Today's News: Our Take


SIMPLE RULES

A record 20.5 million viewers tuned in Tuesday night to watch the Hennessy family grieve the loss of John Ritter's patriarch on ABC's 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. The special hour-long episode helped ABC win the night among total viewers and adults 18-49. read more

Country Music Association Awards...

Country Music Association Awards
Since my dad is from Georgia, I have to be careful here. It's far too easy to make fun of this crowd. Especially when its heaviest hitters show up for the big night in jeans that met the wrong end of a Bedazzler. Three hours and more performances than Live Aid, this was less an awards show than a hootenanny. In fact, the only trophies I saw handed out went to Johnny Cash and Martina McBride, which I salute. But sending LeAnn Rimes out on stage with Kid Rock? Who's running this show, R. Kelly? Oh, and Shania Twain, darlin', you're Canadian and you live in Europe. Cowboy boots and one of Ruth Buzzi's old tops does not make you down-home, OK?

Smallville
So Clark was sent to the Kents for an otherworldly reason and Lex's grandfather was a crook. Not exactly revelations, given all we already know about the Man of Steel's mythology. I just want to know what read more

TO TELL THE TRUTH

Isn't this ironic: Two days after CBS reneged on its promise to air a miniseries about Ronald Reagan, the network has ordered a pilot titled Liar. Based on the British game show, Liar requires a studio audience to figure out which one of six contestants is conveying a faux real-life experience. Comedian D.L. Hughley will host. read more

BUH-BYE

On last night's Bachelor, Bob gave the boot to 35-year-old Florida sales manager Mary. (As I suspected, all that baby talk wigged out our merry little smooch addict.) That leaves Estella and Kelly Jo as the remaining finalists. read more

SWINGIN' MISS

The TV jungle has proven uninhabitable for Tarzan. The WB pulled the plug on the much-hyped action-drama today after it failed to find an audience on Sunday nights. A network rep says original episodes of the show will continue to air during November sweeps, after which Travis Fimmel and his six-pack abs will go "on hiatus." read more

COUNTRY KUDOS

Late country icon Johnny Cash was the big winner at last night's Country Music Association Awards. Cash, who died in September at age 71, picked up three awards, including video and single of the year for "Hurt" and album of the year for American IV: The Man Comes Around. Alan Jackson was also honored with three trophies, including entertainer of the year, best male vocalist and vocal event of the year for his duet with Jimmy Buffett, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere." Toby Keith, who came into the ceremony with a field-best seven nominations, was shut out. Meanwhile, the early reviews for CBS's three-hour CMA telecast are in — and they're good. "Can you get me a copy of the CMAs from last night," writes my brother David in an early-morning e-mail. "They were amazing!!!!!" Sure, Dave. I've got nothing better to do but sit around and make you dubs. read more

O.C. Newbie Makes Waves


From the start, The O.C.'s adorably dorky Seth has been snobbish Summer's to do with as she pleases: kiss, dis, dismiss... you name it. But the rich witch's spell over him may be broken in tonight's episode of the hit Fox soap (airing at 8 ET), when Samaire Armstrong returns as Anna, the babelicious bookworm with the good sense to notice Seth's inner hottie.

"She's pretty happy to see him when she shows up [after her sailing trip to Tahiti]," the Not Another Teen Movie co-star tells TV Guide Online. "Definitely, the feelings are there. They have a really strong connection, because they have so many quirky things in common that nobody would understand but the two of them. They really share something sweet."

At first, though, Anna gets roped into her fellow boatnik's hare-brained scheme to make Summer see him the way that Anna, and viewers, do. Needless to say, chao read more

Benicio Del Toro Born Again


If Benicio Del Toro had had his way, his latest movie 21 Grams would never have been an ensemble vehicle. "I tried to muscle my way in and tell the director, 'This is my movie,'" jokes the Oscar-winning actor. Obviously he didn't try hard enough, but that's probably for the best. After all, if he had succeeded, he wouldn't have had the chance to act opposite fellow powerhouses Sean Penn and Naomi Watts.

In the film, which opens in limited release on Nov. 21, Del Toro plays Jack, an ex-con turned born-again Christian, who undergoes a crisis of faith when he's involved in a terrible automobile accident. It's another intense, challenging role for the actor who has made a career out of playing lost souls.

While he and Watts shared little screen time together, Del Toro had several scenes with Penn, read more

Will Ferrell: Man in Tights


Earlier this year, Will Ferrell streaked nude across the silver screen in Old School. So it's no surprise to see him make another asinine wardrobe choice for his newest movie, Elf (opening Friday). In the holiday comedy, he sports bright yellow tights and wanders through the streets of Manhattan, spreading Christmas cheer. And he's man enough to admit he actually liked it.

"[The tights] were invigorating," the former SNL funnyman says. "They were specially made by engineers at NASA, and they actually cost $40,000. They were just basic fleece, and kind of comfortable in New York because, if you recall, it was a cold winter."

Ferrell enjoyed the strange looks Big Apple pedestrians gave him in his banana-colored legwear. "It was a lot of fun," the 36-year-old admits. "In college and high school, [I used to] just wear c read more

GRACE BABY UPDATE

It's not Will & Grace & Child for a reason, folks. An NBC spokesperson tells TV Guide Online that Debra Messing's recently-announced pregnancy will not be written into the show. (Good, because that would have been a disaster.) read more

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