Today's News: Our Take


Here's some "TV News" scoop from the new issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale now): Sarah Michelle Gellar won't be back as Buffy this season after all. The erstwhile Slayer — who was in talks to do a two-episode arc on Buffy spinoff Angel during May sweeps — has opted against picking up stakes again. Says Joss Whedon, creator of both series: "She feels it's not the right time." Gellar's rep declined to comment. In related news, the Scooby-Doo thesp has signed on to star in the horror film The Grudge, an English-language remake of the Japanese thriller Ju-On. read more


The American Film Institute has unveiled its picks for the 10 best movies of 2003, and there's not a Jennifer Lopez flick in the bunch. The unranked list includes American Splendor, Finding Nemo, The Human Stain, In America, The Last Samurai, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Lost in Translation, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Monster and Mystic River. read more


Actress Jeanne Crain, who earned an Oscar nomination in 1949 for playing a black girl passing for white in the controversial film Pinky, died Sunday of a heart attack at her Santa Barbara home. She was 78. read more


Outspoken office manager Sandra Diaz-Twine outwitted a double-crossing Boy Scout leader and a really good liar with really scary hair to win Survivor: Pearl Islands last night. The 29-year-old mother of two collects $1 million, a new SUV and a 10 percent discount at the CBS commissary. Meanwhile, Nielsen estimates an average 25 million viewers watched the two-hour finale, easily making it Sunday's top program. read more


In a surprise move, the traditionally indie-skewing New York Film Critics Circle chose a veritable blockbuster — The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King — as the top film of 2003. Bill Murray was named best actor for Lost in Translation and Hope Davis won best actress for American Splendor and The Secret Lives of Dentists. The New York Film Critics Online, meanwhile, singled out Lost in Translation as the year's best movie. read more


A judge gave convicted shoplifter Winona Ryder high marks for abiding by the rules of her probation at a hearing today in Los Angeles. If she keeps it up, there's talk her felony convictions could be reduced to misdemeanors. Ryder's next progress report hearing is slated for May 26. read more


Stephen King is turning his apocalyptic best-seller Desperation into a three-hour ABC movie... NBC has ordered four additional episodes of its low-rated Alicia Silverstone dramedy Miss Match. read more


Actress Doris Burns is suing rapper Snoop Dogg over an episode of his MTV show Doggy Fizzle Televizzle that she claims showed her having sex with another actor. Burns' suit accused Snoop and MTV of breach of contract, fraud, invasion of privacy and defamation. She is seeking unspecified damages. read more


Keiko, the beloved killer whale who starred in the Free Willy movies, was buried Monday in a private ceremony in Norway. The six-ton orca died Friday of pneumonia at age 27, which is considered old for a captive whale. read more


Paris Hilton's latest escapades are headed to a video store near you — but they won't be packaged in a big fat box or hidden in a seedy back room. Fox Home Entertainment has announced plans to release the entire first season of The Simple Life on DVD Jan 20 — a week after the hit reality show ends its seven-episode run on TV. Now that's what I call a quickie. read more

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