Today's News: Our Take


Dylan McDermott and Julianna Margulies have been recruited to help fight the War on Terror. The former TV stars have signed on to play counterterrorism agents in The Grid, a six-hour TNT miniseries that chronicles the aftermath of a terrorist attack on London. Shooting begins early next year. read more


ABC has greenlit Empire, an eight-hour limited series described as an epic take on the fate of the Roman Empire. The $30 million project could air as early as next fall. read more


Bruce Springsteen is donating a portion of the proceeds from three benefit concerts in Asbury Park, N.J., this weekend to help purchase uniforms and instruments for the local high school marching band. read more


In what Variety is calling a "stunning underdog victory for indie producers and a defeat for corporate muscle," a federal judge temporarily blocked the Motion Picture Assoc. of America's ban on sending screeners to critics groups and Golden Globe voters for awards consideration. The MPAA imposed the ban in order to cut down on piracy and re-gifting during the holidays. read more


Authorities in Florida seized Rush Limbaugh's medical records as part of their ongoing probe into whether the conservative blowhard purchased painkillers illegally. Limbaugh denied any wrongdoing on his radio show Thursday, saying that he "suffered extreme pain and had legitimate reasons for taking pain medication." read more


Director Bryan Singer has begun negotiations with 20th Century Fox to helm a third X-Men flick as part of a two-year development deal with the studio, Variety reports. Singer directed the first two X-Men flicks, which have grossed nearly $700 million worldwide. read more


Ever wonder how Ozzy Osbourne and his crazy clan celebrate the holidays? No? Well, you're going to find out anyway on Dec. 11, when MTV airs The Osbourne Family Christmas Special, a program the music network says will take "holiday specials to a bizarre new level." According to Billboard, the special will feature a number of celeb guests, including Jessica Simpson, who duets with Ozzy on "Winter Wonderland," and newlyweds Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra, who have been left in charge of baking the holiday cookies. Loveline host Adam Carolla teams with Jack to whip up the cranberry sauce (read: Jell-O shots), while Kelly belts out a rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (read: get out the ear plugs). And the show-stopper read more


Fox has axed Wanda at Large, its sophomore sitcom starring comic Wanda Sykes. After a promising first season, Wanda was banished to Fridays, where it flopped. read more


Paris Hilton continues to score — on the small screen, that is. The second installment of her fish-out-of-Barneys series The Simple Life averaged 13.3 million viewers on Wednesday — up from 13 million the night before. So, it comes as little surprise that Fox is already mulling a sequel that would reteam Hilton and pal Nicole Richie. "There is some discussion of that right now," Fox reality guru Mike Darnell tells the New York Daily News. Meanwhile, rumor has it Hilton may make a cameo on Saturday Night Live this weekend. I predict a run-in with Maya Rudolph's Donatella Versace. read more


Yep, Ellen DeGeneres has a hit on her hands. Her talk show has been renewed for a second season by 14 of NBC's owned-and-operated stations, representing 30 percent of the country. read more

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