Today's News: Our Take


THE EX FACTOR

Here's a "TV News" scoop from the new issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale now): President Palmer's duplicitous former wife is clocking back in on 24. Although a show spokesman had no comment, a source close to the Fox drama confirms that Penny Johnson Jerald will return as Sherry for "multiple episodes" beginning soon after the new year. read more

Making Sense of 21 Grams


If you thought Kill Bill, Vol. 1 was tough to follow, just wait until you see 21 Grams, the new movie from Mexican filmmaker Alejandro GonzálezIñárritu. Like his previous work, the critically acclaimed Amores Perros, 21 Grams is an ensemble drama featuring three separate storylines that frequently overlap. This time around, however, the movie unfolds entirely out of sequence; scenes from the end of the flick appear at the beginning, and vice versa. It's disorienting at first, but once you get used to the film's odd rhythm, it all starts to make a strange kind of sense.

So whose bright idea was it to make a movie this way? "I wrote the script with this kind of structure," says the film's screenwriter, Guillermo Arriaga, who also penned Amores Perros read more

OUT OF THE CLUB

Walt Disney vice chairman Roy E. Disney, a vocal critic of chairman Michael Eisner, has resigned from the company's board of directors. The board allegedly decided not to recommend the 73-year-old for another term because he is over the mandated retirement age of 72. read more

Tori Spelling Goes Bad

Tori Spelling jokes are so yesterday. Sure, she was given her big break by her father — uberproducer Aaron Spelling — on Beverly Hills, 90210, but that was, like, 14 years ago. Since then, the actress, 30, has paid her dues in independent films and on stage, and has made enough TV movies to earn her a Lifetime (Television for Women) Achievement Award — all on her own. Next up, the notorious good girl goes bad as a female Scrooge in the Hallmark Channel's holiday entry, A Carol Christmas (airing Sunday at 8 pm/ET). And you can bet that Pops had nothing to do with getting Tori this interview.


TV Guide Online: What's a good Jewish girl like you doing starring in a Christmas movie?
Tori Spelling: (Laughs) I know. My friends were like, "Do they know you're Jewish?" read more

SHORT CUTS

CBS is currently seeking contestants for the ninth edition of Survivor. Application forms are available at CBS.com... Six Feet Under star Rachel Griffiths and artist hubby Andrew Taylor celebrated the birth of their first child, son Banjo Patrick Taylor, on Nov. 22. read more

AND THE WINNER BY A WHISKER...

As if spending quality time with family wasn't enough punishment this Thanksgiving, millions of Americans decided to further torture themselves at the multiplex. The purrfectly awful stinkbomb Cat in the Hat somehow managed to hang on to the top spot at the box office this weekend with $25.6 million. It narrowly beat Disney's latest ride-turned-flick Haunted Mansion, which opened at No. 2 with $25.3 million. (Mansion did trump Cat over the five-day period, earning $35 million to Dr. Seuss' $34.1 million.) Elf held strong at No. 3 with $22.2 million, followed by Gothika (No. 4 with $12.71 million), Master and Commander (No. 5 with $12.7 million), Bad Santa (No. 6 with $12.5 million) and R read more

JOE DEUX

NBC will debut Average Joe: Hawaii, a follow-up to its current reality hit, on Jan. 5 at 10 pm/ET. The network says the second installment was taped before the first series ever aired, thus protecting the show's shocking twist. What, that ugly guys can be jerks too? read more

REMEMBERED

Award-winning journalist Hal Walker, the first black to be a correspondent for CBS News, died Tuesday of prostate cancer. He was 70. read more

HAUNTED HOSPITAL

Bestselling spooker Stephen King spent the Thanksgiving weekend in a Maine hospital battling pneumonia. The author is expected to make a complete recovery. read more

STILL FRIENDS

Lisa Kudrow is exec producing a CBS comedy pilot starring her former Friends co-star Aisha Tyler. The Hollywood Reporter describes the sitcom as "a workplace comedy in the vein of The Mary Tyler Moore Show." read more

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