"The X Factor" Half the Show Of "Idol"

The big "X Factor" premiere last night fell way short of Simon Cowell's expectations -- earning just over half the ratings "American Idol" got during its premiere in January.

Simon's new show averaged an 8.7 rating, while the tenth season premiere of "Idol" pulled in a 16.4 -- and in last night's head-to-head ... "Modern Family" and "Criminal Minds" won out.

Simon called in to TMZ Live yesterday -- telling us, he desperately wanted to beat out his alma mater in the ratings department ... but based on last night's performance, that's gonna be an uphill battle.

To be fair -- the first ever episode of "American Idol" only scored a 6.1 in 2002 ... and has since had years to build a loyal audience. Then again, singing competitions were new back then.

Gotti Film Boom Lowered on Joe Pesci

The producer of "Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father" has lashed out at Joe Pesci, claiming he's a has-been who is desperately seeking attention by trying to force himself into the movie.

The flick -- which will star John Travolta -- is now the basis of a suit filed by Pesci, who claims he had an iron-clad, $3 million deal to play the role of Angelo Ruggiero, Gotti's close friend and enforcer. In fact, Pesci says the deal was so firm, he actually gained 30 pounds for the role, only to be 86'd from the film.

As we previously reported, Pesci has sued Fiore Films, and now the movie company is fighting back in its answer to the lawsuit, saying, "It has been over 20 years since Mr. Pesci has been able to gather the attention he has by merely interjecting his role in this film."

Fiore claims it never had a deal with Joe ... there were discussions but no commitment. Fiore says sadly, "[Pesci] desperately wants to be part of this film project."

The mob has ways of dealing with these disputes, right?

Minka Kelly Look With Your Eyes Not with Your Hands

Minka Kelly proved too much for the "Charlie's Angels" crew member who got fired after slapping her ass last month -- he violated Rule 1 in the workplace ... look, but don't touch.

As TMZ reported, Minka told the guy never to do it again, but ABC got wind of it and immediately 86'd the guy.

The pic (above) shows Minka outside David Letterman's show yesterday.

Simon Cowell I Want to Beat "American Idol"

Simon Cowell is out for blood tonight on "X Factor" -- telling TMZ, he wants to beat "American Idol" (and every other show for that matter) in the ratings department.

The big "X Factor" premiere isn't competing head to head with "Idol" -- but Simon still wants to outrank his big competition, telling us, "You don't compete for the silver or the bronze ... You may not get the gold, but you die trying."

When we asked how X will measure up against similar singing competitions -- Simon responded, "It's definitely going to be better than the other shows."

As for what to look out for tonight -- Simon says the show is full of "nutcases" ... and one audition is especially terrifying.

Oh, as for what Simon thinks of "American Idol" without him -- well, he says, "It's not my cup of tea."

"Charlie's Angels" Crew Member Fired After Butt-Slapping Minka Kelly

A crew member on the "Charlie's Angels" set has been fired after slapping Minka Kelly's butt.

There's a report out that the guy was holding a $100 bill when he slapped her, and that she retaliated later by slapping him, but our sources say that's NOT true.

What did happen ... according to sources directly connected to the production ... is that the man did indeed slap Kelly, and sources at ABC tell us, she responded by telling him, "Please don't ever disrespect me or any other woman like that again."

Some of the witnesses told ABC honchos, and given the network's zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment, the dude was immediately banned from the set and subsequently fired.

We're told Minka did not want to get the guy fired and had nothing to do with the decision -- she was friendly with the man and upset that he lost his job after moving his family to town for the job.

And, ABC sources say, this was not an isolated incident -- the guy had done it before to other women.

Eva Mendes Someone Is Following Me!

Eva Mendes got the scare of her life last night ... Someone was following her as she was driving around Hollywood.

TMZ has learned, Mendes was so freaked out, she drove into the nearest safe harbor ... a police station.

We're told cops hit the streets but couldn't find the culprit. But ... for safe measure, we're told cops escorted Eva home.

It's unclear whether it was a renegade paparazzi or a zealous fan.

Where is Ryan Gosling when you need him?

Homer Simpson Sells Home to Moe Szyslak for Lots of D'oh!

Homer Simpson just sold his Pacific Palisades home to none other than Duff Beer peddler Moe Szyslak ... for $5.5 million.

Voice of Homer -- Dan Castellaneta -- knocked $200 thousand off the listing price of his 4,414 square Tudor -- before Hank Azaria -- who voices Moe -- snatched it up.

The house has 4 bedrooms, 3 and a half baths, a studio and a saltwater pool.

The only thing the house is missing -- a friendly neighborhood tavern and an endless supply of Duff.

Halle Berry Breaks Foot In Spain

TMZ has learned ... Halle Berry broke her foot in Spain this morning, and it's creating problems for the movie she's shooting.

Sources tell TMZ ... Halle was on the property where she's staying and simply took a misstep. She heard a crack and then felt the pain. Halle went to the hospital, where doctors put her foot in a cast. She was taken out of the hospital in a wheelchair.

