Today's News: Our Take


IMAGE IS EVERYTHING

Not surprisingly, Ray nabbed a field-best seven nominations for the 36th NAACP Image Awards, including acting nods for stars Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington. Ray will compete for best picture with Collateral, Fahrenheit 9/11, Hotel Rwanda and Man on Fire. On the TV side, ER, Kevin Hill, Law & Order, Soul Food and The Wire are up for best drama, while The Bernie Mac Show, Chappelle's Show, My Wife and Kids, Girlfriends and Half & Half will vie for best comedy. read more

JACKO SPEAKS

Michael Jackson will sit down with Fox News' Geraldo Rivera sometime in the next 10 days to respond to that graphic grand jury testimony by his accuser. The judge working Jacko's molestation trial lifted the gag order after the transcripts were broadcast on ABC's Primetime Live last week. Meanwhile, Jacko's lawyers are asking the judge to refer to his young accuser as a "complaining witness" and not a "victim." I hear Amazing Race's Jonathan is pleading with the public to do the same with Victoria. read more

TRAGEDY

Moesha actor Lamont Bentley died Tuesday when his car plunged off the San Diego Freeway. He was 31. Bentley, who played the longtime pal of Brandy's character on the UPN sitcom, also starred as Tupac Shakur in the TV movie, Too Legit: The MC Hammer Story. read more

IDOL DAY TWO

The juggernaut that is American Idol slowed a bit on Wednesday, but Simon and Co. remain a force to reckon with. Last night's episode attracted 26.4 million viewers — down from Tuesday's 33.5 million viewers. Some of that erosion can no doubt be blamed on Lost, which came in a strong No. 2 at 8 pm with 19.5 million viewers. Speaking of Lost, I can't believe they almost — spoiler alert! — killed the polar bear! read more

PAGING DARK HELMET...

Mel Brooks is developing a TV 'toon inspired by his classic sci-fi send-up Spaceballs. According to Variety, the project would spoof the current crop of sci-fi and fantasy pics, including the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings saga. read more

THE PARENT TRAP

Lindsay Lohan's parents are finally calling it quits. Dina Lohan filed for divorce from Michael Lohan Tuesday. As you no doubt recall, Mikey has had numerous brushes with the law, including a recent assault charge for allegedly punching a sanitation worker whose truck was blocking his car. "Dina believes, for the good of her family, and, hopefully Michael's long-term goal at sobriety, that the end of this marriage should happen quickly and painlessly." Yeah, not gonna happen. read more

WILLOW'S NEW ROOTS

It doesn't get much better than this, folks: One of our favorite Buffy alumnae, Alyson Hannigan, is all set to appear on the wittiest series since Buffy, UPN's Veronica Mars! As reported in this week's Ask Ausiello, Willow's portrayer will be playing rat-fink Logan's half sister, Trina Echolls, which makes her the daughter of either Harry Hamlin or Lisa Rinna. (Obviously, weirdnesswise, Neptune is worlds away from Sunnydale!) Anyone care to join us in saying, "Thank heavens Aly bailed on playing second banana to Jennifer Love Hewitt on ABC's In the Game!"? read more

ENJOY THE VIEW

The week of Feb. 7, Desperate Housewives' domestic goddesses — Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Nicollette Sheridan — will take turns cohosting The View for a day. Tune in to watch the stars of the Golden Globe-winning prime-time soap chat up guests such as Jay Leno and Dennis Franz and scoop up any swag that Star Jones Reynolds neglected to nail down. read more

Lost OK, who else is getting the...

Lost
OK, who else is getting the willies from Locke? He's got a stash of knives, has Boone playing his bodyguard and seems to show up whenever there's a crisis. Saving Jack from falling off the cliff, "killing" the boar and now, helping Michael rescue Walt from a crazed polar bear. And let's not forget his black pupil in Claire's dream. Could we have some kind nut-job cult guy on our hands, trying to win everyone's loyalty? Think about it. And while you do, I'll mull over whether Walt's secret powers killed mommy, the sudden arrival of Shannon's softer side, this Black Rock twist and why ABC hates us so much. Running a repeat of Sayid's episode next week, just when the missing Miss Aussie finally shows up looking like who-did-it-and-ran. That's a damn shame. Oh, and that out-of-nowhere scene of Michael getting run down? Hello, shades of Felicity's stalker going face-first into a bus. Come on, J.J. Your WB roots are showing.

American Idol read more

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT... SCOOP!

Former Beverly Hills, 90210 sweethearts Luke Perry and Jennie Garth will reconnect on the Feb. 25 episode of Garth's WB sitcom, What I Like About You. As reported in next week's TV Guide magazine, Perry plays Todd, a hot plumber who had a spring fling with Garth's Val back in high school. In a wink to their 90210 days, Kelly, er, Val learns that Dylan, er, Todd was seeing a girl named Brenda, er — nope, it really is Brenda — when they had their one-night stand. Says a source: "The producers are alluding to the Kelly and Dylan hookup when Brenda was in Paris." Those were good times indeed. read more

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