Today's News: Our Take


CODE CRACKERS

French actress Audrey Tautou (Amelie) will help Tom Hanks crack The Da Vinci Code in Ron Howard's forthcoming big-screen adaptation of the best-selling phenom. Tautou will co-star as Sophie Neveu, the investigator who helps Robert Langdon (Hanks) figure out who's seated to the left of Jesus in "The Last Supper." read more

TROUBLED LIFE

It looks like ABC's angsty teen soap life as we know it is knocking on death's door. At press tour Sunday, network head Steve McPherson conceded that the show's prospects looked bleak, although he stopped short of uttering the dreaded C-word. "We're really frustrated," he sighed. "We feel like we've failed in terms of getting that show an audience. We really want to make sure we've exhausted every possibility before we officially say it's gone. But it's not looking good." Meanwhile, McPherson couldn't confirm whether life's remaining unaired episodes would ever see the light of day. read more

KHAKI COUTURE

Sarah Jessica Parker is falling further into The Gap. The Sex and the City star has signed on to promote the clothing giant's spring line, debuting in March. Meanwhile, Parker's onetime Sex co-star Kim Cattrall is telling anyone who'll listen that she's still open to making a Sex and the City movie — provided the script doesn't suck and the money is right. "We all worked very hard for six years," she tells Reuters, "all of us." And she's not talking about Stanford. read more

YOU'RE HITCHED!

Hoping the third time's the charm, Apprentice star Donald Trump married model Melania Knauss Saturday in a lavish, star-studded ceremony in Palm Beach, Fla. The 400 or so guests included morning TV personalities (Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Kelly Ripa, Regis Philbin), singers (Billy Joel, Tony Bennett), current and future reality stars (Simon Cowell, Mark Burnett, Kathy Hilton) and one outta control freebie queen (Star Jones Reynolds). read more

NEXT STOP OSCAR?

Martin Scorsese's The Aviator was named best film of the year Saturday from the Producers Guild of America. In 11 of the past 15 years, the PGA has honored films that went on to win the Academy Award for best picture. (Oscar nods are announced Tuesday.) On the TV side, it was an HBO sweep, with Angels in America taking the best TV movie prize and The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm winning for best drama and comedy series respectively. read more

GOOD NIGHT, JOHNNY

Late-night legend Johnny Carson, who lulled America to sleep for nearly 30 years as host of NBC's Tonight Show, died Sunday of emphysema at his Malibu, Calif., home. He was 79. "Mr. Carson passed away peacefully early Sunday morning," his nephew, Jeff Sotzing, told The Associated Press. "He was surrounded by his family, whose loss will be immeasurable." The news caught the showbiz world off guard. "Like the rest of the country, I'm stunned," Oprah Winfrey told reporters gathered at the Television Critics Assoc. winter press tour in Los Angeles. "He's one of the greats of our time." In a statement, Carson's Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon said, "[Johnny was] like a brother to me... [We] created a friendship which was professional, family-like and one of respect and great admiration." After doing his final show on May 22, 1992, Carson vanished from the public eye. His absence only seemed to elevate his status as a TV icon. "One of the things I a read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

Punk'd prankster Ashton Kutcher is producing a new reality series for WB that promises to answer the age-old question: Can a looks-challenged nerd and a hot chick fall in love? Titled Beauty and the Geek, the show follows seven seemingly mismatched couples as they go through a series of mating competitions. "We're in the middle of shooting it right now," Kutcher told me at WB's TCA press tour party Saturday night. "It's funny and intriguing." But more importantly, really, really, really mean. read more

CHARMED, HE'S SURE

Despite ascending to Hollywood's B-plus-list, Nip/Tuck star Julian McMahon has agreed to return to Charmed for the show's 150th episode this April. He'll reprise his role as Alyssa Milano's half-demon ex, Cole. "As busy as he is, as crazy as he is, and as big a star as he's become, it's just a testament to his graciousness that he would honor the fans and come back," says executive producer Brad Kern. For an exclusive interview with McMahon about his big Charmed comeback — and to find out what this means for Milano's Phoebe — read "Ask Ausiello" on Wednesday. read more

Invisible Man Reappears


When he signed up to appear in the Sci Fi Channel flick Larva (premiering Saturday at 9 pm/ET), leading man Vincent Ventresca knew that the feature's creatures were likely to steal scenes from him. "They do kind of upstage me," he admits to TV Guide Online with a chuckle. "They're not like worms, that's for sure!"

Luckily, the Complete Savages regular was fine with ceding the spotlight to the monsters' mashing. "My biggest fear going into this project was that it wouldn't seem suspenseful, because it would seem so ridiculous. But everyone really committed to what was at stake, and consequently, it works. I'm really proud of it."

Needless to say, the onetime Invisible Man star is not among those performers who turn up their noses at fantastical fare. "I've always just wanted to be a part of something that ultimately seemed like it mattered, and that's what's so great about a sci-fi audience," he explains. "It matters to them!

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Abusive Racer Apologizes


With a 15 percent popularity rating at CBS.com, it's safe to say that Jonathan and Victoria are the least-liked duo to ever run The Amazing Race (Tuesdays, 9 pm/ET). As a result, few fans shed tears when the married entrepreneurs from California were Philiminated on this week's episode. Here, these two try to explain their combative behavior on the race, and insist there's more to their relationship than meets the eye.

TV Guide Online: Jonathan, you've said that you planned to be this season's villain. Think you accomplished that a bit too effectively?
Jonathan:
Absolutely. I didn't know what it was going to look like, and I didn't know how much work it was going to be. I have to say that I apologize if I ever offended anybody, because it wasn't what I intended to do. CBS turned the story line toward Victoria and I when, in actuality, I went in there to terrorize everybody else. I didn't know what it was going to look like when I dec read more

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