Today's News: Our Take


We'll file this one under "Are You Kidding Me with This?": In the midst of his child-molestation controversy, Michael Jackson is expecting quadruplets, US Weekly reports. Citing unnamed sources close to Jacko, the mag says he recently spent quality time with the pregnant mom-to-be in Florida, where he stayed in a $4000-a-night Miami Beach hotel suite. A spokesman for Jackson — who already has three kids by two other women — wouldn't confirm or deny this insane (but probably true) story. read more


Emmy winner Rob Morrow has been cast in the CBS pilot Numbers. The drama features an MIT mathematician who is recruited by an FBI agent, played by the Northern Exposure alum. Morrow takes over the role from The Recruit's Gabriel Macht. read more


Word is ABC's Hope & Faith has recast the role of Faith Ford's TV daughter. Fans of the sitcom (anyone?) should look for actress Megan Fox to replace Nicole Paggi in the role of 16-year-old Sydney. When contacted by TV Guide Online for the dish, Touchstone Television vaguely called the recast "a creative change." Hmm... One thing's for sure: When Kelly Ripa (aka Aunt Faith) runs into Syd in the kitchen, she'll take absolutely no note of the fact that her niece has been replaced by a bodysnatcher. read more


Add Linda Ronstadt's name to the list of Bush-bashin' stars who've been punished for publicly dissin' Dubya. During her Saturday-night concert at the Aladdin in Las Vegas, the 58-year-old singer encouraged her audience to see Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, calling the documentarian a "great American patriot" and "someone who is spreading the truth." She was booed by some angry patrons, whose riotous reaction prompted Aladdin's head honcho, Bill Timmins, to fire Ronstadt on the spot. She was even escorted from the hotel without being allowed back into her luxury suite to gather her belongings! Ouch. "It was a very ugly scene," Timmins told The Associated Press. "She praised [Moore] and, all of a sudden, all bedlam broke loose. [Ronstadt] spoiled a wonderful evening for our guests, and we had to do something about it." In other Moore news.... read more


American Idol has announced its preliminary audition dates to find the next William Hung. The eight-city tryout tour kicks off in Cleveland, Ohio, on Aug. 4, followed by Washington, D.C., on Aug. 18; Orlando, Fla., Aug. 26; New Orleans, La., Aug. 31; Las Vegas, Nev., Sept. 12; Anchorage, Alaska, Sept. 28; and San Francisco, Calif., Oct. 5. An audition will also be held in St. Louis, Mo., date pending. Look for lines to be twice as long as they were in the previous three competitions; AI has raised the age limits for contestants to 28. read more


Leslie Moonves isn't going down like that. The CBS chairman has vowed to contest any fines levied against 20 CBS-owned TV stations that aired Janet Jackson's bared breast during this year's Super Bowl half-time performance. Moonves promised he'd "take it up to the courts" to fight the proposed charges totaling $550,000 against the affiliates. read more


Discovery Health Network has purchased the cable rights to all 141 episodes of Chicago Hope, which ran on CBS from 1994-2000. Former cast member Hector Elizondo will kick off an eight-hour marathon of the soapy medical drama on Aug. 1. The series will then run on the channel three times a day — noon/ET, 7 pm/ET and 2 am/ET beginning Aug. 2. Hope previously ran in syndication on Lifetime. read more


Fahrenheit 9/11 is finally coming to a town near Bush. According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, the outspoken filmmaker has given the greenlight for Friends of Peace to screen his documentary as a fund-raiser for the Crawford Peace House, located a few miles from George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The movie will also open this Friday at a theater in Waco, Texas, which is 20 miles west of the president's estate. read more


Grammy-winning rapper Nelly has spent major cheese on his latest purchase. No, he hasn't bought himself a boy's name. Even better! He's acquired a partial ownership stake in NBA's Charlotte Bobcats. "Of the many dreams that I have fulfilled in life," Nelly declared in a statement, "being an NBA owner is certainly one of the biggest achievements." read more


Reiko Aylesworth, who was pink-slipped from Fox's 24 in May, has signed on to a recurring role on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The actress will play a lab-based detective in the series' fifth season this fall. Reportedly, the move is unrelated to CBS's highly publicized firings of CSI cast members George Eads and Jorja Fox. We're just glad to see a One Life to Live alum making it in prime time. You go girl. read more

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