The Fix

Lauer defends Cruise. William H. Macy says Lohan and her ilk "should have their asses kicked." Plus: Jennifers Lopez and Garner, pregnant?

Published August 25, 2006 1:30PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Lauer sticks up for good buddy Cruise: Tom Cruise is getting some support from an unexpected corner in his tiff with Paramount. Matt Lauer, who has sparred with Cruise on the topic of postpartum depression (that interview was one of the incidents that may have led to Paramount's not renewing Cruise's contract), gave a little speech on Thursday's "Today" show about his feelings on the matter: "You know what, I have to say something. You talk about erratic behavior and things like that affecting the box-office, and yes, maybe he jumped on a couch, and I was in the middle of one of those episodes here on the 'Today' show and maybe he speaks out about Scientology and some people don't like that. But what about the stars who are in and out of rehab every week? Is that any worse? And yet you find movie companies still in business with them. So, this is all a strange world we live in." (Us Weekly)

So is he offering to kick Lindsay Lohan's ass? William H. Macy is jumping on the "Lindsay Lohan has a terrible work ethic" bandwagon. During a Thursday press junket for "Everyone's Hero," in which he stars with Lohan, Macy talked openly about Lohan's tardiness. "There is not an apology big enough in the world" to make up for making an entire film crew wait around for your arrival," said Macy, adding, "It's nothing but disrespect. And Lindsay Lohan is not the only one. A lot of actors show up late as if they're God's gift to the film. It's inexcusable, and they should have their asses kicked." (People)

NYC vs. CBS? Ever hopeful that the networks are amenable to change, New York City Council members will be rallying outside City Hall on Friday to protest the new season of "Survivor," in which the contestants are going to be competing as racially segregated teams. City officials are trying to get CBS to reconsider airing the show, saying it will only promote racial division. "The idea of having a battle of the races is preposterous," said City Councilman John Liu on Thursday. "How could anybody be so desperate for ratings?" (Associated Press)

Forget it, Bob, it's Tinseltown: Veteran Hollywood producer Robert Evans is apparently none too happy about the "Entourage" version of himself. When the HBO show's producers approached him about playing himself on the show, he declined, but agreed to allow them to use his home to shoot. But the bumbling has-been producer named Bob Ryan, played by Martin Landau, who's recently appeared on the show hasn't gone down well with Evans, a source tells Gatecrasher. An HBO rep backpedaled on Thursday, saying, "Bob Ryan was not based on Robert Evans." (Gatecrasher)

During a radio interview on Thursday, teen crooner Jesse McCartney blabbed that Jennifer Lopez is pregnant. McCartney's girlfriend, Katie Cassidy, has been cast as Lucy Ewing in the remake of "Dallas." When asked, "I bet your girlfriend can give us the scoop on why Jennifer Lopez was fired from the movie?" McCartney replied, "She didn't get fired. She's pregnant." (Access Atlanta) ... Rumor has it that Jennifer Garner, who had her first baby in December 2005 with hubby Ben Affleck, is pregnant again. The usually nimble actress declined to do any but the simplest stunts for her upcoming film, "The Kingdom," and refused to tell medics if she was pregnant or not when recently taken to the hospital after fainting on the set. (Star) ... I guess this means he hasn't met Shiloh: Angelina Jolie waited in a car outside a Hollywood party for 30 minutes until her estranged dad, Jon Voight, left. The two haven't spoken since 2002. (Page Six via ContactMusic) ... Despite a personal fortune of somewhere around $1 billion, J.K. Rowling won't shell out more than $1,000 on any fashion item -- learn this and much, much more as the Daily Mail investigates: "What does J.K. Rowling do with her money?" (Daily Mail)

Money Quote:
Karl Lagerfeld weighs in on Heidi Klum's "Project Runway": "Trash that is funny for five minutes if you're with other people." (Gatecrasher)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
Friday, "Real Time With Bill Maher" (HBO, 11 p.m. EDT) kicks off a new season, while "Monk" (USA, 9 p.m. EDT) and "Psych" (USA, 10 p.m. EDT) have their season finales. Saturday, Cameron Diaz stars in 2005's "In Her Shoes" (HBO, 8 p.m. EDT), based on the novel by Jennifer Weiner. Sunday, Conan O'Brien hosts the Emmy Awards (NBC, 8 p.m. EDT), and "Deadwood" (HBO, 9 p.m. EDT), "The 4,400" (USA, 9 p.m. EDT) and "Lucky Louie" (HBO, 10:30 p.m. EDT) all have their season enders.

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT): Heidi Klum
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Katrina chronicler Jed Horne, Fortune magazine's Charles C. Mann
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Maggie Gyllenhaal, Bill Buford
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Jeremy Piven, Cat Deeley, Corinne Bailey Rae (repeat)
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Salma Hayek, Eric Balfour, Street Drum Corps (repeat)
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Andre Benjamin, David Boreanaz, Mellowdrone
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Anthony Michael Hall, Joan and Melissa Rivers, the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

-- Lamar Clarkson

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By Salon Staff

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