Today's News: Our Take


SPEAKING OUT

Former Terminator badass Linda Hamilton announced on Tuesday that she is bipolar and has battled depression for most of her life. She was diagnosed 10 years ago, shortly after she stormed into her local pharmacy demanding SPF 2 million sunblock. read more

BEN THERE, DONE THAT

It's not Bill Clinton, but this'll do: Ben Affleck has been tapped to host the Oct. 2 season premiere of Saturday Night Live, TV Guide Online has learned. This will mark Affleck's third stint hosting the show. Nelly will serve as musical guest. read more

MARTHA FACES PRISON

Martha Stewart wants to begin her five-month prison sentence ASAP, she told reporters at a press conference Wednesday morning. Though saddened by the prospect of missing out on the holidays, she expressed an "intense desire and need to put this nightmare behind [her]." As expected, Stewart has opted to serve the time at her local federal prison in Danbury, Conn. After that, she'll have another five months to lick her wounds (and do some serious redecorating) while under house arrest on her fancy estate. read more

DREAM RATINGS

Pontiac's $7 million advertising blitz on Monday's Oprah Winfrey Show paid off. The episode ranked as Oprah's highest-rated season premiere since 1996. Next up: Oprah fulfills my dream and gives her audience a lifetime supply of chill pills. read more

BOMB SCARE

Authorities in Charlottesville, Va., are trying to find out who sent a suspicious package — initially thought to be a bomb — to the home of best-selling author John Grisham. The envelope was dropped off in Grisham's mailbox on Saturday, but not by the U.S. Postal Service. After examining the mailing, police determined it was not a real bomb, just the movie version of The Chamber. read more

SHARK ATTACK

Italian-American groups are complaining that DreamWorks' forthcoming animated flick Shark Tale fosters ethnic stereotypes. In the film, Robert De Niro voices a vengeful great white named Don Lino. "The movie introduces young minds to the idea that people with Italian names are gangsters," Columbus Citizens president Lawrence Auriana says. However, a DreamWorks rep insists Tale "pokes fun at a number of film genres.... There is nothing mean-spirited in the film." Well, that's disappointing. read more

SHORT CUTS

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will visit the Late Show with David Letterman on Monday, Sept. 20.... Fox is producing a live-action Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.... Entertainment Tonight correspondent Maria Menounos is joining One Tree Hill for eight episodes. She'll play a love interest for Keith (Craig Sheffer).... America's Next Top Model's Tyra Banks has inked a deal with Warner Bros. to host her own daytime talk show, the New York Post reports. read more

SHALOM

Kabbalah devotee Esther (a.k.a. the weird lady formerly known as Madonna) left for Israel today to celebrate the Jewish New Year in the Holy Land. Having just wrapped her "Re-Invention" tour, she's expected to visit some traditional burial places during her trip. read more

SLIP 'N' SLIDE

Jane Pauley may want to consider staging an Oprah-size stunt in the near future. In its second week on the air, her freshman talk show dipped 11 percent in the ratings. read more

BAD BOY

Ex-Baywatch star Michael Bergin has been officially charged with felony DUI. Back in July, cops picked up the 35-year-old after he allegedly plowed his SUV into a female roller skater, then refused to take a sobriety test. He spent about 11 hours in police custody before posting $50,000 bail. This marked a new low for Bergin, who previously made headlines by publishing The Other Man, a trashy tell-all bestseller about his supposed adulterous affair with the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. He also guest-starred on Average Joe: Hawaii, but we won't even go there. read more

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