Today's News: Our Take


White Stripes front man Jack White pleaded guilty to assault and battery Tuesday for punching Von Bondies lead singer Jason Stollsteimer in December. He was ordered to pay $750 in fines and attend anger-management classes. read more


Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez are teaming up to star in American Darlings, a period drama about a female swing band that joins forces with a group of black and Hispanic musicians, Variety reports. In related news, Lopez has signed a development deal with Fox TV Studios. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the former Bennifer star will give Fox first crack at all television projects developed by her Nuyorican Prods. read more


As expected, ABC is folding David E. Kelley's eight-year-old Practice in May, but the network has ordered a Kelley-scripted spin-off centered on James Spader. According to USA Today, the new series will begin to take shape this month on The Practice, when Spader's character, Alan Shore, is fired, files a wrongful-termination suit and joins a bigger firm. Practice co-stars Rhona Mitra and Jessica Capshaw are also expected to join the spin-off. read more


King World, which distributes Martha Stewart Living to TV stations around the country, is sticking by the domestic felon. In a statement, the company says it will continue to distribute the show as long as stations "want to continue to broadcast the program." Aside from Viacom (which owns CBS and UPN), no other station group has pulled Living. read more


Nominations for the 39th annual Academy of Country Music Awards are out and Alan Jackson scored a field-best eight nods, including Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist and Song of the Year for "Remember When." Jimmy Buffett and Martina McBride received five nods apiece, followed by Kenny Chesney with three and Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, Brad Paisley and Randy Travis with two each. CBS will air the ACMs May 26 live from Las Vegas. read more


Whoopi Goldberg will tackle the polarizing issue of gay marriage during an episode of her NBC sitcom, Whoopi. According to Reuters, the plot finds Goldberg's character, Mavis, hosting a wedding for her gay cousin at the same time her conservative brother is using the hotel for a Republican get-together. Says Goldberg: "It's presented in a way that was non-condescending and yet thought-provoking." Notice how she didn't say funny? (For rapper 50 Cent's take on same-gender nups, see below.) read more


With The Passion of the Christ crucifying the competition at the box office, CBS has decided to rebroadcast its 2000 telepic Jesus on Sunday, March 28... Filmmaker Noam Murro has bowed out as director of the upcoming sequel to The Ring due to "creative difference" with DreamWorks... Disney has entered into a deal with best-selling young-adult author Judy Blume to develop films based on her books. read more


Fans of The O.C. who, like us, are way more torn up about Anna's exit than Seth is, can take heart — her portrayer, Samaire Armstrong, isn't disappearing, she's merely moving from Orange County to the Big Apple. The scene-stealing pixie has been cast as an actress-nanny in ABC's pilot for Gramercy Park, which is described as The Help, only good. Take that, Cohen! read more

The Shield Aaaah, Tuesday night,...

The Shield
Aaaah, Tuesday night, that saving grace of primetime for those of us who shake our heads at the notion that there is anything on Thursday night that we "must see." Tuesday is where the action is. The normal lineup has Jack Bauer doing whatever he has to on 24 (when it is not pre-empted for endless Idol worship), followed by Vic Mackey doing all that and then some on The Shield. Damn! I hereby dub Tuesday night as "Oh, no you didn't! TV."

This show hasn't lost any of its luster. In fact, if anything, the tightest and tautest drama on TV just keeps getting better. Is that Carrie-Anne Moss's twin sister shacking up with Shane? And how long do you think Vic will let her interfere with a member of his strike team? Gotta say, I loved seeing sexually confused Julien borrow a pair of cajones from Vic and go eye for an eye rather than turning the other cheek. It was about time he returned the favor to the guys who threw him a b read more


American Idol has recruited Ruuuuuben Studdard to help pad tonight's live, hourlong wild-card-results show. Mr. Velvet Teddy Bear will perform his latest hit, "Sorry 2004." (The rest of the hour will be filled with another one of Leah Labelle's trademark meltdowns and Matthew Metzger's teeth.) Clay Aiken, meanwhile, will stop by during next week's results show to sing. read more

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