Today's News: Our Take


ABC, CBS and NBC have agreed to limit prime-time coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions to just an hour per night. Of course, Fox couldn't go along with that plan, because when your schedule includes gems like North Shore, even 60 minutes could be too much time to spare. read more

WHAT THE $#@*!

According to a new study by the Harvard School of Public Health, the MPAA has spent the last decade loosening up — and not in good way. A PG- or PG-13-rated film today, the institute suggests, contains far more violence, sex and profanity than it would have 10 years ago. At this rate, Shrek 12 is going to be set in an enchanted bordello. read more


You won't see Slim-Fast hawker Whoopi Goldberg in TV commercials for the diet drink anymore. The comic has been fired for dissing Dubya at last week's John Kerry fund-raiser at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Attendees reportedly witnessed Goldberg brandishing a wine bottle and making dirty wordplays on President Bush's surname. (Tee-hee!) Slim-Fast says it has pulled the Whoopster off the air because her comments offended some of its customers. First, NBC axes her Bush-bashin' Whoopi, now this. Clearly, that vast right-wing conspiracy is at work! read more


The late Tony Randall's will became public this week, revealing that the Odd Couple star left slightly more than $1 million to wife Heather and their two kids. He also bequeathed $50,000 apiece to the Actors Fund and Manhattan's Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater. read more


In still more music news, Brazilian singer Maria Rita, Spanish vocalist Alejandro Sanz and Cuban pianist Bebo Valdes earned four nominations apiece at the Latin Grammy nominations yesterday. read more


In a stunning upset, Yes, Dear swept the Emmy nominations this morning, winning nods in every major category. Okay, not really. I just wanted to see what it would feel like to write that sentence. (It was fun!) Actually, with 21 nominations, HBO's adaptation of Angels in America was the project most heralded by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Among drama series, HBO's The Sopranos led the field with 20 plaudits; in the comedy category, HBO's Sex and the City came out on top with 11 kudos. Anybody else notice a trend here? At least the rules instituted to give new programs a fairer shake made an impact: Freshman favorites Arrested Development and Joan of Arcadia both received notice. Some interesting actors were nominated, read more


Yesterday, Actors' Equity and the League of American Theaters and Producers revealed details of the new contract that will keep the lights of Broadway turned on for the next four years. In addition to a three-percent raise for Great White Way performers, the pact ushers in an "experimental touring program," which, as close as we can figure, means that folks working on hit road shows will get paid more than those working on flops. Ingenious, no? read more


Next time Quentin Tarantino has a love scene to write, chances are he'll have to look no further for help than the other side of his bed. The Kill Bill auteur and unlikely babe magnet has a new girlfriend — Lost in Translation director Sofia Coppola. Says the power couple's publicist: They "enjoy each other's company." Uh-huh. Right. Call us when their Oscars start sharing shelf space. read more


As if the world doesn't have enough pretty idiots in it! Low-wattage pop tart Jessica Simpson and hubba-hubba hubby Nick Lachey are thisclose to starting a family, they tell Us Weekly. They might even adopt a child from an underprivileged country, which, by Simpson's definition, means Chino, Calif. read more


Twenty-three people were arrested in Sicily yesterday near the set of Ocean's Twelve, and, against all odds, Courtney Love was not one of them. Rather, the individuals carted off were members of an Italian crime family suspected of seeking "protection money" from producers of the sequel to George Clooney and Brad Pitt's Ocean's Eleven remake. Of course, they could have just wanted Catherine Zeta-Jones's autograph really, really bad. read more

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