Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

The entire run of the classic sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica will be out on DVD Oct. 21... David Spade has been tapped to host the 2003 Teen Choice Awards, airing Aug. 6 on Fox... The Shield's Michael Chiklis and Malcolm in the Middle's Jane Kaczmarek will announce the nominees for the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards live July 17 at 5:30 am/ET on E!... CNN Washington correspondent Kate Snow, who's currently out on maternity leave, is heading to ABC News. read more

TREK TROUBLE

Video game giant Activision is suing Viacom for allowing the Star Trek franchise to "stagnate and decay." The company claims the $20 million video game licensing agreement it signed in 1998 has lost value because no new Trek films were made from 1998-2002 and no new movies are planned. The last pic, 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis, tanked at the box office, and UPN's Enterprise continues to struggle in the ratings. Viacom insists the suit is without merit. read more

BIG FAT GREEK LAWSUIT

MPH Entertainment, the company that first optioned Nia Vardalos's painfully overrated screenplay for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, is suing the writer-actress as well as the film's producers for breach-of-contract. In a complaint filed Tuesday, MPH says it's owed three percent of the pic's profits. read more

LEGAL TURMOIL

The former president of Bad Boy Entertainment — Sean "P. Diddy" Combs's music company — is suing the rapper for $25 million. Kirk Burrowes alleges that Combs wrongfully terminated him in 1996, and used a baseball bat to menace him into signing over his 25 percent stake in Bad Boy. Combs calls this "pure fantasy," adding Burrowes "hasn't been employed for seven years, and now he makes up a fictional story for financial gain." read more

JEWELRY DRAMA

John Acheson, 31, of New Rochelle, N.Y., has been charged with demanding $25,000 from Lil' Kim for the safe return of her diamond-encrusted Queen Bee necklace. The bauble was among $250,000 in jewelry that went missing from the rapper's luggage at JFK Airport last month; the jewels were later recovered. Acheson, who turned himself in to authorities, faces up to four years in prison for attempted grand larceny, attempted grand larceny by extortion and attempted coercion. read more

FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY TO JAIL?

Justin Guarini is in a boatload of trouble for nearly running over a girl with a personal watercraft at a Texas lake Saturday. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the 24-year-old former American Idol runner-up was ticketed for unsafe boat operation after he ran the watercraft up on shore, stopping a few feet short of a 5-year-old girl. (Maybe his hair got in the way.) Guarini was with five friends, including AI winner Kelly Clarkson — who he still insists is not his girlfriend. If convicted, he faces a fine of up to $2,000 and a maximum 180 days in jail. Rumor has it authorities are willing to drop all charges if he promises to immediately put an end to his singing and acting careers. read more

SWEPT AWAY

Madonna has crushed plans for a new footpath 100 yards from Ashcombe House, her $14.5 million mansion in Wiltshire, England. Mr. and Mrs. Guy Ritchie actually wrote Prime Minister Tony Blair (!) complaining that the proposed walkway would invite busybodies and paparazzi to invade their privacy. The couple previously barked about low-flying aircraft over their home, and even erected 12-foot-high security gates without legal permission. read more

NO-TELL HOTEL

Is there any point to Fox's wild-'n'-crazy reality romp Paradise Hotel other than extending Love Cruise nutjob Toni's 15 minutes of fame? Do contestants score cash as well as sexual favors, or what? "They don't even know themselves how it's going to end," teases host Amanda Byram. "That is the big surprise — how the summer will end." Dare we hope that rejects get thrown into a live volcano? "I can make that happen," Byram snickers, "if you're nice to me." For an extremely flattering interview with the funny lady that was written with absolutely no ulterior motives whatsoever, click here. read more

CAR TROUBLE

Eminem's ex-wife, Kim Mathers, pleaded innocent Tuesday to drug charges and motor violations stemming from a June 10 arrest in Michigan when cops found 25 grams of cocaine in her car. The 28-year-old is currently free on bail. read more

GOODBYE GIRLFRIEND

When one of the French suitors featured on last night's America's Next Top Model so eloquently said, "All good thing must come to end," he was apparently talking to Robin Manning. The 26-year-old Southern psychopath became Model's latest runway casualty after she proved herself a big ol' hypocrite for refusing to participate in a semi-nude photo shoot on moral grounds. (Earlier, the wannabe drag queen was seen gratuitously shaking her bare temple in front of a male makeup artist.) The UPN contest is now down to three catwalkers, who will face off in next week's two-hour finale. (Go, Elyse!) In the meantime, if you have a question for Ms. Manning, send them to me via the link at the bottom of this column. My colleague, Daniel "Party Boy" Coleridge, will be talking to the plus-sized diva later today. God help him. read more

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