Today's News: Our Take


ALOHA

American Idol producers breathed a sigh of relief last night as pitchy Hawaiian Jasmine Trias was eliminated from the competition, clearing the way for next week's climactic showdown between Southern belles Fantasia Barrino and Diana DeGarmo. As always, if you've got questions for Jasmine, e-mail them to me via the link at the bottom of this page. Extra consideration will be given to those folks who do not refer to the 17-year-old as "Jazzy." read more

Meet Spider-Man 2's Dr. Octopus


Alfred Molina's career is all over the showbiz map. He's currently Tony-nominated for his portrayal of Tevye, the meddling father in Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof. He plays himself in the indie film Coffee and Cigarettes (now in theaters). Plus, as most comic-book geeks already know, he'll raise hell as Doctor Octopus in the much-hyped Spider-Man 2. And boy, did he beat out some heavyweight Hollywood competition for that big-paycheck part!

"[Director] Sam Raimi saw a whole bunch of us character actors," Molina reveals. "It was me, Ed Harris, Chris Cooper and Christopher Walken. We were all actors on a list because we all had movies that made a bit of a splash. Chris had a SAG nomination and an Oscar nomination. Ed Harris had an Oscar nomination. I had gotten a SAG nomination and a BAFTA nomination for Frida."

Preview details about the sequel have been slim, which only heightens fans' c read more

SHORT CUTS

7th Heaven's David Gallagher, who reprised his role as middle child Simon on Monday's finale, will stick around for much of next season, the WB confirms... Published reports say Jessica Simpson is thisclose to nabbing the role of Daisy Duke in the movie version of The Dukes of Hazzard... 60 Minutes II will be renamed 60 Minutes this fall. read more

MOVE OVER, RAY

Everybody Loves Raymond executive producer Phil Rosenthal is lookin' for a little love in front of the camera. The onetime thesp has been cast in James L. Brooks' upcoming comedy, Spanglish. "I'm playing a chef opposite Adam Sandler," he says. "I used to be an actor 15 years ago. I've never done a movie in my life. It's unbelievable." read more

O.C. LAWSUIT!

Two writers are suing O.C. creator Josh Schwartz for $10 million, claiming that the idea for the Fox soap is theirs. According to USA Today, Scott Donnelly and Erik Lindsay allege that they had an agreement with Schwartz to develop a series called The Pointes. However, they claim the scribe went behind their backs and pitched The O.C. read more

FOX TROT

It's official: 24 will relocate to Mondays at 9 pm when it kicks off its fourth season in January '05. Kiefer and Co. will be paired with Athens, a college-set soap penned by O.C. creator Josh Schwartz. And as hinted Wednesday, The O.C. will shift to Thursdays in November, when it will lead into Tru Calling. Other highlights from Fox's three-tiered, year-round sked: A sketch comedy hosted by Kelsey Grammer bows in January; Arrested Development moves to 8:30 pm Sunday following The Simpsons; and Apprentice clone The Billionaire will occupy American Idol read more

Angel Creator's Finale Post-Mortem


There are many ways to describe last night's series finale of Angel. Heart-wrenching (Wes kicked the bucket! And died in Illyria/Fred's arms!), action-packed (that Angel vs. Hamilton throwdown), hilarious (Spike reading his terrible love poem — which all die-hard fans know we first heard in the fifth season of Buffy — to a rapt audience of tough guys) and thrilling (the final charge before the closing credits) all fit the bill. But whatever you do, don't call it a cliffhanger, even if Angel and his surviving crew were still fighting as the episode ended.

"The word 'cliffhanger' is really a misnomer here," series co-creator Joss Whedon stresses to TV Guide Online. "This was not the final grace note after a symphony, the way the Buffy finale was. We are definitely still in the thick of it [at the end]. But the point of the show is that you're never done; no matter who goes down, the fight goes on.

"Did I end it this way read more

SPECIAL, INDEED

The season finale of Law & Order: SVU attracted more than 18 million viewers Tuesday, the show's largest audience to date. This comes roughly one month after TV Guide Online singled out SVU leading lady Mariska Hargitay as TV's Most Underrated Actress. Coincidence? I think not. read more

Eli Wallach's Ugly Memories

It's the film Quentin Tarantino wishes he had directed. Stylish, flamboyant and groundbreaking, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) is what '60s cinema was all about. This week, the cult flick rides in with a new DVD — including a fistful of extras that'd make the Man with No Name crack a smile. Actor Eli Wallach, who co-starred as the comically cruel Tuco in the film, reminisces with TV Guide Online about star Clint Eastwood, director Sergio Leone and the hazards of uncooked potatoes.

TV Guide Online: What did you think the first time you heard about The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?
Eli Wallach:
When my agent told me that they wanted me to do a spaghetti Western, it sounded crazy, like a Hawaiian pizza. It makes no sense! [Laughs] Clint Eastwood had done two of them already, but I'd never seen Clint in a movie. I met with Sergio Leone; he said he wanted me to see the credits of one of his movies, and then I would read more

QUARTERBACK SNEAK

NFL second stringer Jesse Palmer picked 22-year-old law student Jessica B. over 23-year-old serial hurler Tara on last night's Bachelor finale. Although Palmer didn't propose, the New York Giant did offer her a one-way plane ticket to join him in the Big Apple. Tara, meanwhile, was presented with some chewable Pepto-Bismol tablets and a prescription to help her get a freakin' grip! read more

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