Top Story: "Survivor" Finalists Get Engaged
The Sunday night two-hour season finale of CBS' Survivor All-Stars reeked of The Bachelor--with a little American Idol thrown in. After the final four contestants were whittled down to two and before host Jeff Probst announced the $1 million winner live from Madison Square Garden in New York, finalists "Boston Rob" Mariano and Amber Brkich got engaged. In what could easily go down as the cheesiest moment in reality TV history, Mariano pulled out an engagement ring and proposed to Brkich, who was sporting a chic "I (heart) Rob" T-shirt. "We didn't even care who was going to win," Brkich told The Associated Press today. "We knew we both had each other for the rest of our lives." And the jackpot probably helped sweeten the moment, too: Brkich beat Mariano by a 4-3 vote. But the show isn't over yet folks. The network announced it was calling on fans to vote one of the losing 17 contestants of Survivor All-Stars a second million-dollar prize, which will be handed out on a live telecast Thursday night.
Anti-Camcording Law Nabs First Pirate
A Los Angeles-area man was sent to jail for 42 days in the first sentencing under California's new anti-camcording law, which was enacted Jan. 1. Reuters reports Ruben Moreno, 34, was also given three years' probation and ordered to forfeit his camcorder during sentencing at Los Angeles Superior Court May 3. According to the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Moreno was caught taping The Alamo at the Pacific Winnetka Theater in Los Angeles April 12 after a projectionist noticed the light from his video camera. The sighting was confirmed through night vision goggles.
Rapper 50 Cent in Scuffle
Police in Springfield, Mass., had to break up a shoving match early Saturday morning at the Hippodrome club after rapper 50 Cent and his entourage jumped from the stage during a surprise appearance and scuffled with the audience, the AP reports. According to the club's co-owner, 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, jumped off the stage about 10 minutes into his performance after someone in the crowd flung water at him. The rapper then got back on stage to finish his song before exiting the club with his entourage. Two men were charged with disturbing the peace. Police also were investigating whether a nearby shooting was related.
Elton John Adds 15 Dates to Vegas Show
"The Red Piano," singer Elton John's three-year gig at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, is scoring sellouts since it began Feb. 13, leading organizers to add 15 dates to the 2004 run. John's Colosseum deal originally called for 75 shows over three years. Reuters reports the show has grossed $14.5 million from 19 sellouts that drew an audience of 75,276. "The Red Piano" resumes July 23 and ends Aug. 8, with the additional 15 dates running between Oct. 12 and 31. Tickets for the show are priced at $100, $175 and $250.
Actor and Comedian Alan King Dies
Actor and comedian Alan King died Sunday in New York at the age of 76, the AP reports. The Brooklyn-born standup comic was a popular guest on TV comedy and variety shows for decades, and often guest-hosted for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. King broke into show business while still in his teens, doing comedy in the Catskills, then moving on to nightclubs. His film career began in the 1950s with small parts and went on to star in Bye Bye Braverman, The Anderson Tapes, Just Tell Me What You Want, Author! Author!, I, the Jury, Lovesick and The Bonfire of the Vanities. He also penned a number of books and produced movies and stage plays.
Marie and Donny Osmond's Mother Dies
Marie and Donny Osmond's mother, Olive Osmond, died Sunday in Provo, Utah, of complications from a massive stroke she suffered more than two years ago. She was 79. Family spokesman Ron Clark told the AP family members were by her bedside. Olive and her husband George had nine children, including Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay, who performed as the Osmond Brothers, producing 34 gold and platinum records in the '60s and '70s. Donny, Marie and Jimmy Osmond later joined them. Then, from 1976-79, Donny and Marie Osmond hosted the The Donny and Marie Show, produced in part by their older brothers. Olive Osmond is survived by her husband, nine children, 55 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Smokey Robinson Markets Soul Food
Fans of Motown legend Smokey Robinson will now be able to "Shop Around"--not for the single, but for gumbo. Reuters reports Smokey Robinson's Foods has introduced its first product, Soul Is in the Bowl Gumbo, to the Chicago market available there through Albertson's subsidiary, Jewel-Osco. Robinson's gumbo is located in the frozen food section and regularly priced at $2.89, with a portion of the company's profits used to further education for minority children. The gumbo hits Southern and Northern California in May with a national rollout planned before the end of the year.
