MATCHED Drew Barrymore, 25, is engaged to marry raunchy MTV comedian Tom Green, 28. It’s the first engagement for Canadian skate punk Green, and the third for the ”E.T.” girl, who was briefly engaged to actor James Walters in 1992 and tied the knot with bar owner Jeremy Thomas in 1994 (for 11 months). The couple so far has survived Barrymore’s recent bout starring in the remake of Aaron Spelling’s chick vehicle ”Charlie’s Angels” and Green’s battle with testicular cancer — throughout which Barrymore kept vigil at his bedside. (For more on Green check EW’s It List special entry.) The couple’s publicists say there is, as yet, no date set for the wedding.
STAR WARS George Lucas has selected another new cast member for Episode II. Jimmy Smits, ”NYPD Blue”’s tall, dark, and handsome Bobby Simone, will play Princess Leia’s foster father, Sen. Bail Organa of Alderaan. Horror vet Christopher Lee will play a ”charismatic separatist” in the yet-untitled feature. Wonder if Smits gets to play good parent/ bad parent with the princess?
RECORD Platinum Southern girl band the Dixie Chicks have broken the record for the number of weeks spent at No. 1 on the Country Album chart, according to Billboard. Their sophomore effort ”Fly” has been in the top spot for 32 weeks, beating Alabama’s ”Feel So Right” and ”Mountain Music,” which lingered at No. 1 for 28 weeks.
SHELTER Former welfare recipient J.K. Rowling has found an outlet for her boffo ”Potter” profits, according to British paper the Mirror. She’s purchased a little 4.5 mil pound mans in the same ritzy part of London where Madonna recently rented a home. The new digs come complete with a 90 foot garden, swimming pool and 24-7 security. The new home will serve as the 34 year old writer’s base for the mounting PR work the ”Potter” phenom demands.
TV NEWS Paramount Television has a new version of ”Star Trek” in the works for 2001. Writer/ producer Brannon Braga says that he and ”Trek” vet Rick Berman are planning radical changes for the franchise. ”It’s not enough to plop another captain in a star ship. Not to sound pretentious, but it’s got to be something that takes ‘Star Trek’ into the 21st century.” We thought Trekkies, ahem, Trekkers, were long past the 21st century…. Roger Ebert has given the thumbs up to a new partner for his TV show. Chicago Sun Times columnist Richard Roeper will join the newly renamed ”Ebert & Roeper and the Movies,” according to Buena Vista Television.
CASTING Cameron Diaz‘s latest flick may have been bumped to Showtime, but the saccharine sweet blond is still earning top dollar for her roles. Diaz is in final negotiations to star in an as yet untitled Columbia Pictures comedy, and will reportedly score $15 mil for the pic, her biggest paycheck to date.
ANTICS No, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake are not engaged, but her road crew reportedly played a trick on the chart topper implying that she was. As she performed at Detroit’s Pine Knob theater on Sunday — the day Britain’s World News broke the incredible story — roadies tied strings with cans to the back of the tour bus, and hung up a sign that said JUST MARRIED, according to Launch. Timberlake was also at the show, and Spears is now reportedly taking a five day break — hanging out with him and other ‘N Syncers. But they’re not getting married. Don’t even THINK that they’re getting married.
CROWD PLEASER Despite dire predictions, the first performance of Limp Bizkit‘s free Napster sponsored tour went off without a hitch. Some 3,000 wristbands were handed out peacefully earlier in the day, and the crowd that wrapped around the building to get into the show that night passed quickly through security. Frontman Fred Durst even took a jab at security forces during the show. As fans who clamored to get over the chain link fence that separated the band from the audience were repelled by bouncers, he yelled, ”You guys are f—ing up the show. Let’s give a big ‘F— you’ to the security guard. We’re all here to have a good time.”
HONORED A group of legendary pop songwriters — including Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, and Burt Bacharach — named the John Lennon penned Beatles tune ”In My Life” the greatest song ever written. The Rolling Stones’ ”I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” was No. 2, followed by, of all songs, ”Over the Rainbow.” What? No ”Rocky Racoon”?