Today's News: Our Take


STRIKING THE BAN

In what Variety is calling a "stunning underdog victory for indie producers and a defeat for corporate muscle," a federal judge temporarily blocked the Motion Picture Assoc. of America's ban on sending screeners to critics groups and Golden Globe voters for awards consideration. The MPAA imposed the ban in order to cut down on piracy and re-gifting during the holidays. read more

How the Grinch Stole ChristmasA...

How the Grinch Stole Christmas A Charlie Brown Christmas may be the ultimate holiday special, but I love everything about this Chuck Jones rendering of the Dr. Seuss classic: the ever-devoted Max and his ridiculous antler; the Who hash and the roast beast; all the Whos who were asnooze; how the Grinch's hair curls in evil delight as he hatches his plan and how his eyes turn blue when he realizes the true meaning of Christmas; Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than 2; that 39-1/2-ft. pole. Far superior in every way to the Jim Carrey remake, I watch this cartoon every time I know it's on, but I don't think I have ever enjoyed it more than I did senior year in high school, when my psychology teacher devoted the last class before winter break to watching the video, with a grinning Grinch doll sitting in a front-row desk.

Survivor: Pearl Islands I don't know which appalled me more: Jon's assessment of wicker furniture an read more

RUSH ON THE DEFENSIVE

Authorities in Florida seized Rush Limbaugh's medical records as part of their ongoing probe into whether the conservative blowhard purchased painkillers illegally. Limbaugh denied any wrongdoing on his radio show Thursday, saying that he "suffered extreme pain and had legitimate reasons for taking pain medication." read more

WANDA AT UNEMPLOYMENT LINE

Fox has axed Wanda at Large, its sophomore sitcom starring comic Wanda Sykes. After a promising first season, Wanda was banished to Fridays, where it flopped. read more

HOMETOWN HERO

Bruce Springsteen is donating a portion of the proceeds from three benefit concerts in Asbury Park, N.J., this weekend to help purchase uniforms and instruments for the local high school marching band. read more

Party On, Scott Wolf!


As boozy Bailey Salinger on Party of Five, Scott Wolf sent Jennifer Love Hewitt's pretty li'l head through a windshield. "That's right," he tells TV Guide Online. "Among many other horrible things I was up to back then! Bailey had a bit of a battle with alcoholism."

Now, "whenever I'm in a bar having a drink," Wolf laughs, "I hear, 'Hey, should you be having that?' Usually, I've had a drink or two by the time I hear it, so it doesn't bother me."

Ever wonder why Love's character, Sarah, kept on dating Bailey, despite his dsyfunctional 'tude? Well, duh! 'Cause he was hot. "I'd like to think that's why!" Wolf agrees, then shyly changes the subject. "It's pretty cool when people say how much they miss the show. It was more than just something people would catch every now and again. We had some r read more

Melrose Vamp Defends Threat

Former soap starlet Kelly Rutherford (Generations, Melrose Place) sure gets around in showbiz. Every time we turn around, the Homefront alumna has landed herself a new television gig. She currently co-stars as Frankie in ABC's new counter-terrorist drama Threat Matrix (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET), which recently received a full 22-episode order. Here, TV Guide Online rings up the 35-year-old actress in her trailer on the Threat set, where her Jack Russell terrier stands sentinel as her personal bodyguard. Watch out, Osama!


TVGO: What's all that barking?
Kelly Rutherford:
(Laughs) My dog barks at people if they get near my trailer. His name's Oliver and he is protective! So I have to make sure he doesn't bark at my fellow actors. He just went after Kurt Caceres, who play read more

MORE MOVIE KUDOS

In America led this year's Independent Spirit Award nominations with six nods, including best feature. Director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot) and his two daughters wrote the just-released film, which follows a family of Irish immigrants who befriend an American man with AIDS (Djimon Hounsou). The other contenders in the best feature category are Lost in Translation, American Splendor, Raising Victor Vargas and Shattered Glass. read more

Scarlett Johansson Quiets Down


As moviegoers know, It Girl Scarlett Johansson is scooping up rave reviews for Lost in Translation. But while that film allowed her to wise off and show off her singing talent, she's practically mute in Girl with a Pearl Earring (opening Dec. 12). Set in Holland circa 1665, Girl tells the tale of a young housemaid's romance with her married employer ( Colin Firth). Back then, servants didn't speak until spoken to. So was it difficult for the 19-year-old star to act with so few lines?

"I think that everyone's emotions are conveyed on their face most of the time," Johansson tells TV Guide Online. "Sometimes, words can be sort of deceiving, and even as you're speaking, it's what is showing on your face that gives you away. [The film] was quite a delight, actually. I didn't have to fumble with awkward read more

TOUR DE FORCE

Britney Spears will launch her 25-city In the Zone tour on March 2 in San Diego. Other stops include Las Vegas (March 6), Los Angeles (March 8), Seattle (March 12), Chicago (March 19), Miami (March 28) and New York (April 10 or 12). read more

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