Today's News: Our Take


THAT '70S PACT

This is no Punk'd stunt, folks: Ashton Kutcher has signed a new deal with That '70s Show that will keep him stuck in the Me Decade through the 2004-05 season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His '70s extension comes as a bit of a surprise considering A) his film career is taking off, B) he's Hollywood's new It boy, and C) um, er... I can't think of another reason! If you have any ideas, please e-mail me at the link at the bottom of this page. read more

HE'S SO OVER JOEY

Former Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek married longtime girlfriend, actress Heather McComb Saturday in Malibu, Calif. The private beachfront ceremony culminated in a spectacular fireworks display. read more

COMING UP NECKS

Expect some fresh blood on Angel next season. In addition to Buffy the Vampire Slayer's James Marsters crossing over, the show is looking to cast a new female character who will work at Wolfram & Hart, and — natch — possibly be a romantic interest for one of the show's main men. An Angel rep, however, insists that the new addition will not be a replacement for ex-leading lady Charisma Carpenter, who could make an appearance or two next season. read more

MUSIC WORLD MOURNS

R&B crooner Barry White, best known for such sex-drenched tunes as "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe," "I'm Gonna Love You, Just a Little More Baby" and "Love's Theme," died Friday. He was 58. The soul legend — who was in poor health for years — suffered a stroke in September and had been hospitalized ever since. Despite a career that spanned four decades, White picked up his first two Grammys in 1999 for his final studio album, Staying Power. read more

NYPD Blue Creator Tackles Marriage


Producer Stephen Bochco is thinking inside the box for his upcoming HBO series Marriage, which chronicles the state of one couple's union six years in. "All of the action takes place within the bedroom and the bathroom [of a New York City apartment]," says Bochco, "which is where relationships really do their heavy lifting."

Slated to debut in 2004, Marriage stars Brit thesp Jonathan Cake and ex-Presidio Med doc Julianne Nicholson as husband and wife. "They're both real successful New York professionals: he's a doctor and she's an attorney," explains Bochco, who's hoping for his first small-screen hit since NYPD Blue arrived on the scene a decade ago. "It's a really good, strong marri read more

BECKER'S BACK

More good news for Becker fans, if there is such a thing. The sitcom, which only a few weeks ago received a formal midseason pick-up from CBS, has now scored a spot on the network's fall schedule. Becker will air Wednesdays at 9:30 pm/ET following Monday transplant The King of Queens. Originally, the network had slotted the new Robert Klein- Judith Light family comedy The Stones at 9:30 pm/ET. That show now gets bumped to midseason. read more

IT WAS HER DESTINY

Beyonce Knowles's solo debut Dangerously in Love entered Billboard's album chart at No. 1 with sales of 317,000 copies. Michelle Branch's new CD landed at No. 2 with 157,000 copies sold. read more

ABOUT FACE

Actress-model Rachel Hunter has decided she doesn't want to ditch hubby Rod Stewart — just days after filing for divorce from the singer. It's unclear why the former Are You Hot? judge chose to withdraw her divorce request, and honestly, I couldn't care less. read more

IT'S OVER

Sharon Stone has followed her basic instinct and split from her husband of five years, newspaper editor Phil Bronstein, the New York Post reports. The couple — who married on Valentine's Day, 1998, and adopted a baby boy, Roan, two years later — allegedly decided to call it quits after Stone returned from filming her latest flick, A Different Loyalty, in London and Moscow. read more

TARGET ROCKS

Target is getting into business with Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. The highly-addictive discount chain is offering an exclusive six-track CD featuring songs from the pair, who are currently on tour together. Among the singles on the disc: Remixes of Aguilera's "Beautiful" and "Fighter," as well as Timberlake's "Rock Your Body" and "Cry Me a River." read more

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