Today's News: Our Take


Fox will air the third-season premiere of 24 commercial-free (courtesy of Ford) on Oct. 28, the network announced Thursday at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Hollywood, Calif. For my minute-by-minute rundown of the day's highlights, click here. read more


The five best comedy nominees remained identical to 2002 (zzzzzz... ): Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, Will & Grace and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Sadly MIA: The Bernie Mac Show, Gilmore Girls and Scrubs. I've got three words for you Academy voters: Dream Emmy Ballot!!!! read more


Salsa singer Celia Cruz died in her New Jersey home on Wednesday at the age of 78. The Cuban-born Grammy winner was stricken with cancer, and had been comatose since Tuesday. Cruz, whose sassy trademarks were an over-the-top wardrobe and the catchphrase "Az&#250car!" — Spanish for "sugar" — passed away with her husband, drummer Pedro Knight, and friends at her bedside. read more


The Amazing Race, American Idol and Survivor will duke it out for the best reality series Emmy. And for the first time, the category will be presented during Fox's main prime-time telecast on Sept. 21 — not the technical ceremony the week before. I imagine Simon Cowell had something to do with that. read more


This isn't going to make Dick Wolf very happy: For the first time in 12 years, Law & Order failed to score a best drama series nomination. (Its 11-consecutive nods tie the record set by Cheers and M*A*S*H.) Instead, voters gave that coveted fifth slot to CBS's powerhouse forensics thriller CSI, which will compete for top drama honors with Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, 24 and The West Wing. Sadly MIA: Alias, Boomtown, American Dreams and The Shield. Clearly, Academy voters failed to heed our read more

Tomb Raider Stud's Bad Luck

Get ready to meet the hottest Scottish export since Ewan! You may not know Gerard Butler's ruggedly handsome face yet, but after all his supporting roles in flicks like Reign of Fire, it looks like 2003 will finally be his big, breakout year. That is, if his thespian vanity doesn't do him in.

Butler will star in Michael Crichton's Timeline this November, and he just landed the title role in the big-screen Phantom of the Opera. But he nearly blew his audition to play Angelina Jolie's traitorous lover in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (opening read more


French media empire Vivendi Universal, which is for sale, has rejected an $11.5 billion bid from MGM. The offer was apparently deemed insufficient, which means other suitors, including NBC and Liberty Media, are still in the running. Not that you give a fig about any of this. read more


Bravo's gay makeover show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, debuted to strong ratings on Tuesday night, with 1.64 million viewers. Hey, for Bravo, that's big! read more


Fox has ordered an additional 12 episodes of its strangely addictive reality romp Paradise Hotel, extending its run for another six weeks. read more


Alright, Emmy did offer up a few pleasant jolts — emphasis on the word few. Among them: Alias's Lena Olin for best supporting actress; Monk's Tony Shalhoub for best lead comedy actor; and FX's Lucky for best writing in a comedy. read more

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