Today's News: Our Take


Christian Slater's bad-boy rep seems to be rubbing off on his wife. Ryan Haddon was arrested and charged with domestic battery Monday after hurling a glass at Slater during an argument at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. He needed nine stitches to close the gash. Suddenly, David Gest isn't feeling so alone. read more


Britney Spears is thisclose to signing a deal to turn her semiautobiographical novel, A Mother's Gift, into an ABC Family movie. Spears, who wrote the book with her mother Lynne, would serve as exec producer of the project. It's not clear whether she would appear in the film as well. Gift tells the story of an aspiring teenage singer who grows up to be just a little bit skanky. read more


It's not easy to admit when i'm wrong, so instead, i'll say simply, "Damn you, Fox — you got me!!" That 24 spoiler I accused Fox entertainment president Gail Berman of slipping into yet another commercial turned out to be, as loyal "Entertainment News" follower Lauren put it, "slightly misleading and not such a big deal, kind-of sort-of." (My favorite comment came from Rion, who wrote in this morning to say, "Ooooh. You were wrong about the promo. That must suck." It doesn't feel good, Rion. It doesn't feel good.) Alright, so I jumped the gun on this one — but it's not like my knee-jerk reaction wasn't justified (cue Exhibits A through S). Still, props to Berman for using her network's promo machine for good instead of evil — this time. read more


Everyone's a loser in the case of Rosie vs. Rosie. A judge ruled Wednesday that neither Rosie O'Donnell nor the publisher of her doomed mag deserve damages in their dispute over its collapse. "It seems to me... we're just dealing with bragging rights here, who wins and who loses," said New York state Supreme Court Justice Ira Gammerman. Despite the split decision, O'Donnell could still ask Gruner + Jahr to cover her legal expenses. "I'm happy it's over," the former talk show host said outside court. She then used the opportunity to plug her new Broadway show Taboo, which opens tomorrow. She's no dummy. read more


Actor Billy Crudup and West Wing star Mary-Louise Parker have split, the New York Daily News reports. The break-up comes two months before Parker is due to give birth to their baby. In happier news, Robert Downey Jr. reportedly popped the question to his girlfriend, producer Susan Levin. Oh, and she said yes. read more


Legendary second banana Art Carney, forever known as Jackie Gleason's dimwitted, endearing buddy Ed Norton on The Honeymooners, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 85. Although most famous for playing Gleason's sidekick, Carney made his mark on film as well, winning an Oscar for 1974's Harry and Tonto. He also played Felix Unger in the original Broadway production of The Odd Couple. Carney was buried Tuesday after a small private funeral near his home in Chester, Conn. read more


Hey, 'Scapers — this is the news you've been waiting for! The Jim Henson Company is holding a press conference Thursday to "announce an exciting new development in the campaign to continue Farscape." Among those participating in the media pow-wow: Series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon and exec producers Brian Henson and David Kemper. They better not be unveiling the 2003 Farscape Christmas ornament. read more


HBO has ordered a second season of Real Time With Bill Maher, to premiere on Jan. 16... CBS tied NBC last week in the adults 18-49 demo, a November sweeps first. read more


Paris Hilton's X-rated co-star, Rick Solomon, plans to sue his leading lady for defamation, claiming the hotel heiress wrongly accused him of releasing their homemade sex tape. Solomon's lawyer, Marty Singer, tells the New York Post that his client is suing "Paris, her parents and [publicist] Siri Garber for defamation." Solomon is probably also steamed about allegations that he took advantage of Hilton while she was nearly unconscious — which, if you've seen the footage, is a laughable idea. Paris is clearly wide awake, even vamping for the camera at one point. So I've heard. read more


Fatherhood has been good to David Letterman. His Late Show trailed The Tonight Show With Jay Leno by just six-tenths of a ratings point last week, the smallest margin since February 2000. Letterman announced his son's arrival on last Tuesday's show. read more

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