Today's News: Our Take


Surf music icon Jan Berry, one half of the popular '60s duo Jan and Dean, died Friday after suffering a seizure at his home in Los Angeles. He was 62. The group's hits included "Surf City," "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" and "Drag City." A 1966 car accident left Berry paralyzed for a year, essentially ending his career. read more


Katey Sagal's 8 Simple Rules widow may still be mourning the death of her husband (played by the late John Ritter), but that doesn't mean other guys can't look, right? Adam Arkin had better hope not, because beginning May 4, the former Chicago Hope doc will do just that as a man from Cate's past who is eager to become a constant presence in her life. The actor will appear in this season's final three episodes, and — although I'd hate to jinx things by saying too much — word is, we'll see a lot more of him next season. read more


Here's some "TV News" scoop from the new issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale now): Mary McCormack, last seen in USA Network's druggie drama Traffic, is on the move. Starting April 21, Howard Stern's big-screen wife will appear in at least four episodes of The West Wing as the Prez's Deputy National Security Advisor. Which puts shock jock Stern one degree of separation away from the red button. These are scary times, folks. Scary times indeed. read more


Critics dubbed it a dog, but Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed still managed to collar the top spot at the box office. The not-so anticipated sequel grossed $30.8 million — $25 million short of the first film's debut in 2002. Tom Hanks' star power helped give writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen their best opening ever with The Ladykillers, which snagged second place with $13 million. The Passion of the Christ slipped to No. 3 with $12.5 million ($315 million to date), followed by last week's top flick, Dawn of the Dead (No. 4 with $10.4 million), and Ben Affleck's new romantic comedy, Jersey Girl (No. 5 with $8.3 million). It's worth noting that Girl grossed read more


ABC is moving Kingdom Hospital to ICU — also known as Thursdays at 9 pm opposite CSI and The Apprentice. Stephen King's flatlining drama will make its final Wednesday appearance this week, then move to Thursdays the following night. Extreme Makeover will take over Hospital's Wednesday 10 pm timeslot on April 14. read more


The WB is remaking The Blue Lagoon as a TV movie, Variety reports. The flick — loosely based on the 1980s feature starring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins — is being produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the guys who brought Chicago to the big screen and It's All Relative to the small screen. So, this project will either be really good or bad beyond words. read more


Sir Peter Ustinov, who earned Best Supporting Actor Oscars for 1960's Spartacus and 1965's Topkapi, died of heart failure late Sunday night. He was 82. The ultimate multitasker, Ustinov also toiled as an author, playwright, director and for more than 30 years served as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. More recently, he appeared as the Walrus in NBC's big-budget Alice in Wonderland movie. read more

SUNDAYThe Sopranos I assume everyone...


The Sopranos
I assume everyone in town, including A.J.'s guidance counselor (David Strathairn) knows what Tony does for a living. (He says he's heard "some.") So is he really putting the preliminary moves on Carmela? Get the feeling the high school's gonna be taking out a "help wanted" ad soon?

Now, I was a knucklehead as a youth. And my buddies were even bigger ones. Drawing on the passed-out pal's face? Yeah, it happened (along with covering his mug with peanut butter and sticking Trivial Pursuit pieces into it to achieve a modern-primitive mosaic effect). But shaving off the eyebrows? Krazy Gluing the face to the floor? Way over the line. All. Out. War.

And speaking of war, putting Feech (Robert Loggia) on a bus back to prison avoided one. (The beauty of owning a cheap car, by the way: Had I been at that wedding, my ride would've still been there when I came out.) But I'm betting Tony's rare act o read more


Ray Romano can ponder the future of Everybody Loves Raymond in his new Malibu home, which he just purchased for $8 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Cape Cod-style crib boasts ocean views (big deal), five bedrooms (that's all?), hardwood floors (got those myself), beamed ceilings (stop the presses!), a pool (probably above ground) and fireplaces in the living room, master bedroom and one of the guesthouses (damn him!). read more

Richard Grieco's Show of Force

His 21 Jump Street crony, Johnny Depp, now headlines blockbusters and vies for Oscars, while his own body of work tends to bypass the multiplex altogether. But despite the fact that his smoldering stare and intense presence should have made him a matinee idol as well, Richard Grieco doesn't give a damn. "Even when the films I've done haven't been good, they've been good characters," he explains to TV Guide Online, "so I'll still take them."

In the Sci Fi thriller Phantom Force (a spin-off of the FX-citing Interceptor Force flicks, premiering Saturday night at 9 pm/ET), the early-'90s teen heartthrob has himself another doozy of a role: a G-man combatting demons of both the literal and figurative variety. "In a lot of ways, I relate to the darker characters," allows the frequent screen heavy, who plays a hit man opposite Burt Reynolds and Charles Durning in the upcoming comedy Forget About It. "Even my writing and pa read more

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