Today's News: Our Take


OF HUMAN BONDAGE

Actor Victor Webster — studly star of the syndicated action show Mutant X — will play Kim Cattrall's newest boy toy in the season premiere of Sex and the City on June 22. All we can tell you is, handcuffs will be involved. And FYI, Webster was named one of People's "50 Most Eligible Bachelors" last year — only the best for Samantha Jones! For more Sex scoop, read the June 14 issue of TV Guide magazine. read more

WHO WAS THAT GUY?

After the Dominican Republic's Amelia Vega was named Miss Universe last night in a live NBC broadcast from Panama, an unidentified man jumped on the stage to congratulate her. The fan, dressed in a suit and wearing what seemed to be credentials around his neck, was quickly removed by security. The incident didn't seem to faze Vega, an 18-year-old high school student, who kept on smiling. read more

SON OF A...

So much for nepotism. Sources say actor James Caan — who deigned to film a cameo in son Scott's upcoming directorial debut, Dallas 362 — ended up on the cutting room floor. No specifics on the elder Caan's role were available, but word is, he may still be granted a screen credit, even if he himself isn't seen on-screen. Young Scotty better show some respect, or he too could get cut — right outta Daddy's will! read more

MAD ABOUT THE BOY

Mad TV alum Will Sasso — who did one helluva Bill Clinton on the skitcom — will join ABC's Less Than Perfect as a series regular this fall, TV Guide Online has learned. He's been recurring as Carl, the loveable oaf who lives next door to Sara Rue's Claud and harbors a hopeless crush on lovely Lydia (Andrea Parker). read more

DO THE RIGHT THING

Spike Lee is suing Viacom Inc. over plans to rename their TNN cable channel Spike TV. The filmmaker has asked for an injunction against Viacom's use of the name, The Associated Press reports, citing his consent was never given. "The media description of this change of name, as well as comments made to me and my wife, confirmed what was obvious — that Spike TV referred to Spike Lee," he said in court papers. TNN claims that Spike TV, which would become "the first network for men," is just trying to attract a large male audience with the use of a popular word. read more

WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER HERO

Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird) and Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs) were ranked the top good guy and bad guy, respectively, last night on CBS's AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains. To see who TV Guide Online readers chose as their favorites, click here. read more

MARTHA UPDATE

As expected, Martha Stewart was officially indicted today by a federal grand jury in New York. TV's unhappy homemaker was charged on nine counts related to her ImClone scandal, including securities fraud, obstruction of justice and making false statements. Stewart surrendered to federal authorities in Manhattan before the formal accusations were made. She and Peter Bacanovic, her former Merrill Lynch stockbroker, were expected to be arraigned this afternoon. read more

SHORT CUTS

Barry Manilow broke his nose in a sleep walking accident recently... Sen. Hillary Clinton sits down with Barbara Walters to discuss the juicy details of her memoir, Living History, for a special Sunday edition of 20/20 airing at 7 pm/ET... Actor Richard Cusack, the father of John and Joan, died Monday of pancreatic cancer. He was 77. read more

Inside The Animatrix

Despite a record-setting opening weekend, it's no secret The Matrix Reloaded hasn't exactly been embraced by moviegoers and reviewers. For all its technical razzle-dazzle, critics lament, the sequel ultimately raises more questions than it answers about The Matrix's machine-constructed "reality." Hopefully, the November release of The Matrix Revolutions — the third and final movie — will bring some closure, but until then, fans can content themselves with the IMAX version of Reloaded (opening on select IMAX screens this Friday) and a new DVD, The Animatrix, which hits stores today.

A collection of animated short films, Animatrix fleshes out stuff the Matrix movies aren't able to address. Four of the nine shorts are written by the minds behind the franchise, the Wachowski brothers. And the DVD's list of direct read more

Cheers Postman Always Rings Twice


Since he's TV's most memorable mailman, everyone knows John Ratzenberger's name. But his long-running stint as know-it-all Cliff Clavin on Cheers almost didn't happen.

"In the first season, I wasn't a regular," Ratzenberger, 56, recalls . "I invented the character in the audition, and from week to week, I didn't know whether I was going to do next week's show or not.

"[Once], after we shot an episode," he recalls, "they said, 'Your call time is 10 o'clock on Monday.' And I was looking at the script thinking, 'I'm not in this script.' I didn't want to embarrass anybody, so I walked up to [Cheers creator] James Burrows and said, 'I'm not in this script, so I won't be here on Monday.' And he said, 'What? We'll put you in.' The following year, I was made a regular. That was a big moment for me."

T read more

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