Today's News: Our Take


GO WEST YOUNG MAN

Timothy Olyphant (Gone in Sixty Seconds) has been cast as the lead in HBO's upcoming Western series Deadwood, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show will be set in the Montana Territory in 1876. read more

SUMMER REPORT CARD

Hollywood sold $3.16 billion worth of tickets over the just-concluded summer movie season, up slightly over last year. Spider-Man was the top draw with more than $400 million, followed by Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones with $300 million. read more

Question: Can you tell me if ...

Question: Can you tell me if Webster burned down his apartment with fireworks or a chemistry set? I really need to know. — Phil B., Milwaukee, Wis.

Televisionary: Oh, come now, Phil. I take TV kitsch about as seriously as anyone I know, but even I question your urgency. A man in a burning house really needs to know where the nearest exit is. A bomb squad really needs to know which wire to cut. A vampire really needs to know when daybreak is so that... well, you get the picture. Nevertheless, I'm here with an answer 'cause I really need this job.

Wee Webster Long (Emmanuel Lewis) was playing with his chemistry set, which he wasn't supposed to do without adult supervision, when he accidentally immolated his apartment. It was but one of the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished effects that the little tyke had on the lives of sportscaster George Papadopolis (Alex Karras) and wife Kathe read more

RECORD BREAKER

The annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon raised a record $58.3 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The 76-year-old comedy legend praised the "generosity and compassion" of contributors. read more

NOT 'N SYNC

Good thing Lance Bass has that music career to fall back on: The 'N Syncer's dream of becoming the world's youngest space cadet won't be coming true anytime soon. The Russian Space Agency has asked Bass to leave the cosmonaut training program after the 23-year-old failed to come up with the $20 million fee. The pop superstar had hoped to fly to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket on Oct. 28. "After failing to fulfill the conditions of his contract, Lance Bass has been told that his training at the Cosmonaut Training Center has ended and that his flight to the ISS is impossible," spokesman Sergei Gorbunov tells Reuters. "We are preparing to send a cargo container to the ISS instead of a third crew member." Bass is now at Star City training center outside Moscow "gathering his stuff and preparing to leave." read more

Question: Is this the last ...

Question: Is this the last season for Charmed or is there going to be another fifth season? I really need to know soon. Thanks. — Jay K.

Televisionary: Well, I can tell you for sure that there won't be another fifth season since, barring the possibility that stars Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan really are witches and are planning to tinker with the space-time continuum itself, it's not really possible for any show to pull that off. I can also say that my pals at the WB tell me they have no plans to yank Charmed after this season, which allows me to end on an up note (provided, of course, that a show you enjoy remaining as vulnerable read more

AND BABY MAKES THREE

Newlyweds Liza Minnelli and David Gest will adopt a 3-year-old baby girl in January. "Her name will be Serena," Minnelli told gossip guru Cindy Adams. read more

Question: Has CBS cancelled ...

Question: Has CBS cancelled the wonderful television show That's Life? The show had an excellent cast and storyline. If it hasn't been cancelled, when can we expect to see new episodes? — Casey, Clarksburg, W.V.

Televisionary: Sadly rolling along with the parade o' bad news: That's Life, too, has bitten the dust, unfortunately. Though loved by a very loyal group of fans, the drama didn't make CBS's roster for this fall.

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BUFFY WEDS

Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar exchanged vows with her Scooby-Doo leading man Freddie Prinze Jr. during a top-secret ceremony on Sunday in Mexico. Gellar wore a Vera Wang gown and Prinze donned a custom-made linen suit. The couple announced their engagement in April 2001. read more

DID THEY STEAL HER SWAN DRESS?

Scotland Yard better get its act together. On Friday, Bjork became the latest celeb victim of crime in London after thieves broke into her flat while she was sleeping. The burglars reportedly made off with valuable recording equipment. The London homes of Elle Macpherson, George Michael and ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell also have been raided in the past year. read more

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