Today's News: Our Take


Ten years after its theatrical release, Disney's Aladdin will arrive on DVD on Oct. 5... In a four-year deal valued at $30 million, FX has landed syndication rights to NBC's Fear Factor. Reruns will start popping up on the cable network this summer... The champion snowboarder injured Thursday during a taping of Late Show with David Letterman will be a guest on tonight's show. read more


Peter Jackson inched closer to Oscar glory this weekend when the Directors Guild of America honored the filmmaker with its top prize for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Only six times in the past 56 years has the the DGA victor not gone on to win the best director Oscar. In other kudos news, Finding Nemo picked up nine Annie Awards, which recognize the best in animation. Included in the film's haul: An acting win for Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced the absent-minded Dory. read more


Fox has given the go-ahead for a second edition of The Simple Life, to debut in May. This time around, Paris and Nicole will embark on a cross-country trip in a Winnebago. "[They'll] travel from town to town and go from family to family," says Fox reality exec Mike Darnell. "The show can be a different experience in every episode." But just to be safe, word is Paris plans to exercise the "If my RV's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin'" option in her contract. read more


The WB is giving its Batman franchise the Smallville treatment. This fall, Kids WB will launch The Batman, a new animated series about the Dark Knight's early years. The new 'toon — which will feature a twentysomething Caped Crusader — promises to "go back to the comic-book origins of this character," says Kids WB vice president John Hardman. For a First Look at the 'toon, pick up the new issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale now). Well, what are you waiting for? Be on your way. read more


OutKast's double CD, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, was named album of the year at Sunday's 46th annual Grammy Awards. The hip-hop duo also nabbed honors for best rap album and best urban/alternative performance for "Hey Ya!" Coldplay won record of the year for "Clocks," and Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father" scored song of the year kudos. And although she failed to win in any of the top categories, Beyonce still walked away with a record-tying five awards, including best female R&B performance and best contemporary R&B album for Dangerously in Love. CBS, meanwhile, estimates that an average 26 million people watched the telecast, making it the highest-rated Grammys in three years. For a complete rundown of Grammy winners and losers, click read more


NBC has ordered a second season of Donald Trump's The Apprentice. However, the network is still mum on whether the surprise reality hit will stay in its plum Thursday time slot next fall. "We haven't decided where we're gonna put it," says an NBC rep. "We're not prepared to announce that yet." read more


You've heard of Boobygate. Now, get ready for Grammygate! The plot behind Janet Jackson's Grammy no-show thickened Sunday when CBS released a statement saying that the singer-stripper and her Super Bowl boy-toy were both invited to attend last night's Grammy Awards — under one condition. "Ms. Jackson and Mr. Timberlake were invited to participate in the show as long as they agreed to apologize on the air for what happened during the halftime Show," the network said. "Ms. Jackson declined the invitation. Mr. Timberlake accepted." But to ensure that Janet's presence was felt, Justin talked his mom into showing up virtually topless. read more


Andy Roddick's much-hyped TV debut is facing sudden death. As reported in the new issue of TV Guide magazine, the tennis ace has backed out of The Tour, the upcoming reality show that was to shadow him this summer as he dealt with fame, fortune and significant other Mandy Moore. "Andy wanted to focus all of his energy on being the No. 1 player in the world," says Tour creator Craig H. Shepherd, who has tapped another "well-known American" sports stud — James Blake — to hold court in his place. Although The Tour has yet to find a home, Shepherd says several major networks have expressed interest. read more


Diana Ross was convicted Monday of DUI and ordered to spend two days in jail before March 9. She was also sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation. Arizona police arrested the 59-year-old R&B diva back in 2002 after she was caught driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit. She pleaded no contest to a charge of drunk driving. read more


After more than a decade on the force, NYPD Blue will turn in its badge in '05. ABC has reached a deal to bring back the venerable cop drama this fall for a 12th — and final — year. The network is reportedly planning a big send-off for Blue next season, which can only mean one thing: Dennis Franz is gonna get cheeky again. read more

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