WEDDING BELLS Movie heartthrob Brad Pitt, 36, and Emmy nominated ”Friend” Jennifer Aniston, 31, announced yesterday afternoon that they are heading down the aisle this weekend. Despite months of fervently denying rumors about wedding plans, the couple confirmed (through Pitt’s spokeswoman Cindy Guagenti) that they will tie the knot in a private Malibu, Calif., ceremony. If you still haven’t received an invite, it’s time to face facts: You are most likely NOT one of the 200 friends and family on the guest list.
LEGAL BRIEFS Oasis said today in London that they are suing the organizers of the Paleo Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, according to Reuters. Frontman Liam Gallagher stormed off the stage a third of the way through Oasis’ scheduled 90 minute set at the fest on Wednesday. Gallagher claimed the band was being hit by water balloons, bottles, cans, and coins from the crowd. But organizers say the band was not being pelted and threatened to sue Oasis for ruining the show…. Oprah Winfrey has lost a round in a lawsuit filed against her by two freelance photographers. According to a Reuters report, a U.S. District Court judge in Chicago ruled Tuesday afternoon that photographers Stephen Green and Paul Natkin hold the copyrights to 11 pictures included without their permission in Winfrey’s 1996 book ”Make the Connection.” Green and Natkin had been hired by Winfrey’s Harpo Productions to shoot publicity photos of her over several years. A jury trial set for Aug. 14 will determine whether the two photogs are owed any compensation…. Florida police issued a first-degree murder warrant yesterday for the arrest of a fugitive who beat his ex-wife to death after they appeared on the ”Jerry Springer Show.” Sarasota, Fla., resident Ralf Panitz, 40, is being charged with killing Nancy Campbell-Panitz, 50. Campbell-Panitz’s body was found Monday night, a few hours after the ”Jerry Springer” episode featuring her, Panitz, and his new wife, Eleanor, aired. The three were on the talk show for a segment about ”Secret Mistresses Confronted,” in which Ralf and Eleanor, who are now missing, accused Nancy of stalking them. According to Reuters, the Sarasota police believe Panitz, a German citizen, is trying to contact German officials in Canada. Wasn’t there an episode of ”Jerry” on this very thing: ”I’m on the Lam Because I Beat My Ex-Wife to Death After Appearing on Jerry Springer”?
PRISON PLEA Robert Downey Jr.‘s attorneys asked a California state appeals court panel yesterday to immediately release the actor, claiming a judge miscalculated Downey’s three-year sentence. According to lawyer Ross Nabatoff, Downey, who was imprisoned last year after violating his probation on drug charges, should have been credited for 53 days he had served in a lock-down drug rehab program. The four-member panel should rule within 90 days, just a few days short of the 35 year old actor’s eligibility for parole on Nov. 2. Talk about bad timing.
FAREWELL Amidst touching star tributes and dozens of old segments, Kathie Lee Gifford said goodbye to her morning show partner Regis Philbin this morning on her last episode of Live With Regis & Kathie Lee. After a week of mystery guests like Marilu Henner, Diane Sawyer, Donald Trump, and Barbara Walters, Kathie Lee received a series of awards and gifts (including a Walt Disney designed ”Mousecar” from ABC/ Disney honcho Michael Eisner and a ”Reegie” from good ol’ Reege) on Friday’s farewell episode. Now the 46 year old talk show host can spend time with the loves of her life, Cody and Cassidy (oh yeah, and Frank).
TUBE WATCH Holly Hunter should start practicing her serve. The Oscar winning actress has signed on to play tennis great Billie Jean King in an ABC TV movie about the 1972 ”Battle of the Sexes” match between King and Bobby Riggs. The telefilm starts production this November and will air next year. So far, the producers, including Goldie Hawn, have yet to select an actor to play Riggs…. Sidney Poitier will star in ”The Last Brickmaker in America,” a CBS TV movie about a real-life brickmaker who loses his wife and his job, and then finds a friend in a troubled 13 year old. Poitier, 73, starred in CBS’s 1999 movie ”The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn,” which attracted 21 million viewers…. Poppy Montgomery (”The Other Sister,” ”Dead Man on Campus”) has been cast to play Marilyn Monroe for next year’s CBS miniseries ”Blonde.” The four-hour adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ best-seller will also star some better known actors, including Ann-Margret, Kirstie Alley, Patricia Richardson, and Wallace Shawn. Production begins next month in Australia, and the miniseries will air during 2000-2001 sweeps, natch.
SURVIVOR NEWS CBS’ summer smash ”Survivor” attracted an extra million viewers this week, making the 10th episode the most watched so far. According to Nielsen, Jenna’s last show averaged 27.18 million viewers in the key 18-49 demographic group, a 4 percent jump from last week’s previous record. It’s not a million bucks, but the single mother of twins can boast that her’s was the demoralizing ouster with the biggest audience.