Today's News: Our Take


DEAR SALLY, DID YOU SEE THE NIELSENS?

Turns out I wasn't the only one experiencing major Keri Russell withdrawal: The CBS telepic The Magic of Ordinary Days, featuring the Felicity star in her first major TV gig in nearly three years, ranked as Sunday's most-watched program with 18.6 million viewers. Somewhere, Superman helmer Bryan Singer is feeling mighty foolish. read more

DO YOU FEEL LUCKY?

The Directors Guild of America made Clint Eastwood's day Saturday, bestowing its highest honor on the filmmaker for his boxing saga Million Dollar Baby. The victory makes Eastwood the favorite to win the Oscar next month (and increases the odds that Baby's big secret will get out). Only six times in the Guild's 56-year history has the DGA winner failed to go on to snag the directing Oscar. Speaking of Million Dollar Baby... read more

SHORT CUTS

Maroon 5 will open the Grammys on Feb. 13 with a performance of "This Love." The group's debut album, Songs About Jane, is up for two awards... The family drama Forty Shades of Blue won top dramatic honors at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend. The film centers on a love triangle involving a music producer, a Russian wife and his son. (Where's Zach Braff when you need him?) read more

THE SURVEY SAYS...

Uncle Sam may want to set his TiVo to Family Feud the week of Feb. 14. That's when alleged tax evader Richard Hatch will try to outwit, outplay, and outlast the likes of Susan Hawk, Rupert Boneham, Ethan Zohn, Rudy Boesch and Johnny Fairplay on a special Survivor-themed edition of the game show, USA Today reports. And if that's not enough reality for you, in May American Idol alums including Diana DeGarmo, Kimberley Locke, AJ Gil, Julia DeMato, Rickey Smith, Amy Adams and Jon Peter Lewis will play the Feud. read more

THAT'S INCREDIBLE

The Incredibles swept the 32nd annual Annie Awards on Sunday, winning best animated feature and best director for Brad Bird. Bird also won best actor for voicing the diminutive seamstress Edna Mode, beating Shrek 2 front-runner Antonio Banderas (aka Puss in Boots). On the TV side, SpongeBob SquarePants was named best animated TV series with no gay subtext. read more

BADA-BIG BUCKS

A&E has landed rerun rights to The Sopranos for a record $2.5 million per episode. The cabler reportedly was locked in a heated bidding war with TNT and Spike TV for the mob hit's 78 episodes. A&E can begin airing the series in fall 2006. read more

I SEE RICH PEOPLE

NBC sees 22 more episodes in Medium's future. The Peacock net has renewed the Patricia Arquette smash for a second season. read more

SISTERS AND THE CITY

WB has ordered a one-hour comedy-drama pilot from Friends exec producer Marta Kauffman and Sex and the City scribe Liz Tuccillo. The show revolves around four adult sisters who navigate career, romance and relationships in New York. read more

NUMBERS CRUNCHING

Numbers is still adding up for CBS. After attracting nearly 25 million viewers in its debut last Sunday, the crime drama moved into its regular Friday time slot and drew a solid 15 million viewers. That was bad news for time slot rival Medical Investigation, which settled for just 6.8 million viewers — its smallest audience to date. read more

THRILLING STATEMENT

Michael Jackson issued a court-approved video statement via his website (mjjsource.com) Sunday in which he pleaded with the public to "keep an open mind and let me have my day in court... I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen. I will be acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told." Meanwhile, jury selection in Jackson's child-molestation case begins today. Note to the defense: Good luck finding 12 people who never heard of Jesus Juice. read more

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