Navigating your way through this week's entertainment offerings should be a piece of cake.
There's something for everybody this week in films, beginning with a new take on a French queen who knew a thing or two about cake. On TV there's lots of music, and plenty of reality shows of every stripe. In music, a veteran rapper returns with a new set, and a teen sensation releases her sophomore album.
In DVDs and books, look for plenty of variety. Plus, American talent heads overseas to the London stage.
Booed in Cannes, but cheered by American critics, Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoniette" premieres Oct. 20, as do all the films listed here. The drama stars Kirsten Dunst as the ill-fated teenage French queen. In Coppola's interpretation, gorgeous period costumes and scenery are contrasted with a pop music soundtrack and a 21st century sensibility.
Ryan Phillippe and Jamie Bell star in Clint Eastwood's latest film, "Flags Of Our Fathers." The World War II drama centers around the lives of the men in the famous photo of servicemen raising the American flag on a Japanese hilltop.
Country music star Tim McGraw tries his hand as a leading man in the family film "Flicka." McGraw plays a rancher whose teenage daughter wants to enter the family business and tries to prove her worth by taming a wild horse. The movie is based on the 1941 children's classic, "My Friend Flicka."
"Running with Scissors" is a dark comedy starring Annette Benning, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alec Baldwin and Brian Cox. The film is based on a memoir by Augusten Burroughs about his bizarre childhood and even stranger adolescence in the 1970s.
Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Scarlett Johansson star in "The Prestige," a thriller about two rival magicians in turn-of-the-century London.
There's a lot of great music on TV this week, plus some interesting reality show finales and premieres.
The week kicks off Monday (Oct. 16) with an appearance by Sting on NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."
A&E reality shows "Driving Force" and "Inked" end their seasons on Oct. 16.
"VH1 Hip-Honors" hosted by rapper Ice-T airs Tuesday night (Oct. 17). Filmed earlier this month, the evening honors several hip-hop pioneers including Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys and Russell Simmons.
Also that night, VH1 will air a sneak peek of "Ice-T's Rap School," in which the rapper will try and make MCs out of a group of seventh and eighth graders at a Manhattan prep school. The series will premiere Oct. 20.
Last week on "Project Runway," viewers were left with a real cliffhanger: Did Jeffrey do his own sewing for his final collection or did he cheat? We'll have to wait for the season's final episode (Oct. 18) to find out.
That same night, the competition moves off the runway and into the kitchen with the premiere of the second season of "Top Chef," also on Bravo.
Laurence Fishburne and Cicely Tyson receive special achievement awards at the "2006 Black Movie Awards" on TNT, which airs Oct. 18. Tyler Perry hosts.
Also that night is the series premiere of "The Wendy Williams Experience" starring the outrageous radio deejay and gossip maven, and VH1 Classic premieres the concert tribute "Decades Live With The Pretenders" featuring performances by Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Kings of Leon and Incubus.
More reality shows premiere Sunday night (Oct. 22) on VH1 including the third season of "Hogan Knows Best," the second season of "Breaking Bonaduce" and the premiere of "Celebrity Paranormal Project." The latter is sort of "Dancing With The Stars" meets "Ghost Hunter" as a team of celebrities are left overnight in spooky locations.
Of course, nothing is more real than good old-fashioned baseball, and there will be plenty of it on television beginning with Game 1 of The World Series on Saturday night (Oct. 21).
Teen R&B/pop sensation JoJo is out with her sophomore album, "The High Road." The first single from the album, "Too Little, Too Late" is currently No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Diddy is back with "Press Play," the follow-up to 2001's "The Saga Continues." The album boasts appearances by Christina Aguilera, Outkast's Big Boi, Mary J. Blige and Jamie Foxx, among others. "I can't do a crunk record, and I'm not shooting anybody so I can't do that kind of music," Diddy told Billboard. "This is a vulnerable album meant to make you feel good."
Also out this week: Vince Gill's "These Days," Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong," Xzibit's "Full Circle" and Ruben Studdard's "The Return."
The animated comedy "Over The Hedge" is out on DVD this week. The film is voiced by an all-star cast that includes Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, William Shatner, Avril Lavigne, Eugene Levy and Nick Nolte. Also out is a 25th anniversary edition of "Reds" starring Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. The two-disc DVD set includes a seven-part documentary about the movie.
Other new DVDs:
"Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction" by David Kuo is sure to be a hot topic on radio talk shows and political blogs in the next few weeks. Kuo is a former White House aide who worked in President Bush's Office of Faith Based Initiatives for 2 1/2 years. He accuses the administration of using the office to gain points from religious voters and abandoning its intended purpose of funding faith-based charities.
Other new books this week include David Baldacci's thriller "The Collectors," "The Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir" by Bill Bryson, Sen. Barack Obama's second book, "The Audacity Of Hope," and "I Like You: Hospitality Under The Influence" by Amy Sedaris.
Perhaps we should spell it "theatre" this week as American stars make their way across the pond for premieres in London's West End.
"Spam-a-lot" opens in London on Tuesday with Tim Curry reprising his role in the hit Broadway musical comedy. The play is "lovingly ripped off" from the movie "Monty Python and The Holy Grail."
Also opening in London: Kim Catrall stars in the David Mamet play "The Cryptogram," Chris Carmack of the TV show "The O.C." stars in a revival of the 1947 Tennessee Williams play "Summer and Smoke," and Tonya Pinkins recreates her Tony-nominated performance in "Caroline, or Change."