Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Everybody loves cash

Los Angeles -- "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Ray Romano has inked a new deal with CBS that makes him the highest-paid actor in television, nabbing close to $50 million for the upcoming eighth season of the hit sitcom, reports E!Online.

Romano will earn roughly $1.8 million per episode, a significant increase from the $800,000 he's currently taking home.

Meanwhile, despite talk that "Raymond" would bow out next season, CBS has negotiated a two-season renewal deal to keep the series through 2004-05 for a heavy chunk of change, doling out close to $6 million per episode in licensing fees.

Networks renew Daly's contracts

New York -- Last call hasn't sounded yet for Carson Daly, who's had his contracts renewed with NBC for the next year and with MTV for the next two years.

Daly has been the face of MTV since he started hosting the afternoon video countdown show "Total Request Live" in 1998. But he's appeared less frequently in the past couple of years as he's developed his late-night talk show, "Last Call with Carson Daly," on NBC.

The new MTV contract, announced Monday, calls for the 29-year-old to continue hosting and serving as an executive producer on "TRL." He'll also host and sometimes produce special events, such as "Spring Break" and "Spankin' New Music Week."

Old flames rekindled

Atherton, Calif. -- Actress Carol Channing tied the knot with her junior high school sweetheart over the weekend, decades after the two drifted apart.

Channing, 82, and Harry Kullijian, 83, were married Saturday. One of his friends noticed earlier this year that she had mentioned her one-time beau in her autobiography "Just Lucky, I Guess."

Kullijian's pal urged him to contact Channing, best known for her role in Broadway's "Hello, Dolly."

"Call Carol?" Kullijian said, recalling his response. "I thought she was dead."

Channing certainly wasn't dead, and neither were her feelings for Kullijian. The two picked up where they'd left off decades earlier in San Francisco and soon were engaged.

It was the second marriage for Kullijian, whose wife died last year, and the fourth for Channing.

Give Peace Corps a chance

Williamsburg, Va. -- Jordan's Queen Noor of Jordan lives in a palace these days, but she might have had a less glamorous life.

"Strange as it may seem from where I stand now," she said at the William & Mary graduation. "If my life hadn't taken the startling turn it did 25 years ago, I would have become a Peace Corps volunteer."

The American-born widow of Jordan's King Hussein said Sunday she was impressed that William & Mary sends proportionately more graduates to the Peace Corps than any other college.