Today's News: Our Take


BETTE ON BETTE

Look out CBS, this could get ugly. Bette Midler will receive a reported $1 million from Simon &#038 Schuster to write a book about her experience working on her short-lived sitcom, Bette, Inside.com reports. The singer-actress-diva will write the juicy tell-all — aptly titled, Cancelled — with her producing partner, Bonnie Bruckheimer. Incidentally, Simon &#038 Schuster and CBS have the same daddy: media conglomerate Viacom Inc. read more

OPRAH DENIAL

Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions denies having plans to spin off frequent Oprah guest Dr. Phil McGraw into his own talk show. "We have... had internal discussions about a variety of projects with Dr. Phil, but no commitments have been made," the company said in a statement. read more

SURVIVOR MYSTERY

The Internet is buzzing about the identity of the unexpected guest on tonight's Survivor: The Australian Outback. A preview of the installment — which aired after last week's episode — showed a mysterious visitor arriving via helicopter to the delight of some (Elisabeth) and the disdain of others (Keith). Many predict the party crasher will be either original Survivor victor Richard Hatch or Outback burn victim Michael Skupin. read more

SHORT CUTS

Pax TV will run repeats of NBC's hit quizzer The Weakest Link on Friday nights beginning June 1... Singer Nelly Furtado will be perform her hit single, "I'm Like A Bird," on the May 7 episode of the WB's Roswell... Saturday Night Live celebrates former castmember Molly Shannon's seven seasons on the show with a "Best of Molly Shannon" episode, airing this Saturday. Well, it's about time. — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge read more

MUSIC TO MADONNA FANS' EARS

Madonna added five more dates to her Drowned World Tour — but all of them are in Britain. The superstar will now play six concerts at London's Earl's Court after tickets to what was to be her one and only performance sold out in minutes on Thursday. The tour starts in Germany on June 5 and concludes in Los Angeles on Sept. 9. read more

DOWNEY UPDATE

Robert Downey Jr. faces no jail time related to his drug arrest on Tuesday. The actor — currently in detox at a Los Angeles-area rehab center — is expected to spend six months at a live-in drug treatment facility. "We're not going to put him back in prison for this," a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections said. "We're going to treat him like any other parolee. He's not getting any preferential treatment. Like any other parolee, we want him to get off the drugs." Meanwhile, Ally McBeal's co-producer, 20th Century Fox, denies Downey was fired from the show. "It was not anything as severe as terminating his employment or letting him go," a rep told Reuters. "It really came down to a practical matter of how to finish [the season] without the actor. He did film several scenes before his arrest, and we are working on ways to incorporate those scenes." Meanwhile, sources tell The Hollywood Repor read more

REUNITED

Harrison Ford and his screenwriter wife, Melissa Mathison, are reportedly together again. According to People magazine, the couple "quietly reconciled" about two months ago. read more

DUDE, I GOT NOMINATED

Dude, Where's My Car? is finally getting the respect it deserves: The film's star, Ashton Kutcher (That '70s Show), is up for an MTV Movie Award for best male breakthrough performance. Nominees for MTV's offbeat kudofest were announced yesterday, and other quirky highlights include a best on-screen team nod for Tom Hanks and Wilson in Cast Away, a best picture mention for X-Men and Hannibal's Julianne Moore and Anthony Hopkins being up for best kiss. Still, there were some respectable contenders. Oscar-winning film Gladiator, for example, nabbed five nods, including best movie and best male performer (Russell Crowe). Even the acclaimed foreign language pic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon made the cut in the best flick category. Saturday Night Live's Jimmy Fallon and Bring It On's Kirsten Dunst will host the June 7 show. For a com read more

Neve Campbell's Panic Button


Neve Campbell experienced major déjà vu while filming her latest flick, Panic (currently in limited release). When Campbell bussed another woman in a love scene, memories of her poolside kiss with Denise Richards in 1998's Wild Things came flooding back.

"It just seems to be a trend these days," says Campbell, who plays a bisexual beautician. "After Wild Things, everyone sort of jumped on the bandwagon. But I think it's good showing males and females being open about their sexuality. You shouldn't have to hide anything."

As for locking lips with her colleagues on camera, Campbell confesses: "It's always awkward, whether it's a guy or a girl. The first thing I do is reach for the Altoids. Then, I just try to be sensitive to the other person and make them comfortable. The hardest part is not thinking about the very large group of crew members that are standing around watching."

Aside from the same-sex smooch, Pan read more

Will &#038 Grace Keeping Woody


Former Cheers star Woody Harrelson has found a new hangout where everybody's going to know his name: The set of NBC's Will &#038 Grace. A Peacock spokesperson confirms that the Emmy winner — whose May sweeps stint as Grace's obnoxious new beau kicks off tomorrow night — will return to the show in the fall. "He'll be back," the rep tells TV Guide Online. "But I don't know for how many episodes yet."

At Sunday's American Comedy Awards, news of Harrelson's extended stay was first hinted at by W&#038G co-star Megan Mullally. "I think he's coming back next season, because he somehow seems perfect for Grace (Debra Messing)," Mullally told reporters after winning best supporting actress kudos (the ACAs air tonight at 8 pm/ET on Comedy Central). "He has a great opposites-attract relationship going with Grace.

Harrelson's character — a new tenant in Will and Grace's Big A read more

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