Courteney Cox to Aniston's aid: Courteney Cox, who, as we only just learned, relies heavily on either her mom or her pal Jennifer Aniston in tough times, is now coming to her best friend's defense. In an interview to air Wednesday night on "Access Hollywood," Cox shoots down the Aniston/Vince Vaughn engagement story, saying they "are absolutely not engaged." Cox will play a tabloid mag editor in her upcoming FX show, "Dirt," and added that her character would never run a false story "because she would have the facts." Us Weekly, meanwhile, is sticking to its story like a panther to its prey, but says it can't blame Cox: "Who wouldn't cover for their best friend? After all, Naomi Watts denied best friend Nicole Kidman's engagement earlier this year to Us." (Access Hollywood, People)
A short history of Tom's good deeds: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' modest act of citizenship -- allegedly stopping to help a couple after an accident on the 101 freeway in Los Angeles over the weekend -- was widely circulated in the celebrity media as an act of heroism. As Page Six points out on Wednesday, with more than a touch of sarcasm, Cruise has a history of showing up in the press for his Good Samaritan acts: For example, he helped a girl chase down her runaway horse during filming for "The Last Samurai" in 2003; in 1998, he reportedly stopped a mugging in London, thwarting thieves from making off with $150,000 in jewelry; and in 1993, he and Nicole Kidman allegedly rescued a family whose yacht had caught fire, and sheltered them aboard their own yacht until help arrived (which sounds, at least to us, oddly like the setup to Kidman's 1989 movie "Dead Calm"). (Page Six, People)
I guess she didn't walk to talk about it: Shannen Doherty, being interviewed by Newsweek about her upcoming Oxygen show, "Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty," decides she dislikes where the interview is headed:
Tell me about your new show.
I help relationships come to an end or sometimes help them go to the next level. It can be boyfriend or girlfriend, or if you want to quit your job.
Haven't you had some bad breakups? You tried to run over a boyfriend a long time ago, right?
No, and if that's the way you're going with this then I'd rather not even do the interview.
I just think it's funny.
I am not going to have things rehashed from 15 years ago. I'm not going to combat lies. I can already tell what's going to be in your article.
Let me hang up and call my publicist and then we'll reconvene, because I'm not going down this path.
The magazine notes that she didn't call back. (Newsweek)
German prosecutors will be watching Madonna's performance next weekend in Düsseldorf with an eye toward her now weirdly infamous faux crucifixion -- if the act is deemed to be insulting to religious beliefs, she might be in trouble under German law. (Associated Press) ... Paris Hilton has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the first time and in a brand-new category: Most Overrated Person. (TMZ) ... With satellite radio competitors XM and Sirius both not performing well financially, industry insiders are calling for a merger of the two companies. (Hollywood Reporter) ... Gossip wag Janet Charlton finds the fact that Kate Hudson refuses to cut her son Ryder's long, girlish hair "inexplicable" -- though Hudson has said in the past she's waiting until he's 3 to cut it, out of respect for Hasidic tradition. (Janet Charlton's Hollywood) ... Bruno Kirby, the actor best known for his sidekick roles in the Billy Crystal movies "City Slickers" and "When Harry Met Sally," died on Monday from complications associated with leukemia. He was 57. (Associated Press)
Justin Timberlake saucily admits he's not a big Taylor Hicks fan: "People think he looks so normal, and he's so sweet and he's so earnest, but he can't carry a tune in a bucket." (Vanity Fair via the Scoop)
-- Scott Lamb
Tonight, "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County" (MTV, 10 p.m. EDT) kicks off a new season, and "So You Think You Can Dance" (Fox, 9 p.m. EDT) has its season ender. Also, Morgan Spurlock sends a volatile family man into a series of New Age therapies on "30 Days" (FX, 10 p.m. EDT).
On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT): Jon Bon Jovi
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Charles Gibson
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Jessica Biel, Christina Aguilera
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Owen Wilson, Lance Armstrong, Chris Isaak (repeat)
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Rachel Weisz, Paul Bettany, Graham Bensinger (repeat)
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Alice Cooper, Penelope Ann Miller
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Paul Reubens, snake handler Jules Sylvester, Obie Trice
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Thomas Kean
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Morgan Spurlock
-- Lamar Clarkson