MAULED: Broadway critics didn't have much enthusiasm for Ashley Judd, 35, or Jason Patric, 37, who opened Sunday night in a revival of the Tennessee Williams classic, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Most found her too icy and him too one-note. But heaps of praise were lavished upon Ned Beatty, 66, as Southern patriarch Big Daddy. "Before Mr. Beatty arrives," The New York Times says of the production, "the predominant aroma is definitely more artificial, like a magnolia-scented air freshener. ... (But Beatty) brings with him the invigorating breeze of passionate, scrupulously detailed acting."
QUOTED: "I think, in a lot of ways, I'm my own worst enemy." -- Russell Crowe, 39, on the widespread press reports of his brawling behavior, to Time magazine
EXTENDED: Record producer Phil Spector's $1 million bail was extended a second time on Friday, to Jan. 9, while the district attorney's office considers whether to charge him in the shooting death of a woman at his home, reports AP. Spector, 62, who is free on bail, has denied he killed Lana Clarkson, 40. He was arrested Feb. 3 after her body was found in the foyer of his Alhambra, Calif., mansion.
ENGAGED: Opera legend Luciano Pavarotti, 68, will marry his companion, Nicoletta Mantovani, in his hometown of Modena, in northern Italy, on Dec. 13, according to Italian press reports. Mantovani gave birth to Pavarotti's daughter in January. The star and Mantovani have been living together since 1996, when their love story hit gossip columns. Pavarotti has three children from his marriage to Adua Veroni, who managed his multimillion-dollar business affairs.
SHIFTED: "The Bernie Mac Show" is sitting out the November sweeps period, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In its place will be repeats of "The Simpsons" in the 8:30 p.m. slot for four weeks, pushing the season premiere of "Bernie Mac" to Nov. 30. Meanwhile, NBC's new comedy "Coupling" reached the point of no return as the network officially canceled the racy sitcom Friday.
DROPPED: The judge in Robert Blake's murder case dismissed the lone conspiracy charge against the actor's handyman, Earle Caldwell, on Friday, saying there was nothing more than speculative evidence that he was involved in the slaying of the actor's wife, reports AP. In dismissing charges against Caldwell, Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp said the evidence against him "carries very little weight." The judge did allow the murder charge to stand against Blake, 69, who was ordered to trial on Feb. 9 in the death of Bonny Lee Bakley, 44, whom he married after tests showed he was the father of her daughter.