Today's News: Our Take


I SPY AN OSCAR GIG

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has tapped Alias badass Jennifer Garner to host its annual Scientific and Technical Awards (aka the Sci-Tech Oscars) on Feb. 14. For her troubles, Garner gets to attend the actual Oscar ceremony on Feb. 29 and present the Sci-Tech segment. read more

DEEP SLEEP

Luke Wilson has signed on to play a guy who falls asleep only to wake up 1,000 years in the future in the big-screen comedy 3001. Mike Judge (King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-head) will direct. read more

TOUR DE FORCE

The WB has ordered six episodes of a sketch comedy series starring stand-up comics Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy, Variety reports. The deal comes on the heels of the trio's successful "Blue Collar Comedy Tour." read more

SHORT CUTS

Oprah Winfrey will celebrate her 50th birthday today with a star-studded bash on The Oprah Winfrey Show... A Cirque du Soleil production featuring the music of the Beatles will likely replace Siegfried & Roy's closed show at the Mirage casino in Las Vegas... Sci Fi Channel has greenlit Anonymous Rex, a two-hour movie based on Eric Garcia's series of books about dinosaurs who disguise themselves as humans. Rumor has it Joan Rivers is a shoo-in to star. read more

IT'S [BLEEPIN'] OVER

Someone stick a fork in The Sharon Osbourne Show — because it's done, folks. Warner Bros. has reportedly pulled the plug on the syndicated gabfest, which has struggled in the ratings since its debut in September. In an interview with USA Today, Osbourne says she asked to be released from her contract in December following Ozzy's near-fatal ATV crash. She also said she'd never do a third season of The Osbournes, so I don't know what to believe anymore. read more

MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

Marc Anthony and his wife, Dayanara Torres, have reportedly split up — again. The couple separated two years after tying the knot in 2000, only to get back together five months later. They celebrated their reunion with a lavish ceremony in Puerto Rico in Dec. 2002. Now, Torres has filed for divorce and is said to be seeking alimony and child support. They have two very confused children, Christian, 2, and Ryan, 5 months. At least I assume they're confused. read more

J.LO SPEAKS

Jennifer Lopez tells Star magazine that her breakup with Ben Affleck has left her "extremely broken-hearted." In her first post-split interview, J.Lo says she "put enormous effort" into the relationship, but "in the end, I realized I needed to put my personal and professional life back together." Lopez's camp denies that the singer-actress-diva talked to Star, but the tabloid says it stands by its story. Of course, I'm pretty sure the mag also said Sharon Osbourne would never do a third season of The Osbournes, so I don't know what to believe anymore. read more

Molly Shannon's Baby Dilemma


Molly Shannon is no Sean Penn: She isn't about to deck a photographer for snapping pictures of her. But photograph her infant daughter, Stella, and holy cow! Shutterbugs may see a whole different side of the Saturday Night Live alumna. "The other day, Entertainment Tonight happened to catch a shot of her," she recalls, "and they asked me afterwards, 'Would it be OK if we let that footage air?'

"I reeled for like two hours!" she continues. "'Should I? Should I? What should I do?' I finally had to sit myself down and ask myself what was going on."

Although the funny lady's endearing neuroses may drive her bonkers, they also make her perfect to star in Fox's mid-season sitcom Cracking Up (premiering March 15). The show's executive producer is Mike White read more

AMERICAN NIGHTMARE

Real-life lovebirds and Beautiful Mind costars Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany are in talks to headline the postwar drama American Pastoral. They'd play a couple whose lives are turned upside down when they learn their daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) is a revolutionary terrorist. read more

SPOT REMOVER

CBS is defending its decision to reject a Super Bowl ad that would have criticized President Bush's handling of the U.S. deficit after a group of congressmen called the move an affront to free speech. The network says it has a policy against "advocacy advertising," which is designed to prevent groups from exerting undue influence on controversial issues that have "a significant impact on society or its institutions." In other words, ads that are boring. read more

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