Today's News: Our Take


CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF

Ex-Top Gun Tom Cruise is returning to the not-so-friendly skies. According to Variety, Nicole's ex has signed on to play Billy Fiske — the first American pilot killed in World War II — in Paramount's The Few. Michael Mann (Ali) will direct. read more

JUST LIKE NPR?

The Federal Communications Commission ruled Tuesday that Howard Stern's randy radio show is a "bona fide news interview" program. The decision allows Stern to invite Arnold Schwarzenegger on the air without having to offer equal time to the hundreds of other candidates running for California governor. How the heck is Gary Coleman supposed to get his message out? read more

OOPS!

Alright, I think I've got my For Love or Money 2 facts straight now — thanks to the hundreds of you who wrote in to correct me (and call me stupid). Okay, so, as I understand it, Erin... oh, I'll just let loyal "Entertainment News" follower Laurie explain it: "Chad actually only received $500,000. Erin gave him half of what he was playing for. She ended up with $1,500,000." Math was never my thing, folks. read more

LENI RIEFENSTAHL DIES

Innovative documentarian and notorious Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl died Monday of undisclosed causes in Pöcking, Germany. The actress-turned-director chronicled the 1934 Nuremberg rally and 1936 Berlin Olympics in the influential Triumph of the Will (1935) and Olympia (1938), whose images still resonate powerfully. Her career in post-war ruins, Riefenstahl reinvented herself as a still photographer; a 1993 documentary, The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl rekindled public interest in her exploits. She remained active and outspoken until her death, rationalizing her work for the Third Reich. read more

TOGETHER AGAIN

Simon & Garfunkel's 32-city reunion tour — the duo's first tour in 20 years — kicks off Oct. 18 in Auburn Hills, Mich. Tickets for some of the concerts go on sale Monday. read more

UNMASKED

Fox will unveil the star of its upcoming Joe Millionaire sequel during the launch of its new Friday night comedy lineup on Sept. 19. Joe Deux debuts Oct. 20. In other Fox news, the network has extended a full-season order to its hit prime-time sudser The O.C., which notched its best ratings ever Tuesday night. read more

THE WRITE STUFF

It's not an Oscar, but this'll have to do: Colin Farrell has been named "best signer" in Autograph Collector's 12th annual poll of celeb autograph givers. The worst? Cameron Diaz. read more

YEP, IT'S A HIT

Ellen DeGeneres's talk show got off to a promising start Monday. Based on preliminary ratings, The Ellen DeGeneres Show improved 17 percent on year-ago timeslot averages in 53 metered markets. read more

KUDOS FOR COS

Bill Cosby will receive the prestigious Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 55th annual prime-time Emmy Awards on Sept. 21. The three-hour telecast airs live on Fox beginning at 8 pm/ET. read more

SHORT CUTS

Madonna visits Oprah on Tuesday to talk about her new children's book The English Roses, which hits stores Monday... ABC has ordered a drama pilot from Alias producers Alex Kurtzman-Counter and Roberto Orci about a woman balancing married life with her career in the Secret Service. read more

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