Today's News: Our Take


Ugly Hunk Longs for Fame


Coyote Ugly hottie Adam Garcia will be more than happy if the film's success turns him into a major star. In fact, he can't wait until the media starts following him around his local grocery store.

"I want the stardom ? I'm not in this for art," he tells TV Guide Online, dripping with sarcasm. "I like money, chicks and cars. That's what I'm aiming for!"

Seriously, the Aussie import says that "stardom is a bit stupid. It's a stupid, empty, vacant concept." And then, slipping back into witty mode, he adds, "So... I want to be famous and that's exactly why ? it's stupid, empty and vacant."

Garcia should know. He's already made a splash in England playing Tony Manero in the theatrical production of Saturday Night Fever, from which his single "Night Fever" topped the charts and landed him teen idol status. But the up-and-comer downplays his popularity overseas.

"There were girls who waited at the stage door, but I wasn't like a household name in Engl read more

Hollywood Takes Gay Rights Fight to TV


It's enough to make Dr. Laura implode. A handful of Hollywood celebs ? including NYPD Blue's James McDaniel, Just Shoot Me's Wendie Malick and Friends's Elliot Gould ? have taken to the airwaves this summer in a public service announcement encouraging equal rights for gay men and lesbians.

"This is one of those situations where any time you can shed light on something that people don't understand, it's a good thing to do," Malick tells TV Guide Online. "I think so much of racism and discrimination is just lack of knowledge and experience."

The PSA ? titled "Choose to Understand" ? was put together by the Human Rights Campaign and distributed to local affiliates and cable operators around the country. Sample sound bite: "All of our children, straight or gay, need our acceptance, our support and our unconditional love."

However, according to Hollywood casting agent and project spearheader Tamara Billik, when it came to choo read more

ELIZABETH TAYLOR IN HOSPITAL

Poor Elizabeth Taylor can't seem to catch a break. The legendary actress was admitted into a Los Angeles hospital last Friday for a mild case of pneumonia. According to various reports, the 68-year-old, two-time Oscar winner likely will be released at the end of the week. In recent years, Taylor has had both of her hips replaced, suffered back problems and underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor. read more

BRAVE NEW WORLD

Producers of MTV's pioneering reality show, The Real World, are considering setting up shop next season in Harlem, the New York Post reports. The famous Manhattan neighborhood — currently enjoying a major renaissance — is one of several locales said to be under consideration. Other finalists reportedly include Toronto, Vancouver, Australia, France, the Caribbean and Las Vegas. read more

ANISTON SLAPS SKIN

Newlywed Jennifer Aniston is suing Celebrity Skin magazine for running photos of her sunbathing topless in her backyard, USA Today reports. The actress, who says the photographer climbed a neighbor's fence to snap the shots, is seeking unspecified damages. read more

thirtysomething Reunion?


Fans of '80s television are going to have to settle for the upcoming Facts of Life and Growing Pains reunion movies because ex-thirtysomething star Polly Draper tells TV Guide Online that the aging yuppies will not be reteaming for a trip down memory lane.

"It is not going to happen," says the now-fortysomething Draper, who recently caught up with her former co-stars when the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences hosted a panel discussion on the acclaimed drama. "Originally they wanted to do a movie, but then [producer Ed Zwick] decided he wanted to end it on a nice 'everybody wants more' note, instead of everybody saying 'Melissa got fat' or 'Ellyn didn't age well.' "

Since the show's 1991 cancellation, Draper has avoided the "Where are they now?" rut by acting in TV-movies and appearing on Broadway in Closer. Her labor of love, however, has been writing, producing and starring in The Tic Code, a new film about a read more

IT'S A BOY!

Michael Douglas, 55, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, 30, welcomed son Dylan Michael Douglas into the world on Tuesday in Los Angeles. The new arrival — the first for Zeta-Jones and the second for Douglas (he has a son, Cameron, from his first marriage to Diandra Douglas) — tipped the scales at 7 pounds, 7 ounces. The couple are engaged to be married, but a wedding date has not been set. read more

HANKS TEAMS WITH BEAUTY DIRECTOR

Tom Hanks is set to star in American Beauty director Sam Mendes's next film, The Road to Perdition, based on the 1930s-era gangster novel, The Hollywood Reporter reports. DreamWorks is producing the project, which will start filming early next year. Hanks, last seen in The Green Mile, won Oscars for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. Mendes brought home the gold last March for helming Beauty. Meanwhile, the trade paper also reports that Téa Leoni is in final talks to star in Jurassic Park III as William H. Macy's love interest. The film is due out next summer. read more

JAN CARL FRONT-RUNNER FOR LIVE SEAT?

Jan Carl has served as Regis Philbin's guest co-host on Live With Regis for two consecutive days, leading to talk that the Entertainment Tonight hostess is a front-runner to permanently succeed Kathie Lee Gifford. "Nobody's been on more than Jan Carl," Philbin joked on today's Live. "[She's] wanting this job so bad she can taste it." Carl was not about to argue the point. "I really want the show," she confirmed. A Live spokesperson had not returned our calls at press time. read more

TV TIDBITS

It's becoming increasingly obvious that tonight's new "houseguest" on CBS's Big Brother will have four legs and a tail. "Everybody will find out on tonight's show," a CBS rep teases.... ABC is seeking contestants for its new reality show, The Mole, which follows 10 individuals (one of whom is a mole) as they complete a series of difficult tasks. To apply, log onto www.abc.com.... How bad did NBC do in the ratings last week? On Sunday, the network was beaten by TBS! NBC's final installment of The 10th Kingdom placed behind TBS's premiere of the Oscar-winning film As Good as It Gets, which became the highest-rated movie in basic cable history. — Michael Ausiello read more

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