Bette's Busted Back; Nobody Wants Chris Brown

Plus: Before Ted Danson signed on to "CSI" CBS sent offers to three other actors

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Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: A lead drops out of the Phil Spector biopic, few takers for Chris Brown and Arnold refuses to give up on his memoir dreams.

  • (Re)castings Al Pacino looking nothing at all like Phil Spector is the least of the problems facing director David Mamet's upcoming HBO movie about the pop music impresario. Bette Midler, who was supposed to play Spector's defense attorney, has left the production under "'doctor's orders'" after she  "did not appear on set to begin filming scenes" yesterday. The injury is reportedly a herniated disc. Director David Mamet told the crew that HBO and the production's insurance company would be recasting the role. [Deadline]
  • Contingencies "Before [CBS] landed on" Ted Danson to be the new leading man on CSI, "offers went out" to the likes Robin Williams, Tony Shalhoub, and John Lithgow. Danson replaces Laurence Fishburne, who was a replacement for William Peterson, after producers declined to renew Fishburne's contract. [Entertainment Weekly]
  • "The axe hanging over Jive Records may start to swing by the end of the week," says one music industry tipster. Most of the label's big sellers (Usher, Outkast, Justin Timberlake) have found new homes, with the noted exception of Chris Brown. ""Figuring out where to put Chris Brown has been an issue," a source said. "Neither [Epic or RCA] really wants to take him on. He makes great music, but he has personal baggage. He's in a long-term contract, but contracts are made to be broken." [Page Six]
  • Arnold the memoirist? In addition to plotting his herky-jerky return to movies, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is reportedly still interested in writing his memoirs and setting a new benchmark for author advances. A publishing source calls Arnold "untouchable" in the wake of his separation from Maria Shriver, but those close to the actor say he "still wants his record-breaking deal, and he's willing to write a two-volume memoir if that's what it takes." [Page Six]
  • Spotted Anthony Weiner, "using a cell phone" on the Metro in D.C. on Tuesday morning. Credit Rachel Weiner of Washington Post politics blog The Fix with the sighting, and for posting news of it on Twitter. [@FixRachel]
  • Also spotted Speaker John Boehner "eating breakfast solo (except for his detail) this morning at the bar of Pete’s Diner, on Capitol Hill, wearing shorts and a gray 'Boehner Beach Bash' T-shirt." [Playbook ]
  • Bad guys Edward Norton is "in negotiations" to play the villain in The Bourne Legacy, the Matt Damon-free fourth film in the Jason Bourne franchise. Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner will try and fill Damon's good-guy-without-a-past shoes as "another assassin trained in the same program that Bourne was trained in." The cast also includes Rachel Weisz. [Variety]
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