Today's News: Our Take


BRENDA LIVES

Hurrah! SoapNet has acquired exclusive broadcast rights to all 10 seasons of Beverly Hills, 90210 and all 7 seasons of Melrose Place. Melrose reruns kick off Sept. 13, but for some reason, you'll have to wait until sometime in early 2005 to start reliving Shannen Doherty's golden years. read more

BRANDO WASN'T BROKE

Despite reports that Godfather star Marlon Brando died insolvent, he actually left an estate valued at approximately $21.6 million. The legendary actor's major assets were his $10-million Beverly Hills home and Tetiaroa, his chain of 11 small islands in Tahiti. "He was such a private man," Brando's attorney told USA Today, "that it was easy to make comments about him, because everyone knew he would never set the record straight." While Brando's will hasn't yet been made public, his eight kids by four different women are expected to benefit from his financial legacy. read more

BUT THINGS ARE HEATING UP...

For Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon, who are set to star in Fever Pitch, the latest vehicle by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy). The Farrelly brothers will direct the semiautobiographical memoir centered on the game of soccer. read more

REMEMBERING SLAVERY

Talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey has donated $1 million to Cincinnati's brand-new National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. If you were paying attention in American History class, you know that the Underground Railroad was a secret network that helped Southern slaves escape to the free North during the 1800s. Oprah will also narrate an interactive short film for the museum called "Brothers of the Borderland." read more

HEALTH SCARE

Word's gotten out that David Bowie had to undergo emergency angioplasty surgery after a concert on June 25. While on his European tour, the 57-year-old British rock legend checked into a German hospital complaining of a pinched nerve — which turned out to be an acutely blocked artery in his heart. He's currently at home in New York getting in some R&#038R. "I'm so p---ed off because the last 10 months of this tour have been so fantastic," Bowie declared in a statement. "Can't wait to be fully recovered and get back to work again. I tell you what, though, I won't be writing a song about this one." read more

REQUEST DENIED

Martha Stewart won't get another chance to spruce up the courtroom. The domestic diva's request for a second trial was rejected by a U.S. District judge on Thursday. Tossing aside allegations that an ink expert lied on the witness stand, the judge stated that "overwhelming independent evidence" supported the initial guilty verdict. Stewart and her stockbroker cohort, Peter Bacanovic, will most likely be sentenced to 10 to 16 months in prison. read more

STONE'S LEGAL WOES

Sharon Stone has quietly reached an undisclosed out-of-court settlement with her disgruntled ex-personal assistant, TheSmokingGun.com reports. Deana Bolton, who worked at Stone's Chaos Productions for five years, filed a legal complaint with California's labor commission, alleging she'd been stiffed out of nearly $20,000 in overtime and vacation pay. Ouch! Even so, she was still earning $85,000 a year for answering Stone's phone, which makes it a teensy bit tough to sympathize... read more

BE VERY AFRAID...

Kathleen Turner is once again Broadway-bound. The smoky-voiced actress will star opposite body contortionist Bill Irwin in the Broadway revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The searing drama will open in late March 2005. A very bare Turner last appeared on Broadway in 2002 in the stage version of The Graduate. read more

TEMPERATURE DROPPING

Looks like the Iowa-based Fridley theater chain isn't the only one giving Fahrenheit 9/11 the cold shoulder. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Illinois-based GKC Theatres, which screens movies in Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, has also refused to show the film. Both companies are protesting the content of Michael Moore's controversial documentary. read more

DYNAMIC DUO

Hollywood power players Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg are joining forces to bring the Battle of Iwo Jima to the big screen. Eastwood will direct an adaptation of Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima for Spielberg's company DreamWorks. The story chronicles the 1945 battle on the small Japanese island, which produced the historic photograph of six American soldiers raising the nation's flag on Mount Suribachi, the island's commanding high point. read more

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