Today's News: Our Take


KISS OFF

Gene Simmons is being sued by an ex-girlfriend who claims the KISS rocker made her sound like a "sex-addicted nymphomaniac" on VH1's When KISS Ruled the World. In court papers, Georgeann Walsh Ward says a photo of her was shown on screen while Simmons was talking about his sexual escapades, giving viewers the impression she was a prostitute, when in reality she's nothing more than a grainy black-and-white head shot. read more

TIME CHECK

After an eight-month hiatus, Fox's 24 returned in fine form Sunday night. The two-hour, fourth-season premiere averaged nearly 15 million viewers, finishing a strong No. 2 to ABC's potent Extreme Makeover: Home Edition/Desperate Housewives combo. Housewives was the night's top show with just over 25 million viewers. read more

THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN

Here's one election result Michael Moore won't be protesting: The filmmaker's incendiary Bush-bashing doc Fahrenheit 9/11 took top honors at last night's 31st Annual People's Choice Awards, winning favorite movie of the year. Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ won for fave movie drama, while Shrek 2 swept the best comedy, animation and sequel categories. On the TV side, CSI and Will & Grace took home awards for best drama and comedy series respectively, and Desperate Housewives and Joey were tops among new shows. In the acting races, Julia Roberts picked up the coveted Crest fans' favorite smile trophy and Jennifer Garner finally nabbed the Pantene fans' favorite hair award. Courtney Love and Anna Nicole Smith, meanwhile, tied as Xanax fans' favorite whack job. read more

MEET THE MOOLAH

Moviegoers continued to Meet the Fockers in droves, as the comedy sequel grossed another $28.5 million to hold on to the No. 1 spot for the third straight weekend. To date, Fockers has taken in $204.3 million — more than $30 million more than its much funnier predecessor, Meet the Parents. The Michael Keaton thriller White Noise opened strong at No. 2 with $24 million, followed by The Aviator (No. 3 with $7.6 million), Lemony Snicket (No. 4 with $7.4 million) and Fat Albert ($6 million). read more

SCHMO'S NEW SHOW

Joe Schmo Show's Lance Krall is headed back to Spike TV as the star of his own show. Per Variety, the cabler has greenlit eight episodes of The Lance Krall Show, an improv series featuring Krall and his pals goofing in front of the camera. It debuts this spring. read more

MOB MENTALITY

Good news, dialogue loopers: HBO has begun pitching Sopranos reruns to basic cable. According to Variety, TNT, A&E, Spike, USA, FX, Lifetime and Carmela have expressed the most interest in a sanitized Tony Soprano. read more

CSI: NY Lightens Up


The third installment of the CSI franchise has gotten off to a strong start, cleaning up in the ratings against NBC's long-running warhorse Law & Order on Wednesday nights (10 pm/ET). But CBS isn't content to rest on those laurels. CSI: NY producers have been given a mandate to lighten up the look of their show and tell stories that are unique to the Big Apple.

Early episodes looked like they were shot in the sewer system and had a generic feel to them. "We need to bring Melina [Kanakaredes] and Gary [Sinise] into the light so our audience can get to know them," says CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler. "And we want this CSI to tell stories that can only be told in New York, which has many faces. There is the darker underbelly downtown. But there is also Central Park. New York's a vibrant, bright, colorful, multicultural place."

Changes will be noticeable this week, with an episode set at a Westminstere read more

JUST FRIENDS

In a split heard 'round the world, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston confirmed late Friday that they are separating after nearly five years of marriage. "For those who follow these sorts of things, we would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any speculation reported by the tabloid media," they said in a joint statement. "This decision is the result of much thoughtful consideration. We happily remain committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another." The breakup comes after months of tabloid speculation that the couple's marriage was on the rocks. They concluded their statement by asking glossy magazines everywhere "for your kindness and sensitivity in the coming months." read more

MOUNTAIN PEAKED

You knew this item was comin', and here it is: Earlier today, WB officially cancelled The Mountain. It's too bad, too. The show was actually getting better. (At least that's what the two people who were still watching told me.) read more

MORE KUDOS

Clint Eastwood's acclaimed boxing drama Million Dollar Baby was voted the best film of the year Saturday at the National Society of Film Critics awards. Baby's star, Hilary Swank, tied for best actress with Vera Drake's Imelda Staunton and Jamie Foxx won best actor for his roles in Ray and Collateral. read more

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