As for the movie she's currently shooting -- "Cloud Atlas" -- sources say the immediate plan is to shoot around her. We're told that will be a combination of things -- shooting her from the waist up, using a stunt double, and shooting scenes for the next week or two in which Halle does not appear.

The plain in Spain creates intense pain. We just had to.

Denise Richards It's Charlie's Money Not Mine!

Denise Richards tells TMZ ... she doesn't want a dime from Charlie Sheen's $125-million-dollar settlement with Warner Bros ... well, other than the $50,000 he's paying her for child support every month.

Denise -- who was shopping in Malibu Tuesday -- seemed way less interested in Charlie's cash than Brooke Mueller, who's been walking around with dollar signs in her eyes.

Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell We Want $14.75 MILLION For Our Humble Home

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell are trying again to dump their enormous Malibu Beach mansion -- listing the Balinese-themed palace for $14.749 million.

The 4,300 square foot beach house has 4 bedrooms, and comes with a meditation room, a movie screening room, and a gym.

The couple bought the Malibu home back in 1989 -- and have put it up for sale several times in the last 15 years ... to no avail.

Fun Fact: There are roughly 50 other Malibu Beach homes currently listed for more than $10 million -- so Goldie and Kurt have some stiff competition.

Gayle King Sued By Matchmaker For Not Delivering "Oprah"

So if you had any doubt about whether Gayle King is a lesbian scratch that, because Gayle is being sued by a famous matchmaker who claims she hooked Gayle up with a bunch of "attractive, fit, and wealthy men," but Gayle reneged on her promise to put her on "Oprah."

Orly Hadida -- aka Orly the Matchmaker -- claims 2 years ago she made a deal with Gayle to provide her with matchmaking services. According to the lawsuit, Orly waived her $500,000 fee, and in return Gayle promised to get Orly a guest spot on "Oprah."

Orly alleges she spent hundreds of hours hooking Gayle up with 5 men -- all fabulous. Orly claims Gayle went on several dates with more than one of the men.

According to the lawsuit, back in May Orly panicked, realizing Oprah's show was coming to a quick end. So she says she sent Gayle an email, saying since she clearly wasn't going to appear on Oprah she wanted to get paid.

Gayle's rep had no comment.

"Roseanne" Star Laurie Metcalf Served With Divorce Papers

Laurie Metcalf -- who played Jackie, Roseanne's sister on "Roseanne" -- is about to have her marriage cancelled, because her husband has filed for divorce.

Matt Roth -- an actor who played Laurie's abusive boyfriend on "Roseanne" -- filed papers citing irreconcilable differences.

The couple married in 2005, but were together for a lot longer. They have 3 minor children -- Will, 17, Donovan, 11, and Mae, 6.

According to legal docs obtained by TMZ, the date of separation is November 26, 2008.

Matt is asking for joint legal and physical custody and is asking the judge to block Laurie from asking for spousal support.

This is Metcalf's second marriage.

Charlie Sheen I Watched, I Loved

Seriously ... how could he resist?

If you were wondering whether Charlie Sheen was watching "Two and a Half Men" last night.... the answer is, hell yeah!

And Charlie not only watched, we're told he loved it!

Sheen is telling close friends ... watching his own funeral on TV was "eerie but fun."

Charlie loved Ashton Kutcher, saying "I thought it was the best intro for a new a character on a TV show of all time." He particularly enjoyed the fact that Ashton "was revealed through the dusty exploded smoke of my remains."

And if you think Charlie has been playing nice because it's all part of his settlement agreement ... we know that's not the case. Warner Bros. is not demanding favorable reviews from Charlie in return for his $125 million.

That kind of money tends to make you gracious.

Rosie O'Donnell I'm Buying My OWN Home in Chi Town

Rosie O'Donnell is banking on her upcoming Oprah Winfrey Network talk show being a hit -- because she plunked down a hefty sum for a crash pad in Chicago.

The 5 bedroom, 6,000 square foot home was listed at $2.5 million -- and the buzz is ... she paid close to the asking price.

The home comes with a heated, three-car garage and a sports bar.

According to the Chicago Tribune -- Rosie gets to keep all the furniture -- hopefully, there's a jukebox in the sports bar.

Charlie Harper Deader Than A Doornail

Chuck Lorre, the creator of "Two and a Half Men," made damn sure Charlie Sheen was never coming back ... because as TMZ first reported, Charlie Harper was nothing more than exploding meat when the script was put to bed.

Here's the funeral scene, where Rose recounts Harper's demise ... a demise she clearly orchestrated.

Tom Sizemore Hauled in for Battery Warrant

Tom Sizemore is back in a familiar spot this morning -- a jail cell ... after getting busted for a battery warrant.

Law enforcement sources tell us Sizemore was arrested by LAPD officers last night while they were conducting a narcotics investigation at an apartment. It was not Sizemore's apartment.

We're told Sizemore did not have any drugs on him, but police did discover he had an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor battery ... and arrested him.

He is currently in jail ... held on $26,000 bail.

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