Today's News: Our Take


FOX OPENS UP

Michael J. Fox developed a drinking problem after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991. "I craved alcohol as a direct response to the need I felt to escape my situation," he writes in his upcoming book, Lucky Man: A Memoir. "Joyless and secretive, I drank to disassociate; drinking now was about isolation and self-medication." read more

END QUOTE

"I am the gay parent." — Rosie O'Donnell, discussing the gay adoption debate with Diane Sawyer on tonight's Primetime (9-11 pm/ET). — Michael Ausiello read more

MIND MUSE SPEAKS

Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash, whose battle with schizophrenia is loosely depicted in A Beautiful Mind, will discuss the controversy surrounding the film's accuracy for the first time on Sunday's 60 Minutes. Critics have accused director Ron Howard of sugarcoating Nash's life story. read more

WHERE THERE'S WILL, THERE'S A WAY

Who says being gay doesn't pay? NBC has renewed Thursday night smash Will & Grace for three more years in a deal worth a reported $300 million. The Peacock will shell out $4 million per episode to keep the Emmy-winning sitcom on the air through May 2005. That makes W&G NBC's fourth most-expensive series, behind ER, Friends, and Frasier. read more

HE'S BACK

Arnold Schwarzenegger has an actual film career again. According to Variety, the aging action hero — who recently signed on for a third Terminator flick — has committed to two more returning movie franchises: Westworld and Conan the Barbarian. In Westworld, a remake of Michael Crichton's 1973 sci-fi saga, Schwarzenegger will play the robotic Old West gunmen role originated by Yul Brynner. Conan, meanwhile, will find Maria Shriver's better half reprising the title character he played in the 1982 original. read more

Mercedes Ruehl in Jail!


Shooting Court TV's Guilt by Association — airing tonight at 9 pm/ET — was wretched for Mercedes Ruehl. She stars in the teleplay as Susan Walker, a widowed mother who unwittingly dated a drug dealer and, due to an unjust technicality, wound up sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison. What did Oscar-winner Ruehl learn from portraying this true tale?

"To stay out of prison!" she laughs. "Let me tell you, I was brought up Catholic to believe there was a stratification — you know, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell. I no longer believe that. I believe that Hell is right here on Earth."

Guilt was filmed in a medium-to-maximum security prison, where Ruehl got a realistic feel for life behind bars. Sounds like it was a little too authentic for her taste! "We saw the prisoners around there," she recalls. "We shot the film i read more

Kevin Pollak: "I'm a Charlatan!"


After taking a 10-year hiatus from the stand-up circuit to pursue films, celeb impersonator Kevin Pollak is back onstage. The funnyman says he finds joke material in the strangest places.

"I hear that Fox is actually going to have celebrity boxing," Pollak laughs to TV Guide Online. "It sounded like a hackneyed premise that a stand-up comedian who does impersonations would use. It inspired me. I can't wait for it to lead to Christopher Walken fighting William Shatner. That's my fantasy."

However, he is saddened that Long Island Lolita Amy Fisher backed out of her match with ex-skater Tonya Harding. "Those unyielding parole people — where are their priorities?" the 44-year-old quips. "Isn't this read more

West Wing Star's Soapy Past


Thanks to her plum gig as press secretary C.J. Cregg on The West Wing, Allison Janney is living it up! A regular face on the Hollywood awards-show circuit, the two-time Emmy winner — for best supporting actress in a TV drama — just nabbed another trophy at Sunday's SAG Awards. How does she find time to shop for all those glammy getups?

"I hope that I always have that problem," she tells TV Guide Online. Though fearful of Janney's media-munching C.J. persona, we can't resist admitting that we've been a fan since her salad days on Guiding Light. (She played wisecrackin' housekeeper Ginger.) "Oh really?" she laughs. "That's so cool! That paid my rent, man. Wow, that was a great job for me; I was so happy to get that."

Unlike many ex-soap actors who've gone mainstream, Janney's refreshingly unasha read more

ENRON BANDWAGON

Paramount Pictures is developing a movie about the rise and fall of Enron. The would-be feature is based on a story that appeared in Vanity Fair's April issue. CBS also has its own Enron-themed telepic in the works. read more

MEG'S MUSIC MAN

Oh geez, now Russell Crowe has another reason to be grumpy: His onetime ladylove, Meg Ryan, reportedly has a new guy. According to tabloid reports, Ryan, 40, is dating Broadway actor Craig Bierko (The Music Man). Bierko, 37, can next be seen opposite Sally Field on the ABC drama The Court (debuting March 26). read more

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