Today's News: Our Take


GOLDEN TICKET

The producer behind Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is developing a two-hour live special for the WB in which contestants will have a shot at winning $1 billion, Variety reports. The Pepsi-sponsored contest — slated to air at the start of the new fall season in September — is being described as a real-life Willy Wonka. read more

Ben Affleck Dons Daredevil Duds


Fetishistic as it sounds, some folks fancy the idea of Ben Affleck in a red leather devil costume. Just think of the fun he and J.Lo could have at home! Officially, though, that's his wardrobe for Daredevil (opening Valentine's Day). In the movie, he resurrects a classic, but largely forgotten, Marvel comic book character who makes up for blindness by enhancing his other senses. Fashion sense included!

Developing Daredevil's spicy getup "was a long, drawn out process," Affleck tells TV Guide Online. "We had 20 or 30 fittings, over and over, and I didn't object to it. I mean, I know that [as] the centerpiece of the movie, we had to get it right. I wore it to the set for the first day, and it was the version that I thought looked the best, and everybody liked it."

Unfortunately, th read more

DADDY DEAREST

Michael Jackson's nose is still out of joint over that frightening (and highly rated) British documentary in which he told Martin Bashir that he sometimes lets children sleep in his bed — and he's not taking the matter lying down. Jacko plans to release a video of Bashir praising Jackson's skills as a parent, which would seemingly contradict statements the journalist made during the 90-minute piece. The extra footage was shot during the making of the documentary. According to a statement released by the singer's camp, "The film shows extraordinary scenes of Martin Bashir praising the way Michael treats children and commenting on how good a father he is." Here's my two cents: Any child that disses Razzie nominee Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones — as little Prince Michael did — can't be all that messed up. Speaking of which. read more

MADONNA CAN SLEEP IN

Academy Award nominations will be announced this morning at 8:30 am/ET live on ABC, and insiders are predicting that Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Hours, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Pianist will be the five films nominated for best picture. Dark horse contenders include Adaptation, Far From Heaven and About Schmidt. read more

ROUND TWO

VH1 has filed a $1.5 million countersuit against odd couple Liza Minnelli and David Gest over their botched reality series. According to court papers posted on Court TV's TheSmokingGun.com, the music channel says Gest engaged in "unprofessional, erratic and deceitful conduct that went so far beyond the acceptable bounds of show business eccentricity as to render the series effectively unproducable." read more

Everwood's New Love Quadrangle


Every week on the WB's Everwood, Ephram Brown (Gregory Smith) mopes over Amy Abbott (Emily VanCamp), whose beloved boyfriend Colin Hart (Mike Erwin) recently awoke from a coma with amnesia. "It's a little soap opera-ish," Smith admits to TV Guide Online, "but the way they deal with the coma stuff is pretty realistic. I have a feeling Colin's gonna get his memory back."

In tonight's "My Funny Valentine" episode (airing 9 pm/ET), something even better happens — Ephram gets a life. He takes Colin's sassy little sis Laynie (Nora Zehetner) on an ice skating date. And, oh yeah, she kisses him, which arouses Amy's jealousy read more

HOW TO OVERCOME BAD REVIEWS...

Moviegoers have thumbed their noses at critics yet again. The poorly reviewed romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days — starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey — debuted at No. 1 over the weekend with $24.1 million. Jackie Chan's latest martial-arts comedy Shanghai Knights opened in second place with $19.8 million, followed by Oscar shoo-in Chicago, which expanded into wide release and jumped to No. 3 with $10.7 million. Last weekend's top film, The Recruit, fell to fourth place with $9.5 million. read more

Millionaire's "Mercenary" Mistress Speaks!

Since Evan Marriott inspires X-rated dreams for many ogling Joe Millionaire viewers, just imagine what a distraction he must prove in the flesh. Hence, we can't really blame this week's castoff, Melissa M., for acting tongue-tied and twisted around him. "With all the stupid things I've said and done," she tells TV Guide Online, "I think of the show as very entertaining." Here, we ring up the 24-year-old customer service rep at work in Minneapolis, Minn., where she relives her bevy of bloopers. Thankfully, she doesn't put us on hold first.

TVGO: The day after you put serious moves on Evan — whispering sweet nothings into his lap, etc. — he dismissed you. Was that rough?
Melissa:
The flirting was awkward. I thought it was really apparent that it was just awkward and not flowing at all. I laughed at that episode because it's funny watching yourself trying to be sexy. I'm just a goofball. When I was bounced or dismissed or wh read more

BY GEORGE, HE'S ANGRY

Wanna tick George Clooney off? Say something bad about Solaris, his recent sci-fi romance that flopped at the box office. At a press conference over the weekend at the Berlin Film Festival, a journalist called Solaris "boring" to Clooney's face. The actor's response? "I find you fascinating," he scowled. "You crack me up, man. You just wanted to get up and be a rat, you know that? You just wanted to get up and say something rotten. What a jerk! I mean honestly, you know, what a [expletive] thing to say!" I guess this would be a bad time to tell him that he made a lousy Batman. read more

SLIM TOUR SCHEDULE

Eminem plans only one U.S. concert this year, on July 12 in his native Detroit. Missy Elliott and 50 Cent will open the show. In related news, two of the rapper's favorite singers, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, will embark on a 45-city tour together beginning June 4. More details are to come. read more

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