Today's News: Our Take


NO SHOW

Concertgoers can't seems to catch a break these days. The latest performer shirking his/her concert commitments: Diana Ross. The legendary singer — who checked herself into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center two months ago — has canceled the remaining dates of her 10-city summer tour. Ross, 58, kicked off the tour last week at New York's Westbury Music Fair. read more

SHORT CUTS

Denzel Washington's directorial debut, Antwone Fisher, will have its world premiere at next month's Toronto International Film Festival... The Tale of the Allergist's Wife will end its Broadway run on Sept. 15. read more

WAS THIS A $10 BET?

Ed star Josh Randall was arrested in Brooklyn Wednesday night after an undercover narcotics cop caught him allegedly smoking crack with a homeless man. The 30-year-old actor — who plays Tom Cavanagh's best friend Dr. Mike Burton in the NBC dramedy — was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and is being held pending arraignment. read more

YEP, SHE'S THE CENTER SQUARE

Future talk show host Ellen DeGeneres will succeed Whoopi Goldberg as Hollywood Squares' center square — albeit temporarily. According to The Hollywood Reporter, as part of the producers new strategy of rotating center square occupants, DeGeneres will take over the main slot for the first few weeks of the show's fifth season (premiering Sept. 16). Alec Baldwin is next in line, although the dates of his stint are still being worked out. read more

Eric Close: Still Without a Trace of Flab?


There's a lot of pressure that comes with being the strongest man on the planet. Just ask Eric Close, who played a souped-up government agent in the short-lived CBS cult fave Now and Again. "You're working 16-18 hour days, and then you've got to go to the gym all the time," he sighs to TV Guide Online. "And then on top of that, you're trying to learn your lines and have a family life. It was insane."

And although Now and Again lasted only one season — CBS pulled the plug in May 2000 — Close admits it took him a full year to recover from all those crunches and pull-ups and curls (oh my!). "It really takes a lot out of you," sighs the 35-year-old actor, confessing that his physique soon returned to less-than-Supermanly proportions. "I started looking and going, 'Man, where did that six-pack go?' You realize how much work it takes to be in phenomenal shape."

Luckily, Close's lat read more

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME NEW MUSIC?

Monday Night Football will get a new theme song every week this season, courtesy of franchise mainstay Hank Williams Jr. Each game will get its very own lyrics, set to Williams' 1984 hit "All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight." Here's a sampling from the Sept. 16 opener between Washington and Philadelphia: "The 'Skins' new coach looks to make an impression/Philly wants to teach him an NFL lesson." read more

STAR TREATMENT

Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones will be released on DVD and VHS on Nov. 12. Expect lots of extras, but the same old boring film. read more

CRIME CARTOON

CBS has signed a deal with IDW Publishing for a five-issue comic book miniseries based on the network's hit serial thriller CSI. IDW will publish one issue per month starting in December. read more

CARREY'S NEW GAL

Jennifer Aniston's movie career just got a major boost: The Friends Emmy nominee has been cast opposite Jim Carrey in the spiritual comedy Bruce Almighty. She'll play the girlfriend of Carrey's character, who is given the opportunity to run the universe for a day. Morgan Freeman is in final talks to play God. read more

IDOL SURPRISE

Sexy disco diva Ryan Starr was the latest contestant booted from Fox's American Idol last night. But the real shocker was frontrunner Justin Guarini landing in the bottom two! Talk about an ego bruiser! Meanwhile, Tuesday night's talent show portion of Idol attracted a series-high 12 million viewers and delivered the best young demos of any show this summer. read more

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