Today's News: Our Take


DELAYED

Sony has pushed back the release of its Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez romance Gigli (pronounced "Big-Flop") by two days. The film, which was slated to bow on July 30, will now open Aug. 1. The studio should just cut to the chase and tell us when this thing will be out on video. read more

BUSTED

Coldplay singer Chris Martin is in a bit of hot water after allegedly losing his temper and smashing a photographer's car window on an Australian beach over the weekend. Gwyneth Paltrow's beau was arrested Sunday and charged with malicious damage. He's due in court on Oct. 8. read more

Hilton's Sis Rejected Reality TV


Who's Paris Hilton? An heiress to the Hilton hotel fortune, the 22-year-old is an almost famous Hollywood party fixture, known for being blond, rich and thin. Now, Real World producers Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray have tapped her to star in Fox's The Simple Life, about two "celebutantes" living with an Arkansas farm family. Her cohort is Lionel Richie's daughter, Nicole, 21, currently charged with felony heroin possession. Rubberneckers, gather 'round for another reality TV car wreck!

Originally slated for August, Simple Life will now debut in October, so Fox can get maximum play off the show's great buzz. Another big change was Paris's co-star. At first, produ read more

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

CBS has released a study that is sure to ruffle the feathers of a certain Peacock network. In a report issued Monday at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Hollywood, Calif., CBS surveyed more than 1,000 top media buyers and planners and concluded that viewers aged 25-54 — not NBC's coveted 18-49 target demo — is the audience of choice for most advertisers. read more

THE X-FACTOR

The truth about President Bartlet's MIA daughter is right here: She looks like former X-Files star Annabeth Gish. The West Wing has tapped Gish for the recurring role of Bartlet's never-before-seen eldest daughter, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The actress will make her debut in this season's first two episodes, which were written by exec producer (and successor to Aaron Sorkin's throne) John Wells. Sources say Gish is one of several new faces Wells plans to introduce on West Wing this season. read more

ANOTHER NO. 1 RANKING FOR OPRAH

Oprah Winfrey has topped VH1's list of the 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons. Superman came in at No. 2, followed by Elvis Presley. The music network began counting down the list on Monday, which means they should get to Oprah sometime in November. read more

REVEREND MONEYBAGS

7th Heaven star Stephen Collins has inked an eight-figure deal to continue playing the show's patriarch for another two seasons, through May 2005, Variety reports. read more

COUNTING CROWES

Oscar winner Russell Crowe and wife Danielle Spencer are expecting their first child in January. The Gladiator star married Spencer on April 7, which by my calculations means the newlyweds didn't waste any time. read more

JUST MARRIED

Former New Kid Joey McIntyre and That '70s Show's Mila Kunis are taking the plunge, signing on to star in a big-screen adaptation of the interactive stage show Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding. read more

Mo Fun on Ab Fab!


Season Five of Absolutely Fabulous — kicking off in early 2004 on Oxygen — has plenty of surprises in store. Comic actress Mo Gaffney will be back for two episodes as Bo the wacky televangelist, and she's got preview scoop!

As Gaffney recently told Party Boy: "Saffy has a baby in the first episode! The father is a black man, which thrills Eddy, because she thinks that's terribly progressive." But wait, there's more...

"Oh my God, you're gonna love this," Gaffney grinned. "Last time we saw Bo and [her husband] Marshall, they were evangelists and had a show called Epiphany. Now, they have a Christian family creation center, where they go to poor little pregnant 14-year-olds, take their babies, and give them to rich actresses!

"On [my first episode], I take some drugs and drink, and I read more

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