Today's News: Our Take


Turns out the winner of Mark Burnett's upcoming rock 'n' roll version of American Idol will step in as the lead singer of an "existing, internationally known rock group" that some people have heard of: INXS. The Rock Star champ will succeed former front man Michael Hutchence, who committed suicide in 1997. "After Michael died, we wanted to search the world for a new singer but didn't know how we could effectively do that," says surviving band member Tim Farriss. "By having Mark... embrace the concept, we've now found a fantastic way to make that happen." Rock Star is currently being shopped to the networks. read more


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


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


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


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


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


Here's another Courtney Love update, folks: On Monday, the demarbled 39-year-old managed to stay out of jail and — according to sources — was not accused of assaulting anyone, possessing illegal drugs or breaking into any of her ex-boyfriends' homes. A quick round of applause for Courtney Love! read more


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

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


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

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