Today's News: Our Take


Question: If you can answer ...

Question: If you can answer this, you are my hero. I have asked, searched, looked and dug everywhere I can think of. In the final episode of Providence, Syd was standing in front of the mantel looking at family pics and there was a song playing. It sounded like a cross between Elton John and Joshua Kadison. Some of the words were: "A picture postcard, a program of the play, filed away the photographs of your holiday. And your momentos will turn to dust, but that's the price you pay, for every year the souvenir that slowly fades away." Do you have any ideas on this? Thank you in advance for your time. I appreciate it much! — Jo H.

Televisionary: Not at all, Jo. After all, my uncanny TV powers don't help me catch bankrobbers or solve mysteries or anything, so I'm darned happy to be a hero to somebody.

The song that's hauntin read more

TIME'S UP

60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt will step down as the show's exec producer next year, CBS announced today. Hewitt will continue to oversee the program until June 2004, at which point he will relinquish his post to Jeff Fager, who currently oversees 60 Minutes II. Rumors have swirled for months that CBS was looking to replace the 80-year-old at the helm, but Hewitt has said, "I want to die at my desk." He may still get his wish: After exiting 60 Minutes, Hewitt will continue on at CBS News developing new projects and offering advice to his successor. In other words, the network will pay him to sit around and reminisce about the good ol' days. read more

An Alias Movie? Secret Plot Exposed!


If you thought last night's post-Super Bowl episode of Alias was big, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Exec producer J.J. Abrams confirms to TV Guide Online that there have been some informal discussions about transporting Jennifer Garner's double-agent alter ego onto the big screen in an Alias feature film.

"It has come up, and... it's an interesting idea," he says. "My agents have talked to me about it, and I know that they have talked to Disney about it, but it's nothing that is seriously being pursued.

"Given the fact that we try every week to do a movie version of the show, it's not clear to me what we would try to do that we aren't already trying to do," adds the former Felicity read more

SECRET IS OUT

Spider-Man screenwriter David Koepp has signed on to direct Johnny Depp in Columbia's upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's novella Two Past Midnight: Secret Window, Secret Garden, Variety reports. Koepp also penned the script for the project. read more

The Mummy Returns!


After playing the title role in The Mummy and its sequel, Arnold Vosloo had just about had it with sarcophagi and sand crabs. But when he tried to turn down an offer to join the cast of Veritas: The Quest, ABC's high-tech riff on Indiana Jones-type adventurers, he was told in no uncertain terms to sphinx again.

"My agent said, 'This show is exactly what you need to do,'" he relates to TV Guide Online. "'Half — no, 90 percent — of America thinks you're running around Egypt in a loincloth! They don't even know you speak English!'"

So, back into the catacombs marched the actor, his enthusiasm renewed for bringing to life tales from the crypt. And if he hasn't given his rep a sizeable bonus, he ought to: In Vincent Siminou, the strong, silent sidekick of a rugged archaeologist (read more

HELLO BIRDIE

With movie musicals hot again, Columbia Pictures is hoping to mount a big-screen adaptation of Bye Bye Birdie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new Birdie would be a remake of the studio's 1963 film version, which starred Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh, Ann-Margret, Maureen Stapleton and Bobby Rydell. read more

COMMERCIAL SUCCESS

Budweiser's spot featuring a zebra referee reviewing a call on instant replay ranked as viewers' favorite Super Bowl commercial, according to USA Today's annual ad meter poll. The beer maker also scored with its ad about a guy who skirts a bar's "no pets allowed" rule by using his dog as his hairdo. Movie trailers, meanwhile, got a cool response from couch potatoes, with The Hulk, Charlie's Angels, T3 and Bad Boys 2 all getting low marks. Viewers also rejected Subway's latest Jared spot as well as Celine Dion's Chrysler ad. And as far as the game went, the team with the pretty red uniforms won. read more

SUNDANCE KUDOS

American Splendor, a film about comic artist Harvey Pekar, walked off with the Grand Jury prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday. Capturing the Friedmans, a drama about a family dealing with tragedy, was named best documentary. read more

JUST CAST HER!

Former General Hospital Emmy winner Rena Sofer, currently slumming it on Just Shoot Me, has been tapped to replace actress Melissa George on NBC's upcoming Friends-esque sitcom Coupling. The comedy, slated to debut in the fall, is based on the hit British series of the same name. read more

Joan to Missy Rivers: "You're Insane!"


Avast, me buckos! Reality TV continues its perilous descent into the abyss! By now, you know Melissa Rivers has signed on to do ABC's I'm A Celebrity — Get Me Out of Here! (debuting Feb. 19). Hey, at least we've heard of her. The other so-called "celebrities" are: Robin Leach, Olympian Bruce Jenner, model Tyson Beckford, Downtown Julie Brown — um, not to be confused with MTV's other Julie Brown — and actress Alana Stewart. (Who? Oh yeah, she was married to George Hamilton and Rod read more

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