Today's News: Our Take


The red-carpet troublemaker featured on Ashton Kutcher's hit new MTV prank-a-thon Punk'd is becoming a star in his own right. Ryan Pinkston, 15, has landed a development deal with the music network to headline his very own series. read more


It looks like Kiefer Sutherland's tapped-out 24 alter ego will get some much-needed R&R this summer. A Fox insider confirms that some time will elapse between last month's finale and the start of the show's third day this fall. (The buzz was that Season Three might pick up immediately following the biotoxic attack against President Palmer.) In response, a 24 rep would only say that the show's writers were hard at work on a "very big idea" for next season. By the way, this item appears in my latest TV News column in the current issue of TV Guide, but magazine readers get a special bonus: a mean Kim Bauer kicker! read more


Now read this: Oprah Winfrey — who announced earlier this year that she was reviving her Book Club — will unveil her next pick on Wednesday's show. This time around, the chat queen will focus on classics that have stood the test of time. Somewhere, Mary Higgins Clark isn't holding her breath. read more


That's Sir James Bond to you. Roger Moore (aka 007) was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II over the weekend. The 75-year-old actor was cited for his tireless work for children's charity UNICEF. Prime Suspect's Helen Mirren, meanwhile, was made a dame. read more


Veteran stage and screen star Hume Cronyn, best known to modern-day audiences for his role in Cocoon and his on and off screen love affair with late wife Jessica Tandy, died of prostate cancer Sunday at his home in Fairfield, Conn., The Associated Press confirms. He was 91. Cronyn — whose career spanned six decades and included Broadway, film and TV — won an Emmy in 1994 for the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame movie To Dance with the White Dog. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1944 for his performance in The Seventh Cross and picked up a Tony in 1964 for playing Polonius in Hamlet. In addition to three children, Cronyn is survived by wife Susan Cooper Cronyn, whom he married in 1996. read more


A public memorial service is being held today for legendary actor Gregory Peck, who died Thursday at age 87. The service will take place at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in Los Angeles. Peck's To Kill a Mockingbird co-star Brock Peters will deliver the eulogy. read more


Ireland's first reality TV show has run aground — literally. A boat carrying the cast and crew of Cabin Fever, a reality series that's sort of a Big Brother on the high seas, crashed into rocks and broke apart Friday. Everyone made it safely to shore, but producers nonetheless have reason to mourn: Sadly, the cameras weren't rolling during the catastrophe. Now that's tragic. read more


Halle Berry has filed a $2 million countersuit against the former owners of her Beverly Hills house, claiming the pad needs more than $1 million in repairs. The alleged culprits, Jonathan and Alison Roth, filed their own pre-emptive suit on June 10, insisting the 34-year-old actress bought the home "as-is" in 2001. read more


Here's another reason you gotta love them Brits. According to a just-released BBC online poll, the folks across the pond have named Homer Simpson the greatest American who ever lived. Bart's deadbeat dad outranked such bigwigs as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and George Washington. read more


Remember those 55 Oscar statues that were stolen just days before the Academy Awards in March 2000? No? Well, um, er, read this anyway. One of the missing statues was recovered by Miami police Thursday during a drug investigation. All told, 53 of the golden guys have been found. (The bulk of them were discovered behind a trash bin nine days after the theft.) read more

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