The Fix

Will "Will & Grace" and "Raymond" all follow friends off the air? Stallone to star in boxing reality show, and Barney Frank gives the Boy Scouts a special salute.


Salon Staff
February 20, 2004 7:26PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:

Traffic jam on the high road: The mainstream media explains why it hasn't taken Matt Drudge's bait on the John Kerry intern rumors."We do not traffic in unsubstantiated gossip," said N.Y. Times executive editor Bill Keller. "We have standards," said Leonard Downie of the Washington Post. "There were no facts," added USA Today executive editor Brian Gallagher. (USA Today)

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Is there a doctor in the house?: The judge hearing the case involving David Gest's $10 million lawsuit against former wife Liza Minnelli said Gest needed to find an "independent neurologist" to examine him and weigh in on Gest's allegations that Minnelli injured his head by administering frequent drunken beatings. (NY Daily News)

Internet idol: "American Idol" loser William Hung is learning that there is life after being rejected by Simon Cowell. In September, Cowell had this to say about Hung's performance of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs": "You can't sing, you can't dance, so what do you want me to say?" But in the months since then, Hung has developed a cult-like following on the Internet and is now appearing on talk shows and fielding calls from record producers. "I love him! I love him!" said a gushing Ellen DeGeneres. (The Miami Herald)

-- Christopher Farah

Morning Briefing:

More TV casualties? If various disputes are not resolved, CBS' "Everyone Loves Raymond" and NBC's "Will & Grace" may follow "Friends" and "Frasier" right off the air at the end of this season. What sort of disputes? Ray Romano's looking to make $4 million per episode to return next week, which would make him the highest-paid lead sitcom actor ever, and "Will & Grace" writers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick are involved in a nasty legal battle over syndication bucks. (L.A. Times)

V. exciting: "Bridget Jones's Diary" author Helen Fielding and her partner, Kevin Curran, have announced the birth of their son, as yet unnamed, on Feb. 11 at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. The little fella weighed in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and no, I don't know what that is in stones. (Zap2it.com)

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Madam will not see you now: Actor Tom Sizemore -- sentenced in October to six months in jail on misdemeanor charges of harassing, annoying and physically abusing his ex-girlfeind Heidi Fleiss, though the jail time was postponed to allow him to go through drug rehab -- has been ordered by a judge to stay away from Fleiss, and to undergo counseling for domestic violence and anger management. (Associated Press)

Reality bites Rocky: Dreamworks TV has signed up Sylvester Stallone for a reality TV show that follows the lives of amateur boxers inside and outside the ring. Producers Jeffery Katzenberg and Mark Burnett are reportedly shopping the pugilistic program around to various networks. (U.K. Guardian)

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Queer eye for the homophobic organization: After the Boy Scouts of America sent Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) a letter saying it would be "honored" if he would lend the organization his support, Frank sent the following note in reply: "I was surprised that you wish my support. Where there is much about the Boy Scouts that I admire and I am a former Scout myself, I was under the impression that you considered people like myself to be unworthy. I am a gay man, which, according to your policy, means I am neither 'morally straight' nor 'clean.' It seems hypocritical to ask me to sign it." (N.Y. Daily News)

Money Quote:

Bill Zehme on Hugh Hefner in his forthcoming biography of the legendary playboy, "Hef's Little Black Book": "He is truly touched by little things that remind him of his boyhood backyard -- ants and butterflies and crickets -- and then he gets to go upstairs to see naked women waiting for him." (N.Y. Post)

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-- Amy Reiter

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