Today's News: Our Take


WHERE'S QUINCY WHEN YOU NEED HIM?

Saturday's autopsy of funk-lovin' Rick James failed to determine the cause of his death. However, the "Super Freak" singer's children have come forward and said through a spokesperson that they think he died of heart failure. While we're being maudlin, we should also mention that the family of film editor Geraldine Peroni is contesting the medical examiner's finding that she committed suicide. Peroni, who passed away on Tuesday at home in New York, had worked on eight movies with Robert Altman, among them The Player, for which she was Oscar-nominated. read more

JUST COS

Later this month, Bill Cosby will meet with local leaders and authorities in Springfield, Mass., to help put together a rally against street violence. The comedian, whose son was murdered while changing a tire on an L.A. freeway in 1997, has a home just 50 miles outside of Springfield. read more

TIME TO START BUYING GENERIC

A Colorado judge has ordered Don Johnson to behave like any other human being and pay his grocery bill. The former Miami Vice stud had been carrying a past-due balance of $5470 at Clark's Market. (Blimey! How many boxes of Rice Krispies can one person eat?!) In addition to settling his debt, Melanie Griffith's ex will have to pay the store interest and pony up for its court fees. How he'll do this, we can't imagine, though; despite his status as a former megastar, Johnson has filed for bankruptcy and even put his 17-acre ranch near Aspen up for sale. read more

TAKE TWO ASPIRIN AND CALL YOURSELF A LAWYER

Country crooner Mindy McCready was arrested Thursday on charges of prescription-drug fraud. According to the authorities, she used a phony Rx to score the pain medication OxyContin. Presumably, this is not what she meant when she sang that a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. read more

THE BITCH IS BACK

Hurrah! Beverly Hills, 90210 star Shannen Doherty is joining the cast of Fox's nighttime sudser, North Shore. She'll play Alexandra Hudson, the bitchy long-lost sister of Nicole (Brooke Burns). According to The Hollywood Reporter, Doherty's signed on for a three-episode arc, with an option to become a series regular. Perhaps they're hoping the former Charmed sorceress will cast a Locklearian spell on North Shore's less-than-impressive ratings? "The comparison to Heather has been brought up to me," Doherty said. "It's great. I'm lucky because I have a really loyal fan base, and I hope they come over." read more

MORE CASTING SURPRISES

This fall, Freddie Prinze Jr. will do two episodes of David E. Kelley's Practice spin-off, Boston Legal, Variety reports. He'll play the underachieving son of William Shatner's Denny Crane. ER's Elizabeth Mitchell will also guest-star as the loony ex-lover of James Spader's Alan Shore. Meanwhile, Aidan Quinn will appear in several episodes of NBC's Third Watch as a police lieutenant. read more

MEAN STREAK

Somewhere, you just know Hilary Duff is seething. At the Teen Choice Awards held yesterday, bodacious Mean Girls nice gal Lindsay Lohan won four statuettes, among them the coveted prize for Best Movie Hissy Fit. Other "victors" included Simon Cowell (Best Reality/Variety Jackass), American Wedding guest Seann William Scott (Best Movie Sleazebag) and The O.C.'s Mischa Barton (Female TV Breakout Star — from which, given her wooden acting, we can only deduce that kids thought they were voting for the actress most likely to get zits). Fox will broadcast the Paris and read more

SUNDAYSix Feet Under Here I am...

SUNDAY

Six Feet Under
Here I am just about to write, "Hey, no death in the beginning!" But then Mr. Marshall pulls into Fisher & Diaz's driveway to die. Drives himself, which is no mean feat. Me, I figure I'll die in a car, too, but that has a lot more to do with the other L.A. drivers than with sound planning and good timing.

I definitely think Keith has the right idea in grabbing Celeste when she's freaking out, by the way. He just doesn't throttle long or hard enough. (Sorry, but the poor-little-rich-girl, road-is-lonely act doesn't get anywhere with me, sympathy-wise.)

Joe walks in on Brenda and Nate making out and says, "It's him. Your previous indiscretion." Well, you better hope so, pal.

As for Ruth leaving dinner burning in the oven, it could've been much worse. Last time I saw people do that on a screen, it ended up being a piece of Satan in the oven and they ended up piles of smoking read more

THE JOKE THAT WOULDN'T DIE

Since Arnold Schwarzenegger apparently doesn't know when to quit, let's help him out, shall we? It's when you're ahead, dude! California's governor celebrated the state's hard-won budget deal by appearing on The Tonight Show and remaking the joke that got him in so much trouble in the first place. Playfully bragging about the new pact's popularity, he said, "Sixty percent of the Democrats have approved of it, 70 percent of the Republicans, and 100 percent of the girlie men." read more

YOU'RE HIRED! AND SO ARE YOU!

Matt Dillon has signed on to play the villain in Disney's Love Bug update, Herbie: Fully Loaded, opposite Lindsay Lohan; Mummy mommy Rachel Weisz has landed the female lead (because, really, the male lead would've been kind of a stretch) in Pi auteur Darren Aronofsky's sci-fi thriller, The Fountain, with Hugh Jackman; and Elizabeth Perkins has been plucked from obscurity to be Mary-Louise Parker's prickly foil in the proposed Showtime series Weeds, about a dope-dealing suburbanite. All this, and still, no one has come up with a showcase yet for Next Action Star man-diva Jared. C'mon, Hollywood... think! Think! read more

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