Today's News: Our Take


TWO AND A HALF

Charlie Sheen and wife Denise Richards are the proud parents of a daughter, Sam Sheen, born March 8 in Los Angeles. This is the couple's first child together. Sheen also has a 19-year-old daughter, Cassandra, from a previous relationship. read more

WHAT COULD IT BE?

Lisa Marie Presley is breaking her silence about her brief marriage to Michael Jackson. In an interview with the Australian TV show Enough Rope, the ex-Mrs. Wacko Jacko said she "saw things she could do nothing about... And don't ask me what sort of things, because I'm not going to answer. But just stuff." Yeah, we know: He's hooked on Jesus Juice. Who isn't? read more

BACK IN THE RING

Five-time world champ Sugar Ray Leonard has been tapped to play a key role in NBC's upcoming boxing reality show The Contender. In the 16-episode series, from exec producers Mark Burnett, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Sylvester Stallone, Leonard would serve as an adviser and mentor to the aspiring Rocky Balboas. read more

IN THE FAMILY

In what is being called an amicable (nasty) split, Tom Cruise has parted ways with his long-time publicist, Pat Kingsley. Cruise will now be repped by his sister, Lee Anne DeVette, who has worked (ordered lunch) at his production company for the last 14 years. read more

SHORT CUTS

The National Trust of Australia named Down Under natives Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman "Living National Treasures" on Sunday... Chris Tucker and Charlie Sheen are in talks to headline Money Talks 2, a sequel to their modestly-successful 1997 action comedy. read more

OH, LORDY!

In other Passion news, 60 Minutes' grumpy old man Andy Rooney said on Sunday's edition that he received 30,000 mostly angry letters in response to his Feb. 22 commentary in which he called Mel Gibson a "wacko." It was the show's biggest viewer response ever. One piece of mail referred to the 85-year-old Rooney as an "asinine, bottom-dwelling, numb-skulled, low-life, slimy, sickening, gutless, spineless, ignorant, pot-licking, cowardly pathetic little weasel," but surprisingly made no mention of his out-of-control eyebrows. read more

WONDERFALLS FLAT

Despite wondrous critical notices, Fox's quirky new drama Wonderfalls attracted less than 5 million viewers in its premiere Friday. The network fared slightly better with Playing It Straight, which drew 5.3 million viewers in its debut. For a revealing interview with Straight's leading lady, click here. read more

PERFECT STRANGERS

Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw may have said au revoir to Paris, but Sarah Jessica Parker still can't resist the language of amour. As reported in next week's issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale March 22), the actress will play a "very funny, sexy French teacher" in Strangers with Candy: The Movie, the big-screen supersizing of Comedy Central's cult high-school satire (which stars sometime Sex guest Amy Sedaris). Parker's real-life hubby, Matthew Broderick, is also on board as a fellow "who comes between [gay teachers in love] Jellineck and Noblet," reports producer Mark Roberts, adding that, before shooting starts in June, more A-listers are sure to make the grade. "The cast of characters will be long and distinguished. There are a lot of [Candy fans] coming out read more

NEW LEASE ON LIFE

Filming of The Simple Life 2 got underway over the weekend as Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie embarked on a 30-day cross-country trip from Miami to Beverly Hills aboard a shiny metallic Airstream trailer. "I've never been on a road trip anywhere," Hilton told The Associated Press. "The farthest I've driven is from L.A. to Palm Springs." Among the everyday conveniences the duo were forced to leave behind: money, credit cards, cell phones, boyfriends and grainy night-vision cameras. read more

FOND FAREWELL

In what was billed as his final night of staged opera, legendary Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti received a 15-minute standing ovation Saturday at New York's Metropolitan Opera following his performance of "Tosca." Although he's retiring from opera, the 68-year-old still plans to hold concerts up until his 70th birthday on Oct. 12, 2005. read more

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