Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

Nominations for the inaugural MTV Latin Video Music Awards were announced Tuesday and Shakira, Juanes and Diego Torres netted five each. Winners will be announced Oct. 24... British director J. Lee Thompson, the filmmaker behind the original Cape Fear, died Friday of heart failure. He was 88. read more

BLONDE AMBITION

Ryan Phillippe wasn't joking when he remarked at the Academy Awards last March that wife Reese Witherspoon makes more than him. Witherspoon will earn a career-high $15 million to reprise her role as a sorority girl turned legal eagle in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Variety reports. The follow-up is slated for release next July. read more

HE'S A MEAN ONE...

Apparently, it does pay to be cruel. American Idol meanie Simon Cowell will earn a reported $1 million to return for a second season of Fox's reality phenom. Cowell is the first Idol judge to sign up for the upcoming sequel, although fellow pundits Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are expected back as well. For a preview of tonight's two-hour finale, click here. read more

WITH ALL DUE R-E-S-P-E-C-T

We hate to say we told you so, but doggone it, we did tell you so. On last night's first-season finale of American Idol, the search for a superstar ended with Kelly Clarkson being awarded a recording contract worth a cool $1 million. Don't feel too bad for runner-up Justin Guarini, though: As the ostensible loser, the lucky stiff won't have to fill his first CD single with "Before Your Love" and "A Moment Like This," the lachrymose power ballads that the show commissioned to ensure the victor's chart success. Um, is it too late to tack on Clarkson's ballsy cover of Aretha Franklin's "Respect"? Pretty please? read more

CUT!

TNT is cutting loose Witchblade. In a surprise move, the network has axed its signature drama series after two seasons. Variety speculates that the decision may have been partly based on the personal problems of series star Yancy Butler, whose recent stint in alcohol rehab forced the show to briefly cease production. read more

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. US Weekly, meanwhile reports that on the day of the nuptials Gellar was hospitalized with dehydration brought on by — eww! — "Montezuma's revenge." read more

Kate Hudson's Wedded Bliss


After a year-and-a-half of marriage — a time when many J. Lo-esque celebrity couplings already are history — actress Kate Hudson and husband Chris Robinson are going strong. In fact, the Almost Famous starlet still gets giddy at the mere mention of the Black Crowes frontman's name.

"He's truly amazing," Hudson gushes. "And he gets more amazing as our relationship goes on."

Her musician hubby — whose solo debut New Earth Mud is due out this fall — didn't always have it so easy. His much-publicized feud with brother/bandmate Rich and their hard rockin' lifestyle took a toll. But Robinson's hazel-eyed wife respects what he's overcome. "He went through a lot in his life," the 23-year-old admits. "He has dealt with a lot of things that read more

Jami Gertz: Still at It


After hamming it up as twitchy neurotic Kimmy on Ally McBeal and showing her dramatic chops as ailing comedienne Gilda Radner in Gilda: It's Always Something, Jami Gertz needed a break! But unlike some of us, her idea of chilling out was re-entering the sitcom fray with CBS's upcoming King of Queens clone Still Standing.

"I was away for seven weeks with Gilda in Toronto," explains the Los Angeles resident, who plays the wife of a toilet-bowl salesman (The Full Monty's Mark Addy) and mother of three. "As a mom, I needed to be here... And so when read more

BIG FAT HIT

Two word-of-mouth smashes topped the Labor Day weekend box office, with M. Night Shyamalan's Signs holding on to the No. 1 spot and My Big Fat Greek Wedding climbing to No. 2. From Friday to Monday, Signs grossed another $16.5 million — bringing its month-long total to $195 million. Greek Wedding, meanwhile, raked in $14.6 million — its best weekend since opening five months ago. Rounding out the top five: XXX (No. 3 with $13.1 million), Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (No. 4 with $7.3 million) and the new thriller FeardotCom (No. 5 with $7.12 million). Finally, Jennifer Aniston's dark comedy read more

FRIENDS SCOOP

Actor Paul Rudd will guest star in a few episodes of Friends this fall, TV Guide Online has learned. He plays eligible bachelor Mike — but he won't be reunited with Jennifer Aniston, his co-star in 1998's The Object of My Affection. Instead, he'll be introduced in this season's third episode as a suitor for Lisa Kudrow's Phoebe. read more

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