News Roundup: April 8


Top Story

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas wants to put on a show: Moulin Rouge, starring Nicole Kidman. The casino reportedly offered the red-headed beauty approximately $70 million to star in a lavish production based on her hit movie. One Bellagio casino source told Sky News, “Nicole loves Las Vegas, and Las Vegas loves Nicole. It’s can’t fail to be our biggest-ever triumph with someone like her topping the bill.” The actress is said to be considering the offer “seriously.”


Breaking up is hard to do–so says Tara Reid, who was devastated after her split with MTV host Carson Daly. She told CosmoGIRL! magazine in its May edition that she was numb, could not eat and sought help from five psychiatrists after their engagement was broken last year. Yet things are better now–she and Daly have become friends. “You can’t say you’re going to marry someone and then hate each other,” Reid told the magazine.

The trial of three men accused of trying to extort money from actor Russell Crowe has been suspended until June due to concerns over media coverage. The men allegedly tried to blackmail Crowe, claiming they had a video of the actor fighting outside an Australian nightclub and would distribute it to the media. Yeah, so? Those guys should be more worried about the surly Aussie coming after them.

In the Biz

Bill Gates simply has to be the king of everything, doesn’t he? Microsoft Corp. is now seeking a partner to get into the movie and television distribution market. At the National Association of Broadcasters conference Monday in Las Vegas, the software giant announced it is developing a more advanced version of its Windows Media Player and believes the technology could be used to distribute films to theaters more cheaply. Of course it can.

Walt Disney Co. has signed on Oscar-nominated director Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) to direct the thriller Cold Creek Manor. The story centers on a family that moves from the city into a stately country manor, only to discover the previous owner, who has been released from prison, wants his property back. No one has been cast as yet.

Cold Mountain author Charles Frazier will be getting an $8 million advance to write his next book–a true story about a white man raised by Cherokee Indians, who went on to represent the tribe in Washington in the 1800s. The Civil War drama Cold Mountain became an award-winning best seller and is now being made into a major motion picture with Jude Law and Nicole Kidman.

Tube News

It’s true. Kenny is dead–really and truly dead–and he’s not coming back. South Park creator Matt Stone told the Knoxville News, “I think a lot of people probably haven’t noticed. I couldn’t care less. I am so sick of that character.” Kenny, who continually died in some spectacular fashion in every episode of South Park, died his final death of a muscular disease at the end of last season.

David Letterman and Ted Koppel have a mutual respect for each other. After Letterman recently decline ABC’s offer to move his Late Show over to the alphabet network–a move that could have taken Koppel’s Nightline off the air–Letterman praised the veteran news anchor for his work in an interview with TV Guide. When Koppel called to thank the late-night talk-show host, the two pledged to make appearances on each other’s shows.

Home Improvement star Taran Noah Smith will be getting $1.5 million on his 18th birthday. He’ll have access to trust fund money he earned while playing the youngest son on the hit ABC show. But wait, there’s more. He and his 33-year-old wife will be using the money to start a production company in Lawrence, Kan., where they live. Just thought we’d mention that part.

Music News

Ozzy Osbourne will be supping with the Bushes, after all–but not necessarily at the direct request of the president. Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, will be attending the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner May 4 as guests of Fox News Channel anchor Greta Van Susteren.

Britney Spears failed to knock Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates from first place in the U.K. singles charts with her single “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.” Gates’ cover of the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” has been in the No. 1 spot for three consecutive weeks.