Today's News: Our Take


LAW AND ORDER

Sopranos star Robert Iler will stand trial on robbery charges on May 6. The 17-year-old actor and two pals are accused of robbing two other youths of $40 last summer in New York. He could face a 15-year prison sentence if convicted. read more

BACK TO THE BEACH

The on-again, off-again Baywatch reunion movie is on again. Fox has given producer-star David Hasselhoff the green light for a two-hour telepic slated for November sweeps. It remains unclear which Baywatch castmembers will be returning for the flick. read more

SHE'S MARRIED, BUDDY

Ben Affleck is going gaga over Jennifer Lopez. The Oscar winner — who's currently shooting the crime comedy Gigli with the singer-actress — is explaining why he took out ads in the Hollywood trades last month singing the praises of the singer-actress. Affleck tells Access Hollywood that he was ashamed of the "preconceived notions" he had about working with the alleged diva. "So, I thought I'd write a paragraph saying what a professional, decent person I think she is and how kind she is," he explains. "The ad was more aimed at other people than it was to her, just because there is so much negativity — people gossip and criticize and bicker — I think it's nice and rare when you meet someone who you think is actually exceptional and worth praise. I think she is a really great woman, int read more

REAL WORLD

The success of The Osbournes has MTV getting real. The music channel is launching six new reality shows, beginning with Saturday's premiere of Taildaters (8:30 pm/ET), which lets family members tag along on a date. Also in the pipeline: Virgin Chronicles, in which music stars revisit their firsts (including, yes, their first time), and the behind-the-scenes college romp Sorority Life. read more

NOW IT ALL MAKES SENSE

Still curious as to what was behind Jennifer Connelly's somber acceptance speech on Oscar night? Well, the New York Post has a theory: The paper is reporting that the Beautiful Mind actress broke up with boyfriend, former Sports Night star Josh Charles, right before the show. read more

MORE MOB NEWS...

Robert Iler's Sopranos dad, James Gandolfini, will lend his voice to DreamWorks' upcoming computer-animated pic Sharkslayer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Emmy winner will play the "Soprano" of all sharks. He joins an all-star cast that includes Will Smith, Angelina Jolie and Renée Zellweger. read more

PRINCESS SUSAN

Oscar winner Susan Sarandon has joined the cast of Children of Dune, the Sci Fi Channel's six-hour follow-up to Frank Herbert's Dune, Variety reports. Sarandon will play ruthless princess Wensicia. The miniseries is slated to air in early 2003. read more

''MR. TELEVISION'' MEMORIALIZED

Red Buttons, Sid Caesar, Don Rickles, Norm Crosby and Jayne Meadows were among the 300 mourners bidding farewell to entertainment legend Milton Berle at a private memorial service-turned-impromptu celebrity roast Monday in Los Angeles. Longtime pal Rickles set the tone of the ceremony by declaring, "I would like to be paid for this." Berle's son-in-law, ex-Night Court actor Richard Moll, later joked, "Being around Milton, I got to hear the best jokes in the world — and I want to thank read more

SHORT CUTS

MSNBC is courting talk show pioneer Phil Donahue to host a new prime-time show starting in June... Jay Leno will celebrate his 10th anniversary as host of NBC's The Tonight Show with a prime-time special on April 30 (10-11 pm/ET)... Speaking of milestones, CBS will air The Honeymooners 50th Anniversary Celebration on May 6 (10-11 pm/ET). It will feature rare and never-before-seen clips from the classic comedy series... Barbra Streisand's mother, Diana Streisand Kind, died last Wednesday after falling in her Los Angeles home. She was 93... Veteran actress Rosetta LeNoire, probably best known as read more

MIDSEASON CASUALTIES

Fox has axed its low-rated Monday night drama The American Embassy after just four episodes. UPN, meanwhile, is doing away with its new Friday night reality lineup consisting of Under One Roof and repeats of The Amazing Race 2. read more

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