Today's News: Our Take


Michael Jackson appeared in court Friday to face the mother of his teenage accuser. The woman — identified only as "Jane Doe" — was called to testify by Jacko's attorneys, who are hoping to suppress evidence seized from a police raid at his Neverland ranch. Upon taking the stand, she reportedly made the sign of the cross and didn't return the stares of the Jackson family, most of whom were dressed in white to signify Jacko's innocence. read more


Someone over at McDonald's is one french fry short of a Happy Meal. The fast-food giant has recruited recovering-anorexic Mary-Kate Olsen and her sister Ashley to star in a new promotional campaign in France. Specifically, they'll tout combo meal No. 14: water and ketchup. read more

The O.C.: Obsess Completely What's...

The O.C.: Obsess Completely
What's with Fox passing infomercials like this off as real programming? Do they think all us OC fans are dumb enough to fall for this? Wait... there's Adam Brody. Oh, Seth Cohen....

Survivor: Vanuatu
Ten Things:
1. Black magic, cannibalism and spear-waving locals. OMG, they are stranded on Blue Lagoon! Seriously. How long till someone finds the skull cave with the altar for human sacrifices?
2. Unlike Eliza, I have no problem not being a part of the Vanuatu welcoming ceremony. Let them mark the men with pig's blood. I'm cool with that. No swine on mine. Thanks much.
3. Everybody hates the black man. That's just clich&#233. Sure Rory's corny and a bit too geeky. But can't a brother get some love? It's not like he screwed up and made the team lose — like, oh, Chris did.
4. Speaking of Chris... how great is it that his "He's got read more

No More Tears for Jon Cryer

An old adage has it that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. That's true, unless you're Jon Cryer. In his case, it's try, try, try, try, try and try again. The actor did five failed TV series before he landed a successful sitcom, CBS's Two and a Half Men. Which reminds him of another wise saying: Better late than never.

TV Guide Online: After a couple of false starts, like The Famous Teddy Z and Partners, you've finally got a hit. Can you relax and enjoy the adulation?
Jon Cryer:
There's a part of me that holds back. At our 10th-season finale, then I might say, "I get that the show is a hit."

TVGO: What do you hear most from the show's fans?
"You are just the most sexless character on television!" I imagine that [latter problem] will be corrected this year because my character is bound to date. I'm hoping for a fling a week. Apparently, when they had auditions [for girlfriends], it was like the audit read more

Hey Jude, You're Popular!

Tomorrow, appropriately enough, Jude Law debuts in the next big action flick, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. He's also in a slew of other movies — Alfie, I Heart Huckabees, The Aviator, Closer and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events — all set to be released this year. So when asked which role required golden-blond highlights in his hair, the busy Law looks absolutely baffled for a moment.

"I've just had a summer of [shooting] additional footage for the 26 films I've got coming out," he laughs, "so I'm trying to remember which hairdo this is. [I think] it was lightened for Alfie. I just had to do some photos for that."

It's hard to imagine that too much of the dreamy 31-year-old Briton could ever be a bad thing. Still, does he worry folks will get sick of him? "There are really only four [films] coming out that I'm actually in," Law insists. "The other two are, like, bit read more


Another day, another reality-TV contestant with a "secret" past. Turns out, Survivor: Vanuatu's Ami Cusack is the ultimate heterosexual male fantasy. The 31-year-old is not only a lesbian, she's also a former Playboy pinup. Back in 1996, she posed nude for the lad mag, which billed her "the perfect Venus guy trap." So much for truth in advertising. read more


Traylor Howard (Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place) has joined the cast of the USA series Monk as a replacement for Bitty Schram, Variety reports. Howard will play Tony Shalhoub's new assistant Natalie, a former bartender and single mom. She'll debut in January. read more


Here's a juicy rumor I really hope is true: There's increasing chatter that Buffy the Vampire Slayer mastermind Joss Whedon is in talks to replace Bryan Singer at the helm of X-Men 3. Singer recently signed on to direct the new Superman flick, leaving the fate of the next X-Men installment up in the air. Whedon's camp isn't commenting on the buzz, but Spike issued the following statement: "There bloody well better be a part in it for me." read more

Mario Van Peebles Has Soul

In his new film Baadasssss! (out this week on DVD), director Mario Van Peebles (New Jack City) explores his father Melvin's real-life struggle to make the 1971 flick Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song. Back in the day, his dad's movie was right on the cutting edge of the blaxploitation trend and the upcoming indie-filmmaking boom. Here, Van Peebles (who not only directs, but also plays his father in Baadasssss!) gives TV Guide Online the lowdown on the current state of soul cinema and how one person did make a difference.

TV Guide Online: This film really shows how your dad fought to do things his way in the '70s.
Mario Van Peebles:
Yeah, my father insisted on having a multiracial crew. At that time, the unions were mostly all white and male. People were saying, "We shall overcome one day," but my dad was saying, "We shall overcome right now!" My father was mad at "isms" — racism, sexism and ageism, but he was never mad a read more


Nicole Kidman is Australia's richest living legend, er, young woman. According to BRW magazine, the Oscar winner has an estimated worth of $108 million. Supermodel Elle Macpherson and pop star Kylie Minogue tied for third place with $42 million each. read more

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