Today's News: Our Take


DON'T GO THERE, DIANE

On last night's special edition of Primetime, Mel Gibson denied to Diane Sawyer that he or his new film, The Passion of the Christ, is anti-Semitic. When asked who killed Christ, he replied: "The big answer is, we all did." Dude, I was home watching Scrubs that night. Nice try. read more

ANGEL UPDATE

Don't expect a certain Slayer to pop up on the series finale of Angel in May. A source tells TV Guide Online that there are still no plans for Sarah Michelle Gellar to guest-star on the Buffy spin-off, despite the WB's announcement Friday that this would be the show's final season. It may be just as well, judging by all the anti-Buffy e-mails I've been receiving. "We don't need no stinkin' Buffy to have a quality send-off for Angel," writes Claudia. "He is so much more than Buffy!" Adds Megan: "How about no to a Buffy/Angel reunion? What agenda are you pushing, Michael?" Well, for starters, Megan, I'd like SoapNet to acquire Santa Barbara. read more

LITTLE RATINGS

Fox's The Littlest Groom debuted to puny ratings last night, finishing third in its time slot with just 7.5 million viewers. The network fared better at 9 pm/ET with 16.1 million viewers tuning in for the penultimate episode of My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance. Elsewhere, Diane Sawyer's sit-down with Mel Gibson on ABC's Primetime drew 17 million worshippers, and the finale of NBC's couples-themed Fear Factor scored a series-best 18.6 million viewers. For more on the Gibson interview, see below. read more

MICKEY SAYS NO

Disney's board of directors nixed Comcast's $66 billion takeover bid on Monday, calling the offer too skimpy. The board also rejected calls for Michael Eisner's ouster, saying it had confidence in the company's "business, financial and creative direction" under the exec. read more

LATEST DEVELOPMENT

Here's some "TV News" scoop from the current issue of TV Guide magazine: Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton is coming out of retirement. In his first acting gig in five decades, Lipton has signed on to play a "genteel warden" at George Sr.'s prison in three episodes of Fox's Arrested Development. He'll first air next month, around the time Julia Louis-Dreyfuss kicks off her stint as a blind prosecutor. "[Lipton] will probably get eclipsed by Julia," says exec producer Mitchell Hurwitz, "but he's really good." Yeah, but so was Newman. read more

MADGE'S EVIL WAYS

Madonna's Maverick Films is developing a feature film based on the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The infamous experiment involved a college professor who set out to explore the psychology of evil by recruiting 12 college students to role-play prison guards and inmates. read more

SHE'S A LAWYER!

Sorry, guys: Star Jones is officially off the market. The incredible shrinking View hostess is engaged to boyfriend Al Reynolds, who popped the question Sunday during the NBA All-Star Game. read more

A HORSE IS A HORSE...

Sherman Hemsley's movin' on up days are officially behind him. The former Jeffersons star has been tapped to voice the title character in Fox's in-the-works remake of the talking-horse sitcom Mr. Ed. In other TV casting news, Taye Diggs has signed on to headline UPN's Mel Gibson-produced drama pilot Kevin Hill, which centers around a young attorney who gives up his playboy lifestyle to raise his niece. Finally, ABC has picked up an untitled comedy pilot starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as an on-air sports reporter. read more

HE SINGS, HE SINGS

American Idol's lovable loser William Hung will perform his signature tune, "She Bangs," on today's Ellen DeGeneres Show. The 21-year-old University of California Berkeley student has also been recruited for Fox's upcoming Idol special, Uncut, Uncensored and Untalented. Word is producers are also trying to get Paris Hilton, Jai Rodriguez and Kelly Osbourne to participate. read more

THE WRITE STUFF

The scribes behind Mystic River and Seabiscuit tied for top honors at the University of Southern California's 16th annual Scripter Awards Sunday night. It was the first tie in Scripter history, and to that I say, "Fight On!" read more

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