What's going on in pop culture this week

JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS Forget ”I’ll Be There for You.” The new theme song for Friends should be ”It’s a Small World” — at least for roommates Joey and Chandler. In the wild ride of Hollywood casting, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry are bumping into each other more than the little boats at Disneyland. Just a few days after Lost in Space — the big-screen remake of the ’60s TV series — began filming in London, LeBlanc took over the role of Don West, replacing Sean Patrick Flanery (who, producers decided, was physically wrong for the part). The irony? Matthew Perry was also once offered the role. It’s not the first time the TV roomies have crossed film roles. Perry was a contender for the lead role in Ed — the 1996 box office stinker that starred LeBlanc. (Perry’s spokesperson claims no knowledge of the role jockeying.) LeBlanc could redeem himself with the big-budget Space: According to a spokesperson at New Line, the studio has $70 million to burn on the kitschy cool adventure comedy, which also stars Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, and Heather Graham. — Tricia Laine

FAMILY AFFAIR Gwyneth Paltrow likes to keep it all in the family. The soon-to-be Mrs. Brad Pitt admits she turned down the coveted role of Emma Peel in The Avengers to stay near her hubby-to-be. ”Brad had already signed on to do a film [Meet Joe Black] in New York for the summer,” says Paltrow, who would have had to travel to England for Avengers. ”It would have meant a four-month separation.” (The role went to Uma Thurman.) More family ties: Paltrow will soon spend her time not only with Pitt but also with her dad, TV producer Bruce Paltrow. The young couple will star as karaoke singers in the Paltrow-directed Duets, an anthology of three shorts. Duets marks the first time the actress has worked with her father. ”I always used to beg him to let me be on St. Elsewhere,” she says, ”but he never would.” — TL

PAGE-TURNER Librarians have a bone to pick with Oprah Winfrey‘s Book Club. While the talk-show hostess’ literary selections are credited with boosting book sales, they are wreaking havoc at libraries. Although publishers are given enough notice to reprint the chosen tome, librarians find out when the public does. ”We’re glad to have anyone promote reading, but we hate to be caught short,” says Mary Griffin of the Omaha Public Library, where the waiting list for the latest Book Club selection, Ursula Hegi‘s Stones From the River, is up to 44. (The library had two copies.) A spokeswoman for Oprah notes that the Book Club’s secrecy policy isn’t likely to change, but the show is working with the American Library Association to ensure that its members are well stocked with future titles. The plan is working: Omaha now has 25 copies of River. — Casey Davidson

RANDOM QUOTE ”It’s a little-known fact, but I wanted Han Solo to die at the end of Return of the Jedi. I thought it would give the movie weight and resonance. But George Lucas wasn’t sympathetic. He didn’t want me killed by those teddy bear guys.” — Harrison Ford