Today's News: Our Take


MOURNED

Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden, a 1996 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 66. read more

AMERICAN HERO

At last we have proof that Simon Cowell's bark is, in fact, worse than his bite. The American Idol meanie is the latest celebrity to join PETA's anti-fur campaign. In a new print ad, the secret softy is pictured holding a four-legged friend; underneath the photo is the line, "If you wouldn't wear your dog, please don't wear any fur." Now would somebody please do something about the inhumanity of Cowell being forced to sit next to Paula Abdul season after season? read more

ASHLEE SPEAKS

Acid reflux wasn't to blame for Ashlee Simpson's heavily panned performance at last week's Orange Bowl. The embattled teenybopper says a combination of technical difficulties and her pro-USC stance may have led to the chorus of boos. "There were no ear monitors when we went on stage," she told MTV.com. "And trying to sing in a stadium where you can't hear yourself is kinda hard." Or... "maybe they were booing at me, maybe they were booing at the halftime show, 'cause the whole thing sucked," she added. "I was facing [the Oklahoma Sooners], and I was rooting for USC, and they played a clip of it, so maybe it was that those people didn't like me." Actually, I think it was the scoreboard they didn't like. read more

THOU SHALL NOT REMAKE

ABC has announced plans for a two-part, four-hour Ten Commandments miniseries to air as early as November. Producers insist the project, which will rely on extensive biblical and historical research, is not a remake of the Charlton Heston epic. What's more, they promise the parting-of-the-waves sequence won't look like it was shot in someone's kiddie pool. read more

SHORT CUTS

Taking a page from Oprah's book, Live with Regis and Kelly will give away one 2005 Pontiac Montana SV6 minivan every day during the entire month of February.... Sixteen years after taking its "final" bow, A Chorus Line will return to Broadway in September 2006... Showtime has renewed The L Word for a third season. The show's second season kicks off Feb. 20. read more

Lost in Space?


Since the plane-crash takeoff of ABC's Lost (Wednesdays, 8 P.M./ET), lots of theories have been floated to explain the mysterious occurrences on the survivors' new island home. However, only three are believable enough to fit in our overhead compartments (in other words, our brains). Which one flies with you? At the mid-season mark, we consider the evidence...

Everyone's dead.
Where but in heaven could wheelchair-bound Locke take a hike? And hello?! Jack's late dad looked pretty spry for a dead guy. What's more, the prominence of black and white rocks is likely a Biblical reference, to Urim and Thummim, holy stones that turned any day into one of the judgment variety. Then again, why were unlucky stiffs "Adam and Eve" rotting while everyone else is merely tanning? And if she'd already croaked, how did that woman we never met manage to drown? Perhaps this island of lost souls isn't the end of the line but rather a rest-stop purgatory on which sinners like pro read more

CHANGE OF GAME

Coming off of one of the lamest Survivor seasons ever, CBS has some big twists in store for the upcoming 10th edition. Debuting Feb. 17, Survivor: Palau will feature 20 contestants, three of whom will be booted at the end of the first episode. "They're given very little instruction about what to do, and some of them are genuinely lost," exec producer Mark Burnett tells Variety. "Two people don't make it to the first challenge. That's how tough it is. It's very emotional." The cast includes a 23-year-old dolphin trainer from Florida, a 55-year-old English teacher and a 39-year-old Vegas showgirl — whose name, regrettably, is not Cristal Connors. read more

THE DIRECT APPROACH

Desperate Housewives and Lost (I can't believe they almost killed Shannon!) scored nominations for the Directors Guild of America's annual awardsfest. Housewives will compete in the comedy category with Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm, while Lost will face off against ER, Deadwood and The Sopranos. read more

IN THIS CORNER...

Boxing mogul Don King likes to watch guys dish it out, but he can't take a hit himself. Yesterday the spin doctor filed a $2.5 billion lawsuit against ESPN for airing a SportsCentury bio of him that he claims is defamatory. Among the statements made by the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning program to which King objects: He allegedly underpaid star pugilists including Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and Meldrick Taylor, and has a really, really bad hairdo. (OK, that last one isn't alleged at all; that's just a fact.) read more

X MARKS THE SPOT

Director Bryan Singer has tapped one of his X-Men, James Marsden, to play Lois Lane's love interest in Superman Returns. As previously reported, Kate Bosworth has (unfortunately) nabbed the role of Lois, while One Life to Live grad Brandon Routh will star as the Man of Steel. read more

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