Today's News: Our Take


ROYAL PAIN

Prince Harry's entry into Britain's Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, has been delayed from January to May. The reason, according to pop Prince Charles' office, is a knee injury from which Wills' less attractive younger brother has yet to fully recover. Which is not to be confused with the hangnail we suspect he'll develop once this boo-boo is all better. read more

THE KIDS ARE ALL OURS!

There are gonna be pit stains all over CBS's executive suites today. Although the Eye Network maintained its top spot overall last week, thanks to Desperate Housewives' boffo ratings, ABC came in a close second in the coveted adults 18-49 demo. In other Nielsen news, Charlie Sheen's real-life wife, Denise Richards, and baby helped his sitcom, Two and a Half Men, pull in its biggest numbers yet; country crooner Tim McGraw's Here and Now attracted more 18- to 49-year-olds than any other concert special in the past year (sorry, Nick and Jessica); and here's the really good news: UPN's fantastic high-school dramedy Veronica Mars hit a series high in women 18-34 and matched its best-ever showings in adults 18-34 and women 18-49. Hurrah! For more ratings info, check out The Biz. read more

OUT OF JEOPARDY!

Yesterday's episode of Jeopardy! marked the end of brainiac Ken Jennings' 74-game reign as the champ. Realtor Nancy Zerg finally beat him in Final Jeopardy when the competitors were faced with a real head-scratcher: "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year." He replied, "What is TV Guide?" when, in fact, the correct response was "What is H&R Block, and how do I get a job there?" (Actually, he guessed FedEx.) The biggest winner in game-show history, Jennings walked away with $2,520,700. read more

THEY'VE GOT SPIRIT...

...yes, they do! Topping the list of nominees for this year's Independent Spirit Awards (aka "the art-house Oscars"), announced yesterday, are Election director Alexander Payne's wine-tasting buddy-picture, Sideways, which received six nods (including one for leading man Paul Giamatti), and the drug-courier drama Maria Full of Grace, which netted five (including one for leading-lady Catalina Sandino Moreno). Other repeat contenders include Brother to Brother, Primer, Robbing Peter and Kinsey (four nominations each), and The Motorcycle Diaries and The Woodsman (three apiece). The winners will be revealed on February 26, the day before the Academy Awards. read more

LAW & ORDER: MATERNITY WARD?

Although rumors have been running rampant that Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay is expecting, the stork will not be making a cameo on the hit drama... at least not yet. The newlywed actress (whose hubby is frequent SVU guest attorney Peter Hermann) told your regular columnist, Michael Ausiello, through her rep that she isn't with child, but "I hope to be soon." In other words, Ice-T might want to get cracking on those baby booties. read more

JUSTICE IS BLIND

And deaf. And also apparently kinda stupid. Yesterday, a jury of ex-Navy diver Ambrose Kappos' peers acquitted him of stalking Grammy-winning hottie Sheryl Crow. In and of itself, that doesn't sound so bad, right? But the panelists were made aware that Kappos (who broke into a ballroom where the object of his affection was rehearsing for a benefit) drinks two gallons of water a day so that he can communicate telepathically with the singer. At the very least, shouldn't the guy have been convicted of a lesser charge, like, say, being a total freak? read more

REAL-LIFE TRAGEDY

Passions regular David Bailey, who played the diabolical Alistair Crane, died on Nov. 25, the victim of an accidental drowning. The 71-year-old previously had played good Dr. Russ Matthews on Another World. For more info, read today's Soaps News column. read more

Manhunt: The Search for America's...

Manhunt: The Search for America's Most Gorgeous Male Model
Ah, yes. The moment I've been waiting for — the finale of my biggest guilty pleasure! Oh, the drama. First, Kevin Peake reveals to the Top 10 he's a spy. Shocked facial expressions galore. Now we're down to two. Then finalist Jon Johnson doesn't want to pose nude but, lo and behold, he changes his mind just in time. Didn't want Rob Williams to have a nude advantage on him. Bravo to Bravo for the butt shots. Then Carmen Electra walks out in her best Stevie Nicks "Stand Back" dress and announces that Jon (yay — my choice) is the winner over Rob (the only openly gay one of the final 10) and gets $100,000 and a modeling contract with IMG.

Promo for Bravo's new show Project Runway
"Twelve up-and-coming designers compete to start their own fashion line." I give this show a rating of ND — No Desire.

Gilmore Girls read more

SWAN SONG

Tenor Luciano Pavarotti, the best-selling classical recording artist ever, has announced his intention to retire following a 40-city tour of the world. However, there is no end in sight to Opera Man's trek, which will include stops in New York, Paris and London. Since he plans to perform no more than three concerts a month, he could still be performing well beyond his 70th birthday in October 2005, meaning that his goodbye will be even longer than Cher's. read more

THIS 'N' THAT

Director Ron Howard has officially snagged Tom Hanks to headline the cast of his adaptation of Dan Brown's page-turner, The Da Vinci Code... Following in wannabe matinee-idol Justin Timberlake's footsteps, Usher is going to the movies; in the drama Dying for Dolly, the R&B sex symbol will play a Mob flunky with the hots for his boss's daughter... Oxygen has ordered a pilot for Campus Girls, an estrogen-based, improv variation on the Will Ferrell comedy Old School; Curb Your Enthusiasm's Cheryl Hines is exec-producing... Next week — six months before their current deals expire — SAG and AFTRA are beginning their negotiations over a new three-year contract with Hollywood producers... Time to lock up the office supplies: The Simple Life 3: Interns debuts January 26. read more

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