Today's News: Our Take


NICK OF TIME

Nickelodeon has ordered a spin-off of its hit cartoon Dora the Explorer that revolves around Dora's rough-and-tumble cousin Diego. The kiddie channel has also green-lighted a pair of live-action comedies starring Julia Roberts' 13-year-old niece Emma and Britney Spears' lil' sis, Jamie. read more

WORLDS COLLIDE

Minority Report collaborators Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise are teaming up to bring H.G. Wells' classic alien-invasion epic, The War of the Worlds, back to the big screen, according to Variety. Spielberg would likely direct the pic, while Cruise is expected to star and produce along with DreamWorks. David Koepp (Spider-Man, Panic Room), meanwhile, has been tapped to rewrite the script. read more

R. KELLY BEATS RAP

Florida prosecutors have dropped all child-pornography charges against R. Kelly. The singer's legal victory comes after a judge's ruling last week that digital photos were taken from his Miami home by illegal seizure, and were inadmissible as trial evidence. The photos in question reportedly depicted R. Kelly engaging in sexual acts with an underage girl. He's still fighting similar charges in Illinois. read more

SHORT CUTS

Twentieth Century Fox is developing a sequel to last fall's surprise family hit Cheaper by the Dozen... In what is being billed as "the first film-marketing venture of its kind," Sony is distributing free preview DVDs of its forthcoming flick Hellboy at Best Buy stores nationwide. read more

MORALE CRASHER

As if our troops in Iraq didn't have enough to contend with, Paramount is sending a big bomb their way: Ashley Judd's new thriller, Twisted. A theater previously owned by Saddam Hussein is about to reopen for the military stationed there and the studio says that the Army Air Force Exchange Service chose Twisted as their opening-night feature. In related news, rumor has it the Bush administration is about to announce that it has found a WMD inside Saddam's old film projector. read more

Century City Must Hector Elizondo...

Century City
Must Hector Elizondo be hired as the boss on every new ensemble drama about doctors or lawyers? This is your 11th series to date, Hector. Enough already. The rest of the Screen Actors Guild could use some work, too.

Oooh, look! It's curly-tressed Ioan Gruffudd — from A&E's Horatio Hornblower movies — playing that tired old stock character, the Earnest Young Lawyer. I much preferred his dashing 19th-century British Navy uniform over the modern business suit. Still, he's likable on Century City — TV's umpteenth show about an L.A. law firm. This one's twist is it's set in 2030, making today's "What If?" controversies (like human cloning) the everyday reality of the future. I was genuinely fascinated by the questions this show raises: Is your clone baby really your twin brother, and not your son? Either way, considering guest star David Paymer knows how he has turned out &# read more

APRIL SHOWERS

April Wilkner became the ninth catwalker thrown off Tyra Banks' runway on last night's penultimate episode of America's Next Top Model. "I don't understand — I always win everything," cried the 23-year-old Miami Beach native. "I'm not prepared for this." The competition is now down to three girls: Shaggy, er, I mean Shandi, Mercedes and Yoanna — one of whom will be named the winner next week. But for the life of me I can't recall what the grand prize is. Ms. Banks really needs to take more time to spell that out at the end of each episode. read more

LETTERMAN FINDS LOVE

Courtney Love — who showed up two hours late to a court hearing Tuesday on drug charges and was berated by the judge for talking out of turn — will be a guest on tonight's Late Show with David Letterman. She'll perform (slur) a song from her new album, America's Sweetheart (Scariest Woman). read more

SCENE STEALER

It's official: Gary Sinise has signed on to headline the cast of CSI: New York, CBS confirms. Although the spinoff doesn't debut until the fall, Sinise will first appear in a May sweeps episode of CSI: Miami. read more

NICK OF TIME

Nickelodeon has ordered a spin-off of its hit cartoon Dora the Explorer that revolves around Dora's rough-and-tumble cousin Diego. The kiddie channel has also green-lighted a pair of live-action comedies starring Julia Roberts' 13-year-old niece Emma and Britney Spears' lil' sis, Jamie. read more

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