Today's News: Our Take


DIE ANOTHER DAY

Hollywood is beating another action movie franchise to death. According to Variety, 20th Century Fox has tapped screenwriter Mark Bomback to pen Die Hard 4. Bruce Willis is slated to reprise his role as John McClane if (and only if) the script passes his muster. And let's face it: The bar was set pretty high with 1995's Die Hard: With a Vengeance. read more

RUSH TO JUDGMENT

Rush Limbaugh may be facing more than just a 30-day stint in rehab. The conservative radio host — who last week admitted to listeners that he was addicted to painkillers — is also under investigation by the Palm Beach County, Fla., state attorney's office, The Associated Press reports. read more

Meet Kiefer's New Partner on 24!


Who is James Badge Dale? Well, besides a dude with tough, gruff charm, he's Kiefer Sutherland's newest 24 co-star. The actor — who was Simon in 1990's film adaptation of Lord of the Flies — plays Chase, Jack Bauer's impetuous FBI partner. He's also dating Jack's daughter, Kim (Elisha Cuthbert). Sounds like a tricky combo!

"I think [Chase is] used to being good at what he does, he does his job well and he's not afraid to do what he wants," Dale says. "But I think that there's also this other side... fear of failure. I think he idolizes Jack; he wants to be Jack. He's trying to prove himself, and behind that is his fear of not being good enough."

Speaking of fear, Dale and his 24 castmates worry for their job security, not unlike the Sopranos cast does. "I think we all have a little bit of anxiety before we get every script," he admits. "I mean, what do you do? I knew walking in that, you know, the read more

SPEAKING OF

... the current issue of TV Guide magazine, Amazing Race fans will also want to check out my "TV News" column for scoop on the reality show's upcoming fifth edition. Now, go buy an issue, race back to your computer and e-mail me the scoop via the link at the bottom of this page. The first person to do so will get a shout-out in my column tomorrow! You'll be famous! read more

IN THE PINK

Steve Martin is in talks to succeed Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau in MGM's big-screen prequel Birth of the Pink Panther. Mike Myers was originally attached to the role, but the studio passed when Austin Powers allegedly demanded a too-groovy $20 million payday. read more

Ann-Margret on Stalker Watch


NBC's Third Watch needed a sexy, feisty actress of a certain age to play a judge. Whom to cast? Well, who better than the original Kitten with a Whip herself, Ann-Margret? She'll appear in three episodes during November sweeps as Judge Barbara Halsted. But look out! Judge Babs is the target of a deranged stalker.

"They call her Hang 'Em High Halsted. And there is a reason for that!" Ann-Margret laughs. "She has put away drug dealers and every kind of scum on earth for good, with no parole. So there are several hundred people who are not pleased with her performance! She has to watch her back all the time."

To play a stalker's prey was, unfortunately, not a difficult stretch for the 62-year-old two-time Oscar nominee. Years ago, she says, an obsessed fan began approaching her children at work and school. "It got very sticky — and frightening," she shares. "I understand why I would be targeted. But when it comes to my family, then I read more

Jessica Biel Must Die!


Say your prayers for Jessica Biel. The minister's daughter from 7th Heaven really needs 'em in New Line's bloody Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (opening Friday). But we're curious: How does an actress find herself on the wrong end of a chainsaw? Let's ask her, shall we?

"It is so weird," the 21-year-old tells TV Guide Online. "I just think, 'Okay, now it is time that I do an acting piece that is going to be Oscar-worthy.' I have all these ideas about what is going to come out next, and then something like this falls in my lap!

"Initially, I was very intimidated and very concerned about remaking this classic," Biel continues. "Then I read it, and it was great. And I met with [director] Marcus Nispel and he's great. Nothing like I ever expected. And it just happened. I never think, 'Oh, I've got to do a horror film,' or 'I've got to do an action movie' to get completely out of what I've done before."

Horror flick read more

DID SHE CRY?

Barbara Walters can add another big notch to her belt. The ABC News vet has landed an exclusive interview with embattled domestic guru Martha Stewart. The chat — Stewart's first since being indicted for insider trading — took place over the weekend. However, ratings-hungry ABC is holding the piece until November sweeps. During the sit-down, Stewart admitted the prospect of doing jail time frightened her. "Who wouldn't be scared? Of course I'm scared," she said. "The last place I would ever want to go is to prison. And I don't think I will be going to prison, though." read more

MACKEY ATTACKS BIG SCREEN

Shield star Michael Chiklis is jumping onto the big screen with a role in the indie working-class comedy-drama Make Someone Happy. read more

AMERICAN WEDDING

Former Buffy the Vampire Slayer sorceress Alyson Hannigan had a pretty magical weekend. On Saturday, the actress married longtime beau (and Angel actor) Alexis Denisof in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. And the following day, news broke that the American Pie leading lady — who recently made public her wish to star in a TV sitcom — had inked a deal with NBC to headline her very own comedy series for fall 2004. Comparatively, my weekend highlights included bringing my winter clothes up from storage and catching a Sunday matinee of Intolerable Cruelty. And contrary to tabloid reports, I went to the movie alone by choice and not because I have no friends. read more

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