''Iron Man'' nabs Gwyneth Paltrow | EW.com

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''Iron Man'' nabs Gwyneth Paltrow

Plus: ''Idol'' is king, The Globes trump ''24,'' and more...

Gwyneth Paltrow

(Gwyneth Paltrow: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

Paltrow joins Marvel movie
Gwyneth Paltrow has been tapped for the Marvel Entertainment movie Iron Man, which features Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role. Paltrow will play Virginia “Pepper” Potts, the personal assistant to Iron Man’s alter-ego, billionaire Tony Stark. The Jon Favreau-directed project is the first feature film to be produced independently by Marvel. Production is scheduled to begin in March. (Hollywood Reporter)

Idol premiere tops all for the season
Tuesday’s season premiere of American Idol beat all other primetime programs this season, averaging a 15.7 rating/36 share in adults 18-49 and 37.3 million viewers overall. It was the second-highest rated episode in the history of the show, up about 5 percent against last year’s season opener. Tuesday’s premiere was the highest-rated entertainment telecast in 18-49 on any network since the series finale of NBC’s Friends in May 2004. The only Idol episode to rate higher was the May 2003 season finale between Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken. (Variety)

Globes beat 24 premiere in ratings
Monday’s Golden Globes enjoyed their highest ratings in three years, trumping the season premiere of 24. The three-hour, five-minute Globes telecast averaged 20 million viewers and a 6.5 rating/15 share in the18-49 demographic. The two-hour 24 averaged 15.7 million viewers and a 5.9/13 in 18-49. (Hollywood Reporter)

Oscars cut foreign film list to nine
The list of possible foreign-language nominees has been cut from 61 down to nine. They are: Days of Glory, Water, After the Wedding, Avenue Montaigne, The Lives of Others, Pan’s Labyrinth, Black Book, Volver, and Vitus. (Hollywood Reporter)

Tara Reid to star in and produce indie comedy
The actress is attached to star in and executive produce Honestly, which will also feature Vinnie Jones and NFL running back Eddie George. Reid’s brother Tommy will direct. Shooting starts this summer. (Hollywood Reporter)

NBC pulls the plug on Passions
The Peacock will end the soap opera’s nearly eight-year run later this year. Although the network touted the show’s No. 4 status among women 18-49, Passions ranked last overall in the daytime drama ratings. The cancellation makes room for a fourth hour of Today, which will start in the fall. (Variety)

The Rock, Terence Stamp join Get Smart cast
The actors will join Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway in the movie adaptation of the 1960s sitcom. The Rock is slated to play the newly created character Agent 23. Stamp will play an evil leader. Shooting is scheduled to start Feb. 3 and wrap in July. (Variety)

Grey’s Heigl speaks out against costar’s comments
Grey’s Anatomy’s Katherine Heigl said she is ”not OK with” costar Isaiah Washington’s comments after the Golden Globe Awards. During an interview in the press room after the show won best drama, Washington denied allegations that he had previously used a homophobic slur by saying, ”No, I did not call (co-star) T.R. (Knight) a faggot.” Heigl said she doesn’t think Washington ”means it the way he comes off,” but said his comment was ”hurtful.” (Hollywood Reporter)

Rachael Ray’s show renewed
Ray’s syndicated talk show has been re-upped through 2010 based on the strength of its first season. Rachael Ray has averaged a 2.1 rating in households and scored the highest-rated syndicated talk show debut since Dr. Phil in 2002. (TV Week)

China bans The Departed
China’s movie censor has blocked Martin Scorsese’s film from entering the country because of its mention of a Chinese plan to buy military equipment. The decision won’t prevent the Chinese people from seeing the movie, however, as pirated versions are already being sold there. (Reuters)

J. Lo producing new Showtime program
Jennifer Lopez has been tapped to executive produce a new comedy for Showtime set in the world of Latina nannies in Los Angeles. The tentative title is Ayuda, which is Spanish for ”help.” Former Friends and Sex in the City producer Alexa Junge will also executive produce. (Variety)

Fox launching new reality show
Rocket Science Laboratories is producing a new reality show for Fox tentatively titled When Women Rule the World. The show will take 12 attractive women and give them their own society to run with the help of 12 ”macho, chauvinistic” manservants. One servant will be eliminated each week, and the last standing wins a million dollars. Jean Michel-Michenaud, Chris Cowan, and Charles Duncombe, producers of Joe Millionaire and Temptation Island, will executive produce. (Variety)

Springer’s Wilkos gets his own talk show
NBC has sold a new hour-long talk show hosted by Steve Wilkos, the Jerry Springer Show security guard and ex-marine/ex- police officer. The show will feature Wilkos offering advice and ”doling out his own version of justice” before a live studio audience. Wilkos will exit Springer to do the show, which will launch this fall. (Hollywood Reporter)

Disney/Pixar seeking rights to Burroughs’ Mars series
Disney/Pixar is looking to close on the acquisition of film rights to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars novel series. Sources say the series is headed for an animated adaptation. (Hollywood Reporter)

Del Shores to adapt Southern Baptist Sissies for big screen
Shores is partnering with Funny Boy Films to develop a feature from the play. Leslie Jordan and Delta Burke will star. Filming is expected to start this spring with Shores directing. The play opened in Los Angeles in 2000 and had a 10-month sold-out run, winning the GLAAD Award for outstanding production of the year. (Variety)

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie reportedly move to New Orleans
The couple has moved to the Crescent City, according to a widely circulated report, and plans to send their kids to school there. They have reportedly purchased a $3.5 million six-bedroom mansion in the French Quarter. (Reuters)

IN THE GOSSIPS

Page Six: A jeweler on trial for accepting cash from a drug ring will call celebrity clients to testify, including Sean ”P. Diddy” Combs, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey and David Beckham.

Liz Smith: The columnist gives a first-person account of the Golden Globes festivities.

Rush & Molloy: Ten thousand people have signed a petition urging a boycott of Amazon.com after the Web retailer gave a positive review to Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

Ben Widdicombe: Leo, Tom, Katie, Justin, Lindsay and Mary J. were all at Prince’s exclusive Golden Globes after-party in Beverly Hills.