The Fix

Madonna vows to give up acting. Disney's sticking with Gibson. Plus: Jennifer Aniston's flack is hopping mad!

Published August 14, 2006 1:30PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Don't cry for her, Argentina: Madonna says that after giving the world such classics as "Body of Evidence" and "Swept Away," she's giving up acting in movies. "I hate to admit it, but I've decided to give that up," she said recently, on the road for her current "Confessions" tour. "How can any film survive if everyone says it's going to be a flop from the very day the project is even conceived? It's already dead in the water." (

Disney sticks with Mel: Denying rumors and defying expectations, Disney says it will go ahead with distributing Mel Gibson's next film, "Apocalypto," in early December. Referring to reports last week that the studio was dropping the movie -- which, even pre-anti-Semitic outburst, was already a risk with its cast of unknowns and a script entirely in the extinct Yucatec dialect -- a Disney spokeswoman said, "It's not true." (MSNBC)

The wrath of a publicist scorned? Stephen Huvane, Jennifer Aniston's publicist, is reportedly so steamed about last week's Us Weekly Aniston/Vince Vaughn engagement story that he's punishing anyone who comes close to the magazine. The "Today" show had Us editor Janice Min on last week about the story (which she still stands by), and now Huvane has apparently vowed to keep his clients -- including Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore and Kirsten Dunst -- off the show, and will instead be getting them on rival morning show "Good Morning America." But "Today" spokeswoman Lauren Kapp doubts that Huvane will follow through with his threat: "There's no way. He cannot afford to put his clients on a competitor that gets considerably less viewers." (Page Six)

Boy George, trash collector: Paparazzi and amateur shutterbugs are combing New York's city parks today, hoping to spot Boy George as he starts his first of five days of community service -- the work is part of plea deal reached after cops responding to a call about a burglary at his lower Manhattan apartment last year found a stash of cocaine there. George, real name George O'Dowd, showed up this morning at a city sanitation center to be handed the standard-issue orange vest, shovel, broom, plastic bags and gloves. The Associated Press paints a picture: "Boy George, wearing dark capri pants, shoes without socks, a sweatshirt, and without the wild makeup that made him so recognizable, walked inside without speaking to reporters." (Associated Press)

The Chinese government has banned "The Simpsons," "Pokemon" and in fact all foreign animation from the country's airwaves from 5 to 8 p.m., in an effort to give struggling Chinese animation studios a boost. (Associated Press) ... "Talladega Nights" crossed the finish line, took the checkered flag, or whatever your favorite racing term is for winning -- for the second week in a row, it was the No. 1 movie in America over the weekend, bringing in $23 million. (The Hollywood Reporter) ... Meanwhile, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" was No. 1 at the foreign box office for the sixth week in a row. So far, it has brought in $855 million worldwide, making it the 11th biggest movie of all time. (Deadline Hollywood Daily) ... People magazine is reporting that Kanye West is engaged to his mysterious girlfriend, Alexis -- her last name and occupation aren't known. (People) ... Kevin Federline announced on Friday that he's taking his hard-earned money and starting his own record label, Federation Records. First up on the release calendar: Federline's own "Playing With Fire." (E! Online) ... Mike Douglas, the '60s and '70s talk show host mainstay, died last Friday -- on his 81st birthday -- in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times)

Money Quote:
Justin Timberlake on Kanye West's sample-heavy oeuvre: "Kanye? Has he ever had a song that wasn't already a song before he did it? [Long pause] That's a joke, OK? Please tell me you know that was a joke." (Los Angeles Times)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
Tonight, it's the season premiere of "Weeds" (Showtime, 10 p.m. EDT; click here to read Heather Havrilesky's review), while "Hell's Kitchen" (Fox, 8 p.m. EDT) ends with a two-hour finale. Also, Sundance airs "5 Days" (9 p.m. EDT), a documentary account of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip that began one year ago today.

On the Talk Shows:
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Newt Gingrich, Richard Holbrooke
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Samuel L. Jackson, Gnarls Barkley
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Will Ferrell, Abigail Breslin, Everclear (repeat)
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Barbara Walters, Bill Hader, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (repeat)
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Chi McBride, Lili Taylor, Nick Lachey
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Matt Dillon, Justin Long, Ziggy Marley
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Thomas Ricks
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Ramesh Ponnuru

-- Lamar Clarkson

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