Today's News: Our Take


REVEREND MONEYBAGS

7th Heaven star Stephen Collins has inked an eight-figure deal to continue playing the show's patriarch for another two seasons, through May 2005, Variety reports. read more

THE X-FACTOR

The truth about President Bartlet's MIA daughter is right here: She looks like former X-Files star Annabeth Gish. The West Wing has tapped Gish for the recurring role of Bartlet's never-before-seen eldest daughter, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The actress will make her debut in this season's first two episodes, which were written by exec producer (and successor to Aaron Sorkin's throne) John Wells. Sources say Gish is one of several new faces Wells plans to introduce on West Wing this season. read more

COUNTING CROWES

Oscar winner Russell Crowe and wife Danielle Spencer are expecting their first child in January. The Gladiator star married Spencer on April 7, which by my calculations means the newlyweds didn't waste any time. read more

DELAYED

Sony has pushed back the release of its Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez romance Gigli (pronounced "Big-Flop") by two days. The film, which was slated to bow on July 30, will now open Aug. 1. The studio should just cut to the chase and tell us when this thing will be out on video. read more

BUSTED

Coldplay singer Chris Martin is in a bit of hot water after allegedly losing his temper and smashing a photographer's car window on an Australian beach over the weekend. Gwyneth Paltrow's beau was arrested Sunday and charged with malicious damage. He's due in court on Oct. 8. read more

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

CBS has released a study that is sure to ruffle the feathers of a certain Peacock network. In a report issued Monday at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Hollywood, Calif., CBS surveyed more than 1,000 top media buyers and planners and concluded that viewers aged 25-54 — not NBC's coveted 18-49 target demo — is the audience of choice for most advertisers. read more

ANOTHER NO. 1 RANKING FOR OPRAH

Oprah Winfrey has topped VH1's list of the 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons. Superman came in at No. 2, followed by Elvis Presley. The music network began counting down the list on Monday, which means they should get to Oprah sometime in November. read more

JUST MARRIED

Former New Kid Joey McIntyre and That '70s Show's Mila Kunis are taking the plunge, signing on to star in a big-screen adaptation of the interactive stage show Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding. read more

Raymond Controversy Erupts at TCA


You gotta love Les Moonves. In an era when network execs never seem to meet a politically correct, over-rehearsed, innocuous soundbite they don't like, CBS's chairman and CEO is the rare bird that speaks his mind — regardless of the consequences. Case in point: At CBS's portion of the Television Critics press tour on Sunday, Moonves hinted to reporters that he could see his flagship comedy Everybody Loves Raymond returning in fall 2004 with or without series creator Phil Rosenthal and star Ray Romano. (Neither has committed to a ninth season yet.) "Nothing's been ruled out," Moonves confided to a few select journalists following Sunday morning's executive session. "I hope they stay. If they ultimately decide not to, we'll do everyt read more

Anna Paquin Grows Up


Enough beating up on former child stars! In recent years, we've seen plenty of 'em manage to reach adulthood sans embarrassing detours into jail or drug rehab. Just look at upstanding Ivy Leaguers like Claire Danes, Natalie Portman, Julia Stiles and Anna Paquin. For Paquin, 21 — who won an Oscar for best supporting actress in The Piano at age 11 — the secret to avoiding such has-been horrors lies in taking her early success with a grain of salt.

"There's no way to live, worrying about living up to something you did when you were 9," says the Columb read more

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