REDESIGNED: “Survivor” and The Apprentice producer Mark Burnett, describing himself as a “good friend” of disgraced domestic diva Martha Stewart, tells New York’s Daily News he plans to retool her Martha Stewart Living TV program once his pal serves out her prison sentence for lying to federal investigators looking into a stock deal. “We will be presenting the information in different ways,” he said. “There’s a lot she has to get through in the short run,” Burnett says of his future collaborator, “so I look forward to working with her in 2005. Right now, she needs her space.”
RATED: Though Donald Trump trumpeted the high ratings for The Apprentice 2 on the Emmy red carpet Sunday, the NBC reality show has slipped in its new season – and the first 45 minutes of Thursday’s second episode fell behind a rerun of CBS’s CSI. Apprentice attracted 15.9 million, while CSI drew 22.2 million. CBS’s season premiere of Survivor: Vanuatu also captured more than 20 million viewers, while NBC’s second episode of Matt LeBlanc’s Joey lost 12 percent of its audience from the week before, still bringing in 15.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen numbers.
ESTABLISHED: Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit his 700th career home run Friday night in San Francisco’s SBC Park, becoming only the third player in major league history to reach that mark. The others were Babe Ruth (in 1934) and Hank Aaron (in 1973). “It’s great that I could do it at home,” Bonds, 40, said. He’s also now within slugging distance of Ruth’s once-unthinkable 714 all-time record and Aaron’s 755.
NAMED: Miss Alabama Deidre Downs, 24, an aspiring medical student, won the Miss America contest on Saturday and pledged to use her year as Miss America to reestablish the competition as a major cultural event amid criticism that it is a outdated forum and has little relevance to modern women. She defeated Miss Louisiana, Jennifer Dupont, in a final head-to-head talent competition.
DIED: Famed Hollywood palimony attorney Marvin Mitchelson, 71, whose famous clients ranged from Joan Collins to Robert De Niro, died of cancer Saturday, reports the Associated Press. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Marcella. Country music singer Skeeter Davis, 73, whose hits included “The End of the World,” died in Nashville Sunday after a battle with breast cancer that began in 1988. She had joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1959, with the Grammy-nominated “Set Him Free.”
LANDMARKED: One of Italy’s favorite exports, screen legend Sophia Loren, turned 70 on Monday, as headlines across her country proudly heralded. The diva who started life as an illegitimate child in southern Italy went on to win an Oscar (1961’s Two Women) and became a living legend and a symbol of post-war Italy. Last week, she presented her “Arabesque” director Stanley Donen a lifetime achievement award at the Venice Film Festival and, as all the photos taken of her document, she still looks fantastico.