Today's News: Our Take


FEBRUARY SWEEPS, PERHAPS?

Oprah Winfrey has extended an olive branch to David Letterman, just as the duo's very public tiff had started to get ugly. On Friday's Late Show, Letterman announced that Winfrey had finally invited him to appear on her program — an offer he has yet to formally accept. "It can't possibly happen because that would screw up the Super Bowl of Love," he said. "Because here's what would happen: I would go on the Oprah show and I would break down and sob like a little girl." read more

SANDRA WINS!

Outspoken office manager Sandra Diaz-Twine outwitted a double-crossing Boy Scout leader and a really good liar with really scary hair to win Survivor: Pearl Islands last night. The 29-year-old mother of two collects $1 million, a new SUV and a 10 percent discount at the CBS commissary. Meanwhile, Nielsen estimates an average 25 million viewers watched the two-hour finale, easily making it Sunday's top program. read more

SHORT CUTS

Stephen King is turning his apocalyptic best-seller Desperation into a three-hour ABC movie... NBC has ordered four additional episodes of its low-rated Alicia Silverstone dramedy Miss Match. read more

THIS BITES

Here's some "TV News" scoop from the new issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale now): Sarah Michelle Gellar won't be back as Buffy this season after all. The erstwhile Slayer — who was in talks to do a two-episode arc on Buffy spinoff Angel during May sweeps — has opted against picking up stakes again. Says Joss Whedon, creator of both series: "She feels it's not the right time." Gellar's rep declined to comment. In related news, the Scooby-Doo thesp has signed on to star in the horror film The Grudge, an English-language remake of the Japanese thriller Ju-On. read more

BEST IN FILM

The American Film Institute has unveiled its picks for the 10 best movies of 2003, and there's not a Jennifer Lopez flick in the bunch. The unranked list includes American Splendor, Finding Nemo, The Human Stain, In America, The Last Samurai, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Lost in Translation, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Monster and Mystic River. read more

REMEMBERED

Actress Jeanne Crain, who earned an Oscar nomination in 1949 for playing a black girl passing for white in the controversial film Pinky, died Sunday of a heart attack at her Santa Barbara home. She was 78. read more

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS

Nearly a month after his arrest, Michael Jackson is expected to be formally charged with multiple counts of child molestation this week. Someone better sedate Jermaine. read more

THE GOOD GIRL

A judge gave convicted shoplifter Winona Ryder high marks for abiding by the rules of her probation at a hearing today in Los Angeles. If she keeps it up, there's talk her felony convictions could be reduced to misdemeanors. Ryder's next progress report hearing is slated for May 26. read more

MOURNED

Keiko, the beloved killer whale who starred in the Free Willy movies, was buried Monday in a private ceremony in Norway. The six-ton orca died Friday of pneumonia at age 27, which is considered old for a captive whale. read more

SIMPLE PLAN

Paris Hilton's latest escapades are headed to a video store near you — but they won't be packaged in a big fat box or hidden in a seedy back room. Fox Home Entertainment has announced plans to release the entire first season of The Simple Life on DVD Jan 20 — a week after the hit reality show ends its seven-episode run on TV. Now that's what I call a quickie. read more

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