Today's News: Our Take


Thursday's episode of UPN's WWE Smackdown will feature a gay wedding between tag-team he-men Billy and Chuck. According to Variety, Smackdown writers — who have gradually set the stage for the nuptials over the past few months by scripting long hugs between Billy and Chuck after a victory — will have the duo exchange vows right before they go at it against a pair of rivals. A show rep, however, reminds us that Billy and Chuck's alter egos — Monty Sopp and Chuck Palumbo — are strictly hetero in real life. Phew! read more


Citing irreconcilable differences, the wife of Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton has filed for divorce after 13 years of marriage. According to court papers, Anne Marie Martin Crichton has lived apart from her hubby since August 2001. read more


Hollywood insiders are predicting that sleeper smash My Big Fat Greek Wedding will hit another milestone this weekend: No. 1 at the box office. The romantic comedy — which was released five months ago — reached the No. 2 spot last weekend. read more


David Letterman has decided to do an original Late Show on Wednesday, the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Letterman's late-night colleagues Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Craig Kilborn will also be doing shows that day. read more


There were some funny moments on the Today show this morning as American Idol champ Kelly Clarkson "accidentally" remarked that her relationship with runner-up Justin Guarini may not be strictly platonic. When a fan asked Clarkson if she was dating Guarini, she replied: "We're just friends. Nothing like that... yet." After realizing what she implied, the Texas resident — who was seated next to Guarini — blushed and retracted the comment. Proving that she might very well be the next Mariah Carey, Clarkson blamed the slip-of-the-tongue on, um, exhaustion. In related American Idol news, ratings for Wednesday's finale were big — Justin's hair big. The swan song attracted a series high 22.5 million viewers — the show's largest audience ever. Even more staggering: Nielsen estimates tha read more

WB Cutie Recalls Childhood Demons

On the WB's new fall comedy Do Over (debuting Sept. 19 at 8:30 pm/ET), Penn Badgley plays a 14-year-old who gets a chance to relive his awkward adolescence. It's a trick the up-and-comer wishes he could pull off in real life.

The incident Badgley would like to, um, do over, took place on July 4, 2001, at a minor league baseball game in Washington state. "I was singing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' and I forgot the words in the middle of it," he recalls to TV Guide Online. "I was up to 'perilous night' and I forgot 'perilous.' I just blanked. I didn't know what to do, so I just stood there and [said] into the microphone, 'Um... ' I turned around and [the audience] was looking at me like, 'Oh my God.' And then finally, everyone was screaming, 'Perilous!' And I was like, 'Oh, thanks.'

"At the time I thought it was funny — I didn't eve read more


In an investigative report out today, the Los Angeles Times has identified late rapper Notorious B.I.G. as a key player in the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur. The paper alleges that B.I.G., who was himself gunned down in Los Angeles the following year, provided the weapon used to murder Shakur as well as the $1 million bounty. read more


The NFL wasn't the only game in town Thursday night: HBO premiered the fourth season of The Sopranos at Radio City Music Hall and all the usual suspects turned out, including series stars James Gandolfini and Lorraine Bracco. (I was seated with Aida Turturro's family and friends in the fourth row.) The first two episodes of Season Four were screened, and everyone seemed to be in agreement that they definitely were worth the year-and-a-half wait. The new season kicks off Sept. 15. read more


The NFL estimates that some 500,000 fans jammed Times Square on Thursday for its season opening celebration, dubbed "the world's biggest tailgate party." The event — which featured performances by Eve, Alicia Keys, Enrique Iglesias and 'N Sync's Joey Fatone — ended on a patriotic note as headliner Bon Jovi sang "America the Beautiful" as dozens of New York police officers unfurled a huge American flag. Oh, and as far as the game goes, the 49ers beat the Giants 16-13. read more


Funnyman Martin Short will bring his plus-sized Comedy Central alter ego Jiminy Glick to the big screen in the feature film Lalawood. Of course, the pic — described as a murder mystery — will include a ton of celeb cameos. read more

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