Today's News: Our Take


IN RELATED NEWS...

Freddie Prinze Jr. will guest star on Friends later this fall playing a nanny that Ross and Rachel hire, Access Hollywood reports. read more

SHORT CUTS

Deborah Norville is no longer in the running for an anchor spot on CBS's The Early Show, USA Today reports... Director Brett Ratner — whose Silence of the Lambs prequel Red Dragon opens next Friday — has replaced Charlie's Angels helmer McG as the director of the upcoming Superman feature... Minnie Driver has signed a deal with NBC to star in her own comedy or drama project... Sex and the City creator Darren Star is developing a new series for HBO that follows the lives of upscal read more

HIS SALAD DRESSING IS YUMMY

Paul Newman is making tracks to the Great White Way for the first time in 40 years. The Oscar-winning legend will appear as the stage manager in Broadway's upcoming revival of Our Town. Previews begin Nov. 22; the show opens Dec. 4. The 77-year-old actor last starred on Broadway in the 1964 comedy Baby Want a Kiss. read more

Mohicans Star Battles the Bottle


Here's a loaded question: Why did Eric Schweig choose to play Daniel Day Lewis's baby brother in Last of the Mohicans? He doesn't reply with the usual actorly spiel about "his art."

"I was drunk at the time!" laughs Schweig — who stars in Skins, an Indian reservation dramedy opening tomorrow. "So I thought, 'This is beer money! This is more beer money than I've ever seen. All I gotta do is run up a couple hills here and there.' I didn't say anything in Last of the Mohicans; I had like three lines. I thought, 'This is easy!'"

In Skins, Schweig plays a Sioux cop whose brother (Graham Greene) is slowly dying after years of alcohol abuse. The story hit close to home f read more

AILING

Grammy-winning soul singer Barry White, 58, is undergoing dialysis and is hoping to receive a kidney transplant, a rep for his label announced Wednesday. White's kidney failure was brought on by years of high blood pressure. read more

NEVER SAY NEVER

Friends may be there for us one more year after all. According to Variety, the buzz in Hollywood is that the Emmy-winning sitcom — which kicks off its ninth season tonight (8 pm/ET) — could very well see a 10th year. "It's going to come back," one major network exec was quoted as saying. "When push comes to shove, there's going to be too much money involved for everybody to walk away now... NBC's going to milk this being the final season for all it's worth, and lo and behold, it will be renewed for another year." Another high-placed insider says that the show's big Emmy win Sunday only increases the odds that the sextet will agree to return next fall. "The Emmy validates what they're doing," says the source. "The cast all realizes what a great gig this is. They work three and a half days a week, they're working with their best friends, and they're making an ungodly amount of money. As long read more

IDOL FEAT

American Idol fans snapped up Kelly Clarkson's ghastly debut single "A Moment Like This" in record numbers — all but confirming that the pop phenom could have done a cover of the yellow pages and it would have been a smash. In its first week in stores, "Moment" sold 236,000 copies and soared from No. 52 to the No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It was the largest jump to No. 1 in Hot 100 history. read more

CONGRATULATIONS!

Tuesday's much-hyped wedding between Niles and Daphne on Frasier had NBC celebrating. The comedy attracted more than 21 million viewers, its biggest audience in nearly two years. John Ritter's 8 Simple Rules..., meanwhile, held up well in its second week with 12.8 million viewers — second only to CBS's season premiere of JAG (16 million). Finally, the season premieres of Smallville and The Gilmore Girls gave the WB its highest-rated Tuesday ever in adult demos. read more

MUMMY AND DADDY

Mummy hunk Brendan Fraser and wife Afton welcomed their first child, son Griffin Arthur Fraser, into the world on Sept. 17. In other baby news, psychic guru John Edward is a first-time dad: His wife gave birth to son Justin Edward on Wednesday. read more

BIG SISTER

Former Scores waitress Lisa Donahue scored a major victory last night, winning Big Brother 3 by a 9-1 margin over runner-up Danielle Reyes. Donahue walks away with $500,000 and zero dignity. read more

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