Today's News: Our Take


LEGALLY BLONDE

Hilary Duff has signed on to star in the Miramax comedy Outward Blonde, which revolves around a materialistic New York girl who gets shipped off to an Outward Bound program after she fails gym class. read more

OH, WHAT A TANGLED WEB

James Brown is seeking an annulment from the same wife he stands accused of beating. The 70-year-old Godfather of Soul — who was arrested last week and charged with domestic violence — wants out of his marriage to Tomi Rae Brown because he claims she never divorced her previous husband. Good times... read more

GAME OVER

Bowing to pressure from the NFL, ESPN has sacked its controversial pigskin drama Playmakers. "We have decided that Playmakers will not resume production," said ESPN exec vice president Mark Shapiro. "Many considerations went into to this decision, not the least of which was the reaction from [the NFL]." The NFL complained that the series — which featured story lines built around drugs, spousal abuse and homosexuality (oh my!) — was too harsh in its depiction of pro football's dark side. "This decision is censorship, pure and simple," exec producer John Eisendrath tells Variety. "The NFL didn't like the show so it told ESPN to take it off the air, and ESPN dutifully took it off the air." read more

AND THEY'RE OFF

FX is teaming up with NASCAR for a reality series that goes behind the scenes with racing stars, Variety reports. Tentatively titled NASCAR: Drivers Unscripted, the show would premiere in May and feature such A-list drivers as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jeremy Mayfield, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears and Tony Raines. read more

That '70s Show Coming from an...

That '70s Show
Coming from an Abbott & Costello family, I must say, The Three Stooges spoof wasn't bad. Though I never saw the funny in pulling someone's nose or throwing pies, Kelso and the guys had me laughing. And I love how they got in trouble for breaking into the Police Academy, but not for smoking up in the drug-raid evidence room. Sort of makes me wish I had been a teen in the 1970s. The biggest buzz I got back then was double-dosing on Flintstones chewable vitamins.

American Idol
Yikes! Out of like, a gazillion auditions, this is the best 87? The guys can barely manage Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" and the girls are all playing Twister with the high notes like Mariah Carey on a Red Bull bender. Even Paula couldn't help but take a few swipes. Looks like her copy of Insults for Pop Stars Who read more

INDY ON HOLD

Looks like we'll have to wait a while longer for that fourth Indiana Jones pic. George Lucas, reportedly unhappy with the script Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) turned in, has commissioned a rewrite. Now, production probably won't get under way until 2005 — when Harrison Ford will be 63. read more

MORE TIT FOR TAT

The fallout over Boobygate continues: Janet Jackson will apparently not appear at Sunday's Grammy Awards, where she was slated to introduce a tribute to ailing R&B singer Luther Vandross. According to reports, CBS rescinded her invitation in the wake of her Super Bowl striptease. The network declined to comment. Meanwhile, NBC has removed a scene from tonight's ER that would have shown a female patient's bare breast because "the atmosphere created by this week's events has made it too difficult for many of our affiliates to air this shot." Finally, the NFL has yanked 'N Syncer JC Chasez's halftime performance from this weekend's Pro Bowl game and replaced it with some Hawaiian dancers. read more

MUST-FLEE TV

Fans of really crappy music will wanna catch tonight's Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, which features a musical performance from former Bachelor star Bob Guiney. The kissing cad and his band will sing "Girlfriend" off his debut album, 3 Sides. read more

HERE SHE IS...

Paris Hilton is in talks to host the Miss USA Pageant, which airs April 12 on NBC. And to prove that she hasn't forgotten the little people back in Altus, the Simple Life star allegedly is trying to get Chops a gig as a seat-filler. read more

Angel's 100th Birthday Bash


This weekend, TV Guide threw a party for WB's Angel to toast the Buffy spin-off's 100th episode. The cast and crew all celebrated at Hollywood's trendy Club Ivar, including four-time cover boy David Boreanaz and his lovely wife, actress Jaime Bergman. Natch, Party Boy was there — risking his neck in a roomful of TV vamps, I might add — to bleed some scoop out of Angel's insiders.

Among the festive guests were Buffy and Angel creator Joss Whedon and cast mates Alexis Denisof (Wesley), J. August Richards (Gunn), Amy Acker (Fred), Andy Hallett (Lorne) and, of course, James Marsters (Spike). Ever the instigator, I was just dying to know what folks think of Sarah Michelle Gellar canceling her May sweeps Angel guest spot?

We already know Boreanaz was grumpy, but he still wa read more

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