Today's News: Our Take


SECOND TIME AROUND

Kevin Costner, 48, and his girlfriend of four years, Christine Baumgartner, 29, are engaged. This will be Baumgartner's first marriage and Costner's second. His 16-year union to Cindy Silva ended in 1994. read more

ORDER IN THE COURT

It's a good news/bad news scenario for fans of Law & Order. First, the good news: Sam Waterston, who plays ADA Jack McCoy on NBC's long-running drama, has signed a new deal that will keep him courtside through the 2004-05 season. Now, the bad news: Elisabeth Rohm's sticking around, too. (Loved her on Angel; hate her on this.) read more

IT'S OVER

Just two years after their hush-hush wedding, ex-Moesha star Brandy and her husband, music producer Robert Smith, are separating, People reports. The split comes as little surprise to anyone who caught MTV's Diary Presents Brandy: Special Delivery — which chronicled the June 2002 birth of the couple's daughter, Sy'rai. Recalls my colleague Lauren Kane, who never missed an episode: "They were always fighting!" read more

THREE FOR THE ROAD

Country crooner/actor Dwight Yoakam is engaging in a Three Way Split with John Doe star Dominic Purcell and Bound babe Gina Gershon. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter, people. It's just an innocent little indie flick that The Hollywood Reporter describes as a darkly comic story of murder, kidnapping and blackmail. Yoakam plays a blackmailer harassing Purcell's character. read more

DIVORCE DRAMA

Kung Fu star David Carradine — who plays the title role in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Kill Bill — appears to be embroiled in an ugly divorce battle. In court papers, wife Marina has accused him of "deviant sexual behavior, which was potentially deadly," according to Court TV's TheSmokingGun.com. Among other things, she alleged that Carradine, 66, had an "incestuous relationship with a very close family member," who went unidentified. Carradine's attorney denounced the accusations as "highly inflammatory and false." read more

PORT CHUCKED

After six years of struggling ratings, Port Charles has been cancelled. The General Hospital spinoff's half-hour format "posed significant financial challenges," said Brian Frons, ABC's newly appointed daytime president. "This was an extremely difficult decision." Since its 1997 kickoff, PC has searched for its niche, ultimately adopting the Latin telenovela style of short-term story arcs, and even introducing gothic plotlines ripped off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Still, the news is surprising, since PC was nominated for best show at this year's Daytime Emmys — for the first time in the soap's entire run. PC's final airdate is Oct. 3. For more, read Soaps News. read more

SHORT CUTS

ABC has given a midseason order to The Big House, a sitcom about a wealthy black guy (Kevin Hart) from Malibu who moves to Philadelphia to live with his blue-collar relatives... Drumline star Nick Cannon is lending his pipes to 20th Century Fox's upcoming live-action/CGI Garfield pic. He'll voice Louis, a city mouse who befriends Garfield. read more

SHOWTIME'S NEW GUY

Showtime has named Robert Greenblatt, a producer of HBO's Six Feet Under, as its new entertainment president. He replaces departing exec Jerry Offsay, whose biggest programming success was Queer as Folk. Enough said. read more

OH, BROTHER

CBS says it will reveal Big Brother 4's secret new twist on Monday. (Ooh, maybe Julie Chen has finally been fired.) The fourth edition kicks off July 8. read more

It's Official! Pamela Anderson's a Cartoon!

No one can accuse former Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson of not having her priorities in order — except maybe her handlers. "My agents are going crazy with me because I have all this [work] criteria, and it's all centered around the boys," she laughs, referring to sons Brandon, 7, and Dylan, 5. "They're like, 'I'm not going to tell people that you're only going to work on school holidays!' And then I say, 'Well, then, I'm retired.'" Anderson's decision to put family before career led her, ironically enough, to Stripperella, a new TNN (or is it Spike TV?) animated series debuting tonight (11 pm/ET). Created by Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, the cheeky cartoon revolves around an exotic dancer (voiced by Anderson) who leads a double life as a secret agent. TV Guide Online rang read more

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