Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

A Santa Barbara County judge has refused to lower Michael Jackson's $3-million bail, arguing that the singer's wealth justified the above-average bail amount... Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on to produce and possibly star in The Man Who Loved Grizzlies, a biopic about late environmentalist Tim Treadwell, Variety reports. read more

FAHRENHEIT 411

Conservative group Move America Forward — the organization that "persuaded" CBS to drop The Reagans — is now pressuring U.S. theater owners to drop Michael Moore's anti-Dubya doc Fahrenheit 9/11 from their release lineup. "Michael Moore has the right to free speech," says MAF chairman (and future Surreal Lifer) Howard Kaloogian. "But so do millions of Americans who find his antimilitary propaganda and attacks on our troops offensive." read more

NOT SO LUCKY

Britney Spears' recent knee injury has forced her to scrap the second leg of her Onyx Hotel Tour. Brit has been ordered to wear a hard brace on her leg for the next 6-8 weeks, followed by two months of physical therapy and six years of singing lessons. read more

CASE CLOSED

The bitter legal dispute between Warner Music Group and Madonna's Maverick Records has ended with Warner agreeing to buy Madge out of her 12-year-old label. The deal apparently does not affect the diva's current contract with Warner Bros. read more

MACK ATTACK?

TLC singer T-Boz has filed for divorce from her husband, rapper Mack 10, claiming that he cheated on her and threatened to kill her. T-Boz, who is seeking full custody of their 3-year-old daughter, also took out a temporary restraining order against her soon-to-be-ex. Mack has denied the allegations. In sort-of-related news, James Brown pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of domestic violence. The 71-year-old Godfather of Soul was arrested in January, accused of pushing wife Tommie Rae Hynie to the floor and threatening to kill her. read more

I SEE LITIGATION, PEOPLE

Signs auteur M. Night Shyamalan has backed out of Sci Fi Channel's upcoming documentary that was to explore the source of the mysterious filmmaker's inspiration. According to The Associated Press, Shyamalan quit midstream after getting a sixth sense that the project was turning into an all-out expos&#233 — which, apparently, it is. Sci Fi says The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan will proceed with or without Shyamalan's support. It's slated to air July 18, two weeks before the opening of Shyamalan's The Village. read more

North Shore "I'll make you a deal,"...

North Shore
"I'll make you a deal," hot but jilted hotel manager Jason says to his ex, Nicole. "I keep Oahu and you can have the rest of the world." Holy soapy goodness. I so need this show to provide some escapist fun that it's not even funny. A mouse that apparently planned on summering in my Brooklyn brownstone chewed through the denim bag I got at the 1999 MTV awards to get at a Snickers wrapper I'd forgotten was in the purse. The bag — one of the cute little Levi numbers that MTV had left in every seat (ah, those were the days) — was sitting in my favorite chair. Which means the mouse was in my chair. And by association, it was probably on the couch next to it. The couch is my TV-watching sanctuary — my sacred prime-time place.

This is so not something you need to know — especially since the Grand Waimea Resort (get it Why Me, ah?) would never have this kind of problem. (They're too busy with teens who accuse lifeguards of rape just read more

THEY HAVE A LIFE!

VH1 has rounded up a full house of D, F, G and H-listers for the third season of The Surreal Life, debuting Sept. 6. According to Variety, the cast includes Charo, Dave Coulier (Full House), Public Enemy's Flava Flav, New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight, Brigitte Nielsen (Red Sonja) and American Idol reject Ryan Starr. read more

Napoleon Nerd Makes Good


The first thing we noticed about Jon Heder — star of the current indie comedy Napoleon Dynamite — is that he looks nothing like the title character. Heder's improbably named high-school outcast (with a heart of something resembling gold) sports thick glasses, droopy eyes and a hairstyle that would worry even Ted Koppel. In real life, the 26-year-old actor-animator looks like a normal guy. Get him talking, though, and you'll see where his wacky character comes from...

Like Napoleon, Heder sprinkles his sentences with exclamations like "Sweet!" and "Gosh!" "Growing up, I totally said a lot of the things he does," Heder admits. "And I have memories of very Napoleon-esque moments. I was freakin' 15 years old when I did a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stop-motion animation on my video camera. I was like 'Dude, I'm supposed to be hooking up with chicks! This isn't going to help me score!'"

Heder spent his own geeky teen years in Salem, Or read more

O.C. Vixen Going MIA?


If Fox makes a hit of its new Hawaii-set soap, North Shore (premiering tonight at 8 pm/ET), then its other prime-time sudser, The O.C., could be missing one of its mischievous minxes when it returns in November. That's because O.C. hellion Hailey and North Shore trouble magnet Tessa are both played by Amanda Righetti, the hardest-working vamp since Heather Locklear. "I guess I'm sort of on a roll here!" Righetti tells TV Guide Online with a laugh. "I'm hoping that I can do both shows, but it's going to really depend on scheduling. It's like, 'Don't make me choose!'"

Like any actress who deserves her SAG card, Righetti wants nothing more than to stretch as an artist. But for now, she doesn't mind being Fox's go-to bad girl; for all their pot-stirring, pampered Hailey and streetwise Tessa are very distinct, she says. "Tessa came from a broken home and has had to fend for herself for a lot of her life. She's found her niche i read more

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