Today's News: Our Take


SLUMMING IT?

Patrick Swayze will join the national touring company of Chicago next month as song-and-dance lawyer Billy Flynn. This would be really exciting if it weren't so gosh darn sad. read more

THE FONZ GOES TO COURT

Henry Winkler will guest star in two episodes of Fox's Arrested Development, playing the attorney defending Jeffrey Tambor's character in court. The deal reunites Winkler with his Happy Days co-star Ron Howard, who exec produces and narrates the show. read more

THE STUFF OF LEGEND

The 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced on Thursday and they include late Beatle George Harrison, Prince, Jackson Browne, Bob Seger and ZZ Top. The induction ceremony is slated for March 15 in New York City. read more

THERE, IT'S SETTLED

Friends star Jennifer Aniston has reached a $550,000 settlement with a man she accused of distributing topless pics of her sunbathing in her backyard. In other legal matters, a malicious damage charge was dropped Friday against Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who allegedly smashed the windshield of a photographer in Australia last July. read more

THE KISS OFF

Roughly 18.5 million viewers watched Bob Guiney pick Estella over Kelly Jo on Wednesday's Bachelor finale, making it the night's top-rated show. read more

CHARGED

Record producer Phil Spector pleaded not guilty Thursday to murdering B-movie actress Lana Clarkson last February. If convicted, Spector could spend life in prison. read more

American Revolution


As 1965 approaches on NBC's superlative period piece, American Dreams, the winds of change are picking up. But neither the battle over civil rights nor the war in Vietnam will set off the fireworks in Sunday's episode (airing Sunday at 8 pm/ET); rather, this fight is sparked by a simple conflict between a parent and child. And, in this case, by "simple," we mean "really, really intense and complicated."

"When Sam (Arlen Escarpeta) openly defies Henry (Jonathan Adams), in front of [their boss], then goes to hear Malcolm X speak in Harlem after his father's told him not to, the Walker household is in full revolt," executive producer Jonathan Prince tells TV Guide Online. "This is a story about about a boy taking on his father in full-blown adolescent read more

REMEMBER THE TIME

Sporting handcuffs and a sizeable entourage, Michael Jackson surrendered to Santa Barbara authorities Thursday to face child abuse charges that could send him to the slammer for 10 years. He was booked, fingerprinted and photographed (scary!) before being released on $3 million bail. In a statement, the singer — whose arraignment was set for Jan. 9 — said, "Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons. The truth will win this marathon in court." (That reminds me: I've got to get to the gym this weekend.) Meanwhile, the King of Pop's family is speaking out in support of Mikey. In an expletive-laced tirade on CNN, Jacko's bro, G-lister Jermaine Jackson, called the accusations "nothing more than a modern-day lynching." Someone needs to simmer! read more

MASS DEBATE

Showtime will broadcast a live roundtable discussion on The Reagans Dec. 1 at 9 pm/ET — a day after it airs the controversial telepic. In a press release, the cable network — which acquired the movie after CBS dropped it — said the forum will bring together an "eclectic and experienced" panel comprised of journalists, historians, biographers and educators with wide-ranging knowledge of the former president. Translation: Zzzzzzzz...... read more

COME ON DOWN!

Bob Barker will celebrate his 80th birthday with The Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular, a CBS primetime special airing Dec. 13. The Emmy winner turns the big 8-0 on Dec. 12. read more

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