cruise tom 200x300 Tom Cruise Family Infiltrates FoxTom Cruise’s extended family is slowly but surely infiltrating the world of Rupert Murdoch.

First came the news last spring that Cruise would make Jim Mangold’s “Wichita” at 20th Century Fox with Cameron Diaz. It’s the only film that he’s reasonably counting on for a 2010 release.

Then came Katie Holmes’ recent appearance on Fox TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” She’s not exactly Shirley Maclaine, and there wasn’t much reason to have her, but it got some publicity for everyone involved.

Now comes the news that Victoria Beckham, wife of Cruise disciple and constant work-in-progress David Beckham, is in “talks” to replace Paula Abdul on Fox’s “American Idol.” It was reported today in the Sun, a News Corp. tabloid in Britain, so you know this is one time that rag has gotten anything right.

If the Beckham news is right — and why shouldn’t it be, she has nothing else to do — it would seem like the fix was in for Abdul right from the start.

All that’s left now is David Beckham getting his own project. And then the Cruise and Fox families will be completely intertwined. Well played, as everyone says lately.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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