Today's News: Our Take


The residents of Altus, Ark., better batten down the hatches. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are headed back to town for The Simple Life Reunion, airing Jan. 13 on Fox — one night before the show's season finale. Leeza Gibbons will preside over the Town Hall Meeting-style special, in which Paris and Nicole will take questions from an audience of 300 locals. Afterwards, they'll present lil' Chopper with a lucrative modeling contract. At least they better. read more


Showtime has elected to greenlight R.J. Cutler's The American Candidate, a 10-episode reality series in which 12 wannabe politicos compete in a faux election. Viewers get to vote for their favorite in the show's final episode. read more


American Splendor was named the best picture of 2003 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, while best director honors went to Lord of the Rings helmer Peter Jackson. Bill Murray won best actor for Lost in Translation and Naomi Watts nabbed the best actress prize for 21 Grams. In other kudos news, Finding Nemo scored 12 Annie Award nominations, which are handed out by the International Animated Film Society. The blockbuster will compete in the best feature category with Brother Bear, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, read more


Showtime's Soul Food led the TV drama category when nominations for the 35th NAACP Image Awards were announced Wednesday. Three of Soul's seven nods were for outstanding actress in a drama series: Nicole Ari Parker, Malinda Williams and Vanessa Williams. The Bernie Mac Show, meanwhile, led the comedy series nods with three. In the best film category, the nominees were Bad Boys II, The Fighting Temptations, Deliver Us From Eva, Bend It Like Beckham and Whale Rider. In music, Outkast led with six nods, while that "Crazy In Love" Beyoncé scored four. read more


Actress Kate Hudson and her rocker hubby, Chris Robinson, are the proud parents of a baby boy. Ryder Russell Robinson was born Wednesday in Los Angeles. This is the couple's first child. read more

My Wife and Kids Bill Cosby, call...

My Wife and Kids
Bill Cosby, call your lawyer. I swear, this show is totally stealing plots from the Huxtable vaults, this time with Junior moving out to prove his independence. But instead of Rudy dressed like Theo's elderly landlord, we've got Damon Wayans Jr. dressed as the kid's lease-signing granny. And instead of laughing, we made out with our chihuahua, Pepito. At least I did.

Really, Carol. Bangs? There's a lot I can take, but that look only works in Whitesnake videos and small-town checkout lines. And though I adore the idea of Ed and his gal eloping, the writers are damn lucky they're giving us a wedding. Three years we've waited for these two to seal the deal, OK? Don't mess with us. There's a little thing called American Idol coming up very soon and you don't want to be making enemies now, ya hear?

The Simple Life
So, Nicole Richie can't hold her booze or bl read more


Arrested Development scene stealer Liza Minnelli appeared Wednesday in a New York divorce court, but her estranged hubby, David Gest, was a no-show. Minnelli's lawyer accused Gest of hiding out in Hawaii to avoid a pretrial examination. Gest's attorney said his client was still in too much pain from Minnelli's repeated beatings to attend. Gest is suing Minnelli for $10 million, claiming she smacked him around during their brief marriage. She's countersuing him for $2 million, alleging he stole money from her. read more

Meet The O.C.'s New VIP

So far, O.C. newbie Oliver seems like a sweetheart, doesn't he? The kind of ex-druggie you wanna just hug. The sort of mental patient you could bring home to Mom, even if Mom is piranha Julie Cooper. But, according to the poor little rich kid's portrayer, Taylor Handley, there may be something a wee bit sour behind his screen counterpart's sweet smile. "Oliver is very intelligent," the 19-year-old tells TV Guide Online (as if we aren't glued to Fox every Wednesday at 9 pm/ET), "and intelligent people are good manipulators."

In other words, our hero Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie) won't want to turn his back when main squeeze Marissa (Mischa Barton) is around Mr. Nice Guy. Says Handley: "There's definitely some tension between Ryan and Oliver since Marissa now has a boyfriend and also a friend — especially because my character is very needy due to his past. It kind of takes Marissa's attention away from Ryan."

The sullen sexpot might as w read more

Mail Call Host Sounds Off!

No one gets in Hollywood's face like R. Lee Ermey. The former drill instructor and 11-year Marine Corps vet has made a nice second career for himself as the go-to actor to fill hard-edged military-man roles, including a much-lauded turn in Full Metal Jacket. For the past three seasons, he's been happily barking answers to viewer questions on Mail Call, the History Channel's combat technology show-and-tell series. "I get to drive tanks," Ermey says of the show that starts its fourth tour of duty on Jan. 11 (10 pm/ET). "I get to blow things up and shoot weapons." Fortunately, the only thing he's shooting today is the breeze with TV Guide.

TV Guide Online: What's the coolest thing you've blown up on Mail Call?
R. Lee Ermey:
Some old ammunition over in Iraq. We worked with the explosive boys, and they had a dummy in a flight suit in the bottom of a pit. Its head was a watermelon. They cut Saddam Hussein's face out of a picture, pasted it read more


Actress Kate Hudson and her rocker hubby Chris Robinson are the proud parents of a baby boy. Ryder Russell Robinson was born today in Los Angeles. This is the couple's first child. read more

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