Today's News: Our Take


THE VERDICT IS IN

The second episode of ABC's new Sally Field drama The Court took a nosedive in the ratings Tuesday night, losing 30 percent of its young adult audience from its premiere last week. They were probably all watching MTV's reality smash The Osbournes, which continues to rock the cable world. Tuesday night's episode posted a 4.4 rating, more than double what the premiere episode notched five weeks ago. read more

SPECIAL DELIVERY

Model-actress Elizabeth Hurley gave birth to a baby boy, Damian Charles, on Thursday in London. "Both mother and baby are happy and healthy," Hurley's rep said. Her former boyfriend, film producer Stephen Bing, is reportedly the child's dad. read more

FALSE ADVERTISING

News flash: Anthony Edwards's final episode of ER does not air tonight — despite what those cheesy NBC promos may have led you to believe. It's just his character Marc Greene's last day in the emergency room. Nice try guys, but we're not as stupid as we look! read more

SEPT. 11 MOVIE

An off-off-Broadway play written in response to the Sept. 11 attacks is headed to the big screen. The Guys — which tells the true story of a fire captain who lost eight men in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and the editor who helps him write the eulogies — is being made into a feature film. Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia, who appeared in the stage version, will star in the movie. read more

ANCHORS AWAY

Bryant Gumbel can start sleeping in again: Gumbel is leaving CBS and his position as host of The Early Show. "After more than 17 years of hosting a morning news program, I feel it's time for me to move on and do something else with my life," he said in a statement. The timing of Gumbel's exit from The Early Show has yet to be determined. Gumbel joined CBS in 1997 after 25 years at NBC. He spent 15 of those years as host of the Today show. read more

SURVIVOR: THAILAND?

Survivor is courting controversy again. Producers of the CBS reality series reportedly want to use an island in southern Thailand as the setting for the fifth installment. The move will likely irk environmentalists, who in 1999 accused producers of The Beach of causing damage and disrupting the region's ecological system. read more

ANOTHER LAWSUIT!

A Chicago janitor is accusing Eddie Murphy of stealing his likeness for a character on the now-defunct comedy The PJs. According to Variety, Tally Collier is seeking $10 million in damages from Murphy and his fellow PJ producers, which includes Imagine Entertainment execs Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. read more

Six Feet Under: Rehashed?


American Beauty starlet Thora Birch is a fan of screenwriter Alan Ball's offbeat HBO series, Six Feet Under. Still, she does point out that his mortuary drama bears more than a little resemblance to the Oscar-winning 1999 film. Is this a case of literary d&#233j&#224 vu for Ball?

Case in point: Birch's Beauty character, Jane, and Six Feet's similarly rebellious teenager, Claire (Lauren Ambrose), could be twins. "You can see a lot of characters from American Beauty in Six Feet Under," Birch says, "but it doesn't bother me. Ricky Fitts's mother (Allison Janney read more

CASE CLOSED

Kathie Lee Gifford and husband Frank have settled their libel lawsuit with the National Examiner over a February 2000 story accusing Regis's former sidekick of turning her son Cody into a "monster." The Giffords reached the out-of-court settlement about three weeks ago. The article said that Kathie Lee's "constant coddling" led Cody to behave like "a spoiled brat." (For more Kathie Lee news, see below.) read more

Ashley Judd's Secret Life


Liza Minnelli, listen up! Ashley Judd has discovered a way to keep her marriage to racecar driver Dario Franchitti private: She's refusing to talk about it!

While promoting her new thriller, High Crimes (opening Friday), the 33-year-old actress — who wed the speed demon last December in a super hush-hush ceremony — is giving the media precious few details about life in the Franchitti-Judd household. "I enjoy being married," she says. "We feel very blessed and we're having a great time."

Why all the mystery? "My husband and I have very public spheres in which we participate," Judd explains, "and we feel like we give a lot of ourselves in those areas — he obvi read more

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