Today's News: Our Take


NOT A GOOD THING

A federal judge rejected Martha Stewart's bid for a new trial Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum ruled that the domestic diva received a fair trial the first time around, despite the fact that one of the jurors lied about his arrest record. Stewart, who was found guilty of obstructing justice, will be sentenced on June 17. read more

SPOOFING THE DONALD

MTV has picked up The Assistant, a reality show from Andy Dick that's basically a spoof of NBC's The Apprentice. According to Variety, the eight-episode series will find contestants facing off in a series of wacky challenges for a gig at a Hollywood production company and a new car. read more

HUFF SNUFFED

Perpetually positive soul kid George Huff was voted off American Idol last night, narrowing the contestant pool down to four divas: Jasmine, Fantasia, Diana and LaToya. Next week: Disco night with Donna Summer! read more

SHORT CUTS

Angel alum Charisma Carpenter bares (almost) all in the June issue of Playboy magazine... Good news, Scrubs fans: Tuesday's season finale attracted more than 11 million viewers and built on its Frasier lead-in by 18 percent among adults 18-34... Tim Burton's acclaimed tall tale Big Fish topped the DVD charts during its first week in stores, selling two million copies. read more

C'MON GET HAPPY!

Paramount Pictures has snapped up the film rights to The Partridge Family, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Bernard Slade, who created the series, will serve as an exec producer. read more

SURVIVOR MAKEOVER

Word has it that Survivor madwoman Susan Hawk will be virtually unrecognizable (read: kinda-sorta hot) at Sunday's All-Stars reunion show. Shortly after her run-in with Richard Hatch's genitalia, the 42-year-old truck driver underwent an extreme makeover, including a breast enlargement, eye lift, facial peel, tummy tuck and a chip reduction on her shoulder. Her Swan-like transformation will be chronicled on Extra in a multipart series beginning tonight. read more

MODEL MOTHER

German supermodel Heidi Klum gave birth to a baby girl Tuesday in New York. Little Leni — whose papa is some dude named Flavio Briatore — tipped the scales at eight pounds, three more than her mom. read more

Friends Oh my God, how cool is...

Friends
Oh my God, how cool is this? On the eve of the big goodbye, NBC throws me a bone and runs a repeat on my night. I'm so excited... and not in the Pointer Sisters kinda way. Sadly, my glee is slightly tempered by the fact that this wasn't a very good episode. I mean, Phoebe's impersonations to keep Joey from realizing his agent was dead and Ross bribing the Ralph Lauren guy into rehiring Rachel would have been high-larious, like, four seasons ago, but now that most of them are tickling 40 (and showing it, sorry), it all came off as tragically co-dependent. Of course, I'll probably need Matthew Perry's leftover Vicodin and Dr. Phil on speed-dial to get through the finale without collapsing into a tear-drenched mess, so really, who am I to judge?

American Idol
OK, we're over swing night. Yes, it was a monster car wreck. As was poor Diana DeGarmo's dress. So let's all move on and focus o read more

VINDICATED

Supermodel Naomi Campbell won an appeal Thursday in her privacy case against a British tabloid that published photographs of her leaving a drug counseling meeting. Reversing a lower court decision, Britain's highest court ruled that the Daily Mirror invaded Campbell's privacy and ordered the paper to pay her legal costs and $6300 in damages. read more

Is Beckinsale the New Buffy?


Vampire action-thrillers are Kate Beckinsale's nasty new niche. Last year, she vamped it up as a spooky heroine in Underworld. Next, she plays a vampire slayer opposite Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing (opening Friday). Has she gone all Buffy on us? The 30-year-old Brit denies it, insisting she doesn't even like all those fanged fiends she's been hanging with.

"I was so surprised to do any vampire movies at all, because I'm not into them," Beckinsale admits. "When I first got sent the script for Underworld, I didn't even want to read it."

So what motivated her return to this gory genre for Van Helsing? (Besides a bloody-good paycheck, we mean.) "When I got the script for [Van Helsing], even though it had vampires and werewolves in it, my character was so different," she enthuses. "First of all, I'm not a vampire myself. [My character's] a gypsy and passionate and human. It just seemed like a different role."

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