Malcolm in the Middle star and current TV Guide cover boy Frankie Muniz is in talks to star as a James Bond-esque teen in the big-screen adventure Agent Cody Bank. According to Variety, the 16-year-old actor would be paid $2 million for his work on the film, making him the highest paid child movie star since Macaulay Culkin was left Home Alone again. The plot of Cody centers on a teen (Muniz) drafted by the U.S. government for covert missions.
Laura Dern will play a newly-minted poet laureate of the United States on the March 28 episode of The West Wing... Elton John
will be the guest of honor on a special hour-long edition of Last Call with Carson Daly on March 29. Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge
Uh-oh, Providence fans. Weakest Link quizmistress Anne Robinson will inflict her evil self on NBC's feel-good drama on April 5, TV Guide Online has learned. The episode titled "The Whole Truth" features Dr. Syd (Melina Kanakaredes) having another self-esteem crisis. This leads to yet another bad dream starring the judgmental Robinson. (Sadly, she won't be spelling out "Surrender Syd" in broomstick skywriting.)
It was man versus machine at the box office over the weekend, and the heap of metal won. Sci-fi remake The Time Machine opened at No. 1 with $22.5 million, dethroning last week's champ, We Were Soldiers. Although Mel Gibson and his troops slipped to No. 2, Soldiers's $14.5 million gross was down only 29 percent from last weekend. In other debut news, urban comedy All About the Benjamins bowed at No. 3 with $10.1 million. Rounding out the top five: 40 Days and 40 Nights (No. 4 with $7.1 million) and John Q (No. 5 with $6 million).
For those keeping score, it's Laura Ingalls, 2, and Rhoda Morgenstern, 0. Former Little House on the Prairie child star Melissa Gilbert trounced onetime Rhoda star Valerie Harper in a rerun of last November's voided Screen Actors Guild presidential election. According to results made public Saturday, Gilbert won 57 percent of the vote to Harper's 34. At last night's world premiere of Ice Age at New York's Radio City Music Hall, star Ray Romano, on hearing of Gilbert's triumph, joked to TV Guide Online: "Tell her I won't take any more non-union work."
It's official: Late Show host David Letterman has decided to
stay with CBS and not jump ship to ABC. Sources tell TV Guide Online that
Dave signed a five-year contract with the Eye, with options to exit sooner
if he so chooses. On Monday night's show, he joked: "CBS, all of a sudden,
they can't kiss up to me enough — it's crazy. I finally got a get-well
card for my bypass surgery two years ago... When I drop dead, there won't be
this much press." More seriously, he expressed regret for the Damaclean
sword that hung over newsman Ted Koppel's head during negotiations
— ABC now confirms Nightline will stay put. "He is one of a very
small group that represents the highest echelon of broadcast achievement,
without question," Letterman said. "He, at very least, deserves the right to
determine his own professional future."
Aussie actor Guy Pearce is a career chameleon. Over the years, he's gone from a dragalicious female impersonator in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to a tattooed, platinum-blond badass in Memento. Sadly, work doesn't permit him to keep his faboo 'do from the latter movie.
"I must admit, I always prefer to have long hair," Pearce grins. "But it always gets cut off for a job. In The Count of Monte Cristo, I wore a wig. And after The Time Machine, I did an Australian film called The Hard Word with Rachel Griffiths. My hair is slightly longer in that one as well. If I had my way, my hair would be quite long!"
Hmm, that would be our preference, too... A thespian's
Once upon a time, rising starlet Azura Skye received a phone call from her agent that she easily could have mistaken for a chat with her fairy godmother. "She said I'd been offered the lead in the Cinderella story no audition or anything!" the 19-year-old tells TV Guide Online. "It was a huge deal... very flattering."
Then, the enchanting actress was informed that ABC's Wonderful World of Disney retelling (premiering Sunday night at 7 pm/ET) would be based on the Gregory Maguire novel Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. "At that point, it dawned on me that they didn't want me to play Cinderella, they wanted me for the ugly stepsister," she recalls, aghast. "They didn't even need to see me, they just knew I was her.
"I was like, 'Oh my God!'" she continues. "But I read the script, and it wasn't nearly as insulting as it sounds."
On the contrary, the girl-p