Today's News: Our Take


VOTE OF CONFIDENCE

Fox has picked up freshman dramas Fastlane and John Doe for a full season. The jury's still out on Firefly and Cedric the Entertainer Presents. read more

BADA-BIG

Sopranos odd couple Drea de Matteo and Michael Imperioli have been tapped to host the inaugural VH1 Big in 2002 Awards on Dec. 15. The ceremony pays tribute to "those moments and people that captivated and inspired us in 2002." read more

SALLY SUES

Ex-talk show hostess Sally Jessy Raphael has slapped The National Enquirer with a $100 million libel suit. She denies the tabloid's Oct. 22 cover story, which alleged that Raphael was rushed to a psychiatric ward in distress after her show's cancellation. The suit says she merely went off on vacation with her husband, and that she's concerned the Enquirer's story may jeopardize her future employment prospects. read more

SHE CAN GO HOME AGAIN

On Dec. 6, NBC's Today will feature J.Lo singing songs from her new album, This is Me... Then. But instead of performing in Rockefeller Plaza, she'll do the concert at Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx, N.Y., where she danced as a child. Now, how's that for a Bronx cheer? read more

FILLING IN THE BLANKS

Miss an episode of Fox's serial thriller 24? Don't fret, the network is partnering with AOL to provide viewers with a story recap and exclusive clip prior to the show's Tuesday broadcasts. On Mondays and Tuesdays, fans can find updated recaps by going to AOL Keyword: 24. read more

FROM BAD TO WORSE

Singer Bobby Brown has been ordered to stand trial later this month in DeKalb County, Ga., for 1996 charges including DUI. Last week, Whitney Houston's hubby was arrested in Atlanta on drug and speeding charges. read more

MATERIAL HURL

Veteran singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, 59, says that her upcoming double album, Travelogue, will be her last. "I'm quitting after this because the [music] business has made itself so repugnant to me," she tells December's W. Mitchell also had a few choice words for Madonna, saying, "She has knocked the importance of talent out of the arena. She's manufactured. She's made a lot of money and become the biggest star in the world by hiring the right people." Sounds like someone just came from a screening of Swept Away. read more

THE BRITISH ARE COMING!

CBS has inked a multi-year deal with BBC Worldwide to bring its popular Robbie the Reindeer franchise to the network, Variety reports. Two Robbie specials — revoiced by the likes of Ben Stiller, Hugh Grant, Britney Spears and Jim Belushi — will air on Dec. 13 following CBS's annual telecast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. read more

BACHELOR LEAK

Uh oh! BetWWTS.com, an offshore gaming company in Antigua, has been taking wagers on the outcome of ABC's The Bachelor. Will Aaron choose Helene or Brooke? Strangely, a large number of bets were placed by residents of his hometown of Springfield, Mo. — and they all bet on Helene. Since the show is pre-taped — with an outcome already known to some — could Springfielders have obtained inside info? "My parents don't even know the outcome," Aaron told The Associated Press, "let alone my friends." Meanwhile, ABC dismisses talk of an alleged tip-off as mere "urban legend." In related news, The Bachelor was the top-rated reality series last week among young viewers — beating Survivor: Thailand for the first time. read more

EGG HATCHES

It's a boy for Dixie Chicks singer Emily Robison! On Monday, she and hubby Charlie welcomed son Charles Augustus Robison into the world. The new mom and son are healthy and resting at home in San Antonio, Tex. read more

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