Today's News: Our Take


MELINA'S BIG FAT GREEK DELIVERY

Former Providence beauty Melina Kanakaredes gave birth to a daughter, Karina Eleni, on Saturday, People reports. This is the second child for Kanakaredes and hubby Peter Constantinides. read more

YOU'VE GOT TROUBLE

Ted Turner is stepping down as vice chairman of troubled AOL Time Warner Inc., it was announced Wednesday. The news came the same day the media conglomerate reported a record $99 billion loss for 2002. read more

The Battle Over Galactica Update


Now this is boldly going. Not only is the Sci Fi Channel mounting a lavish remake of Battlestar Galactica, but the cable network is trying to do so without the aura of doom and gloom that hung over ABC's 1978-80 series like a dark cloud. "We're going for a very stylistic, non-apocalyptic look," Sci Fi prez Bonnie Hammer tells TV Guide Online. "It isn't going to be that kind of grey battleship again, and it isn't going to be Star Trek-y, either."

For that matter, neither is the update going to spotlight leading men who are quite as long in the tooth as the original's Lorne Greene. Rather, says Hammer, Sci Fi's Battlestar will be "much more human and a bit younger. It's going to have a different kind of style and sensibility." In other words, the show will set its phasers on "fun" and try to cast the next read more

MOTHER'S NIGHTMARE

Model Christie Brinkley says she's worried for the safety of her daughter Alexa Ray, 17, following Billy Joel's weekend car crash. Alexa's pop plowed his Mercedes-Benz into a tree Saturday night while driving alone in Sag Harbor, N.Y. "The seat Alexa was sitting in only hours before this latest crash was completely destroyed," Brinkley said after she snapped photos of the wreckage. There's speculation that Brinkley will ask a court to stop Joel from driving with Alexa present. read more

OH, MWAH!

In other Joe Millionaire news, the reality hit continues to be money in the bank for Fox. Monday night's episode — which introduced the word "mwah" into the vernacular — attracted more than 20 million viewers and delivered Fox its largest audience ever in Monday's 9 pm slot. In case you missed it, Evan gave 25-year-old loan officer Melissa Jo ("MoJo") the boot, leaving just three gold-diggers — Sarah, Melissa M. and Zora — to vie for his affections. read more

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Rocks On!


How did Seinfeld alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus react upon hearing that Elaine's infamous kick-dance managed to two-step its way onto TV Guide and VH1's recent list of the 100 Music Moments that Rocked TV? "It's extraordinary," she tells TV Guide Online. "It's a little bit humiliating, but it's extraordinary."

The funky slide — which Elaine debuted to Jerry and Co. during a classic 1996 episode — ranked No. 54 on the TV Guide-VH1 list. As Louis-Dreyfus recalls, a lot of hard work went into creating the indelible routine. Well, not really. "I stood in front of the mirror and tried to look like the biggest ass---- in town," she laughs.

The 42-year-old former Saturday Night Livewire looks forward to poking more fun at herself when Watching Ellie returns to NBC's sche read more

SHORT CUTS

Matt Damon has signed on to star in The Informant: A True Story for Warned Bros. The spy pic will be directed by Steven Soderbergh, reports Variety... Once and Again prodigy Evan Rachel Wood has been cast in Ron Howard's The Missing... ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson is in talks to host a prime-time talk show for MSNBC. This could spell trouble for Phil Donahue... John Ritter will host the TV Land Awards in March, recognizing shows that have withstood the test of time. read more

OF HUMAN BONDAGE

As if Evan Marriot's underwear modeling photos weren't saucy enough, one of the Joe Millionaire hunk's three remaining ladies-in-waiting has outspiced him! It seems Sarah — who disappeared into the woods with Evan on Monday night's episode and, um, "slurped" him — has starred in kinky bondage and foot-fetish films. According to TheSmokingGun.com, she's appeared as "Cindy Schubert" in such movies as Dirty Soled Dolls, Novices in Knots, Hogtied, and Helpless Heroines. Yikes! This reality gal makes Survivor: Thailand winner (and ex-porn star) Brian Heidik look downright boring. read more

GRAMMY WATCH

Bruce Springsteen, Faith Hill, Norah Jones, Nelly and Coldplay are among the first artists agreeing to perform at the Feb. 23 Grammy Awards. More names will be announced in coming weeks. read more

DRYING OUT

ABC's new late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live is headed for detox. Live, which premiered on Super Bowl Sunday, got off to a rocky start after alcohol was served to the audience and guests to loosen them up. As viewers watched George Clooney pouring drinks and rapper Snoop Dogg making obscene gestures, a drunken audience member vomited in her seat! "We were not comfortable with the systems in place for serving wine and beer," an ABC spokesman said. Daniel Kellison, the show's executive producer, didn't argue with the decision. "They just said, 'Let's chill out on it and take it away for now,' and we said, 'Fine. We have bigger fish to fry.'" For more on Kimmel's midnight madness, click here. read more

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