Simpson and Lachey report happy marriage; Jessica defends sister Ashlee's recent lip-sync performance
In a recent interview with People magazine, pop star couple Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey claimed they are happily married, despite new tabloid reports that he has threatened to walk out. "Our relationship is better than it's ever been. We are absolutely not breaking up," Simpson said. The couple admits they have arguments like every other couple, but say communication is the key to success. "What married couple doesn't [fight]?" said the 24-year-old singer. "You don't want to marry somebody who's just like you. So there are always going to be conflicts. That's what compromise is all about. It means that we're communicating." The couple, who celebrated their second wedding anniversary on Oct. 26, is keeping busy taping the upcoming season for their hit MTV reality show, Newlyweds, as well as an ABC variety show expecting to air in December. Jessica is also starring as Daisy Duke in the upcoming Dukes of Hazzard movie expected to hit theatres in July of 2005. When asked about younger sister Ashlee Simpson's latest lip-synch fiasco on Saturday Night Live, Jessica said, "Ashlee is an amazingly talented person. She's already sold 3 million records, which is more than I sold in two years. She's proven herself."
P. Diddy plans his 35th birthday bash
Rapper turned actor Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is planning to end his busy year with an outrageous 35th birthday bash tonight, the AP reports. The "Royal Birthday Ball" will be held at downtown Los Angeles' Cipriani's restaurant. This ultra-exclusive, A-list-only celebrity guest list includes Mariah Carey, Vivica A. Fox, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Rock and Stevie Wonder. P. Diddy admits that he will not officially be able to rest until tonight when the party's over. "In this one year, I've run a marathon, I did Broadway, signed on to do Carlito's Way: The Beginning, won the "men's designer of the year" award, opened up a store on Fifth Avenue, got the youth vote out--and now it's my birthday," Combs said. "It's been a great year but it's been hard work. I'm gonna lay down for a week, watch TV, eat a turkey sandwich ... (and) watch old reruns of Good Times."
Shatner's The Transformed Man album to be re-released
Actor William Shatner is working with Geffen records to re-release his 1968 album The Transformed Man, Reuters reports. Best known for his role as Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek, Shatner's album featured the former Captain reading poetry over the music of contemporary classics like Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Although the original album never reached the Billboard top 200 list, Geffen records is hoping that re-mastering the album will encourage more people to buy it when it is released on Dec. 7.
Hollywood studios cracking down on bootleggers
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Motion Picture Assn. of America (MPAA) is planning to sue individuals who are caught distributing copyrighted works without permission on the Internet. MPAA president and CEO Dan Glickman is already concerned about the $3.5 billion in loses from piracy alone, not including the Internet. The MPAA is not alone in their fight to stop illegal activity in the entertainment industry. The Recording Industry Assn. of America (RIAA), which represents the major U.S. labels, has already sued over 3,000 people for making music available on the Internet. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft recently vowed that he would use the Justice Department and the FBI to prosecute those offenders who are illegally sharing files in the United States and abroad. The MPAA has not stated when and how they will begin their crackdown.
Jeopardy! champ wins the most game show money ever
During his 66th consecutive appearance on Jeopardy!, quiz-show champ Ken Jennings won $2,197,000, breaking all records to become the new top TV game show winner. According to the Associated Press, the 30-year-old software engineer from Utah began his 75-game streak in June, which lasted until September. Former top game show winner Kevin Olmstead won $2,180,000 dollars on ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire? back in 2001. With nine more shows still to air, ABC admits the Jeopardy! champ finally loses on the 75th show.
Elton John to appear in upcoming TV comedy
At age 57, musician Elton John is planning to make his television debut in an upcoming show about aging rock musicians, reports Daily Variety magazine. John explains that the show will not be based on himself, but on the lives of fellow aging pop icons like Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, and David Bowie. "It's not about me, but about everybody we've encountered over the past 30 years," said John. "We've met every star and seen every misbehavior. And it's about the people around the star, who have to put up with them." John and his business manager, Bob Halley, came up with the concept of the comedy show about three years ago. John has already written a song for the project titled, "Him and Us," which will appear on his 43rd album "Peachtree Road," due in stores on Tuesday.
CBS narrows search for The Late Late Show replacement
The producers of the CBS late night talk show, The Late Late Show have narrowed the talk show host search down to four contenders, Reuters reports. Former ABC sitcom stars D.L. Hughley and Craig Ferguson, comic Michael Ian Black and MTV's Total Request Live host Damien Fahey have all been welcomed back for more guest appearances on the talk show. Former The Late Late Show host, Craig Kilborn left the show in September and CBS and the Worldwide Pants Inc., have been searching for a replacement since his departure. CBS and the show's producers promise that the permanent host "will be announced shortly."
Saturday Night Live to join reality TV buzz
Landing a spot as a Saturday Night Live comic will soon be the coveted prize of an upcoming reality show, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Contestants will go head-to-head in competitions that are meant to test their inner comedian. The idea of an SNL reality show was fronted by Saturday Night Live's creator/executive producer, Lorne Michaels, after NBC's track record of turning up successful comics in The Last Comic Standing turned into a success.
