Today's News: Our Take


CASHING IN

Regis Philbin has come to ABC's rescue once again. Last night's debut of Super Millionaire hit the jackpot with 17.5 million viewers — making it the night's top-rated program. The five-night event wraps up Friday. read more

BIG NEWS!

In case you missed Sex and the City's 45-minute climax last night, here's a quick recap: Carrie chose Big, whose real name was revealed to be John; Charlotte's adoption came through; a chemotherapied Samantha found her sex drive again; and Miranda performed the ultimate act of love for Steve when she gave his demarbled mom a place to stay and a sponge bath. All told, the Fab Four ended on a happy note, and, despite what you may have heard, I didn't shed one measly tear. Not even when the girls took to the sidewalk for one final stroll through Manhattan. Oh, who am I kidding — I cried like a little girl. read more

YO, ADRIAN!

It didn't take long for reality guru Mark Burnett to find a home for The Contender, his latest unscripted experiment that's basically American Idol set within the boxing world. NBC agreed to shell out a record $2 million per episode for the show, beating out rival bids from ABC, CBS and Fox. As we reported here Thursday, The Contender — which Burnett is producing with DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg and erstwhile Rocky, Sylvester Stallone — aims to find America's next boxing superstar. read more

EVERY LITTLE STEP BACK

Singer Bobby Brown is back home — behind bars. Whitney's hubby-turned-albatross was jailed in Atlanta over the weekend for an unspecified parole violation stemming from his prior drunken driving conviction. He's expected to remain in the slammer until a court hearing on Friday. read more

THE WRITE STUFF

A pair of quirky indies dominated the Writers Guild of America's 56th annual awardsfest Saturday. Sofia Coppola won best original screenplay for Lost in Translation, and Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer snagged the best adapted screenplay prize for American Splendor. On the TV side, trophies for best comedy and drama writing went to Frasier and 24. read more

HAIR'S YOUR CHANCE!

Getting married or engaged? Have a class reunion coming up? Got a scary-ass hairdo? If you answered yes to any of these questions (especially that last one), you could qualify for a makeover on Blow Out, Bravo's upcoming reality series set inside a new Beverly Hills salon. If interested, head to BravoTV.com/Blow_Out/ for more information. After that, get thee to Super Cuts. Pronto. read more

NEW BLOOD

This may be the year Scrubs and Gilmore Girls get some long-overdue Emmy props! In a bid to freshen up a competition that finds the same shows winning year after year, the TV academy will allow voters to check off 10 names/shows per category when ballots arrive in May — that's double the current five. The number of final nominees per category, however, will remain at five. Says an Emmy rep: "This gives the approximately 12,000 academy members a chance to expand the field of nominees." Translation: The West Wing's three-year reign is about to come to an end. read more

UNWELCOME

Turns out not everybody loves Raymond on the big screen. Ray Romano's live-action feature debut, Welcome to Mooseport, opened in fourth place at the weekend box office with a disappointing $7 million. (That noise you hear is Romano giving CBS the go-ahead for an eighth season of Raymond.) Fellow newcomers Eurotrip and Against the Ropes also crashed and burned, grossing less than $10 million combined. 50 First Dates, meanwhile, held on to the top spot with $21 million, bringing its 10-day total to $72.3 million. read more

SundaySex and the City: A Farewell,...

Sunday

Sex and the City: A Farewell, Sex and the City Finale
Looking for 60 minutes of off-the-scale self-aggrandizement, self-stroking and self-importance? Me neither, and it's even more galling that I'm paying 20 bucks a month extra to see it in this retrospective. There's so much going on, in fact, that there's hardly any room for the outside observers to kiss up. Speaking of which, who've we got commenting? Former Average Joe hostess Kathy Griffin and Star Jones. That's some lineup. What, Kato Kaelin and Linda Tripp weren't available? Still, the touching high point of the look back was absolutely the tribute to the crew. And one other thing I got from this: No one in the biz hands out good-sport awards, as far as I know. But when they create one, Kim Cattrall should get the first.

Overall, this show has always been a like-'em, like-'em-not affair, wit read more

AND THE ACTOR GOES TO...

In what could be a preview of Sunday's Oscars, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won the top prize — best performance by a cast — at last night's Screen Actors Guild Awards. Individual honors went to Charlize Theron (best actress for Monster), Tim Robbins (best supporting actor for Mystic River), Renee Zellweger (best supporting actress for Cold Mountain) and, in the night's biggest upset, Pirates of the Caribbean's Johnny Depp — who beat out Sean Penn and Bill Mur read more

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