Today's News: Our Take


THEATER NOTES

New Line is producing a remake of John Waters' cult film-turned-Broadway musical Hairspray for release in 2006... A lavish stage version of the 1968 movie-musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is headed to Broadway in April 2005... Hugh Jackman has been tapped to host the 2004 Tony Awards on June 6. Jackman — who emceed the show last year — is a likely nominee for his starring role in The Boy From Oz. read more

Survivor: All-Stars The Mogo Mogo...

Survivor: All-Stars
The Mogo Mogo tribe regained its mojo after giving Richard the heave-ho and we have Kathy to thank for putting us out of their misery. With political savvy worthy of Capitol Hill, she organized the delicate coalition that downed Hatch. "Kathy is the biggest power player of all," says Shii Ann. "She's got all of us wrapped around her finger." Nobody was more happy to see Richard go than Susan, still recovering from last week's too-close encounter with Survivor's original flasher-in-the-pan. Initially, she hid her embarrassment and shame by avidly collecting snails, but eventually the hurt feelings surfaced. "Richard — naked — kept flashing through my head," moaned Susan under the baleful influence of the too-much-information side of her brain. "Why did he have to touch me?" Given that he's gay, I'm guessing he's asking himself the same question. At least Richard can take solace in the knowledge Susan read more

SMART GUY

Steven Spielberg sidestepped the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's box office smash The Passion of the Christ, declaring himself "too smart to answer a question like that." At a press conference Wednesday to promote the DVD release of Schindler's List, the Oscar-winning filmmaker said he had yet to see the film, which has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism. "When I do see [it]," he added, "the first person who will hear from me will be Mel Gibson and no one else." read more

IDOL UPDATE

American Idol viewers voted John Stevens (think Harry Connick Jr. with red hair) and Jasmine Trias (think Mariah Carey, only Hawaiian) into the finals last night. Next week, four wild-card contestants will be chosen from a field of 12 hopefuls — none of whom, I'm sad to report, is Scooter Girl. read more

BATMAN CASTING

Gary Oldman has joined the cast of Batman Begins, Warner Bros.' new take on the Caped Crusader starring Christian Bale. Oldman will play a detective on the Gotham police force. The rapidly expanding ensemble also includes Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman and Ken Watanabe. read more

CASE CLOSED

Alec Baldwin and ex-wife Kim Basinger have resolved their bitter custody battle over their 8-year-old daughter, Ireland. According to Celebrity Justice, the judge ruled in favor of Baldwin, who was seeking "equal share" of parenting with Basinger. read more

SNL STAR POWER

Perhaps doing damage control post-Boobygate — or more likely, getting the word out about her new CD — Janet Jackson will host Saturday Night Live on April 10. Actually, she'll be both host and musical guest. Just to be safe, rumor has it NBC may air the show with a 67-week delay. In related news, Ben Affleck hosts SNL for the second time on March 13. read more

1-800-RECAST

Vivica A. Fox has replaced Gloria Reuben as the star of Lifetime's crime series 1-800-MISSING, which has just been renewed for a second season. Reuben opted to leave the show to pursue other projects. Let me guess: She wants to be a backup singer for Scooter Girl this time. read more

BACK ON THE STREET

Despite that whole K-Street mess, HBO is going back into business with producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh. The pay-cabler has given the green light to the duo's latest series, an untitled improv comedy that revolves around a trio of struggling actors trying to make it big in Hollywood. Among the show's stars: Clooney's on-again/off-again girlfriend Krista Allen. Now it's all making sense. read more

NOT SO GAY 'OL TIME

The war between NBC and the creators of Will & Grace is getting nastier. Three months after David Kohan and Max Mutchnick sued NBC claiming it short-changed them on the sitcom's license-fee deal, the Peacock filed a counterclaim against the pair Wednesday, accusing them of being "uncooperative, duplicitous and guilty of shameless self-dealing" during negotiations. Interestingly, the suit makes no mention of the pain and suffering the duo caused when they created Good Morning Miami. read more

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