Today's News: Our Take


SNOW JOB

Ted Danson apparently isn't holding a grudge against CBS for banishing Becker to midseason. The actor and his real-life wife Mary Steenburgen have signed on to star in the CBS telepic Surviving Love, a drama about a married couple whose icy relationship thaws out during a freak snowstorm. read more

SPEAKING OF DEMI'S BEAU...

MTV has renewed Ashton Kutcher's hit new sketch comedy Punk'd for another two seasons, placing an order for another 20 episodes, Variety reports. read more

CAT GOT HER TONGUE?

Demi Moore artfully dodged questions about boy toy Ashton Kutcher on the Today show this morning. Despite Matt Lauer's best efforts to get the scoop on the May-August romance, the 40-year-old Charlie's Angels babe gave the poor guy nothing — and his frustration showed. In case you missed it, here are some excerpts from their not-so-revealing chat. Lauer: How did you meet? Moore: Oh, out and about. Lauer: What do your kids think of him? Moore: You'll have to ask them. Lauer: What's he like? Moore: You'll have to ask him. Lauer: How's the sex? Moore: Freakin' unbelievable!!! Well, he didn't actually ask that last one but you know he wanted to. read more

Mutant X-Symbol Talks About Sex


Kim Cattrall's self-help book Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm should come with the following disclaimer: May cause performance anxiety in the actress-author's Sex and the City bedmates. "I found out about [the book] halfway through shooting," says Mutant X adonis Victor Webster, who plays a sleazy stockbroker seduced by Cattrall's sexually voracious alter ego Samantha on Sunday's season premiere (9 pm/ET on HBO). "I was like, 'If this was real-life, I would be very intimidated.'"

After his Sex stint reached its climax, Webster nonetheless had the cajones to not only purchase Cattrall's graphic guide to pleasure, but read it cover to cover! His reaction? "She's got a pretty good understanding of t read more

MAGICAL DAY

Aspiring wizards, start your broomsticks! Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the long-awaited fifth book in the kid wizard series, arrives in bookstores at midnight tonight amid very enthusiastic reviews. "It was worth the wait," raves The Associated Press, a sentiment shared by USA Today. "The book richly deserves the hype." Meanwhile, author J.K. Rowling is already hard at work on the sixth novel, Scholastic confirms. She hasn't been given a deadline, which means it will likely hit stores in early 2019. read more

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS...

Martha Stewart's trial for securities fraud has been set for Jan. 12, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. The lifestyle diva is accused of lying to investigators about her curiously timed sale of ImClone stock. If convicted, she could face up to 30 years in prison and $2 million in fines — neither of which would be a good thing. read more

NOT SO LUCKY

Oops, Britney Spears's star is fading. The singer failed to make this year's Forbes Top 100 Celebrity List after nabbing the top spot last year. Replacing her at No. 1 is Friends star Jennifer Aniston, who earned $35 million in 2002 and was plastered on more magazine covers than any other celeb. Rappers Eminem and Dr. Dre tied for the No. 2 spot. read more

IDOL SHOWDOWN

American Idol champ Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken are going head-to-head again — this time on the album charts. RCA plans to release both of their upcoming as-yet-untitled albums on the same day, Aug. 19, Billboard.com reports. If single sales are any indication, Aiken will likely come out on top; his "Bridge Over Troubled Water" trumped Studdard's "Flying Without Wings" 393,000 copies to 287,000 copies. read more

BABY CROWE

Actress Kate Hudson, 24, and rocker-hubby Chris Robinson are expecting their first child early next year. Curiously, the baby announcement coincides with the release of Hudson's latest romantic comedy, Alex & Emma — which means her publicist is a freakin' genius! read more

Ryan Seacrest-Frenchie Davis Reunion?


American Idol host Ryan Seacrest wants to make one thing clear about his upcoming as-yet untitled syndicated series. "It's not a spinoff of American Idol," he insists of the five-times-a-week live "entertainment news magazine/variety show hybrid," which launches next January in tandem with AI3. "Obviously that's a very popular piece of pop culture that we will incorporate, but we're not going to be all American Idol, all the time."

Still, Seacrest reveals that he may hire some Idol alums to serve as correspondents. Among the folks under consideration: booted belter Frenchie Davis. "She's a genuine star," he says, adding that he wants to "grab a handful of young [reporters] that bring something different to the table. I'm also thinking of doing a nationwide search for a pop culture junkie that could be a part of that team."

Ironically, the well-groomed smooth-talk read more

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