Today's News: Our Take


Question: Who was the guest ...

Question: Who was the guest actress on the Dec. 4 episode of Without a Trace? She played a con artist. — Julie, Syracuse, N.Y.

Televisionary: The woman playing missing confidence woman Whitney Ridder was Jessalyn Gilsig. If she seems familiar, you most likely recognized her from her recent stint as teacher Lauren Davis on Boston Public.

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ON THE MEND

Ozzy Osbourne is once again breathing on his own at a London hospital, where he continues to recover from last week's quad bike accident. read more

GIVE AND TAKE

Moviegoers made love, not war, their genre of choice at the box office this weekend, as the Jack Nicholson-Diane Keaton romance Something's Gotta Give debuted at No. 1 with $17 million. That pushed Tom Cruise's The Last Samurai to second with $14 million, followed by the new Matt Damon-Greg Kinnear conjoined comedy Stuck on You (No. 3 with $10 million) and Love Don't Cost a Thing (No. 4 with $6.5 million). 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

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

Tim McGraw's Peace Plans

Tim McGraw is quail hunting in Tennessee with his pal Clint Black when he calls. Yes, the man who headlines the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Concert says he's "all about the peace," except when it comes to quails. "It's either us or the coyotes." The concert — airing Dec. 21 on A&E — honors Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights activist. McGraw, 36, who's married to Faith Hill, says he's thrilled that he was invited to sing. "To think that country music has brought me far enough to do something like this is humbling."


TV Guide Online: Are you a peacenik?
McGraw:
I've got three daughters and a wife, so I've got to make the peace all the time at home. I'm always separating the girls.

TVGO: Will you join the Dixie Chicks and start speaking out against war?
McGraw:
I'm a country sin 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

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

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