Today's News: Our Take


AN OFFER HE COULDN'T REFUSE

Sopranos star James Gandolfini will play Ernest Hemingway in an untitled film about the author's tempestuous romance with war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Variety reports. Robin Wright PennSanta Barbara's original Kelly Capwell — is a possibility to play Gellhorn. read more

Question: Hearing about the ...

Question: Hearing about the ABC fall show The Benefactor, in which the guy gives away a million bucks to someone who deserves it, reminded me of the old Millionaire show. Wasn't that pretty much the same thing? Also, what was the millionaire's name? Thank you. — Elizabeth M., Perrysberg, Ohio

Televisionary: I can see the similarities, Elizabeth, but they're pretty general. The Benefactor, after all, is a reality show that has real-life contestants competing for billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's money. The Millionaire, which ran on CBS from January 1955 to September 1960, was a fictional show, with episodes relating what happened to a different character each week after personal secretary Michael Anthony (Marvin Miller) delivered a cashier's check for a million tax-free dollars to a carefully chosen stranger as a gift from his wealthy boss.

As for the second question, the boss, who was never fully seen (only read more

SHORT CUTS

The WB has ordered 22 additional episodes of summer smash Blue Collar TV.... Strangers with Candy goofball Amy Sedaris is the front-runner to replace Craig Kilborn as host of CBS's Late Late Show, the New York Post reports.... The Food Network will air Julia Child: A Tribute, an hour-long retrospective honoring the late culinary queen, on Sunday at 9 pm/ET. The special will cap a day of programming dedicated to Child, who died Friday at the age of 91. read more

DUTY CALLS

Oprah Winfrey showed up for jury duty Monday at Chicago's Cook County Criminal Court and was actually assigned to a murder trial! Winfrey, who will earn $17.20 a day for her service, told reporters she didn't think she'd be picked because she's too opinionated. "I'm just hoping it doesn't take longer than a week," she added, "because I've got shows to do." Please, everyone knows the new season of Oprah doesn't start for another month. Nice try, O. read more

WEDDING NEWS

Oscar-nominated thesp Diane Lane and actor Josh Brolin tied the knot Sunday at Brolin's ranch in San Luis Obispo, Calif. It's the second marriage for both. read more

Random Olympics Note No. 1 If...

Random Olympics Note No. 1
If I owe anything to this year's Olympics coverage, it's a bit of gratitude for prompting my little sister to call me up yesterday — something she hasn't done for a while. "Have you been watching the Olympics?" she asked. "Some Asian team mopped the American women's volleyball team. And Puerto Rico dusted our men's basketball team." When I pointed out that she'd used two housekeeping metaphors, she came back with, "Well, they need to clean it up then, because that's embarrassing. They beat us in basketball, girl. Basket. Ball. And have you seen how tight security is? They have that athletes' village on lockdown. They've got guards and cameras everywhere. They're probably looking in somebody's window right now."

Synchronized Diving Competition
Of course gold-medal winners Li Ting and Lao Lishi barely made a splash in most of their dives. Your average fourth grader weighs more than they do. And I'm not trying read more

CHARMED, SHE'S SURE

Angel grad Charisma Carpenter will play an evil seer in two episodes of the WB's Charmed this season, sources confirm. read more

MOURNED

Cinematographer Neal L. Fredericks, whose r&#233sum&#233 included The Blair Witch Project, was killed Saturday while shooting the indie pic Cross Bones in the Florida Keys. He was 35. Fredericks was reportedly filming an aerial shot from a single-engine Cessna 206 when the plane crashed into the water. The film's director, producer and first camera assistant survived. read more

ROUND TWO

With horror hybrids all the rage, New Line Cinema is plotting a new showdown between Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. According to The Hollywood Reporter, studio execs are in talks with Spider-Man helmer Sam Raimi for a sequel that would pit the two horror icons against Ash, the antihero at the center of Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy. If Raimi passes, word is New Line will merely introduce another character or just stage a new face-off between Freddy and Jason. Worst-case scenario: They'll be forced to come up with a completely original idea. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. read more

Question: You have been ...

Question: You have been helping a lot of people lately with my problem. The opening song to One Tree Hill is one of my favorite songs, but I can't ever find out who sings it or the song name. Could you help me, please?!? — Renee K.

Televisionary: I wasn't aware that so many other people needed to know that, Renee, but since you're the first to ask: That's Gavin Degraw's "I Don't Want to Be" and you'll find it on his album Chariot (J-Records).

read more

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