Today's News: Our Take


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

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

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

I FEEL BUSTED

The Godfather of Soul is back in trouble with the law. James Brown was arrested on Wednesday and charged with criminal domestic violence and suspicion of not owning any hair products. The 70-year-old singer allegedly pushed his wife, Tomi Rae Brown, to the floor during an argument in their South Carolina home. He was released from jail today after a brief hearing, during which he denied hurting his wife. Brown served more than two years in prison in the late '80s on drug and assault charges and was convicted of a drug-related offense in 1998. 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

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

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

RESTRAINING ORDER

R. Kelly better steer clear of accused child molester Michael Jackson at the Grammy Awards. For some unknown reason, a judge has ordered the embattled R&B star, who is awaiting trial on child porn charges, to stay away from the embattled King of Pop at next month's kudosfest — where Kelly is nominated for two awards. Jacko, however, is not up for any awards and is not expected to attend. Huh? read more

REALITY RATINGS

American Idol continued to steamroll the competition Tuesday night, attracting nearly 30 million viewers and hitting a new high among young adults. Even more impressive, Idol outdrew ABC, CBS and NBC combined at 8 pm. UPN also had cause to celebrate as the latest episode of America's Next Top Model pulled in more than 7 million viewers and ranked as the network's third-highest-rated telecast ever among bitchy anorexic women 18-34. 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

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