Today's News: Our Take


KITSCH FACTOR

More than 11 million viewers watched Jessica Simpson sing herself into convulsions on last night's Nick & Jessica Variety Hour. The retro-heavy special — featuring cameos by Kermit, Miss Piggy, Kenny Rogers and Mr. T — easily won its timeslot, although only roughly 1 million viewers tuned in from start to finish. Everyone else slit their wrists, but in a rare stroke of good fortune for ABC, they forgot to shut off their televisions first. read more

RUNWAY CLOSED

Victoria's Secret is dropping its nationally televised fashion show this year, in part because of the fallout from Boobygate. According to CCO Ed Razek, "We had to make the decision probably six to eight weeks ago, when the heat was on the television networks." read more

DIVIDED HOUSE

Full House grad John Stamos and X-Men beauty Rebecca Romijn-Stamos are calling it quits after five years of marriage, the New York Daily News reports. The separation is said to be amicable. read more

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR

Paris Hilton's X-rated sidekick, Rick Salomon, has dropped his $10-million slander lawsuit against the Simple Life star and her family. Salomon filed suit last November, claiming Hilton and her clan waged a "cold, calculated and malicious campaign to portray [him] as a rapist." It's not clear why Salomon dropped the suit. read more

MONEY HUNGRY

Diane Keaton will follow up her Oscar-nominated turn in Something's Gotta Give with Mad Money, a comedy The Hollywood Reporter describes as a female Ocean's Eleven. Keaton will play one of three female janitors who rob the Federal Reserve. Thelma & Louise screenwriter Callie Khouri will direct. read more

How Reality Rocked Gina Gershon


These days, there's no denying the PR power of reality-TV. Even stars who once turned up their noses at "unscripted drama" have begun using it to boost their careers. That includes Gina Gershon — the sexpot from Bound and Showgirls — who has her own six-part series, Rocked with Gina Gershon (Fridays at 10:30 pm on IFC). The documentary-style show offers a juicy peek inside Gershon's cross-country tour in support of her movie Prey for Rock & Roll. Of course, like many reality virgins, the actress-turned-rocker was initially skeptical about letting cameras follow her around.

"When people found out I was going on tour," Gershon recalls, "I had like three or four companies coming to me saying, 'Do you want to do a reality show?' To which I quickly said, 'No [expletive] way.' I'm really private. I may not seem that way, but anything that you read about my personal life in the press is probably a lie."

Still, the 42-ye read more

TRAGEDY

The elderly parents of Grammy-winning spoofmeister Weird Al Yankovic were found dead in their suburban San Diego home on Friday, the apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. Nick and Mary Yankovic were 86 and 81, respectively. Weird Al, currently on tour in support of his new CD, Poodle Hat, dedicated a Saturday-night concert in Mankato, Minn., to his parents. read more

REMEMBERED

Actress Carrie Snodgress, Oscar-nominated for her film debut in 1970's Diary of a Mad Housewife, died last week of heart failure at UCLA Medical Center. She was 57. She was most recently seen in the HBO telepic Iron-Jawed Angels. read more

AND ON THE 47TH DAY...

Remembering that Easter isn't all about creme-filled eggs and tense family gatherings, Christians flocked to The Passion of the Christ over the holiday weekend, lifting Mel Gibson's crucifixion saga back to No. 1 with $17.1 million. With $354.8 million in total receipts, Passion now ranks as the eighth highest-grossing film of all time, passing The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Meanwhile, moviegoers apparently forgot The Alamo was in theaters judging by the film's deadly debut; Disney's $100-million historical epic grossed a weak $9.2 million, tying for No. 3 with Johnson Family Vacation. Among other newcomers, the Bruce Willis-Matthew Perry sequel read more

POTTY MOUTH

Lakers superstar Shaquille O'Neal dropped the F-bomb during a live postgame TV interview Sunday. After losing 102-85 to the Sacramento Kings, Shaq was asked to critique his rival's performance on the court. "Not impressed, not impressed," he said. "Not [expletive] impressed, you know what I mean?" It was Shaq's second profane outburst of the season. On Feb. 1 in Toronto, the Kazaam star was suspended for cussing out the referees on live TV. read more

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