Today's News: Our Take


Bernie Mac's delayed third-season premiere Sunday averaged a strong 10.4 million viewers and retained 92 percent of The Simpsons's adults 18-49 lead-in. Meanwhile, Arrested Development — which Fox just greenlit for the full season — is also showing signs of life. With 6.7 million viewers, the sublime farce was up over last week and retained 82 percent of Malcolm in the Middle's audience. read more


Another vocal critic of Walt Disney chairman Michael Eisner has resigned from the Mouse House's board of directors. Just a day after news broke that Roy O. Disney was leaving the company, Stanley Gold has announced that he too is vacating his seat on the board. Both men plan to use their status as ex-board members to pressure investors and the public to oust Eisner. read more


Comedy Central is no longer with Gary Busey. The cable net has axed the thesp's reality show I'm With Busey after one poorly rated season. read more


RCA has reportedly dropped American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini from its ranks due to the abysmal sales of his self-titled debut album. The news comes just a week after Guarini was conspicuously absent from Fox's American Idol Christmas special, which, ironically enough, proved to be a wise career move. read more


It looks like CBS wants to milk its M*A*S*H cow a little more. According to Variety, the network is mulling a behind-the-scenes M*A*S*H movie titled M*A*S*Hback. The project would cast new actors in the classic roles and tell the story from Larry Gelbart's pilot script to the death of McLean Stevenson's character, Lt. Col. Henry Blake. That M*A*S*H theme song always makes me weepy. Just thought I'd share. read more


Luke Perry will channel his inner Billy Crystal in the London stage adaptation of When Harry Met Sally, which opens Feb. 20 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Producers are still looking for an actress to play Meg Ryan's Sally role. read more


Organizers of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival have announced this year's lineup, and it includes 45 movies that no one has ever heard of. The 11-day fest kicks off Jan. 15 in Park City, Utah. read more


Ewan McGregor will voice the title character in Valiant, an upcoming computer-animated feature from Disney about a wood pigeon who gets a job with Great Britain's Royal Air Force Homing Pigeon Service during World War II. read more


Prolific TV director Earl Bellamy, who helmed such shows as The Lone Ranger, CHiPs, The Munsters, Eight Is Enough and My Three Sons, died of a heart attack Sunday in New Mexico. He was 86. read more


This is how it's done at the People's Choice Awards: Nominations for TV's annual popularity contest are out and Fox's The O.C. will face off against CBS's Cold Case and Joan of Arcadia for Favorite New Dramatic Series. The finalists for Favorite New Comedy Series, meanwhile, are Hope & Faith, Two and a Half Men and Whoopi. Elsewhere, it was business as usual, with Kelsey Grammer, Ray Romano and Martin Sheen vying for Favorite Male TV Performer and Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing and Oprah Winfrey up for Favorite Female TV Performer. The only real surprise came in the Favorite Reality-Based Program category, in which nods went to Fear Factor, Survivor and The Bachelor — but not American Idol. (I blame Paula.) The ceremony, airing Jan. 11 on CBS, will be hosted by Two And A Half Men co-stars Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer. read more

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