Today's News: Our Take


Sci Fi Star: "My Child's an Alien!"


When a father swears he would slay dragons in order to protect his daughter, it's usually nothing more than a figure of speech. But should the need arise, Reno Wilson probably is better prepared to defend his castle (not to mention his princess, Deni) than your average dad, thanks to his role as tabloid photographer/ghostbuster Wes Freeland on the Sci Fi Channel series The Chronicle (airing Friday nights at 9 pm/ET).

"He's seen a lot more than I have," the actor tells TV Guide Online, "although I think we might be just about even now, 'cause I don't think anything can be wilder than witnessing the birth of your own child."

In fact, the proud pop compares the October birth to a close encounter of the most unbelievable kind. "Deni looked like a little alien when she came out," he shares with a laugh, adding that wife Coco took on a few otherworldly qualities in the delivery ro read more

Madeleine Stowe: Impostor Bride


Talk about attention-grabbing! As a married couple in Impostor, Madeleine Stowe and Gary Sinise forget foreplay and cut right to the passion, making steamy love in the sci-fi thriller's opening credits. Says Stowe: "We wanted to show that the two of us are not only married, we're very deeply in love." And how! While Stowe doesn't get much screen time, her role is crucial to Impostor's surprise ending, which she admits "was a total shock. I was reading the script and I didn't see it coming."

What she also didn't see coming was the struggle she'd face while shooting A&#38E's upcoming The Magnificent Ambersons. Feisty director Alfonso Arau (read more

Oz Jailbird Sings


As prison inmate Tobias Beecher on HBO's Oz, actor Lee Tergesen has made many viewers think twice before drinking and driving. On the jailhouse drama — whose fifth season kicks off Sunday at 10 pm/ET — yuppie lawyer Beecher is serving 15 years for killing a little girl while driving drunk. And talk about serving hard time: He's been addicted to drugs, sodomized by a neo-Nazi, had his buttocks branded with a swastika, bitten off one attacker's penis and defecated on the face of another!

"Playing Beecher can definitely be a bit of a mental challenge," Tergesen tells TV Guide Online. "I always experience sort of a hangover at the end of each season, and it can take a few weeks to get reacquainted with normal life."

What hell awaits Beecher this season? Though Tergesen won't rat out Oz's writers, he does reveal that read more

Queer Execs to Critics: Folk Off!


When Showtime's Queer as Folk launches its second season Sunday night (10 pm/ET), fans of the same-sex soap opera can rest assured that the randy regulars will continue to go above and beyond... and below the belt. In fact, executive producers Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman hint at carnal delights so scandalous, they may make Melrose Place look like Walton's Mountain. QAF will be as "outrageous and controversial and politically incorrect" as ever, they promise. Adds Lipman: "We felt very strongly that when a show is successful and people really like it, [it shouldn't be screwed around with]." Ah, but while the series inarguably is a ratings smash — it's the cable network's most popular program — not every critic is convinced that it doesn't engage in its own form of backhanded gay-bashing. How do the partners respond to such a suggestion read more

MORE FILM KUDOS

Twisted tales clearly impress the Online Film Critics Society, which named both Memento and David Lynch's Mulholland Drive as best movie of 2001. Dubbed best director by the Web pundits, Lynch also tied with The Others scribe Alejandro Amenabar for best original screenplay. Other notable winners from off-kilter flicks included best actor Billy Bob Thornton (The Man Who Wasn't There), best supporting actor Steve Buscemi (Ghost World) and best supporting actress read more

Cate Blanchett's Big Secret


Cate Blanchett, who recently gave birth to a son, Dashiell John, might have avoided the daunting physical challenges she faced in Charlotte Gray if she had confessed during filming that she was preggers. But Blanchett soldiered on, playing a Scottish woman who goes behind enemy lines to join the French Resistance in World War II.

"I didn't tell anyone at first, not even Gillian Armstrong, the director," she reveals to TV Guide Online. "It wasn't their fault, and I wanted to do my job. But it was bloody cold, the worst winter in Britain in years, and the first week we had to go through this really nasty military obstacle course."

At least Blanchett — whose performance in Bandits earned her a 2002 read more

Russell Crowe Defends His Rep


Oscar champ Russell Crowe confesses that playing real-life Nobel Prize-winning scientist John Nash in A Beautiful Mind was a bigger challenge than he anticipated. At least when he portrayed tobacco industry whistle blower Jeffrey Wigand in 1999's The Insider he had something to model his performance after. "I spent hours watching tapes of Wigand," he tells TV Guide Online, "but there was not a single piece of film — not even an audio tape — of Nash as a young man."

So, how did Crowe get inside the head of the schizophrenic Princeton mathematician? Well, he let his nails grow, natch. "I have little sausage stumps of fingers, but I'd noticed in a photo that Nash had these graceful hands with tapered fingers," he says. "I decided having longer fingernails would sort of help that image. In fact, the day read more

New Folk Fracas


When Showtime's addictive gay soap Queer as Folk kicks off its second season Sunday (10 pm/ET), don't expect a resolution to what has become one of the show's most disorienting plot inconsistencies: How could Hal Sparks's Michael character have been reared by such a liberal, pro-gay mother (Sharon Gless), and yet still remain closeted at work? Turns out, it's a question Queer producers apparently asked themselves, as an episode from last season was to have featured the thirtysomething department-store manager coming out to his colleagues. But a funny thing happened on Michael's way to full disclosure — his portrayer slammed the closet door shut.

"I refused to do it," Sparks tells TV Guide Online. "I didn't think seeing all seven of us on a pride march every week woul read more

SHORT CUTS

Members of 'N Sync will make a cameo appearance in Star Wars: Episode II &#150 Attack of the Clones... Tough-talking movie producer Julia Phillips — who became the first woman to win an Oscar for best picture (The Sting) — died Monday of cancer. She was 57. — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge and Lauren Kane read more

IN THE ZONE

USA Network has given a 22-episode order to The Dead Zone, a drama series based on Stephen King's novel that will star Anthony Michael Hall, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show was originally developed for UPN. read more

My Watchlist

On TV

Editors' Picks

10:00PM | CBS
10:01PM | ABC
8:00PM | FOX

Full Episodes

Find a TV Show

See more »

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular