Today's News: Our Take


THEY'RE TAKING OVER!

MTV confirmed Tuesday that it will launch a gay and lesbian-themed cable network on Feb. 17, 2005. Logo will offer a mix of movies, reruns and reality-oriented shows and could be available in about 14 million flawlessly decorated homes by the end of next year. read more

MORE GREEN

With Shrek 2 eating up box-office records left and right, DreamWorks is moving ahead with plans for third and fourth installments. Negotiations are currently underway with the film's main voice actors, including Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas. As with the first sequel, all four stand to make millions of dollars for rolling out of bed and recording some dialogue. read more

ORDER RESTORED

It's not Angie Harmon, but this'll do quite nicely: Former Law & Order star Carey Lowell is in talks to headline the franchise's upcoming third spinoff, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, TV Guide Online has learned. "There's been some early discussions and she's absolutely interested," confirms Lowell's manager. It's believed the actress — who in real life is married to Richard Gere — would reprise her role as onetime ADA Jamie Ross, a character she played from 1996 to 1998. In a recent interview with TV Guide Online, exec producer Dick Wolf hinted that some "familiar faces" from L&O's past might be joining Jerry Orbach when Jury debuts on NBC in early '05. read more

MOVIE NEWS

Matt Damon and Amanda Peet have signed on to headline the geopolitical thriller Syriana. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is based on real-life CIA agent Robert Baer's memoirs, See No Evil: The True Story of a Foot Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism. George Clooney, who is among the pic's producers, is in talks to play Baer. read more

THE LAST COURSE

NBC has decided to dump the remaining episodes of The Restaurant on a night when most people will be holed up in a real restaurant. Episodes 4 and 5 will air this Saturday at 8 and 9 pm/ET, respectively, and the series finale will run on Saturday, June 5 at 8 pm/ET. read more

HERE SHE IS...

Rachel L., a 27-year-old newlywed from Sammamish, Wash., was crowned the prettiest former ugly chick on the planet on last night's finale of The Swan. In addition to her new surgically enhanced bod, Rachel wins a modeling contract with Champagne Trott Agency (get out!), a designer wardrobe that includes Tadashi, St. Pucchi and Claire's Collection (that's Greek for K-Mart, Dress Barn and Claire Danes hand-me-downs) and a $50,000 educational scholarship at Western International University (I hear that's tough to get into). read more

SOMETHING'S PHISHY

Vermont-based jam band Phish announced Tuesday that they will break up at the end of their upcoming summer tour. In a message posted on the band's website, frontman Trey Anastasio said the group mutually agreed that "Phish has run its course." Their final album, Undermind, hits stores June 15. read more

SPLITSVILLE

Snoop Dogg's marriage has fizzled out. Citing "irreconcilable differences," the rapper-actor is seeking a divizzle from his wife of seven years, Shante Broadus. Snoop reportedly wants joint custody of the couple's three children. read more

MOURNED

Babylon 5 actor Richard Biggs died Saturday of what was believed to be a massive stroke. He was 44. Biggs got his start in daytime, playing Dr. Marcus Hunter on Days of Our Lives from 1987 to 1992. He is survived by his wife, Lori Gerber, and two sons. read more

TOUR DE FORCE

Madonna kicked off her global "Re-Invention" tour Monday in Los Angeles with a politically charged show that reportedly featured the 45-year-old diva singing "American Life" in Army fatigues surrounded by dancers dressed like soldiers. Spirituality was also a dominant theme as untranslated Hebrew text appeared in the background during several of the Kabbalah-obsessed pop star's performances. And as promised, Madge relied heavily on her old hits, including classics "Holiday," "Vogue," "Papa Don't Preach" and the song she vowed never to sing live again, "Material Girl." read more

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