Today's News: Our Take


British newspapers are reporting that thieves ransacked the London crib of ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell ("Ginger"), making off with $114,000 worth of merchandise. Among the items stolen: her new computer, a stereo and a necklace once owned by Elizabeth Taylor. Burglars also reportedly sprayed her tony Notting Hill pad with milk and a black currant drink. Halliwell was in Paris with British pop star Robbie Williams at the time of the break-in. read more


Saturday's abysmally rated XFL telecast brought NBC possibly the worst primetime Nielsens among the big three networks in TV history, dragging the network down to a third-place finish in the ratings last week. While NBC entertainment president Jeff Zucker wasn't expected to pull the plug before the league's final five games, he wouldn't comment on XFL's chances of seeing next year... In other news, reports that Zucker's ousted predecessor, Garth Ancier, already has found another cushy job as executive vice president of programming at Turner Networks. Proving what a small town Hollywood is, Ancier will report to his old boss, former WB CEO and current Turner Broadcasting chairman Jamie Kellner. read more


Troubled pop diva Whitney Houston reportedly has agreed to star opposite Pierce Brosnan in the next James Bond flick. According to Britain's Sun tabloid, the actress-singer — who made her film debut alongside Kevin Costner in 1992's The Bodyguard — is just awaiting confirmation from producers. "The movie bosses think Whitney would make a fantastic Bond girl," the paper quoted a source as saying, "and are desperately working out a deal which will be acceptable." One question remains: Who uses the term 'movie bosses'? read more


In honor of the late folk musician John Phillips, who passed away Sunday, Bravo will air Bravo Profiles: The Mamas and the Papas tonight at 10 pm/ET. The show chronicles Phillips and his band, who turned out some of the most popular songs of the '60s, including "California Dreamin'" and the No. 1 smash "Monday, Monday." read more


The Cannes International Film Festival will kick off its annual competition with the Nicole Kidman-Ewan McGregor musical-drama Moulin Rouge. The festival runs from May 9-20... Enemy at the Gates star Jude Law is being considered to play a young Hannibal Lecter in Red Dragon, the in-the-works remake of the Silence of the Lambs prequel Manhunter, Liz Smith reports. — Michael Ausiello and Daniel R. Coleridge read more


Tommy Lee Jones, 54, married longtime girlfriend, Dawn Maria Laurel, 36, Monday during a private ceremony in the bride's native San Antonio, The Associated Press reports. "It wasn't a big to-do," said U.S. District Judge Fred Biery, who performed the service. "These are very private people." The couple met in 1995 on the set of The Good Old Boys. read more


Following a three-week stint in rehab reportedly for an addiction to the painkiller Vicodin, Matthew Perry is expected back on the Friends set this week, Entertainment Tonight reports. He'll be taping the comedy's one-hour season finale, which airs May 17 and features the long-awaited wedding of Chandler and Monica (Courteney Cox Arquette). read more

Girls Power: WB Drama to Return

Score one for fans of quality television: The WB is on the verge of renewing its acclaimed freshman drama Gilmore Girls for a second season. "I think you'll see that Gilmore Girls is a long-term piece of the WB's schedule," WB co-president Jordan Levin tells TV Guide Online, adding that the series is a shoo-in to return next year.

Gilmore Girls — which revolves around the bond between a young single mom (Lauren Graham) and her teenage daughter (Alexis Bledel) — was instantly hailed by critics as one of the season's best new offerings. And viewers seem to be catching on: Gilmore Girls has gradually developed into a modest Thursday night hit for the WB, particularly among young women.

"We are thrilled with the creative performance of the show this season, as we are with the ratings trends," adds Levin. "It's a show that we're extremely proud of."

It's also a show t read more


NBC's new legal dramedy First Years got off to a dismal start last night, finishing fourth in its timeslot based on preliminary data... NBC has announced that it will expand its Golden Globes telecast next year to four hours to make room for a new pre-show package... Pop singer Sting will play himself on the April 30 episode of Fox's Ally McBeal... Speaking of Ally McBeal, the show's star, Calista Flockhart, will kick off a 10-week run of The Philadelphia Story at London's Shaftesbury Theater in June, with previews beginning on May 21, Variety reports... FX drew its highest ratings ever — 2.7 million viewers — Sunday night for the premiere of its original movie, A Glimpse of Hell. — Michael Ausiello read more

Sigourney Weaver Tackles Alien Territory

Sigourney Weaver couldn't resist the chance to play a Russian seductress named Olga in her new film Heartbreakers (opening Friday) — mostly because it offered her the opportunity to debauch screen vet Gene Hackman.

"I just was so thrilled when I heard he might even take the part," she tells TV Guide Online. "I was just like... (making panting noises). We were all so thrilled to have Gene in our midst. It was sort of like visiting royalty."

As Olga, Weaver even gets to serenade the Oscar-winning thesp with a rousing rendition of the Beatles' "Back in the U.S.S.R." The 51-year old Alien slayer says singing with a Russian accent wasn't a problem. "It was the day I looked forward to most," she confesses, "because it was all Olga, all the time."

Not surprisingly, Weaver was pretty bummed when she learned the song would not appear on the film's soundtrack. However, she jokes that the little ditty may one day be featured on her read more

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