Top Story: Debra Messing Expecting First Child
Will & Grace star Debra Messing and her husband of three years, screenwriter Daniel Zelman, are expecting their first child next summer, The Associated Press reports. The network isn’t saying whether the hit NBC sitcom will work her pregnancy into the show, or hide her midsection behind props. The Emmy-winning actress, who appeared in last year’s Woody Allen comedy Hollywood Ending, will make her leading feature debut in the upcoming romantic comedy Something Borrowed. She also stars opposite Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston in Along Came Polly, which hits theaters early next year.
P. Diddy Runs NYC
Hip-hop mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs completed the 26.2-mile New York marathon Sunday in the official time of four hours, 14 minutes and 54 seconds–despite suffering leg cramps for about half the distance. Combs, who called the endeavor “Diddy Runs the City,” said in a diary about the marathon published in the New York Post that he trained for less than two months and had an injured right knee. His goal? To best Oprah Winfrey ‘s 1994 U.S. Marine Corps marathon time of 4 hours, 29 minutes. Combs said he raised a total of $2 million for New York’s public schools, children suffering from HIV and AIDS and his own charity to foster social programs, Reuters reports.
Rappers Into Energy Drinks
Ice-T, Russell Simmons and Nelly, meanwhile, are hoping the energy drink market will translate into dollars. All three hip-hop entrepreneurs launched their own brands of energy drinks this year: Nelly‘s Pimp Juice, Simmons‘ Def Con 3 and Ice-T‘s Liquid Ice. Ice-T is also launching Royal Ice malt liquor in what he hopes will be a resurgence of the beverage back to the mainstream. Malt liquor, also known by the endearing pseudonym “liquid crack,” has twice the alcohol content of beer with concentrated sweeteners to accelerate the intoxication process.
Laura Innes Honored by Gay Rights Group
Actress Laura Innes, who plays the gay character Dr. Kerry Weaver on the NBC’s hit medical drama ER, received this year’s Artistry Award from the gay rights organization Power Up, which promotes the visibility and integration of gay women in entertainment, the AP reports. The organization also honored the Bravo Network for its commitment to diversity and two-time Emmy winner Judith Light. She has been a strong supporter of gay issues since she portrayed the mother of Ryan White, the child who was rejected from school and friends when they learned of his contracting the HIV virus, in the 1989 ABC movie The Ryan White Story.
Phil Spector’s Bail Extended
Phil Spector‘s $1 million bail was extended a second time to Jan. 9 while the district attorney’s office considers whether to charge him in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson, the AP reports. Spector, 62, was arrested Feb. 3 after the body of Clarkson, 40, was found in the foyer of his Alhambra, Calif., home. Record producer Spector has denied killing Clarkson and suggested in an Esquire magazine interview that she may have shot herself. But in a report submitted Sept. 16, sheriff’s detectives concluded Spector shot Clarkson.
Bernie Mac Shelved for November Sweeps
If you tuned in to catch the season premiere of The Bernie Mac Show Sunday night on Fox, you probably wondered what happened. That’s because the network pushed the show’s third season premiere to Nov. 30. Bernie Mac, which was moved from its Wednesday 9 p.m. slot to the coveted post-Simpsons Sunday 8:30 p.m. period, was scheduled to launch yesterday but Fox opted to run repeats of The Simpsons for the four weeks of sweeps instead. Networks often air reruns of their strongest shows to boost ratings during sweeps periods, which are used by local stations to set ad rates.
Sinead O’Connor Retires … Really
Sinead O’Connor, who just released a two-CD set titled She Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty, said she is retiring from music in order to concentrate on her theological studies and pastoral healing. This is not O’Connor‘s first attempt at retirement: She first tried to sabotage her music career in 1992 by ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live and has since announced her retirement from the music industry twice.
Role Call: Brother Bear Creative Team Pacts With Disney
Disney has signed an exclusive deal with Brother Bear directors Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker and producer Chuck Williams, to assure that their next yet to be determined project will roll out under the Disney banner. The animated feature, which took in about $18.5 million at the box office in its first two days since opening nationwide Saturday, marks the directorial debut for Blaise and Walker and the producing bow for Williams.