Today's News: Our Take


KUDOS FOR THE SOUL

Showtime's Soul Food led the TV drama category when nominations for the 35th NAACP Image Awards were announced Wednesday. Three of Soul's seven nods were for outstanding actress in a drama series: Nicole Ari Parker, Malinda Williams and Vanessa Williams. The Bernie Mac Show, meanwhile, led the comedy series nods with three. In the best film category, the nominees were Bad Boys II, The Fighting Temptations, Deliver Us From Eva, Bend It Like Beckham and Whale Rider. In music, Outkast led with six nods, while that "Crazy In Love" Beyoncé scored four. read more

My Wife and Kids Bill Cosby, call...

My Wife and Kids
Bill Cosby, call your lawyer. I swear, this show is totally stealing plots from the Huxtable vaults, this time with Junior moving out to prove his independence. But instead of Rudy dressed like Theo's elderly landlord, we've got Damon Wayans Jr. dressed as the kid's lease-signing granny. And instead of laughing, we made out with our chihuahua, Pepito. At least I did.

Ed
Really, Carol. Bangs? There's a lot I can take, but that look only works in Whitesnake videos and small-town checkout lines. And though I adore the idea of Ed and his gal eloping, the writers are damn lucky they're giving us a wedding. Three years we've waited for these two to seal the deal, OK? Don't mess with us. There's a little thing called American Idol coming up very soon and you don't want to be making enemies now, ya hear?

The Simple Life
So, Nicole Richie can't hold her booze or bl read more

LIFE SENTENCE

The residents of Altus, Ark., better batten down the hatches. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are headed back to town for The Simple Life Reunion, airing Jan. 13 on Fox — one night before the show's season finale. Leeza Gibbons will preside over the Town Hall Meeting-style special, in which Paris and Nicole will take questions from an audience of 300 locals. Afterwards, they'll present lil' Chopper with a lucrative modeling contract. At least they better. read more

THE SAGA CONTINUES...

Arrested Development scene stealer Liza Minnelli appeared Wednesday in a New York divorce court, but her estranged hubby, David Gest, was a no-show. Minnelli's lawyer accused Gest of hiding out in Hawaii to avoid a pretrial examination. Gest's attorney said his client was still in too much pain from Minnelli's repeated beatings to attend. Gest is suing Minnelli for $10 million, claiming she smacked him around during their brief marriage. She's countersuing him for $2 million, alleging he stole money from her. read more

SAD ENDING

Although originally attributed to mere heart failure, the November death of Righteous Brothers singer Bobby Hatfield was actually caused by acute cocaine intoxication. According to Michigan's Kalamazoo Gazette newspaper, Kalamazoo's chief medical examiner received this information on Dec. 24, but kept it quiet until after the holidays, out of respect to Hatfield's family. "This is a shock to me," said Hatfield's Righteous partner Bill Medley. "I never saw him [use cocaine]. I knew absolutely nothing about it. If I had known, I would have said something to him." read more

Meet The O.C.'s New VIP


So far, O.C. newbie Oliver seems like a sweetheart, doesn't he? The kind of ex-druggie you wanna just hug. The sort of mental patient you could bring home to Mom, even if Mom is piranha Julie Cooper. But, according to the poor little rich kid's portrayer, Taylor Handley, there may be something a wee bit sour behind his screen counterpart's sweet smile. "Oliver is very intelligent," the 19-year-old tells TV Guide Online (as if we aren't glued to Fox every Wednesday at 9 pm/ET), "and intelligent people are good manipulators."

In other words, our hero Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie) won't want to turn his back when main squeeze Marissa (Mischa Barton) is around Mr. Nice Guy. Says Handley: "There's definitely some tension between Ryan and Oliver since Marissa now has a boyfriend and also a friend — especially because my character is very needy due to his past. It kind of takes Marissa's attention away from Ryan."

The sullen sexpot might as w read more

Mail Call Host Sounds Off!

No one gets in Hollywood's face like R. Lee Ermey. The former drill instructor and 11-year Marine Corps vet has made a nice second career for himself as the go-to actor to fill hard-edged military-man roles, including a much-lauded turn in Full Metal Jacket. For the past three seasons, he's been happily barking answers to viewer questions on Mail Call, the History Channel's combat technology show-and-tell series. "I get to drive tanks," Ermey says of the show that starts its fourth tour of duty on Jan. 11 (10 pm/ET). "I get to blow things up and shoot weapons." Fortunately, the only thing he's shooting today is the breeze with TV Guide.

TV Guide Online: What's the coolest thing you've blown up on Mail Call?
R. Lee Ermey:
Some old ammunition over in Iraq. We worked with the explosive boys, and they had a dummy in a flight suit in the bottom of a pit. Its head was a watermelon. They cut Saddam Hussein's face out of a picture, pasted it read more

STORK REPORT

Actress Kate Hudson and her rocker hubby Chris Robinson are the proud parents of a baby boy. Ryder Russell Robinson was born today in Los Angeles. This is the couple's first child. read more

DIRECTOR KUDOS

The Directors Guild of America announced the nominees for its 56th annual DGA Awards, and the finalists for outstanding directorial achievement in a film are Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Clint Eastwood (Mystic River), Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) and Peter Weir (Master and Commander). Glaring omissions include Anthony Minghella, snubbed for his Cold Mountain work. The winner w read more

FROG LEAPS

Another day, another high-profile resignation at a broadcast network. The WB's Jed Patrick confirmed Tuesday that he will exit his post as the network's president and chief operating officer. The news follows Monday's announcement that Sandy Grushow will step down as chairman of Fox. What does all this mean to the average viewer? Not a damn thing. read more

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