Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

Spike TV is breaking ground on Boom, a new reality series that features demolition experts blowing up structures and vehicles.... Paramount is in talks with Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Seth Green, Mos Def and Jason Statham for a sequel to The Italian Job.... Twentieth Century Fox is developing a half-hour sitcom starring Chris Elliott as a frustrated performer who plays stage dad to his teenage daughter, Variety reports. read more

INDICTED

Record producer Phil Spector has officially been indicted for the shooting murder of Lana Clarkson, a 40-year-old B-movie actress, in his L.A. mansion last year. Outside the courthouse, Spector — who's still free on $1 million bail and maintains that Clarkson shot herself — ranted to reporters about his prosecutor, District Attorney Steve Cooley, saying, "The actions of the Hitler-like DA and his storm trooper henchmen are reprehensible, unconscionable and despicable." The DA's rep fired back: "We believe there is a crime... and that crime is murder. Nothing is politically motivated in this case." read more

EXTREME VICTORY

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition kicked off its second season Sunday with nearly 17 million viewers — the show's biggest audience ever. Ty and Co. helped ABC score a rare victory on the night in total viewers and adults 18-49. read more

WELCOME TO THE FILM WORLD

O.C. star Mischa Barton is about to test her acting chops on the big screen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Barton has signed on to star in the voodoo-themed thriller Hexxx. read more

TIME CHECK

Carlos Bernard has finalized a deal to return to Fox's 24 during February sweeps. (The show's new season premieres in January.) When last seen, Bernard's character — CTU chief Tony Almeida — was being carted off to prison after committing treason. The fate of Almeida's wife, played by Reiko Aylesworth, remains up in the air. read more

WISE MOVE

After a disastrous detour to the multiplex with New York Minute, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are refocusing on their home-video empire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Home Video has cut a new 10-year distribution deal with the wonder twins valued at eight figures. The Olsens' video franchise has grossed roughly $1 billion since 1993. read more

RETURN OF KING

When the extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King arrives on DVD Dec. 14, it'll feature 300 additional special-effects shots, a new musical score and a cameo appearance of director Peter Jackson being struck by an errant arrow. There's no word on how Jackson fares, but I hear the arrow doesn't make it. read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

The Olsen twins' Full House pa, Bob Saget, is also headed back to familiar terrain. ABC has ordered a script for a family sitcom that finds Saget playing a divorced dad who takes custody of his kids. read more

PAGING GAM-ANON...

Celebrity Poker regular Ben Affleck and ex-Friend David Schwimmer have signed on to star in a mostly improvised big-screen comedy set at an international poker tournament, Variety reports. Zak Penn (Incident at Loch Ness) will direct. read more

Quote of the Weekend: "I like...

Quote of the Weekend:
"I like that [Jan] had some cannolis. Wait, is that the right word? I think that's a dessert."
Jenny McCarthy, host of Still Brady After All These Years, commenting on The Brady Bunch's gutsy middle daughter. It's likely she meant to use the word "cojones."

SUNDAY

60 Minutes
It's hard for me to watch a Mike Wallace interview without thinking every two minutes or so, "Good lord, man, he's 86 years old!" I bet the average person hovering around 90 is happy to just be independent, never mind traveling the world and grilling innovators, con men and celebrities. And arguably, his subject on this season premiere, Bill O'Reilly, is regarded by the American public as at least two of out three of those. Love him or hate him, there was something for everyone. You had the smattering of clips featuring the Fox News Channel host shouting over people (including read more

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