Today's News: Our Take


Movie mogul Saul Zaentz is suing New Line Cinema for $20 million in unpaid royalties from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Variety reports. Zaentz, who purchased Rings rights from author J.R.R. Tolkien in the 1970s, licensed the property to New Line in return for a share of the profits. read more


TV Guide Channel's very own Joan Rivers will play herself on the Oct. 5 season finale of FX's Nip/Tuck. Rivers, who has never been shy about discussing her love of plastic surgery, will meet Dr. McNamara and Dr. Troy for an "unusual" consultation. "Maybe I'm getting a penile implant," Rivers joked to the New York Post. "I haven't had one of those." That's what this column's been missing: hermaphrodite jokes. Thanks, Joan. read more


Here's some "TV News" scoop from the new issue of TV Guide magazine: Onetime Batman Val Kilmer is talking to CBS about a possible series project. I guess this rules out Top Secret 2. read more


Paris Hilton's beloved Chihuahua Tinkerbell is missing no more! The tiny Tink has been found and reunited with Hilton. No further details were revealed, like why she got loose, who found her and how the heck this became an international story. read more


Former Twin Peaks babe Madchen Amick is joining the cast of ER as a social worker and love interest for Noah Wyle's Dr. Carter. She'll appear in at least 10 episodes. In other casting news, Variety reports that actor Jonathan Togo, whose credits include roles in Mystic River and the late UPN drama Special Unit 2, will play a new investigator on CSI: Miami this season. read more


A California judge on Wednesday KO'd producer Mark Burnett's bid to block Fox's boxing series The Next Great Champ from debuting on Sept. 10 — three months before Burnett's near-identical The Contender is slated to debut on NBC. Fox called the ruling "a significant victory," but it may be a short-lived one. A hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction against Champ has been set for Sept. 8. read more


Phew! Oprah Winfrey is free to go do those "shows" she's been in a tizzy about. Winfrey's jury duty stint came to a quick end Wednesday when she and her 11 angry sidekicks convicted a 27-year-old man of murder. "It's a huge reality check," said Winfrey outside court. "There's a whole other world going on out there." Winfrey said she plans to do an episode of Oprah with her fellow jurors. read more


Oscar-winning composer Elmer Bernstein, who scored such films as The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, Airplane! and, most recently, 2002's Far From Heaven, died Wednesday at his home in Ojai, Calif., after a long illness. He was 82. read more


On this morning's Today show, Katie Couric did the unthinkable: She sneezed live on the air! Seconds before cutting to a commercial, NBC's highest-paid newswoman experienced a sudden nasal eruption. "I've never done that before," a shocked Couric told viewers. "Hiccups, yes. But never a sneeze." I'll say this: I would not want to be the intern that forgot to blow Couric's nose this morning. read more


Craig Kilborn will sign off as host of CBS's Late Late Show on Aug. 27. There's still no word on his replacement, although Amy Sedaris is reportedly the frontrunner. And if she passes, well, there's always, um, me. That's right — me. Me! Me! Me!!! read more

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