Today's News: Our Take


STERN DENIAL

What does Rosie O'Donnell think of this week's National Enquirer story alleging that her girlfriend Kelly Carpenter is having a baby for her? "Deny, deny, deny," the chat queen's publicist, Lois Smith, tells TV Guide Online. "These people don't have anything to do but sit around and make up things?" Rosie does seem busy enough these days, what with campaigning for gay adoption in Florida. "Not only that," Smith says, "she has three children. And I wouldn't be surprised to see her come home with another one. Rosie and babies... forget it, they're just meant for each other. But this is absolutely not true." read more

NOT GUILTY

R.E.M's Peter Buck was acquitted on Friday of going on an air rage rampage last April on a British Airways flight. The jury at London's Isleworth Crown Court found the guitarist not guilty of being drunk on an aircraft, assaulting crew members and damaging British Airways property. Buck's defense team claimed their client blacked out after taking a sleeping pill with alcohol. read more

CLOSE CALL

Just as Elizabeth Hurley was giving birth to a baby boy in a London hospital Thursday, a stalker was arrested outside her nearby home. Petar Mihajlovic, 32, was charged with "carrying out a course of conduct which he knew or believed amounted to harassment of Elizabeth Hurley." According to the New York Post, Mihajlovic — who has been outside Hurley's home before — shoved gifts and letters through her front door. read more

BREEDING IN THE CITY

HBO has announced that it will suspend production of Sex and the City next week in light of Sarah Jessica Parker's recently announced pregnancy. Originally scheduled to launch in June, the new season of Sex will now kick off in July. This will be Parker and hubby Matthew Broderick's first baby. read more

WRITTEN OFF

The publishing world has been dealt a major blow courtesy of its biggest booster: Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey has decided to end her phenomenally popular monthly Book Club. "It has become harder and harder to find books on a monthly basis that I feel absolutely compelled to share," Winfrey says. "I will continue featuring books on the Oprah Winfrey Show when I feel they merit my heartfelt recommendation." Toni Morrison's novel, Sula, will be featured as the club's last selection. read more

THE RACE IS ON

TV insiders are busy speculating about who will replace departing Early Show anchor Bryant Gumbel as Jane Clayson A.M. sidekick. The leading contenders? Former NBC staffer Jack Ford, CBS's Washington correspondent John Roberts, CNN eye candy Bill Hemmer and Hollywood Squares host Tom Bergeron. Our pick? Hemmer by a mile. read more

FAT FIGHT

Production on the live-action Fat Albert feature was "temporarily" halted on Thursday as a result of creative differences between producer-writer Bill Cosby and director Forest Whitaker. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Whitaker has agreed to step down and the search for a new director is underway. read more

GOING RETRO

CBS is reuniting the cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show for a one-hour special set to air next month. Meanwhile, ABC is planning a one-hour Laverne & Shirley special to be produced by Entertainment Tonight. read more

SHORT CUTS

John Malkovich and Aussie pop star Natalie Imbruglia have signed on to star in the spy spoof Johnny English... Miramax has acquired distribution rights to the next two Pok&#233mon sequels, and plans to release the fourth pic in October. Warner Bros. had rights to the first three Pok&#233mon movies. read more

WELCOME MATT

Matt Damon will make his London stage debut this month in Kenneth Lonergan's play This Is Our Youth. He'll replace would-be Darth Vader Hayden Christensen. read more

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