Today's News: Our Take


The major broadcast networks resumed normal programming Thursday night following a day of nearly wall-to-wall war coverage. Of course, given that everything's in reruns, that's not exactly cause for celebration. read more


On last night's drawn-out American Idol, 24-year-old grocery store clerk Charles Grigsby became the latest finalist to get the boot. Ten contestants remain, including diva-in-the-making Julia DeMato. (Are we expected to believe those were real tears, sweetie?) My favorite moment? Watching Simon Cowell handily beat Joshua Gracin in a push-up duel. Who knew? read more


Queen Latifah and a very pregnant Catherine Zeta-Jones will perform a duet from Chicago at Sunday's Academy Awards. They'll sing "I Move On," which is nominated for best original song. Latifah subs for Renée Zellweger, who performed the number with Zeta-Jones in the film but declined to participate in this special Oscar version. (Very smart move.) read more


Another casualty of war: Barbara Walters's annual pre-Oscars special. ABC announced Wednesday that it was postponing the traditional chatfest as a result of the war in Iraq. No decision has been made on what will replace the show, which was to feature interviews with Nicolas Cage, Renée Zellweger and Julianne Moore. E!, meanwhile, says that Joan and Melissa Rivers will carry on with their Oscar pre-show, although what form the program will take is uncertain. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict it will be tasteless. read more


Monica Lewinsky is once again following in Bill Clinton's footsteps — only this time it's not into the Oval Office. On the heels of the ex-president's decision to take a job with 60 Minutes, Lewinsky has accepted an offer from Fox to host its upcoming reality show Mr. Personality (debuting April 21). For the lowdown on the show, click here. read more

Married by America? No Way!

How does it feel to be on Fox's Married by America (Mondays at 9 pm/ET)? In a word: Uncomfortable. Five instantly "engaged" couples cohabitate on a California ranch, where nightcams spy on 'em Temptation Island-style. Some pairs got randy right away, like trashy Tony and Billie Jeanne. Others got very shy, like Matt and Cortez, who were booted off this week. Here, TV Guide Online grills this hilariously incompatible duo about their short-lived courtship.

TVGO: Cortez, you clearly were not attracted to Matt.
I couldn't fake it. The producers kept pushing it and pushing it. Maybe if we'd had activities where you get a chance to fall for each other, it might've been different. But we were told, 'In this scene, hold hands and look like you're in love.' They really focused in on why I wasn't affectionate yet — even though I had only met him the night before!

TVGO: After watching the show, we read more


Superman has encountered more turbulence. Brett Ratner has dropped out as director allegedly because Warner Bros. failed to approve his choice to play the Man of Steel, Guiding Light hunk Matthew Bomer. "The difficulty of casting the role of Superman has contributed to my decision," says Ratner. "I appreciate the efforts of Warner Bros. and the entire production team during this process." Ratner will now begin work on Rush Hour 3. read more

Seven Silly Questions for Chris Isaak

Some celebs just don't know what to make of our Seven Silly Questions. Take Chris Isaak. The singer-actor-josher, who broke away from Showtime's Chris Isaak Show to shoot a guest spot on NBC's on-the-move Ed (airing tomorrow at 9 pm/ET), struggled to get into the spirit of our witty game. But just when the quid pro quo was officially goin' nowhere, baby did a good good thing: He threw caution to the wind and got forever blue.
TV Guide Online: Since Stanley Kubrick wanted "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" in Eyes Wide Shut, did you negotiate a deal for usage in exchange for your not having to stay awake through the movie?
Chris Isaak:
(long pause) What's your next question?

TVGO: When you made read more


Will Smith isn't jiggy with attending Sunday's Oscar ceremony while bombs are being dropped on Baghdad. The Ali actor, who was scheduled to be a presenter, has decided to sit this one out as a result of the war in Iraq. "He felt uncomfortable in attending and respectfully asked to be excused," says his rep. "There's no agenda, there's no speeches. He just felt uncomfortable in attending." read more


Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps (Friday After Next) are in talks to play Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton in Paramount's upcoming feature remake of The Honeymooners... Media bigwig Barry Diller has resigned as co-chief executive of cash-strapped Vivendi Universal Entertainment. What's that? You don't care? I figured as much. read more

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