Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

TNT has tapped Charles Barkley to host his own half-hour talk show. Listen Up! Charles Barkley with Ernie Johnson debuts Oct. 31 live at 7 pm/ET... Queen Latifah has signed a deal with CBS to develop and star in the hour-long police drama Mali Anderson, a project based on Grace F. Edwards' Mali Anderson Mystery book series. read more

NATURAL CAUSES

Late Drowning Pool singer David Wayne Williams died last month of heart failure, according to the autopsy report. The 30-year-old was found dead in his tour bus in mid-August. read more

TAKE A BOW

Madonna has been named the greatest woman in music over the past 50 years, according to a new VH1 poll. Of the 750,000 votes cast by viewers, 17 percent went to the Material Girl. Rounding out the top five: Kylie Minogue, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. read more

THE SECRET'S OUT

Tickets for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets went on sale today in Britain — more than a month before the film's Nov. 15 debut. Simmer down people! You'll all get a seat! read more

THAT'S HOLLYWOOD FOR YOU

Freddy Got Fingered producer Lauren Lloyd is developing a sequel to Easy Rider, the 1969 classic that starred Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson. According to Variety, the follow-up begins with Captain America (Fonda) falsely imprisoned for murder of George Hanson (Nicholson). A new character sets out to prove him innocent. There's no word if the trio plan to reprise their roles. read more

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

SMELLS LIKE A HIT

Nirvana fans finally got to face the music this week. The band's unreleased 1994 track "You Know You're Right" — recorded less than three months before the death of lead singer Kurt Cobain — debuted on radio stations across the U.S. this week. The song was apparently leaked to the airwaves via the Internet. read more

AND THE WINNER IS...

Round four of the Friends/Survivor face-off got underway last night, and not surprisingly, America was there for NBC's Emmy-winning sitcom. According to Nielsen, the ninth (and supposedly final) season premiere of Friends attracted a staggering 33.3 million viewers and easily beat the debut of Survivor: Thailand (21.4 million viewers). At 9 pm, CBS took control with the return of CSI averaging a series-high 30 million viewers. The Eye network's 10 pm debut of Without A Trace also fared well with 16.6 million viewers — the most competitive drama finish opposite an ER premiere in eight years, reports Variety's numbers cruncher Rick Kissell. Of course, with 26.7 million viewers, ER was hardly on life support. read more

YOKO WINS!

Yoko Ono scored a major legal victory on Thursday against a former personal assistant who wrote a tell-all book about her late husband John Lennon. U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand ruled that Frederic Seaman was bound by a confidentiality agreement that he signed in 1979. Ono is demanding Seaman pay unspecified damages and surrender the rights to 374 photos he took of the Lennon family. read more

END QUOTE

"I have not had a personality change. I don't think anything I've done recently is inconsistent with what I've done my whole life." — Former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell defending her recent behavior in the new issue of People. read more

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