Today's News: Our Take

Kate Hudson: Famous Enough?

After her Oscar-nominated turn as rock groupie — sorry, "band aid" — Penny Lane in Almost Famous, Kate Hudson was extra choosy about her next film role. Why did she settle on the epic period drama The Four Feathers as her follow up?

"I could have gone after [Almost Famous] and done movies that were romantic comedy leads for girls," the blonde beauty admits. "But I want to do more sophisticated films. And if I want to do a romantic comedy, then it better be funny!

"I want to do movies that mean something to me," Hudson continues, "or that are just good, rather than go and do movies just to make me famous. I believe in what I do and I love what I do — and that's more important than being on MTV every day."

Thus, Hudson wasn't lu read more


The TV networks really want to see celebs suffer. ABC has ordered a midseason reality series in which eight big shots from the world of film, TV and sports will be stranded in a remote location with only rice and water. Based on the British show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, the series will air over 15 consecutive nights and viewers will vote on which entertainer must take part in a physical challenge to win food for the group. The lamest (read: lowest-rated) participants will be kicked out. read more


New Yorkers can now catch a glimpse of sexy Paula Zahn while walking to work. Following in the groundbreaking footsteps of NBC's Today show, CNN's American Morning with Paula Zahn debuted its new $15 million streetside studio today in Manhattan. A rep for CNN rival (and Zahn's former employer) Fox News Channel had a funny quote about the big makeover. "Based on Paula's ratings, this is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic," cracked the spokeswoman. "But we wish her well." You gotta love publicists. read more


We're going to tell it like it is: Dr. Phil, the new syndicated talk show from Oprah Winfrey's life strategist Dr. Phil McGraw, got off to a strong start Monday. Based on early Nielsen data, the premiere episode notched a robust 5.2 rating and ranked first in its time period in most markets. read more

Sex and Fisticuffs on Survivor: Thailand!

Enjoy Thai cooking? Here's a spicy recipe for trashy telly-viewing: Toss 16 wannabe reality-TV stars on Thailand's isle of Koh Tarutao, a former penal colony. Set the temperature on "monsoon season," of course, with lotsa grueling heat and humidity. Strip down these sexy golddiggers — whose number includes Brian Heidik, a soft-core porn actor. Now, we grill exec producer Mark Burnett — who figures all that ought to satisfy you — for the sizzlin' lowdown on this season, and future Survivor installments. So strap on a bib and read on...

Producers knew about Brian's X-rated past: "Oh, totally," says Burnett. "We knew and the appropriate people at CBS knew. The guy had been in other respectable acting roles — and like many actors, he chooses to leave certain things off his resume. He became a used-car salesman, so I don't know if that's an up move or a down move! read more


Oscar winner Kevin Spacey apparently doesn't want to be associated with gay-friendly Fire Island. In a letter to the editor in this week's New York magazine, the actor denied a recent item that said he was renting a house and boat on the island off Long Island's southern coast. Spacey insisted he couldn't possibly have been staying on Fire Island because he had spent the summer at an amusement park in Boise, Idaho. (We're pretty sure he was kidding about that last part.) read more


Country singer-turned-actor Billy Ray Cyrus wants to move production of his PAX drama Doc from Toronto to his native Nashville so he can spend more time with his family. "It's rough on Billy Ray, spending nine months a year up in Canada and coming home to see his family every few weeks," his manager, Al Schiltz, tells The Associated Press. "In order for him to continue this project, he doesn't want to spend the next three years in Toronto." Doc producers are considering the move. read more


The Rolling Stones will star in their first live TV concert special for HBO next January, the network announced today. The event will be broadcast on Jan. 18 from New York's Madison Square Garden — one of the last U.S. stops on the group's current Licks World Tour. "The Rolling Stones are truly the world's greatest rock and roll band, and we're delighted that they've chosen HBO for this live TV concert event," gushed Nancy Geller, HBO's senior vice president of original programming. The tour coincides with the Oct. 1 release of Forty Licks, a two-CD collection featuring 36 Stones classics and four new songs. read more


The WB's new drama Everwood enjoyed a solid debut Monday night, averaging 7.4 million viewers. The seventh season premiere of 7th Heaven, meanwhile, averaged more than 9 million viewers — its best season opener to date. read more


The fourth season premiere of HBO's The Sopranos attracted a record 13.4 million viewers. It was HBO's biggest viewership to date and marked the first time a cable series drew a larger audience than all the broadcast networks. read more

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