The Fix

"Path to 9/11's" familiar marketing scheme. Son of Anna Nicole Smith dies mysteriously. Plus: PETA slams Steve Irwin.

Published September 11, 2006 1:30PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
The "Dark Skies" of "9/11": ABC went ahead and aired its fictionalized account of 9/11 last night, though the version of "The Path to 9/11" that viewers saw was somewhat edited from its original version, especially the scenes dealing with Bill Clinton, some of which were reshot. On another front, though, it looks like the producers at ABC are running short of original ideas: The show's poster art is spookily similar to NBC's 1996 aliens-among-us series, "Dark Skies," as "Skies" co-creator and former chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Bryce Zabel points out: "I guess if it was good once, it can be good again. I just thought the world should know. We were there first! In Hollywood this is not called ripping somebody off, it's called an 'homage.'" (For What It's Worth, Associated Press)

Joy and agony for Anna: Anna Nicole Smith gave birth to a baby girl last week in the Bahamas and this weekend released a statement to the press with the story. But the joy of her announcement is overshadowed by the news that her 20-year-old son, Daniel, died of unknown causes on Sunday while visiting her in the hospital there. A representative for Smith posted a note to fans on her Web site on Monday morning: "Her son Daniel was in the Bahamas with her to share in the joy of his baby sister when he passed away suddenly on the morning of September 10th. We have yet to learn the cause of death but do not believe that drugs or alcohol were a factor." (Perez Hilton)

PETA not mourning Irwin: Germaine Greer won't miss him, and now PETA is saying it's not upset about the loss of Steve Irwin. "It comes as no shock at all that Steve Irwin should die provoking a dangerous animal," PETA spokesman Dan Mathews recently told the Scoop. "He made a career out of antagonizing frightened wild animals, which is a very dangerous message to send to kids." Mathews also says he isn't impressed with Irwin's legacy as a naturalist, either: "If you compare him with a responsible conservationist like Jacques Cousteau, he looks like a cheap reality TV star." (The Scoop)

In the new Esquire, Brad Pitt says he and Angelina Jolie have pledged solidarity with the idea of gay marriage: "Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able." (Us Online) ... Rapper 50 Cent was arrested in New York on Friday for driving his $400,000 Lamborghini without a license. An NYPD officer told Radar: "He was being an asshole, speeding or some shit. They stopped him and he wouldn't give up his license. He kept saying, 'You know who I am. I know you know who I am,' so they had to lock him up." (Radar Online) ... Teen horror flick "The Covenant" topped this weekend's box office with a paltry $9 million, making it one of the slowest business weekends for the movies in recent years. (Hollywood Reporter) ... "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" crossed the $1 billion mark over the weekend, squeezing out enough sales to raise its take to $1.003 billion and making it the third-largest grossing film of all time, after "Titanic" ($1.8 billion) and "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" ($1.1 billion). (Reuters)

Money Quote:
Donald Trump on what he thinks every would-be married couple needs: "I know I sound like a broken record, but get a prenup. I don't care how much you love your fiancee, it's just idiotic to get married without one. Don't believe me? Ask Paul McCartney what he thinks." (ContactMusic)

Turn On:
There are a number of 9/11 shows airing on Monday night: "Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11" (Sundance, 10 p.m. EDT), "America Rebuilds II: Return to Ground Zero" (PBS, check local listings), "Brothers Lost: Stories of 9/11" (Cinemax, 7 p.m. EDT) and the second half of "The Path to 9/11" (ABC, 8 p.m. EDT). And, after 36 years on ABC, it's the start of the ESPN era of "Monday Night Football" (check local listings).

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT): 9/11 widows
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): 9/11, five years later with Richard Serra, Nora Ephron, George Packer, Rev. Calvin Butts, Calvin Trillin
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Martha Stewart, Justin Timberlake
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): James Woods, Charlie Rose, Daniel Rodriguez
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Queen Latifah, Tim Gunn, Richard Ashcroft (repeat)
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Aaron Brown, Paolo Nutini
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Tommy Lee, Wayne Brady, Starsailor (repeat)
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Maggie Gyllenhaal
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Martin Short

-- Scott Lamb

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