Today's News: Our Take


WHO IS SUPERMAN?

Reigning Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings extended his winning streak to 39 games Monday when the quiz show returned from hiatus. Despite blowing a comic book-themed "Final Jeopardy" question, Jennings added another $10,000 to his $1.3 million stockpile. read more

BLACK EYE

The FCC is expected to fine 20 CBS-owned stations a record $550,000 for violating broadcast decency standards when it aired Janet Jackson's nipple last January. In a statement, CBS said, "While we regret that the incident occurred and have apologized to our viewers, we continue to believe that nothing in the Super Bowl broadcast violated indecency laws." Of course, they also think Center of the Universe is funny, so clearly their judgment is a little off. read more

ON THE MEND

Docs treating Rodney Dangerfield say the 82-year-old comedian is expected to make a full recovery following heart valve-replacement surgery. Dangerfield remains hospitalized in intensive care at UCLA Medical Center. read more

THAT THING THEY DO

Filmmaker Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) is developing a four-hour remake of The Thing for Sci Fi Channel, Variety reports. And not to be outdone, Ridley Scott is updating the the 1971 thriller The Andromeda Strain for Sci Fi. read more

PO5 Hottie Gets Lost

He battled Hodgkin's disease on Party of Five and death itself on UPN's short-lived supernatural drama Haunted. But Matthew Fox may face his biggest challenge yet on Lost, the new ABC thriller from Alias creator J.J. Abrams. He plays Jack, a surgeon who survives a plane crash, only to be stranded on a remote island that is also home to a mysteriously lethal (and unseen) creature.
TV Guide Online: How did you get involved in Lost?
Matthew Fox:
I came in and [auditioned]. At that point, the script was very confidential. Nobody was really getting a chance to read it. I don't usually go into auditions or meetings until I've read the material, but my agents and managers said, "This is really gonna be a big one. It's J.J. Abrams." So I went in, and J.J. took me to an office and gave me the script. I sat down to read it, but he kept running into the room every 20 minutes going, "What do you think?" I was like, "You gotta give me a read more

LABOR PAINS

Organizers of this weekend's annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon are blaming Hurricane Frances for this year's non-record-breaking haul. Donations totaled $59.4 million — down nearly 2 percent from 2003's $60.5 million. Disruptions and outages prevented many Florida stations from airing the telethon. It was only the second time in the telethon's 39-year history that Jerry and Co. failed to surpass the previous year's total. read more

THERE IS A GOD...

... and his name is J.J. Abrams. The mastermind behind Felicity and Alias is developing an ABC comedy project for — get ready to simma don naCheri Oteri! According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show will be based on an idea Abrams dreamed up for Oteri, who, if you haven't heard, is my favorite Saturday Night Live grad of all time. The news comes just three days after SNL aired its Best of Cheri Oteri special and two hours after I finished watching said special for the sixth time. read more

THE BRUSH-OFF FROM OZ

Ewan McGregor, Ricky Martin and Harry Connick Jr. were reportedly approached about succeeding Hugh Jackman in Broadway's The Boy from Oz, which closes Sunday after a successful year-long run. "I think that they were asked and just turned it down," Jackman tells the New York Times. Meanwhile, the Tony winner says he's not bidding farewell to Broadway for good. "I want to do a one-man show as Hugh Jackman," he says. "I never had the guts to admit that before." Let's hope his next big confession involves the words "Van Helsing" and "I'm sorry." read more

HIT MAN

A car driven by Sopranos star James Gandolfini was struck by a suspected drunken driver Saturday in New Jersey. Gandolfini, who was in the Garden State for a Rutgers-Michigan State football game (wink, wink), was not injured in the accident. read more

WANTING MOORE

Michael Moore has taken Fahrenheit 9/11 out of this year's best documentary Oscar race and is instead focusing on the grand prize: best picture. Fahrenheit would be the first documentary ever nominated for Oscar's top prize. In related news, rumor has it Warner Bros. is expected to take Catwoman out of the Oscars race entirely and focus instead on a Razzies sweep. read more

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