Today's News: Our Take


BIG (APPLE) DOINGS

The just-announced third installment of CSI — to be set in New York — will be spun-off from a May sweeps episode of CSI: Miami, CBS confirmed over the weekend. read more

LORDY!

The Producers Guild of America named The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King the best movie of the year Saturday at its annual kudosfest. Last year, Chicago nabbed the Guild's top honor and then went on to win the Oscar for best picture. (You do the math.) HBO was the big winner on the TV side, with Six Feet Under and Sex and the City taking home trophies for best drama and comedy. In other awards news, Cold Mountain scored a field-best 13 nods for the annual BAFTAS — Britain's answer to the Oscars. LOTR was next with 12. read more

SPIN REDUX

Charlie Sheen will reunite with former Spin City co-star Heather Locklear on an upcoming episode of his CBS comedy Two and a Half Men. "She plays Alan's (Jon Cryer) divorce attorney who has no sexual boundaries and gets involved with Charlie," says exec producer Chuck Lorre."And when he breaks it off with her, she takes it out on [his brother's] settlement." That's so Amanda Woodward of her. read more

THEY'RE BACK

Two and a Half Men received an early vote of confidence from CBS over the weekend in the form of a second season pick-up. Renewals were also issued to fellow freshman hits Joan of Arcadia, Cold Case and Navy NCIS. Les Moonves, meanwhile, confirmed to TV Guide Online that two more editions of Survivor have been ordered for next season. read more

WILL POWER

Will Smith will reprise his role as Jonny in a special one hour episode of his UPN comedy All Of Us on Feb. 17, the network announced Sunday at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Hollywood, Calif. UPN also unveiled plans for a summer reality show that follows Amish teenagers having their first experiences with modern conveniences such as booze, cars and Paris Hilton. read more

Quote of The Weekend: "It's bad...

Quote of The Weekend:
"It's bad enough being a fugitive in North Korea, now I have to find out you slept with Will."
Vaughn (Michael Vartan) to Sydney on Alias, after finding out about her intoxicated hook-up with her previously platonic pal.

SUNDAY

AFC Championship: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
I'm from Boston, so let me say that the New England sports fan mentality runs deep. Even though the Patriots were ahead throughout (winning 24-14), I was nervous until the very, very end. Unlike other fans, I feel like we're less about the thrill of victory than just avoiding the continuing agony of defeat. It's an overwhelming mindset of "Please don't screw this up... Please!... What? They won?! Oh, thank God!" When Greg Gumbel kept saying things like, "The Patriots [are] 15 minutes away from Houston... " I was like, "Shut up! Don't jinx us!"

I bet the game looked like q read more

Jeff Daniels Plays Dumb


From Dumb & Dumber to The Hours, Jeff Daniels sure has run the gamut in his acting career. "I like variety," he tells TV Guide Online. "I could never do a 10-year television series." Still, the movie star doesn't mind doing one teensy TV-movie. Next up, he costars with Everybody Love Raymond's Patricia Heaton in TNT's version of Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl (tonight at 8 pm/ET).

"She was a joy to work with," he says of Heaton. "When you're doing comedy, it's good to have somebody across from you who knows what comedy is. She's really good. She knows what she's doing."

Speaking of fun comedy teams, 'tis a shame Daniels and Jim Carrey will never reunite for a Dumb & Dumber sequel. What did he think of last year's prequel — starring two younger unknowns as Harry and Lloyd — we wonder?

"I didn't see it," Daniels shrugs. "Nobody went to see it. I actually walked by the theater an read more

VH1 Rebuilds Berlin


For those of us who hold fast to impossible dreams, VH1 presents Bands Reunited, a beyond-cool new series that brings back together defunct '80s acts for one-night-stand mini-concerts. In its auspicious debut episode (airing Monday at 10 pm/ET), it even allows Berlin founder John Crawford to bury the hatchet with Terri Nunn, the charismatic front woman from whom he had long been estranged.

"We hadn't spoken in six years," the singer tells TV Guide Online. "In fact, the last time we talked was a fight [over putting Berlin back on the map]. I wanted to be 50/50 partners with him, and he didn't want that, because he'd always run the band before. I just thought, 'I'm too old, and too good, to do that again.' So for me to have that healing with him was a life-changing thing for me."

Although Nunn still records and tours with a rad, revamped Berlin lineup, she shared Crawford's fear that they and their cronies wouldn't be able to pull it toge read more

How Will Friends End?

As previously reported, Friends will wrap its 10-year laughfest on May 6 with what NBC is calling a "two-hour extravaganza." The first hour will be a retrospective, followed by a one-hour series finale. So what happens in the last episode? Well, that's top secret. But this week, the producers and cast did offer some hints at a farewell press conference with TV critics on the Friends set. Here's what we learned...

Ross and Rachel will go off into the sunset.
Well, they didn't say that, but we can read between the lines. Asked how he'd like to see Ross end up, David Schwimmer said: "We all end up with a sense of a new beginning. I can't divulge where we're going, but it's exactly what I had hoped." Hmmm... Back in September, Schwimmer told TV Guide that Ross and Rachel are "destined to be together. To quote Phoebe Buffay, they're each other's lobster, whether they know it or not." So don't be surprised if baby Emma' read more

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

CBS has nixed a Super Bowl commercial from PETA that would have featured scantily clad vegetarians, saying it will not run spots on "controversial issues of public importance." The network has also rejected an ad from a liberal group that would have attacked President Bush. read more

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