Today's News: Our Take


Jennifer Love Hewitt is rekindling her love affair with TV. The former Party of Fiver has inked a deal with Touchstone Television to star in an as yet untitled half-hour comedy from Freaks and Geeks scribes Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah. Touchstone is also searching for a small-screen vehicle for Peter Dinklage, the breakout star of the heartwarming indie The Station Agent. read more


In other Jacko news, Elizabeth Taylor is coming to the pop star's defense. On Sunday, the actress dangled a statement to the press saying she believes her good buddy is "absolutely innocent" and will be "vindicated." She ended the statement by begging someone — anyone — to hire her. Poor dear. read more


HBO won't be bringing back K Street, Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's failed political reality experiment, for a second season. However, the cabler has given the duo the green light to produce another limited-run series under the condition that A) it's set in a different venue and B) it doesn't suck. read more


Moviegoers put some money in the kitty over the weekend. Despite pans from purrsnickety critics, Dr. Seuss' the Cat in the Hat debuted at No. 1 with $40.1 million — a respectable haul, but far below the $55 million How the Grinch Stole Christmas earned in 2000. Halle Berry's supernatural thriller Gothika also thrived despite spooky reviews, opening in second place with a strong $19.6 million. Rounding out the top five: Elf (No. 3 with $19.1 million), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (No. 4 with $15.2 million) and the film my brother David and sister-in-law Pam can't stop raving about, Love Actually (No. 5 with $9.1 million). Of course, they hated read more


Another week, another Broadway show arrives DOA. The latest Great White Way casualty: Jackie Mason's musical/comedy revue Laughing Room Only, which closes Sunday after just 14 performances. Speaking of Broadway, I caught Rosie O'Donnell's Boy George musical Taboo last week and — shocker! — it was kinda good. Special props to Euan Morton, who was a dead ringer, both physically and vocally, for the former Culture Club frontman. read more


Tim Allen can't seem to shake the holiday spirit. The Santa Clause headliner has signed on to star in Skipping Christmas, a big-screen comedy based on the John Grisham novel. Allen will play a man who decides to — you guessed it — skip Christmas and go on a vacation with his wife instead. His plan is foiled when his daughter unexpectedly comes home for the holidays. read more


Poor Rachel Campos. The 32-year-old MTV alum has been passed over once again for that elusive fifth co-host slot on ABC's daytime chatfest The View. Today, Barbara Walters announced that 28-year-old Survivor alum Elisabeth Filarski Hasselbeck (say that three times fast) has been tapped to replace Lisa Ling, who left to do something for National Geographic. Hasselbeck also beat out soap star Erin Hershey Presley, but it's Campos I really feel sorry for. read more


Michael Jackson has set up a new Web site to speak directly to "fans, friends and family" about the child molestation charges leveled against him. "As you know, the charges recently directed at me are terribly serious," he wrote. "They are, however, predicated on a big lie. This will be shown in court, and we will be able to put this horrible time behind us." Jackson says will serve as "a source of official communications on my case." Conspicuously missing from the site: A certain official mug shot. I'm sure it's just an oversight. read more

SundayA Charlie Brown Thanksgiving...


A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Even though this first aired 30 years ago and, thus, isn't going to change, every darn time I watch I hope Lucy won't pull that football away. And every darn time, she does. But if you think Chuck's a loser, you have it all wrong: At least he keeps trying. Next year, I say he oughta pull a little to the side and aim for the head. Then again, I'm an angrier guy than most, so consider the source.

And am I the only one that sees Danny Partridge whenever Peppermint Patty's on screen? And where did they get all those toasters, anyway?

Fallen Angel
The wiseacre in me sees plenty of openings for smartass, inappropriate remarks. A rich guy tattoos two people with his car, then runs off into the snow in a Santa suit. The hypothermia incident. The impossibly well-timed cell phone call. But it's Christmas in small-town Maine, where a high-powered lawyer falls in love while reconnecting with h read more


Mary J. Blige plans to make good use of all those Thanksgiving leftovers. The hip-hop diva confirms on tomorrow's Ellen DeGeneres Show that she will will marry music producer Kendu Isaacs this Friday. read more

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