Today's News: Our Take


SPIDEY CENT$

Over the weekend, ol' sticky fingers was at it again — and we don't mean Winona Ryder, either. Spider-Man 2 took in another $46 million at the box office, making it the fastest flick ever to break the $250-million mark. (It's up to $257.3 million now; that's almost as much moolah as I'll make for guest-writing this column... in my dreams.) Despite the fact that Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy opened strong, the Will Ferrell comedy's $28 million take made it a distant second. Rounding out the top five were the critically savaged new release King Arthur ($15.2 million), Michael Moore's Bush-burning Fahrenheit 9/11 ($11 million) and the period romance read more

Amazing Race's First Losers

It's never easy being the first team to face "Philimination" on The Amazing Race. Just ask Dennis and Erika, the formerly engaged couple from New York, who lost a nail-biting race-to-the-finish on Tuesday night's premiere. Still, for these longtime Race fans, the chance to appear on their favorite reality show outweighed their embarrassment.

TV Guide Online: It's gotta be tough being the first team out. Did you get any condolence calls from previous racers?
Erika:
We did. There's a whole group of racers in New York and they all called us together. There's also a group in Las Vegas that called us. We're really big fans of the show and have seen every season, so we know we're in good company.

TVGO: Dennis, you seemed really taken aback at the airport, where one of the other racers called you a "scumbag."
Dennis:
I went into this trying to be fair and just get along with everybody. Usually, I'm perceived as a nice guy, but righ read more

THIS IS PATHETIC

In a clearly desperate plea for attention, Survivor alumna Jenna Lewis, 27, is attempting to stir up her own porn scandal. On Monday, her publicist issued a statement that Lewis is "fighting mad" over illicit footage from her May honeymoon hitting the Internet. Strangely, the press release claims Lewis and model-hubby Travis Wolfe shot a tape of their antics for "personal use," yet it goes on to conveniently give the URL address where lookyloos can find it and teasingly offers journalists an interview. So could Lewis have put the sex tape on the Web herself, we wonder? Nah. Not even a reality-TV has-been could be that tacky and publicity hungry... read more

HE'LL BE BACK...

...and when he gets back, he'll look a wee bit different, at least if A&E gets its way. The cabler is courting Jurgen Prochnow to play Arnold Schwarzenegger in its upcoming biopic, See Arnold Run. Word on the street is that the English Patient actor is seriously considering taking on the role, provided he can spend five years getting into character at Bally's. read more

AFTRA KO'D

A year after the Screen Actors Guild pooh-poohed a proposed merger with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFTRA is taking desperate measures. In order to cut the costs that the arranged marriage with SAG would have saved the organization, it is moving its headquarters from New York to Los Angeles, cutting its number of board members from 113 to 75, closing two of its 33 offices and replacing members' regular coffee with Folger's decaffeinated crystals. read more

LOVE SICK

As if turning 40 wasn't bad enough! On her birthday Friday, rocker-actress-nut Courtney Love was declared a fugitive for missing a hearing in California. (Missing it by a lot, too — she was in New York, for Pete's sake.) Shortly thereafter, the perennial defendant was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, but not for an OD or a few years on a shrink's couch. Uh-uh. Her lawyer says she was suffering from a "feminine issue." Which has got to be the strangest euphemism for "complete and total insanity" ever. read more

GOODBYE WEEZIE

Actress Isabel Sanford — aka Louise "Weezie" Jefferson from The Jeffersons — has died at 86. On July 4, she was hospitalized at L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she passed away on Friday with her daughter at her side. Sanford's health reportedly had been in decline since undergoing surgery on a neck artery last year. Back in 1981, Sanford was the first African-American woman to receive an Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Most recently, the beloved TV personality did The Simpsons, as well as popular ad campaigns for Old Navy and Denny's restaurants. read more

ALL-ACCESS PASS

No sooner had Pat O'Brien's hiring as the host of the upcoming syndie newsmag The Insider been announced than he found a way to make headlines himself. The Access Hollywood mouthpiece is taking 10 — count 'em, 10 — staffers with him. Interesting side note: Not one of them is Billy Bush. read more

GREAT CAESAR'S GHOST!

Charlie's Angels director McG and Warner Bros. have parted ways, leaving the studio (yet again) with no one to helm its Superman comeback pic. Although the split is said to be amicable, the two parties apparently disagreed over everything from budget and casting to Clark Kent's Coke-bottle glasses and the color of Kryptonite, so you do the math. read more

AND IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT THERE?

Over the weekend, Actors' Equity and Broadway's producers reached an impasse in their ongoing negotiations to keep the lights of the Great White Way turned on. Late Friday night, the union made its final offer, and the bigwigs gave their final answer: Heck, no! Both sides agree on salary and health-care benefits for B'way performers; however, they can't get it together where road-show casts are concerned. Sheesh. If anybody deserves a break, isn't it a chorus boy who's bringing a little razzle-dazzle to Peoria? read more

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