Today's News: Our Take


DIESEL FUEL

Universal is developing a third installment of The Fast and the Furious, and get this: Vin Diesel — who skipped the sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, reportedly because his oversized ego demanded a $20 million payday — is in talks to climb back into the driver's seat. That's bad news for poor Paul Walker, who starred in the first two flicks but is not slated to appear in the third. The lesson here, kiddies? Prove yourself to be a team player and you'll end up fired. read more

ON THE MEND

Jerry Seinfeld postponed a sold-out comedy show in Spartanburg, S.C., over the weekend to be with his 1-year-old son, Julian, who was hospitalized in New York after an accidental fall. "Julian is at home and is doing very well," Seinfeld's rep said in a statement. "Jerry's tour will continue this weekend as scheduled." read more

SHORT CUTS

Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines gave birth to a daughter, Catherine Rose, Monday in Los Angeles. This is the first child for Hines and hubby Paul Young... USA Network is reinventing the gangster classic Scarface as a four-hour miniseries featuring a black cast in inner-city Los Angeles during the crack epidemic of the 1980s... The director behind Broadway's acclaimed puppet revue Avenue Q has signed on to helm ABC's live-action musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is slated to air in 2005... Crossing Jordan returned to NBC's schedule Sunday and attracted a timeslot-winning 12.8 million viewers. read more

Omarosa Speaks: "I'm a Good Person!"

On Thursday's episode of The Apprentice, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth was evicted from Trump Plaza and immediately took up residence inside reality television's Hall of Shame on You, Girlfriend! There, alongside fellow überbitches Jerri Manthey, Camille McDonald and Toni Ferrari, the 29-year-old political consultant (and former Clinton appointee) was granted one phone call — and wouldn't you know it, she used it to call TV Guide Online! Be afraid... be very afraid, folks (we sure were). We've chummed the waters and reeled in the nastiest corporate shark since Leona Helmsley.

TV Guide Online: How's your head?
Omarosa:
Thanks for asking. I really [suffered] a lot because I didn't follow the doctor's [orders], which was to take off a week and rest... I wasn't given an opportunity to do that. A lot of what you saw last [Thursday] night was relief, because I could now go take care of myself physically.

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IT'S HER TIME

Vanessa Ferlito — whose all-too-brief stint as Kiefer Sutherland's love interest on 24 this season had me wondering "Who's that girl and why isn't she a bigger star?" — has been cast as the female lead on CSI: New York. As reported here Monday, Gary Sinise is in talks to headline the third installment of CBS's killer forensics franchise. If you ask me, the pot just got a whole lot sweeter. read more

END QUOTE

"That was editing... I mean, come on. I'm an educated woman; I know what that saying means." — Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth disputing a scene from NBC's The Apprentice in which she accused a teammate of uttering a racial slur for saying, "That's like the pot calling the kettle black." For more of my exclusive interview with Omarosa, click here. read more

TOURS OF DUTY

Newly anointed Oscar winner Annie Lennox is teaming up with Sting and a surprise guest for the Sacred Love Tour, which kicks off June 27 in Philadelphia. Christina Aguilera, meanwhile, is embarking on a 29-city tour beginning May 13 in Seattle and ending July 3 in Detroit. Her special guest? Someone named Chingy. Geez, I'm getting old. read more

HE SIGNED, HE SIGNED

In a major victory for crappy singers everywhere, American Idol misfit William Hung has officially signed a record deal with Fuse Music Network and Koch Records. The 21-year-old Hong Kong native's debut CD, featuring his signature tune "She Bangs" as well as a cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man," is due in stores on April 6. The disc will also include a 40-minute DVD with behind-the-scenes footage from his studio recording sessions and fan questions and answers. "He may not be the next American Idol," says Fuse president Marc Juris, "but he is definitely a star and inspiration to everyone who sings in the shower." That noise you hear is Simon Cowell imploding. read more

TALK SHOW TRAGEDY

An Oklahoma woman shot and killed her spouse on Feb. 24, when the couple argued over an episode of The Montel Williams Show about abusive husbands. Yes, really. Here's what happened: Teri Lynn and Cecil Carver of Rose, Okla., were reportedly smoking marijuana and watching TV in bed. She commented that he resembled the men on Montel. Cecil then hit Teri Lynn, fetched a handgun and fired a shot into their bed's headboard to express his displeasure at being called a violent partner. They struggled over the gun, and Cecil took a fatal bullet in the chest. Mrs. Carver hasn't been charged with a crime, however, since local police decided all evidence points to accidental death. read more

FAREWELL, ELDIN

Boxer-turned-actor Robert Pastorelli, best known for his role as Murphy Brown's dawdling house painter Eldin, was found dead at his Hollywood Hills home on Monday. He was 49. A cause of death was not immediately known, but drug paraphernalia was reportedly found at the scene. Post-Murphy, Pastorelli starred in the short-lived CBS sitcom Double Rush. read more

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