Today's News: Our Take


UNDER THEIR INFLUENCE

Oprah Winfrey, actor-director Mel Gibson, Lord of the Rings guru Peter Jackson, Harry Potter wizard J.K. Rowling and Oscar winners Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman are among the entertainers making Time magazine's just-released list of the 100 Most Influential People on the planet. read more

WITH THIS RING...

Sissy Spacek is going back to her Carrie roots with a role in the upcoming horror sequel The Ring 2, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Details about Spacek's character are being kept secret, but this much is known: Actually, nothing is known. In other film-casting news, Reese Witherspoon will star in and produce The Proposal, a romantic comedy about a couple's turbulent wedding plans. read more

OFFICE PARTY

The acclaimed BBC laugh riot The Office picked up two awards Sunday at the British Academy TV Awards, winning Best Sitcom and Best Comedy Performance for Ricky Gervais. read more

'TIS THE SEASON

Fox is launching six original series in June as part of an aggressive summer lineup that includes the Mark Burnett-produced reality gamble The Casino, the Andy Richter comedy Quintuplets, the Hawaii-set soap North Shore and the return of The Simple Life. Noticeably MIA: Forever Eden. But rumor has it Fox may bring the low-rent Paradise Hotel knock-off back this summer under the misleading title Forever Eden and Cruz. read more

SWEET REVENGE

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 butchered the competition at the weekend box office. The conclusion of Quentin Tarantino's bloody revenge saga debuted at No. 1 with $25.6 million — $3 million more than Vol. 1 opened with in October. New comic-book pic The Punisher snagged the No. 2 spot with $14 million, followed by holdover flicks Johnson Family Vacation ($6.4 million), Hellboy ($5.7 million) and Home on the Range ($5.4 million). The weekend's "Loser Award" goes to Nia Vardalos, whose Connie and Carla resembled a big, fat flop. The gender-bending comedy opened outside the top 10 with $3.3 million. What a drag. read more

YOU'RE FIRED UP

Final numbers for Thursday's Apprentice finale are in, and 28.1 million viewers watched Bill Rancic open a can of woop-ass on Kwame Jackson. The two-hour climax ranks as the third-highest-rated entertainment show of the season among adults 18-49, behind the Oscars and the post-Super Bowl debut of Survivor: All-Stars. read more

SUNDAY24 Every time I think I'm...

SUNDAY

24
Every time I think I'm out, 24 pulls me back in. Once again I thought the show had done a Kim-cougar move on me and simply could not recover from its slump of unrealistic tedium. But recent episodes sure changed that, and tonight's capped it (sorry, Ryan — no pun intended). It was a pleasure to make time in the midst of all my other Sunday-night watching for this special Bush-bumped airing.

Not that it's any more believable when it's good, mind you, since, as a co-worker says, L.A. is reduced to being about the size of Gilmore Girls' Star's Hollow, judging by how easily and quickly everyone gets around town. And no Angelenos seem to bat an eye when the entire MI-6 office is blown to smithereens, either. (Though, to be fair, it happened downtown, where no one is.)

But man, was I impressed with how quickly people can get things done when a colleague's life is on the line. Nothing motivates like impen read more

Swan to Beau: Let's Get It On!

If The Swan's Kelly A. had asked us, we would've told her that she was darn cute even before undergoing nine hours of plastic surgery. No doubt, her longtime boyfriend, Bob, would have agreed. (Had it been up to him, we suspect they would have been intimate more than seven times in three years — the shocking estimate Kelly made on Fox's extreme-makeover show.) But since the 28-year-old stewardess didn't ask us — nobody ever does! — we now have a few questions for her, starting with...

TV Guide Online: Has your personality changed to match your new Marilyn Monroe look?
Kelly:
Yes! I'm a completely different person. I'm so confident and happy. I feel as if everything finally came together for me. I smile a lot now. Three months has completely changed my entire life.

TVGO: Yet you were barely out of recovery before you wanted to give up. What happened there? You take your eyes off the prize?
Kelly:
We didn't e read more

Apprentice Champ Tells All!

Roughly 28 million people watched Donald Trump hire Bill Rancic over Kwame Jackson on Thursday night's finale of NBC's The Apprentice. In addition to a $250,000-a-year job overseeing a skyscraper project in his native Chicago, the 32-year-old cigar entrepreneur won a shiny new Chrysler Crossfire and, if the past few weeks are any indication, a lifetime of tabloid headlines. Just hours after his boardroom rout, Rancic sat down with TV Guide Online to dish about his big win, those romance rumors and the scheming saboteur who led him to victory.

TV Guide Online: Congratulations.
Bill Rancic:
Thank you, thank you.

TVGO: Did you get any sleep last night?
Bill:
About 45 minutes. Somehow, I don't think I'll be getting much more in the next couple of days.

TVGO: So, did you give Omarosa a big hug and kiss for leading you to victory?
Bill:
(Chuckles) She certainly was a factor, but I don't know if that was the read more

EVEN MORE APPRENTICE

Sam Solovey made Donald Trump an offer he has yet to refuse on last night's Apprentice climax. The goofy Internet entrepreneur said he would give Trump $250,000 to hire him, too. "It was a brilliant move," Trump says. "We'll certainly consider Sam's offer. I like Sam. He's a character." Meanwhile, Trump reveals that another fired Apprentice star is hitting him up for work. "Amy has requested a job," he says. "She wants to move to New York. I would certainly consider Amy." read more

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