Today's News: Our Take


NEED FOR SPEED

DodgeBall slacker Vince Vaughn has pitched Warner Bros. a live-action adaptation of the Japanese cartoon series Speed Racer, Variety reports — and the studio bit. Vaughn will serve as an exec producer and play Racer X, the title character's protective bro. read more

T.H.E.M. As a rule, I avoid magicians....

T.H.E.M.
As a rule, I avoid magicians. Honestly, David Blaine is the devil to me. And this, from someone who's been saddled with the name Damian for 35 years! There's just something about people making things float and disappear that just reeks of evildoing. That said, the only thing unholy here is the title. Totally Hidden Extreme Magic. That's just too much. The magic bits themselves were awesome, especially the guy who literally coughed his head off in front of the cast of Passions. Who you'd think would be down with crazy stuff like that by now, right? What I'm down with is how the pranksters were all mercifully Copperfield-mullet and jazz-hand free. They'd just roll into a cafe, levitate a cup and hit it, leaving freaked-out spectators to wonder how they did it and what the hell "I'm one of T.H.E.M." meant. Not to mention why NBC shot this down as a series in favor of, say... most everything else. Except for Next Action Star. read more

LIFE AND STUFF

Bill Clinton's memoir, My Life, sold more than 400,000 copies in the U.S. on its opening day Tuesday — a nonfiction record. Publisher Knopf quickly announced a second run of 725,000 copies, bringing the total number of copies in print to 2.25 million. read more

HOT STUFF

Despite a last-minute appeal for a PG-13 rating, Michael Moore's much-hyped anti-Dubya doc Fahrenheit 9/11 will be released today in New York with an R rating. The MPAA upheld its R ruling based on language, graphic content and a shot of Colin Powell wearing a Speedo. read more

IT'S JUST LOVE ON A STICK

Rocker David Bowie was pelted in the eye with a lollipop while performing in Norway on Friday. After lashing out at the unknown culprit from the stage, the 57-year-old singer — who was not seriously injured — joked that he was going to punish the audience by making the concert extra-long. He ended up playing for nearly two-and-a-half hours. Let this be a warning: If you should ever find yourself at a Bob Guiney concert, do not — I repeat, do not — throw anything on the stage. read more

CAN WE TALK?

Joan Rivers — who's about to become my new co-worker — is returning to Las Vegas for the first time in nearly a decade. The red-carpet hellraiser will perform her shtick for four nights at the Stardust hotel-casino beginning Wednesday. Speaking of Joan and Melissa's big move to the TV Guide Channel, the pair reportedly signed a three-year deal worth between $6 million and $8 million. In addition to their trademark award-show duties, they will also host a series of holiday specials and lifestyle shows. Missy is also rumored to be in talks to join the Watercooler team as a weekend substitute. read more

FIRST BRIT, NOW THIS...

Jessica Simpson was forced to scrap a concert in Providence, R.I., on Tuesday due to a kidney infection. Nick's other half planned to resume her tour in New Hampshire on Wednesday. She has also sworn off kidney beans for life. read more

HONORED

HBO's Angels in America, Showtime's Queer as Folk and BET's Open Mic were among the winners at Cable Positive's third annual POP Awards, which recognizes outstanding HIV/AIDS-related programming. Brit spitfire Graham Norton, Miss Universe 2004 Jennifer Hawkins and TV Guide's Michael Ausiello were among the presenters at last night's reception in New York. That's not a joke. Really, I was there. In fact, I hear The Smoking Gun plans to post my list of demands — three bottles of Diet Raspberry Snapple, two bags of Soy Crisps, 12 Q-tips (don't ask) — on its website. You'll see. read more

HUGE LOT

Part 1 of TNT's Salem's Lot redo averaged nearly 6 million viewers Sunday night, making it the year's most-watched basic-cable flick. Monday's finale attracted 5.3 million viewers. Elsewhere, the third-season premiere of Monk on USA drew 5.5 million viewers, the show's most-watched opener yet. For more ratings news, read Stephen Battaglio's The Biz. read more

PAGING ANGIE HARMON...

Here's proof it pays to make up silly rumors! Just days after we "speculated" about a possible recast, word comes that Elisabeth Rohm will in fact exit Law & Order next season to pursue other opportunities. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rohm has agreed to stick around for the first 13 episodes of the season, after which her character, ADA Serena Southerlyn, will hopefully go somewhere hot to thaw out. read more

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