Today's News: Our Take


DR. LEWIS LOVES NY

Looks like überproducer John Wells has cooked up one of those "crossover events" for his NBC dramas ER and Third Watch. On ER's April 25 episode, a family emergency will summon Dr. Lewis (Sherry Stringfield) to New York, where she works with Third Watch paramedics Molly Price, Jason Wiles, Kim Raver and Amy Carlson. Lewis's storyline concludes on Watch's April 29 episode. read more

HE'S SUCH A BALDWIN!

Alec Baldwin will play a love interest for Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) on an upcoming Friends, TV Guide Online has learned. The episode is tentatively slated to air March 28. read more

Buffy Alum Soldiers On


This is a big week in the career of actor Marc Blucas. Tonight, after a year-long absence, he reprises his role as Buffy Summers's wholesome ex-beau Riley Finn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (8 pm/ET on UPN). And come Friday, he can be seen on the big screen opposite Mel Gibson in the brutal Vietnam drama We Were Soldiers.

"[The back-to-back gigs are] nice for me and my family," Blucas admits to TV Guide Online, "but the verdict's still out on whether anyone else thinks it's nice or not."

Well, as far as his small-screen comeback is concerned, the modest 6'2" hottie need not worry about receiving a warm reception: Buffy fans have been drooling for Riley's return ever sinc read more

SHORT CUTS

Robert Downey Jr. is poised to star in The Singing Detective, a big-screen remake of the famed BBC series, Variety reports. Mel Gibson's Icon Productions will produce the pic... Rapper Coolio will guest star on the March 14 episode of Charmed... ABC's new Sally Field drama, The Court, will premiere March 26... The remaining nine episodes of CBS's axed spooker Wolf Lake may find a home on sister network UPN. A deal is in the works... Skeet Ulrich (Scream) has been tapped as the lead in ABC read more

SMART MONEY

William Shatner is reprising his role as spokesperson for Priceline.com. However, the Star Trek vet won't be belting out tunes such as "Free Bird" and "Age of Aquarius." Instead, he'll be paired with the company's supercomputer, which locates travel bargains. read more

FOUR MORE YEARS

NBC now confirms that Late Night host Conan O'Brien's show will remain at the Peacock for four more years, through December 2005. "By my thirteenth year," O'Brien quips, "we should really know if this thing works or not." read more

RUFFLED FEATHERS

West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin says the news media has gone too far in its glorification of President Bush, and even accuses his own network, NBC, of being one of the prime offenders. Sorkin cites the Peacock's recent Tom Brokaw-hosted special, The Bush White House: Inside the Real West Wing, as an example. "The White House pumped up the president's schedule to show him being much busier and more engaged than he is and Tom Brokaw let it happen," Sorkin told The New Yorker. "The show was a Valentine to Bush... The media is waving pom-poms and the entire public is being polite." read more

GUYS AND GIRLS

Matthew McConaughey is in talks to star opposite Kate Hudson in the romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Danny DeVito will direct the pic, which finds McConaughey playing a womanizer who bets his cronies that he can stay in a relationship for more than 10 days. read more

ON THE MEND

Pierce Brosnan is expected back on the set of the latest James Bond flick in London this week after undergoing knee surgery Friday in Los Angeles. Last week, Brosnan (aka 007) injured himself while filming an action water sequence. read more

IT'S THE ICE SKATING, STUPID

NBC estimates that its Winter Olympics coverage attracted 187 million unique viewers, making the Salt Lake games the second most-viewed Winter Olympics ever. The Peacock is expected to rake in $90 million in profit from the two-week advertising bonanza. read more

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