Today's News: Our Take


With one day remaining in the November sweeps derby, CBS and NBC are duking it out for first place among total viewers. Based on preliminary results, CBS is maintaining a slim 160,000-viewer lead over NBC. The Peacock, meanwhile, will easily take top honors in adults 18-49, with a resurgent ABC — which saw its Bachelor finale rank No. 3 last week — edging out CBS for second place in that demo. But the big winner remains the WB, which is up a whopping 17 percent among young adults compared to November 2001. read more


The body count continues to climb on Fox's 24. On Tuesday's episode, the computer whiz played by Roseanne's Sara Gilbert flatlined following an explosion at CTU. read more


Get out those ear plugs: Fox's second season of American Idol kicks off Jan. 21 and 22 with special 90-minute editions. To make room for Idol, Fox is relocating That '70s Show to Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET and moving Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer Presents an hour later to 9-10 pm/ET. Fastlane, meanwhile, will shift to Fridays at 8 pm/ET, giving Firefly some time off. In other midseason scheduling news, CBS will launch its Star Search update on Jan. 9 at 8 pm/ET, pushing the debut of the latest Survivor back to February. NBC will ring in 2003 with a slew of new series: Mister Sterling — a political drama starring Josh Brolin as a freshman senator — debuts Jan. 10 in Providence's old timeslot. Felicity's Scott Foley debuts in the legal comedy A.U.S.A. in February. And come March, Seinfeld read more


Nicolas Cage has filed for divorce from Lisa Marie Presley after less than four months of marriage. Cage cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. Presley responded with this statement: "I'm sad about this, but we shouldn't have been married in the first place. It was a big mistake." This was Presley's third marriage and Cage's second. read more


The Backstreet Boys have slapped their record label with a $100 million lawsuit, claiming Zomba Music Group delayed the release of their fourth album in order to promote Nick Carter's solo CD. The group also charges Zomba with trademark violation for "using the Backstreet Boys' trademark to shuttle traffic to other websites." read more


Reality is sinking in for the WB on Thursday night. The Frog Network is benching sitcoms Family Affair and Do Over beginning Jan. 9 and replacing them with a second broadcast of its upcoming reality show High School Reunion, which will first air Sundays at 9 pm/ET starting Jan. 5. Also Thursdays, Surreal Life — the WB's Real World with F-list celebs — will premiere with a one-hour episode Jan. 9. The following week, it will air in its regular 9:30 pm/ET timeslot following Jamie Kennedy Experiment. Finally, to make room for High School Reunion on Sunday, Angel shifts to Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET in January. read more


Fate may be smiling on those Hansens yet again. NBC is having second thoughts about cancelling its feel-good Friday drama Providence, which is slated to end Dec. 20. Based on the show's promising Nielsens, Peacock entertainment president Jeff Zucker told the cast last week that he's thinking of ordering another 13 episodes next season. "I told them I would take another look in January," the exec tells the New York Daily News. "I did not cement the door shut." Speaking of reprieves, NBC — encouraged by high ratings for its Hunter: Return to Justice reunion pic — has reportedly ordered eight new episodes of the 1980s cop series. read more


Uh-oh, Fabio! The male model — who's also a PETA member — is embarrassed by fur-collared coats which appeared in a recent fashion showcase for his upcoming Sam's Club clothing line. A slightly exaggerated rumor had the coats — which haven't even arrived in stores yet — being yanked from Sam's shelves at Fabio's demand. "There's no flap," his manager, Eric Ashenberg, told Reuters. "Based on Fabio's feelings, the collection will have no fur." Everybody simmer down now. read more


Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to reteam with What's Eating Gilbert Grape director Lasse Hallstrom in the A-bomb thriller Bombshell... Ethan Hawke will appear in a January episode of Alias playing an undercover CIA agent. read more


Hey boys, there's a newly single supermodel in town. Heidi Klum, 29 — who recently donned wings for the Victoria's Secret "Angel" campaign — is getting divorced, Access Hollywood reports. Klum and her husband, 45-year-old celebrity hairdresser Ric Pipino, say they've made a "mutual and amicable" decision to end their five-year marriage. Nah, he's just mad 'cause everyone thinks she's the pretty one. read more

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