Today's News: Our Take


OFF TO WAR

Dylan McDermott and Julianna Margulies have been recruited to help fight the War on Terror. The former TV stars have signed on to play counterterrorism agents in The Grid, a six-hour TNT miniseries that chronicles the aftermath of a terrorist attack on London. Shooting begins early next year. read more

HOMETOWN HERO

Bruce Springsteen is donating a portion of the proceeds from three benefit concerts in Asbury Park, N.J., this weekend to help purchase uniforms and instruments for the local high school marching band. read more

HAPPY [BLEEPIN'] HOLIDAYS!

Ever wonder how Ozzy Osbourne and his crazy clan celebrate the holidays? No? Well, you're going to find out anyway on Dec. 11, when MTV airs The Osbourne Family Christmas Special, a program the music network says will take "holiday specials to a bizarre new level." According to Billboard, the special will feature a number of celeb guests, including Jessica Simpson, who duets with Ozzy on "Winter Wonderland," and newlyweds Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra, who have been left in charge of baking the holiday cookies. Loveline host Adam Carolla teams with Jack to whip up the cranberry sauce (read: Jell-O shots), while Kelly belts out a rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (read: get out the ear plugs). And the show-stopper read more

How the Grinch Stole ChristmasA...

How the Grinch Stole Christmas A Charlie Brown Christmas may be the ultimate holiday special, but I love everything about this Chuck Jones rendering of the Dr. Seuss classic: the ever-devoted Max and his ridiculous antler; the Who hash and the roast beast; all the Whos who were asnooze; how the Grinch's hair curls in evil delight as he hatches his plan and how his eyes turn blue when he realizes the true meaning of Christmas; Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than 2; that 39-1/2-ft. pole. Far superior in every way to the Jim Carrey remake, I watch this cartoon every time I know it's on, but I don't think I have ever enjoyed it more than I did senior year in high school, when my psychology teacher devoted the last class before winter break to watching the video, with a grinning Grinch doll sitting in a front-row desk.

Survivor: Pearl Islands I don't know which appalled me more: Jon's assessment of wicker furniture an read more

YOU GO, GIRL

Yep, Ellen DeGeneres has a hit on her hands. Her talk show has been renewed for a second season by 14 of NBC's owned-and-operated stations, representing 30 percent of the country. read more

THAT'S LIFE

Paris Hilton continues to score — on the small screen, that is. The second installment of her fish-out-of-Barneys series The Simple Life averaged 13.3 million viewers on Wednesday — up from 13 million the night before. So, it comes as little surprise that Fox is already mulling a sequel that would reteam Hilton and pal Nicole Richie. "There is some discussion of that right now," Fox reality guru Mike Darnell tells the New York Daily News. Meanwhile, rumor has it Hilton may make a cameo on Saturday Night Live this weekend. I predict a run-in with Maya Rudolph's Donatella Versace. read more

STRIKING THE BAN

In what Variety is calling a "stunning underdog victory for indie producers and a defeat for corporate muscle," a federal judge temporarily blocked the Motion Picture Assoc. of America's ban on sending screeners to critics groups and Golden Globe voters for awards consideration. The MPAA imposed the ban in order to cut down on piracy and re-gifting during the holidays. read more

RUSH ON THE DEFENSIVE

Authorities in Florida seized Rush Limbaugh's medical records as part of their ongoing probe into whether the conservative blowhard purchased painkillers illegally. Limbaugh denied any wrongdoing on his radio show Thursday, saying that he "suffered extreme pain and had legitimate reasons for taking pain medication." read more

X-MAN

Director Bryan Singer has begun negotiations with 20th Century Fox to helm a third X-Men flick as part of a two-year development deal with the studio, Variety reports. Singer directed the first two X-Men flicks, which have grossed nearly $700 million worldwide. read more

WANDA AT UNEMPLOYMENT LINE

Fox has axed Wanda at Large, its sophomore sitcom starring comic Wanda Sykes. After a promising first season, Wanda was banished to Fridays, where it flopped. read more

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