Today's News: Our Take


THERE SHE IS...

Erika Harold, a 22-year-old Harvard-bound law student from Illinois, was crowned Miss America 2003 on Saturday. As usual, there were lots of tears, hugs and confetti. read more

SHORT CUTS

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon has been tapped to pen a rewrite of the upcoming Spider-Man sequel, slated to be released on May 7, 2004... Marie Osmond and her husband, music producer Brian Blosol, have adopted a baby girl named Abigail. read more

EMMY'S THERE FOR FRIENDS

After eight years, Emmy was finally there for Friends. The top-rated NBC sitcom — which is heading into its final season — picked up its first-ever best comedy series trophy at the the 54th annual Emmy Awards. Speaking of long overdue honors, Friends star Jennifer Aniston was named best lead actress in a comedy. The West Wing, meanwhile, buried the drama competition — namely, HBO's heavily favored mortuary soap Six Feet Under. NBC's White House saga won five awards, including best drama series, best actress (Allison Janney), best supporting actor (John Spencer) and supporting actress (Stockard Channing). The night's big shocker: Michael Chiklis picking up lead actor kudos for FX's controversial cop drama The Shield, beating WW's Martin Sheen. CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond was also a big winner, grabbing awards for best actor in a comedy Ray Roman read more

NO PLEA

Winona Ryder's shoplifting trial has been set for Oct. 7. Superior Court Judge Elden Fox announced the date Wednesday after Ryder's lawyers failed to reach a plea deal with prosecutors. read more

SHORT CUTS

The choreographer behind Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is in talks with Disney to direct a live-action take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs... The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office officially declared the June 5 death of Ramones bassist Dee Dee Ramone an accidental heroin overdose... Monday's season premiere of The Oprah Winfrey Show scored the program's best ratings since 1998. read more

Never Laugh at Julia Roberts's Brother!


His relation to America's sweetheart notwithstanding, Eric Roberts is best known for appearing in films like Final Analysis and The Specialist as hooligans who would sooner crack skulls than jokes. So you can understand his agents' incredulity when he asked them to get him a sitcom audition.

"They laughed at me," the tough guy recalls. "So I fired them. [Eventually] I got a new agency, and they laughed at me, too. So... I went away and made a bunch of action-adventure B movies about killing people."

Now, at long last, Roberts has won the chance to slay us in an altogether different fashion — and forever shed his rough-and-tumble image — by playing Will, an egomaniacal TV anchorman, on Popular read more

LATIN KUDOS

Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz was the big winner at last night's Latin Grammys, picking up album of the year honors for MTV Unplugged and song and record of the year for "Y Solo Se Me Ocurre Amarte." Colombian superbabe Shakira won best video for "Suerte," the Spanish version of "Whenever, Wherever." read more

MY BIG FAT GREEK SITCOM

The honeymoon is far from over for My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The low-budget sleeper is headed to the small screen in the form of a CBS comedy series. The Eye network has ordered seven episodes of the half-hour sitcom, which would find Wedding leading lady Nia Vardalos reprising her film role. (The triple threat also co-wrote the pilot and will serve as an exec producer.) According to Variety, the series — which could bow as early as midseason — will pick up as Vardalos' alter ego starts dating a non-Greek man behind her parents' back. Sadly, John Corbett will not be back as her beau; the actor is committed to FX's upcoming series Lucky. read more

EIGHT SIMPLE RULES FOR OPENING BIG

Don't count ABC out just yet. The Tuesday night premieres of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter and Life With Bonnie easily won their time periods. Rules attracted 17.2 million viewers and was ABC's most-watched show in that 8 pm timeslot in 17 months. Bonnie was seen by 16.1 million viewers. Push, Nevada also got a decent sampling, averaging 12 million viewers. read more

ROSIE STOPS THE PRESSES

Ex-talk show host Rosie O'Donnell — who turned McCall's into Rosie in April 2000 — has quit the magazine. Its last issue comes out in December. Blaming publisher Gruner + Jahr for gradually usurping her editorial control, she told reporters: "I cannot have my name on a magazine if I cannot be assured that it will represent my vision and ideas." While neither side is suing yet, Gruner sure sounded litigious in a recent memo to its employees: "It is truly shocking and disappointing that Rosie would walk away from her obligations... In doing so, she destroys the value of the business we created and violates the conditions of our binding contract... Rosie cannot simply ignore that obligation." (Them's fightin' words!) read more

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