Today's News: Our Take


APOCALYPSE NOW

As expected, Anna Nicole Smith's audience is slipping away — but not as fast as many had hoped. The second episode of E!'s Anna Nicole Show notched a 3.0 rating — off just 25 percent from last week's strong debut. Given how bad the premiere was, insiders predicted the reality disgrace would suffer a much steeper second-week nosedive. read more

Matthew Fox: Party Time Not-So-Excellent


It may be hard to believe, but there apparently was more angst behind the scenes of Fox's late family drama Party of Five than on camera. Series star Matthew Fox, who played patriarch-by-default Charlie Salinger, reveals in an exclusive interview with TV Guide Online that the six years he spent keeping his orphaned TV siblings in line was no party.

"I can honestly say that I was frustrated a lot of the time because I was being asked to do stories and to play a role that I had problems with," he sighs. "I just felt that the show was very soft, very emotional — everybody talking about their feelings all of the time. It wasn't visceral enough.

"To be specific," he continues, "there's a very big difference between the genders and how they deal with things, and I would have loved to have seen the [men] on the show written a little bit more guarded read more

GRAVE MATTERS

When singer Aaliyah's plane crashed last year in the Bahamas, a local funeral home transported several bodies, including hers, back to the U.S. The problem? Time reports that Virgin Records still has not paid the $68,000 bill, nor reimbursed Aaliyah's parents for her funeral expenses. Incidentally, the Virgin execs who allegedly agreed to these financial commitments are no longer employed by the label. read more

MEDICAL UPDATE

Jason Priestley — who doctors say will recover fully from injuries he sustained Sunday in a race car accident — was airlifted from the University of Kentucky Hospital to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis late Monday afternoon. The 32-year-old former Beverly Hills, 90210 hunk faces weeks of rehabilitation and will likely require surgery to repair the broken bones in his feet. He also broke his back in the crash, but there were no immediate signs of paralysis or permanent neurological damage. Meanwhile, Priestley's former 90210 boss Aaron Spelling tells Variety's Army Archerd that the actor "came up to my office last week and said, 'I'm ready to go back to work in a series for you.'" read more

GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS

A Beverly Hills judge has set an Aug. 26 date for pretrial motions in Winona Ryder's shoplifting case. A trial date will be set within 30 days of that hearing. The 30-year-old actress has pleaded innocent to stealing $6,000 in merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue last December. read more

WILL THEY LIKE HER?

Sally Field is fleeing Hollywood for the Great White Way. The Oscar winner will make her Broadway debut in Edward Albee's Tony-winning play The Goat. She replaces Mercedes Ruehl beginning Sept. 13. read more

END QUOTE

"I'm an actor and I've got a mortgage." — Tom Selleck replying to CNN's Wolf Blitzer when asked if he would consider succeeding Charlton Heston as NRA president in April. On Friday, Heston revealed that he has symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. read more

REUNITED

Comedy vets Betty White and Tom Poston will play the parents of That '70s Show mom Debra Jo Rupp in at least two episodes of the Fox comedy this season. White and Poston co-starred in the now-defunct CBS comedy Bob and the film The Story of Us. read more

SHOW OF SUPPORT

Showtime has renewed The Chris Isaak Show for a third season. New episodes begin airing next year. read more

ELLE'S PREGGERS

Supermodel Elle Macpherson is expecting her second child with fiancé Arpad Busson in early February. The couple has a 4-year-old son, Flynn. read more

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