What would Buddy Ebsen say? CBS chairman Leslie Moonves announced at the Television Critics Association gathering that he's considering a reality show based on "The Beverly Hillbillies," but this one would pay an Appalachian family $500,000 to live for a year in a Hollywood mansion. Some are up in arms, saying this idea is not p.c., but Moonves is standing tough, saying, "If we're not doing something controversial that makes somebody unhappy, we're not doing our job right." Fred Friendly would be proud of you, Les. (Ananova)
From the "life is like high school" file: Friday there was a wonderful exchange between California Democrat Pete Stark and Colorado Republican Scott McInnis after Dems left a House Ways and Means Committee meeting in protest over Republican changes in a pension bill. Stark, who refused to return to the meeting, thought he heard McInnis challenge him, and yelled, "You little wimp. Come over here and make me. I dare you." He added, "You little fruitcake. I said you're a fruitcake." McInnis replied, "I fully intend to defend myself." No reports on when they'll meet behind the Capitol for their spitting contest. (USA Today)
NBC will air a 30-minute version of Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" this Thursday wherein five gay guys fix up the life of one Butch Schepel, a straight guy with no style. Trouble is, it takes much more than half an hour to get the job done, so viewers who see the edited version won't get all the tips needed for the makeover -- and they probably won't get the most outrageous comments from the boys, alas. (E Online)
Adorable 2-foot-8 Verne Troyer, who played Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies, is engaged to 6-foot-2 Genevieve Gallen, a yoga instructor. Seems the tall gal dumped poor Verne and dated a 6-foot male stripper earlier this year, but then returned to Troyer after he went on a bender and wound up dancing with a stripper of his own. You can't make this stuff up, folks. (Sky News)
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Barbra Streisand, sleeping with the enemy? The Democratic singer's husband, James Brolin, has signed on to play Ronald Reagan in an upcoming CBS miniseries, "The Reagans." Speaking before the Television Critics Association Sunday, CBS honcho Les Moonves announced his casting coup, adding that he hadn't asked Streisand her opinion on the matter, "but we'll have to live with that." (The Associated Press)
Gwyneth Paltrow's boyfriend's in trouble. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is reported to have been arrested in Australia after smashing a rock into the car windshield of a paparazzo who took snaps of him surfing. "He just lost it," said the freelance photographer, Jon Lister, who says Martin also tried to let the air out of his car's tires. The photos can be seen in the U.K. Sun.
Don't hold your breath for an on-screen love scene with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Pitt says sex scenes with married couples tend to be yawners. "You look at the couples who make a film together and it always comes out crap. There's too much baggage," the actor contends. "Like the sex scene between Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger in the remake of 'The Getaway.' I mean, put her with anybody else and yeah, I'm paying. I don't know what that is, but it doesn't work." (ITV.com)
One of Elvis Presley's teeth has failed to sell on eBay. But the sellers, who will accept no less than $100,000 for the King's chomper, a lock of his hair and a gold record, are planning to put it back up for sale soon. One possible bidder, sculptor Joni Mabe, says she already owns an Elvis wart and "maybe an Elvis toenail." (The Associated Press)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Howell Raines snags photography award; Hollywood gumshoe Anthony Pellicano denies turning FBI stool pigeon; Nelly late for own Vegas gig after winning at craps; J.Lo jealous of Uma?; Elizabeth Hurley's boyfriend may be getting a divorce; and George Clooney rumored to be in talks to buy an Italian soccer team for $25 million.
Rush and Molloy: Barry Levinson dog-crap comedy "Envy" rumored to stink; Heidi Fleiss wants to partner with Native Americans to open "gambling-and-showgirls resorts" in California and North Dakota, says "The tribal leaders are all excited about this"; Steven Tyler shoots paparazzo with her own camera; Mr. Big Ron Galotti may leave New York, move to Aspen. Plus: Uncle Junior, pushing up the daisies on next season's "Sopranos"?
The Reliable Source: NBC foreign policy correspondent Andrea Mitchell sends irate e-mail to State Department flacks after deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage agrees to appear on Greta Van Susteren's "On the Record"; Fox lawyers threaten "swift legal action" against author writing a "book-length hatchet job" about Bill O'Reilly; White House press secretary Scott McClellan denies tipping off Matt Drudge; protesters suspected of clogging up toilets at American Enterprise Institute debate.
Liz Smith: Russell Crowe throws himself into captain hero role in "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," studies ships, learns to play violin and gets schooled in sword fighting. Consultant says, "It's mind-boggling the amount of things he simultaneously learned"; Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones flick "Monkeyface" is off; Meg Ryan gets naked and ogasmic on-screen, tries to shed "America's Sweetheart" rep.
-- Amy Reiter