Money Matters - Simplified


Cosgrove to appear in 'Rush' special

New York -- Miranda Cosgrove, Fabio and Snoop Dogg are to appear in "Big Time Christmas," a 1-hour U.S. holiday special starring Big Time Rush, Nickelodeon said.

"Big Time Christmas," based on the TV show "Big Time Rush" and featuring the boy band of the same name, is to premiere Dec. 4.

The movie features three musical performances: an exclusive duet between Big Time Rush and Cosgrove of the contemporary classic "All I Want for Christmas is You," an animated music video with Snoop Dogg featuring an original song "Let's Stay in Our PJs (All Christmas Long)," and an all-new holiday song called "Beautiful Christmas," Nickelodeon said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Sheen to counter-sue Anderson

New York -- Charlie Sheen's lawyer, Yale Galanter, says the Hollywood actor plans to counter-sue Capri Anderson for civil extortion.

Anderson, who has been described in media reports as an adult-film actress, has publicly alleged Sheen assaulted and threatened her during a drug- and alcohol-fueled rampage in New York's posh Plaza hotel last month.

She announced plans Monday to file a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles seeking monetary damages from Sheen. In New York, she said she is pressing criminal charges at the Midtown North Police Precinct.

"We believe her story is just a pack of lies and she has no credibility," Galanter told TV's "Inside Edition" Monday.

'Potter' earns $330M at global box office

Burbank, Calif. -- "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1" earned $330.1 million worldwide during its first weekend in theaters, Hollywood's Warner Bros. Pictures said.

The studio said the haul included $125.1 million domestically and $205 million internationally.

The announcement was made jointly Sunday by Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution, and Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, president of international distribution at Warner Bros.

The domestic box-office numbers shattered the franchise's previous opening weekend record -- held by "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" at $102.6 million -- surpassing it by an astounding 23 percent.

Mason, Van Dyke to guest star on 'Middle'

Los Angeles -- Marsha Mason and Jerry Van Dyke are to play the parents of Patricia Heaton's character, Frankie, on the U.S. sitcom "The Middle," ABC said Monday.

Mason's film credits include "The Goodbye Girl" and "Chapter Two," while Van Dyke was a cast member of the long-running comedy series "Coach."
They are to play Frankie's parents, Pat and Tag, on the upcoming holiday episode of "The Middle" to air Dec. 8.

"The Hecks count down the 12 days of Christmas with Frankie's parents, Pat and Tag, when they come to town to spend the holiday with the family -- much to Mike's dismay. But when Frankie decides that she wants to take the focus off of the gifts and make it a simple Christmas, Pat and Tag have other ideas," the network said in a synopsis.

Book recalls FDR-Churchill Christmas '41

Salt Lake City -- David McCullough has written a book about British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's 1941 Christmas Eve meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

"In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story" is on sale now.

It tells the story of how the two world leaders met during one of the bleakest holidays in modern history, its publishers noted.

Engine fails during Leo's Delta flight

New York -- Leonardo DiCaprio's publicist has confirmed he was on a Moscow-bound Delta flight that returned to New York after an engine failed.

The jetliner landed safely Sunday at JFK Airport with no injuries reported, officials said. The reason the engine cut out was still under investigation.

DiCaprio's representatives told the "Titanic," "The Aviator" and "Inception" star was on his way to attend a four-day meeting in St. Petersburg, led by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, to discuss ways to prevent the extinction of tigers.

"(DiCaprio) wishes to commend the actions of the pilot and flight crew in bringing the plane to a safe landing," the actor's publicist said in a statement issued to

Mel Gibson wants custody of daughter

Los Angeles -- Actor Mel Gibson is set to appear in a Los Angeles County Court Monday seeking custody of a child he had with Oksana Grigorieva, a celebrity Web site said. said Gibson is appearing because he wants the judge to see how serious he is about getting full custody of their daughter, Lucia.

The couple's domestic disputes have been widely reported, and Grigorieva appeared on Larry King Live on Wednesday, where she said Gibson hit and choked her while she was holding the baby. said Gibson thinks his wife is unstable, and he wants her to have only supervised visits with the child for six months.

Kennedy Secret Service agents relive '63

Dallas -- Retired U.S. Secret Service Agent Clint Hill said the filming of a documentary on the Kennedy assassination was a cathartic moment for him and his colleagues.

The Discovery Channel documentary, along with a newly released book, are the first of the many works on the slaying of President Kennedy to include the observations of JFK's Secret Service detail, who as a group had kept quiet about the events of Nov. 22, 1963.

"We decided to discuss among ourselves what happened," Hill told the Dallas Morning News. "That was the first time we agreed to do that or had been willing to do that. We had all kept silent for 47 years."

'Harry Potter' rides $125 million broom

Los Angeles -- "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" raked in a whopping $125.12 million for the No. 1 spot at the U.S. box office during the weekend.

That chunk of money gave the film the sixth highest-grossing opening weekend of all time and the biggest-grossing opening of the "Harry Potter" series, Box Office Mojo reported.

The animated "Megamind" with the voices of Will Farrell and Brad Pitt was a very distant No. 2 with more than $16.17 million after two weekends at the top. "Unstoppable," with Denzel Washington, was third with $13.1 million.

All studio estimates are via Box Office Mojo.

Heidi Klum says weight erases wrinkles

New York -- Dermatologists and beauty experts agree with supermodel Heidi Klum that you can indeed be too thin when it comes to a wrinkle-free face.

Klum recently offered advice on keeping a youthful appearance: keep a little weight on to prevent the face from becoming drawn, the New York Daily News said Saturday.

Klum said in an interview in Self: "It is always better to have a little meat on your bones. When you are just muscle, you end up being gaunt in the face, and that makes you look older by five or 10 years."

New York dermatologist Macrene Alexiades agreed, telling the newspaper that people with a little body fat do have a more youthful appearance because it fills in the line on the face.