Role Call: DreamWorks Snatches Rights to Boys Rebellion
After 60 Minutes aired a report last week on Michael D'Antonio's book The State Boys Rebellion, DreamWorks paid mid-six figures to secure the rights. The book follows Frederick Boyce and his friends, now in their 60s, who spent their childhoods in the Walter E. Fernald School for the Feebleminded in Massachusetts as part of a government program that locked poor or uneducated children into mental institutions from the early 1900s through the 1970s. The children were neglected, abused and used for scientific experiments as part of the eugenics movement that tried to separate people considered to be genetically inferior from the rest of society in order to prevent them from reproducing.
Top Story: Sizemore's Cleaning Up
Tom Sizemore has checked himself into a rehabilitation facility for treatment of substance abuse, The Associated Press reports, postponing his sentencing in the domestic violence case involving his former fiancée Heidi Fleiss. "He's at a facility seeking treatment," city attorney spokesman Eric Moses told AP. "We don't know what he's being treated for. The continuance came at the request of his attorney." The 41-year-old actor was to have been sentenced Thursday for his conviction on misdemeanor charges of harassing Fleiss and could face up to four years in prison. He was acquitted of three of the most serious charges. The sentencing is now scheduled for Oct. 9.
Madonna Sued for Copying Photos
Samuel Bourdin, the son of the late French fashion photographer Guy Bourdin, has filed a lawsuit against Madonna, claiming the singer copied his father's images in her music video for the song "Hollywood." According to AP, the suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, accuses Madonna of copyright infringement for her imitation of poses and images in at least 11 works of Bourdin, whose photos were published in French Vogue from the mid-1950s through the late 1980s.
P. Diddy Will Run for Charity
For once, a news item not about a lawsuit against Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. On the contrary, the rap mogul has announced he'll run the New York marathon Nov. 2 and will raise $1 million for health care and education charities that benefit the city's children, Reuters reports. "Every child needs quality education and health care to train for the marathon of life," said Combs, sporting a tracksuit at a press conference. Combs admitted he'll need support as well since he's only been training for three weeks. "It's gonna be a rough one. Probably around the 13th mile, I'll really need your support--water, Gatorade, whatever," he said of the grueling 26.2-mile race. But Combs declared he'll complete the race even if it means crawling across the finish line. MTV is making a documentary chronicling his training as he readies for the event, Reuters reports.
John's Furniture Sale a Smashing Success
The sale of Elton John's extravagant furniture and items from his London home Tuesday raised nearly £1.4 million ($2.3 million), Reuters reports. "This wasn't a sale of memorabilia, but Elton's taste proved to have an extraordinarily wide appeal with enthusiastic buyers from around the world," Marcus Linell, a specialist at auction house Sotheby's, told Reuters. John claims he sold the items to return to a minimalist lifestyle.
Comedian Anderson Hospitalized
Heavyset comedian Louie Anderson, 50, is recovering in a Los Angeles hospital Tuesday following two procedures to correct an unspecified heart problem, AP reports. Anderson's agent Steve Levine confirmed to AP that the ailment was "definitely his heart" but declined to offer any other details except that it wasn't a heart attack. "When he first went in they did a procedure that worked great but then they wanted to do a little further work and it took a little longer than they thought, and that's why he's been in for over a week," Levine said. "It's over. It was successful, and he'll be fine."
ABC Eyes Insomnia For Possible Series
ABC is developing a possible new drama series around last year's creepy thriller Insomnia that starred Al Pacino and Robin Williams. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story is set two years after the events in the feature, which followed a murder investigation in a small Alaskan town. "It is basically serving as a Chapter 2 to the actual movie, so it's its own entity with its own story lines, but it still has the same tone and feeling of what I hope the movie captured, which is the real Alaska," Hillary Seitz, who wrote the feature and is attached to write and co-executive produce the series, told the Reporter.
CBS Wins First Week of New TV Season
Despite overall lower ratings for the beginning of the fall season, CBS emerged as the winner in this week's ratings thanks to the promising new series Two and a Half Men, Cold Case and Joan of Arcadia and returning favorites CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Everybody Loves Raymond, according to Nielsen Media Research. CBS took in an average of 14 million viewers, followed by NBC (12.6 million); ABC (10.6 million); Fox (6 million); the WB (4 million); and UPN (3.4 million). For the week of Sept. 22-28, the top 10 shows were: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS; Friends, NBC; ER, NBC; Law & Order, NBC; Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS; Will & Grace, NBC; Survivor: Pearl Islands, CBS; Two and a Half Men, CBS; The West Wing, NBC; and CSI: Miami, CBS.
