Today's News: Our Take


LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Ashton Kutcher has found a woman closer to his own age. Demi's 25-year-old boy-toy has been cast opposite Amanda Peet, 32, in the Disney romantic comedy A Lot Like Love. The film revolves around a guy and a girl who manage to resist their mutual attraction over the years only to see fate throwing them back together. read more

DID SOMEONE SCRATCH HER?

Halle Berry was injured Saturday on the Vancouver set of Catwoman in what Warner Bros. describes as a "minor accident." Berry was treated at a local hospital and released. She returned to work on Monday. read more

SECOND ACT

Newlyweds star Nick Lachey has signed a development deal with ABC that calls for him to star in a comedy or a drama series. Lachey's bride, Jessica Simpson, recently inked a similar deal with the network. read more

GOODBYE, OLD FRIEND

Late-night legend Jack Paar — host of NBC's The Tonight Show from 1957 until 1962 — has died at 85 from a long illness. Johnny Carson, who inherited the Tonight reins from Parr, said he was "very saddened to hear of [Parr's] passing. He was a unique personality who brought a new dimension to late night television." Indeed, Parr — whose guests included everyone from JFK to Judy Garland — was dubbed "one of America's most popular indoor pastimes" just weeks after his debut. read more

LORD OF THE OSCARS

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was officially crowned the Oscar front-runner today by scoring a field-best 11 Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best director for Peter Jackson. Competing with Rings for best picture are Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Lost in Translation, Mystic River and Seabiscuit. In a surprising twist, Anthony Minghella's Civil War epic Cold Mountain failed to secure nominations for best picture or best actress for Nicole Kidman, although Jude Law and read more

LET'S MAKE A DEAL

Two more former American Idol contestants have landed record deals — singing marine Joshua Gracin and first-season finalist R.J. Helton. read more

COME TO MAMA

Barbra Streisand may play Ben Stiller's mother in Meet the Fockers, the upcoming sequel to Meet the Parents, Access Hollywood reports. She'd star opposite Dustin Hoffman, who was just cast as Stiller's dad. read more

Scrubs Diagnosis: Wanderlust


Actors on godawful series thank their lucky stars every time that their audiences shrink. But, since Zach Braff headlines the cast of NBC's sublime hospital sitcom Scrubs, he's kinda eager for more viewers to tune in. Unfortunately, frequent time-slot changes have made a chore of finding his show, never mind getting hooked on it. This week, for example, the show has yet another brand-new berth: tonight at 9:30 pm/ET.

"My parents called and told me they sometimes can't figure out when we're on," the endearingly dorky 28-year-old says. "So [if we just stayed in one place] that would be two more people who would be watching every week."

On the plus side, outside of the United States, Braff and Co. are revered like the A-listers of Friends. Who knew "zany" lost so little in translation? "I had thought of Scrubs as such an American show," he notes. "There's a lot of pop-culture references to [the States]. Yet when we went on a big pre read more

LITTLE SECRET

Fox has wrapped production on a new dating show that revolves around a 4-foot-5 single guy looking for love from a pool of 12 little women. Titled The Littlest Groom, the two-episode series will feature all of the typical reality trappings, including group dates, hot tub parties and — of course — a twist. At one point, the pint-sized bachelor will have to choose between dating women his own size or women of average height. read more

GOLDEN RATINGS

A record 26.7 million viewers watched NBC's telecast of the Golden Globe Awards Sunday night, topping the previous high of 24.3 million viewers in 1998. read more

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