Today's News: Our Take


GAY FOR PAY

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger are in talks to play cowboy lovers in Ang Lee's adaptation adaptation of the E. Annie Proulx novella Brokeback Mountain. The story chronicles the intense relationship between two Wyoming stockmen. Carson Kressley, meanwhile, is in negotiations to hang around the set and watch. read more

FINAL BOW

Rosie O'Donnell's troubled Broadway musical Taboo — which wasn't nearly as bad as critics would have you believe — will close Feb. 8 after 100 performances. "Taboo was by far the most fulfilling experience of my career," said the former talk show host, who will lose her entire $10 million investment. "Many lessons were learned, and so it goes." Koosh ball anyone? read more

DOUBLE OUCH!

Sharon Osbourne revealed on her gabfest Monday that Ozzy's collarbone had to be replaced by a rod following his all-terrain vehicle accident last month in England. She also said that he nearly had to have an arm amputated. It remains unclear whether Ozzy's real-life ordeal will be featured on The Osbournes, which returns to MTV with five all-new episodes on Jan. 27. read more

IN OTHER PEACOCK NEWS...

In a fun bit of counterprogramming, NBC will air a three-episode Queer Eye for the Straight Guy marathon opposite CBS' Super Bowl telecast on Feb. 1. The network also announced plans to kick off its 2004-05 season in late August/early September, immediately following its Summer Olympics coverage. read more

REVENGE OF THE NERD

Average Joe runner-up Adam Mesh is getting a second chance at reality romance. NBC announced today at the TCA press tour that Mesh will star in Average Joe: Adam Returns, a four-part series premiering March 15 in which the endearing sad sack gets a chance to find the woman of his dreams. But according to the network's entertainment president Jeff Zucker, the contestants will not all be Average Janes. "It's a [regular] dating show with Adam in the middle," he says. "The women will run the gamut." read more

SUPER NEWS!

Christopher Reeve will reprise his role as the mysterious Dr. Swann on Smallville April 14. He was originally slated to return for the show's season finale, but for some reason that's not happening now. read more

SOMETHING'S GOTTA BE DONE

A copy of the romantic comedy Something's Gotta Give that was sent to an Oscar voter has surfaced on the Internet, prompting the Motion Picture Association of America to gloat, "Told ya so, told ya so, tol, tol, tol, tol, tol, told ya so." As you'll recall, the MPAA banned screener DVDs and videos because of piracy concerns, but partially lifted the ban after filmmakers protested. read more

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS...

Emotions ran high — actually, more like medium — when the cast and producers of NBC's Friends gathered on the show's set Tuesday for a farewell press conference with TV critics. As they prepare to shoot their final scenes next Friday, "We're like very delicate china and we're speeding toward a brick wall," said Jennifer Aniston. Added Lisa Kudrow: "It's a deeper loss than I was expecting." Among the interesting tidbits that came out of the nearly hour-long Q&A: NBC president Jeff Zucker denied that he offered the cast $2 million apiece to star in a reunion special, but joked that he's prepared to give them $4 million; Courteney Cox, who is due to give birth in July, is already showing; David Schwimmer may di read more

OUCH

Everyone else mocks poor Paris Hilton, so why not Mr. Blackwell? He's dubbed the Simple Life star No. 1 — calling her "the vapid Venus of Beverly Hills" — on his 44th annual Worst Dressed Women list. The grumpy old fashionista also nails Madonna and Britney Spears, lamenting, "Someone arrest the kissin' cousins of couture crime!" Worse yet, he likens Melanie Griffith to "a botoxed cockatoo" and Celine Dion to "Abe Lincoln in drag." Now, that's not very nice. read more

SPEAKING OF FRIENDS...

Friends will conclude its 10-year run on May 6 with what NBC is calling a "two-hour extravaganza," the network announced today at the TCA press tour in Hollywood. An hour-long retrospective will be followed by a one-hour series finale. Not to be outdone, Frasier will get similar treatment on May 13, when the 11-year-old sitcom returns to Thursday night for its own two-hour send-off. read more

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