Today's News: Our Take


PAGING ANGELINA JOLIE...

Mel Gibson's Icon Productions is developing a feature that kinda sounds like a lesbian Braveheart. According to Variety, the pic centers on Boudica, the 9th-century diva who led Britain against Roman conquerors and was posthumously named Britain's first queen. To friends, she was known simply as Xena. read more

COSTLY FRIENDS

NBC will fetch roughly $2 million per 30 seconds of commercial time for Friends' May 6 finale, a record for a sitcom. The previous benchmark — $1.7 million — was set by Seinfeld's 1998 swan song, which attracted nearly 80 million viewers. Meanwhile, as previously reported right here, Friends' one-hour capper will be available on DVD on May 11. Well, now we've got some scoop about the extras! In addition to the broadcast version of the episode, the special disc will also feature a DVD-only version with extra unaired footage, in addition to the hitcom's 1994 pilot episode. read more

SHORT CUTS

The Beastie Boys have been tapped to perform at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards, which will tape June 5 and air June 10... Cable giant Comcast withdrew its unsolicited $48.4 billion bid to buy Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday after the Mouse House refused to open negotiations (Zzzzz.....) read more

OPEN HOUSE

Mary Richards' Minneapolis crib from The Mary Tyler Moore Show has been put on the market for $1.7 million. Exterior shots of the 112-year-old Victorian house were regularly featured on the classic sitcom, although Mary Tyler Moore herself never actually stepped foot in it. The owners didn't say why they are selling, but we can only assume it has something to do with that annoying landlady Phyllis. read more

MORE TROUBLE FOR CBS

Mohamed al Fayed, the father of Princess Diana's late boyfriend, Dodi, is suing CBS for emotional distress caused by last week's 48 Hours, which showed a photo of the dying Princess immediately after the August 1997 accident in Paris. CBS says the suit is "meritless and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves." read more

MOVING ON

Robert Downey Jr. officially filed for a divorce from actress-singer Deborah Falconer Monday, clearing the way for him to marry current fianc&#233e, producer Susan Levin. Downey and Falconer tied the knot in 1992 and have a son, Indio. read more

American Idol I'm still not sure...

American Idol
I'm still not sure which Ryan Seacrest moment of the day was more disturbing: Seeing the On-Air host shave off Angel star James Marsters' platinum locks during his daytime chatfest, or hearing him talk about an Idol viewer's desire to have him put a microphone where the sun don't shine.

While John Stevens is clearly out of his league, there is something good to say about his rendition of guest host Gloria Estefan's hit "Music of My Heart." For the first time, I really appreciated the 'N Sync version of this tune. Perhaps Sir Elton has a point about the voting process being racist. How else can you explain the fact that the nearly translucent 16-year-old is still lingering among the finalists? America, stop the madness. Drop your phones and seek help if you even thought about text-messaging in your support for him last night.

While my personal fave, LaTo read more

Survivor's Alicia Points Fingers

Given her fitness pedigree, it's hardly a surprise that Survivor: All-Stars' Alicia Calaway pulled no punches when TV Guide Online interviewed her shortly after her nationally televised ousting Thursday night. The sassy finger-pointin' 35-year-old — dubbed by her tribemates as the Survivor most likely to be under the false impression that she is a) smart and b) a true All-Star — vented about her doomed alliance with Boston Rob, her beef with Shii Ann and why Amber is the real baby of the show.

TV Guide Online: How upset were you about the whole "She's not really smart" thing?
Alicia:
I wasn't really upset in a hurt way. The way I truly felt about it was frustrated. I had spent the whole entire game on my own without making any alliances. I didn't want to play the way everyone else was playing.

TVGO: That's not true. You made an alliance with Rob.
Alicia:
He came to me with that allian read more

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY

Jerry Springer — The Opera is coming to Broadway in the fall of 2005. The $13.9-million musical, which has been a critical and commercial success since opening on London's West End last April, revolves around Springer's TV persona getting shot and going to hell. Which means it'll probably play across the street from Mamma Mia! read more

Kid in the Hall Tells All!

Dave Foley may be best known for his five seasons on NBC's NewsRadio, but the comic's most groundbreaking work came prior to that on the surreal sketch-comedy series The Kids in the Hall (1989-95). Foley is thrilled that Kids are getting the gold-star treatment this week from A&E Home Video with a four-disc DVD set containing the first season of their hilariously absurd work. In honor of Kids' big revival, the Will & Grace guest star agreed to dish loads of backstage dirt with TV Guide Online.

TV Guide Online: What fond memories do you have about Kids in the Hall?
Dave Foley:
Oh, I remember every fight — we tended to fight a lot.

TVGO: What do you mean by a lot?
Foley:
Constantly. People outside the group would assume that we could never work together again after the things that we would say to each other. It was always personal, but thinly disguised as a creative difference. When you had a read more

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