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Sawyer scores coup in network rivalry

Diane Sawyer has nabbed a sit-down interview with George and Laura Bush for later this year, says a source.
/ Source: msnbc.com

Diane Sawyer has nabbed a sit down interview with George and Laura Bush for later this year, says a source.

The interview is "pretty much a done deal," according to the insider, and is big "get" for Sawyer -- heating up the competition between her and network colleague Barbara Walters.

"It’s a pretty big coup for Diane," says the insider, "and she’s had a lot of them lately. She’s become the hot interview diva at ABC, getting the sort of sit downs that used to be Barbara’s exclusive domain. . . They’ll deny there’s any rivalry until they’re blue in the face, but don’t believe it for a second."

When asked about a possible Bush interview, Sawyer’s rep replied, "We have nothing to announce at this time."

Will 'Paycheck' bounce?
Does Ben Affleck have another clunker on his hands?

**FILE** Actor Ben Affleck, shown in Los Angeles in this Aug. 11, 2003, file photo, has agreed to play the retired University of Texas at El Paso basketball coach Don Haskins in a movie about the 1966 Texas Western NCAA championship, according to his publicist. Haskin fielded an all-black starting five against an all-white Kentucky team in the NCAA final, and Texas Western, now Texas-El Paso, won 72-65. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)Matt Sayles / AP

The "Gigli" star is in desperate need of a big hit, but a source who has seen his upcoming flick, "Paycheck," says it’s not likely to put the star back on the A-list.

"There was a screening and the audiences did not seem to like it," says the insider. "Also, Ben looked a little weird. His face looked orange-ish and his hair looked sort of plastered down, like Bob Big Boy’s."

Affleck’s rep angrily denied the story. "That’s bulls---! And that’s on the record," he told the Scoop. "The movie is testing wonderfully...The studio is spending more money because it’s testing so well." When asked about Ben’s allegedly odd appearance, the rep shot back, "I am not going to dignify that made-up garbage with a comment." A spokeswoman for Paramount, which is releasing the film around Christmas, also insisted it’s testing well. "It’s the opposite of what you described," she said. "We’ve had generous applause at the end of the screenings."

The early on-line buzz, however, seems mixed. While Aint-It-Cool.com’s Harry Knowles said he talked to people at the screening who "loved" the film, there’s a review on it on the site by"A.B. Connection" who wrote, "Affleck has a lot of fun with role, spreading charm and energy all over the place. The script however falls short, giving most of the characters line after line of corny dialogue."

Notes from all over

NEW YORK - AUGUST 7: One of the stars of the new film \"S.W.A. T.\" actor Colin Farrell appears on MTV TRL at the MTV Times Square Studios August 7, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)Frank Micelotta / Getty Images North America

That supposed romance between Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie is heating up. And cooling off. The twosome, who met on the set of "Alexander the Great," were spotted at Landham Hotel in London "and enjoyed each other’s company so much they were practically ‘at it’ in the foyer," reports the Mirror. But the next two nights the bad boy Irish star was spotted with two other women, according to the tab. . . . .Some British reports are saying that Madonna will serve as matron of honor at Gwyneth Paltrow’s wedding. "Don’t count on it," cautions a source who knows the formerly Material Girl. "They’re not as close as they used to be." . . . . America’s national nightmare may be over. Star Jones, that man-hunting co-host of the "The View," has nabbed a boyfriend. She’ll tell more later this week.