Role Call: Connelly Dives Into Murky Water
Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly is in negotiations to star in the thriller Dark Water for Disney. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is about a mother and daughter moving into a new apartment where they are haunted by the ghost of a young girl whose family used to live in the building. It will also mark the English-language directing debut of Brazilian director Walter Salles.
Top Story: Pitt and Aniston Have No Nursery Plans
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are not building a nursery in their house--yet. Pitt, who has been shooting the Trojan War epic Troy in Malta, told Access Hollywood that while the nursery rumor is a good story, it isn't happening at the moment. But the 40-year-old actor added, "That time will come. Yeah, the time will come, certainly." According to The Associated Press, Pitt said Aniston has visited him on the set in Malta and they "had a good, nice, kind of husband and wife week" when he had some time off. He also said he and Aniston just found out that Malta is the island of fertility. Pitt and Aniston began dating in spring 1998 and were married on July 29, 2000.
WGA, PGA Announce Awards Show Dates
The first months of 2004 are shaping up to be busy ones. The Writers Guild of America announced Monday that its 56th annual awards show will be held Saturday, Feb. 21--just eight days before the Academy Awards. The Producers Guild of America, meanwhile, unveiled the date for its 14th annual show: Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles. The Directors Guild of America already announced a February 7 date for its show.
Winslet and Mendes Tie the Knot
Actress Kate Winslet married American Beauty director Sam Mendes in an intimate Caribbean ceremony in late May, her publicist said on Monday. Winslet's 2-year-old daughter Mia, from her previous marriage to director Jim Threapleton, and three close friends attended the small ceremony. Winslet, 28, is best known for her performance in the 1995 drama Sense and Sensibility, which earned the actress her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and as the heroine Rose in James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster Titanic.
Studdard Ditches 205 Jerseys
You won't see American Idol winner Ruben Studdard won't be sporting any more jerseys bearing the now-famous 205 area code, a reference to his hometown of Birmingham, Ala. Studdard, who is in Birmingham to shoot the video for his new single "Flying Without Wings," told The Birmingham News Sunday that "a combination of things" factored in his decision to no longer wear the jerseys, made by 205 Flava Inc. "I will always represent the area 205, but 205 Flava is not indicative of what I am about," he said. The 24-year-old idol, however, would not elaborate further on his decision, the AP reports.
Ron Howard Pic Gets Early Release
Ron Howard's upcoming thriller The Missing starring Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett will be released earlier than scheduled, Reuters reports. Sony had originally planned a wide release for the pic on January 16, 2004, but decided to roll it out in theaters earlier after seeing some early footage. The Western-set drama, based on a novel by Thomas Eidson, will receive a platform release beginning Dec. 10, in New York and Los Angeles in about six theaters. By Christmas, the film will be playing in about 125 theaters, with wide national release is set for Jan. 9.
Spike Lee Defends Lawsuit
Filmmaker Spike Lee said he is suing Viacom Inc. over its planned Spike TV because programs like its Pamela Anderson Stripperella cartoon will damage his reputation. Viacom, which bought TNN in 2000, announced in April that it would change TNN's name to Spike TV on June 16 in an attempt to attract more men to an audience that is already about two-thirds male. Lee's lawyer Johnnie Cochran argued in court Monday that Viacom is changing TNN's name in a deliberate attempt to capitalize on Lee's name and prestige. "They hope to get a boost in the ratings," Cochran told State Supreme Court Justice Walter Tolub. "They don't have a right to misappropriate his name to do that."
Carson Daly To Get Roasted
Madonna, Britney Spears, and Nelly are set to join artists and comedians at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles on June 28 for the first MTV Bash--a comedy/concert roast of late-night TV host Carson Daly. Daly is the host and executive producer of MTV's popular daily countdown show Total Request Live. The guests, many of whom are friends of Daly, are expected to ridicule and poke fun at Daly's public image, work, and love life. Other attendees will include Jessica Simpson, Papa Roach, Carmen Electra, Andy Dick, Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel. The event will be recorded for a July 13 telecast.
