Today's News: Our Take


Appearing on TV for the first time in months, Mary-Kate Olsen served as a presenter at Sunday's Miami-based VMAs and thanked everyone for being so "supportive [during] the last couple of months." It was unclear, however, if she was referring to her eating disorder or New York Minute. read more


Filmmaker Kevin Smith is making a sequel to 1994's Clerks titled The Passion of the Clerks. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will pick up 10 years after the original, with Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson once again starring. read more


Kerr Smith — best known for his role as Dawson's Creek's token gay, Jack McPhee — is joining the cast of Charmed as a love interest for, um, a girl. Specifically, leading lady Rose McGowan. A show spokeswoman describes Smith's character as a homeland-security agent who believes in the supernatural. Says the rep: "He's sort of like Fox Mulder from The X-Files." He'll debut in October and, if my hunch is correct, start making eyes at fellow newcomer Nick Lachey by November sweeps. read more


Kelsey Grammer and wife Camille welcomed a baby boy, Jude Gordon Grammer, via surrogate mother on Saturday. The couple have a daughter, also born by a surrogate. read more


Fox's The Next Great Champ has survived another round in court. A California judge on Friday rejected a challenge by producers of NBC's The Contender to block the rival boxing series from debuting on Sept. 7. read more


The music world is mourning '80s pop star Laura Branigan, who died Thursday of a brain aneurysm at her home in East Quogue, N.Y. She was 47. The four-time Grammy nominee, best known for her 1982 smash "Gloria," reportedly had been complaining of headaches in recent weeks. read more


TBS has announced an Oct. 12 debut for He's a Lady, a reality show in which 11 macho men compete to see who's the most ladylike. Contestants, who will be tested in such areas as wedding planning, supermodeling and bridesmaid etiquette, will be eliminated weekly by celeb judges Morgan Fairchild, Debbie Matenopoulos and Best Damn Sports Show Period's John Salley. One lucky dude will walk off with $250,000 following a beauty-pageant finale that promises to be only slightly less terrifying than last May's Swan climax. read more


NBC confirmed Friday what we've all known for weeks: That Jimmy Smits is joining the cast of NBC's The West Wing as Martin Sheen's possible Oval Office successor. The actor, meanwhile, has already lined up his next job. Variety reports that Smits has inked a deal with ABC to star in his own series after his West Wing duties are fulfilled. read more


Jet Li's long-gestating martial-arts flick Hero topped the weekend box office with a better-than-expected $17.8 million. Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, meanwhile, slithered into second place with a decent $13.2 million. Two other newcomers didn't fare as well: Suspect Zero lived up to its title with $3.4 million while Baby Geniuses 2 made an infantile $3.3 million. read more


Did you hit it big at one time in your life only to fade into obscurity, and, ultimately, either A) hit bottom in a Saks Fifth Avenue dressing room, or B) discover God and turn your life around? If so, you probably have a decent shot at getting your own E! True Hollywood Story! Realizing that Hollywood hasn't cornered the market on rags-to-riches-to-rags stories, E! is expanding its signature series beyond celebs. Applications are being accepted until Sept. 20 at E! Online. The winning tale of woe will be featured in an upcoming one-hour special. read more

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