Today's News: Our Take


SOLEMN DAY

The 27th Toronto Film Festival (Sept. 5-14) will pause on Sept. 11 to acknowledge the one-year anniversary of America's terrorist attacks. That Wednesday, Reuters reports, the glitzy goings-on will take a backseat to two 9/11 themed screenings. These are Sigourney Weaver's firefighter film The Guys and 11'09"01, a compilation of short films from directors including Sean Penn. read more

PUBLIC OPINION

So much for the Time/CNN or Gallup polls, folks. Hip-hop star/entrepreneur P. Diddy has founded Blue Mindset, a division of his advertising firm that surveys "urban America" for market-research purposes. However, polling subjects are not chosen by race, age or address, but by their coolness quotient. How that screening process works, only P. Diddy knows. read more

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Fox has picked up a pilot from NYPD Blue creator Steven Bochco that follows New York cops in the year 2069, Variety reports. "It's an interesting notion to envision a major urban center like New York 65 years down the road," Bochco says. "This is not science fiction. This is trying to conceptualize a relatively near-term future that's logically a function of the world we know today." The project is slated for a fall 2003 debut. read more

GRACE UNDER FIRE

ABC Family has axed its critically acclaimed dramedy State of Grace after two seasons. Low ratings were to blame. The final original episode airs Monday. Meanwhile, ESPN has cancelled the Jay Mohr-hosted sports talk show Mohr Sports. read more

WAS SIMON DRIVING THE OTHER CAR?

American Idol co-host Ryan Seacrest was involved in a car accident Thursday in Los Angeles, Entertainment Tonight reports. Seacrest was not injured, but his Mercedes was totaled. read more

FRIENDS FOREVER

Add Lisa Kudrow to the growing list of Friends stars hinting that next season may not be the show's last after all. On Sunday's season premiere of Oxygen's Conversations From the Edge, Kudrow tells host Carrie Fisher that she doesn't know whether this will be the final season of Friends. "You know, now I hope not," Kudrow said. "Which means it probably will be the last year... You know, we all get along, and we still have fun and the writers are still working really hard and they do good stories. You look around and you see that a lot of reasons shows finish is [that] the ratings are really bad. We were No. 1 for the first time ever in our eighth season." Note to Jeff Zucker: Reserve that Brinks truck now! read more

PEANUTS MUSEUM

Move over Graceland and Dollywood! Tourists will soon see Charlie Brown and other Peanuts characters on exhibition at the new Charles M. Schulz museum in Santa Rosa, Calif. Opening this Saturday, the treasure trove of comic-strip memorabilia will include the cartoonist's archives and a Snoopy-themed garden maze. read more

REMEMBERING THE KING

Despite inclement weather, thousands of Elvis Presley devotees converged on Graceland today to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his death. A severe thunderstorm briefly delayed last night's traditional candlelight vigil, but King loyalists remained undeterred. In fact, the turnout was expected to outpace the 30,000 who attended the 20th anniversary memorial in 1997. "We are celebrating Elvis and his life and we're here as a big family," one fan told The Associated Press. "This is really the Elvis family reunion." read more

Vin Diesel: Hot But Not Bothered


It should come as little surprise that women are flocking in droves to see the new Vin Diesel spy thriller XXX. Unlike Hollywood action heroes of yesteryear — Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc. — Diesel has something more to offer than muscles and attitude. No, not neck tattoos, silly. We're talking about raw sex appeal.

"I don't know how it happened," shrugs the 35-year-old ex-bouncer of his heartthrob status. "I wasn't a pretty boy in school. It could [come from] the fact that the characters I play are representative of our culture now, [with] the angst and that rebellious tone our youth has today. [They] are anti-heroes and don't pretend to be perfect."

Or it could come from the read more

Gwyneth: 30th B-Day Won't Be the Death of Her


While most folks dread their birthdays, especially in youth-obsessed Hollywood, Gwyneth Paltrow is actually looking forward to blowing out the candles on her cake come September 28 — and this year, she'll be facing quite a bonfire. "I cannot believe that I'm turning 30," exclaims the big-screen scene stealer, coming off as incredulous as a teenager who has just gotten away with using a fake I.D. "It sounds so grown-up."

At the same time, hitting the three-decade mark also feels quite right to the Shakespeare in Love Oscar winner. "My 20s have been action-packed," says the tabloid favorite, whose little black book reads like a Who's Who of A-list actors. "I think I've lived more in my 20s than most people live in a lifetime, and in a way, I'm sad to let go of it. In [another] way, I'm relieved to sort of enter into the next ph read more

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