Today's News: Our Take


Cody Banks Returns Mummy to Multiplex


Arnold Vosloo has high hopes for the spy-kid comedy Agent Cody Banks (hitting theaters March 21), in which he plays a Mohawked villain opposite Malcolm in the Middle's Frankie Muniz and Hilary Duff (Lizzie McGuire). But the down-to-earth South African actor — best known to Stateside audiences as the title monster in The Mummy and its sequel — has no delusions of Oscar.

"It's not aspiring to be The Hours or Gangs of New York," he says. "It's the kind of movie where you get a big ol' vat read more

PETER PAN WOULD NEVER DO THIS...

Michael Jackson may want to sleep in today. An upcoming Vanity Fair exposé on the singer-turned-baby dangler reveals that he wears a prosthetic nose, is $240 million in debt and once paid $150,000 for a "voodoo curse" to kill Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and 23 other people on the entertainer's list of enemies. (Note to Martin Bashir: Be very afraid.) Among the article's other bombshells: Jackson bleaches his skin white (shocker!) and sometimes refers to black people as "spabooks." I have no idea what that means, but it sounds bad. read more

CANCER FIGHT

Pop star Anastacia is scheduled to undergo six weeks of radiation therapy after having surgery to remove cancer from her breast last month. The 30-year-old singer's cancer was detected during a routine checkup in January. read more

MORE TV MATCHMAKING

NBC is developing new prime-time versions of The Newlywed Game and The Dating Game to debut next fall. According to Variety, the network has ordered eight half-hour episodes of both shows. read more

SHORT CUTS

Carl Reiner is pitching Comedy Central a Dick Van Dyke Show reunion that would feature the show's original cast, USA Today reports... Jerry Seinfeld's a dad again. His wife Jessica gave birth a baby boy, Julian Kal, on Saturday. The couple also have a 2-year-old daughter, Sascha... Magnificent Seven actor Horst Buchholz, who was known as Germany's James Dean, died Monday of pneumonia in Berlin. He was 69. read more

HE'S BACK!

Brian Dunkleman has found work! The humane folks at Live With Regis and Kelly have hired the former American Idol reject to serve as a judge during its upcoming co-host talent search. The contest — which is intended to pass the time during Kelly Ripa's maternity leave — will culminate with the winner working as Regis Philbin's sidekick on the April 16 show. The victor also gets a $10,000 contract with Buena Vista Television to work on possible TV projects. Somewhere, Dunkleman is thinking, "Can I apply?" read more

WILL IT FIZZLE?

If you thought guest co-host Snoop Dogg upstaged Jimmy Kimmel on the comic's self-titled ABC talk show earlier this year, you're not alone. MTV has tapped the rapper to star in a parody-variety show titled Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, debuting June 22. The music network has also recruited Ashton Kutcher to headline Punk'd, a comedy show in which the actor plays practical jokes on his celeb friends — which basically includes Brittany Murphy and the cast of That '70s Show. Finally, MTV has announced that the third season of The Osbournes will kick off June 10. I can't wait. On second thought, I can. read more

SIMON SAYS... YOU'RE BUSTED!

Now, we know why American Idol really disqualified semifinalist Jaered Andrews in January. Although Fox refused to explain its decision, we're guessing he got the Frenchie treatment for unseemly behavior. According to Court TV's TheSmokingGun.com, Andrews allegedly assaulted an Ohio man last November in a bar fight. (Ironically, he was out celebrating his Idol selection with pals.) After he punched 39-year-old Thomas Blakeley in the face, the man struck his head on pavement and later died. The Idol contestant — who turned himself in last Friday and is currently free on a $5,000 bail bond — has a court hearing on March 7 to face a misdemeanor assault charge. read more

MARKET UPDATE

Jack Black has signed with HBO to exec produce Black Market Music, a half-hour comedy about a pair of twentysomethings running a Hollywood record shop. Undeclared scribe-thesps Seth Rogen and Jason Segel will write, co-star and produce the pilot, Variety reports. read more

Question: Settle an argument ...

Question: Settle an argument for me, please. Wasn't Bonnie Franklin on One Day at a Time TV's first main character to be a divorc&#233e? I say yes and my sister says no. (And both of us are divorced, but don't cry for us since we're both much better off.) — Gail Z., Pelham, N.Y.

Televisionary: Well, Franklin's Ann Romano, who raised two daughters (Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli) on the CBS series from December 1975 to September 1984, was TV's first successful divorced mail lady, Gail. But technically the first was Lee Grant's swinging divorc&#233e, Fay St read more

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