Today's News: Our Take


Here's further proof that Sopranos star James Gandolfini has resolved his ugly contract dispute with HBO: Both sides have dropped their dueling lawsuits, and production on the show's fifth season is scheduled to commence on March 31 — just one week behind schedule. Phew, that was a close one. read more


Sharon Osbourne was rushed by ambulance to a Las Vegas hospital Friday night after suffering heat exhaustion backstage at her hubby's concert, the New York Post reports. "It was nothing serious," says her rep. "We were [at the hospital] for about 20 minutes." read more


Spider-Man's not the only superhero franchise in trouble. The producers of the upcoming Superman update are back to square one in their search for a worthy successor to Christopher Reeve. The latest setback: Brendan Fraser and Guiding Light star Matthew Bomer are now out of contention for the title role, according to The Hollywood Reporter. read more


PETA is promoting vegetarianism the old-fashioned way — via Pamela Anderson's boobs. Beginning today through April 1, the animal rights group is auctioning off the lettuce bikini that Anderson donned for its new ad campaign at The billboard featuring the leafy green Baywatch babe was erected over New York's Times Square this month. Hee-hee, I said erected. read more


Oscar organizers insist Sunday's 75th annual ceremony will go on as planned despite the imminent war in Iraq. "The Academy Awards are scheduled to proceed Sunday the 23rd at 5:30 pm [PT]," show producer Gil Cates said Monday in a statement. If war does break out, it's possible ABC could break away from the telecast for sporadic news updates. Somewhere, host Steve Martin is wishing he had taken a pass this year. read more


Friends actress Courteney Cox Arquette is turning to the dark side. The underrated funny lady has signed on to star in the psychological drama November. She'll play a shutterbug struggling to put the tragic circumstances of her boyfriend's death behind her. read more


Damn you, Green Goblin! A bum back may prevent Tobey Maguire from reprising his title role in Spider-Man 2. The actor's rep tells Variety that the web-slinger is still healing from "mild discomfort in his back" brought on by physically demanding roles in his last two films: the first Spider-Man and the upcoming horse drama Seabiscuit, in which he plays jockey Red Pollard. Ironically, Maguire may be replaced by Good Girl star Jake Gyllenhaal — the real-life boyfriend of Spider-Man leading lady Kirsten Dunst. Shooting is slated to begin April 12. read more


Former Witchblade star Yancy Butler was given another chance on Monday. A Long Island judge ruled that criminal charges against the actress will be dropped in a year if she stays out of trouble. Butler, who recently completed a 28-day inpatient alcoholism treatment program, was charged with criminal contempt in January for allegedly harassing her dad at her uncle's home. read more


Former Party of Five star Scott Wolf — who has been virtually MIA since the Fox melodrama went off the air three years ago — has been tapped to headline the CBS comedy pilot Rubbing Charlie. Owen's liar-thief-drunk older bro will play a doctor who's uncertain of what he wants out of his own life. read more

Question: I have a dinner bet ...

Question: I have a dinner bet on this. I say Harry Morgan (Col. Potter from M*A*S*H) is still alive. Two co-workers say he died (one said he died in '94). I did research and found a Henry Morgan who died in '94, but not a Harry Morgan. Can you tell us if he's still around? — A.R., Anchorage, Alaska

Televisionary: That he is. And he was initially billed as Henry, but changed his professional name to avoid confusion with the late radio host, comedian and game-show panelist, who did indeed die in 1994.

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