Today's News: Our Take


IN RELATED NEWS...

Monday's FLOM 2 finale paid off handsomely for NBC. The two-hour snoozefest notched the second-best ratings among adults 18-49 since May sweeps — behind only to the first FLOM climax in June. read more

SHORT CUTS

Madonna visits Oprah on Tuesday to talk about her new children's book The English Roses, which hits stores Monday... ABC has ordered a drama pilot from Alias producers Alex Kurtzman-Counter and Roberto Orci about a woman balancing married life with her career in the Secret Service. read more

CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF

Ex-Top Gun Tom Cruise is returning to the not-so-friendly skies. According to Variety, Nicole's ex has signed on to play Billy Fiske — the first American pilot killed in World War II — in Paramount's The Few. Michael Mann (Ali) will direct. read more

UNMASKED

Fox will unveil the star of its upcoming Joe Millionaire sequel during the launch of its new Friday night comedy lineup on Sept. 19. Joe Deux debuts Oct. 20. In other Fox news, the network has extended a full-season order to its hit prime-time sudser The O.C., which notched its best ratings ever Tuesday night. read more

JUST LIKE NPR?

The Federal Communications Commission ruled Tuesday that Howard Stern's randy radio show is a "bona fide news interview" program. The decision allows Stern to invite Arnold Schwarzenegger on the air without having to offer equal time to the hundreds of other candidates running for California governor. How the heck is Gary Coleman supposed to get his message out? read more

TOGETHER AGAIN

Simon & Garfunkel's 32-city reunion tour — the duo's first tour in 20 years — kicks off Oct. 18 in Auburn Hills, Mich. Tickets for some of the concerts go on sale Monday. read more

THE WRITE STUFF

It's not an Oscar, but this'll have to do: Colin Farrell has been named "best signer" in Autograph Collector's 12th annual poll of celeb autograph givers. The worst? Cameron Diaz. read more

KUDOS FOR COS

Bill Cosby will receive the prestigious Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 55th annual prime-time Emmy Awards on Sept. 21. The three-hour telecast airs live on Fox beginning at 8 pm/ET. read more

YEP, IT'S A HIT

Ellen DeGeneres's talk show got off to a promising start Monday. Based on preliminary ratings, The Ellen DeGeneres Show improved 17 percent on year-ago timeslot averages in 53 metered markets. read more

IT'S OFF!

Brace yourselves: Ben and J.Lo have called off their lavish weekend wedding. But don't go collecting on that office pool just yet; Hollywood's "It" couple haven't split. According to Extra, Bennifer decided to postpone their big day because the media frenzy surrounding the nuptials was getting out of control. (Really? Hadn't noticed.) Apparently, they'd prefer to sneak off at a later date with only their immediate family present. read more

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