Today's News: Our Take


Here's the latest on the controversy surrounding Patrick Swayze and the possibility that he was flying drunk: The New York Daily News reports that Arizona police charged three men with "giving false information" for initially withholding the fact that they helped Swayze dispose of his empties. Meanwhile, Swayze's publicist reports that there was no alcohol on the plane. "It's unfortunate that there were people there who felt the need to say what they said," she said. read more


So long, Florence? The New York Post reports that Florence Henderson and the girls of Later Today might get the ax when NBC's Today adds an extra hour in the fall. An NBC spokesperson says the show will air on NBC-owned stations in September, but insiders say Later Today staffers have been told to send out their résumés and look for other work. read more


Brian Dennehy (Tommy Boy, Broadway's Death of a Salesman) has been tapped to host the syndicated series Arrest & Trial, Variety reports. A&T, a weekday reality show from the creators of Law & Order, debuts Oct. 2.

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Rocker Bruce Springsteen has a new public supporter — controversial Public Enemy rapper Flavor Flav. Flav, whose real name is William Drayton, praised Springsteen for writing a song — "American Skin" — inspired by the police killing of Amadou Diallo. "Bruce Springsteen, he sees the picture," Flav told, a music Web site. "Can't no one blame a man for seeing reality the way that it is. And y'know what? I'm with my man all the way." Public Enemy was among the first groups to address the killing last year with a song titled "41:19" — for the 41 shots fired by four New York City cops at Diallo and the 19 that hit him. — New York Post read more


Popular creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy just got a lot more popular! Variety reports that the auteur just signed a two-year deal with Warner Bros. Television to write, develop and produce half-hour and hourlong programs. How about a Sugar Daddy spin-off? read more

Linda Evans Kisses and Tells

Former Dynasty star Linda Evans says she learned a lot from the passionate on-screen kiss she shared with Rock Hudson shortly before his AIDS-related death in 1985.

"I found it to be a very good time in my life because I got to see who people were," Evans recalls on her upcoming Lifetime Intimate Portrait (June 26, 7 pm/ET). "People started staying away from me. People wouldn't hug me anymore."

Although the late Hudson managed to hide his illness from his Dynasty co-workers prior to the infamous kissing scene, Evans recalls that there was something unusual about the way the secretive actor carried out the smooch. "When we did the scene he was very timid with me," she says. "As a result of it, they reshot it because they said it wasn't passionate enough. And later, when I found out that he read more


Doesn't David E. Kelley ever get tired? The New York Daily News reports that the Emmy-winning Ally McBeal honcho is in talks with Sony Music to cut a deal for a third Ally soundtrack album. As part of the deal, Kelley is asking for his own record label imprint! The News reports that one scenario could see wacky Ally regular Lisa Nicole Carson recording for Kelley's label. read more

The Man Show's War on Rosie

Don't expect to see Rosie O'Donnell as a guest on Comedy Central's The Man Show anytime soon.

"I hate Rosie because she comes across as so sugary-sweet, with all the singing and the kids," Man Show co-host Adam Carolla tells Gear. "And every story I've heard, anyone behind the scenes, anyone who's ever worked with her, she's just this tyrannical bitch.

"Roseanne I don't mind because she's a bitch on- and off-camera and makes no bones about it," he adds. "But with Rosie it almost feels like she's compensating, because she works so hard to come across as so saccharine-sweet, and I've talked to a number of people who have said she's just flat-out evil."

And that's not all. Carolla further describes the popular morning-show host as "the world's biggest hypocrite." Man Show co-host Jimmy Kimmel adds: "Here's a little-known fact about Rosie read more

Mel Gibson's Dark Side

Aussie screen icon and legendary prankster Mel Gibson enjoys the challenge of tackling roles that explore the dark and somewhat reckless elements of a character. So, what's the appeal?

"Talk to any kid and ask what kind of story they want to hear at night. The one with the birds and flowers ? Bambi ? or the Grimm's fairy tales where you have to face your own id. I want the nightmare," he tells Movieline. "I need that conflict, the edginess that makes you want to know what happens next."

Shying away from squeaky-clean screen heroes, Gibson has consciously made choices throughout his career to play characters with villainous leanings, and he believes audiences can relate to them. "Everybody has those dark sides," he explains. "There's something there people can understand. You say, 'Can I do this and have people understand the character, even though he's committing heinous acts?' I read more


Actor/dancer/pilot Patrick Swayze may have been drinking when his plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Northern Arizona earlier this month. Reuters reports that construction workers near the crash site have admitted to carting away 30 beer bottles — 10 of which were empty — and a bottle of wine. However, a police sergeant says, "We will never know to what extent, if any, alcohol played in this. We don't have any physical evidence of impairment. You can't charge somebody with something you don't have." read more

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