Today's News: Our Take


REUNITED

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are together again — sort of. The onetime Hollywood super duo have joined forces to file a lawsuit against cosmetics chain Sephora USA, alleging it used their images without their consent. The suit claims ads in 2001 for Sephora's "Celebrity Scents" created the misleading impression that the couple "used, preferred, endorsed or sponsored Sephora's products." They seek $15 million in damages. read more

COLBY, EMPLOYED AT LAST

Survivor: The Australian Outback alum Colby Donaldson finally has landed an acting gig. The Texan dreamboat has been cast in Time and Again, a PAX movie about ageism in the TV news biz. (Surprisingly, Colby's not playing a hunky anchorman, but a newswoman's hubby instead.) His co-stars include Dick Van Patten, Sally Kirkland and thirtysomething's Mel Harris. read more

THAI FOOL

As expected, Mark Burnett threw a curve ball at viewers Thursday night during the premiere of Survivor: Thailand. In a break from tradition, producers didn't divide the 16 contestants into two teams. Instead, that job was left to the two oldest members, who alternated between men and women until everyone was picked. One thing that remained the same: Someone was voted out. In this case, it was 40-year-old pastor John Raymond. "Well, I get the distinguished honor of being the first one voted out," he later said. "This is quite a surprise for me. I didn't think there were any alliances on the team, but I guess there was, and I just wasn't a part of it." Smart cookie this one was. Meanwhile, there's clearly still a lot of life left in the Survivor franchise. Thursday's debut averaged 22 million viewers — on par with last season's two editions. And among young adults, it was up 16 percent over the premiere of read more

MAGICAL CASTING

Nicole Kidman is in talks to headline a feature adaptation of the classic '60s TV comedy Bewitched. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar-nominated actress has expressed interest in starring as nose-twitching witch Samantha, the role originated by Elizabeth Montgomery. Sources say Mike Myers is the top choice to play her hubby Darren. read more

SOUR NOTE

Wednesday night's telecast of the Latin Grammys was a ratings dud for CBS. A little more than 4 million viewers watched Alejandro Sanz's big sweep — a huge drop from the 7.5 million viewers who tuned in two years ago. Last year's show was cancelled due to Sept. 11. read more

GOLF DUSTUP

CBS will televise the Masters golf tournament in 2003, despite pressure from women's groups to drop the broadcast altogether. Augusta National — the private club which holds the Masters — refuses to allow women to be full-fledged members. In response to threats of advertiser boycotts, the club has agreed to sell no commercial airtime for this year's broadcast, picking up the entire tab on its own. read more

CARSON HAS EMPHYSEMA

Retired Tonight Show legend Johnny Carson has been diagnosed with emphysema. However, a rep for the 76-year-old entertainer insists he is otherwise in good health. Carson was prompted to speak out about his condition after tabloid reports said he was seriously ill with the respiratory disease. "He does have emphysema, but he's dealing with it the best he can and it's not causing him any major problems," spokesman Jeff Sotzing tells The Associated Press. "He's in great shape." Carson — who underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery three years ago — was known to smoke on the air during his 30-year Tonight Show reign. read more

IDOL PROFIT

Ryan Seacrest has signed a deal to return as host of the upcoming second installment of Fox's American Idol. He'll reportedly earn in the neighborhood of $1 million. Still no word on the fate of co-host Brian Dunkleman, but, well, it doesn't look good. read more

POTTER PREGNANCY

J.K. Rowling has a little wizard on the way. The Harry Potter creator announced Thursday that she is preggers with her second child — her first with hubby No. 2, Dr. Neil Murray. The news comes on the heels of a federal court's decision Wednesday to throw out a plagiarism suit in which author Nancy Stouffer accused Rowling of stealing characters and words — including the term "muggle" — from Stouffer's series of Larry Potter books. Meanwhile, Rowlings assures fans that her much-anticipated fifth Potter book is on its way. read more

OFF AND RUNNING

Fox posted solid numbers for the Wednesday night debuts of Cedric the Entertainer Presents and Fastlane. Cedric proved a good fit with timeslot companion Bernie Mac, with both shows averaging roughly 10 million viewers. At 9 pm, Fastlane attracted just under 10 million viewers. read more

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