Today's News: Our Take


SO THAT'S WHERE THEY WERE

USA Network is developing an alien-abduction series that revolves around the return of 4,400 missing people to Earth, Variety reports. The project, titled The 4400, is being exec produced by Francis Ford Coppola and Dark Angel's Rene Echevarria. read more

DENIED

A Los Angeles judge has dismissed a $10 million lawsuit filed by Barbra Streisand against a photographer who posted pics of her Malibu crib on a Web site documenting erosion along the California coast. Streisand accused Kenneth Adelman of violating California's anti-paparazzi law and her privacy rights, and demanded that the photos be taken down. But the judge denied her request and ordered the singer to pay Adelman's legal bills. read more

NO SURPRISE HERE

Simon Cowell will serve as the American judge for the World Idol competition, which finds American Idol champ Kelly Clarkson competing against 10 of her international counterparts. The contest airs Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 on Fox. read more

GIRL KONG WILD

Naomi Watts is near a deal to play King Kong's female sidekick in Peter Jackson's upcoming remake of the 1933 classic. Filming is expected to get underway next August. read more

SHAKESPEARE IN LABOR

Gwyneth Paltrow and boyfriend, Coldplay's Chris Martin, are expecting their first child next summer, her publicist confirms. The couple has been dating for about a year. read more

Christmas in Rockefeller Center...

Christmas in Rockefeller Center
OK, I love Christmas. In that carols-from-Thanksgiving-until-January sort of way. So this should have been nirvana, with the big tree and the ho, ho, hos and all. But there was no Yuletide glee! Ashanti coos for Santa to "bring me something nice," which seems dirty, and everyone is wearing animal pelts! Co-host Ann Curry's snug white mink must be the latest from the Lara Croft tundra collection. Jessica Simpson is a rhapsody in rabbit and lip-gloss. Even American Idol Ruben Studdard is working a shearling bomber. It was a PETA nightmare set to music. Which, by the by, seriously lacked a holiday slant. That is, until my girl Kelly Clarkson saved the day and showed us how "O, Holy Night" is done. As my TV Guide-literate roomie bellowed from the kitchen, "Give her a 'Cheer.' The rest sucked."

The Simple Life
Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are the most wa read more

TOUR DE FORCE

Britney Spears will launch her 25-city In the Zone tour on March 2 in San Diego. Other stops include Las Vegas (March 6), Los Angeles (March 8), Seattle (March 12), Chicago (March 19), Miami (March 28) and New York (April 10 or 12). read more

AND THEY'RE OFF!

Clint Eastwood's Mystic River got a major Oscar boost Wednesday when the The National Board of Review named the acclaimed drama the best film of 2003. Sean Penn was chosen best actor for his roles in Mystic and the just-released 21 Grams, while Diane Keaton won best actress for Something's Gotta Give. Supporting kudos went to Alec Baldwin for The Cooler and Patricia Clarkson for Pieces of April and The Station Agent. Edward Zwick was named best director for The Last Samurai. read more

GRAMMYLICIOUS

Nominations for the 46th annual Grammy Awards were announced this morning and Beyonce, Jay-Z, OutKast and Pharrell Williams scored a field-best six nods apiece. OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below will compete for Album of the Year with Missy Elliott's Under Construction, Fallen by Evanescence, Justified by Justin Timberlake and Elephant by The White Stripes. Beyonce and Jay-Z's "Crazy in Love" is up for record of the year, along with Black-Eyed Peas and Timberlake's "Where is the Love?," Coldplay's "Clocks," Eminem's "Lose Your read more

VIEWERS CHOOSE LIFE

Turns out Paris Hilton doesn't have to be engaged in a sex act to draw a crowd. Roughly 13 million curiosity seekers watched the celebutante slum it in the heartland with pal Nicole Richie on Tuesday's premiere of Fox's The Simple Life. The show handily beat the debut of NBC's The Tracy Morgan Show. Meanwhile, controversy did little to help The Reagans, which averaged only 1.1 million viewers Sunday on Showtime. read more

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