Today's News: Our Take


Ashton Kutcher has found a woman closer to his own age. Demi's 25-year-old boy-toy has been cast opposite Amanda Peet, 32, in the Disney romantic comedy A Lot Like Love. The film revolves around a guy and a girl who manage to resist their mutual attraction over the years only to see fate throwing them back together. read more


Newlyweds star Nick Lachey has signed a development deal with ABC that calls for him to star in a comedy or a drama series. Lachey's bride, Jessica Simpson, recently inked a similar deal with the network. read more


Late-night legend Jack Paar — host of NBC's The Tonight Show from 1957 until 1962 — has died at 85 from a long illness. Johnny Carson, who inherited the Tonight reins from Parr, said he was "very saddened to hear of [Parr's] passing. He was a unique personality who brought a new dimension to late night television." Indeed, Parr — whose guests included everyone from JFK to Judy Garland — was dubbed "one of America's most popular indoor pastimes" just weeks after his debut. read more


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was officially crowned the Oscar front-runner today by scoring a field-best 11 Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best director for Peter Jackson. Competing with Rings for best picture are Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Lost in Translation, Mystic River and Seabiscuit. In a surprising twist, Anthony Minghella's Civil War epic Cold Mountain failed to secure nominations for best picture or best actress for Nicole Kidman, although Jude Law and read more


Two more former American Idol contestants have landed record deals — singing marine Joshua Gracin and first-season finalist R.J. Helton. read more


Barbra Streisand may play Ben Stiller's mother in Meet the Fockers, the upcoming sequel to Meet the Parents, Access Hollywood reports. She'd star opposite Dustin Hoffman, who was just cast as Stiller's dad. read more


Fox has wrapped production on a new dating show that revolves around a 4-foot-5 single guy looking for love from a pool of 12 little women. Titled The Littlest Groom, the two-episode series will feature all of the typical reality trappings, including group dates, hot tub parties and — of course — a twist. At one point, the pint-sized bachelor will have to choose between dating women his own size or women of average height. read more


A record 26.7 million viewers watched NBC's telecast of the Golden Globe Awards Sunday night, topping the previous high of 24.3 million viewers in 1998. read more


MTV has picked up a half-hour game show pilot titled Your Face or Mine?, which asks contestants to predict how handsome or ugly people think they really are. Stand-up comedian Dan Levy will host. read more

Traffic: Part 1 Not to be a champion...

Traffic: Part 1
Not to be a champion of the Ignorance is Bliss Club, but... I don't want to know that opportunistic Americans, like the DEA agent played by Elias Koteas, are setting up opium trafficking rings in Afghanistan. That kind of knowledge hurts my patriotic soul. And, in these post-September 11 days, I especially don't want to know that — while TSA agents make me do everything but give blood before I can board a plane to go see my mama — some American fishermen are helping black market travel agents ship freight cars full of illegal immigrants into the country. All willy nilly. Just like that. Welcome to America, y'all. For this reason, and this reason alone, USA's brilliant three-part series about the non-vehicular traffic crossing our supposedly secure borders just about sent me over the edge. For real. I don't want to know that people die trying to get in this country. I don't. And I don't want to feel sad or guilty about it, either. Espec read more

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