Tom Green Returns to Late Night TV
In more late-night news, comedian Tom Green is jumping again into the now crowded arena of young late-night talk show hosts, the AP reports. In The New Tom Green Show, the 31-year-old comedian will wear a suit and perform a monologue, then interview celebrity guests. Green will also mix in some comedy segments in the hour-long, late-night talker, which is set to air weeknights at midnight beginning June 23 on MTV.
Role Call: Halle Berry Lends Voice for CGI Pic Robots
Twentieth Century Fox, Blue Sky Studios and director Chris Wedge, the trio behind last year's computer-animated hit Ice Age, will regroup for the CGI project Robots. The pic, set in a world composed entirely of robots, revolves around a young genius inventor who dreams of making the world a better place. Halle Berry, Ewan McGregor,
Leave it to Hollywood to try to fool audiences into thinking that Walter Matthau and any woman could produce offspring in the form of Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow and Meg Ryan.
The three actresses, who, uh, aside from their gender have nothing but blond hair in common, co-star in Columbia Pictures' "Hanging Up" (opening today) as sisters dealing with an aging father (Matthau).
"Hanging Up" The Pointer Sisters they are not. How do three kids -- who in flashbacks appear close in age -- grow up into a mismatched trio wherein Keaton suddenly looks (at least) 15 years older than Ryan and Kudrow? Welcome to Hollywood-style gene splicing.
"Hanging Up" is just the latest example of mismatched sibling combos. Consider:
-- "Little Women": The lack of family genes is very obvious in Gillian Armstrong's 1994 remake featuring an Oscar-nominated turn by Winona Ryder. Ryder is but one of the four sisters; cast as her siblings are Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst and Trini Alvarado. At least Ryder and Alvarado have the same hair color, but the fair red-headed Danes and dirty blond Dunst are off in left field, and on opposite ends at that.
-- "The Brothers McMullen": Actor-writer-director Edward Burns, Jack Mulcahy and Mike McGlone could never pass as brothers. In fact, Burns and McGlone, who reunite in the "Brothers McMullen" follow-up "She's the One," look absolutely nothing alike. Well, unless they had different fathers and mothers.
-- "Family Business": In this little-seen 1989 Sidney Lumet bomb, a son (Matthew Broderick) estranged from his father (Dustin Hoffman) enlists the help of his career-criminal grandfather (portrayed by a very Scottish Sean Connery) to pull off a heist. Broderick, Hoffman and Connery are never believable as family -- of this Earth, anyway. Connery begat Hoffman begat Broderick? Forget genetics, this is perhaps the most egregious example yet of star packaging gone awry. Speaking of Connery, witness the familial casting insanity in 1998's "Playing by Heart." Connery is married to Gena Rowlands, and their daughters are Gillian Anderson, Madeleine Stowe and Angelina Jolie. Uh, OK.
The problem also affects TV shows. Consider:
-- "Sisters": In this touchy-feely 1991-96 series, Sela Ward, Swoosie Kurtz and Julianne Phillips (Bruce Springsteen's ex-wife, the one with really full lips) are about the funniest mismatched trio on television since "The Three Stooges." The dark-haired Ward, who in her small cameo role at the beginning of the Harrison Ford starrer "The Fugitive" looks oddly like ice skater Nancy Kerrigan, would never be mistaken for the redhead Kurtz. Actually, does anyone in Hollywood resemble Kurtz?
"Eight Is Enough" -- "Eight Is Enough": Poor Adam Rich. He looked nothing like his non-mop-topped siblings on this 1970s show, and they looked nothing like him. (Which, at least, was consistent. The other faux siblings -- particularly the five actresses cast as the five Bradford sisters -- looked nothing like each other, either.) Apparently eight was not enough. "The Cosby Show" and even "The Brady Bunch" did it better.
-- "Family Ties": "I bet we've been together for a million years." So says the theme song from this 1982-89 sitcom, but take a look at the original Keaton siblings (Michael J. Fox, Justine Bateman and Tina Yothers) and you know that "Family Ties" even a million years couldn't make these three (later, four -- when Brian Bonsall joined the cast) look like family. Fox and the little Bonsall could pass as brothers. Heck, even Fox and Bateman could pass as siblings with a little stretch of the imagination, but where did Tina Yothers' Jennifer Keaton come from, with her big '80s blond hair? The adoption agency?
But fear not, for all is not lost. Casting directors have made some uncannily good decisions for siblings. Julia Roberts and Kyra Sedgwick work as sisters in "Something to Talk About." So the potential is out there.
And those Baldwin brothers sure do look a lot alike.