Today's News: Our Take


NBC is developing a syndicated show for Target fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. That noise you hear is The Apprentice's Jessie explaining to him what the word "syndicated" means. read more


Five-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close will guest-star on NBC's The West Wing later this month playing a potential Supreme Court justice. "A conservative judge just died, so it's the business of trying to get her nominated and the confirmation drama around it," costar John Spencer explains to TV Guide Online. "The Senate we're dealing with is a Republican majority, as it is in the real world." For more on Close's WW gig, pick up next week's issue of TV Guide magazine, on sale March 8. read more


The Oscar-winning documentary The Fog Of War arrives on DVD May 11... Hilary Duff has inked a deal to play a girl who sets up her single mom with an imaginary suitor in the Universal comedy The Perfect Man... TNT has acquired cable rights to reruns of Alias. The deal allows the cabler to begin airing episodes in fall of 2005. read more


Alright, CBS, the ball's in your court. Everybody Loves Raymond exec producer Phil Rosenthal hinted Monday night at a Museum of TV & Radio event in New York City that he and Ray Romano may return next fall for a Friends-esque shortened ninth season, TV Guide Online has learned. He added that the decision now rests in the hands of financial execs (including, we presume, CBS' Les Moonves) who are trying to determine whether doing a partial season would be economically feasible. We're going to go out on a limb and predict it would be, but there's no official comment yet from CBS. read more


Don't be fooled by last night's finale of Average Joe: Hawaii, folks. Despite what NBC led us to believe, pretty vapid boy Gil did not dump pretty vapid girl Larissa after learning that she once dated pretty vapid model Fabio. Appearing on the Today show this morning, the pretty vapid couple confirmed that they are still very much an item. Where does all this leave jilted everyman Brian? Pretty much better off. read more


Although there's no official confirmation from Fox, the ax reportedly has fallen on Boston Public. That would explain why the show's star, Chi McBride, just signed on to play a SWAT team leader in the ABC drama pilot Countdown. read more

The Mystery of Natalie Wood Holy...

The Mystery of Natalie Wood
Holy melodrama! File this next to Mommie Dearest for child abuse. The damage Natalie Wood's — I mean, Natasha Brukalakayou'vegottobekidding
mewiththisnameashviska's — mother does to her in the first hour of this made-for-TV biopic is over the top. Seriously. That kind of abuse takes skill. In the first hour, the controlling Stage Mom From Hell makes sure her child will forever be afraid of water ("Gypsy say you will drown!"), lightning, poisoning, kidnapping, touch and any kind of emotional intimacy. Hello! Mama Wood even refuses to let a doctor tend to her injured child's broken wrist (which heals crooked and literally scars Natalie for life) and tries to pimp her out to Frank Sinatra. ("Maybe if you nice to him, he put you in movie.") Oh, and then she drops the best anti-baby, just-say-no-to-sex one-liners ever: "If you get baby, you die!" she tells Natalie with a thick Russian accent. Or, my favorite: read more


Fresh off LOTR's Oscar victory, Hollywood's falling in love with flicks based on classic fantasy novels. Next up, Disney plans The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for Christmas 2005. And just like Rings, there's room for profitable sequels, since C.S. Lewis wrote seven Narnia novels. The book series focuses on four kids who stumble into a frosty, magical world, where they befriend a talking lion and do battle with the evil White Witch. read more


ABC's telecast of the 76th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday attracted an average 43.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched Oscars in four years. Nielsen, meanwhile, is trying to figure out how many of those 43.5 million people were actually awake by the end of the nearly four-hour show. Looking for answers to other burning Oscar questions? Well, click here! read more


Rob Lowe isn't letting that whole Lyon's Den debacle sour him on TV. CBS has tapped the former West Winger to headline Dr. Vegas, an hour-long drama pilot that centers on the in-house physician at a Las Vegas casino. read more

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