Michael Pitt to Pick Up Steve Buscemi’s Dry Cleaning

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See? She's wearing clothes. Photo: Getty Images

Pitt Walks the Boardwalk: Michael Pitt is set to join the cast of Martin Scorsese's drama pilot for HBO, Boardwalk Empire. Steve Buscemi is already onboard to star in the story about the origins of Atlantic City. The show will revolve around a cunning businessman (Buscemi) who starts a liquor-distribution network at the beginning of Prohibition and a low-level lackey (Pitt) trying to rise quickly. If twenties Atlantic City is anything like 2000s Atlantic City, both characters will also exclusively wear tracksuits. [HR]

Phantom Part Duex: Andrew Lloyd Weber has announced that 2009 will be the year that the Phantom of the Opera sequel comes out of hiding. The long-rumored Phantom: Love Never Dies will see the Phantom relocate from Paris to the decidedly less glamorous Coney Island. But Weber's not giving much else away, including who will play the masked freak. May we suggest someone who won't have any trouble adapting to playing a masked freak: Michael Jackson.[Times UK]

Respect: The National Film Registry has made its selections for this year and the most notable name on the list is The Terminator. Now Arnold Schwarzenegger's star turn as a bloodthirsty robot from the future will be remembered forever. Even when only bloodthirsty robots from the future are around to watch movies. In Cold Blood and Deliverance were also among the 25 "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant films selected for inclusion. [Variety]

Cable Clash: A contract dispute between Viacom and Time Warner Cable may leave all you TWC subscribers without your MTV, VH1, and Comedy Central come 2009. The dispute, Viacom says, centers on a minor fee hike that it's seeing, but Time Warner says that Viacom wants to triple the fees the cable provider currently pays for its channels. All we know is that if anyone takes The Daily Show from Manhattanites, this city is going to burn. [Variety]

Futile Fight: As American Idol prepares to return to TV and dominate the lives of everyone everywhere for the next few months, the other networks are planning on challenging Fox's Tuesday-night supremacy. In a sign that AI might not be the juggernaut it once was, CBS, NBC, ABC, and the CW are all setting up ambitious counterprogramming. CBS has NCIS, ABC will air its new reality show Homeland Security USA, NBC has The Biggest Loser, and the CW will show 90210. A prediction: Unless those shows find a way to incorporate social outcasts making fools of themselves, they'll still come in behind Idol. [Variety]