Today's News: Our Take


Fox will unveil the star of its upcoming Joe Millionaire sequel during the launch of its new Friday night comedy lineup on Sept. 19. Joe Deux debuts Oct. 20. In other Fox news, the network has extended a full-season order to its hit prime-time sudser The O.C., which notched its best ratings ever Tuesday night. read more


That '70s Show's Topher Grace will star opposite Laura Linney in the May-December romantic comedy P.S. Filming on the indie begins later this month in New York... Drew Barrymore is enrolling in Date School, a comedy about a woman who hires a dating instructor to help her meet men... Former Felicity star Amy Jo Johnson has joined the cast of Lifetime's The Division. read more


An American Psycho is taking over the role of Batman. British thesp Christian Bale — best known for his indie work in films such as Little Women, Laurel Canyon and American Psycho — has been tapped to play the Caped Crusader in Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming Batman flick. "What I see in Christian is the ultimate embodiment of Bruce Wayne," says director Christopher Nolan (Memento). "He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for." The film — which will follow the early career of the Dark Knight — is expected to begin production early next year. read more


NBC's decision to get a jump on the fall season with the Tuesday premieres of Whoopi and Happy Family paid off big-time. The sitcoms ranked as the night's top two programs, with Whoopi drawing 15.1 million viewers and Happy Family attracting 14.7 million viewers. read more


Hogan's Heroes actor Larry Hovis — he played Sgt. Carter — died Tuesday of cancer at the age of 67. Hovis most recently taught drama at Texas State University. read more


Dick Clark is getting into the paintball biz, acquiring TV rights to Professional League Paintball — which consists of eight teams in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. What's more, the uberproducer is developing a celebrity paintball-themed reality show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. read more


Does Sharon Osbourne know how to time her public revelations or what? Just days before the launch of her daytime gabfest, MTV's mouthy matriarch tells Barbara Walters that she briefly left husband Ozzy because he continued drinking and abusing prescription drugs even as son Jack was about to enter rehab. The chat airs Friday on ABC's 20/20. read more


HBO has inked a syndication deal with Tribune Broadcasting to air Sex and the City repeats six days a week beginning in September 2005. A cleaned-up version of the racy comedy (read: buh-bye, Samantha) will air six days a week in early evening or late night. read more


Did Ben and J.Lo really call off their lavish weekend wedding — or is it just a smokescreen to throw off the tabs? That's one of the rumors making the rounds in the wake of news that Sunday's nuptials were being delayed because the couple felt the media frenzy was getting out of control. "When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate 'decoy brides' at three different locations, we decided that something was awry," Bennifer said in a joint statement. "We began to feel that the spirit of what should have been the happiest day of our lives could be compromised." There's speculation the bride- and groom-to-be may elope this weekend. read more


Bill Cosby will receive the prestigious Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 55th annual prime-time Emmy Awards on Sept. 21. The three-hour telecast airs live on Fox beginning at 8 pm/ET. read more

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