Today's News: Our Take


MURPHY LANDS SPY JOB

Eddie Murphy is in talks to reteam with Dr. Dolittle director Betty Thomas in the comedy I Spy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project is loosely based on the NBC series that aired from 1965-68. read more

GROSSE CASTING COUPS

Darren Star is calling on his friends to help his struggling WB satire Grosse Pointe. Kristin Davis, who appears on Star's saucy HBO series Sex and the City, will play herself in an episode scheduled to air during February sweeps. Additionally, the New York Daily News reports that Jason Priestley, who played Brandon on the Star-created Beverly Hills, 90210, will direct and star in a Grosse Pointe episode, also set to air in February. read more

DAVID SPADE ATTACKED

David Spade was assaulted in his home by his personal assistant during an apparent robbery attempt on Wednesday, The Associated Press reports. David Malloy attacked the 36-year-old Just Shoot Me star with a stun gun, but fled the scene by the time police arrived. He was later arrested on suspicion of burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and assault with a stun gun. Bail was set at $50,000. Spade suffered only minor injuries and was treated at the scene. read more

BOYS FAIL TO BREAK RECORD

'N Sync, stop your smirking! As hinted here Tuesday, the Backstreet Boys's fourth album, Black & Blue, sold 1.6 million copies during its first week of release — far shy of the record 2.4 million units 'N Sync's No Strings Attached moved during its first week out in March. Still, Black & Blue easily took the No. 1 spot on the album chart and fared better than the group's last effort, Millennium, which sold 1.13 million copies in its debut week in 1999. Latin sensation Ricky Martin had a harder time looking on the bright side as his Sound Loaded slipped from No. 4 to No. 10 in its second week of release. Well, he could always go back to General Hospital. read more

WB HOLDS INSTANT WEDDING

The WB is developing an instant wedding game show special that could turn into a regular series, Variety reports. The project is based on Dutch producer Endemol's long-running series Love Letters, which features three couples competing against one another for a shot at an instant dream wedding and honeymoon. The special likely will air around Valentine's Day. read more

LINE GUY HITS IT BIG

Whose Line Is It Anyway? funnyman Jeff Davis has been cast in what is being described as "a partially scripted pilot for NBC that pokes fun at the entertainment industry," The Hollywood Reporter says. What's more, Davis also is committed to the network's upcoming sketch comedy series Downer Channel, produced by Steve Martin. — Michael Ausiello read more

WE LOVE TO SEE YOU SMILE

McDonald's notoriously slow drive-thru lane has claimed a victim. Rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard — who has been on the run from police since his Oct. 17 escape from a Pasadena, California, drug-rehabilitation center — was taken back into custody Monday night while placing an order at a Philadelphia McDonald's drive-thru. Last week, the 31-year-old fugitive made a surprise appearance at a Wu-Tang Clan concert in New York. read more

Sibling Rivalry Overtakes Malcolm Set


Christopher Masterson, who plays smooth-talking delinquent Francis on Malcolm in the Middle, tells TV Guide Online that there are two major hazards working on the set of the hit Fox comedy: falling objects, and practical jokes concocted by his TV bro Erik Per Sullivan (Dewey).

"He seems like this sweet little kid, but he's thinking these demonic thoughts," Masterson jokes of Sullivan, who gained fame as the terminally ill Fuzzy in The Cider House Rules. "He'll pull some kind of prank on you within 10 minutes of your arrival."

The little terror has been known to slip a cupcake onto Masterson's seat just as he is about to sit down, or toss random objects out onto the set after the director yells 'Action!' "He also plays little mind games with you," adds Masterson, who previously had a recurring role on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. "He'll ask you questions and then confuse you so much that you ca read more

Casey Kasem, Where Are You?


He's been the voice of Shaggy on Scooby Doo, Where Are You? for 23 years, but Casey Kasem isn't expecting to land a part in the upcoming live-action movie version of the popular cartoon series.

"I'd love to have a role, but I doubt it," the veteran radio host and voiceover actor tells TV Guide Online. "Instead of using the voice actors, they'll probably just have the actors do it the way they would do it."

Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar are said to be in talks to play young sleuths Fred and Daphne in the big-screen Scooby. Meanwhile, Matthew Lillard, the killer in the first Scream, has been linked to the role of Shaggy, their happy-go-lucky hippie bud.

Regardless of who lands the plum part, Kasem says he's happy for Scooby's long-running success. "I think it's bigger today than it's ever been," says Kasem, who has provided voices for cartoon characters ranging from Peter Cottontail to Robin the Boy read more

Bassett Sounds Off!


Angela Bassett admits she didn't always look forward to being on the set of Boesman and Lena, the wrenching drama about a South African couple torn apart by apartheid.

"Every day I'd be like, 'Wooo, I have to go there again? It's going to be a tough day emotionally,'" Bassett tells TV Guide Online of the film, currently in limited release. "The thing that saved me is that I really love [co-star] Danny Glover, so I felt safe during those hurtful scenes in which we really go at each other."

Bassett — who is being touted as a major Oscar contender for her Boesman and Lena role — not only had to face up to constant verbal and even physical confrontations with Glover, she also had to contend with the harsh locations. "There was only one way to cope: On weekends you just go and get pampered physically and have them suck the dirt out of you," she explains. "I'd go for a nice massage or a facial, but I'd know that the next day I was going to ha read more

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