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Will Romano scrap ‘Raymond?’

Plus: ‘Gospel’ draws big crowds, little controversy in Toronto. By Jeannette Walls
/ Source: msnbc.com

Will “Everybody Loves Raymond” return next season? It better not, say publishing insiders, who tell the Scoop that Ray Romano, the star of the show, has been pitching a book about the show and telling would-be buyers that this will be the last year for the popular series.

“Ray Romano and his rep have been talking to publishers about a book, and they’re looking for big bucks,” says a source. “It would be a scrapbook-type thing with lots of pictures and captions and one of their key selling points has been that this will be the show’s last year. They’re saying that the book should be published by May and that it would get tons of publicity when the series ends.”

“Everybody Loves Raymond” won an Emmy this year, and there has been much speculation as to whether it’s the show’s last season, although a rep for the series steadfastly tells the Scoop that “no decision has been made” about the future of the show.

‘Gospel’ big draw
Mel Gibson isn’t the only one bringing out a true-to-the-Bible film about Jesus’s death at the hands of Jewish leaders.

“The Gospel of St. John,” a $20 million British/Canadian production is a word-for-word re-creation of that gospel — taken from the American Bible Society’s Good News Bible edition. It played to sold out audiences at the Toronto Festival — but has managed to dodge the charges of anti-Semitism that have dogged Gibson’s film, “The Passion.” “Like the controversial Mel Gibson film. . . . it shows how Jewish leaders at the time handed Jesus over to Pontius Pilate and demanded that He be crucified,” reports the Vancouver Sun. However, it “tries to sidestep the inflammatory question of guilt by talking about ‘the Jewish authorities’ rather than ‘the Jews.’ It also comes with an introductory explanation, written by the religious advisers, that tells viewers Jesus and his followers were all Jewish and that crucifixion was a Roman punishment, not sanctioned by Jewish law.”

Notes from all over
Liza Minnelli can rap, says Mary J. Blige. The R&B star was asked by the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter what she thinks of Minnelli’s version of her song, “Family Affair.” “Great,” Blige replied. “She can perform any music style. She can even rap. We’re very good friends. I invited her to my home for Thanksgiving last year. People are always surprised when I tell them that we’re friends. ‘Aha, do you have white friends?’ they ask, like I only hang around with rappers because I’m black.” . . . Prince William stunned the crowd at the Purple Club in Chelsea, west London when he hopped up on a podium and started “dirty dancing” with a “succession of half-dressed women” for three hours, according to the London Express. . . . Seems like Charlize Theron didn’t take her role as a lesbian serial killer in “Monster” too seriously. When the London Mirror asked what she thought of playing Christina Ricci’s girlfriend, she replied, “I’d love to see out-takes from it, because Christina Ricci and I laughed way too much. We drove the sound guy bananas by giggling into his mike.”

Jeannette Walls Delivers the Scoop appears Monday through Thursday in MSNBC Entertainment.