Today's News: Our Take


As the World Turns, General Hospital and comedian Wayne Brady were the big winners at Friday night's Daytime Emmy awards. ATWT was named best soap, while GH picked up statues for best actor (finally, Maurice Benard), best supporting actress (Vanessa Marcil) and best writing team. Brady, who emceed the three-hour ceremony, scored a major upset by snagging the outstanding talk-show host trophy over heavily favored Dr. Phil. Brady's variety hour also won for best talk show, tying with ABC's The View. For complete coverage, click here. read more


Les Miserables ended its historic, 16-year run on Broadway Sunday night with a final VIP-only performance. I debated all weekend whether to attend, but ultimately realized I lacked two Les Miz essentials: No-Doz and an invitation. read more


There were some tense moments behind the scenes of last night's Law & Order: Criminal Intent finale. Brat Packer Andrew McCarthy — who was originally slated to guest-star on Sunday's season-ender — was fired and replaced after getting into a nasty argument with leading man Vincent D'Onofrio. You can read all the juicy details in the TV News column in the current issue of TV Guide magazine, on newsstands now! read more


Billy Crystal has signed a three-year deal with HBO to create, produce and direct series, movies and miniseries... R&B crooner Macy Gray has inked a deal with Warner Bros. to develop an animated series based on her own childhood... For those who have inquired about the fate of UPN's hip-hop soap Platinum, I'm afraid the news isn't good: The network has axed the low-rated drama...Broadway's Hairspray netted a field-best 10 trophies at Sunday's Drama Desk Awards, including best musical. Take Me Out was named best play... A line of video games based on NBC's Fear Factor will arrive in stores in 2004... SoapNet has acquired rights to rebroadcast all 9,000 episodes of the late NBC sudser Another World, beginning July 1. That's great, but what about Santa Barbara?! read more


The Matrix Reloaded was big — but not as big as Spider-Man. The mega-sequel grossed $93.3 million over the weekend, about $20 million shy of Spidey's $114.7 million debut haul last year. (I blame that endless Zion dance montage.) Still, Reloaded shattered its share of records, including best opening for an R-rated film in history and best four-day tally ever ($135.8 million). Eddie Murphy's Daddy Day Care proved a viable comedy alternative, holding steady at No. 2 with $19.2 million. The new Ewan McGregor-Renée Zellweger '60s spoof Down With Love, meanwhile, had the lo read more


Roseanne's John Goodman is returning to the small screen as the lead voice in NBC's Shrek-like CGI-animated series Father of the Pride, which is slated to debut in fall 2004. According to Variety, Goodman will play Larry, the hard-working papa lion at the center of the show. His "wife" will be voiced by Curb Your Enthusiasm's hysterical Cheryl Hines. read more


Cybill Shepherd committed a major faux pas on the Today show this morning. While discussing her role in tonight's Martha Stewart telepic (9-11 pm/ET on NBC), the Moonlighting grad couldn't seem to recall who authored Martha Inc. — the book on which the telepic was based! (Shepherd has said the tell-all was an invaluable resource in understanding Martha). "Is it Christopher Byron or Byron Christopher?" Katie Couric quizzed Shepherd, who replied: "I don't know." D'oh! read more


Andrew Firestone chose endearing underdog Jen over not-so-endearing frontrunner Kirsten on last night's Bachelor finale. Kirsten's ouster should serve as a lesson for reality singletons everywhere: Don't go on a dating show if you already have a boyfriend. It's not going to go over too well. read more

Frasier Star in Love

With all signs pointing to Frasier ending after next season, David Hyde Pierce is more careful than ever when it comes to picking movie roles. His rules of thumb: If a character is too Niles Crane, he's not interested. And if a friend offers advice, he's not listening. "You know what the most frequent suggestion is?" he asks. "'You really should play a psychotic serial killer.'"

Luckily, the man who's portrayed the younger Dr. Crane for 10 years understands something they don't. "I can't just leap into something completely different and expect people to buy it," Pierce says. "I have to make that transition gradually, which is what I've been trying to do."

His current role in Down With Love should help. Pierce plays a magazine editor whose star writer (read more


Jennifer Lopez has been beset by more Wedding drama. The twice-divorced Lopez is being sued for $25 million by her Wedding Planner director, who alleges the singer-actress cut him out of a remake of Carmen that she's developing. Adam Shankman claims that he pitched J.Lo the idea of a Carmen update while they were filming Wedding Planner. read more

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