Today's News: Our Take


AT YOUR SERVICE

Jessica Simpson has signed on to star in Room Service, a big-screen adaptation of the chick-lit novel by Beverly Brandt, per The Hollywood Reporter. Simpson will play a spoiled young heiress who's forced to work at a hotel after she's disinherited by her father. She soon finds love and learns that not getting what you want can be its own best reward. Yeah, Jess might have trouble with that scene. read more

GREAT GONZO!

They've taken Manhattan, solved the Great Caper and traveled into Space. Now the Muppets have conquered the Internet. On Wednesday, the Walt Disney Co. launched Muppets.com, a new website devoted to Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, Scooter, Miss Piggy and Miss Piggy. I hear there's also a great section on Miss Piggy, but I can't get past the freakin' registration page to find out for myself! Someone please tell me what I'm doing wrong?!?!? I need my Muppet fix! read more

REUNITED

Broadway dream-team Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick — who are preparing to star in a movie version of their hit musical, The Producers — will headline a Great White Way revival of The Odd Couple in August 2005, Variety reports. Wicked's Joe Mantello will direct, so it's safe to say tickets will be impossible to come by. read more

A WRINKLE IN TIME

Lionel Richie's estranged wife Diane has been arrested and charged with letting her boyfriend use her Beverly Hills crib as a makeshift plastic-surgery clinic. Daniel Tomas Fuente Serrano allegedly gave illegal anti-wrinkle injections to as many as 40 people in the months preceding CBS' Dallas reunion. Coincidence? I think not. read more

SHOW OF SUPPORT

Sopranos stars James Gandolfini (Tony) and Tony Sirico (Paulie) are currently on a USO-Armed Forces Entertainment tour in the Middle East. For security reasons, a USO rep would not confirm whether the actors plan to visit Iraq. read more

HOT DOCS

Morgan Spurlock's acclaimed fast-food indictment Super Size Me is among the 12 films competing for best documentary at this year's Oscars. Its competition includes Tupac: Resurrection, the surfing doc Riding Giants and the prostitution drama Born Into Brothels. What about Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11? That'll compete in the best-picture race. read more

Lost All right. We've all heard...

Lost
All right. We've all heard the theory that the castaways are atoning for their own sins. Well now that's out the window. Sayid's got no shame in his game, except for being a big ol' softy. Even as an "interrogator" for the Republican Guard, he let his childhood crush, Nadia, escape execution. And he was so sweet to that feral French woman who locked him up in her jungle compound. So was it a plague that offed her shipwrecked colleagues 16 years ago, or did she go bonkers? And what's with her warning about the survivors? "Watch them closely." Don't worry, Frenchie, we're on it. What we need help with is how the inscription on Nadia's picture — "You will find me in the next life, if not this one" — ties into polar bears, music boxes, comic books and rabbits. Oh, and Hurley's golf course? Inspired. Ditto for the writers finally giving us cause to like Sawyer. Of course, that'll come back to bite us if he's the long-rumored "major character" to go toes-u read more

SHORT CUTS

Director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man 2) is producing a remake of his cult horror classic The Evil Dead, Variety reports... Rolling Stone magazine has named Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" the best song of all time... John Lennon has been voted the greatest rock-and-roll icon of all time in a poll conducted by Q music magazine... Fox has tapped Manhunt hostess Carmen Electra to star in a half-hour comedy about a woman who marries into a big Midwestern family. read more

WHO'S YOUR DADDY?

Kelly Ripa's Live boss Michael Gelman will guest-star on an upcoming episode of her ABC sitcom, Hope & Faith, playing the son of Regis Philbin's Handsome Hal character. The episode, which tapes the week of Dec. 6, also features an appearance by Ripa's hubby Mark Consuelos. Rumor has it ABC is hoping the casting stunts will take some of the focus off the writing. read more

Question: I love, love, love ...

Question: I love, love, love your column. Can you send me a free copy of the Guide to TV? My birthday is December 10, so you don't have much time. Thanks! — Kaci

Ausiello: I'm gonna start calling you Star Jones if you're not careful. But since you love my column, e-mail me your shipping address and I'll drop one in the mail ASAP. Your total comes to $15.65 with shipping and handling. Make your check payable to Will Stealmoolah.

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