The Fix

New twist in "South Park"/Scientology scuffle. Paris back with Paris. Plus: Is Laura Bush trying to kill the president?


Salon Staff
March 20, 2006 7:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Was Chef forced into resignation? A new twist in the scandal over Isaac Hayes' sudden departure from his voice-over duties as Chef on "South Park" last week -- he may not have quit so much as had someone quit for him. Fox 411 is pretty unequivocal: "Isaac Hayes did not quit 'South Park.' My sources say that someone quit it for him." It appears that not only did Hayes love his job on the show, he wasn't too bothered by the Scientology-skewering episode, "Trapped in the Closet," the original reason given for his quitting the show. Hayes has been recovering from a stroke he had in January, and friends say there's no way he made any statement against the show on his own. (Fox 411)

Tori sells out mom? Tori Spelling's new show, the irritatingly capitalized "So noTORIous," doesn't premiere until April 2, but it's already getting bad reviews back home -- her parents, Aaron and Candy, have reportedly stopped talking to her over it. "There is a scene in the first episode of her new show, 'So noTORIous,' in which she makes fun of the eBay room in her parents' house," a source tells Page Six. "Her mother has a huge shopping problem and has a whole room dedicated to the stuff she buys on the site. When Candy saw the episode, she threatened Tori and said she was going to sue her." Candy and her daughter apparently have a rocky relationship: When Tori invited her mother to meet her new fiancé, Daniel McDermott, the terse response was reportedly just, "You need to get your things out of the apartment." Tori lived for 10 years in an apartment owned by her mom, and left only recently after splitting with ex-husband Charlie Shanian. (Page Six)

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Paris returns to Paris? After finally breaking up with Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos, Paris Hilton is apparently getting back together with ... Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis. The two Parii were spotted at the L.A. club Privilege over the weekend, "head to head and laughing in the corner." Paris' split with Niarchos came only last week, and may have had something to do with the language barrier. As Life & Style reports, the couple had their final fight during a recent night out: "Stavros was with a Greek friend, and Paris was freaking out because she couldn't understand what they were saying," a source told the magazine. "She thought they were laughing at her." (WENN via Yahoo! News, the Scoop)

Also:
The Katie Couric countdown continues: More rumors that May 26 will be her last day at "Today," and that a number of the show's producers have skipped renewing their contracts with NBC, vowing that they'll jump to CBS with Couric when (or if) she goes. (Page Six) ... "V for Vendetta" topped the box office over the weekend, bringing in an estimated $26.1 million. The audience for the movie was 60 percent male, and as Warner Bros. president of distribution Dan Fellman said, "This was a tough weekend for young males, with St. Patrick's Day and the NCAA tournament. I guess you were better off owning a bar on Friday than a theater." (Box Office Mojo) ... The court injunction blocking the release of the Scott Stapp/Kid Rock sex tape has been mercifully extended. (Yahoo! News) ... When Bradley played Pittsburgh at the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, it suddenly looked as if Brad Pitt had taken over the scoreboard (and in a huge upset, Brad won). (Fishbowl NY) ... And -- surprise! -- there was in fact no Italian wedding over the weekend for Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The London Times reports that the paparazzi covering Lake Como in anticipation of the rumored wedding spent the weekend playing soccer and photographing ducks instead. (Post Chronicle)

Money Quotes:
Mel Gibson on critics who are already decrying the human sacrifice scenes in his upcoming film, "Apocalypto": "After what I experienced with 'The Passion,' I frankly don't give a flying f___ about much of what those critics think."(Time)

Margaret Cho on what First Lady Laura Bush's rumored smoking habit might actually mean for the president: "I think she's trying to kill him with second-hand smoke." (Lowdown)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
The WB's "Related" has its first-season finale (9 p.m. EST), while Fox's breakout drama of last year, "Prison Break," begins airing new episodes (8 p.m. EST). Elsewhere, Lifetime airs the original telefilm "Safe Harbor," a cat and mouser involving a detective, a serial killer and former residents of a foster home for abused children (9 p.m. EST), while on CBS Denzel Washington talks to Dave on "The Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m. EST).

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-- Joe DiMento

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