Today's News: Our Take


REMEMBERED

Actress Hope Lange, who earned an Oscar nod for her supporting turn in the 1957 film Peyton Place, died Friday in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 70. According to reports, Lange — who also picked up a pair of Emmys for her role in the TV comedy The Ghost and Mrs. Muir — died after suffering an infection caused by an intestinal inflammation known as ischemic colitis. read more

KING BLING

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King rounded up $73.6 million over the weekend and $125.1 million since bowing Wednesday, easily besting the debuts of the franchise's first two installments and ranking as the best December opening ever. Julia Roberts' critically-thrashed chick flick, er, female-skewing drama Mona Lisa Smile came in at No. 2 with a so-so $12 million, followed by last week's top flick Something's Gotta Give (No. 3 with $11.5 million), The Last Samurai (No. 4 with $7.3 million) and Stuck on You (No. 5 with $5.4 million). read more

BOB SINGS THE BLUES

The producers of The Bachelor are suing their latest star, Bob Guiney, for breach of contract for making public appearances in connection with his new CD, 3 Sides. Bachelor contestants are prohibited from promoting any other products — particularly bad CDs — without permission from producers. Guiney's record company, Wind-up Records, is also named in the suit. read more

SHOW OF SUPPORT

Hundreds of Michael Jackson supporters — including friends, family and MC Hammer — converged on Neverland Ranch Saturday to show their support for the embattled pop star. The party marked the first time Jacko returned to Neverland since being arrested last month on child molestation charges. Teenypopper Aaron Carter — who last week revealed that he once saw Jacko "totally make out with a girl" — was also in attendance. Hopefully, he brought his camera this time. read more

NEVERENDING STORY

For all those who didn't want Fox's reality romp Paradise Hotel to come to an end last summer, this show is for you: Fox has greenlit Forever Eden, a Truman Show-esque series in which single men and women shack up together in a posh resort for eternity. Casting is already underway, so Toni, call your agent now. read more

MASTER AND COMMANDER AND DADA

Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe and wife Danielle Spencer became the proud parents of a future gladiator over the weekend. Charles Spencer Crowe was born Sunday night in Sydney, Australia, and weighed in at 6 pounds, 2 ounces. This is the couple's first child. read more

SUNDAY Cold Case Perry Mason...

SUNDAY

Cold Case
Perry Mason doesn't have anything on Detective Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris). Yes, sir. It seems she just has to mention a few incriminating, but not airtight, pieces of evidence to a suspect and "Bam!" after years of silence, it's time to come clean to a very intimidating Meg Ryan look-alike. This time it was that awkward loser guy who killed his buddy over petty jealousy and 3,000 bucks. Now tell me, are we supposed to figure out the "mystery" way ahead of Lilly and the gang? If so, she should toss her partners the occasional — and delicious — Scooby snack during the investigation. But if not, well, at least they have some pretty cool POV camera work.

Titanic
Random T read more

METHOD MADNESS

Fox has tapped hip-hop stars Method Man and Redman to headline a sitcom pilot about two rap stars who move into a mostly white New Jersey suburb after hitting it big. Because nothing screams success like a move to Jersey. read more

SPECIAL FX

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced the seven films in contention for the visual effects Oscar, and they are The Hulk, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Master and Commander, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Terminator 3 and X2. Surprisingly, neither The Matrix Reloaded nor The Matrix Revolutions made the cut. On the bright side, both films are considered shoo-ins for best original screenplay nods. Final nominations are announced on Jan. 27. read more

TIMESLOT MAKEOVER

ABC will replace Sunday-night cop drama 10-8 with new episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition beginning Feb. 15. The network recently trimmed 10-8's first season order from 22 to 15 episodes. read more

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