Today's News: Our Take


SundaySunday Morning Shootout...

Sunday

Sunday Morning Shootout
Producer Peter Guber and Variety Editor-in-Chief Peter Bart argue over the MPAA's decision to ban sending DVD and VHS screeners to Academy Awards voters because of piracy concerns. I can't say for sure what I think, so they should send them all here and let me decide. Edward Norton stops by to discuss whether on-set tension makes for a better movie, a question I firmly believe can only be settled by... well, sending all Academy screeners to me. Then arguments start over the ballooning cost of movie making and how much support Governor Ah-nuld can expect from Hollywood. I, of course, believe the only way to get to the bottom of these issues is to... You know where I'm going with this, right?

The Practice
The Lyon's Den
Switching back and forth: On The Practice, Sharon Stone says she talks to God, but the other lawyers don't belie read more

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Christmas is coming early for American Idol fans. Fox will air an American Idol holiday special on Nov. 25 featuring alums Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken singing your favorite Yuletide hits. Why is the network scheduling a Christmas special two days before Thanksgiving, you ask? Because they want to get it in before the end of November sweeps, silly. 'Tis the season! read more

Chainsaw Massacre's Fearless Star


Actor Eric Balfour — star of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (opening Oct. 17) — just keeps popping up on TV. He's been Claire's psycho, drug-addicted boyfriend on Six Feet Under and a computer geek on 24. But wait, what about his role on Jerry Bruckheimer's much-hyped WB series, Fearless?

"Fearless is still coming," Balfour insists to TV Guide Online, "but we don't have a date right now."

The much maligned — albeit with good reason — pilot featured Balfour as an FBI agent partnered with Rachael Leigh Cook, who plays a woman born without the gene to feel fear. Sound like a sketchy premise? Perhaps that's why the former fall series got bumped to the murky land of midseason. But Balfour insists that other forces were at play behind this scheduling decision.

"We haven't shot more than the pilot," the 26-year-old points out. "Basically, what happened was [executive producers] read more

IT HAD TO HAPPEN

I can see the casting call now. Wanted: Fiftysomething actor with big muscles, funny accent and cyborg-like qualities. A&E Network announced Thursday that it is developing a TV movie about Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign for California governor and his 1973 quest to become Mr. Olympia. Production is slated to get underway in the spring. In the meantime, if you fit the above description, send a head shot and cover letter to Extreme Makeover and keep your fingers crossed. read more

Idol Star Goes Gay for Pay


American Idol lullababe Tamyra Gray is going from thespian to lesbian. The Boston Public grad will play a sapphic singer who develops a crush on Rachel True's Mona character on the Nov. 3 episode of UPN's Half & Half. The 24-year-old crooner admits she had some reservations about making her sitcom debut with such a "challenging" role.

"In the beginning [I was a little apprehensive], but mostly because I didn't know the other actress, Rachel, who I was playing side-by-side with," she tells TV Guide Online. "But it's kind of lighthearted, so it wasn't so bad. It wasn't bad at all, actually; it was pretty easy."

In the story, Mona tries to sign a hot new singer named Zora (Gray) to Delicious Records, but the hetero-leaning exec quickly realizes that the artist is sporting designs on more than just a lucrative album deal. "My character on Boston Public was a little shy," Gray says. "[Zora] is much more outgoing and read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

Recalled California governor Gray Davis will be on hand to present the Top Ten List on tonight's Late Show with David Letterman. And just in case the embattled politico starts to mess up before he's done, Mary Carey will be waiting in the wings to finish the list. read more

Meet WB's New "Mrs. Brady"

Diane Farr has the voice of an angel — well, maybe a very wry angel who got rid of her extra-thick New York accent. "I think somebody once called it 'whiskey-soaked,'" says Farr, 31, of her distinctive inflection. "It sorta sounds like I had a rough night." But, after well-received stints on MTV's Loveline and ABC's The Job, her days are pretty smooth now, as she lends that unique delivery to the new WB comedy Like Family (Fridays, 8:30 pm ET). She plays a single mother who, with her teenage son, moves into the crowded suburban home of her best friend (Holly Robinson Peete). Luckily, Farr made some space to talk with us.


TV Guide Online: The actor who plays your son on Like Family, J. Mack Slaughter, is actually 20 years old. Um, have you ever read that book Growing Up Brady by Barry Williams?
Diane Farr:
(Laughs) No, but I make the jokes all the time that I'm gonna pull a "Mrs. Brady" on him.

read more

WHERE THERE'S A WILL...

Former SNL funnyman Will Ferrell has landed the coveted role of Darrin in Nora Ephron's big-screen remake of Bewitched. Jim Carrey had expressed interest in the plum part, but he apparently passed. Nicole Kidman, meanwhile, is still attached to star as Samantha. read more

SHORT CUTS

Fox has picked up That '70s Show through the 2004-05 season... Oscar winner Emma Thompson will play ethereal and eccentric professor Sybill Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. read more

BOB TUNES DELAYED

Bob Guiney's horrific cover of "Open Arms" on Wednesday's Bachelor may be coming back to haunt the serial smoocher. TV Guide Online has learned that Guiney's debut CD 3 Sides — which was slated to be released this week through Amazon.com — is being delayed until February 2004, at the earliest. Word is Guiney is heading back to the studio for more singing lessons, er, I mean, recording work. read more

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