Today's News: Our Take


POOR SMOKEY!

On last night's typically soul-stirring Paradise Hotel, our hero, Dave, eliminated two-faced psycho Beau for the second time, and, following a chat with his late grandpa during a séance, Tom was sent into the afterlife as well. By which we mean "life after this show." Sadly, he had to take his stuffed traveling companion, Smokey, with him. read more

STUNT CASTING

There's something about the actress Bobby and Peter Farrelly have recruited to guest star in their Fox comedy pilot Why Blitt?. Oh, right, I know — it's Cameron freakin' Diaz! According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress will play herself in the first episode of the potential series, which is being produced and directed by the Farrelly sibs — the helmers behind Diaz's breakthrough pic There's Something About Mary. Blitt, which stars comic-actor Ricky Blitt, revolves around an aspiring screenwriter who hits the jackpot when his script for The Cameron Diaz Show is picked up. read more

CAT'S MEOW

Benjamin Bratt has nabbed the male lead in Warner Bros.'s upcoming Catwoman flick, starring Halle Berry. He'll play a detective who falls in love with Catwoman's alter ego, Patience Price. read more

Enterprise Two weeks watching...

Enterprise
Two weeks watching this Star Trek prequel and I think I've caught geek. True, I have no idea what spatial distortions are or why Jolene Blalock's T'Pol is rocking that low-cut terry track suit, but nobody gives good threat better than Scott Bakula. He may not be the stud William Shatner was, but you gotta give big props to a Captain willing to decompress an air-locked prisoner into giving up the aliens who blew up South America. But someone had better check the navigation system. With half the crew sporting Hawaiian Tropic tans, I fear the ship may be getting too close to the sun.

True Hollywood Story
Poor George Lucas. The man sullied a resume that included Star Wars and Raiders by producing Paula Abdul's "Rush, Rush" video. Well, at least he was cool enough to mimic Rebel Without a Cause and smart enough to cast Keanu Reeves in a non-speaking part. Ab read more

MADONNA IN THE ZONE

After their MTV kiss, Madonna and Britney Spears got into bed together. That is to say, the pop tarts are recording a duet titled "Me Against the Music" for Brit's fourth album, Get in the Zone. The single goes out to radio stations on Sept. 30. As previously reported, the release of the album itself has been delayed indefinitely. read more

H2... OH NO HE DIDN'T!

A 40-year-old man has been charged with attempting to cut off the water supply to illusionist David Blaine, who is spending more than six weeks holed up in a glass box beside the River Thames in London. Stephen Field allegedly climbed nearby scaffolding and tried to cut through water pipes attached to the box. Blaine is 10 days into his 44-day stint. read more

Kelley Defends The Practice


When The Practice creator David E. Kelley acted as judge and jury last spring, firing much of the Emmy-winning drama's cast, it shocked Hollywood. But this took a personal toll on the veteran producer, who says he endured several sleepless nights struggling with his decision. "It was very tough on a human level," he says. "I was kinda wishing that the show had been cancelled, rather than have to do that."

Instead, faced with ABC's decision to cut the show's $6.5 million-an-episode budget by half, Kelley ultimately decided to ax many of the series' most popular stars, including Dylan McDermott and Lara Flynn Boyle. With the exception of McDermott — whose $300,000-per-episode fee proved too rich a deal for the newly cash-strapped series — Kelley kept the actors whose characters he felt had the most storyline potential going into the series' eighth season. The lucky survivors: Camryn Manheim, Steve Harris, Michael Bada read more

Enterprise Plots Exposed!


You have to wonder which was more devastating: The attack on Earth by the Xindi — a race that believes 400 years in the future, humanity will destroy their homeworld — or the precipitous 32 percent ratings drop Enterprise (Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET on UPN) suffered last season. To stem that galactic tide, the producers wisely gave focus to the crew and Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) last May by sending them off into Xindi territory, a dangerous area of space known as the Delphic Expanse. "[Archer] is no longer indecisive in what he is doing," says executive producer Rick Berman. "He's on a vital mission, and he's become much more determined and tougher and stronger."

Last week, we were introduced to the Xindi's five types of species: humanoid, reptilian, slothlike, insectoid and aquatic. And it also became apparent that the Xindi planet has already been destroyed. With that pesky groundwork all settled, get ready read more

Kate Beckinsale Vamps It Up


British beauty Kate Beckinsale has always avoided typecasting by acting in both English indies and Hollywood blockbusters. But suddenly, this 30-year-old Pearl Harbor vet is becoming the go-to vampire starlet: Moviegoers will find her flashing her fangs in Underworld — opening Friday — and hunting bloodsuckers with Hugh Jackman in next summer's Van Helsing. How odd for an actress who initially turned up her nose at the whole vamp genre.

"I was a little bit prejudiced about vampire movies," admits Beckinsale, who's now engaged to Underworld director Len Wiseman. "I didn't fancy running around in a nightgown and waving garlic and getting my neck bit. Then, I got [the script] and it was a cool comic-book action movie, with a girl who looked like she was a proper action hero."

Looking the undead part in Underworld meant forgetting all about those distressed damsel nightgowns. No, this dominant lady's read more

CHARMED, ANYONE?

Sandra Bullock is developing an hourlong drama for CBS that's basically an offshoot of the 1998 film Practical Magic, which starred Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Like the movie, the TV show will revolve around two sisters who struggle with the blessing/curse of magical abilities, Variety reports. And just to be clear, Bullock will produce — not star in — the potential series. Of course, a few more Murder by Numbers and that could all change. read more

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