ear of Sony Pictures honcha Amy Pascal. Some Sony staffers have blamed Pascal and studio CEO Michael Lynton for not protecting the company's computer systems before the hacking, and for not being entirely forthcoming after the hack.
The cyber-snooping yielded the still-unidentified perps Social Security numbers of Sony employees, as well as snarky emails between Sony execs that dissed the likes of Kevin Hart and Angelina Jolie, and discussed President Obama's supposed tastes in films in terms that could be considered racist.
To that end, Pascal apologized and last week powwowed with the Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network.
Smith isn't the only spin doctor recruited by Sony: Two other damage-control entities, Rubenstein and Hiltzik Strategies, have also been on the case.
On a related note, disregard rumors about Franco being found dead in his L.A. home. Hard to believe that something online isn't true, but this has definitely been confirmed as a hoax.
The latest volley in the Bill Cosby vs. The World death match has CNN under fire from the embattled comic's lawyer.
A letter to network prez Jeff Zucker obtained by TMZ, legal eagle Marty Singer (who is definitely earning his retainer these days) claimed that CNN acted in a "reckless and malicious" manner while putting together a special with Beverly Johnson, one of the Cos' myriad accusers in the ever-expanding drugging-and-sexual-assault scandal.
Singer tells Zucker that he suggested that CNN reporters interview Johnson's ex-boyfriend, Mark Burk, with whom she lived from 2006 to 2009. According to Singer, Burk was questioned but insisted that Johnson "never said a negative statement about Bill Cosby throughout their entire four-year relationship."
Furthermore, Singer wrote, "Burk told CNN that, to the contrary, Ms. Johnson stated that she was an admirer of Bill Cosby and only said great things about Mr. Cosby."
As Singer tells it, rather than accept those statements, the CNNers pressured Burk to corroborate Johnson's claims. When Burk refused, the reporters ended the sit-down.
So far, there's been no reply from Zucker or CNN.
We're not sure how mankind will get beyond this, but "Anger Management" has been swept to the ash heap of history.
RadarOnline reported that Charlie Sheen and his teammates were pink-slipped Friday by the FX network and Lionsgate.
But fear not for Charlie's net worth: Last night's swan song was the 100th installment - the magic number that ensures that the show will live on in syndication forever and a day.
* In case you missed it, Kourtney Kardashian (a/k/a the Second Most Important Woman In the World - big sis Kim will always be No. 1 as far as Temporary Tattle is concerned) and boyfriend Scott Disick have bestowed upon Spawn No. 3 the name Reign Aston Disick (it's a boy!).
Reign's sure-to-be-charmed life began Dec. 13, but his parental units didn't reveal the moniker until this weekend - via Instagram, of course.
* Due to popular (make that crazed) demand, another performance of "Disney On Ice: Frozen" has been added to the Wells Fargo Center run that starts Christmas Day. "Let It [and your money] Go" at 3 p.m. Jan. 2. For tix, call 800-298-4200 or go to comcasttix.com.
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.