Today's News: Our Take


EYE OF THE STORM

CBS is apologizing again, this time to Native Americans who were upset by Outkast's American Indian-themed get-up at the Grammy Awards. Last week, the Native American Cultural Center called for a boycott of the network, saying Outkast's performance featured "the most disgusting set of racial stereotypes" it had ever seen. Responds a CBS rep: "We are very sorry if anyone was offended." read more

BLAME CONAN

NBC will likely be issuing its own apology thanks to a controversial performance by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. On Thursday's Late Night with Conan O'Brien, which last week broadcast from Canada, the troublemakin' mutt said to a Quebecian: "You're French, you're obnoxious and you no speekay English." He barked to another local: "I can smell your crotch from here." Not surprisingly, the Canadian government is furious, with one legislator calling Triumph's insults "racist filth" and "utterly vile." He kids folks. He kids. read more

FIRST DATES

Wedding Singer lovebirds Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore made lightening strike twice with their latest romantic comedy, 50 First Dates. The film debuted at No. 1 over the Valentine's weekend with $41 million. It was the second biggest February opening on record, behind 2001's Hannibal ($58 million). Barbershop 2 slipped to No. 2 with $15.6 million, followed by Miracle (No. 3 with $14 million), The Butterfly Effect (No. 4 with $5.7 million) and You Got Served (No. 5 with $5.1 million). read more

STORK REPORT

How's Friends star Matt LeBlanc doin'? Pretty well now that his wife, Melissa, has given birth to a baby girl — their first child together. The couple welcomed daughter Marina LeBlanc into the world last Sunday. Melissa has two children from a previous marriage. read more

THIS BITES

The WB has sentenced Angel to death. The network announced late Friday that the Buffy spinoff would end its five-year run in May. Frog CEO Jordan Levin said he wanted to give series creator Joss Whedon enough notice so that he could "wrap up [Angel] in a way befitting a classic television series." He also hinted that the show's legacy could live on next season in the form of "special movie events," adding that such an idea was still very much "on the table." Now for the $25,000 question: Might the series finale feature a reunion between David Boreanaz's Angel and Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy? As TV Guide recently reported, Gellar nixed an offer to reprise her signature role this May. Of course, it's a Slayer's prerogative to change her mind and do the right thing. In other words, stay tuned... read more

SUNDAY The Surreal Life Just when...

SUNDAY

The Surreal Life
Just when you think this goofball show is nothing more than a load of contrived, carefully calculated scenes strung together (which it is), a meaningful moment sneaks its way in. After a series of tirades blasting his youthful persona, Rob Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice) confronted his infamous past during an evening of karaoke. As Trishelle Canatella (The Real World) and Traci Bingham (Baywatch) butchered "Ice Ice Baby," Erik Estrada gently nudged a microphone to Rob who eventually gave in and channeled all that burning resentment into a blistering rendition of his signature song. The crowd went nuts.

Tammy Faye Messner summed it up this way: "It was a breakthrough for him because he didn't want to go back to that man who was Vanilla Ice." It's ironic — Rob, along with the rest of the cast, was most likely doing this reality cheesefest for exposure, money or just read more

MORE KUDOS

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King also took top honors at Saturday's eighth annual Art Directors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, winning best production design for a fantasy film. Mystic River won in the contemporary film category. On the TV side, winners included HBO's woefully underrated Carnivale and Fox's Arrested Development. read more

Miracle's Father/Son Act


Considering that Miracle depicts one of the most memorable sporting events in history — the U.S. hockey team's historic 1980 gold-medal victory over the Soviet Union — it's no surprise that nearly 4,000 young men turned out at auditions. But producers were no doubt taken aback when they learned the identity of one of the actors at the cattle call: Billy Schneider, the son of original team member Buzz Schneider who ended up getting cast as his dad.

"It was something special," Billy tells TV Guide Online of his Miracle experience. "I always looked up to [my father] when I was younger. I wanted to be in the gold medal games just like him. And I wanted to play pro hockey. But things didn't work out [due to an injury]. But, because of this movie, I got to experience one of his dreams. [So, in a way] it did work out. God acts in mysterious ways."

The elder Schneider admits he had "mixed emotions" when he first learned that his son read more

Oliver's Twist: Maggie Grace

Last week, Oliver Beene introduced Maggie Grace as Elke Nelsonbooster, the hot foreign-exchange student living across the hall from the Fox sitcom's kooky core clan, and in no time, the overeager Beene boys' interest had, um, sprouted. This week — right now, in fact — TV Guide Online pries the rising starlet away from a battery of meetings with VIPs (Very Important Producers) to ask her seven questions that weren't intended to be silly until we realized how much fun she'd have with them. Enjoy!

TV Guide Online: So... the hot exchange student, huh? Is Elke the role you were born to play, or what?
Maggie Grace:
Actually, she's the first girl I've ever played that everyone has a crush on. Also, she's my first hot exchange student. Finally!

TVGO: Your Swedish accent sounds pretty good to me. Or maybe, like the Beenes, I was just distracted by your sweaters.
Grace:
I worked pretty hard on it. Needless to say, I don't have too much read more

AND BABY MAKES FOUR

Dixie Chick Natalie Maines is expecting her second child with actor-husband Adrian Pasdar. The couple have a 2-year-old son, Jackson. read more

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