Today's News: Our Take


Fox is attempting to squeeze more life out of The Simple Life when it airs yet another "Lost Episode" on Monday (8:30 pm/ET). In the episode, Paris loses all credibility when she ditches her hottie boyfriend for a psychopath named Oliver. Oh wait, that's The O.C. read more


Award-winning newsman Jerry Nachman, who most recently served as editor-in-chief of MSNBC and host of the network's Nachman show, died Tuesday of cancer at his home in Hoboken, N.J. He was 57. Nachman's résumé also included stints as editor of the New York Post and a staff writing position on Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher. read more

Blaxploitation King Returns!

In 1969, NFL star Fred Williamson — called the Hammer for his defensive moves — left football for Hollywood and became a head-busting king of '70s blaxploitation flicks. Today, Williamson, 65, is an independent producer-director, ruler of his own direct-to-video movie empire and, he says, still the man. On Jan. 20, MGM released a couple of his early masterpieces, Hammer and Hell up in Harlem, along with several other blaxploitation films, on DVD. Here, TV Guide Online tries to nail Williamson — but the Hammer hits back.

TV Guide Online: You don't like the term blaxploitation?
Fred Williamson:
I could never understand [it.] At the time I was making my films, Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood were making theirs. No one dubbed them whitexploitation. So what did it mean? Who was being exploited? All the black actors were being paid more money than they ever were before, playing characters we respected. Audie read more


On Friday Monk kicked off the second half of Season 2 with record ratings. The USA Network comedy attracted 6 million viewers — the show's largest audience to date. read more


Seth Cohen is about to get a lot more popular. Adam Brody — the actor behind The O.C.'s breakout geek — has landed a supporting role in the Brad Pitt&#150Angelina Jolie thriller Mr. and Mrs. Smith. In the film, Pitt and Jolie star as a married couple who discover that they are assassins hired to kill each other. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Brody's character gets kidnapped early in the film only to return home just in time for Chrismukkah. read more


Freaky Friday's Lindsay Lohan has signed a deal to star in the film version of the best-selling novel series Gossip Girl. Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino will adapt the screenplay, so expect lots of witty banter and the occasional non sequitur. read more


"I question the strategy." — Donald Trump in an interview on the Today show this morning on NBC's decision to move The Apprentice from Thursday to Wednesday, opposite American Idol, beginning tonight. read more


In an extreme case of art imitating life imitating something else entirely, writer-producer Chris Henchy — whose off-screen courtship of wife Brooke Shields begat his ABC sitcom, I'm With Her — has tapped his more famous half to pass through the Feb. 10 episode as an actress rival of Alex (the aforementioned Teri Polo). read more


USA Network is resurrecting Frankenstein to star in his own weekly series next fall, Variety reports. Martin Scorsese and author Dean Koontz are spearheading the update of the Mary Shelley classic, which will reportedly feature a contemporary twist. Production on the two-hour pilot is expected to get under way in April. read more


Dustin Hoffman has been cast as Ben Stiller's father in Meet the Fockers, the upcoming sequel to Meet the Parents. In addition to Stiller, Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner will be back as the in-laws, and Teri Polo (I'm With Her) will reprise her role too. read more

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