Today's News: Our Take


FIGHTING SPIRIT

Perhaps buoyed by the surprise success of Snow Dogs, Cuba Gooding Jr. is eyeing another big-screen comedy. According to Variety, Gooding is in talks to star in Fighting Temptations, the story of an urban hip-hop artist who returns to his Southern hometown and is forced to start a gospel choir. In related news, Disney is already planning a Snow Dogs sequel. (For the love of God — not to mention Oscar winners everywhere — don't do it Cuba!) — Michael Ausiello read more

PLAIN JANE

CBS's Early Show host Jane Clayson will be working even harder for a living, according to the New York Daily News. Starting next Monday, the morning series will present a weeklong segment entitled "Jane on the Job," which will follow Clayson as she takes on some "regular" occupations, such as waitress and shoe salesperson. read more

THE WHOLE WORLD SINGS

The whole world is singing the praises of Barry Manilow as he has earned a spot in the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, reports The Associated Press. Manilow, who is known for hits like "Mandy," "Copacabana" and "I Write the Songs," will be inducted on June 13 with Sting, Michael Jackson, Randy Newman and Ashford & Simpson. read more

RESTING IN PEACE

The mystery surrounding where singer George Harrison spent his final days has finally been settled, reports Reuters. Los Angeles officials revealed yesterday that the former Beatle died in a Hollywood Hills mansion leased by bandmate Paul McCartney. The location of Harrison's death last fall was concealed by his family, who misled authorities in an attempt to dissuade obtrusive fans. read more

END QUOTE

"I never take an award for granted, but this is particularly sweet as it was the most challenging job of my career." — Sir Ian McKellen, on his Oscar nomination for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, to the New York Post. For complete Oscar coverage, click here. — Angel Cohn with Daniel R. Coleridge read more

JANET IN HER GLORY

Looks like Kevin Williamson's struggling suspense series Glory Days is about to get a ratings boost. The show's Feb. 20 episode — airing 9 pm/ET on the WB — will feature a two-minute encore rendition of Janet Jackson's single "All for You" from her Hawaiian concert, which airs Feb. 17 on HBO. read more

GOLDEN TICKET

Judging by the first three nights of ratings, NBC may win a gold medal for their coverage of the Olympics. Through Sunday, an average of 35.1 million viewers tuned in to see the events in Utah, up 23 percent from the first three nights of the Games in Nagano, Japan. The boost helped NBC easily beat out their competition. That, combined with their recently announced Friends renewal, has the Peacock network sitting pretty on top of the podium. read more

HAIL TO THE CHIEF?

According to the New York Post, Peter Fonda may be the next President of the United States — well, at least on TV. In a potential new Washington insider drama created for ABC by Contender scribe Rod Lurie, Fonda has been cast as the commander in chief. read more

Beautiful Mind's Oscar Gaffe!


Jennifer Connelly learned a valuable lesson Tuesday about how not to behave while watching the announcement of the Oscar nominations. Connelly and the rest of the twittering Beautiful bunch — in Germany promoting the film at the Berlin Film Festival — were huddled in front of a TV when the unthinkable occurred.

"Two minutes before it came on, I had the bright idea to raise the volume and wound up inadvertently turning the TV off," Connelly explained to Today host Matt Lauer. "We [turned] it back on and it was on the wrong channel. Then we're sort of scrambling around trying to figure out which channel was CNN, and we got something in German."

The gang eventually got control of the remote just in time to learn of their eight nom read more

Nicole Kidman: Oscar Can-Candidate


Unlike the cast of A Beautiful Mind, Nicole Kidman did not take a work break to watch the announcement of the Oscar nominations on Tuesday. The actress — in Sweden filming Lars Von Trier's historical drama Dogville — learned of her first-ever Academy Award nomination for Moulin Rouge from a member of the film's crew.

"[He] held up a little sign behind the camera right after we'd finished a really intense scene," recalls the two-time Golden Globe winner, adding, "I am just so, so thrilled!"

Oscar pundits expressed surprise that Kidman's lead actress nomination came for her fancy footwork in Moulin Rouge and not her haunting, memorable performance in the creepy gho read more

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