Breaking up: Not so hard

Still befuddled and aggrieved at the devastating news that Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards’ marriage has done a Hindenberg, the world is hit with more woe: Chris Klein and Katie Holmes have decided not to tempt fate by trying their hand at matrimony, Us Weekly reports. Chris, the 25-year-old “American Pie” star and the adoralicious Katie, 26, whose “Dawson’s Creek” turn generated so much love from so many Americans, had dated for five years before becoming engaged in December ’03.

But Katie’s rep does assure us that despite the bust-up, the couple “are remaining good friends.” Though obviously that amity isn’t quite enough.

– Knight Ridder Newspapers
Backstreet’s back – again

Backstreet Boys, the boy band who demanded “I Want It That Way,” have announced a set of tour dates starting March 21 in New York.

They won’t play Madison Square Garden this time around or any of their previous gigantic arena hot spots. The Boys’ 13-city tour is a club-only affair, stopping at such intimate venues as the State Theatre in Detroit and the 9:30 Club in Washington.

According to their label, Jive Records, they will perform all their hits plus a few songs from their upcoming CD.

The Backstreet Boys, who debuted in 1997, are putting the finishing touches on a forthcoming as-yet-untitled album, their first original outing since 2000’s “Black and Blue.”

Over the past few years, the group’s members have mostly stayed out of the spotlight except for a few benefit performances. In 2002, Nick Carter released a solo album. Last December, Brian Littrell signed a deal with Christian record label Reunion Records.

– Knight Ridder Newspapers
More ‘House,’ less ‘Shore’

According to TV, Fox is renewing our favorite freshman TV show, “House,” the hospital drama about the brilliant yet angst-ridden, ever-brooding, pill-popping Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), who has the bedside manner of an acerbic, wise-cracking mortician and wit dryer than a martini. This week’s episode drew a season-high 15.6 mil viewers.

Things are more dire for the beach-based hotel melodrama “North Shore,” which Fox is not picking up for a second season.

– Knight Ridder Newspapers
Sugar Ray-er v. Sugar Ray

“Extra” co-host and Sugar Ray front man Mark McGrath has challenged boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard to a fight. Is he crazy?

McGrath, whose band was named after Leonard, says, “Sugar Ray Leonard has been my idol since I saw him win a gold medal in the Olympics. To step into the ring with him just blows me away.”

Leonard responds, “Hey, I’m honored that he named his group after me but I”m still gonna mess him up!”

To prepare for the fight, McGrath has spent several hours training in the gym. But will it be enough?

“I’m pretty confident,” says McGrath. “If he wants to dance, I’ll dance. If he wants to brawl, I’ll brawl. What’s the worst that can happen?”

Leonard simply replies that he’s going to “lay him out!”

The big fight will air Monday on Extra.

– Knight Ridder Newspapers

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