Today's News: Our Take


FOR THE FANS

Janet Jackson thanked fans for being there "during the good times as well as the bad" at Saturday's Soul Train Music Awards, where the 37-year-old Boobygate star was honored with a career achievement award. "Your love and support has always been a great source of comfort," she added, "especially in these last few weeks." Jackson nearly stole the spotlight from the night's big winner, hip-hop duo OutKast, who won album of the year for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and best video for "Hey Ya!" read more

OOPS

Britney Spears can't sing — but she's got a good excuse this time. The pop tart was forced to cancel two concerts over the weekend after suffering a knee injury during a performance in Illinois. Her Onyx Hotel Tour will resume Tuesday in Atlanta and the two scrapped dates will be rescheduled in April. read more

BY, GEORGE

George Foreman is the latest boxing vet to sign up for The Contender, NBC's in-the-works reality series from executive producers Mark Burnett, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Sylvester Stallone. The grillmeister will help cast the 16 would-be Rockys and do some coaching during the training episodes. Foreman joins Sugar Ray Leonard, who last week signed on to play the show's adviser/mentor. read more

HEAVEN VS. HELL

A bunch of crazed zombies proved a bigger draw than Jesus Christ this weekend as Universal's Dawn of the Dead remake opened at No. 1 with $27.3 million, knocking The Passion of the Christ out of the top spot for the first time in a month. Don't feel too badly for Christ, though; Mel Gibson's little-religious-flick-that-could pocketed another $19.2 million for a total of $295.3 million. Elsewhere, Angelina Jolie's new thriller Taking Lives debuted at No. 3 with $11.4 million while Jim Carrey's quirky romance Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — which played on far fewer screens — bowed at No. 6 with a very bright $8.6 million. read more

IT'S ALL SCHEDULING

ABC is moving It's All Relative out of its deadly Wednesday night time slot opposite American Idol. Beginning March 30, Relative shifts to Tuesdays at 9:30 following According to Jim. Now there's a one-two punch if ever there wasn't one. read more

STUNT CASTING ALERT!

Eddie Murphy's wisecracking Donkey character from Shrek will guest-star in an episode of DreamWorks' much-hyped CGI-animated comedy Father of the Pride, which debuts this fall on NBC. The series focuses on a family of white lions performing in Siegfried & Roy's Las Vegas show. According to Variety, the pilot episode will make subtle reference to Roy Horn's tiger attack last fall. read more

Meet J.Lo's ''Daughter''


While most 9-year-olds just watch movies and TV shows, pint-sized Long Islander Raquel Castro works in them. After smaller gigs in Sesame Street and Third Watch, she got her big break playing the offspring of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Jersey Girl (opening Friday). Thanks to her Bennifer connection, the energetic kid has begun fantasizing about life as a celebrity.

"I'm hoping that, after this movie, people will realize who I am," she giddily says, "because I like signing autographs. I want to be able to go to the mall and McDonald's and everything, but I want to sign autographs because it read more

X SYMBOL GETS NIP/TUCK

Nip/Tuck has tapped X-Men babe Famke Janssen to play the life coach of Joely Richardson's basket-case character, Julia. Janssen will appear in at least 12 episodes of the FX drama, which kicks off its second season in June. read more

PARIS IS HEALING

Paris Hilton was thrown from a horse Friday during production of The Simple Life 2 in Florida. The celebutante-turned-home-video star was airlifted to the nearest Barneys, er, I mean hospital, where doctors quickly determined that everyone had overreacted. She was released later that day. read more

LIZZIE QUITS

Hilary Duff's sitcom career is so yesterday. The singer-actress has backed out of plans to headline a comedy series this fall for CBS because, according to reports, the script was bad. That is so not a good excuse. read more

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