Today's News: Our Take


Rocker Dave Matthews is in talks to make his feature film debut in the Wayne Wang-directed dramedy Because of Winn-Dixie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Dave Matthews Band frontman would play a drifter who is befriended by a 10-year-old girl. read more


American Idol champ Ruben Studdard is apparently throwing his weight behind a new cause: higher taxes. The Velvet Teddy Bear will perform two free concerts in his native Alabama on Sept. 2 and 5 to help promote Republican Gov. Bob Riley's tax increase proposals. In related news, AI runner-up Clay Aiken will perform his hit single "This Is the Night" at the Sept. 20 Miss America pageant. read more


In other box office news, the players behind HBO's latest Project Greenlight saga have something new to bicker about this morning: whether or not their film had a successful opening weekend. The Battle of Shaker Heights grossed $52,000 in five theaters in Los Angeles and New York over the weekend. That puts the movie's per-screen-average at $10,400 — a decent tally but well below Miramax's initial $20,000 per-venue mandate. Regardless, the indie is slated to expand to eight other cities next week. In the meantime, smarmy producer Chris Moore will continue to talk smack about amateur directors Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle — but not to their faces, of course. read more


Everything has changed for former Boy Meets Boy contestant Michael Jason Tiner. The Navy combat instructor was discharged from the military after he violated the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy by revealing he was gay on the show. "I was fully aware of what would happen," Tiner said. "I was ready for it." read more


Oscar-nominated actress Julianne Moore and her longtime beau, film director Bart Fruendlich, tied the knot Saturday night in New York City, E! reports. read more


The salary dispute between Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett and CBS is now officially out of control. The Emmy winner failed to show up for work today, forcing producers to write his character Robert out of the show's second episode. Garrett — who is refusing to report to the set until he gets a raise — had already been written out of the show's season premiere. "Brad isn't in the second episode, which is in production as scheduled," CBS spokesman Chris Ender tells TV Guide Online. Translation: Les Moonves is on the warpath! read more


If Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly seems pricklier than usual these days, there's good reason. On Friday, a federal judge rejected O'Reilly's, er, I mean Fox's request to stop the sale of Al Franken's new book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. The network accused the liberal satirist (and O'Reilly nemesis) of trademark infringement for using its signature "fair and balanced" phrase on his book's cover. read more


Courtney Love's mother Linda Carroll is denying reports that her rock-star offspring is Marlon Brando's granddaughter. Last week, a London tabloid reported that Carroll's upcoming memoir claimed Brando was Love's grandfather by virtue of a brief liaison with Carroll's mother, novelist Paula Fox. "First of all, it's crazy, it's not true," Carroll told the Corvallis (Ore.) Gazette-Times. "Second of all, my book doesn't say that." Third of all, why the heck is she writing a book? read more


Singer Bobby Brown was arrested Friday on a probation violation while he was enjoying a romantic dinner with wife Whitney Houston at an Atlanta-area restaurant. Police reportedly received an anonymous tip that the couple were dining at the Atlantic Seafood Co. in Alpharetta, Ga. It's a good thing the duo didn't go with their first choice: Red Lobster. read more


Former Fastlane scribe John McNamara has inked a deal with ABC to produce a drama pilot that revolves around a 21st century detective agency. Titled Eyes, the potential series is being described by Variety as a corporate thriller about a risk management firm that operates along the fringes of the law in order to affect the outcome of a host of civil and criminal matters. I'm lost already. read more

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