Today's News: Our Take

Touched by an Angel Turns 200!

At last month's Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Hollywood, CBS chief Leslie Moonves gently put Touched by an Angel to rest, saying it'll sign off in April. "I got the call the night before," Roma Downey recalls to TV Guide Online. "We're so grateful the cast and our loyal fans will get closure. How many other people find themselves on hiatus, lying on the beach somewhere, and they read in Variety that their show is canceled?"

On today's cynical TV landscape — where sex crime series and reality freak shows abound — Angel's campy sentimentality is a guilty pleasure that never leaves you feelin' dirty afterward. (Whereas The Bachelorette couldn't wash the sin off her body if she showered in holy water!) Fans always laugh whenever Monica — the sexy seraphim played by Downey — tells a stunne read more

Seven Silly Questions for Jeff Probst

For our money, Survivor's Jeff Probst is one of the least annoying reality hosts around. Of course, considering some of the dunces currently gracing the tube — Joe Millionaire's Alex "Serves No Purpose" McLeod and Bachelorette's Chris "Nails on a Chalkboard" Harrison come to mind — that's not saying much. But dammit if we're not growing fond of the well-tanned fella, who returns tonight to preside over the sixth edition of CBS's still-potent reality franchise, this one set in the Amazon (8 pm/ET). In honor of the occasion, we present Probst with the ultimate challenge: answering our Seven Silly Questions.
TV Guide Online: How long do you think Michael Jackson would last on Survivor?
Jeff Probst: He's a good snuggler and he likes animals, so, he might actually last longer than you think. There's also the freak factor. You'd want to keep him around because nobody's going to vote for him to win. And as long as read more

CSI Gets Personal

Fortunately, tonight's 90-minute CSI — airing 9:30 pm/ET on CBS — gives viewers more than crime-scene corpses and yucky bodily fluids. Oh, don't get us wrong, it has plenty of that mess. But the science-crazed show also packs some emotional grit, too. We're talkin' Marg Helgenberger rescuing her drowning daughter from a sinking car — and William Petersen dating a dominatrix!

Producer Richard Lewis denies this supersized CSI is just a February sweeps shot at NBC's ER. "This is a more emotion-based episode," he tells TV Guide Online, "where we explore realms we don't often go to. A lot of times we're dealing with process, science and the case. We needed the ex read more

Jennifer Garner Kicks Ben's Butt

Alias star Jennifer Garner — aka Mrs. Scott Foley (A.U.S.A.) — has come a long way, baby. She went from playing Felicity's mousy Hannah to feisty Sydney on ABC's spy thriller, and now it's on to comic-book heroine Elektra in Daredevil (opening tomorrow). But will all this kung fu kickass typecast Garner as an action chick?

"I did go through [worries about] that," the 30-year-old beauty tells TV Guide Online. "'Is it so boring? Is that what's expected of me? Should I do the opposite?' Then, I thought, 'Why? I really want to do the movie. I want to do this! I want to work with read more

Green Mile Giant vs. Daredevil!

Coming in at 6-foot-5 and 290 lbs., Michael Clarke Duncan bears an imposing physical presence. So it's no surprise he was Mark Steven Johnson's first choice to play Kingpin, Ben Affleck's arch enemy in Daredevil (opening Friday). But when the director suggested using stunt doubles and special padding to turn Duncan into the comic book's larger-than-life crime boss, the actor scoffed.

"They wanted to pad the arms and the chest [of my suits]," the Green Mile star tells TV Guide Online. "And I said, 'Whoa! I don't need that. I'm going to power lift, and bulk up, and you won't need any pads.

"To me it wasn't that hard," Duncan continues, "because read more


Robert Redford is set to star opposite Razzie nominee Jennifer Lopez in the Lasse Hallstrom-directed drama An Unfinished Life, Variety reports. In the film, Lopez plays a single mother who is forced to move in with her estranged father-in-law (Redford). read more


Michael Jackson's much-hyped rebuttal to British journalist Martin Bashir's documentary Living With Michael Jackson will air Feb. 20 on Fox. The two-hour special — titled Michael Jackson Take 2: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You — will allegedly feature footage that calls into question some of the content in the documentary. Meanwhile, ABC's telecast of Living With Michael Jackson ranked as last week's most-watched program. read more


Rock producer Phil Spector will reportedly contend that the Feb. 3 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at his suburban Los Angeles home was accidental. "I believe his defense will be that this was a tragic accident," said attorney Marvin Mitchelson, a longtime Spector pal. "I've spoken with various individuals connected with the case, and I'm 100 percent certain it's not a homicide." Spector, 62, remains free on $1 million bond. read more

Rating the Oscar Reactions

Movie lovers need not wait until an Academy Award presenter says "And the Oscar goes to..." in order to learn who are the winners in this season's gold rush. Heck, no! TV Guide Online can reveal right now which actors have scored — at least in our entirely unofficial survey of the nominees' sound bites and press statements. Taking into consideration the thought that obviously went into the contenders' (and their flaks') remarks, we have come to the conclusion that, by golly, there ought to be a prize for best preacceptance speech. C'mon, why not? If a trophy isn't deserved by celebrities that successfully temper their excitement with what passes for genuine humility, then we don't know when one is due. Consider the justifications and exclamations offered up by 2003's title-seekers:

"Bringing Fosse's mas read more

Lord of the Rings: Snubbed by Oscar?

Wow! A sweeping 13 Academy Award nominations went to that glitzy showbiz sass-o-rama, Chicago! As the song goes, they had it comin'. Grizzly Gangs of New York also managed to loot itself 10 Oscar nods. But somma dese other mugs was robbed, see? Here, we ask our experts — Entertainment Tonight and Hot Ticket film buff Leonard Maltin, TV Guide Online movie critic Maitland McDonagh and Tom O'Neil, author of Movie Awards and host of awards website — to judge who Oscar dissed and missed at 5:38 am/PT on Monday morning. The golden boy must've been in dire need of a cuppa joe to forget these folks. . .

"It's always interesting when a best picture nominee doesn't get a best director nomination," Maltin says, "and that's what happened to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers read more

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