Today's News: Our Take


A STAR IS BORN

Freebie queen Star Jones — I'm sorry, Star Jones Reynolds — can no longer brag about being a lawyer. The View lightning rod listed her profession as TV personality instead of attorney for the first time last year while filling out customs forms — effectively severing ties with her law career. "I guess I've crossed over to the dark side," she told the Associated Press. "It felt truthful. I'm sure it's strange for my father, who wants to know where all the money went for law school." You mean Continental didn't pay for that, too? Cheapskates. read more

WHO'S BAD?

First Anna Nicole Smith and now this. E! Entertainment Television is planning a daily half-hour recap of Michael Jackson's child-molestation trial, with an actor (or actress?) playing the accused. "With no cameras in the courtroom, this series will be an excellent way to... bring the [proceedings] to life," said E! boss Ted Harbert. On a related note, we hear La Toya was recently spotted dusting off her acting reel. read more

Question: Has ABC decided ...

Question: Has ABC decided when they're going to air Eyes? I can't find a time and date anywhere. — Melissa

Ausiello: They're still saying spring, but I'm hoping they reconsider and put it on sooner. It's by far the best mid-season show on any network — broadcast or cable. Part of me wants it to air after Lost and Alias at 10 pm Wednesday, but I'm not sure if my faint heart can handle that much quality on one night.

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BUSTED

R&B artist D'Angelo was arrested Sunday in Richmond, Va., and charged with drunken driving and drug possession during a traffic stop. Police allegedly turned up cocaine and marijuana, although the substances had yet to be analyzed. The 30-year-old singer is due in court next Tuesday. read more

I SEE LOTS OF PEOPLE

It's official: NBC's Medium is a bona fide hit. Monday's second episode won its time slot with 16.3 million viewers. Even more impressive, the Patricia Arquette drama retained all of its first-week audience. Fox's 24, meanwhile, had another good day, averaging a potent 12.6 million viewers for its second round of back-to-back episodes. And 2.3 million D-list gawkers turned out for the fourth-season premiere of The Surreal Life Sunday, making it VH1's highest-rated program in four years. read more

BLACK WEDNESDAY

Feisty fashionista Mr. Blackwell's 45th annual Worst Dressed List is out — and nasty as ever. Desperate Housewives' Nicollette Sheridan — whom he dubs "the Tacky Temptress of Wisteria Lane" — wins No. 1 sartorial offender. Blackwell also takes potshots at some easy targets (Paula Abdul, Britney), dismisses Lindsay Lohan as "over-hyped and under-dressed," and suggests Jessica and Ashlee Simpson's wardrobes are proof that "bad taste is positively genetic." Best of all, the quipster calls Lemony Snicket star Meryl Streep's "dowdy" outfits A Series of Unfortunate Events. Tee hee! read more

Sam Jackson's Hoop Dreams


When you have as distinctive a screen presence as Samuel L. Jackson, it's difficult not to get typecast in certain kinds of roles. But the 56-year-old actor has managed to circumvent lazy casting agents.

"They tried to [typecast me]," he says matter-of-factly. "It doesn't work. I work very hard to find different kinds of jobs with different kinds of characters. My agents and managers know that, so they send me scripts that are different. I think one of the most interesting things about me for people who go to my films is trying to figure out what I'm going to look like this time. Unfortunately, I had to look like myself in this movie, so I have to make sure that in the next one, I don't look anything like myself."

"This movie" refers to the new sports drama Coach Carter, which hits theaters on Friday. Based on a true story, it follows a no-nonsense high school basketball coach named Ken Carter (Jackson), who locks his undefeated team out of the gym read more

Cellular Scribe's Phone Phobia


How's this for a Hollywood believe-it-or-not? Cellular and Phone Booth scribe Larry Cohen is phonophobic.

"Telephones are the scourge of modern existence," Cohen tells TV Guide Online. "They bring this voice from nowhere into your life — that can be frightening. Anybody can call you.

"When I start to work on a script," he adds, "I take the phone off the hook and put it in a drawer until I'm finished working. I don't want my train of thought interrupted. Now that everybody's got a cell phone, there's no privacy or peace... [there's] people on phones in the car, in restaurants, even in public rest rooms! That's why I don't have a cell phone — I'm afraid someone might call me."

The 66-year-old veteran writer and director, whose maverick movies include the killer-baby picture It's Al read more

DOES HE HAVE A CLONE?

Hey, J.J. Abrams has finally found some work! The guy behind Alias, Lost, Mission: Impossible 3 and dozens of other projects is attached to direct The Good Sailor, a Universal Pictures drama revolving around the 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis, according to The Hollywood Reporter. ABC, meanwhile, has greenlit another Abrams drama pilot, Pros and Cons. This one centers around five ex-cons who end up working with the government. read more

TUCK NIPPED? NOPE!

Good news, Nip/Tuck fans: You're gonna find out who the Carver is. After months of uncertainty, FX has signed Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy for another two seasons. The pact — announced Tuesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour — will take Murphy through the show's third and fourth seasons. Meanwhile, Nip/Tuck's 15-episode third season is slated to debut in late summer or early fall — giving Christian Troy plenty of time to recover from his slashing. read more

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