Today's News: Our Take


CAUSE OF DEATH

The death of 27-year-old actor Jonathan Brandis has been officially ruled a suicide. According to a coroner's report, the SeaQuest DSV star hung himself with a nylon rope in the hallway of his Los Angeles apartment complex on Nov. 11. He was found unconscious that night and rushed to a hospital, where he died the next day. Most recently, Brandis had a starring role in the ABC drama pilot 111 Gramercy Park. read more

RECOVERING

Rocker Meat Loaf underwent heart surgery over the weekend after collapsing on a London stage last week. The 56-year-old "Bat Out Of Hell" crooner was reportedly suffering from Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a defect of the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat. read more

Never Been Kissed Hey, it's Tuesday...

Never Been Kissed
Hey, it's Tuesday night at 8 here in L.A. Where the hell are my Gilmore Girls? Instead, WB ran this dopey old movie where Drew Barrymore is a reporter posing as a high school student. I was totally annoyed, until I spotted Alias star Michael Vartan — before he was famous! — playing Drew's handsome English teacher. Who knew?

All of Us
Another benefit to Gilmore Girls being off the air this week: I can check out more All of Us on UPN. See? I said I'd watch, even if Will Smith wasn't guest starring. Hey, it says Debbie Allen directed this episode. I'll wager that's partly why it's so funny and yet somehow still classy, even though it's all about sex. Newlyweds Robert and Tia are discretely trying to "get they freak on" with an inquisitive kindergartner in the house, which grown-ups know isn't easy. "Less yackin', more mackin'!" Miss Tia demands. And who read more

OOOPS... SHE'S ON TOP

Britney Spears' mammoth publicity blitz in support of her latest CD seems to have paid off. When final numbers are released today, Spears' In the Zone is expected to debut at No. 1 on Billboard's album chart with sales of more than 500,000 copies. Meanwhile, Michael Jackson's hits collection Number Ones failed to crack the Top Ten, landing with a thud at No. 13. read more

THAT EXPLAINS IT

Nielsen says it has figured out why hordes of young male viewers stopped watching TV this fall. (An alarming 8 percent decline in men ages 18 to 34 had the networks freaking out.) The company insists that the advertiser-friendly demo is still watching the same number of programs, but just on fewer days and with more channel surfing. read more

BUSTED

Country crooner Glen Campbell, 67, was arrested in Phoenix on Monday on suspicion of drunken driving, hit and run, and aggravated assault on a police officer. He was later released on $2,000 bond. read more

Ethan Embry Makes Time


In the new film Timeline (opening Wednesday), Can't Hardly Wait cutie Ethan Embry gets a chance to play a physicist who watches as his colleagues get sucked back into the medieval era. Was he bummed that he was stuck in the present day while his costars got to don period garb and engage in swordplay?

"I was jealous until I saw the movie," Embry tells TV Guide Online. "Then [I saw that] they were running around and jumping in cold rivers and being shot at with burning arrows."

Despite his modern wardrobe, the Sweet Home Alabama scene-stealer is almost unrecognizable thanks to a goatee, bleached blonde hair and a very skinny figure. Speaking of which, why does a scientist need to be so thin? "At the time, I was going to play Nightcrawler [in X2: X-Men United]," the 25-year-old notes. "So I was working out at night, and read more

CAINE IS ABLE

Michael Caine has been tapped to play Bruce Wayne's trusty butler, Alfred, in Warner Bros.' latest Batman flick, Variety reports. As previously reported, Christian Bale is playing the Caped Crusader. Production is slated to get underway next year for a 2005 release. read more

STRIKE THAT

An Indiana high school marching band has dropped Michael Jackson's "Thriller" from its songlist for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The band's director told the New York Times that in light of the child molestation allegations facing Jacko, the tune would not be "appropriate for the morals and the ideals and the sense of pride" the parade represents. Instead, the band will play "Smack My Bitch Up" by Prodigy. read more

X2 Director Sounds Off

It's not easy being a mutant. There's the uncontrollable optic laser blasts. The unsightly blue skin. Or the girlfriend who sucks up your life essence if you kiss her for too long. The only one who's got it tougher is director Bryan Singer, who had to juggle about a dozen costumed characters in X2: X-Men United while clawing his way past the recent glut of comic book films. Nevertheless, he delivered what many considered a superior sequel. With its DVD release today, Singer looks back on his x-traordinary experience.


TV Guide Online: Did you really consider reshooting some scenes because your mom said Famke Janssen's new hairstyle didn't look glamorous enough?
Bryan Singer:
I just think that was her way of saying it wasn't long enough. My mother always has something to say about everything. You should see the script notes sh read more

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