Today's News: Our Take


MASS DEBATE

Showtime will broadcast a live roundtable discussion on The Reagans Dec. 1 at 9 pm/ET — a day after it airs the controversial telepic. In a press release, the cable network — which acquired the movie after CBS dropped it — said the forum will bring together an "eclectic and experienced" panel comprised of journalists, historians, biographers and educators with wide-ranging knowledge of the former president. Translation: Zzzzzzzz...... read more

COME ON DOWN!

Bob Barker will celebrate his 80th birthday with The Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular, a CBS primetime special airing Dec. 13. The Emmy winner turns the big 8-0 on Dec. 12. read more

SLUMMING IT?

Patrick Swayze will join the national touring company of Chicago next month as song-and-dance lawyer Billy Flynn. This would be really exciting if it weren't so gosh darn sad. read more

THE STUFF OF LEGEND

The 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced on Thursday and they include late Beatle George Harrison, Prince, Jackson Browne, Bob Seger and ZZ Top. The induction ceremony is slated for March 15 in New York City. read more

THE FONZ GOES TO COURT

Henry Winkler will guest star in two episodes of Fox's Arrested Development, playing the attorney defending Jeffrey Tambor's character in court. The deal reunites Winkler with his Happy Days co-star Ron Howard, who exec produces and narrates the show. read more

THERE, IT'S SETTLED

Friends star Jennifer Aniston has reached a $550,000 settlement with a man she accused of distributing topless pics of her sunbathing in her backyard. In other legal matters, a malicious damage charge was dropped Friday against Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who allegedly smashed the windshield of a photographer in Australia last July. read more

FriendsHow much do I love the...

Friends How much do I love the fact that Joey not only had a Cabbage Patch Kid, he still has a Cabbage Patch Kid? (Although I don't want to know why it's a girl dressed like Annie Oakley.) His dolly devotion almost makes me regret donating Ellyn Valentina, Allyn Michael and Portia Something-Or-Other to charity a decade ago. That said, aside from the Bings' heartwarming baby news, this was a rather disappointing Thanksgiving because the gang spent almost the entire day apart. I know this is the last season and we have to get used to the idea that they won't be spending any more Thanksgivings with us, but isn't that also reason enough to let us share one final Turkey Day together?

Survivor: Pearl Islands We all saw it coming: Rupert got the boot. But the real disappointment came in his farewell comments, when he lamented the fact that his whole life, all he has wanted to do is fit in, but again he failed: "I want so badly to be accepted, and read more

CHARGED

Record producer Phil Spector pleaded not guilty Thursday to murdering B-movie actress Lana Clarkson last February. If convicted, Spector could spend life in prison. read more

SAD NEWS

Word is out that actor Jonathan Brandis was discovered dead in his Los Angeles apartment on Nov. 12. The 27-year-old actor was beloved among Gen-Xers for his roles in Neverending Story 2 and NBC's mid-90s series, seaQuest DSV. Coroners pointed to suicide as the possible cause of death, although more testing will occur before a final ruling. Fans last saw Brandis — looking very handsome and grown up — in his recent indie film The Year That Trembled. read more

Kudos for Lily Tomlin

She has given us such characters as mouthy 6-year-old Edith Ann, cranky phone operator Ernestine and philosophizing bag lady Trudy. This week, Lily Tomlin is being recognized for her quirky comedy as the recipient of the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. (On Stage at the Kennedy Center: The Mark Twain Prize airs Nov. 26 on PBS; check TV Guide listings.) Friends like Robin Williams and Everybody Loves Raymond's Doris Roberts salute her in the Kennedy Center tribute. Now that's something to stick your tongue out about.


TV Guide Online: So what do you and Mark Twain have in common?
Tomlin:
Maybe our perceptions about the human condition. A kind of satiric view of what's going on, while [believing] we're all part of the same species.

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