Today's News: Our Take


THEY'VE ARRIVED!

The news isn't all bad for Britney. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce unveiled its annual list of Hollywood Walk of Fame inductees on Thursday — and Spears made the cut! Other celebs getting the star treatment in 2004: Kevin Costner, Halle Berry, Glenn Close, Anthony Hopkins, John Singleton, Ted Turner, Journey and wonder twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. read more

PLUM PARTS

Renée Zellweger has signed on to star in and produce Piece of My Heart, a big-screen biopic on late rocker Janis Joplin. Filming is expected to get underway in early 2004 after Zellweger wraps the sequel to Bridget Jones's Diary. In other casting news, Angelina Jolie is in talks to play Catherine the Great in Disney's upcoming historical epic Love and Honor. read more

ABOUT FACE

Fox is having second thoughts about Cedric the Entertainer Presents. The network confirms that it has stopped production on the sketch comedy — just one month after renewing it for a second season. Yet, and here's the confusing part, the show is still returning in the fall. According to the Los Angeles Times, viewers will see original episodes produced last season. The unaired installments will run through December, at which point the show will be put to rest. read more

SPIKED AGAIN

Egocentric filmmaker Spike Lee scored another victory over Spike TV. On Thursday, New York's State Supreme Court upheld an injunction preventing Viacom from renaming its TNN cable network Spike TV. The name change was slated to go into effect on June 16, but for now, the cabler remains TNN. Viacom vows it will appeal. read more

GO LUTHER!

As a hospitalized Luther Vandross recovers from his stroke, sympathetic fans are busy pumping up his music sales. His new Dance with My Father album debuted at No. 1, selling more than 440,000 copies in its first week. This is the first No. 1 debut in the singer's entire career. read more

OPRAH GOES EAST

Oprah Winfrey relaunched her Book Club Wednesday by selecting John Steinbeck's "juicy" 1952 classic East of Eden. It's already risen to No. 2 on Amazon's bestseller list, right behind the new Harry Potter book. For you movie buffs, James Dean starred in the 1955 movie version of Eden, about two rival brothers in love with the same girl. Oh yeah, and their long-lost mama is a saloon tramp! read more

TICK TOCK...

Time's up for two stars of 24. Penny Johnson Jerald and Sarah Wynter — whose respective roles as Sherry Palmer and Kate Warner were pivotal last season — will not be returning as series regulars for Day Three this fall, TV Guide Online has learned. A Fox spokesman refused to confirm the moves, but did caution that "it would be a mistake to infer from an actor's contract status what their participation in the show next year will be. For example, Xander Berkeley (George Mason) was hired as a series regular last year but his character was killed off in Episode 15." Yeah, that sucked for him. read more

PAMELA SPEAKS!

The buzz in Hollywood is that the fairytale romance between Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock is on the, um, rocks. But during an interview with yours truly Wednesday, Anderson — who declined to answer any Rock-related questions — seemed to cast some doubt about those very rumors. "I feel like I'm in a great spot," she told TV Guide Online. "I'm getting along with all of the men in my life. I feel good. I feel like this is where I should be. When things are all in drama and turmoil you realize that you're not in the right place, but right now, I feel really good." read more

IDOL WORSHIP

American Idol champ Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken may have fought a close race on the Fox talent show, but on the singles charts, it's no contest. Aiken's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" debuted at No. 1 with sales of 393,000 copies — far ahead of Studdard's "Flying Without Wings," which opened at No. 2 with 287,000 copies sold. read more

THE AUTEUR IS OUT THERE

Former X-Files alien hunter David Duchovny will make his feature writing/directing debut with House of D, which is described as a fable about New York and the sweeping power of friendship. Duchovny will co-star in the pic alongside wife Tea Leoni and Robin Williams. Meanwhile, Duchovny's X-Files leading lady Gillian Anderson has nabbed the lead in the big-screen thriller My Scorpion Soul, co-starring Peter O' Toole. read more

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