Today's News: Our Take


POSTPONED

Twentieth Century Fox is delaying the late-July video release of American Idol pic From Justin to Kelly to give the film more time to play in theaters. (Now, that's a joke, folks.) The musical romp — which opens June 13 — will now arrive on video and DVD in September. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the nation's largest theater chains complained that the original release date came too soon after the movie's debut in theaters. read more

TRIPPING

As if the Middle East didn't have enough drama, pop diva Whitney Houston visited Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Tuesday. Houston and hubby Bobby Brown were on a "spiritual retreat," seeking inspiration for her upcoming Christmas album. (Now that has to be a joke.) read more

SHORT CUTS

Thesp Kenneth Branagh married girlfriend Lindsay Brunnock over the weekend. This is Branagh's second marriage; he was previously wed to Emma Thompson... Paramount Pictures is developing a feature film based on Avril Lavigne's hit single "Sk8er Boi," according to The Hollywood Reporter... Malcolm in the Middle co-executive producer Michael Borkow has been tapped as the new showrunner on The Bernie Mac Show. He replaces Larry Wilmore, who left the comedy in March. read more

MOVE OVER J.LO...

Ben Affleck has signed a $2 million deal with L'Oreal to peddle hair products, including shampoo, conditioners and gels, the New York Daily News reports. "Ben embodies a new generation of men who show their strength in their personality," gushes a L'Oreal rep, "but are not afraid to care for their appearance." Sadly, I don't think any of this is a joke. read more

BABY BEATLE

Former Beatle Paul McCartney, 60, and wife Heather Mills, 34, are expecting their first child later this year. In a statement, the couple said "we are delighted with this happy news." McCartney has three adult children from his marriage to Linda McCartney, who died in 1998 from breast cancer. read more

THE SHOW WENT ON

Liza Minnelli, who broke her kneecap in a weekend fall in Italy, vowed she would perform at last night's Luciano Pavarotti-hosted benefit for Iraqi refugees — and she wasn't fooling. The 57-year-old entertainer sang live on Italian TV from her hospital room. She's scheduled to have surgery today. "I already have two fake hips. Now my right knee will need a metal screw," Minnelli joked to New York Post columnist Cindy Adams. "Somebody up there is trying to get me by the part!" Let's call this paranoia disguised as a joke. read more

THE FUR IS FLYING

CBS has put the kibosh on Survivor: The Amazon winner Jenna Morasca's plans to star in PETA's new anti-fur ad. Sources confirm that the reality champ was all set to don a faux fur bikini for PETA's new campaign, "Wear Fake for the Animals' Sake," but Eye execs — citing Moraska's "contractual obligations" with the network — nixed the deal. According to a PETA rep, CBS initially OK'd the idea, as long as the word Survivor was not mentioned in the ad. PETA conceded, but the network still said no. The about-face came as a surprise to the animal rights org, which just completed a successful anti-fur campaign with American Idol finalist Vanessa Olivarez. Says the rep: "PETA encountered no problems with the folks at Fox, as Vanessa was also still under contract." read more

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME

Stephen Glover — aka Steve-O from MTV's Jackass — was released from a Swedish jail Tuesday after paying a $5,871 fine and admitting in court that he had drugs in his hotel room. Glover was arrested on Thursday after boasting in a Swedish newspaper that he kept narcotics in his hotel room and swallowed a drug-filled condom. He later claimed the condom thing was a joke. Of course this begs the question: If a joke is both a) not funny, and b) in poor taste, is it technically still a joke? Discuss. read more

Angel Mystery: Will Cordy Wake Up?

Now that Angelus and Co. have assumed control of Wolfram & Hart on Angel, we suggest they use their new seat of power to solve the show's biggest mystery: What the heck happened to Charisma Carpenter and her alter ego Cordelia? Carpenter — a former Buffy cast member who, like David Boreanaz, has been with the show since its inception — went off to have a baby last season and hasn't been heard from since. (Cordy remains in a coma on the show.) Making matters more murky, a new Angel cast list makes no mention of the actress. The WB and 20th Century Fox have been cagey about the omission, and numerous attempts to make contact with Carpenter's agent have proven unsuccessful. So, what's a journalist to do? Go straight to the read more

LIZA BOUNCES BACK

Liza Minnelli still plans to perform at a charity concert this evening in Italy, despite breaking her kneecap in a weekend fall. The 58-year-old entertainer tripped while leaving her hotel in Bologna on Sunday. David Gest reportedly heard his wife scream and sashayed, er, I mean ran to her rescue. Tonight's show — organized by Luciano Pavarotti — will raise money for Iraqi refugees. read more

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