Today's News: Our Take


BOYS WILL BE BOYS

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence will reunite for Bad Boys 2, the long-anticipated sequel to their 1995 smash. The film is slated for a summer 2003 release. read more

OFF THE MARKET

George Clooney's bachelor days may be over: The actor, 40, is dating 27-year-old Montreal-based bartender-aspiring actress Maria Bertrand, People reports. Proof that this may be the real deal: The Ocean's Eleven star has cast Bertrand in his upcoming directorial debut, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. read more

LET'S ROLL

Actress-producer Goldie Hawn is developing a TV movie for the FX network about the passengers of United Flight 93, the hijacked jet that crashed into a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11. According to Variety, the pic — which is based on an article from Vanity Fair's December issue — will focus not on the actual hijacking, but the interaction between victims and their families on the morning of Sept. 11. CBS is also planning a flick about Flight 93. read more

BLUE FLU?

Malcolm in the Middle mom Jane Kaczmarek, who has been a no-show around the Fox comedy's L.A. set since early February, returned to work Thursday. The 46-year-old actress, who plays manic Lois, had been suffering from intense migraine headaches. Sources, however, tell TV Guide Online that her reps had been negotiating with the show's producers for a big pay raise. Her publicist denies any connection between her health and salary talks, but similar rumors about a "sick out" circulated in September during another of Kaczmarek's absences. (Her husband, actor Bradley Whitford, was among four members of The West Wing cast that threatened to walk out last summer over a pay dispute.) Kaczmarek's MIA status forced producers to eliminate two episodes &# read more

OSCAR SCARE

About 100 guests who attended a pre-Oscar-ceremony honoring technical achievement last Saturday in Beverly Hills have come down with a mystery illness. According to The Associated Press, L.A. County epidemiologists are examining everything from the fish and beef on the menu to the desserts and wine. Among those sick: Laura Ziskin, who's producing the March 24 Oscar telecast. read more

Sarah Paulson Has Faith


Despite a harsh reception from critics, NBC's Leap of Faith enjoyed a surprisingly strong debut in its post-Friends timeslot. To leading lady Sarah Paulson, numbers are what counts.

"I feel that reviews don't really kill TV as much as they do movies and things," the Jack and Jill alumna tells TV Guide Online. "Because [TV]'s free, people make their own decisions about what they want to watch and it doesn't really matter. In fact, great reviews can't keep a show on the air and bad reviews can't kill one, really, unless nobody's watching."

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But critical warnings aside, people are tuning in to Faith, aka Sex and the City lite. Naturally, that read more

Creek Hunk in "Mourning"


Dawson's Creek beauty Katie Holmes may not be in any hurry for the past-its-prime WB drama to come to an end, but her co-star, Joshua Jackson, certainly is. "I'll miss the guys, but I'm ready now for the next portion of my life," he tells TV Guide Online. "I'm 23 years old. I'm ready to have those nine months of my life back and be able to travel and do whatever it is I want to do."

Although the WB has yet to decide whether the teen soap will return in the fall for a sixth season, its Wednesday night companion — Felicity — has already been expelled. Jackson has a sinking feeling that Creek could be next on the Frog's hit list. " read more

EVERYBODY KNOWS HIS NAME

Did you forget that Frasier is a spinoff of NBC's hit show Cheers? An upcoming episode — titled "Cheerful Goodbyes" — will school you in sitcom history with guest stars from Dr. Crane's fave Boston bar, TV Guide Online has learned. The plot has Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) visiting Beantown to convince Cliff (John Ratzenberger) not to retire and move away — much to the dismay of Carla (Rhea Perlman) and Norm (George Wendt). read more

WHO'S STILL WATCHING?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus's new NBC comedy Watching Ellie may have had a strong debut last week, but ratings for the second episode on Tuesday dropped by 28 percent. Still, Ellie managed to win its time period among adults 18-49. read more

FEAR SEARCH

Calling all B-list celebs: Fear Factor is planning a third edition of star-studded shenanigans — and they're desperate! "We are actively soliciting new celebrities right now," Matt Kunitz tells TV Guide Online. "We're going to have a big full-page ad that's coming out in Variety on March 11, where we're challenging managers and agents who think that their clients have what it takes." FF's second celeb edition airs Monday. Later this month, the show heads to the beach for a live stage version on MTV's Spring Break. read more

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