Today's News: Our Take


Survivor Hunk's X-Rated Admission


Turns out, Brian Heidik didn't do such a bang-up job keeping his soft-core porn past a secret from his fellow Survivor: Thailand contestants after all. "I kind of figured it out while I was there," admits ousted tribemate Ken Stafford, who got the big blow-off on last Thursday's show. "I had a conversation with Brian, and he knew people that I also knew — and there would be no other reason why he would know these people."

Sadly, Stafford won't reveal what "friends" he and Heidik have in common — Shannon Tweed, possibly? — but the 30-year-old NYC cop does confess that he "wasn't surprised" to learn that his reality show rival starred in such cable classics as Virgins of Sherwood Forest and The Pleasure Zone. "He's an adult," adds Stafford. "He can do what he chooses to do. If he doesn't have a problem with it, nobody else should."

Actually, Stafford says it was the potential for a Survivor-style backl read more

Kevin Spacey Gets Down With Hef!


This week, Kevin Spacey hosted a swanky soiree at the Mondrian Hotel's Sky Bar on L.A.'s Sunset Strip. This was just one of a series of launch parties for Triggerstreet.com, his new website "dedicated to nurturing, development and possible discovery of filmmaking talent," said the American Beauty star. "We're doing New York, L.A., London and Miami. Ian Schrager has generously offered his hotels for each event, so we're able to have a party where Party Boy can come."

Well, Party Boy thanks Kevin for his thoughtfulness — and for inviting so many handsome celebs for me to mix with! Truth be told, few of Spacey's guests actually knew what his dot-com was for, but nobody minded the excuse to mingle with screen idols like Matt Dillon, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Luke Wilson. A potpourri of other familiar faces like Cedric the Entertainer, magician David Copperfield and Northern Ex read more

SNOOP THE SNITCH

Rapper-turned-actor Snoop Dogg has been offered the role of jive-talking hustler Huggy Bear in the upcoming big-screen version of the 1970s TV series Starsky and Hutch, Variety reports. The film stars Ben Stiller (Starsky) and Owen Wilson (Hutch). read more

Did Buffy Shoot the Birds?


Time to lick that heroine addiction, folks. Not only is Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar expected to hang up her wooden stakes at the end of this season, but, since the WB has grounded Birds of Prey, tonight's episode (airing at 9 ET) very well may be the comic-book drama's last. But don't chalk up the disheartening turn of events as a victory for small-screen big bads. What cooked Birds' goose was more likely the been here, done this vibe that viewers got from watching Ashley Scott — as Helena Kyle, aka the Huntress — go through the motions that once made Buffy our Chosen One. Consider the facts. — Ben Katner

THE SLAYER

Battle strategy: Trades one-liners as well as blows with Sunnydale's creatures of the night.

Subtitute parent: Leaned on her Watcher, ex-high school libraria read more

HE WON'T GO AWAY

ABC may've axed Politically Incorrect emcee Bill Maher, but he won't be unemployed for long. HBO has hired the loudmouth to host a new hourlong late night program, showcasing his wry take on current affairs. The 20-episode series — as yet untitled — debuts Feb. 21, 2003. Does anybody have a problem with that? read more

SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME

Another week, another bizarre Michael Jackson moment caught on tape. On Tuesday, the self-proclaimed King of Pop shocked the world when he dangled his 9-month-old son, Prince Michael II, over the railing of a fourth-floor balcony at a Berlin hotel. Jacko later issued a statement saying he got carried away when fans outside the hotel asked to see the baby. "I made a terrible mistake," he said. "I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children." Not surprisingly, the New York tabs had a field day with the story. "Jacko goes over the edge," blared the New York Post's front-page headline. The New York Daily News, meanwhile, opted for the more simple, "Wacko!" What can we say, when they're right, they're right. read more

Nicole Kidman: Making a Date with Oscar?


The 2003 Oscar race gathered steam last Thursday evening when a couple hundred select New Yorkers were treated to a special advance screening of The Hours, Paramount's highly-touted big-screen adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore. The majority of the post-show buzz focused on Kidman, whose stunning transformation into homely British writer Virginia Woolf left the standing room only crowd utterly speechless — save for the words, "And the Oscar should go to... "

Believe it or not read more

IT'S ABOUT TIME!

It took the better part of a decade, but Hollywood has finally realized that acerbic funny lady Janeane Garofalo is a sitcom star waiting to be born. The comedian has signed a deal with ABC to develop and star in a comedy set at a prestigious TV newsmagazine. Slice o' Life — which will feature Garofalo as a thirtysomething New Yorker who produces the program's hokey pieces — is being co-created by ex-Murphy Brown producer Bill Diamond. read more

BIG TEASE

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is offering a preview of Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, the next installment in the kid wizard saga. But there's a catch: It'll cost you a pretty penny. Rowling has placed 93 random words on a card — tantalizing clues about Phoenix — that goes up for auction next month at Sotheby's in London. Proceeds benefit Book Aid International, which provides books for developing countries. To get folks excited about the item, Sotheby's leaked a few of the 93 words. "Thirty-eight chapters ... might change ... longest volume ... Ron ... broom ... sacked ... house-elf ... new teacher ... dies ... sorry." The auction gets underway Dec. 12. read more

MUSIC KUDOS

Nominees for the American Music Awards came out Tuesday, with hip-hop's usual suspects grabbing up the glory. Glamour girl Ashanti got five noms, including best female artist. On the boys' side, Eminem and Nelly each took four, including nods for favorite male artist. The Osbournes will host ABC's three-hour kudocast, airing Jan. 13. read more

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