Today's News: Our Take


TOO CLOSE TO HOME?

Carolyn Condit, wife of embattled Rep. Gary Condit, is threatening to sue NBC over an episode of Law & Order that featured a Chandra Levy-esque plot. Mrs. Condit — who says the Feb. 6 installment implies that she killed Levy — is demanding a public apology. However, it doesn't look like she's going to get one. Responds an NBC rep: "The show is fictional." read more

WHO'S STILL WATCHING?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus's new NBC comedy Watching Ellie may have had a strong debut last week, but ratings for the second episode on Tuesday dropped by 28 percent. Still, Ellie managed to win its time period among adults 18-49. read more

FEAR SEARCH

Calling all B-list celebs: Fear Factor is planning a third edition of star-studded shenanigans — and they're desperate! "We are actively soliciting new celebrities right now," Matt Kunitz tells TV Guide Online. "We're going to have a big full-page ad that's coming out in Variety on March 11, where we're challenging managers and agents who think that their clients have what it takes." FF's second celeb edition airs Monday. Later this month, the show heads to the beach for a live stage version on MTV's Spring Break. read more

SHORT CUTS

Fox is developing a new Muppet series featuring mainstays Kermit and Miss Piggy as well some fresh faces... A.I. hottie Jude Law and wife Sadie Frost are expecting their third child in August... New Line Cinema just signed a deal for a less-bloody remake of the 1974 film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre... E! Entertainment Television has licensed the entire library of Saturday Night Live from NBC and will begin airing classic episodes weeknights at 7 pm/ET starting April 1. — Angel Cohn with Daniel R. Coleridge and Lauren Kane read more

ALANIS LEADS THE PACK

Alanis Morissette's new Under Rug Swept album debuted at No. 1 with 215,000 copies sold last week. Grammys have also translated into dollars for a few lucky trophy winners: The bluegrassy O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack leapt to No. 2 with sales over 200,000. Plus, Aussie Kylie Minogue's Fever sold like hotcakes at No. 3, and "Fallin'" diva Alicia Keys saw her Songs in A Minor rise to No. 4. read more

LUMP SUM

A federal judge has awarded ex-Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith $88 million dollars in her legal battle against the son of her late, 90-year-old hubby, J. Howard Marshall, over his estate. "This is a complete victory for my client," Smith's attorney Philip Boesch said. "This shows me that even if you have an army of lawyers and unlimited funds you don't always win." read more

BATTLE FOR THE NETWORK STAR

While Ted Koppel is still stewing over David Letterman's possible move to ABC, CBS has reportedly offered the late-night host $31.5 million a year to stay put. The figure is half-a-million more than the Alphabet network was offering. Stay tuned... read more

HEIGH-HO, SILVER!

The makers of Gladiator have struck a deal with Columbia Pictures to produce The Lone Ranger, Variety reports. Think 1998's The Mask of Zorro, but with cowboys and Indians in the Old West. Word is, Tonto — the hero's Indian scout sidekick — may even be reimagined as a fetching female! (Hmm... perhaps The Time Machine beauty Samantha Mumba would consider donning another loincloth?) read more

THE CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG

Former SNL star Mike Myers is getting in touch with his feline side by signing on to play the title character in the live-action version of Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat, according to Variety. The flick reunites the Austin Powers star with Universal-based producer Imagine Entertainment — the same company that recently settled a lawsuit with Myers over the collapse of his film Dieter. read more

Oscar Dreams of Monsters


This month, Monsters, Inc. vies for an Oscar in a brand new category — best animated feature. No one's more thrilled by that than John Lasseter, head of the creative department at Pixar, the company that made Toy Story and A Bug's Life.

"I'm very excited that we have our own category," Lasseter tells TV Guide Online. "With animated features in the past, [the best] you have been able to hope for was nominations in maybe the music category, for song and score."

Sully and Mike will face tough competition on Oscar night, when they go up against Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Shrek. Lasseter looks forward to it. "I'm very proud of the fact that all of the nominees read more

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