Top Story: Pitt To Host BBC Radio Documentary
Brad Pitt will host a music documentary on the late British singer-songwriter Nick Drake for BBC Radio 2, Reuters reports. Drake, who died of a drug overdose in 1974 at the age of 26, is regularly cited as an influence by some of Radio 2's core artists, including REM, Paul Weller and Badly Drawn Boy," said Lesley Douglas, Controller BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music. "I was introduced to Nick Drake's music about five years ago, and am a huge admirer of his records," Pitt said in a BBC statement. "When Radio 2 approached me to get involved in this project, I was delighted to be asked." The program, which airs on May 22, includes a Norah Jones version of Drake's song "Day is Done."
Queer Eye Aims at Straight Girls
Bravo has greenlit 13 episodes of their newest reality series Queer Eye for the Straight Girl, which spins off their hugely successful Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. "It's something our female fans have been requesting since Queer Eye became a hit," Bravo topper Jeff Gaspin told Variety, adding that he isn't concerned the channel would be overpowered by the franchise. " Straight Girl goes on the air a year and a half after the original launched, so I think enough time will have passed," he opined. Variety reports a new team of gay lifestyle coaches will come to the aid of frumpy femmes. Casting is under way for a debut next year.
Limbaugh's Appeal May Keep Him Out of Court
Rush Limbaugh's attorney will argue before an appeals court in Florida Wednesday to keep Limbaugh's medical records sealed, citing patient/doctor confidentiality, in the criminal investigation currently brewing against the conservative radio host, AP reports. Limbaugh, 53, who sought treatment for an addiction to painkillers late last year, has been accused of illegally buying prescription drugs by "doctor shopping" or visiting several doctors to receive duplicate prescriptions of controlled narcotics, AP reports. Limbaugh--who believes he is being pursued by Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer, a Democrat, for political gain--has not been charged with a crime as yet and if the appeal goes through, the investigation against him could be stalled for good.
3000 Degrees Gets Cold
The production start on Warner Bros.' fire disaster flick 3000 Degrees, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Ed Harris and Woody Harrelson, has been indefinitely put on hold, Variety reports. The film, which centered on the real-life 1999 blaze at the Worcester Cold Storage warehouse in Massachusetts that claimed the lives of six firefighters, had been strongly opposed by relatives of some of the victims and firefighter groups in Worcester. But Variety reports the studio finally nixed the production when the International Assn. of Fire Fighters, the union that represents 85 percent of all firefighters in North America, told producers that out of allegiance to those families, its members would not assist the film's production, in effect denying production crews access to fire stations, fire trucks, other equipment and technical consultation services to ensure the accuracy of the film.
Motown Special To Air
The taping of ABC's television special Motown 45, which will air in May, featured the talents of Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Ritchie and Cedric the Entertainer, commemorating the label's legacy, Reuters reports. Performances taped on Sunday also included Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland teaming with Supremes' Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong on a Supremes medley and with Richie on "Endless Love," Michael McDonald covering Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and Nick Lachey and Jermaine Jackson dueting on "I'll Be There." Click here to see the photo gallery!
Stone Speaks at Tribeca Film Festival
Actress Sharon Stone is scheduled to take part in panels during next month's Tribeca Film Festival, joining other distinguished celebrities such as director Martin Scorsese and news anchor Peter Jennings, The Associated Press reports. Stone, known for sexy turns in films such as Basic Instinct, will discuss the evolution of sex in the cinema along with John Cameron Mitchell, the director, co-writer and star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Scorsese, who helped found the festival with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal of Tribeca Films, is set to talk about the use of music in his movies, while Jennings will moderate a discussion on "Jesus as Celebrity." Tribeca Film Festival will run from May 1-9.
Role Call, Part I: Fantastic Four Gets Director, John Woo Gets Metroid
Barbershop director Tim Story has been tagged to direct Marvel Comics' The Fantastic Four for 20th Century Fox. The film will follow follows the exploits of venerable Marvel Comics characters Reed and Sue Richards, Benjamin Grimm and Johnny Storm--better known to comic fans as Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Thing and the Human Torch. No cast has been set as …Director John Woo (Mission: Impossible 2) has optioned Nintendo's best-selling video game franchise Metroid for the big screen. The movie will center on the origins of the game's female protagonist, sexy bounty hunter Samus Aran, and relate her adventures battling the insidious life-sucking Metroids and their controlling force, Mother Brain.
Role Call, Part II: Diane Lane is Fierce, King's Men Remake in Works
Diane Lane has set her sights on Lions Gate's thriller Fierce People as her next project. The film revolves around a woman (Lane) who tries to start anew with her son after his brush with the law, when she is attacked and her new life is shattered…Schindler's List writer Steven Zaillian will direct a remake of All the King's Men, with Sean Penn being touted for the lead. Based on Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the story follows the rise and fall of populist Southern poli