Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will wrap up their 2002-03 world tour with two shows at New York's Shea Stadium on Oct. 1 and 3... In honor of its 20th anniversary, Brian De Palma's 1983 gangster classic Scarface will be re-released in theaters on Sept. 19. read more

SURVIVOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Survivor: Pearl Islands doesn't debut until Sept. 18, but TheSmokingGun.com just couldn't wait to expose the sordid secrets of this season's castaways. Oddly enough, her CBS press bio has already preemptively mentioned 24-year-old Christa Hastie's past arrest on a misdemeanor charge of "disrupting an officer's ability to perform his duties." (Translation: She once squatted on the hood of her car while it was being towed away.) But TSG has dug up some old Internet newsgroup postings from Hastie — and fellow contestant Ryan Shoulders, 23 — in which both made inquiries about scoring illegal drugs, like acid and methamphetamines. Oh yeah, and L.A. cops arrested Jon Dalton, 29, last February for DUI and driving without insurance. Hey kids, a big round of applause for your new role models! read more

MOVE OVER, RONALD

You know the economy is in the toilet when Justin Timberlake takes a job at McDonald's. Actually, the pop star's not flipping burgers — he's been hired to star in a global advertising campaign. Terms of his undoubtedly lucrative contract are undisclosed, but we do know he'll sing in TV commercials worldwide, and McDonald's will sponsor his upcoming 35-country tour. read more

SAVE THE DATE

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez will tie the knot on Sept. 14 in Santa Barbara, Calif., — at least that's what the New York Daily News is reporting. The couple's divorce, meanwhile, will take place on Sept. 22 in Los Angeles Superior Court. read more

BOY MEETS WES

James's gaydar didn't steer him wrong on last night's finale of Bravo's gay dating show Boy Meets Boy. The 32-year-old benefits administrator wisely chose gay Wes over straight infiltrator Franklin — who was only posing as gay to win $25,000. Instead, James gets the $25,000 and a trip to New Zealand with Wes. James's galpal Andra, meanwhile, wins a one-way ticket to the loony bin. read more

BIG DEAL

Final details are being hammered out, but it looks like NBC has won the bidding war for Vivendi Universal's media assets. If the proposed merger is completed, the new and improved Peacock will take on a major movie studio, three cable channels, a television studio and several theme parks. read more

STORMY WEATHER APPROACHING

Janet Jackson has signed on to portray Lena Horne in ABC's upcoming musical-biopic on the singer-actress, Variety reports. Michael's sis is expected to record new takes on Horne's classic songs, including her signature tune "Stormy Weather." Craig Zadan and Neil Meron — the folks behind Chicago — will produce the two-hour TV-movie. read more

NOT SO FAB

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's original "culture expert" is suing the show's producers for breach of contract. According to the New York Post, Blair Boone — who was fired after two episodes and replaced with Jai Rodriguez — claims that he should have been paid $105,000 for a year's worth of shows. Speaking of Queer Eye, was I the only one bored by last night's episode? read more

Rain Pryor: A Class Act

Rain Pryor is proud to be a sublebrity. She is, of course, the daughter of comedian Richard Pryor. And, at 34, the actress still is best known for playing tomboy T.J. Jones on Head of the Class as a teenager. ("That's the only thing I'm known for!" she says, laughing out loud.) In her life, she's faced dysfunctional relatives, racism, drug and alcohol addiction, relationship angst and more. But Rain won't go away. Instead, the half-black, half-Jewish spitfire has bundled all her woes into a one woman show, Fried Chicken &#038 Latkas. L.A. is buzzin' about it; celebs seen rolling in the aisles have included Kim Coles, Andy Dick, Camryn Manheim and Carl Reiner. Here, Pryor tells TV Guide Online why she's baring her soul for a showbiz comeback.


TV Guide Online: What led to this one-woman show?
Pryor:
I really wanted to write a book that was positive about my life, but I was turned down by every boo read more

Vanessa Williams: Boomtown's New Bombshell!


This fall, Vanessa Williams joins NBC's Boomtown for 10 episodes as policewoman Katherine Pierce. And here's some "TV News" scoop from the current issue of TV Guide magazine: The ex-Miss America shares a same-sex smooch with Rebecca DeMornay, who will be recurring as lesbian jewel thief Sabrina. So does that mean Katherine's gay, straight or just a little bicurious, perhaps?

We're sworn to secrecy, so you'll have to watch and see! Surprisingly, Williams wasn't even aware of any sapphic seduction plot when she came aboard. "The show appealed to me," the 40-year-old actress says. "I signed on, not even knowing what I was going to do and what my character was. So I put myself right in the heat of things, and I trusted [executive producers Graham Yost and Jon Avnet] to do what they do best, which is make exciting television."

You'll note Ms. Williams no longer requires an "L" initial in her credits. She once had to use it bec read more

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