Today's News: Our Take


California Governator-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger will be inaugurated today in a quick, low-key ceremony. His first order of business once sworn in: reforming the state's workers' compensation system. After that, he'll hit the gym. read more


Frellin' awesome!! As reported in next week's TV Guide magazine, the Jim Henson Company is producing a four-hour Farscape miniseries that will tie up the loose ends left dangling when the cult hit was prematurely axed last year by Sci Fi Channel. "It's an epic conclusion to the series," confides a source. The project — which will reunite leads Ben Browder and Claudia Black — will start shooting in December in Australia. Since the telefilm is unlikely to air on Sci Fi, word is it may be sold into syndication. So there! read more


Ailing soul singer Luther Vandross, who suffered a stroke in April, won two American Music Awards last night. The 52-year-old crooner was named favorite male R&B performer and his latest CD, Dance with My Father, was honored as favorite soul-R&B album. His mother, Mary Vandross, accepted both awards on his behalf. Other winners included 50 Cent (male rap artist and rap album), Missy Elliott (female rap artist), Justin Timberlake (pop album) and Faith Hill (female country performer). For a recap of the evening's highs and lows, read Danny Spiegel's Watercooler column. read more


Nicole Kidman — who recently surpassed Keri Russell as my all-time favorite actress — was honored Friday night with the 18th annual American Cinematheque Award for career achievement. The ceremony will be broadcast Dec. 1 on AMC. read more


Speaking of Celebrity Mole, ABC has rounded up another treasure trove of D-listers for its latest installment. Among the has-beens hoping to revive their careers: Mark Curry, Tracey Gold, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Angie Everhart, Ananda Lewis, Stephen Baldwin and Dennis Rodman. read more


ABC has put Karen Sisco on hiatus, but the network promises the low-rated critical darling will return to the schedule in March. In its Wednesday/10 pm timeslot, ABC will debut the latest edition of Celebrity Mole beginning Jan. 14 — the same night The Bachelorette premieres. Meanwhile, Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital — ABC's 15-hour limited series — will bow March 3 with a special two-hour installment. read more


Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh returned to the airwaves Monday after what he described as "five intense weeks" of rehab for an addiction to painkillers. "There is a whole lot of stuff I can tell you that I can't tell you yet," he said. "There's even more honesty to come." Let me guess: Courtney Love is his sponsor. read more


A day after slapping Paris Hilton and her family with a $10 million slander suit, Richard Salomon filed suit Thursday against Marvad Corp., claiming the Internet porn company distributed footage from his X-rated home video without obtaining legal rights to it. Yeah, that sucks. read more


The next installment of CBS's Survivor, featuring all-stars from the first seven editions, will premiere Feb. 1 following the Super Bowl, USA Today reports. The network won't confirm the list of participants, but TV Guide Online has learned that Deb Eaton will not be back. read more


Will Ferrell's Elf edged out Russell Crowe's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World to claim top honors at the weekend box office. In its second week of release, Elf climbed to No. 1 with $27.2 million — off just 12 percent from its impressive debut. The well-reviewed Master and Commander came in a close second with $25.7 million, slightly above expectations. The same can't be said for The Matrix Revolutions (No. 3 with $16.3 million), which plummeted 66 percent from its disappointing opening. Also excreting flop sweat: Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which debuted at No. 5 with $9.5 million. Note to Brendan Fraser: Why? read more

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