Today's News: Our Take


The Sopranos' Edie Falco has been added to the cast of Freedomland, the all-star feature adaptation of Richard Price's best-seller. Also on board for the carjacking drama are Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne Moore and Blind Justice cop Ron Eldard. read more


In divorce papers filed last month, Lindsay Lohan's pop Michael is accused of threatening to kill not only wife Dina but also their children, The Daily News revealed today. "O.J. Simpson has nothing on me," Daddy Dearest allegedly told the dysfunctional family's security guard. Now would be a good time to shudder, folks. read more


but we do. NBC has given the go-ahead to a Behind the Camera tell-all TV-movie about the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. Little Bobb'e J (of the short-lived Tracy Morgan Show) has landed the coveted role of little Gary Coleman, beating out such hopefuls as Gary Coleman, Gary Coleman and Emmanuel Lewis. read more


After five years of marriage, Untamed Heart-throb Christian Slater and his missus, Haddon, have filed for divorce, Entertainment Tonight reports. The two share a son, a daughter and probably a whole lot of unwanted Alone in the Dark DVDs. read more


Just as blabbermouth George Eads hinted at last month's SAG Awards, CSI has snagged a biggie to direct its season finale: Quentin Tarantino. Rather than appear in the episode, the onetime Alias guest star will remain behind the camera this time. However, the Kill Bill auteur will have a hand in shaping the story, which will place a major character in serious jeopardy. Sounds like someone's gonna get Ginsu'd with a samurai sword. read more


In still more music news, Mrs. Sting, Trudie Styler, told Reuters yesterday that after visiting Sri Lanka's tsunami-battered southern coast, her hubby has been so moved that he is considering writing a song to aid relief efforts. What a good egg that former Police-man is. read more


Here ARE the latest winners in the pilot-season derby: Camryn Manheim's landed the lead in an as-yet-untitled WB sitcom about a single mother of three; Mark-Paul Gosselaar has gotten hitched to an also-as-yet-untitled Fox dramedy set in a Vegas wedding chapel; and Species ET Natasha Henstridge will join the cast of ABC's Pros & Cons, about criminals working for the FBI. read more


On Tuesday, while shooting a kissing scene for the upcoming flick Free Zone near Jerusalem's Western Wall (where men and women are separated by a barrier and forbidden to touch), Natalie Portman was accosted by a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish worshippers. When the crowd charged at the actress and leading man Aki Avni, yelling "Immoral!", police recommended that the couple beat a hasty retreat. Mind you, by "Immoral!" the protesters may have meant, "You were really bad in the Star Wars prequels!" read more

Lost OK, a note to all the TV...

OK, a note to all the TV programmers out there at the local ABC affiliates: Don't take your best show in years and run a weather advisory when people are trying to read subtitles that explain how Jin sold his soul to the Devil, I mean Sun's papa. I don't really care that it is going to snow in New Jersey tomorrow, when I'm way more concerned about the heat that is being generated on the island, and I'm not talking about that big burning raft. The smoldering looks and suggestive speak — "Maybe we should get some rope, spend a Saturday night alone together and see what happens" — between Shannon and Sayid is enough to set that whole damned jungle on fire. That, plus Sawyer getting his near-weekly chance to start a brawl, and that devastating glare Jin gave to Sun when he discovered she could secretly speak English — phew, this show is better than a cardio workout to get my pulse pounding.

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Question: Please say it isn't ...

Question: Please say it isn't so! I just heard that Denis Leary might be leaving Rescue Me. How can the show go on without him? — Stacey

Ausiello: It can't — and he's not. I think you're confusing the character with the actor. At the end of last season, Leary's character announced that he wanted to transfer out of the firehouse. So, when the second season begins this summer, Leary's character will temporarily relocate to a new house and there'll be a "guy who takes my place in my old house," Leary explains. "He ends up being the greatest guy in the world and everyone loves him. He doesn't smoke, he doesn't drink — he's the complete opposite of my character." The role has not been cast, but Leary tells me "it'll definitely [be] a name actor." Like, say, Matt Dillon?

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