Out with the old, in with the Anderson: Aaron Brown is leaving (or being forced out?) of his prime anchor spot at CNN to give room to the newest star in the newsreader universe, Anderson Cooper. While the New York Times favors the word "oust" in its coverage, CNN U.S. president Jon Klein says, "We mutually looked at the lay of the land and came to this conclusion." It's probably no consolation, either way, that in the company memo announcing the decision (Mediabistro's TVNewser has a copy of it here) Klein says, "Personally, I will miss Aaron and his wicked sense of humor." (N.Y. Times, Associated Press, TVNewser)
Joey and Amy -- where they are now: Joey Buttafuoco, after the divorce and a stint in jail, has landed on his feet in the Hollywood craft services industry. He's apparently running a concession that sells ice cream on the set of shows like "Desperate Housewives." (There's probably some weak irony in there somewhere.) Amy Fisher, meanwhile, is being called a plagiarist by the Chicago Tribune's Maurice Possley, who says the Long Island Lolita cut and pasted bits of stories he wrote into two columns she wrote for the Long Island Press. "I don't know much about Ms. Fisher's journalism training, so it may be that taking someone else's work, putting it through a word processor and lifting quotes are acceptable practices to her," Possley told the New York Daily News. (Associated Press, N.Y. Daily News)
Vanilla K-Fed, baby: Kevin Federline's musical ambitions have been leaked online, and now the world understands why Britney was so dismissive when she first heard his rapping a few weeks ago -- listen to the clip here (MP3) and follow along with the lyrics:
"But I know that you really can't wait 'cause people are always askin' me, 'When's the release date?'
Well maybe baby you can wait and see,
Until then, all these Pavarottis following me
Gettin' anxious, go take a peek, I'm starring in your magazine now every day of the week
Back then, they called me K-Fed, but you can call me Daddy instead."
Is "Pavarottis" some sort of slang term for "paparazzi" we've just never heard before? (Stereogum, MSNBC)
If K-Fed's rapping seems scary, just imagine the following: TomKat performing a duet of "Mustang Sally" in front of 3,000 dancing Scientologists. It happened last weekend at a big Scientology charity function (in Cruise's honor) at the group's U.K. headquarters, St. Hill Manor in East Grinstead. The duo also sang "Old Time Rock and Roll," a nod to Cruise's underwear/air-guitar bit in "Risky Business" ... The Enquirer's big exposé of the "bizarre antics" of Star Jones actually yields only one interesting piece of information: She "demands all her food cans are lined up in alphabetical order on her shelves with labels facing the front" Spy vs. spy: Pierce Brosnan is firing back at another ex-Bond, George Lazenby, for once saying Brosnan is charisma-free and flaunts his womanly side: "George is just an angry, old, pissed-off guy. He was never an actor, but some pissed-off Aussie who doesn't know how to show his feminine side. I met him, and he's got that kind of brittle edge to him"... Another pissed-off Aussie is new daddy (with Michelle Williams) Heath Ledger -- he's angry at the tenacious paparazzi of Sydney. "I feel the pressure there. It's like the paparazzi are kicking me out of the city," he says. "I absolutely love my country, but I don't feel like living there anymore. It's breaking my heart not to be able to live in Australia, but it's just not possible" ... Not that she's pregnant, but Kirsten Dunst wants to make it clear she'll never make her children act. Dunst -- herself a child actress, doing dozens of commercials and appearing in "Interview With a Vampire" by age 11 -- says, "I would never start a child out as an actor. As a child, when you perform for people, you love it because you get the attention. The danger is that you come to think that's how you get your love -- by pleasing people" ... With a 20-minute speech to the whole court, Robert Blake ended his testimony in the civil suit against him for Bonny Lee Bakley's death. Saying he's been under a "self-imposed gag order" ever since Bakley was murdered four years ago, Blake seems to want nothing more than to simply be forgotten about: "My fervent hope and prayers are that when this is over that everyone get on with their lives."
Al Pacino on the work he's been putting out in the past 30 years: "I know I haven't made a good film since 'Dog Day Afternoon.' Somebody at a press conference once asked me, 'Do you think you'll ever be as good as you were in "Dog Day"?' and I said flatly, 'No.' That answered that." (Playboy via N.Y. Daily News)
It's the first night of sweeps, and "The O.C." (Fox, 8 p.m. EDT) returns with its first fresh episode since September. ABC airs "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (8 p.m. EDT), and "Smallville" (the WB, 8 p.m. EDT) reunites Bo and Luke Duke (series regular John Schneider and guest Tom Wopat) in a homage to "The Dukes of Hazzard."
-- Scott Lamb