Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

The final two Christmas-themed episodes of the Brit hit The Office are at last making their way across the pond, debuting on BBC America Oct. 21, USA Today reports... Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will arrive on DVD Nov. 23. read more

SERIOUS CHARGE

Actor-comic Anthony Anderson, who starred last season in the short-lived WB sitcom All About the Andersons, has been accused of rape. A 25-year-old female extra on the Memphis set of his hip-hop film, Hustle & Flow, alleges that Anderson and assistant director Wayne Witherspoon forced her into a trailer, where she was fondled and forced to strip for nude photos. She says she fled the trailer unclothed when the attack was interrupted by a passerby. The two men have each been charged with one count of aggravated assault. Meanwhile, Anderson's publicist says he's "a happily married family man" and "absolutely denies the heinous charges." read more

SUPER RUMSPRINGA!

If the folks at UPN are a little, um, buggy today, here's why: Last night's two-hour premiere of Amish in the City averaged a potent 5.2 million viewers and propelled the lowly network to a second-place finish among adults 18-49. What's next? Are cows going to beam down from outer space? read more

SWEET REVENGE?

Former Moesha star Shar Jackson — best known these days as the young mother Kevin Federline dumped to be with Britney Spears — is shopping around a reality show starring herself. According to Variety, the half-hour "docusoap" would follow Jackson around as she attempts to get back into music and acting while raising the two children she had with Federline. Each episode will end with the kids stomping on a brand-new Britney Spears collectible porcelain doll. read more

FATAL ATTRACTION

Catherine Zeta-Jones gave more than three hours of emotional testimony Wednesday at a preliminary hearing to determine whether her accused stalker, Dawnette Knight, should stand trial. The Oscar winner claims Knight sent her numerous letters containing death threats. In one note, Knight allegedly threatened to "slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs." Zeta-Jones' hubby, Michael Douglas, also took the stand, saying he was "shocked, scared and stunned" after learning that his wife was "a marked person." If convicted, Knight faces up to 19 years in prison. read more

MOVE OVER JESS...

Ashlee Simpson's debut disc, Autobiography, entered Billboard's album chart at No. 1 with sales of 398,000. In a statement, MTV's newest reality star said the boffo bow was "beyond my wildest dreams... I'm so excited for what's happened and what's to come." I can't be sure, but I think what's to come is a catfight with your big sis. read more

AMAZING RATINGS

Another strong performance from Amazing Race led CBS to take the Nielsen crown among total viewers Tuesday night. Fox's alleged rip-off romp Trading Spouses also picked up steam in its second outing, averaging 9.1 million viewers. Of course, only 4.7 million of 'em stuck around until 9:30 to watch Andy Richter commit career suicide — proving, once and for all, that audiences are in fact responding to Quintuplets. And, like me, they hate it. read more

RECOVERING

American Idol runner-up Diana DeGarmo was briefly hospitalized Tuesday after taking a spill on stage during an "American Idols Live" concert in Grand Rapids, Mich. According to sources, DeGarmo had just reached her rainbow's end when she caught a shooting star in her shoe, sending her flying head-first into Fantasia's pot of gold. Now that's some bitter irony. read more

Next Action Star Awww yeah. Could...

Next Action Star
Awww yeah. Could I be any happier about Corinne and Sean snagging the leads in the big movie? Hells yeah! I could have people to share the love with me. Unfortunately, it seems the only viewers this show has had all summer have been me, my roomie and our dogs, Bustah and Pepito. Who were actually rooting for Jared, it turns out. Traitors. No matter, it's been a blast watching these willing wannabes take a beating in the name of auditioning for next week's made-for-TV flick. If only there was a way to find Jared and Jeanne maybe a pair of supporting roles? And John from Oregon. He was good people. In fact, I'm going to miss them all. Call me, you guys, OK?

True Hollywood Story
Damn, those Chippendales were cheesy. All thongs and muscles and mullets. Like bad '80s cable soft-core set to the music of Missing Persons. (As opposed to the good '80s cable soft-core, which was, of course, read more

Home Boy's Big Break


That first movie gig is special for any actor. Then again, landing a starring role opposite the hunky Colin Farrell and the tremendously talented Robin Wright Penn and Sissy Spacek could be a newcomer's worst nightmare! Luckily for theater thesp Dallas Roberts, the aforementioned A-listers were a dream to work with on the set of A Home at the End of the World (now in limited release).

"For a guy who is making his first movie — and with bona fide movie stars — there was some trepidation about how I was going to do," the soft-spoken Roberts admits. "But [they all] made me feel very calm and very much like I was doing a good job, and that it was alright to be a little weirded out by all this."

After multiple auditions with director Michael Mayer and producer Tom Hulce, Roberts learned he'd won the part at a tricky time. "I was actually about four minutes from going on stage [in the Off-Broa read more

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