Today's News: Our Take


NO BETTE BOOK

Bette Midler has canned plans to write a scathing tell-all about her failed CBS sitcom Bette, the New York Daily News reports. Apparently, though she signed a $1 million book deal with Simon &#038 Schuster, the publisher's incestuous relationship with CBS — both are owned by Viacom — proved prohibitive to the diva's designs. read more

SUMMER'S COMING

Aidan Quinn will star in the Miramax film Stolen Summer, based on the script that won the online screenwriting contest sponsored by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Variety reports. Kevin Pollak and Brian Dennehy also will appear in the pic, which will be directed by the project's winning scribe, Pete Jones. read more

Question: Could you tell me ...

Question: Could you tell me the name of the character that Angie Dickinson played in Police Woman? Thanks. — Terry

Televisionary: Ms. Dickinson played Sgt. Suzanne "Pepper" Anderson in the series, which ran on NBC from September 1974 through August 1978, Terry. Anderson was an undercover LAPD vice cop who worked with colleagues Joe Styles (Ed Bernard) and Pete Royster (Charles Dierkop) under the command of Lt. Bill Crowley (Earl Holliman). (For those of you who didn't get enough of my exhaustive answer on pilots in the April 24 column, the show first aired as an episode of Police Story before getting its own slot.)

The funny thing is that when Dickinson shot the Police Story read more

JILL CHILLS

Sick songbird Jill Scott has temporarily dropped out as Sting's opening act on his current 13-city U.S. tour, MTV News reports. Scott was hospitalized on Sunday with a lung infection resulting from a nasty cold. "With Jill, she's always so upbeat," said her publicist, Karen Taylor. "She knows everything is going to be OK." read more

SETTLING DOWN

Halle Berry has reached an out-of-court settlement with the woman who was suing her in connection with a February 2000 auto accident. Hetal Raythatha claimed that Berry was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when their cars collided, allegations the X-Men star has denied. read more

BIKE MESSENGER

Rosie O'Donnell fulfilled Colby Donaldson's lifelong dream on today's Survivor-themed Rosie O'Donnell Show when she presented the Outback runner-up with a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. "I want you to think of me every time you ride it," O'Donnell cracked. read more

Question: My children are ...

Question: My children are having an argument about the Ben Savage comedy series Boy Meets World. One of them says the show is 20 years old; the other says it could only be about 10 years old. Please settle this. When did the show debut? — Isabelle G., Destin, FL

Televisionary: Jeez, Isabelle, talk about dream parenting. If the worst TV argument your kids can muster is about the age of a show, I'd imagine things go rather smoothly in the ol' G. household. My brother and I battled on a far more harmful, physical plane, where a fight over whose room got the sole portable TV on a Saturday morning ended up with the rabbit ears being snapped off and my dad chasing my brother around the dining room table, Homer Simpson-style, while our dog barked her furry head off.

But I digress — yet again. Boy Meets World was on ABC's Friday-night schedule for seven seasons, from September 1993 to May 2000. But don't be too hard on the child who sa read more

SMITH SEEING GREEN

A federal judge has issued a tentative ruling in favor of ex-Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith, saying he was inclined to award her $475 million from the estate of her late hubby. Smith, however, may want to hold off on that shopping spree: U.S. District Judge David Carter pointed out that he could change his mind before making a final ruling next week. read more

Question: Could you please ...

Question: Could you please tell me the name of the artist who sang the Cat Stevens song "Trouble" on the most recent ER, where Abby and Carter go to pick up her mother in Oklahoma? Thank you! — Shannon G.

Televisionary: Oh, but it wouldn't be a column without the usual ER song question, now would it, Shannon? Not a problem — even though I sometimes wonder if people get tired of reading about music from that show.

"Trouble," which you heard while the two characters took their road trip, is a remake by Throwing Muses founder Kristin Hersh of an old Cat Stevens tune. You'll find it on her latest CD, Sunny Border Blue, which I heartily recommend for its blend of pop and fury. (As Hersh herself said of the work: "Some of these songs sound like they could have been written by The Monkees. But only if something really terrible had happened to them."

And while I'm firing off opinions on what you might en read more

BIG NBC PROMOTION

NBC News prexy Andrew Lack has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of the network, it was announced today. Bob Wright, meanwhile, will become chairman and CEO while continuing to serve as vice chairman and executive officer of General Electric, parent company of NBC. — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge read more

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