Today's News: Our Take


CHANGE IS GOOD

Rapper 50 Cent scored a field-best six nominations for the 2003 Billboard Music Awards, which Fox will air live Dec. 10. R. Kelly and Beyonce Knowles finished a close second with five nods apiece. read more

BIRD WATCHER

Ewan McGregor will voice the title character in Valiant, an upcoming computer-animated feature from Disney about a wood pigeon who gets a job with Great Britain's Royal Air Force Homing Pigeon Service during World War II. read more

HE'S WITHOUT A GIG

Comedy Central is no longer with Gary Busey. The cable net has axed the thesp's reality show I'm With Busey after one poorly rated season. read more

INNOCENCE LOST

Someone at CBS's Providence, R.I., affiliate, WPRI, is getting coal for Christmas. During Friday's telecast of Frosty the Snowman, a flashy pop-up ad appeared in the corner of the screen blaring, "Bizarre Murder Suicide — News at 11!" A station spokeswoman conceded to TV Guide Online that the local news teaser was "poorly placed." Tell that to the thousands of kiddies who now think Frosty is a killer. read more

NO SHOW

Celine Dion has canceled her Wednesday and Thursday shows in Las Vegas to attend her father's funeral in Montreal. Adhemar Dion died Sunday at the age of 80. read more

AFTER M*A*S*H

It looks like CBS wants to milk its M*A*S*H cow a little more. According to Variety, the network is mulling a behind-the-scenes M*A*S*H movie titled M*A*S*Hback. The project would cast new actors in the classic roles and tell the story from Larry Gelbart's pilot script to the death of McLean Stevenson's character, Lt. Col. Henry Blake. That M*A*S*H theme song always makes me weepy. Just thought I'd share. read more

MAC ATTACKS

Bernie Mac's delayed third-season premiere Sunday averaged a strong 10.4 million viewers and retained 92 percent of The Simpsons's adults 18-49 lead-in. Meanwhile, Arrested Development — which Fox just greenlit for the full season — is also showing signs of life. With 6.7 million viewers, the sublime farce was up over last week and retained 82 percent of Malcolm in the Middle's audience. read more

FROM JUSTIN TO SURREAL LIFE?

RCA has reportedly dropped American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini from its ranks due to the abysmal sales of his self-titled debut album. The news comes just a week after Guarini was conspicuously absent from Fox's American Idol Christmas special, which, ironically enough, proved to be a wise career move. read more

IT'S NOT PAT

Finally! After umpteen lame-o movies based on Saturday Night Live skits, Mad TV alum Alex Borstein is bringing her most popular character, loopy manicurist Mrs. Swan, to the multiplex. "I just finished the script," she tells TV Guide Online. "Now I'm deciding whether to get a studio or produce it independently." So long as we don't have to spend another night at the Roxbury, I love it. read more

MOURNED

Prolific TV director Earl Bellamy, who helmed such shows as The Lone Ranger, CHiPs, The Munsters, Eight Is Enough and My Three Sons, died of a heart attack Sunday in New Mexico. He was 86. read more

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