Today's News: Our Take


HOT DAMN

Tom Arnold is out of FSN's Best Damn Sports Show Period. Well, almost out, anyway. When the series returns on March 21, Roseanne's ex will appear only on the road and during special events. (Isn't that how Rosie handled him, too?) Replacing him are former host Chris Rose and John Salley (who was so obnoxious on He's a Lady). read more

DON'T THEY KNOW HE'S A GLADIATOR?

Apparently, Joaquin Phoenix wasn't the only one out to get Russell Crowe. Crowe tells GQ that while making A Beautiful Mind in 2001, he received FBI protection because he was rumored to be the target of a kidnapping plot by al Qaeda. The militant network's goal? "Cultural destabilization," he says. Well, gee, if that's what they wanted, they should have gone after an Olsen twin. read more

SIGNING OFF

After 24 years behind the desk, CBS Evening News' Dan Rather anchors his last telecast tonight. Once he's packed up his pencil cup, he will report to work full-time for 60 Minutes. As a fact-checker. read more

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

Elisabeth Rohm has gotten work again. As an actress. The wooden Law & Order alum has been cast in the Fox pilot Briar & Graves, about a priest and a doctor who team up to explain the unexplainable. Like how Rohm got another acting job. read more

PUTTING THE BROAD IN BROADWAY

Dynasty survivors Joan Collins and Linda Evans have signed on to play feuding former movie stars in a stage revival of Legends! The play will open in Toronto in September '06, tour for a spell, then finally arrive in New York around the time its leading ladies turn 100. read more

TUNE IN TOMORROW

... to find out what happens to soap hunk Jason Cook. Days of our Lives' Shawn was arrested Monday in Des Moines when airport officials found a pipe with marijuana debris in his luggage. In addition to drug paraphernalia, the actor was charged with public intoxication and sleeping with that skank Jan. read more

OUT OF THIS WORLD

Next week at the ShoWest theater owners convention in Vegas, Star Wars creator George Lucas will be presented with a "galactic-achievement award" for his interstellar flicks. You know, you'd think the wads of cash he's made would have been enough. read more

RED-HOT AND BLUE

Give it up for NYPD Blue — the 12-year-old cop drama went out with a bang, collaring 16.1 million viewers, its largest audience in eons. Besides the usual ratings-race winners (American Idol, anything with Law or Order in its title), America's Next Top Model also scored a little victory by pulling its best-yet season-opening numbers. Now the bad news: The Bachelorette finale brought the franchise its lowest season-ending Nielsens ever, Summerland's comeback drew 13 percent fewer viewers than the show did last summer, and WB's amusing talent search The Starlet isn't likely to get a callback. Don't make Faye Dunaway mad, people. read more

WILL ACT FOR MONEY

In other, less-stunning pilot news, Mr. Christina Applegate, Johnathon Schaech, and Mrs. Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, are among CBS's Commuters; Ray's Regina King has been added to the cast of CBS' Special Forces drama, The Unit; and rapper Bow Wow is toplining a WB half hour called Bow. Wow, that's weird. But the strangest casting news of the day has got to be this: Loni Anderson has been tapped to play Tori Spelling's mom in her NBC laffer, Notorious. read more

ANOTHER EXCELLENT ADVENTURE?

Keanu Reeves had better start stocking up on Dramamine — he's begun negotiating to headline the long-in-the-works 8th Voyage of Sinbad. Can't you just imagine the conference calls? "But, dudes, what about the first seven?" read more

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