Today's News: Our Take


I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!

Former Saturday Night Live funny lady Molly Shannon is in talks to star in the family comedy Good Boy. The film — which will mix live-action and animation — centers around an alien dog who comes to Earth. read more

SPIDEY CENTS

Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire will make a career-high $12 million to play a winning jockey in the upcoming horse racing pic Seabiscuit, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Maguire will also serve as executive producer of the film, which he will shoot this fall before Spider-Man 2. read more

HOW TO MAKE A BIG MESS

Martha Stewart's back in the news, and it's not a good thing. The domestic diva is being sued by one of her stockholders, who claims she breached her duties to her investors by becoming involved in the ImClone Systems insider trading scandal. Conrad K. Hahn seeks unspecified damages. read more

SHORT CUTS

Chuck Norris has signed on to headline his own syndicated action series, to debut in fall 2003... The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will produce 26 episodes of a new Davey and Goliath show... HBO has ordered a second season of the Ben Affleck-Matt Damon reality series Project Greenlight... Oscar winner Susan Sarandon will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. read more

DOLLAR SIGNS

Austin Powers probably had a sixth sense that this was going to happen: Director M. Night Shyamalan's creepy alien thriller Signs topped the box office with $60.3 million — knocking Austin Powers in Goldmember into second. Signs — which stars Mel Gibson as a retired reverend who sees green people — marked the best opening for both Gibson and Shyamalan. In its second weekend of release, Goldmember grossed $32.4 million, for a shagedelic 10-day total of $143 million. Dana Carvey's critically-panned comeback The Master of Disguise debuted in third place with a not-so-disgraceful $13 million, followed by read more

HOME SWEET REFUGE

Ed actor Josh Randall — who was arrested last week on drug charges — has found the perfect place to hide out from the tabs. According to the Los Angeles Times, Randall and his wife, actress Claire Rankin, have become first-time home buyers with the purchase of a two-bedroom house in Los Angeles's tony Hancock Park district for $479,000. read more

OFF AND RERUNNING

The Rerun Show got off to a strong start Thursday night. The NBC sitcom parody series attracted nearly 10 million viewers and built on its Will & Grace lead in. The show moves to Tuesday night this week. read more

Seven Silly Questions for William Shatner

Be afraid. Be very afraid. First, the Sci Fi Channel made a deal with cheese whiz Charles Band to broadcast a whole bunch of his company's creature features, among them Shrunken Heads and Castle Freak. Then, the cable network retained as ringmaster of the B-movie showcase one of the most shameless thespians in history: William Shatner. Now, the prospect of tuning in each week to William Shatner's Full Moon Fright Night (starting Saturday at 11 pm/ET) has given us such a terrific case of the willies that we wonder how we'll ever stop our teeth from chattering long enough to ask the erstwhile Star Trek captain seven silly questions.

TV Guide Online: A lot of people may not realize it, but you are uniqu read more

Halloween Star Lands TV Series


He's just 19, but Ryan Merriman is no Hollywood rookie. Consider this cutie's collection of credits: He has played Michelle Pfeiffer's kidnapped son in The Deep End of the Ocean; the younger version of Michael T. Weiss in The Pretender; and a classic slasher's prey in this summer's Halloween: Resurrection.

Early next year, look for Merriman to star in ABC's new action series, Veritas. "I'm Nikko, the lead," he tells TV Guide Online. "It revolves around the Veritas team, which is my father's archeological organization that goes around the world discovering the truth — which is what 'veritas' means in La read more

Meet the Guy Behind Mrs. Garrett


Chances are, if you tuned in to the premiere episode of NBC's sitcom spoof The Rerun Show last night, it was to see actor-comedian Paul Vogt's hilariously goofy imitation of Mrs. Garrett — the character Charlotte Rae originated on Diff'rent Strokes and then spun off on The Facts of Life. Believe it or not, Rerun marked Vogt's first experience channeling TV's most lovable house mother.

"I had never done Mrs. Garrett before the audition," he tells TV Guide Online. "They gave us a bunch of [scripts] from TV shows and said, 'Go ahead and pick two characters you think you can do well.' And for some reason, Mrs. Garrett struck a note with me."

Vogt — who says prod read more

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