RATED: FOX's "The Simple Life," with hotel heiress and raunchy video star Paris Hilton, 22, debuted to more than 13 million viewers apiece for its Dec. 2 premiere and additional Wednesday episode, according to Nielsen Media Research. But NBC's "Average Joe" did even better, with 14.1 million viewers on Dec. 1 and an impressive 17.4 million for its two-hour finale this week, easily besting Monday Night Football and CBS's lineup of reruns. CBS's "Survivor: Pearl Islands," however, scored its highest ratings since this season's premiere: 22.2 million viewers. Over on HBO, there were respectable yet still disappointing numbers for the critically lauded, two-part, $60 million, six-hour "Angels in America," which pulled in 4.2 million viewers. It was the premium cable channel's highest-rated movie this year, but a far cry from the sort of viewership routinely tuning in for "Sex and the City" and "The Sopranos."
QUOTED: "Well, yeah, but you know what? Film companies are run by older men whose fantasy is to be with younger women, so that's what gets made. I'm not so sure that people think it's appealing." -- "Stuck on You" star Cher, 57, to The New York Times, when asked if there should be more older-woman/younger-men couples on screen
WED: Singers Diana Krall, 39, and Elvis Costello, 49, apparently tied the knot last weekend in London, say reports. Last spring, Jim Krall, the father of Diana, reportedly confirmed that she and Costello were engaged. Rumors of the couple's romance began in January after they were spotted dining together in a New York restaurant. They also reportedly had purchased a home on Canada's Vancouver Island.
FOLDED: Youth-oriented retailer Abercrombie & Fitch on Tuesday said it would retire its sexy quarterly catalog, which draws regular protests because of its nearly nude photographic content, reports Reuters. The "2003 Christmas Field Guide" issue, already recalled from stores, will be the final issue. Family-values groups have been quick to claim credit for the shutdown, but says Abercrombie in a statement: "The company believes it is time for new thinking and looks forward to unveiling an innovative and exciting campaign in the spring."
HONORED: Tokyo's big guy turns 50 next year, and to mark the occasion the small American film company Rialto Pictures plans to re-release the original 1954 Japanese classic "Godzilla," says AP. The uncensored, original-language version makes a strong statement against nuclear testing and does not star American TV actor Raymond Burr, who was edited in for the American dubbed version. The original was also better-received than the 1998 American remake, which starred a beefy Matthew Broderick and a slimmed down 'Zilla, who to many minds was far less photogenic than his predecessor.