Today's News: Our Take


Oprah Winfrey showed up for jury duty Monday at Chicago's Cook County Criminal Court and was actually assigned to a murder trial! Winfrey, who will earn $17.20 a day for her service, told reporters she didn't think she'd be picked because she's too opinionated. "I'm just hoping it doesn't take longer than a week," she added, "because I've got shows to do." Please, everyone knows the new season of Oprah doesn't start for another month. Nice try, O. read more


Michael Moore's anti-Dubya doc Fahrenheit 9/11 arrives on DVD Oct. 5, four weeks before the big election. Among the extra features: a never-before-seen sequence outside Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and a featurette that looks at the experiences of Arab-American comedians post-Sept. 11. read more


Angel grad Charisma Carpenter will play an evil seer in two episodes of the WB's Charmed this season, sources confirm. read more


With horror hybrids all the rage, New Line Cinema is plotting a new showdown between Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. According to The Hollywood Reporter, studio execs are in talks with Spider-Man helmer Sam Raimi for a sequel that would pit the two horror icons against Ash, the antihero at the center of Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy. If Raimi passes, word is New Line will merely introduce another character or just stage a new face-off between Freddy and Jason. Worst-case scenario: They'll be forced to come up with a completely original idea. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. read more


A hunky FBI agent, a 35-year-old amputee, an unhinged drill sergeant and a young, female sheep farmer are among the 18 contestants competing in Survivor: Vanuatu, Islands of Fire, premiering Sept. 16 on CBS. The latest crop of wannabe actors were unveiled on this morning's Early Show. (For a look at the two new tribes, go to All-Star sweethearts Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich were on hand to weigh in with their early faves — and give host Julie Chen some late-breaking scoop on their upcoming nuptials. Asked whether the ceremony will be televised a la Ryan and Trista, Brkich teased, "It's a pretty big possibility." And in an unbelievable coincidence, so is their divorce! read more


Oscar-nominated thesp Diane Lane and actor Josh Brolin tied the knot Sunday at Brolin's ranch in San Luis Obispo, Calif. It's the second marriage for both. read more


The WB has ordered 22 additional episodes of summer smash Blue Collar TV.... Strangers with Candy goofball Amy Sedaris is the front-runner to replace Craig Kilborn as host of CBS's Late Late Show, the New York Post reports.... The Food Network will air Julia Child: A Tribute, an hour-long retrospective honoring the late culinary queen, on Sunday at 9 pm/ET. The special will cap a day of programming dedicated to Child, who died Friday at the age of 91. read more


Cinematographer Neal L. Fredericks, whose r&#233sum&#233 included The Blair Witch Project, was killed Saturday while shooting the indie pic Cross Bones in the Florida Keys. He was 35. Fredericks was reportedly filming an aerial shot from a single-engine Cessna 206 when the plane crashed into the water. The film's director, producer and first camera assistant survived. read more

Random Olympics Note No. 1 If...

Random Olympics Note No. 1
If I owe anything to this year's Olympics coverage, it's a bit of gratitude for prompting my little sister to call me up yesterday — something she hasn't done for a while. "Have you been watching the Olympics?" she asked. "Some Asian team mopped the American women's volleyball team. And Puerto Rico dusted our men's basketball team." When I pointed out that she'd used two housekeeping metaphors, she came back with, "Well, they need to clean it up then, because that's embarrassing. They beat us in basketball, girl. Basket. Ball. And have you seen how tight security is? They have that athletes' village on lockdown. They've got guards and cameras everywhere. They're probably looking in somebody's window right now."

Synchronized Diving Competition
Of course gold-medal winners Li Ting and Lao Lishi barely made a splash in most of their dives. Your average fourth grader weighs more than they do. And I'm not trying read more


Sopranos star James Gandolfini will play Ernest Hemingway in an untitled film about the author's tempestuous romance with war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Variety reports. Robin Wright PennSanta Barbara's original Kelly Capwell — is a possibility to play Gellhorn. read more

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