Craig Sjodin
Adrienne Day
July 03, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Isaiah Washington blames Dempsey for provoking slur
Isaiah Washington blamed his former costar Patrick Dempsey for provoking the homophobic slur that lead to Washington’s dismissal from the popular series. On CNN’s Larry King Live last night, Washington claimed that Dempsey’s repeated lateness to the set caused a blow-up between the two actors, leading to Washington’s use of the slur. As for Grey’s costar T.R. Knight claiming the slur was directed at him, Washington said that was a lie, claiming that Knight said that to advance his career and get more money from the show’s producers. (People)

Soprano Beverly Sills dies at 78
The Brooklyn-born opera diva, known for her easy-going personality and telegenic vivaciousness, died of lung cancer at age 78. Sills regularly appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show, and made memorable television appearances with her friend Carol Burnett, Danny Kaye, and the Muppets. After retiring from the stage in 1980, she became chairwoman of the Metropolitan Opera. (Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times)

Eleven 7-Elevens get Simpsons makeover
7-Eleven has joined forces with 20th Century Fox to promote the upcoming Simpsons film by converting 11 of its highest-grossing stores into real-world versions of the show’s Kwik-E-Marts. The stores are temporarily installing Kwik-E-Mart signs, and stocking everything from Krusty O’s cereal and Buzz Cola to Blue Vanilla Squishee Slurpees and Sprinklicious doughnuts. 7-Eleven is picking up the approximately $10 mil tab. (Variety and E! Online)

”Dreamgirl” chosen for The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Anika Noni Rose, who played Lorrell in Dreamgirls, and Jill Scott will be heading up the cast for the upcoming The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland), Idris Elba (28 Weeks Later, The Wire), Colin Salmon (Die Another Day, Match Point) have also been cast in the film, which is based on a best-selling book by Alexander McCall Smith about a female-owned detective agency in Botswana. The film, helmed by Anthony Minghella, is expected to launch a TV series, but there’s no network commitment yet. (Variety)

American Dad! duo back at 20th Century Fox TV
Executive producers Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz have signed a two-year deal with the series’ producer, 20th Century Fox TV Studio. Under the seven-figure pact, which has an option for a third year, Wiener and Schwartz will continue on American Dad! as exec producers alongside Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman and David Zuckerman. (Hollywood Reporter)

Iran president rejects Oliver Stone documentary
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has rejected a proposal by Oscar-winning movie director Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July, Platoon) to make a film about him because Stone is part of the ”Great Satan” cultural establishment, a semiofficial news agency reported. ”I have been called a lot of things, but never a Great Satan,” Stone said in a statement. ”I wish the Iranian people well, and only hope their experience with an inept, rigid ideologue president goes better than ours.” The term the ”Great Satan” dates back to Iran’s late leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, who first called the United States that after the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the country’s U.S.-supported shah. (AP)

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