The Fix

Are Tom and Katie already married? Mike Wallace stops the clock. Plus: Scott Stapp says sex tape is hot ... as in stolen.

Published March 15, 2006 2:30PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Cruise and Holmes already hitched? While the rest of the tabloid galaxy is busy predicting the details of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding, the National Enquirer is reporting that Holmes and Cruise have already tied the knot, Scientology style. The couple apparently exchanged vows eight months ago aboard a ship in the Caribbean in a ceremony overseen by a Scientology chaplain, though they now wear their rings only at church events. Naturally, a P.R. rep for the couple says, "They have not yet wed, and are continuing to move forward with their plans for the big day."(National Enquirer via Rush & Molloy)

Insert mob-related ratings pun here: The Nielsen numbers on Sunday's showdown between "The Sopranos" and "Desperate Housewives" are finally in, and it looks like it was a draw. While there were fewer viewers of "The Sopranos" premiere than for its last season opener back in March 2004 (9.5 million vs. 12.1 million), it was also HBO's biggest ratings draw since the season five finale of the show. And while "Desperate Housewives" drew a much bigger audience (22.2 million), the show was down 4 percent from its season average, and was 19 percent lower in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic. (Reuters)

Turnover at CBS: Mike Wallace announced on Tuesday that he's retiring from his post at "60 Minutes." "I've often replied, when asked, 'I'll retire when my toes turn up,'" said Wallace, who turns 88 in May. "Well, they're just beginning to curl a trifle, which means that, as I approach my 88th birthday, it's become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren't quite what they used to be." Though Wallace said that he wasn't being pushed toward the door, former "60 Minutes" producer Don Hewitt, who was pressured into retirement in 2004, said that at best, Wallace was torn about his future: "I don't believe even he is sure this is something he wants, and I'm not sure it's something he doesn't want." At the same time, there are rumors now coming out of CBS that Dan Rather may soon be following Wallace into retirement. Although his contract doesn't end for a few more months, Rather has been out of the spotlight since stepping down as "CBS News" anchor last March, and there's speculation that CBS head Les Moonves won't renew his contract. (N.Y. Times, Rush & Molloy)

Belatedly following Kid Rock's lead, Scott Stapp has filed suit to prevent the recently surfaced sex tape featuring the duo; Stapp now alleges that two copies of the tape were stolen from a safe in his house. (Associated Press) ... Eloped! Jack Black has run off with Tanya Haden, daughter of jazz bassist Charlie Haden. (People) ... Meanwhile, Michael Bolton and Nicollette Sheridan have finally gotten engaged. (People) ... E! Online has the back story of the media coverage surrounding the Will Ferrell Death Hoax of 2006, all kicked off by a badly faked press release. The upshot: Will Ferrell isn't dead. (E! Online) ... The Scoop claims Madonna's video for "Sorry" has been edited for TV; though it's not clear where the edited video is actually playing, the bit where Madge flicks off the camera -- see the full video here (QuickTime) -- has apparently been taken out. (The Scoop)

Money Quotes:
Lucy Liu on the two-edged sword that is celebrity: "America is in a tabloid coma. We've blacked out as a society. The main reason people put you up on a pedestal is basically to tear you down. So it's a dangerous idea to think that being in the public eye is that great a thing. I like to keep my private life private."(ContactMusic)

Isaac Hayes talking about "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker just last December, following the Scientology-skewering episode that has now caused him to resign from his duties as the voice of Chef: "One thing about Matt and Trey, they lampoon everybody, and if you take that shit serious, then I'll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge for $2." (Lowdown)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
A young man juggles the conflicting demands of his job and his partying friends on "The Loop," a series premiering tonight on Fox (9:30 p.m. EST), while elsewhere Comedy Central's "Drawn Together" brings its second season to a close (10:30 p.m. EST). Also, Liza Minnelli talks to Larry King on "Larry King Live" (CNN, 9 p.m. EST).

-- Joe DiMento

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By Salon Staff

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